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Saturday, September 29, 2018


In 1951, at the time of the first population Census, just 18% of Indians were literate while life expectancy was 32 years. By 2014 in over 60 years, life expectancy had more than doubled to 68. Literacy had grown even faster to reach 72 % by 2015.

A chunk of the country’s 1.2 billion people are still chronically malnourished, many are unemployed. At least 32% of India’s population live below the international poverty line -- spending less than US$1.2 a day -- while about 68% of the population live on less than US$2 a day, a World Bank report said in 2010.

More than a third of Indians aged 15 to 49 are undernourished, according to India’s National Family Health Survey in 2006.

A 2011 Wall Street Journal investigation into India’s government-run healthcare system described public hospitals as “out of date, short-staffed and filthy.”
“Lack of government spending is largely to blame for our ailing healthcare system,” said Pramod Paliwal, the secretary of the Jaipur-based Indian Institute of Rural Development, a non-profit focusing on rural healthcare. India invests only 1% of its gross domestic product in health care, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. India’s healthcare expenditure, the OECD found, was one of the lowest in the world. 
A 2013 study by New Delhi-based non-profit Pratham, which surveyed schoolchildren across 500 districts, found that a fifth of 10-year-olds could not read sentences. Around 50% of seven-year-olds surveyed couldn’t read letters and more than 50% of 14-year-olds were unable to divide numbers, the study found. A similar study on higher education last year estimated that fewer than 10% of graduates with masters degrees in business administration, were employable.
The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report ranked India 132 out of 187 countries on its gender inequality index in 2013. All countries in South Asia, with the exception of Afghanistan, the report said, were a better place for women than India. 

A memebr of the Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee of Delhi said in a TV programme that gurudwaras across the country must be feeding about a crore of indians daily, free of charge. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Does BJP really care for abandoned women ?

A relative asked me : ‘What is happening on triple talaq? Why all parties are keeping quiet except BJP ?’

I wrote back to him : I read the supreme court judgement delivered in 2017. It said that triple talaq was in contravention of an earlier law and an earlier judgement so was set aside until the legislature made an appropriate law. Then I saw Asaddudin Owaissi’s views on the ordinance promulgated by the Government.

I find him right on this, as in most other observation he makes. He says that when adultery and gay relationships have been decriminalized in india, it is silly of the central govt. to make a law send to jail a man because he pronounced the words talaq 3 times ! Simply making it ineffectual – that is, it no longer dissolves a marriage, is enough. Which is as much what the court said in its judgement. He says there are millions of women in our country, muslim and otherwise, who have been abandoned and lack sufficient societal support. He would welcome a fund for the support of all such women if the central government really wanted to express compassion towards them.

It is obvious the BJP set out not to help abandoned muslim women, but to make it a faltu talking point which is how someone like you becomes concerned about it ! in a country where millions of indians are without water, without food, it is criminal of a political party to waste all our time like this. But ofcourse bettering our lot isnt BJP’s focus. WHATEVER subject you pick, once you investigate below their glib talk, this is what you find.

Please don’t be misled by the noise made by the hindu right on the name of Owaissi. Yes his brother Akbaruddin said some rash things a few years ago when highly provoked by the hindu right. But Asaddudin is one of our finest politicians where public speaking and thoughts on how to solve our problems is concerned. I have heard many of his speeches in and out of parliament. They are all on youtube. You can listen to him on other subjects yourself if you like. I havent tracked his administrative skills yet though.

While on the point of demonisation, have you seen bal thackeray or the many heads of the hydra headed sangh pariwar, similarly demonised ? they say totally unacceptable things about india and indians, day in and day out, 365 days a year, but BJP feels comfortable with all this objectionable talk !

Fomenting hatred in Uttar Pradesh..

From a May 2018 article : ‘The Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013 changed everything. Village Lisad, where Hindus and Muslims had lived peacefully for generations, witnessed the deadliest violence. Thirteen Muslim men were killed in Lisad, and with the exception of one elderly man named Basheer, who refused to leave the home where he was born, the entire minority community fled and never returned. At least 60 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the religious violence. An estimated 60,000 Muslims were displaced.’

This was part of Modi and Shah’s winning strategy for the 2014 elections and widely seen as such at the time the violence took place. We have not seen the BJP or RSS cry about the 60,000 muslims displaced in western UP for five years, have we ?

An article at the the time of Kairana by election in UP in May this year : ‘The issue of pending criminal cases against the Jats has also divided the community over the RLD and the BJP. Those who are only concerned about the sugarcane crisis have been inclined to vote against the BJP, while those who have to worry about criminal cases believe it safer to vote for the BJP. The BJP had vowed to withdraw all "false" cases related to the riots if voted to power, and the Adityanath government has been making good on its promise.’

This reveals BJP’s ‘governance’ strategy employed I think by the Nazis also : 1. Precipitate a divide between society and incite hatred in the majority, for the minority. 2. Get them to participate widely in murder and mayhem against the minority. 3. Wed them to you for decades to come by the threat of ‘opening criminal cases’ for that period of mayhem !


There is a poignancy in the reflections below on the Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013 – and a harsh reality on why victims of violence from neighbours are often unable to come back to their homes, ever.

Malik and Singh talked at length about how much they regretted the flight of the Muslims from their village. It has cost the Jats both economically and psychologically.

The absent Muslims, who filled the roles of carpenters, farmhands, manual labourers, electricians, ironsmiths and welders, are sorely missed by the Jats, who now end up paying double for getting the same services from outside the village.

There are many Jats who remain convinced that their village had been cursed after the bloodshed. They talk about the animals that started dying, especially calves, a few months after the Muslims left. Those who have family members charged for rioting, murder and attempt to murder, have been living in a constant state of fear for their loved ones.

"A few hours of violence has cost us so much. The village had changed forever," Malik said, adding that he did not participate in the violence, "It makes me sad to see the empty houses."
Singh said, "It never should have happened."

But when the village was debating whether to bring back the Muslims, Mallik was against it.
"It's too late. It would have been too complicated, too messy, and too dangerous," he said. "Remember, there are still people with cases against them."’


At last – in Black and White – how BJP is tearing the fabric of our country, mohalla by mohalla, just so it can be in power.. from an article analysing the recent UP bypoll win for the opposition :  'Yet, none of these factors are as important as a large section of Kairana’s voters uniting to counter the phenomenon of everyday communalism, a term which academicians Sudha Pai and Sajjan Kumar have coined to explain the ease with which the BJP turns every election into a Hindu-Muslim contest and wins. Kairana has, however, shown Jats and Muslims — despite being pitted against each other after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots — sinking their differences to overcome the severe socio-economic implications that everyday communalism spawns.

This phenomenon involves, write Pai and Kumar in Everyday Communalism: Riots in Contemporary Uttar Pradesh, recruitment of local leaders for "using small, mundane but provocative local incidents to gradually create animosity and social jealousies between Hindus and Muslims who have lived together for a long time".'

The article continues : 'These issues could be as insignificant as a road accident, a game of cricket, a drainage pipe of one house leaking into the premises of another. The aim behind framing every minor issue as a Hindu-Muslim problem is to “create a permanent anti-Muslim social prejudice and make it acceptable in the popular discourse,” argue Pai and Kumar.

Before the grisly riots rocked the Muzaffarnagar-Shamli belt in August-September 2013, a clutch of petty issues was ingeniously turned to pit Hindus against Muslims. Take what happened in March 2013 in Buchakheri village, Kairana, which falls in Shamli district. There the wood stored for the Holi bonfire was set ablaze by no one knows who. Blaming the Muslims for it, Buchakheri’s Gujjars attacked a mosque, prompting police to open fire. Then BJP MLAs Hukum Singh and Suresh Rana descended on the village and linked the firing to Shamli then having a Muslim superintendent of police. A minor issue was given a communal turn and then escalated to become an election campaign issue.'

I dont know if you feel like vomiting on reading this.. but I do. We are witnessing the ongoing destruction of the idea of India.. no matter how much 'development' we do. Perhaps it was always so, even under the congress... what is critical to remember is that this discourse is NOT about muslims - but about creating an 'Other' from which a political party claims to protect you from. as the muslim card stops working, the BJP will need to create many 'Other' groups for you to hate, as that is the only politics it thinks, works. Gradually their polemic will descend into the North Indians against South Indians, Outsiders against Marathas etc., cards which have already been played regionally at different times.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Haryana, Gujarat, Kashmir, UP..

A relative wrote to me : ‘Kashmiris target our armymen and stone them.’ I wrote him back : It is a complex issue and I have not studied it yet. But it does appear that BJP uses real incidents only to twist their import :

1. What about Haryana, which lately has turned to the Hindu right ? This news from Feb 2016 – did not haryana Jat youth in large numbers act against the national interest and honour of the uniform ? The widespread violence, looting and murders went on for 10 days but I did not then see condemnation by BJP leaders that we routinely hear from them against Kashmiris. See this news article of that time. And here, and here.

2. You said Gujarat and Kashmir cannot be compared. Yes, they cannot be. ‘Scholars studying the 2002 riots state that they were premeditated and constituted a form of ethnic cleansing, and that the state government and law enforcement were complicit in the violence that occurred.’ So it is just fine when it happens in Gujarat, but awful when smaller incidents happen in the Kashmir valley ?

3. An international fact-finding committee formed of all women international experts from US, UK, France, Germany and Sri Lanka reported, "Sexual violence was being used as a strategy for terrorizing women belonging to minority community in Gujarat." I suppose this is the form of Hinduism the Hindu right is pushing us towards.

4. Rape has been routinely deployed against Kashmiri Muslim women as well : ‘Since the onset of the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in 1988, rape has been used as a weapon of war by Indian security forces; comprising the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security personnel, against the Kashmiri population. The frequent rape of Kashmiri Muslim women by Indian state security forces routinely goes unpunished.’ The studies which back up these claims were published from 1994 through to 2017.

5. More examples of BJP's blatant hypocrisy : 'Non-Brahminical Hindutva has not given political mobility to Jats in the BJP (in UP), a party fundamentally upper caste in its orientation.' All of BJP and Sangh Pariwar's crying about 'caste divisions' is when the mathematics is against them. Caste divisions are fundamental to them and embraced when they work in their favour. In his address in Kairana in May this year, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to all Hindus to vote for the BJP irrespective of caste. 

In any case, is focusing on a religious identity any better than a caste identity ?

The False stories about Kerala..

A relative wrote to me : ‘Kerala is going to be converted to a Muslim State just like Kashmir.’

I wrote back : I am again asking that you get out of the BJP failed classes and look up facts yourself –easily available to anyone on the net. In 2016, Kerala’s total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.8 which is not even enough to replace the present population, so it is set to shrink. 15 years BJP ruled Rajasthan’s total fertility rate is 2.7, a third more than Kerala’s. Should kerala feel threatened from Rajasthan as a result ? Are not such ideas ridiculous ?

The TFR for Kerala Muslims is 1.86, again below replacement level, which means the Kerala Muslim population is shrinking. Please note it is far below the fertility rate for Rajasthan as a whole, which is 88 % Hindu. The decadal growth rate of Kerala Muslims was 13 %, far below that of the country as a whole, at 18 %.

India’s Muslim population is growing slower than it had in the previous decades, and its growth rate has slowed more sharply than that of the Hindu population. The Muslim population still grows at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates is narrowing fast.

The Muslim population has grown faster as a result of higher Muslim fertility, higher child mortality among Hindus, and a greater life expectancy among Muslims. However, the Muslim community in India is expected to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2050.

Triple talaq par bhi baat karenge. But the sex ratio among Muslims is 951 females for every 1,000 males, while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1,000 males. This implies that Indian Muslims choose to birth more girls, and see through more of them to health and adulthood, than do Hindus.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Countries are not meeting targets to cut carbon emissions

Countries are not meeting targets to cut carbon emissions. Without major reductions in emissions, the increase in annual average global temperature relative to preindustrial times could reach 5°C or more by the end of this century. See here, here and here.

I went back to seeing this documen
tary that i feel everyone on this planet should see : 

The implications are many but include these atleast : 

Sea level rise will make coastal communities retreat inland - property values in the inundated areas will plummet and lots of new infrastructure will have to be built. and for countries and places that cant immediately afford it, lower levels of service for all the things we now take for granted.. 

Increasing forest fires are another hazard : Studies have found that forest fires in the western US have been occurring nearly five times more often since the 1970s and 80s. Such fires are burning more than six times the land area as before, and lasting almost five times longer. 2015 was a record-breaking year in the US, with more than 10 million acres burned. That's about 4 million hectares, or an area of the size of the Netherlands or Switzerland. 

In fact, wildfires are burning more area around the world. The areas where wildfires are taking place are always areas that have become drier and hotter, and where spring has come earlier.

Fire is a natural and beneficial part of many forest ecosystemsOver the decades, undergrowth builds up on the forest floor - so when a fire burns through, that provides space for larger, more mature trees that are more fire-resistant. But the unnatural increase in wildfires is causing entire forests to burn down uncontrollably. 

Global warming is increasing forest fire risk in the Alps as well. Humid, forested areas are most likely to face greater threats from wildfires, as conditions there grow drier and hotter due to global warming. 

Just one degree additional warming can see new desserts emerging in the western united states, leading to shortages of grain in the world. The great plains lie across 12 states of the US. Drought and changeover of land from grassland to cropland is creating conditions reminiscent of the dust bowl years.. 

Droughts in the late 21st century over the Central Plains and Southwest America will likely exceed even the most severe megadroughts of the past.

It has not been warme
r than today for the last one million years. But the sorts of temperatures that climate models tell us may occur by 2100 or in the next century, peaked about 55 million years ago to 5° to 8°C more than today. The temperature rise then occured over a few thousand years, with the Arctic Ocean reaching a subtropical 23°C. Mass extinctions resulted.

The warming, which lasted 200,000 years, was caused by the release of massive amounts of methane or CO2. It was thought to have come from the thawing of methane clathrates in deep ocean sediments, but the latest theory is that it was caused by a massive volcanic eruption that heated up coal deposits.