piyush kaviraj

feelings and musings…


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Blood at Peshawar


I thought I have blood flowing in my veins…..

But blood is flowing out there,

From the veins of the children…..

And we grown ups…..

Can’t even pay a proper homage…..

And we say..

Blood flows through our veins…

Blood is flowing, out there,

On Streets….

Condemning Humanity!!

© 2014 Piyush Kaviraj
The poem can also be found at https://campusdiaries.com/node/28785
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अमंगल सोच


सितम्बर का महीना देश के लिए मंगलयान की सफलता के रूप में एक नया और नायाब तोहफा लेकर आया. पूरे देश में हर्ष और उन्माद का वातावरण कई दिनों तक छाया रहा. आखिर पहले प्रयास में और सबसे कम लागत में हमने वो कर दिखाया जो तकनीकी में कहीं आगे, जापान और चीन भी न कर सके. क्या स्कूल, क्या दफ्तर, क्या चपरासी, क्या अफसर! सभी ने इसरो के वैज्ञानिकों के साथ मिलकर जश्न मनाया.

किन्तु एक खबर ने चौंका कर रख दिया है. सुनने में आया है कि बिहार के मुख्यमंत्री श्री जीतन राम मांझी मधुबनी जिले के एक मंदिर में गए थे. मांझीजी के अनुसार उन्हें बाद में बताया गया कि उनके लौटने के बाद मंदिर और मंदिर में स्थित प्रतिमा की सफाई की गयी ताकि वो फिर से शुद्ध हो सके. ये किस दिशा में जा रहे हैं हम लोग? ऐसा लग रहा है मंगल से वापस धरती पर पटक दिया किसी ने!

पाठकों की जानकारी के लिए बता दूँ कि श्री मांझी ‘मुसहर’ नामक जाति से हैं. यह जाति बिहार की सबसे पिछड़ी जातियों में से एक है. मांझीजी का मुख्यमंत्री बनना ही इस बात का प्रतीक था कि अब बिहार में भी लोग जाति व्यवस्था से ऊपर उठकर भाईचारे के साथ काम करेंगे. किन्तु पुरातन सामंतवादी सोच लोगों का पीछा ही नहीं छोड़ती. दलित तो पैरों के नीचे ही ठीक है. ऊपर उठ गया तो सवर्णों की साख कम हो जाएगी. उनकी पूछ घट जाएगी. ऐसी बातें कब तक इंसानियत को शर्मसार करती रहेंगी. ऐसी घटनाएं बिहार ही नहीं, अन्य राज्यों में भी होती रहती हैं. किसी भी सभ्य समाज के लिए ऐसी घटनाएँ निंदनीय है.

सोचने योग्य बात यह है कि राज्य के मुख्यमंत्री के साथ ऐसा व्यवहार हुआ है तो फिर गाँवों में रहने वाले भोले भाले और कमजोर लोगो के साथ किस तरह का बर्ताव हो रहा होगा? दिल दहल उठता है ऐसी परिस्थिति से! क्या हम आने वाली पीढ़ियों के लिए ऐसा समाज बनाना चाहते हैं? क्या हम नहीं चाहते कि भविष्य मेहनत और मेधा के आधार पर तैयार हो! क्या हम नहीं चाहते कि भविष्य खोखले स्तंभों की जगह मजबूत विश्वास और सौहार्द्रता की नींव पर खड़ा हो? अमंगलकारी सोच और बातें किस कदर हमारे मानसिकता में अभी तक घर किये हुए हैं इसका अंदाजा लगाना भी मुश्किल है! वहाँ हमारे वैज्ञानिकों ने चाँद को छू लिया, मंगल पर कदम रखने की पूरी तैयारी कर ली है और यहाँ धरती पर दलित, हरिजन, छुआ-छूत, जाति-पाति जैसे अमंगल सोच से भी पीछा नहीं छूट रहा.

पवन श्रीवास्तव नाम के एक युवा निर्देशक दलितों के ऊपर एक चलचित्र बनाने जा रहे हैं. शायद वो समाज के इस अभिशाप से लोगो को अच्छे से रू-ब-रू करा सकें. कुछ वर्षों पहले पटना स्थित महावीर मंदिर में एक दलित को पूजा के लिए नियुक्त किया गया था. कितनी ख़ुशी हुई थी सुनकर कि जाति की जगह महावीर मंदिर ट्रस्ट ने योग्यता पर भरोसा किया और पूरे देश के लिए एक उत्तम उदहारण पेश किया. ऐसा सोचने वाले इतने कम क्यों हैं! फिर भी, उम्मीद पर दुनिया कायम है. आशा है कि मंदिर धोने वाली घटना लाखो में एक हो और एक बुरे सपने की तरह फिर से परेशान न करे.

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– See more at: http://hindi.kohram.in/my-opinion/bad-thinking-for-schedule-caste/#sthash.SBNeYJKJ.dpuf

This article was first published at the following link.

http://hindi.kohram.in/my-opinion/bad-thinking-for-schedule-caste/


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A new low in Indian politics, or Indian Media?


Article on Amit Shah by Rana Ayub pulled down by DNA

Article on Amit Shah by Rana Ayub pulled down by DNA

This article, published by DNA newspaper group, on Amit Shah has been pulled down by DNA: check  Looks like a new low for media self-censorship!! Now that Amit Shah is BJP National President, and even his lawyer a Supreme Court judge, even the not so wise should get a glimpse of whats in store next.. Rana Ayub has tweeted “Feel terrible, disillusioned with the state of media. Will not be writing for henceforth. Had great respect for them. Alas !” an hour ago.

The article is as follows, without any modification……

Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi. Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy had a legitimate reason to skip court hearings. He was presiding and taking part in day-long meetings in Delhi with senior RSS leaders and BJP functionaries who were all set to seal his fate as the next BJP President

There is a significant back story to his exemption which did find its way as a small snippet in the media but needs to be brought to light as Shah, the man who waved the magic wand for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the PM’s confidante and the number two in the government now takes over the reins of the party. Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief. On June 20, while hearing the application, Utpat allowed the same but made a scathing remark “Everytime you are giving this exemption application without assigning any reason,” he told Shahs counsel. In less than a week, Utpat was transferred to a Pune court before he could preside over Shahs discharge application. Shah managed his way out with a tried and tested formula of transferring judges, practiced brazenly in his home state of Gujarat through his tenure as Home Minister.

As a journalist covering Gujarat extensively since 2005, as someone who exposed Shah’s role in the fake encounters in the state and who can claim to have knowledge of his political trajectory, I would not mince my words in suggesting that by appointing Amit Shah as the president of the party, the BJP has hugely disrespected the law of the land and signalled an all time low for the criminal justice system of India. For the cases against Shah are for crimes so gruesome that the cloak of political astuteness will be too short to cover it.

In its chargesheet filed in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the CBI which had been investigating the case under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court of India had not just named Shah as one of the key accused and conspirators but also named him as the head of an extortion racket which involved underworld thugs, politicians and businessmen. In its submission before the apex court bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan, the CBI stated that the minister was in cahoots with senior cops from Gujarat including the likes of DG Vanzara and Abhay Chudasama who had been sentenced for cold-blooded murder – concluding that Shah was a hardcore criminal. Shah was also chargesheeted in the murder of Kauser Bi, the wife of Sohrabuddin who according to the official papers was raped, sedated, killed and her body burnt and thrown in a river.

One could have well debated the merits of the CBI chargesheet and read political motives but for the fact that the Supreme court itself gave CBI the sanction to arrest Shah at the same time, coming down harshly on the Gujarat state police investigation led by the then top cop Geeta Johri for going slow and misleading the courts. If the SIT verdict on Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat encounters is to be held as the final word, by virtue of it being monitored by the apex court, it is baffling then that Narendra Modi who promised clean and transparent governance to this country and setting up fast track courts to look into cases of criminal charges against politicians has turned a blind eye to Shah’s criminal past.

Shah has been Modi’s confidante since his days as a pracharak in Gujarat and Maharashtra. With Shah’s induction on the national scene first as the General Secretary of the BJP and now as the BJP President, Modi has risked his own political image for the sake of his ally and friend who has put to shame the best political pundits and strategists from North India with his shrewd manoeuvring. In the coming days, the party will have to prove its popularity not just in the by-elections of Uttar Pradesh but also in the forthcoming Assembly Elections in three states, the most significant being the battle for Maharashtra. Party insiders have stressed on Maharashtra being a prestige battle for Modi whose party swept the Lok Sabha elections a couple of months ago. Going by the minutes of the internal meetings held between Modi, Shah and senior heads in the BJP and the RSS, the Prime Minister has silenced his detractors in the party who were against Shah’s elevation citing his ability to churn out big numbers.

Many in the Gujarat BJP believe that Modi has been under tremendous pressure by Shah to return the favours he has allegedly bestowed on his mentor in the last two decades of their association. It’s a well known fact that during Modi’s rebellion against former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and in his fight with the ex-Home Minister of Gujarat Haren Pandya, it was Shah who stood firmly by Modi’s side galvanizing the cadres and leaders in favour of his boss.

As the second in command in the Modi dispensation, the youngest minister in his cabinet who held charge of twelve ministries including the powerful Minister of State for Home, Shah single-handedly thwarted all trouble that came in the way of Modi with his office getting the infamous tag of the “dirty tricks department of the CM”. It was under his tenure as Home Minister that the Gujarat police went on a spree of fake encounters in the state – holding regular press conferences for the media with the bodies of the alleged assassins on display. The officers would claim that the Gujarat CM was under threat from jihadists who were out to assassinate the man who brought back Hindu asmita in Gujarat.

While the chief minister managed to leave unscathed during the investigations of most of the encounters which were later pronounced as fake, Shah found himself listed as the prime accused in three encounters, his role in the other two being probed by the CBI with investigations in the case still on.

Another major dent in Shah’s image came with his alleged involvement in the Snoopgate scandal, in which he is heard instructing one of his key lieutenants – IPS officer GL Singhal who was then incharge of the ATS, to carry on surveillance on a young woman. The tapes which were released late last year created a furore after it became obvious that Shah as the Home Minister of the state was using state machinery to snoop on innocent civilians, monitoring their moves. In this particular case, a young woman whose movements, including aspects of her personal life were being reported to the CM on a daily basis.

With such serious criminal charges against him, has Modi denigrated the position of the party president by handing over Shah the reins of the party. Would it now be safe to assume that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted against the interests of the judiciary by rejecting the nomination of Gopal Subramaniam as a Supreme court judge as he was also the amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Ever since the Prime Minister assumed office, ex-CBI directors including Ashwini Kumar and AP Singh who were at the helm of affairs in the CBI during the investigation of the encounters, find themselves being at the receiving end of Shah’s wrath. While Kumar has stepped down as governor of Nagaland, AP Singh is reportedly under pressure to step down as member of the UPSC after the Income Tax department served notices to him and his family members in an investigation into alleged tax evasion by meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

These could all well be coincidences if one were to take a larger liberal view of the developments including the transfer of 89-year-old ailing governor of Gujarat Kamla Beniwal, who under her tenure locked horns with Modi and Shah over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state. But even if one were to dismiss these actions against officials, lawyers, judges who played significant roles in the criminal justice process involving Amit Shah as conjectures, will it not be pertinent to suggest that by appointing Shah as the BJP President, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair government, which will have no space for vindictiveness. Hasn’t Modi and the BJP under the guidance of the RSS just made the first attack on the principle of clean governance on the basis of which the party came to power? Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer this one.

Rana Ayyub is a journalist and a writer. She tweets at @RanaAyyub

— @piyushKAVIRAJ


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NOT A GOOD ENOUGH ALIBI


Not a good enough Alibi: a blog on a sexual misconduct faced by a young lady at a Bangalore pub; at http://mercurialpurple.blogspot.in/2014/06/not-good-enough-alibi.html

We were having one of those Saturday nights, where we had a big group of people (from the Quora meetup) who decided to get out for a drink with last minute plans. As expected, we didn’t really get a table in most bars and since we were a big group, we were desperate for a bar that seated us. Walking down Church Street, a friend spotted Alibi, the restobar and it seemed like they had a few tables that would accommodate a large group. My friends and I had a decent time for about the first two hours talking, eating, drinking and laughing.While we were about to leave, and I was standing next to my table discussing with my friends about our cab options, I felt this guy’s hand brush against my behind as he walked out. Startled, I wheeled around, and saw him walk off nonchalantly like nothing happened. I wasn’t entirely sure whether his brush was accidental (because it was a narrow space between two tables that I was standing in) or intentional. Since he had already left, I didn’t mull over it too much and ignored it (stupid, I know).And while I was continuing to talk to my friends, this man returned only to grope my butt. I felt it this time, and it was no accidental brush. I caught him immediately and asked him what he thought he was doing. In response, he simply smirked. Infuriated, I got into an argument with him, only to be interrupted by his best friend who seemed even angrier because I falsely accused his friend of molesting me.Seriously, WHY would I want to make this stuff up? Does anyone out there think women enjoy making a scene and involving multiple people in telling them how we were felt up?The friend kept getting extremely defensive with every dialogue he spewed and began to yell, to which of course, I also felt an appropriate amount of yelling on my part was required. No one is going to tell me to shut up when someone violates my space.Meanwhile, the molester is watching the argument between his friend and me spin out of control and stands as mute witness to the spectacle.The head waiter, Sam (or so he claims his name was), steps in and hears both sides of the argument. He then proceeds to politely ask the molester to pay his bill and leave. When I protest at this extremely kind treatment meted out to the molester, Sam the head waiter starts bellowing at me, asks me to get out, and even threatens me by saying that he will make things worse for me. I asked him what he meant by that, and I said I was ready to go to the police. That’s when he pretty much told me to get out. In the meanwhile the molester has conveniently slipped away and I was too engrossed in my conversation with the staff to notice. This happens while Sam is yelling the hell out of me – he literally gets 3 inches close to my face and his body language suggested that he might physically strike me at any moment. The Manager of Alibi then steps in, and then he starts yelling at me (it seems to be Alibi staff policy now) and says that I should have expected this because I was “dancing”. He also explicitly stated that it wasn’t the molester’s fault. Pretty much all the Alibi staff members got together and started yelling at me and my friends raising a clamour, while the molester was treated as a gentleman till the time he left.So let’s get this straight, someone assaults me. I fight back. Management interferes, starts to blame me for what happens to me, tells me that it’s not the guy’s fault. Not just this, the management then misbehaves with me, while constantly bellowing at me because I was”creating a scene” and was “taking it too personally”, and asked me to leave immediately. I was kicked out of Alibi by the waiters and management because I was molested by a man who happened to slip away while they were vociferously indulging in victim shaming. He got away scot-free and is likely to repeat it again because even when a woman did question him, he realized that everyone was going to blame the victim instead and it will be far easier for him to escape it. I, the victim, got treated like a criminal while the management treated the molester as a gentleman. Does that even make sense?The behaviour doled out to me and my friends by the management was reprehensible. Victim blaming is such a real and common thing, and it happens so often that we have become indifferent towards it. The management was obviously trying desperately to protect their reputation and wanted to get me out of there. But the fact that they had the manager vehemently believing that my dancing was a cause of the molester’s vile behaviour and with one of the waiters screaming in my face because I demanded justice was deplorable.

I walked away, in absolute disgust. We have discussions, we rally at protests, we teach men to respect women, we ask women to never suffer in silence and make some noise, and when we do, this is what happens. It was simply far easier to take the side of the molester and blame it on the victim for her clothes, for being at a bar, for being out late at night, or in this case, dancing (seriously, at best case I was just ‘moving’ a bit. And I haven’t seen anyone ever at a bar standing or sitting in attention position throughout their stay there while the music is playing).

If “dancing” is against the rules, so is sexual assault! Why are we continuing to defend such heinous acts? Why do we try to shut the women who do speak up? Why do we transfer the blame to the victim?

I feel violated. Disgusted. Cheated. And I shouldn’t be. But I am. Millions of women go through far worse situations everyday and when we stand up for ourselves, this is what we get treated with.

So dear women of Bangalore, you must already be doing this for good reason, but just in case you do plan to visit Alibi, I suggest otherwise. If anything does happen to you here, be rest assured that the Alibi management will yell at you, get in your face and tell you that it’s your fault (they might threaten to make things worse for you as well). And oh, the perpetrator will be let off no questions asked as long as they pay their bill. *applause*

 

Posted by Agratha Dinakaran at 00:09 on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at http://mercurialpurple.blogspot.in/2014/06/not-good-enough-alibi.html

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