Ripples of Telangana: Assam erupts

Indian Bodo tribal villagers walk amidst ruins as violence gripped Assam. PTI
Indian Bodo tribal villagers walk amidst ruins as violence gripped Assam. PTI

Fresh aftermaths of UPA government’s decision to provide statehood to Telangana showed up in the form of long-standing demands by four-ethnic groups for statehood carved out of Assam with mass violence and agitation in the state.

The ethnic group of Bodos, Karbi and Koch-Rajbongshis have demanded separate states. Karbi Anglong’s witnessed violence with two persons killed and several injured. The All Bodo Student’s Union has observed a 12-hour long rail blockade with several other organisations, including the Bodo Sahithya Sabha, All Bodo Women’s Federation, Bodoland People’s Progressive Front, people’s Joint action Committee for this movement. The ABSU has also called a 60-hour long strike from August 5th to demand a separate state for Bodos.

The United Democratic People’s Front, comprising several Bodo organisations, has called a 1500-hour long strike, the longest ever in the region on the lines of same demand. Karbi Anglong state vandalized the residence of an official at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive and the people’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland have jointly called a 100-hour long highway blockage from august 13th and will observe a 24-hour long hunger-strike on August 20th at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

The All Koch Rajbongshi’s Student’s Union has already began observing a 36-hour long Assam strike from yesterday demanding a separate Kamtapur state which will be followed by a 100-hour hunger-strike and a bandh on Independence Day.

The Hill State Democratic Party has called a 100-hour strike in the hill districts of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong from August 5th demanding separate state of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong. The HSDP has already observed a 10-hour bandh in Dima Hasao district yesterday demanding a separate Dima Hasao state.

Pramode Boro, President, ABSU, said that, “the decision to create Telangana was impartial. Our long-awaiting demand has been ignored and the identity of Bodos is at stake. We will continue our agitation till our demand for a separate Bodoland is met.”

The PJACBM, comprising of 55 Bodos organisations, has also intimidated the government of intensifying the agitation if the demand for a separate Bodoland state is not met which is more than four-decades old.

Biswajt Roy, President, AKRSU said that if government failed to resolve the issue of a separate Kamtapur state, they would be left with only option of intensifying the agitation.”

Political parties in Assam like AIUDF,AGP AND BJP along with the ruling Congress were opposed to the creation of separate states.

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, President, AGP, said that, the creation of Telangana would lead to demands for more states in Assam, but any further division would not lead to economic development of the state and its people. The AIUDF, one of the major opposition party in the state assembly, has also stated that it was opposed to any further division of the state

BJP’s Assam unit prsident Sarbananda Sonawal said that his party was not in favour of any further division of the state, but would work for the creation of a greater Assam.

zTarun Gogoi, CM, Assam, who left for New Delhi, also said that the party was not for any further division of the state.

Associated Press
People turns violent, causing mass destruction in the state of Assam, demanding separate statehood

Assam has been divided thrice since Independence with Nagaland carved out in 1963, Meghalaya with the passing of North Eastern (Reorganisation Areas) Act in 1971 and Mizoram, which first became a Union Territory in 1971 and was later made a state in 1985.

Thus, with such an violent demand for separate states among ethnic groups in Assam, it can be clearly said that creation of Telangana has more violence in store  amongst ethnic groups of others states in the country. Assam is just the first chapter in the chain of demands for statehood, thus fragmenting India into several states. This would in turn, give birth to various new developmental, economical, political and social challenges to be faced in future.

A controversial termination

Durga nagpal
Image source: The Hindustan Times

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is under scrutiny for ordering the questionable suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal, a sub-divisional magistrate in the Gautam Budh Nagar District. The IAS officer’s suspension came as huge embarrassment to the Samajwadi Party when it proliferated to a big controversy inducing the Centre to ask for a report. The Bureaucrat’s suspension order came on the night of 27-28 July.

The CM fostered that it was an administrative measure to restrain communal violence after she had ordered the extermination of the wall of an under-construction Mosque in the Kadalpura village.  The controversy got murkier with the Opposition claiming that Nagpal was discriminated against for cracking down on the illegal sand mining case on the Yamuna riverbed recently. Concurrently, the State Government seemed tranquil and maintained a firm stand that the SDM’s action would have caused communal tension.

Read more here.

New Pakistan President knows the needs of both countries

Mamnoon
Manmoon | Image source: pkpolitics.com

 

The announcement of new Pakistan President, Mamnoon Hussain raised hopes of the people of the country. Pakistan, which was under military not a long time ago under Parvez Musharraf, looks forward to the second president of democratic Pakistan after Mr. Zardari. The country also has hopes for better relations between Indian and Pakistan under the new President since it has come into light that Mr. Hussain is from Agra.

“Mamnoon Hussain is from Agra and knows what the people of both the country want and I hope that he would initiate positive steps for understanding the frustration, pain and concern of Indian people towards Pakistan”, said the External Affairs Minister Salman Khusrid when press referred to the Indian roots of the new President.

Read more here.

Political parties out of RTI? Sibal says no

Kapil-Sibal1
Sibal | Image source: youngeducationist.com

According to the Government, the political parties in India are to be kept out of the circuit of the Right to Information (RTI) act, which is strongly opposed by Kapil Sibal. “We get elected by the people. We have to reveal whatever donations we receive to the Election Commission. It is not as if the donations to the parties are unaccounted for,” said the Law Minister.

The issue came into the news when the Cabinet on Thursday approved the amendment of keeping the political parties out of the circle of the RTI, after the Central Information Commission stated that six political parties are a part of the public sector, and hence are exposed to declare their accounts under the RTI act. According to Sibal, since the political parties do not “operate under a veil of secrecy, this could also be made public.”

Read more here.

Violation of right to life in a MiG-21

A MIG in action. Over 6 deaths of pilots have been reported by MIG crashes in India since 2000 | Image: ibnlive.com

Squadron leader Sanjeet Singh Kalia stated in Delhi high court that “Flying a MiG-21 has resulted to violation of my fundamental right to life”.

On January 4 ,2005 when  Sanjeet was going through an exercise, his flight, a MiG-21, caught fire after the take off which he was informed by the second pilot who was flying along with him. Assessing the emergency,he promptly carried out all the essential directives and got the tyres of the aircraft down for a landing. He performed all the necessary actions in spite of the fire which engulfed the aircraft. Despite the condition, he managed to steer the aircraft away to a safer place from a crowded nearby village.

Kaila stated that following the incident he was injured and later forced to discontinue flying after a comprehensive medical examination which showed that he was suffering from cercalgia and disc bulges of vertebrates. The medical report also clearly mentioned that Sanjeet was rendered unfit for flying duties because of the incident. Kaila has claimed that he has not yet received any response for the report that he sent to the government on December 25 seeking compensation for the loss he suffered as a result of air crash. The matter was filed before the court in May 2013. Bench of justices Geeta Mittal and Deepa Sharma had issued notice to the government and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) who are the respondents in the petition.On July 16, HAL appeared through its counsel but there was no representative from the government.

TMC triumphs in Bengal rural polls

TMC workers celebrate the victory | Image source: hindustantimes.com
TMC workers celebrate the victory | Image source: hindustantimes.com

Despite all the odds, criticisms, scams and allegations of an unruly government, it’s all green at the Bengal Panchayat elections in what seemed to be the first real test for TMC, ever since coming to power back in 2011. Having won 13 out of 17 zilla parishads, it might add up 3 more to their tally if they ally with Congress again.

Jalpaiguri is the only zlla parishad that the Left has managed to win though they are tied in 16 all with Congress, at Malda where the TMC has managed just 6. Similar is the case at North Dinajpur where the Left has 13 but cannot form the parishad alone without help from Congress which has 8 seats to 5 seats of TMC. Nadia was another district where the Left marginally failed to have it in their grasp.

Murshidabad, the stronghold for Adhir Chaudhary is the only place the Congress can boast of their existence. Besides the mammoth success in the zila parishads, the ruling party of Bengal also captured 213 out of 329 panchayat samities and 1763 out of 3215 gram panchayat seats.

However it wasn’t all clean as there were reports that around 6250 seats which went unopposed where the TMC are accused of terror tactics alleged both by the Left and the Congress.

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Tune into Tihar FM

Image Source: thehindu.com
Image Source: thehindu.com

Yes, you heard it right. Country’s largest prison has now got itself its very own radio station.  It is to help prisoners develop some creative skills as well as to train them as Radio Jockeys.

In an interview to PTI, Tihar Jail spokesperson Sunil Gupta said, “The FM Radio has been established to meet the twin objective of entertainment and training of prisoners as Radio Jockey (RJ). The prisoners can engage themselves in creative activities and also get trained as RJ.”

To motivate and inculcate the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and promote communal harmony, the administration has also set up a ‘Charkha khand’ or Khadi unit. It’s done in association with NGO ‘Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Sansthan’.  As per the prison officials, a lot of captives have shown interest in the khadi unit including some foreign inmates who have shown active participation in it.

Not only that, it houses India’s first drug de-addiction and Vipassana meditation center. Against the capacity of 6,250, tihar has around 12,000 prisoners. No wonder people want to live in the jail given the facilities; it even beats most villages of the country.