...10...1819202122...


Government tries to right the wrongs against persecuted tribes – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Have you heard of the Gadia lohars who fought in the army of Maharana Pratap and several other Rajput rulers against the Mughals or the Maravars of Tamil Nadu who protected the kingdoms of the chola emperors and resisted the British for many years?

Notified as criminal tribes by the British in the nineteenth century largely as a price for their resistance to oppression and then denotifed by the Indian government but never really classified or given their due, the Modi government has decided to assess and improve the living conditions of 10 crore people belonging to nomadic and denotified tribes of the country whose contribution to the freedom struggle has never been popularised.

Last week, the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Seminomadic Tribes (NCDNT) that comes under the ministry of Social Justice presented an interim report to the centre charting out a roadmap to improve the lives of these communities, bring out their long forgotten history and make them an important part of the electorate by ensuring government schemes such as Mudra and Jan Dhan Yojna reached them.

An exhaustive household survey for the first time has been launched across the county to study the living conditions of these tribes and document their histories. Secretary of the commission B K Prasad said the history of denotified and nomadic tribes was one of suppression and exploitation that they have faced persecution for more than 150 years. This report and the steps we take based on our interactions is an attempt to reverse this injustice.

Agencies Karvy in the nothern zone, Vimarsh in the western zone, Academy of Management Studies, Life Academy of Vocational Studies in the Eastern zone, Karvy in the North Eastern zone and Vimarsh in the southern zone have been picked to conduct this survey.

These agencies starting June 1 are compiling data about each of these communities, taking a sample size of 9000. They will assess the socio economic conditions and submit a report to us in six months, Prasad added. He added that the commission is now working on a deadline and findings of the survey - first in independent India will help it further in its intervention.

The researchers have studied the history and living conditions of over 200 such communities. For instance, the gadia lohar community found in five north states were blacksmiths in the army of Maharana Pratap. They live under self-imposed taboos not to return to Chittorgarh fort, not to use ropes to draw water or use candles at home as a protest for freedom. Today, due to mechanisation, they work as labourers or sell iron scraps, said Siddharth M, researcher, who added that stories collected from all these communities are being documented.

Similar the maravars, glorifed in the ancient text Thirukkurral, were protectors of Tamil emperors and worked as as Kudikaval (traditional policing communities). But they resisted the British who suppressed them. During our interactions they told us the story of Rani Velu Nachiyar who fought the british but was never given the same importance as Rani Laxmibai. Today the community members work in matchbox factories with bare minimum facilities, the report said.

Experts said the colonial category of criminal tribes may have been denotified but many communities remain unclassified. The Ayyangar Committees recommendations led to the repeal of the CTA in August 1952. In 2008, the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) produced a report where it said, But, to keep effective control over the so-called hardened criminals, the Habitual Offenders Act was placed in the statute book.

To address that, besides listing of ways to make schooling and medical care accessible to these nomadic groups and recommending grazing rights in forests, specific training, scholarship and housing benefits, the commission has sought for a review of the Habitual Offenders Act 1952 which has come provisions from the erstwhile Criminal Tribes Act that add to the harassment faced by these communities.

Here is the original post:

Government tries to right the wrongs against persecuted tribes - Economic Times

Nets Ignore India’s Recent Spike in Christian Persecution – NewsBusters (press release) (blog)


NewsBusters (press release) (blog)
Nets Ignore India's Recent Spike in Christian Persecution
NewsBusters (press release) (blog)
According to Open Doors President David Curry, the Indian government is actually supportive of Christian oppression. Also, it has become increasingly hostile to American NGOs, including Christian ministry Compassion International, which was forced to ...

and more »

Originally posted here:

Nets Ignore India's Recent Spike in Christian Persecution - NewsBusters (press release) (blog)

This ruling allows councils to boycott Israel. It’s a crucial victory – The Guardian

On 11 June Avigdor Lieberman proudly announced that Israel was planning its greatest expansion of settlement homes since 1992. Ramot in the occupied West Bank. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Two weeks ago I found myself in a sweaty room in the Royal Courts of Justice, packed with fellow Palestine activists, listening to detailed and sometimes arcane legal arguments about pension law. The journey that ended in that courtroom began in September last year when the government announced new guidance intended to prohibit local government pension schemes from pursuing divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.

The key target of these new rules was made clear in the government press release about the decision. This was the government acting to place a ban on boycotting Israel. The regulations were introduced in November 2016 despite a public consultation indicating that 98% of respondents thought this was the wrong thing to do, and a wider public outcry.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which Im the director, decided to take the government on. We launched a judicial review supported with witness statements from War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers. Finally, on 22 June, we got the verdict we won! Judge Sir Ross Cranston ruled the guidance was unlawful and that the government had acted for an improper purpose.

This is a victory for the rule of law, for local democracy and for freedom of expression. But it is also a crucial moment in the campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. This campaign emerged in 2005 in answer to a call from 170 Palestinian civil society organisations, frustrated by the decades in which international governments and bodies had issued condemnations of Israels oppression of the Palestinian people but refused to impose meaningful pressure.

The consequences of this failed policy were underlined in the last month, during which Israels illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, the West bank and Gaza entered its 50th year. On 11 June the countrys foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, proudly announced that Israel was planning its greatest expansion of settlement homes since 1992, one year before the Oslo accords launched the so-called peace process. During that time the number of illegal settlers occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem has grown by nearly half a million. On 20 June ,as work started on the first illegal settlement to be built outside the existing settlement blocks in 25 years, Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted After decades, I have the privilege to be the prime minister who is building a new community in Judea and Samaria. Or to put it in clearer language , here is a prime minster who feels privileged to be violating international law.

The BDS movement is a response to Israels confidence that it can act with impunity. Modelled on the same tactics used so successfully against apartheid South Africa, it calls on all actors to end economic support for Israels illegal actions.

The UK governments attempts to force though the pension regulations were part and parcel of a wider attempt by Israel and its supporters to push back against the growing success of the BDS campaign. In April a leaked joint report from the Israeli thinktank the Reut Institute and the US Anti-Defamation League boasted of the success since 2010 in establishing a global pro-Israel network to suppress BDS activity, and the use of anti-BDS laws as a key tactic: 14 US states have introduced such legislation.

Theresa May must listen to the growing chorus of voices calling for an approach that truly holds Israel to account

Sir Ross Cranstons judgment last week draws a line in the sand against the attempts to introduce such measures in the UK. It upholds the basic right to invest money on ethical principles.

For BDS campaigners in the UK this gives a huge boost to our work. A recent YouGov poll showed that public opinion is on our side with 43% of the public seeing BDS as a reasonable response to Israels policies and only 13% opposed. This judgment tells us that the law is with us as well. With this legal impediment removed, we will take forward the campaign to persuade all relevant bodies, including pension-fund holders, not to invest money in supporting activities that are illegal and violate human rights.

Margaret Thatcher found herself on the wrong side of history in the 1980s when she tried to prevent boycotts of apartheid South Africa. Last week, Theresa May told us that her government recognised the need to be humble, to listen to public opinion and rethink its approach to a range of issues. Its time for her to acknowledge that current policy in the Middle East has failed and to listen to the growing chorus of voices calling for an approach that truly holds Israel to account.

Link:

This ruling allows councils to boycott Israel. It's a crucial victory - The Guardian

The Left’s violence is only logical – Conservative Review


Conservative Review
The Left's violence is only logical
Conservative Review
While the modern Left shares the older progressives' understanding that power creates right, it does not share their blind faith in institutions like government. No, society's social institutions and government structures are tools of oppression. The ...

Continue reading here:

The Left's violence is only logical - Conservative Review

UKIP should not become anti-Islam, party’s Welsh MEP warns – BBC News


BBC News
UKIP should not become anti-Islam, party's Welsh MEP warns
BBC News
Mr Gill told BBC Wales, government should not dictate what "you can and can't wear" and said he did not want to associate himself with the campaign. UKIP said the veil was an "instrument of oppression", adding it sought to "lift the veil" on "that ...

and more »

The rest is here:

UKIP should not become anti-Islam, party's Welsh MEP warns - BBC News

Liquor traders condemn tough new regulations – Independent Online

The Western Cape Liquor Traders Organisation (WCLTO) has lambasted the provincial government for its new liquor regulations, saying they were part of the DA and Premier Helen Zilles agenda to shut down black and coloured-owned businesses in the townships.

The organisation charged they were never consulted before the regulations were passed, despite the direct impact they would have on their businesses.

The regulations approved by the provincial legislature in May take effect from July 1.

Provincial government believes the changes will allow the province to take the toughest stance to date" against the irresponsible and illegal sale of liquor, which they cited as a major contributor towards alcohol-related harms in the Western Cape.

According to the provincial government, seven public consultation sessions were held across the province between January 27 and February 7.

Zille had said amendments to the regulations include the fact that the maximum penalty for non-compliance which the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) may issue was increased from R20 000 to R100 000. She said liquor inspectors were compelled to issue notices of non-compliance to all illegal outlets. Previously, liquor inspectors only inspected licence holders and law enforcement dealt with the illegal outlets.

The WCLTO says the regulations are an attempt to limit their economic participation. They want the regulations scrapped and a new process established.

As a result of the policies and regulations of this racially-biased provincial government, a list of would-be official business players are prevented from acquiring relevant licences. Most amazingly, and absurdly, these amendments empower Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) inspectors to enter the premises of these aspiring holders to do what if the person has subjected to a constructive denial of a licence? asked WCLTO provincial secretary Lefa Mapilo.

For far too long we have watched and been complicit in our own oppression as witnessed in the continual spatial apartheid; this government can rest assured that we are not going to sit back and allow economic apartheid to apply to us, said Mapilo.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said more than 160 comments were received on the regulations and all were considered accordingly. He said his office never received any complaints from the WCLTO.

The Western Cape has a serious problem with alcohol. The abuse of substances in this province, and alcohol in particular, is considered to be one of the key causes of car crashes and interpersonal violence. It is unfortunate that the complainant does not seem to be aware of the limitations of the provincial liquor act or the differences between the spheres of government when it comes to the regulation of alcohol."

He urged the organisation and its members to desist from operating outside of the confines of the various laws.

See the article here:

Liquor traders condemn tough new regulations - Independent Online

Oppressive politics is on the rise: Donald Trump’s support for strongmen is fueling a global crackdown on activism – Salon

In its 56 years of existence, Amnesty International has stood up for those who dare to speak truth to power in the face of oppression and abuses of human rights. We have seen regimes come and go, and have seen the power of courageous and peaceful protest in bringing about change. But what we are seeing now around the world is a dangerous and sweeping trend of dehumanizing and divisive rhetoric seeping into politics, resulting in oppressive policies that are putting human rights defenders at risk.

Its not just happening in a few isolated areas.

Agendas that advance an us versus them mentality and that feed on hate and fear threaten to push back human rights and stifle dissent around the world.Very recently, this poisonous political climate hit home for our organizationwhen Taner Kilic, the chair of Amnesty International Turkey, was arrested on the completely fabricated charges of being tied to a political movement connected to last years coup attempt.

The evidence against Taner would be laughable if the consequences werent so dire. Turkish authorities are claimingthat his use of a popular encrypted messaging app is an indication of criminal behavior. They are seizing on any link, however tenuous, to try to justify keeping Taner in detention. Taner is just one of thousands, including reporters, activists, and former government employees, who have been imprisoned, unemployed or disappeared as part of President Erdogans brutal crackdown on anyone who dares to be or is even perceived to be critical of his government.

Using imprisonment or the threat of arrest to silence critics is nothing new. Thirty years ago, I myself was imprisoned in a South African jail for five months for my activism against apartheid. But today, leaders like Erdogan seem to be more emboldened than theyve been in decades in being so open about their oppression.

The fact that many of these leaders have the tacit and sometimes blatant approval of leaders like President Trump makes the stakes for human rights defenders that much higher.Trump has already hosted and praised Erdogan in Washington, D.C. while Turkish security forces attacked protesters.

His notorious affinity for VladimirPutin may also encourage further hostility toward civil society by the Russian government. Amnestys Moscow office was inexplicably sealed for days late last year. Just this week, hundreds of protesters were arrested across the country. Also this month, Russian NGO leader Valentina Cherevatenko was charged under a law that requires organizations that receive federal funds to register as foreign agents. She faces years in prison. The prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, liked this law so much that he successfully championed a similar iteration of it in his own parliament. Orban had previously caught our attention with his cruel hostility to migrants and refugees at the border, and rose to power on an unapologetically anti-immigrant agenda. He was thefirst leader of an E.U. or NATO country to formally endorse Trumps presidential campaign and claimed to have been invited to the White House shortly after Trumps election.

Trump has also expressed admiration for Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who justified thousands of extrajudicial killings by demonizing drug dealers and addicts. Duterte said it was funny that Amnesty would be calling on him to stop the killings.

And despite the warm reception given to Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia, human rights defenders are left to languish out of sight. Activists like the blogger and poet Raif Badawi, who has spent four years of a 10-year sentence in prison for writing pieces critical of the government, and faces being whipped publicly for 1,000 lashes.

While no one country can claim to be the vanguard of human rights, when particularly powerful countries like the United States turn a blind eye to human rights abuses, it contributes to a global climate in which other governments follow suit. Theresa May recently said that she was willing to repeal human rights laws that stand in the way of counterterrorism efforts.

Thats why its more important than ever that those who believe in human rights to stand firm wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Even if it seems like the powers that be arent responsive. We are already seeing our persistence pay off. Despite President Trumps dismissive rhetoric and hateful policies like the Muslim ban, the State Department has been quietly returning to a human rights focus, raising the number of refugees to be allowed into the country and even speaking out on behalf of Taner Kilic.

Change only happens when we stand up and speak out. We will not allow the politics of hate and fear to become normalized. When human rights defenders are unfairly maligned as enemies of the state, everyone suffers.

More:

Oppressive politics is on the rise: Donald Trump's support for strongmen is fueling a global crackdown on activism - Salon

Darjeeling unrest: Mamata Banerjee govt not solving Gorkhaland issue for political benefit, says BJP – Firstpost

Kolkata:West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Saturday claimed that the ruling Trinamool Congress is not willing to resolve the Darjeeling unrest to gain political benefit in the region by trying to create a divide between Nepali and Bengali communities.

Representational image. Reuters

Ghosh, who earlier advocated a tripartite meeting between the Central and state governments and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders to resolve the unrest, alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government is trying to fuel "anti-Nepali sentiment" among the Bengalis living in north Bengal.

"The state government is not willing to discuss the Darjeeling unrest because they do not want to solve it. The issue gives them political benefit," Ghosh told IANS.

"They are trying to create a divide between the Nepali community and the Bengalis living in the hills. North Bengal is not a stronghold of Trinamool. That's why they are trying to strengthen their base by fuelling anti-Nepali sentiment," he said.

Taking a swipe at Chief Minister Banerjee, the BJP leader said that "it's funny she had to depend on the army, which she once termed as extortionists, to save her face in Darjeeling".

"The state police have no role in the hills now. They have been driven away to the plains. The army has been called in to maintain law and order," Ghosh said.

The picturesque Darjeeling district in the northern West Bengal is on the boil for more than two weeks over demands for a separate state of Gorkhaland. It has been facing an indefinite shutdown for the last 10 days.

While GJM, which is spearheading the movement for Gorkhaland, has repeatedly rejected any possibility of talks with the state government accusing it of "oppression and high handedness", the state government maintains that it is ready for a discussion after the situation in the area becomes normal.

More:

Darjeeling unrest: Mamata Banerjee govt not solving Gorkhaland issue for political benefit, says BJP - Firstpost

Trump reinstates sanctions on Havana, calls for ‘a free Cuba’ – Gardnernews.com

Natalia Castro Guest Columnist In December of 2014, President Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would restore diplomatic relations, and by March 2016 promised the removal of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba; allowing American money to fund the undemocratic government in power in Havana. After Obama met the Cuban leader, Raul Castro, brother of former dictator Fidel Castro, Obama vowed that change would happen in Cuba and that Castro understood that. Now, at the call of millions of Cuban-Americans and to fulfill a critical campaign promise, the only thing that has changed is President Donald Trump who has now reversed the Obama policies on Havana, calling for a free Cuba in his June 16 speech announcing the new U.S. policy. What you have built here a vibrant culture, a thriving neighborhood, the spirit of adventure is a testament to what a free Cuba could be. And with Gods help, a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve, Trump said. Cubas 2016 Human Right Watch report painted a damning picture of the nation Obama was convinced change was approaching. Despite lifting the sanctions, the report concluded, The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and punish public criticism Short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have increased dramatically in recent years. Other repressive tactics employed by the government include beatings, public shaming, and termination of employment. Obama opened the doors to U.S. trade with corporations, not run by the Cuban people, but run by the Cuban military to fuel this oppressive government. Now, President Trumps policy change will assist both Cuban Americans and the Cuban people by once again attempting to persuade the government there to stand for the values of liberty and justice in order to have a relationship with the United States. In Trumps address in Miami on the issue, Trump made clear that U.S. cash will no longer flow to the Cuban military monopoly, Grupo de Administracin Empresarial (GAESA) but can be used to develop economic ties with the small, private business sector. With the military run GAESA acting as one of the largest barriers to private entrepreneurship in Cuba, this will urge the Cuban government to finally provide economic liberty to the people. In order to ensure that human rights progress is made, Trumps policy change will mandate regular reporting on Cubas progress toward greater political and economic freedom. Trump has made clear Cubas relationship with the United States will depend entirely on their willingness to improve the heinous acts their government has committed. Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning affirmed in a statement that, The decision to stop rewarding the communist dictator has reaffirmed the United States position as a global leader in the pursuit of individual liberty for all. By refusing to fund a government that continues to jail and torture political dissidents, President Trump sent the clear message that the U.S. does not only spread wealth, it also spread the values of our country; individual liberty, justice, and democracy. To ensure this, person to person travel between the two countries will once again be halted. For a nation which relies on a state-run tourism industry to fuel their government, this will stop U.S. travelers from fueling the Cuban governments oppression. While preventing ordinary citizens from traveling, Trump will still allow direct relatives to travel to and from the island. Son of Cuban immigrants, Marco Rubio assisted with the policy change and summed up the Trump Administrations aim at the Miami event in noting that, Less than a year and a half ago an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to a regime. Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hands to the people of Cubamore than anything else this change empowers the people of Cuba, not the government, not the regime, but the people; so that they can enjoy the freedom and liberty with the very clear message that America is ready to outstretch its hand. The United States has been a defender of freedom in Cuba before, and with President Trumps action, is finally reclaiming that status. Trump vowed to put America first, and on Cuba, he has proved that that also sometimes means putting American values first. Natalia Castro is a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government.

Read more from the original source:

Trump reinstates sanctions on Havana, calls for 'a free Cuba' - Gardnernews.com

Leave monuments choice up to local governments – Times Daily

More than 150 years after Gen. Robert E. Lees surrender at Appomattox Court House, we are still fighting the Civil War, highlighting that more than states rights and maybe even more than slavery, the War Between the States was a clash of cultures.

How else can one describe how people look at monuments to the Confederacy today and see such radically different things? To some, they are monuments to bravery and heroism in the face of inevitable defeat. To others, they are monuments to a political system built on oppression oppression not only of blacks held captive in chattel slavery but of poor whites held down by the plantation aristocracy.

Just as the Civil War was a cultural battle between a rapidly industrializing, mercantile North and an agriculture-dependent, feudal South, so, too, the modern battle over Confederate monuments often comes down to culture.

On the one hand, there is the Old Souths preoccupation with tradition, honor and all the sorts of aristocratic, upper-class virtues one finds in old Arthurian romances. On the other, there is the New Souths hard-nosed pragmatism, which focuses on the commercial values of the middle class.

Perhaps no one has ever understood this divide better than Mark Twain, a man of the South who ultimately sided with and moved to the North. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court both take the side of common-sense pragmatism over what Twain saw as aristocratic hypocrisy.

The debate over Confederate monuments isnt just about race. Its about one side that wants to honor its past, and another that fears scaring away business and tourists. And now the divide isnt North vs. South, but between different groups within the South.

That is why the most sensible compromise in dealing with Confederate monuments is to leave the matter to the local governments whose taxpayers ultimately foot the bill for the monuments upkeep.

New Orleans decided to take its Confederate monuments down. Agree with the decision or disagree with it, it was the citys decision to make, and no other level of government stopped them.

The same, however, cannot be said in Alabama. Here, the state Legislature has stepped in where it is not needed, forbidding the removal or renaming of monuments and buildings without first going through a cumbersome review and approval process. The new laws backers say theyre protecting history, but none of this would be an issue were not other states and cities re-evaluating their Confederate memorials, many of which were erected during the height of the civil rights era and with, at best, dubious motives.

That is why Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail might ought to be careful what he wishes for.

Nail has written the mayor of New Orleans a letter asking to take New Orleans unwanted Confederate statues off its hands.

New Orleans leaders have other plans for the monuments and are unlikely to say the least to gift them to Hanceville. So, Hanceville may have dodged a bullet.

Once erected, the monuments would be subject to Alabamas new law, and who is to say that in a few years the people and leaders of Hanceville would feel the same about maintaining Confederate monuments and unwanted hand-me-downs from another state at that?

South Carolina lowered its Confederate flag for good when it threatened to cost the state business.

The spirit of Twains Connecticut Yankee prevailed even in the sharpened edge of the Confederacy. It might someday prevail in Hanceville and other Alabama cities and towns, too.

Thats the real reason the modern-day aristocrats in Montgomery took the decision out of local hands and into their own.

See the article here:

Leave monuments choice up to local governments - Times Daily

The Yoke of Oppression – Morung Express

June 23, 2017

Panger Aonok, Advocate

The idea to forge a Pan Naga Organisation was first visualized by the men of the Naga Labour Corps amidst the First World War. They were recruited by the Imperial British Government and deployed in France and Asia Minor to assist the British and its allies in logistics as non-combatant soldiers in their war against the Central power led by Germany. It was during the said foreign sojourn that they came in contact with people of the civilised world and were fascinated by their lifestyle which was built on the modern concept of liberty, equality and fraternity. Besides, they realized that they were neither European nor Indian. Awakened by the above ideals coupled with bitter experiences in the theatre of war they eventually realised the need to have unity, brotherhood and the urgency to inculcate the spirit of comradeship amongst the Naga tribesmen. After the end of the war, back home in the Naga Hills, the remnants of the Labour Corps along with some politically conscious Naga tribesmen formed the Naga Club, a socio-politico organisation with a view to pursue certain goals of common interest. Meanwhile the Indian Statutory Commission, popularly known as the Simon Commission, which was appointed under the Government of India Act, 1919 came to India and also visited Kohima on 10th January, 1929. The Naga Club submitted a memorandum stating inter alia their opposition to include the Naga Hills from the purview of the proposed reform scheme and further raised a demand for self-rule in the event of the British relinquishing power in India. They told the said Commission member Mr. Atlee and Mr. Cadogan that you are the only people who have ever conquered us and when you go we should be as we were.

Pursuant to the recommendations of the Commission, the Government of India Act, 1935 was passed and a part of the demand of the Nagas was conceded. Accordingly on 1st April, 1937 the Naga Hill District became an Excluded Area within the province of Assam. This meant that no Act of Central or Provincial legislature would apply to the Naga Hills without the concurrence of the Governor of Assam and the power to administer the Naga Hills was placed directly under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Assam. It is in the fitness of things that the government of Nagaland has erected a monolith and is set to build a memorial park to commemorate the contribution and sacrifice of the Naga Labour Corps. In Garo Hills, the Garo Labour Corps who went to France are remembered every year and it appears that no such day is organised to remember the Naga Labour Corps. The writers would suggest that June 28th ought to be chosen as the day for remembering the Naga Labour Corps since the treaty of Versailles was signed on that day in the year 1919 that brought the World War I to an end.

The next important landmark political development in the history of Nagas is the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC) in March, 1946. The initial objective of NNC was to achieve maximum autonomy within the province of Assam, however the temperament of the NNC began to change rather quickly and under its banner the Nagas started to demand complete independence. Following the demand of the NNC in January, 1947, the then Governor of Assam Sir Akbar Hydari held political negotiation with the top leaders of NNC which culminated in the signing of the historic Nine Point Agreement, however the agreement failed to see the light of the day. Apparently it was drafted hurriedly as the clauses were worded with ambiguous and equivocal language which eventually resulted in both sides interpreting them to suit ones own purpose. The chief point of conflict was Clause -9 which according to the Nagas was the crux of the agreement. The Nagas interpreted Clause-9 to infer right to secede and to opt out of the union at the end of ten years. But Sir Hydari Ali took a diametrically opposite stand and warned the Nagas that India would use force against them in the event the people of Naga Hills refused to join the Union of India. In view of the contradictory interpretation of Clause -9, the agreement was destined to die a natural death and was soon pushed into historical oblivion.

Shortly a delegation went to Delhi to call Mahatma Gandhi to apprise him of the resolve of the NNC to declare Naga independence on 14th August, 1947. Gandhiji gave them a patient hearing and told the members of the delegate that they have every right to be independent and assured his willingness to stand by the Nagas in their fight for independence. But as destiny would have it, Gandhiji was soon assassinated by the cruel hand of an assassin Shri NathuramVinayak Godse on 30th January, 1948. In the wake of the failure to implement the Nine Point Agreement, the extremists within the NNC who favoured complete independence gained control of the organization and toyed with the idea of armed struggle. The moderates who denounced the cult of violence resigned en masse from NNC. Over the years the persistent demand of NNC for self-rule was put into cold storage by the Central Government of Nehru on the ground that the desire for independence was held by a handful of educated Nagas and to disprove such a notion, the NNC held a plebiscite in the year 1951, in which ninety nine per cent of the people voted for a separate Naga country. With the overwhelming mandate of the people, the NNC supremo and others met Prime Minister Nehru as many as three times between 1951-1953 and put forth the desire of the Nagas for self-rule as evident from the result of the plebiscite but to no avail due to the indifferent and unrelenting attitude of Nehru. The Nagas boycotted the First General Elections held in 1952. A.Z. Phizo was all set to internationalise the Naga issue and many Naga tribesmen flocked to take on the armed might of the Indian Government. They formed the Home Guards and many joined the fledgling fighting force. Womens wing was organised to perform the duties of nurses, cooks, tailors and were assigned as couriers in the espionage game. The Naga youth movement came into being and the members became the auxiliary forces of the Home Guards.

The arms and ammunitions dumped after the Second World War were collected. More weapons were captured during raids on police station and a good number of Assam Police Personnel were either captured or killed and their arms were snatched and taken away. Home Guards volunteers were trained in the art of handling modern weaponry. Arson, looting, murder, intimidation became the order of the day. The Assam Police and limited numbers of Assam Rifles failed to contain the uprising and thus the Indian Army was called in to assist the civil administration. The Naga Hills and Tuensang Frontier were declared as disturbed areas and subsequently the Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 (AFSPA) was promulgated in the year 1958. The said Act provides a wide range of power to the Indian Army such as to shoot, to arrest, to search without warrant etc. The Armed forces operating in disturbed area enjoy full legal immunity. Under the protection of AFSPA, 1958, the Indian Army let loose a reign of terror and violated the human rights of innocent civilians with impunity. In the wake of the imposition of AFSPA fierce encounter ensued in regular interval. Skirmishes took place on a daily basis and many innocent civilians were killed in crossfire thereby causing large scale collateral damages to both public and private properties. The following is the lists of heinous crime perpetrated by the Indian Army with impunity: (1) Murder and extra judicial killings; (2) physical assault leading to maiming of limbs; (3) sexual assault and rape; (4) outraging the modesty of women; (5) detention without legal defence; (6) desecration of churches; (7) grouping of villagers; and (8) acts of arson such as burning down of dwelling houses, granaries, church buildings etc.

There are innumerable instances of crime committed by the Indian Army but owing to constraint of space, it is pertinent to mention one deplorable incident which shocked the conscience of the Naga people. The said incident occurred on 11th July, 1971, a Sunday, in which incident a unit of the 1st Maratha Regiment led by the Commanding Officer swooped down on Yankeli Village in Wokha District and picked up four minor girls; the eldest amongst whom was a girl of 17 years. They were forcibly dragged inside the church precincts and were sexually assaulted and raped by the Commanding Officer and his subordinates taking turns in the pulpit, which is the sanctum sanctorum (holiest of the holy) of a Christian church. The Indian Army not only committed this heinous crime against humanity in the most perverted and revolting manner but also desecrated the sanctity of the church with impunity.

Waging a war against India had broken many a Naga home. Hundreds of young women were widowed, thousands of young patriots perished in one of the most inhospitable terrains and jungles of India and Burma (now Myanmar) in their fight against the mighty Indian Armys crack Mountain Division on one side and the fighting-fit and ruthless Burmese army under the Junta regime on the other. As a result of this senseless ethnic conflicts and internecine rivalries many children became orphans and homeless, who struggled and fought hard against all odds to survive.

Another milestone in the Indo-Naga political conflict is the signing of the cease fire agreement on 25th July, 1997, between the Government of India and the Naga leaders. The said Agreement was followed by several rounds of political talks which was instrumental in recognising the unique history of the Nagas by the Government of India in July 11th, 2002. Subsequently, in the year 2003, the then Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in exercise of his sovereign power publicly declared the Government of Indias recognition of the unique historical past of the Nagas. The declaration is a turning point in the long and chequered history of the Nagas struggle for the right of self-determination and thereafter the balance of power and convenience is leaning in favour of the Nagas vis--vis the Government of India to amicably settle the long drawn Indo-Naga political conflict through peaceful means.

The recognition is in no way the magnanimous gesture of the Government of India but owes its origin to the distinctive historical background, socio-cultural diversity, legal and constitutional framework being inherited from the British era Government which has been zealously guarded and upheld by the Nagas under the leadership of A.Z. Phizo and a galaxy of stalwarts who joined the movement and played stellar roles at different relevant points of time. The political acumen, statesmanship and tenacity of the Naga leaders coupled with the fighting prowess, perseverance and will power of the underground fighters is yielding dividend as evident from the signing of the Framework Agreement. However, factional feud, egoism and schism has become endemic in the current Naga political scenario which is the Achilles heel that comes in the way to further carry forward the peace process to its logical end. Uncertainty still looms greatly over the fate of the Indo-Naga peace talk chiefly due to the mushrooming of political groups. After decades of violence and oppression, the Naga people are now yearning to restore peace and harmony. To this end, it would be prudent for all leaders of diverse group to reconcile themselves in the Christian spirit to forgive and forget and come together under one platform for political negotiation with the Government of India and resolve the issue amicably through peaceful means.

The Rev. LongriAo, Apostle of Peace, and Naga conscience keeper, as Chief of Liaison Committee of Naga Peace Council had once said that in reconciliation there is no victor or vanquished and there is no humiliation involved. The Bible says, Blessed are the Peace maker, for they shall be called the Children of God.

Read more here:

The Yoke of Oppression - Morung Express

Walker faces new Native art controversy – KUOW News and Information

Native American artists from around the country are criticizing a new show opening at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

"Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World" features work from the 40-year career of an internationally lauded American sculptor. He identifies as Cherokee. But his critics say he is not Native, and is hurting artists who are.

The exhibit fills several galleries at the Walker. Created by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the show is touring to four major cities. Vincenzo de Bellis, the Walker curator for the exhibit, says Durham is multifaceted.

"He's a poet, writer, an intellectual and also, and mainly, a visual artist," de Bellis said.

He is also prolific. There are sculptures, paintings, videos and installations. Many of the pieces take aim at the establishment. Often they are funny, and disturbing.

"Jimmie is extremely sarcastic in everything: when he speaks and when he makes the works. The exhibition has a lot of possibly funny works, but they are often dark humor," said de Bellis.

Durham makes sculptures from found objects. Near the center of the show stand two enormous figures. One is the conquistador Cortez, made from car parts, sheet metal and pulleys. Curator Anne Ellegood of the Hammer Museum said the other is Malinche, the Aztec woman sold to Cortez as a slave who became his interpreter and wife. Ellegood said Malinche is often portrayed as a traitor in Mexico, as opposed to an oppressed, enslaved, indigenous woman.

"Colonization and the oppression of indigenous peoples and various forms of power structure and marginalization and discrimination are very much in Jimmie's work throughout," she said. "So, these are a very powerful example of that." Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: Cock of the Walk(er), and other highlights

Durham claims Cherokee heritage. He never tried to enroll in any of the three Cherokee tribes, saying he objects to what he sees as an oppressive government system. A lot of his early work is about the struggle for Native rights. He was on the board of the American Indian Movement for years, but resigned and moved first to Mexico and later Europe. While he's well known and broadly exhibited there, this is his first major show in the United States in 30 years.

One part of the exhibition gathers pieces in which he parodies the interest in collecting Native artifacts by creating assemblages of animal skulls, fur and feathers with legs made from pieces of construction and police barricades. He has a full-length nude self-portrait as a native man.

Now in his late 70s, Durham has long been a subject of controversy among Native artists.

"It's not that he's like claiming to be Native," said Cherokee artist America Meredith. "He's claiming to be the Native. He's claiming to be the spokesperson for all Native American people. And that's offensive."

Meredith is based in Norman, Okla., and edits First American Art Magazine, devoted to indigenous artists. Meredith said researchers cannot find any Cherokee connection at all to Durham. She said the way the art world characterizes him as a Native artist is damaging.

"Art historians have really latched onto him. And he represents us. He's occupying a space. He's written more about than any actual Cherokee artist in the literature," she said.

Some Minnesota-based Native artists approached the Walker last year with concerns about the Durham show. One was choreographer Rosy Simas, who has presented work at the Walker. She is Seneka. She says there are very few visual arts shows by Native artists at the Walker.

"It has always been very heartbreaking to never see myself reflected in the work there," she said.

The exhibit's curators are paying attention. The Walker recently experienced a storm of criticism over a sculpture that contained design elements from a gallows used in the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862. That piece was removed. More: Why 'Scaffold' struck so raw a nerve

The Hammer Museum recognizes that Durham is not an enrolled Cherokee, said Anne Ellegood.

"Curatorially and in the field of contemporary art, we allow for self-identification," she said. "We have just operated from the position that this is Jimmie's history."

Ellegood said the research that suggests Durham may have no Native roots opens an opportunity for a broader conversation, and the Walker said it's looking for appropriate ways to do that. Artist Edgar Heap of Birds is a Cheyenne tribal member from Oklahoma. He's been Durham's friend for many years, and has exhibited with him in Europe. He described his friend's work as unique and honest, but when asked about the controversy, he sighed.

"I think it was probably hurtful to him," he said.

Heap of Birds will deliver the show's opening lecture Saturday afternoon.

Native American artists from around the country are criticizing a new show opening at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

"Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World" features work from the 40-year career of an internationally lauded American sculptor. He identifies as Cherokee. But his critics say he is not Native, and is hurting artists who are.

The exhibit fills several galleries at the Walker. Created by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the show is touring to four major cities. Vincenzo de Bellis, the Walker curator for the exhibit, says Durham is multifaceted.

"He's a poet, writer, an intellectual and also, and mainly, a visual artist," de Bellis said.

He is also prolific. There are sculptures, paintings, videos and installations. Many of the pieces take aim at the establishment. Often they are funny, and disturbing.

"Jimmie is extremely sarcastic in everything: when he speaks and when he makes the works. The exhibition has a lot of possibly funny works, but they are often dark humor," said de Bellis.

Durham makes sculptures from found objects. Near the center of the show stand two enormous figures. One is the conquistador Cortez, made from car parts, sheet metal and pulleys. Curator Anne Ellegood of the Hammer Museum said the other is Malinche, the Aztec woman sold to Cortez as a slave who became his interpreter and wife. Ellegood said Malinche is often portrayed as a traitor in Mexico, as opposed to an oppressed, enslaved, indigenous woman.

"Colonization and the oppression of indigenous peoples and various forms of power structure and marginalization and discrimination are very much in Jimmie's work throughout," she said. "So, these are a very powerful example of that."

Durham claims Cherokee heritage. He never tried to enroll in any of the three Cherokee tribes, saying he objects to what he sees as an oppressive government system. A lot of his early work is about the struggle for Native rights. He was on the board of the American Indian Movement for years, but resigned and moved first to Mexico and later Europe. While he's well known and broadly exhibited there, this is his first major show in the United States in 30 years.

One part of the exhibition gathers pieces in which he parodies the interest in collecting Native artifacts by creating assemblages of animal skulls, fur and feathers with legs made from pieces of construction and police barricades. He has a full-length nude self-portrait as a native man.

Now in his late 70s, Durham has long been a subject of controversy among Native artists.

"It's not that he's like claiming to be Native," said Cherokee artist America Meredith. "He's claiming to be the Native. He's claiming to be the spokesperson for all Native American people. And that's offensive."

Meredith is based in Norman, Okla., and edits First American Art Magazine, devoted to indigenous artists. Meredith said researchers cannot find any Cherokee connection at all to Durham. She said the way the art world characterizes him as a Native artist is damaging.

"Art historians have really latched onto him. And he represents us. He's occupying a space. He's written more about than any actual Cherokee artist in the literature," she said.

Some Minnesota-based Native artists approached the Walker last year with concerns about the Durham show. One was choreographer Rosy Simas, who has presented work at the Walker. She is Seneka. She says there are very few visual arts shows by Native artists at the Walker.

"It has always been very heartbreaking to never see myself reflected in the work there," she said.

The exhibit's curators are paying attention. The Walker recently experienced a storm of criticism over a sculpture that contained design elements from a gallows used in the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862. That piece was removed.

The Hammer Museum recognizes that Durham is not an enrolled Cherokee, said Anne Ellegood.

"Curatorially and in the field of contemporary art, we allow for self-identification," she said. "We have just operated from the position that this is Jimmie's history."

Ellegood said the research that suggests Durham may have no Native roots opens an opportunity for a broader conversation, and the Walker said it's looking for appropriate ways to do that. Artist Edgar Heap of Birds is a Cheyenne tribal member from Oklahoma. He's been Durham's friend for many years, and has exhibited with him in Europe. He described his friend's work as unique and honest, but when asked about the controversy, he sighed.

"I think it was probably hurtful to him," he said.

Heap of Birds will deliver the show's opening lecture Saturday afternoon.

Read the original:

Walker faces new Native art controversy - KUOW News and Information

Exiled monk Golog Jigme Gyatso: not silenced by fear or oppression – The Sydney Morning Herald

Tibetan monk activist Golog Jigme Gyatso.Photo: Edwina Pickles

He was tortured by Chinese authorities for his role in a documentary about repression in Tibet. Then he escaped into exile, he tells Amanda Hooton, to continue raising the alarm.

Golog Jigme Gyatsoenters the Vajrayana Buddhist Institute in Sydney looking calm and cheerful. This is almost a default expression for Tibetans, but it's doubly impressive in Jigme's case, since he's been exiled from his country since 2014; he's an escaped prisoner of the Chinese government; and he's a victim of torture. He has supple olive skin, and dark eyes crinkling behind his glasses. He reminds me of the Dalai Lama, whom I interviewed many years ago: the same aura of seriousness, enlivened by jokes.

He settles his claret-coloured robes in a low-backed chair and folds his hands. The worst thing he suffered in prison, he says conversationally through his interpreter, actually occurred in a chair: the so-called tiger chair (a well-known interrogation tool in China), onto which his wrists and ankles were shackled, holding him immobile while he was given electric shocks. He was also made to half-squat facing the chair, arms and feet locked onto its legs, for hours on end. He still bears the scars from having most of his weight hanging from his wrists.

I feel light-headed just thinking of this: how does he manage to be so matter-of-fact about it? "Well, from an early age I lived under very physically difficult conditions," he says calmly. "And my Buddhist faith helped, perhaps; it allowed me to have clarity of mind and accept challenges. But also I think, as a Tibetan, this is not an individual problem it is the struggle of all Tibetans. As an individual, the worst scenario was death, or imprisonment, and I was prepared for both of these. So I was not too badly affected." He leans forward, clasping his hands.

"But one thing that does still make me very nervous is that tiger chair. No matter how much I say I'm strong, I do have dreams, nightmares, and hear the police officers' voices I hear them interrogating me in that iron chair."

Jigme was born in his nomadic family's tent in remote eastern Tibet, and grew up in increasing poverty as the Chinese confiscated Tibetan livestock and land. He was drawn to the monastic life by his great uncle, a monk. "Many monks were being forced to give up their way of life at that time, but my uncle refused. I was a young boy and he was in his 80s, but I thought he was very brave.

"He used to give us lots of advice about overcoming problems, and he made me feel very happy."

He entered the monastic life at 12. "I tried to be like my uncle, and not be silenced by fear or oppression." In 2008, before the Beijing Olympics, he and filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen took a single video camera and travelled across Tibet, recording more than 40 hours of footage of 108 ordinary Tibetans discussing their lives. The resulting documentary, Leaving Fear Behind, was called "an unadorned indictment of the Chinese government" by The New York Times. Jigme was arrested for his role in it, imprisoned and, he says, tortured. Released in 2009, he was rearrested in 2012. And then he escaped.

How does anyone escape from a Chinese prison? "Mah-jong," says Jigme, smiling. Realising his guards gathered at night to play the board game, he waited until the sole sentry fell asleep one evening and simply let himself out of the main gate. "And then he just ran and ran and ran," says the interpreter, wide-eyed.

He spent 20 months in hiding. "The first two or three months were very difficult," he recalls, "because it was hard to get food and my legs were not good from the torture. And from those years of imprisonment, I was not so fit. I was mostly hiding in the mountains and just going down to the village to beg. I learnt there was a 200,000 yuan reward [$40,000] for my arrest. But fortunately I had a long beard, had lost a lot of weight, and was not in my robes. I was in disguise!" He pauses. "And even though it was very difficult, I also really enjoyed it because it was very beautiful. I saw all sorts of flowers and plants I'd never seen before, and at times the weather was good. I really enjoyed being on the run in summer!"

He escaped over the border to India in 2014, and then to Switzerland, where he was accepted as a political refugee. "Now I see my role to tell the world what is really happening inside Tibet," he concludes. He has testified before the UN Human Rights Council, the US Congress and the parliaments of the UK and the EU. What does he do in his spare time, I wonder. "Well, Zurich is a busy, crowded place," he says, smiling. "But what I like about Switzerland is the mountains. I like climbing in the mountains; that's my favourite activity. It reminds me of home."

More here:

Exiled monk Golog Jigme Gyatso: not silenced by fear or oppression - The Sydney Morning Herald

Why Being Saved By A Black Gay Woman Doesn’t Delegitimize Steve Scalise’s Politics – The Federalist

Once he gets out of the hospital, Rep. Steve Scalise ought to change his position on gay marriage and a host of other issues. Thus saith George Takei, MSNBCs Joy Reid, and a number of other liberal voices who are demanding that the Majority Whip see the error of his conservative ways after his attempted assassination was thwarted by Special Agent Gay Black Woman.

Gay Black Woman is not, as you might guess, the special agents given name. Its Crystal Griner. But considering Scalises politics, Griners name and bravery had to play second fiddle to her sex, sexuality, and race. It was just too deliciously ironic, you see, that a Republican now owes his life to someone composed of such non-Republican identities.

For those of us with a higher-than-Alanis standard of irony, however, this raises the question, um, wait, why is that ironic? Had Scalise ever said, I oppose same-sex marriage because those who engage in homosexual relationships are incapable of bravery, then, sure, the irony would be clear. Had this been the logic behind Scalises pro-traditional-marriage views, the first thing he should do when he gets out of the hospital is acknowledge that Officer Black Gay Womans bravery proved the goodness of gay marriage.

But Scalise never argued that homosexual unions shouldnt be considered marriage because gay sex renders people incapable of valor or selflessness. Nor has he ever suggested that gay marriage should be illegal because gay people dont deserve to have their lives protected. Like most conservatives, hes argued that, because homosexual unions are incapable of procreation, theyre incapable of being what marriage is. And Crystal Griners courage, commendable as it is, neither contradicts nor even addresses Scalises argument. So expecting her courage to change his position is just as illogical as expecting Pope Francis to convert to Lutheranism simply because a German mechanic fixed the papal golf cart.

Why, then, are all these voices on the left conflating Griners courage with her gayness? Why do people believe that Scalises supposed anti-gay bigotry should be destroyed by Griners bravery? The answer, it seems, is intersectionality, a mindset that has spread like wildfire through many leftist circles in recent years.

If youre not familiar with intersectionality, think of it as Identity Politics 3.0. The first version of Identity Politics told us that there are two classes the privileged oppressors (rich, white, straight, etc.) and the disadvantaged oppressed (poor, black, gay, etc.). Identity Politics 2.0 then told us that your self-chosen identity is part of your humanity.

Those who engage in homosexual acts, for example, are not men who have sex with other men. They are gay men. Their gayness is part of their very being, and because of this, to oppose same-sex relations is to oppose them as human beings. Now, intersectionalityIdentity Politics 3.0tells us that these various identities are all interconnected and overlapping, forming an elaborate series of identity tunnels that effectively unionize the oppressed against their oppressors.

This is why, for example, the Values and Principles of the Womens March declare, we believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice. In other words, the struggles of women are connected to the struggles of minorities, which are connected to the struggles of the poor. So if you rich white ladies dont check your privilege by supporting the political agendas of minority women and poor women, well toss you across the picket line with the oppressors where you belong and strip you of your feminist credentials.

But as the shooting in Alexandria makes clear, intersectionality doesnt simply insist on the connection of various identities. It also insists on the transfer of good works from one identity to another, a kind of moral Marxism that seeks the redistribution of virtue. Crystal Griner is Special Agent Gay Black Woman. Her various identities cannot be separated from each other, which means that the goodness produced by Griner the Police Officer can be attributed to Griner the Lesbian.

With a trick like that in your back pocket, why bother even engaging Scalises argument? If you want to prove the goodness of your political agenda, just hit the intersectionality button and youll teleport straight from the line of scrimmage right into the end zone!

To see this trick in action, consider how Rev. Dr. William Barbers master class on how to prevent Republicans from being victims, even after they were targeted for assassination. In response to Paul Ryans statement an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, Barber said, This cant just be a moral ethic that you apply to congress. Thats why the real question is will one or two days of changes in personality mean a fundamental change in public policy? A black man from my alma mater saved their lives. Will they go back to work and restore the voting rights act and stop systemic racism against black people thats happening through voter suppression and racialized redistricting? A lesbian black woman saved them. Will they go back to work and promote laws that no longer attack the rights of the LGBT community?

In other words, the oppressed did something good, which proves that the policies supported by the oppressed are good, so Republicans better get on board if they want me to stop considering them oppressors.

Of course, if a conservative Christian saved George Takei from a psycho, knife-wielding Star Trek fan, the actor and LBGT activist would most certainly not be expected to reconsider his support of Obergefell v. Hodges. By design, intersectionality never works in a conservatives favor. Because privileged identities are oppressive by nature, and because all identities are connected, any good produced by those with privilege is always tainted with the oppressiveness flowing through the tunnels. This is why, for example, when white Christians adopt non-white children, they arent consumed with holy desires, but with a white savior complex.

Its also why privileged, conservative politicians cant offer up anything but corrupted fruit. Mitt Romney, by virtue of being a white male, was a sexist. And even his binders full of women, his attempt to actively include women in his cabinet, was evidence of his misogyny. By virtue of being a white male, John McCain was a racist, which is why his career-long praise of John Lewis didnt stop John Lewis himself from comparing McCain to George Wallace. Because they are Republicans, everything Republicans do is tainted with oppression. They have no good works. And the only way they can change that, as Dr. Barber noted, is by becoming Democrats.

The great problem with intersectionality, however, is not merely that it puts conservative politicians at a competitive disadvantage, but that it puts them at risk for violence. Political violence has always been rare in the United States, due in large part to the design of the American government, imperfectly as that design has been executed at times. When you cant be thrown in jail for airing a minority opinion, when you cant be fined for having the wrong religion, when you have the right to defend yourself from mob violence, violent revolution against the mob isnt necessary. When your political adversaries dont have the power to oppress you, you have the luxury of trying to convince them instead of having to kill them.

But intersectionality insists that your political adversaries do have the power to oppress you because our white-male-designed government issurprise, surprisean oppressive system. And because the privileged are oppressors by nature, they will use that system to oppress you. And because you cant convince these reprobates not to oppress you, you have only one option left to protect yourself: violence. Granted, the vast majority of those who embrace intersectionality have enough of a moral foundation to avoid this. Most of them wont take this doctrine to its logical end. But those looking to sanctify their bloodlust just might. In fact, it appears the shooter in Alexandria already did.

What I find saddest about the Alexandria shooting is the perpetrators hatred. What I find saddest about the coverage of that shooting is that so many people dont view Scalise and Griner any differently than the shooter did (or at least would have, had he known who Griner was). Rep. Homophobe McBigotFace Gunned Down by Vigilante Hero in Defense of Blacks, Gays, Women and Oppressed People Everywhere is clearly the headline that Alexandrias shooter was writing in his murderous mind. Rep. Homophobe McBigot Faced Saved by Officer Black Gay Woman, the essential headline from many on the left, is not all that different.

Perhaps when Scalise and Griner have healed from their wounds, theyll sit down and have a conversation about gay marriage. If they do, Im sure theyll view each other as friends who disagree rather than as enemies in class warfare. Im sure that, instead of calling each the straight white male and the gay black woman, theyll call each other by name. We ought to do the same.

Read the original:

Why Being Saved By A Black Gay Woman Doesn't Delegitimize Steve Scalise's Politics - The Federalist

Sedition or intolerance? – Mumbai Mirror

Our columnist writes on why Pakistan is much more than just a political issue in India.

Last year, Umar Daraz, a 22-year-old man was arrested by Pakistani authorities for hoisting the Indian flag atop his house after India won a cricket match against Australia in which Kohli scored 90 runs. According to a report, Daraz was a big fan of Kohli and the flag hoisting was an act to express love for the cricketer.

Earlier this week, 19 people, including minors were arrested from various parts of the country for celebrating Pakistans victory over India in the Champions Trophy Final. No Indian law prohibits celebrating another countrys sporting victory over India. Some reports claim that these people have been booked under the charge of sedition. Actual violence or incitement to violence is a necessary ingredient to the charge of sedition. By no stretch of imagination can celebrating Pakistans victory be tantamount to incitement of violence.

Why would an Indian celebrate when Pakistan wins against India and is it wrong to do this? I can think of two reasons. One reason can be the teams sheer sporting excellence. Pakistan was considered a weak team and staged a spectacular turn-around after initial losses. This shouldnt be outside the realm of possibilities.

I have friends who get almost violent, give up eating or punch walls in a fit of rage when, thousands of miles away, a football club in England, loses a match. These friends have no connection to England whatsoever. The fact that England colonised India, oppressed Indians for two hundred years, and killed millions does not seem to bother them. I (thankfully) dont see anyone taking umbrage to them.

A friend who recently declared me a traitor argued that Pakistan is not just another country. Similar rules dont apply to them. When we are playing against Pakistan, it is not just a game. The team represents the State of Pakistan. The State of Pakistan is Indias enemy and has killed thousands of our citizens. While I dont agree, let me take this argument to its logical conclusion. If the Pakistani cricket team represents Pakistan then the Indian cricket team is representing the Indian State. The Captain of the Indian team was full of praises for the Pakistani side after the loss. Yuvraj, Dhoni and Kohli clicked photographs with the children of two Pakistani cricketers. Some Indian cricketers were seen exchanging banter in another video. I dont think this behaviour indicates that they were fighting against people who symbolise all the wrongs Pakistan has visited upon India.

Wikipedia defines sportswomanship as an ethos that an activity will be enjoyed for its own sake with proper consideration for fairness, respect and a sense of fellowship for ones competitors. All evidence leads me to the inevitable conclusion that those we were rooting for were themselves treating it like a sport and nothing else. Why cant everyone else do the same? My friend and stand-up artist Sanjay Rajoura often performs in Pakistan. In his set, he jokes about religion, the Pakistani Army, Pakistani Government and many other elephants in their proverbial room. I always see Pakistanis stand up and applaud and take those jokes very well.

Needless to say, stand up is not a competitive sport but it isnt war either, just like sport isnt. It is absolutely fine to feel broken and hurt if someone cheers a team you dont like. It is terrible, however, to begin doubting their patriotism, or worse, arrest the people in question. It is not the business of the state to protect everyones hurt feelings. It may not be just agame for you, it should be ok for it to be just a game for others.

The second reason I think someone would support another countrys team is when this is done as an act of protest. The Indian state has committed and continues to perpetrate horrible atrocities in various parts of the country. People who belong to some religions are treated like secondary citizens discriminated against when looking to rent a house, find a job and more. No one in their right mind can deny that the Indian government has often oppressed innocent citizens-in Kashmir, in Nagaland, in Manipur. This oppression has also and often been perpetrated in police stations across the country. I, for one, dont feel surprised at all when people who believe they are treated like strangers or enemies in their own homes, express support for another country. If this bothers you, these people being arrested should bother you even more. Like Gandhi once said, affection cannot be manufactured by force. I am also paraphrasing something Shehla Rashid said if patriotism could be manufactured at gunpoint all areas under AFSPA would be full of citizens brimming with patriotism.

Those arrested will come back more bitter than they were when they initially. Or maybe we could take a leaf out of a viral video I saw. Two groups of cricket fans on the London tube one supporting Pakistan, another India. Pakistanis start chanting Pakistan Zindabad. The Indian group joins in. Soon after, Indians chant Hindustan Zindabad and Pakistanis repeat the favour and fervour. I think theres a huge lesson here. What do you think?

Here is the original post:

Sedition or intolerance? - Mumbai Mirror

Rants and raves – The Augusta Chronicle

Submit a Rant or Rave

Its good to see that the investigation on the Russian interference is moving forward. We need the truth to finally be out about Trump supporters who want back doors and other hidden communications with Russians to avoid legal penalties.

It is clear that the president is attempting to erase all of President Obamas achievements. What he cant erase is what we are all seeing about him. When this investigation is over, he will be remembered, but not with reverence. He and Richard Nixon will stand alone all by themselves. What a sad, vindictive, vicious man.

Why on Earth would someone ex-pect that American military should go after terrorists worldwide? The cowboying into other territories without proper body armor and tank protection and other expensive military equipment needed against IEDs is what cost the lives and limbs and other harms to our military less than two decades ago.

Candidate Trump stated he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Did he give people the incentive to follow suit?

Regarding John Coles cartoon, June 15 enough with the beheading. Cartoons are OK, but we need civility in them also.

Lets see an accounting of all those millions spent so far by the Trump family alone in their various travels, especially during the weekends. They bellyached so much about what was spent by other presidents on so-called vacation times, but Im sure the Trumps have outspent them in these past few months.

I see Ivanka Trump got permission to sell even more things in China. Are they made by Chinese or American companies?

I think comedian Adam Conover summed up our current political situation perfectly last year: There is a huge difference between me and those people. They are wrong, whereas I am right.

Its about our government making a better deal with Cuba: Make a better deal with Cuba so that money does not go to their government, where they control everything including oppression of the Cuban people.

Read the original post:

Rants and raves - The Augusta Chronicle

Labour and the Lib Dems are as much to blame as the Tories for Grenfell Tower – Spectator.co.uk (blog)

I havent been in Camden this afternoon, so I cant vouch for there being no marches of activists holding banners with the words Labour Out and Corbyn Must Go, but somehow I doubt there are and I certainly havent seen them on the news. But why not? Last week we saw no end of left-wing activists out on the streets trying to exploit the Grenfell Tower tragedy for their own party political purposes trying to present it as a case of callous Tories treating the lives of the poor as worthless as they slash their way through budgets with abandon.

Yes, Kensington and Chelsea is a Conservative-controlled borough but it turns out that is was far from alone in cladding its tower blocks with flammable cladding. Today, it emerges that five blocks in Labour-controlled Camden have also been clad with a similar material, which is now to be removed as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, fire officers will man the corridors 24 hours a day.

The cladding of tower blocks with flammable materials is a scandal, but it is one in which all three main political parties have their fingers. Across the country, 600 blocks have been clad (not necessarily with the same materials as those at Grenfell Tower, though many are now being tested). They span council areas of all colours. The cladding of tower blocks began under the Blair government whose Decent Homes Initiative, which demanded that 95 per cent of social housing be brought up to specified insulation standards by 2010 but which failed to lay down adequate fire standards. It was a Labour-controlled Southwark Council which was fined 570,000 for the fatal fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell in 2009 which was found to have spread as a result of renovation work. The practice of cladding continued under the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition and under a standalone Conservative government.

The fact that all parties might be culpable in cladding tower blocks hasnt stopped Jeremy Corbyn, however, who continues his attempt to turn Grenfell Tower into a parable about class oppression. From Hillsborough, to the child sex abuse scandal, to Grenfell Tower, the pattern is consistent: working-class peoples voices are ignored, their concerns dismissed by those in power, he said this afternoon. Yet Hillsborough victims werent all working class. While child sex abuse has been exposed among children in care in Rotherham, Oldham and elsewhere, it has also come to light in private boarding schools where childrens complaints were equally ignored.

If Corbyn is going to continue this line of attack he might at least check his facts first. Last week he said: The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country. Actually, it comes in at number 3823 out of 32,844 wards in the governments deprivation index: not even in the top 10 per cent. The most-deprived is Jaywick, on the fringes of Clacton, Essex, and the next two are in Blackpool. Corbyn might pitch himself as a champion of the working class, but in doing so exposes his own London-centric, middle class prejudices.

Continued here:

Labour and the Lib Dems are as much to blame as the Tories for Grenfell Tower - Spectator.co.uk (blog)

As IS withdraws, Mosul residents face harsh conditions and seek government aid – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

One resident of the war-torn Iraqi city tells i24NEWS that he longs for the return of dictator Saddam Hussein

Eastern Mosul has come back to life, despite the ongoing battle in the west of the city between so-called Islamic State fighters and Iraqi government forces.

It is a welcome beginning of normality for residents, but it is still far from what was once Iraq's second largest city.

Less than six months after Iraqi forces pushed IS militants out of this part of the city, huge efforts are going into rebuilding it. Municipal workers and builders are laboring day and night, trying to restore electricity and pave the streets.

In the shadow of destruction - buildings riddled with bullets, others flattened to the ground - construction workers are twisting steel and mixing concrete in an attempt to help the city rise again.

The old market is bustling with people, the shops full of goods and the sidewalks are bustling with street vendors and shoppers looking for a bargain.

One Mosul shopkeeper, Haj Ahmad Abu Hakam, told i24NEWS that he reopened his shop soon after the Islamic State left.

It is much better, under the Islamic State the situation was bad but now thank God it's better, there are more work opportunities available, and many people who left are coming back, Abu Hakam said.

But few people in the city are actually carrying bags full of goods. Abu Omar, a displaced person from west Mosul, said that the citizens are living off of handouts and that life is a struggle.

Since we fled, we only received sugar and cooking oil once and we paid for it. We are living on handouts, what people give us," Abu Omar said. "We dont pay rent, the owner lets me and my family live there for free. There is security but life is hard and is expensive.

Despite promises by officials, living conditions are only slowly improving.

Sabah Abu Faisal, who was displaced from the West side of Mosul due to the fighting, stated that he believes he was deceived by the new Iraqi authority.

Im sorry but they are all liars, they have no credibility, they act just in front of the camera, no food supplies, Ive been here for three months and I did not receive anything from them," Abu Faisal said.

Under a huge billboard of Kathem Asaher, the Arab world's most famous singer with the words love has arrived, residents of east Mosul are complaining about their representatives and there is no love for the government. Many have called for the old government to return like Mosul resident Abu Ali, who longs for the days of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Saddam was a dictator and they brought us democracy. We dont want democracy. Take us back to dictatorship. Take us back to the oppression of Saddam - we dont want democracy.

Abu Ali is uncertain about the future as many around him are unhappy with the lack of electricity, the shortage of water and the scarcity of jobs.

Another sensitive issue in the city is the presence of "collaborators" who reportedly helped IS militants as well as ex- IS fighters but Mosul resident Rafee Khoder Elias insisted that that situation is improving

Its good, its getting better ... 100 percent, with cooperation with the citizens its continuing to get better, God willing.

While on the other side of the Tigris River, in west Mosul, the fighting is fierce.

Iraqi government forces backed by a US-led coalition said they will soon be victorious there as well but, for the Iraqi government, the real battle is just beginning, and it's all about winning the hearts and minds of its own people.

Read the original here:

As IS withdraws, Mosul residents face harsh conditions and seek government aid - i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

Kovind versus who – The Indian Express

Written by Editorial | Published:June 22, 2017 12:04 am

The symbolism of a Dalit becoming head of state is enormously powerful. Clearly, the BJP has chosen to send out a strong political message by nominating Ram Nath Kovind as the NDAs candidate for the presidential office. Its allies, and even parties outside the NDAs fold, recognise the significance of a Dalit in Rashtrapati Bhavan and, not surprisingly, many have warmed to Kovinds candidature despite their political differences with the BJP JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar extended his partys support on Wednesday. The Opposition is yet to declare its own candidate, but reports suggest that it is searching for an equally qualified Dalit against Kovind: Such congruence of political intent across party lines that a Dalit ought to be the next president is rare in Indian politics and, in this case, welcome. Only one of the 13 presidents in the seven decades since Independence has been a Dalit K.R. Narayanan, diplomat and academician, has been the only Dalit to occupy the office of president and vice president since 1950 while no Dalit has been prime minister. Yet there is something jarring about the conversation that surrounds the presidential election. NDA leader and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan has claimed that any party that opposes Kovind will be deemed anti-Dalit. The fear of being branded anti-Dalit may well have played a large role in nudging the Opposition to search for a Dalit candidate of its own. Of course, a Dalit in Rashtrapati Bhavan will be a welcome outcome even if the presidential election has been reduced, with the complicity of both government and opposition, to a contest in political correctness. Yet, given the larger backdrop in which this election is taking place, there are sobering questions for both government and opposition to answer.

There is Dalit unrest across the country. The numerous eruptions may not fit a singular narrative, but common to the protests is anger against a perceived majoritarian oppression. Incidents like the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University campus, the violence against flayers of dead cattle in Una, and the Dalit-Thakur clashes in Saharanpur are joined together despite their distinct geographies and contexts. The political mainstream, however, has visibly failed to engage with the old and new questions these movements have raised. The government apparently believes it can brazen it out while the Opposition has unsuccessfully tried to co-opt the agitators. Not surprisingly, the Dalit street is now led by new formations and leaders, located outside the arena of electoral politics. The rich symbolism of the candidacy of a Dalit for president stands in danger of being undermined by the failures of both government and Opposition to address the substantive issues of social mobility and political representation that underly the ongoing unrest.

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App

Link:

Kovind versus who - The Indian Express


...10...1819202122...