“Sabka Vishwas” Tracker
July 30, 2019
Original Image Courtesy: The North East Today[/caption]
On May 25, 2019, two days after sweeping back to power, Prime Minister Modi made a speech at the Central Hall of Parliament. He said, “We belong with those who voted for us and with those who consider us their enemy.” He spoke of minorities living in fear, but claimed that this fear is an imaginary creation of vote-bank politics. In the video of the speech below he evoked the memory of Baba Saheb Ambedkar as the camera panned obligingly to the portrait of him hung in the historic hall. Modi said the new government must take it upon itself to win the faith of all minorities: “Sabka Vishwas”.
July 03, Churu, Rajasthan: It was reported on this day that, on June 30 a 35-year-old dalit woman and her brother-in-law and were arrested on what the family say are false charges. The woman was held at the police station for several days and gang-raped by nine policemen including the station-house officer (SHO). The policemen are also accused of custodial killing in the death of her 22-year-old brother-in-law who died on the July 07.
July 09, Burhanpur district, Madhya Pradesh: Four adivasi farmers resisting eviction were shot with pellet guns and injured by forest officials. The eviction drive has been called illegal by activists.
July 13, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh: 12 un-named youths attacked a Muslim cleric and forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Imam Imlaq-ur-Rehman was on his way to his village on a motorcycle when he was stopped, beaten up and intimidated.
July 14, Banaskantha district, Gujarat: Close to 800 villagers from 12 villages have issued a diktat that parents will be fined heavily if their children marry outside the Thakor community. The woman’s family would be fined 1.5 lakhs and the man’s 2 lakhs. Also unmarried women are to be banned from carrying mobile phones. Geniben Thakor, the Congress MLA from Vav praised the move and defended the mobile phone banning saying that it would “automatically control” the boys
July 16, Fatehpur district, Uttar Pradesh: A mob in Behta village vandalised a madrasa on the suspicion of cow slaughter. It was torn down and pelted with stones. An FIR has been lodged against one individual for cow-slaughter along with an FIR against 60 unidentified people for the vandalism.
July 17, Karnataka: Umadevi Kalburgi, the wife of Kanada scholar M M Kalburgi who was assassinated on August 30, 2015 identified Ganesh Miskin (27) as one of his killers. Miskin has also been identified in the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh in 2017. He has been linked to the Hindutva extremist group Sanatan Sanstha.
July 19, Saran district, Bihar: Three men in Baniyapur village were beaten to death, by a crowd that accused them of stealing cattle. The three men had a pick-up truck that allegedly had cattle. Villagers caught hold of the men and beat them mercilessly until they collapsed.
July 21, Kushmor, West Bengal: 35-year-old Ismail Shaikh was beaten up for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Gautam Mondal who has been arrested attacked the Ismail twice, while he was in the village selling spices.
July 21, Gumla district, Jharkhand: Suna Oraon, 65, Phagni Devi, 60, Chapa Bhagat, 65, and his wife, Piri Devi, 62, were killed over suspected witchcraft. Around a dozen angry villagers dragged them out of their houses and attacked them with sticks and sharp weapons while accusing them of practising “witchcraft” in the late hours of the night.
Bhagat and his wife sold potatoes in a local market while Oraon was a farmer and Devi a homemaker. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 523 women have been killed in Jharkhand between 2001 and 2016 after they were branded witches.
July 22, Delhi: 40-year-old Rosina Nasir, assistant professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), accused vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar and chairperson of CSSEIP Yagati Chinna Rao of “targeted harassment, exploitation, and discrimination”.
She sought intervention from the DMC saying she was being forced to quit her job by the two “powerful” men and that she fears for her and her child’s safety. “It seems to me if I will not quit the faculty position in the CSSEIP, I will be made to disappear like Najeeb.” Nasir feels her identity has made her particularly prone to hostility.
July 26, Chandauli district, Uttar Pradesh: A teenaged Muslim boy was attacked by four men and set on fire for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Police deny charges, claim the story is fabricated.
July 28, Uttar Pradesh: The Unao Rape survivor, who had named BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, met with a road accident in Rae Bareli. She is seriously injured and both aunts travelling with her are dead. Her lawyer, Mahendra Singh, who was also in the car has suffered critical injuries too. In June 2017, the survivor was kidnapped and gang-raped for more than a week by Kuldeep Singh and his accomplices. His brother Atul Singh was allegedly among them. The FIR that was filed on the survivor’s behalf did not include the MLA’s name. When the family was determined to pursue the case, they accused Sengar of intimidating them. On April 03 last year, the survivor’s father was attacked and grievously injured. The UP police arrested him on the charge of illegal possession of firearms and he died later in custody. Given this history, yesterday’s accident is being viewed as a deliberate threat to the family.
The Indian Cultural Forum will do a regular round-up of how Modi’s “New India” holds up to the promise of "Sabka Vishwas". This list is sourced from news reports and is by no means complete. Speaking of minority rights in one speech is not enough. It is not enough, when Hindutva forces have taken the lives of dalits, adivasis and Muslims in the last five years of the Modi government. When those forces threaten and intimidate them every day. When they rape and brutalise them. We were not silent then. We refuse to be silent under Modi’s second term as Prime Minister.
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