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Archives for : November2017

Love Jihad Case- Hadiya Says She is Muslim, No One Forced Her to Convert to Islam

Hadiya, escorted by a heavy police presence, left for New Delhi on Saturday. She is being accompanied by her parents, too.

Kerala Love Jihad Case: Hadiya Says She is Muslim, No One Forced Her to Convert to Islam
File photo of Hadiya. (CNN-News18 photo)
Kochi: Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, the woman at the centre of the Kerala Love Jihad Case, has said that she is a Muslim and nobody forced her to convert to Islam.

Speaking to reporters at the Kochi Airport, Hadiya said that she wants to go back to her husband, two days before the Supreme Court hearing in the crucial case. Hadiya, escorted by a heavy police presence, left for New Delhi on Saturday. She is being accompanied by her parents, too.

Hadiya’s husband, Shafin Jahan, had on Friday complained that attempts were being made to reconvert her to Hinduism.

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine Hadiya in an open court, turning down her father’s plea for in-camera proceedings.

Hadiya’s case is at the centre of the ‘love jihad’ controversy in Kerala, which is now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Twenty-four-year-old Akila Asokan converted to Islam and later married Shafin Jahan last year.

Soon, Hadiya’s father approached the Kerala High Court linking her daughter’s conversion to a larger terror conspiracy. The HC stepped in to annul the marriage, however, the order was challenged in the Supreme Court by her husband Shafin Jahan.

Jahan, in his petition, claims Hadiya, a homeopathy student in Kerala, converted to Islam of her own volition two years prior to their marriage and sought direction to Hadiya’s father to present her in court.

Hadiya’s father, however, said she was a “helpless victim” trapped by a “well-oiled racket”, which used “psychological measures” to indoctrinate people and convert them to Islam.

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Shocking! Gujarat govt body calls Bhil tribals ‘criminals’, ‘alcoholics’ & ‘black’

Even 70 years after Independence, it appears that the Gujarat government continues to view Adivasis through the racist lenses of British colonisers.

website of a department of the Gujarat government has referred to the tribal Bhil community as “black” and insinuated that they indulge in “criminal” activities.



Bhils are the largest Adivasi community in Gujarat and form around 46% of the state’s tribal population. They are mainly concentrated in the districts of Dangs, Bharuch, Surat, Vadodara, Panchmahals, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha.

The government body in question is the Tribal Research and Training Institute (TRTI) run by the Gujarat government’s Tribal Development Department. The TRTI’s website contains a primer on every major Adivasi community in Gujarat.

The article on Bhils is divided into several sub-sections, one of which is titled “New Means of Communication”. In this section, TRTI claims that Bhils use mobile phones for carrying out crimes and formulating criminal strategies.

“Mobile phone is used for many purposes-giving information, getting information, finding jobs, finding husband/wife, information about illness, place of treatment, about accidents, collection of relatives, caste people, and for crime/criminal strategy,” TRTI writes.

This is given in the TRTI’s website, which has a “” domain name, clearly showing that it is a government website.

The TRTI’s view is hardly different from the British classification of Bhils as a “criminal tribe”.

In another section titled “Bio-Anthropological Characteristics”, TRTI further uses racist vocabulary by saying that “Bhils are generally black in body colour”.

The section goes on provide a table on the average height, length and breadth of the head, bizygomatic breadth (distance between the two cheekbones), nasal length and facial length of the Bhil community.

Dr Gaurang Jani, a sociologist teaching at Gujarat University, said “In my opinion, it is a social crime to speak of Bhils or any other tribal community in this manner. This is insulting not just to the tribe, it is insulting that the government sees its own citizens this way”.

“In a civilised society, no one says things like a community is of ‘black colour’. Why don’t they write that Bhili is the second most spoken language in Gujarat?” he told Catch.

Specifically responding to the table giving the “bio-anthropological” traits of Bhils, Jani said, “This is downright racist. Why doesn’t the government carry out such surveys about the head size of Brahmins or Patidars? Why just tribals?”

Like Jani, Ahmedabad-based political analyst Prakash Shah feels that the most disturbing aspect of the website is that it shows how the government views citizens.

“The use of such categories and methods shows that the government views tribals as subjects and not citizens. This is absolutely wrong,” he said.


In the essay, TRTI also cites a colonial scholar to allege that Bhils have “an inordinate thirst for liquor”.

The report states, “Though liquor is banned in Gujarat, it is generally consumed in tribal communities. It has important place in the way of life of Bhils. On each social occasion the drinking is done, it is offered to guests and friends. Erskine wrote in 1908, ‘The principal failing of the tribe is inordinate thirst for liquor, which is very much in evidence on all occasions…Their quarrels begin and end in drinking bouts’ (1908, 231)'”.

Adding its own observation, TRTI says that Bhils distill their liquor in secret and spend a considerable part of their earnings on alcohol.

The work cited by TRTI is KD Erskine’s Gazetteer of Udaipur State (1908) which deals at length with the Bhil community and contains several derogatory references to the community. For instance, Erskine describes them as “black and ugly” and having “predatory and quarrelsome habits”. He wrote that Bhils “lift cattle and abduct women” and “when their feelings have been aroused, they are inclined to take the law into their own hands”.

Mittal Patel, who works with Vicharata Samuday Samarthan Manch (Denotified Tribes Collective Platform) says that the government is following a colonial way of looking at tribes.

“It is absolutely wrong to speak of tribes in this manner. It reflects a deeply biased and colonial viewpoint,” she said.

“Instead of perpetuating such biases, the government should use such websites to talk about welfare measures for tribals,” she added.

Vikas a member of the National Alliance Group working with denotified tribes, says that such colonial mindset acutely affect development work among tribals.

“Much of the data that the government has dates back to the colonial era. Governments in Independent India didn’t do much research on tribals. Therefore they ended up replicating the same biases,” he said.

According to Vikas, the most serious manifestation of this is in policing and law enforcement.

“Several retired bureaucrats and police officials tell as the even the police manual refers to criminal tribes. Police officials are told that they need to know about these criminal tribes for effective law enforcement in their areas. This is extremely harmful and leads to harassment and stigmatisation of these communities,” Vikas said.

Jani, however, feels that it isn’t just about a colonial mindset, such biases exist in society at large.

“What is written in the website reflects how the government and society view tribals. These biases are deep-rooted in Gujarati society,” he says.

“Despite Bhili being the second most spoken dialect, it is not part of the school curriculum in Gujarat. No textbook even has the ‘a’ of Adivasi in them,” he said.

Catch contacted TRTI through email as well as phone but received no response.


During the colonial period, anyone who opposed British colonial expansion was perceived as a potential criminal. Therefore many communities who took up arms against the British were labeled as criminal tribes.

This thinking led to The Criminal Tribe Act of 1871. While introducing the Bill, TV Stephens, the British official responsible for law and order said:

The special feature of India is the caste system. Traders go by caste, a family of carpenters will be carpenters five centuries hence…It means a tribe whose ancestors were criminals from times immemorial, who are themselves destined by the usages of caste to commit crime and whose descendents will be offenders against law. He had been so from the beginning and will be so to the end, reform is impossible, for it is his trade, his caste, I may almost say his religion to commit crime.”

Bhils were placed in this category as they carried out a series of rebellions against the British and their ally, the Gaekwad Maharaja of Baroda, throughout the first half of the 19th century and also during the revolt of 1857.

The Act remained in place until it was repealed in 1949 and denotified in 1952. But the Habitual Offenders Act that came in its place in 1952 and it provided space for re-stigmatising of erstwhile criminal tribes.

But as the experts cited above stated, the notion of criminal tribes got internalised in society, especially among law enforcement agencies. The TRTI website’s content clearly shows how this deep-rooted bias continues to shape the government’s view of Adivasi communities.

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Latur lawyers seek CBI probe into judge Loya’s death  

The Latur Bar Association on Friday passed a resolution demanding a court-monitored CBI inquiry into the death of former CBI Special Court Judge BH Loya, who died in mysterious circumstances in Nagpur three years ago.

At the time of Loya’s death he was hearing the case of alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which BJP president and former home minister of Gujarat Amit Shah was an accused.

Loya, who belonged to Latur in Marthawada region of the state, practised in Latur district court for almost a decade.

Speaking with Mumbai Mirror, the secretary of Latur Bar Association, Shared Ingle, said, “We passed the resolution in our general body meeting held on Friday stating that there should be a CBI inquiry monitored by the Bombay High Court Chief Justice into the death of Loya.”

He said a delegation of lawyers would meet the district collector and superintendent of police on Monday and hand over a memorandum to them, Ingle said.

The controversy over Loya’s demise arose after Delhi-based magazine recently published a story about the suspicious circumstances around his passing away in December 2014 after the BJP-led government came to power both in the state and at the Centre.

Loya had gone to Nagpur to attend wedding of a brother judge and was taken to private hospital after he reported sick.

Former chief justice of Delhi High Court and chairman of Law Commission Justice AP Shah has also demanded an inquiry into Loya’s death.

Shah, while speaking to the media, said, “In order to maintain the confidence of people in the judiciary, there is a need to conduct a thorough inquiry into judge Loya’s death. Not enquiring into the allegations made by the family would send a very wrong signal to the judiciary, particularly the lower cadre.”

Several questions are being raised in the media about the circumstances surrounding Loya’s death such as why a post-mortem of Loya’s body was ordered when there was no suspicion about any foul play? Who signed the post-mortem report as Loya’s cousin when no member of the Loya family was present in Nagpur at that time? Why judge JT Utpat, who preceded Loya, was transferred when there were specific orders by the Supreme Court that the case will be heard by a single judge from start to finish? Was judge loya offered the bribe as claimed by his sister? Why was judge Loya taken to hospital in a private vehicle and not the one belonging to the government rest house where he was staying? Who got him admitted to the hospital.

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Nobel literature academy ensnarled in #MeToo sex scandal wave #Vaw

The Swedish Academy, whose headquarters in Stockholm’s old city is pictured on Nov 23, 2017, announced Thursday that several of its members and their relatives have accused a man connected to the institution of sexual assault. — AFP

STOCKHOLM: The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, has been rattled by a sex scandal as a high-profile man with close ties to the institution has been accused of assault against several women.

The #MeToo campaign exposing sexual misconduct which began in Hollywood has shaken artistic, media and political circles in Sweden, one of the most gender equal countries in the world.

More than 10,000 women – including actresses, journalists, lawyers and musicians – have spoken up and campaigned against harassment.

The prestigious Swedish Academy, founded in 1786, was drawn into the sex abuse net on Thursday when it announced that several members as well as members’ wives and daughters had allegedly been assaulted by the well-known figure at the centre of the scandal.

“When an institution which selects Nobel laureates finds itself in this type of situation then it of course risks affecting the Nobel prize negatively,” Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, told the daily Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The paper broke the news on Tuesday when it published the testimony of 18 women claiming to have been assaulted or raped by one of the most influential figures in Stockholm’s cultural scene.

Everyone has always known

The accused man’s name has not been published in the media due to Swedish laws on the presumption of innocence. But his identity is generally known by the public as he is a high-profile person in cultural circles and his name has appeared in online chat forums discussing the issue.

He did not respond to AFP’s request for a comment, though he told Dagens Nyheter he was innocent.

Married to a writer with “close links to the Swedish Academy”, the man runs a cultural club showcasing exhibitions, readings and performances by both the cultural elite and hopefuls – including Nobel literature laureates – and dubbed by some as “the Academy’s living room”.

The club has been partly funded by the Academy.

The alleged sexual assaults occurred between 1996 and 2017, some of them in the club’s premises, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Several women spoke openly, allowing the newspaper to reveal their identities, and their stories were corroborated by witnesses, the paper said.

One of the accusers claims to have been raped in an apartment in a posh Stockholm neighbourhood.

“Everyone knows and everyone has always known,” that he was attacking young women, she says.

Do not touch me

The women said they had remained silent out of fear of jeopardising their careers because of the man’s close relations with leading publishers, producers, directors and composers.

Writer Elise Karlsson told AFP that she was working under precarious conditions in 2008 when she was 27-years-old.

“I suddenly felt his hands on my buttocks (and) at no point had I shown any interest. I was shocked and told him ‘do not touch me’ and slapped him,” she said.

Karlsson said he later approached her and said she “would never find work” in the sector again.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to confide in a leader, we knew (the man) was mainly targeting young and vulnerable people,” she added.

According to columnist Svante Weyler, the lack of transparency in the Swedish Academy has led to a code of silence.

Unwanted intimacy

After a “crisis meeting” on Thursday evening, the Swedish Academy announced that it was cutting all ties with the accused, whom it had funded and allowed to manage an apartment it owns in an upscale Paris neighbourhood.

The Academy said in a statement that “members of the Academy, daughters of Academy members, wives of Academy members and staff of the Academy have experienced unwanted intimacy or inappropriate behaviour” by the man.

The prominent institution said it would launch an internal inquiry to find out if the perpetrator “has had any direct or indirect influence on the Academy’s prizes, scholarships, and fundings of any kind”.

Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke said she regretted honouring him with the 2015 Order of The Polar Star, awarded to members of the Swedish royal family and foreigners for services to Sweden. — AFP

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‘Padmavat’ poet wrote on unity of Hindus, Muslims: Native village


Jais (Amethi district):

Even as the world is caught up in a storm over ‘Padmavati’, people in this quiet village – the birthplace of Malik Mohammad Jaisi, the writer of ‘Padmavat’ – wonder what the fuss is all about.

For the residents, most of whom can recite couplets from the tale written in Awadhi in the 16th century, “mahakavi” Jaisi’s work revolved around the unity between Hindu and Muslims, bereft of any hurtful sentiments towards any community.

People in Jais, about 100km from Lucknow, are dismissive about the controversy around ‘Padmavati’. “I had studied the book in school. Those who are opposing it have not seen the movie. They have perhaps not read the book either. It seems to be a political gimmick to oppose it. The book has no controversial element,” said Mohammad Nizam Khan, who lives right across the place where then PM Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone for Malik Mohammad Jaisi Research Institute in 1988. The institute, however, never saw the light of day.

Khan recited a quatrain from ‘Padmavat’, which he had memorised as a child, to elaborate on unity that Jaisi wrote about: “Briksh laagi ek bhaee dui daara / Aae rehte nana parkara / Maatu ke rakat, pita ke bindu / Kehlaave Turuk au Hindu (God had planted only one tree that had two branches with different kinds of people living together. And both Hindus and Muslims are children of the same god.” Jais residents say ‘Padmavat’ was an “amalgamation of fact and fiction”.

Aseef Jaisi, a scholar, said, “Jaisi mixed fact and fiction to compose the book in Persian script and Awadhi language in 1540. Several editions of the book were produced over time in different languages. Had there been any hurtful content to any community, it would have been raised over the years.”

Shiv Nayak Singh (84), founding principal of Malik Mohammad Bharatiya Intermediate College, said in Jaisi’s epic, Rani Padmavati has been depicted in the “most graceful manner” and the poet has kept her royal lineage in mind. “The trailer of the film does not indicate that anything around her character and personality has been distorted. Any protest ahead of the release of the film is amusing,” he said.

Youths of Jais are gearing up to download the movie on their phones once it is released as the nearest theatre is 40 km away. “We watch news and see people going berserk over the film. Once it is released, I am going to download it and see for myself what is there which is worrying a community,” said Muzaffar, a youngster.

Mamata: Welcome to show film in Bengal

Mamata Banerjee, on Friday, said ‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was welcome to West Bengal to premiere and release his film. “If they cannot release ‘Padmavati’ in any other state, we will make special arrangements… Bengal will be very happy and proud to do that,” the CM said.

A 40-year-old man’s corpse was found hanging from a wall of the Nahargarh fort with inflammatory slogans scribbled on the fort walls

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India – Fake lawyer serves as ‘magistrate’ for 21 years #WTFnews

A Subramani| TNN | 

Representative image
CHENNAI: It is perhaps time to look for fake judicial officers too, not just fake lawyers. The authorities at the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherryare yet to get over the shock of finding that a man managed to served the Tamil Nadu judicial service as a magistrate for more than 21 years without any recognised law degree.

Responding to a showcause notice from the Bar Council, the ‘magistrate’, P Natarajan of Ulaganeri in Madurai, said, “It is not fair and justified to cancel enrollment as advocate of a person who was in judicial service for more than 25 years, including 21 years as judicial magistrate.”

Natarajan said he did his BGL ‘course’ at Sarada Law College affiliated to Mysore University in Karnataka for two years through correspondence/distance education mode and was awarded a ‘degree’. Apparently, he attended classes only for the third year during 1975-78.

At the time of the convocation, he told the Bar Council, he was not informed that his degree was valid only for ‘academic’ purposes and not for employment.

He was then selected as judicial magistrate on February 15, 1982, and after a ‘peaceful’ tenure of nearly 22 years, he retired on June 30, 2003.

As if this was not enough, within a month of his retirement, he enrolled himself Jas lawyer with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and was assigned enrolment number MS1739/2003.

After the Supreme Court ordered verification of certificates, the Bar council authorities stumbled upon his case and slapped a showcause notice on Natarajan on January 4, 2016.

The notice traced the academic as well as service history of Natarajan and called upon him to explain why he should not be removed from the rolls.

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