The rise of Religious Nationalism is detrimental to the principles of Democracy
India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, has more members than most countries have people.
The unit’s latest report says there has been “a serious deterioration in the quality of democracy under leader Narendra Modi, whose Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has presided over increased intolerance and sectarianism towards Muslims and other religious minorities” and that a failure to “crack down on the persecution of religious and other minorities by Hindu nationalists continues to weigh on India’s democracy score”.
To rise from the fringes of Indian politics to become the world’s biggest party has been a stunning achievement. But can Indian democracy flourish with a political behemoth like the BJP?
Source: India’s BJP: The rise of the world’s biggest political party
Young, single Indians make up the second-biggest market of dating app users globally – and it’s revolutionising how people think of love and marriage.
When Rohini Ramnathan’s husband passed away unexpectedly in 2017, the 37-year-old thought she’d never find love again.
But two years later, Ramnathan downloaded a dating app on her phone for the first time and started swiping on potential matches.
“My first impression was, ‘Wow, there are so many people and they’re all single’,” she says.
“And then I thought, ‘Wow, there are so many good-looking people’.”
Ramnathan, a radio presenter who lives in Mumbai, says dating apps have helped her to understand and explore “the casualness of dating” in India.
Source: From arranged matches to Tinder hook-ups: How the apps changed dating in India – ABC News
India has moved away from British to Israeli Justice of “collective punishment”
It looks all too eerily similar as a method: the expulsion of individuals from their home, the demolition of said home and the punishing of entire families. All excused by a harsh reading of local regulations. But this method, used by Israeli authorities for years against vulnerable Palestinians, has become a weapon of choice for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
Source: The brutality of “Bulldozer Justice” in India – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Over the weekend Indian authorities bulldozed several homes belonging to Muslims in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). The homeowners were alleged to have taken part in organised protests on Friday in response to inflammatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made by the now ousted spokesperson for the country’s ruling-Hindu hardline BJP party. It is the latest provocation against India’s sizeable Muslim population, following a high-court decision in March in the southern Karnataka state to ban women wearing the hijab in schools and colleges.
Source: In Demolishing Muslim protestors’ homes, India is taking a Leaf from of Israel’s Book
India has leapfrogged China as the number one country of origin for foreign students in Victoria, as universities and student accommodation providers report a better-than-expected return of internationals arriving to study in Melbourne. People from India make up a quarter of the 96,300 international student visa holders currently in Victoria, followed by those from China on 19 per cent and Nepal on 7 per cent.
Source: India overtakes China as international students’ top country of origin
India is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its transition to a low-carbon economy is crucial to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. But unfortunately, the nation is still clinging firmly to coal.
Source: India’s wicked problem: how to loosen its grip on coal while not abandoning the millions who depend on it
Epidemics are known for laying bare the hidden fault lines of societies. For many of us it may not come as much of a surprise that British colonial officers chose to let the Kumbh mela go ahead even at great cost to public health because it was politically convenient and sidestepped the possibility of having a rebellion on their hands. After three-quarters of a century of political independence, we see the democratically elected government of India, a country that prides itself on technological and financial progress, make a similarly crass political calculus, choosing to curry favor with Hindu nationalists at the expense of lives. Whether subjects or citizens, the public health of Indian people has too often been sacrificed for political gain.
Source: In India’s Covid Crisis, Echoes of a Colonial Past | Washington Monthly
And at least three of the Australians blocked from returning home on Saturday’s flight from New Delhi to Darwin, because they tested positive for COVID-19, have since tested negative for the virus. The two revelations raise serious questions about the medical screening process set up by Qantas and the federal government for the resumption of travel between India and Australia.
Source: Australians in India test negative after being blocked from returning home
From a lack of investment in public health care to mishandling vaccine production, Narendra Modi’s right-wing government has failed the Indian people during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands are dead as a result.
Source: Blame Modi and the BJP for India’s COVID-19 Catastrophe
In the months leading up to the assembly elections in West Bengal, I began to realise that there was every chance that the state where I live, once a left stronghold, would soon be under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The realisation came from talking to ordinary, working-class Bengalis. K, a man in his late 30s who had come to work for us, said tersely but firmly that he’d be voting BJP. The reason? “You need to throw out parties in power from time to time. It’s good for them.” He was invoking the Kerala model – in Kerala, voters periodically alternate between putting one of the two main parties in power. Electorates in all states – in fact, the whole country – would probably go Kerala’s way if they had a viable opposition to turn to.
Source: A surprise defeat in one of India’s biggest states shows that Modi is not invincible | Amit Chaudhuri | The Guardian
When the Federal Government, brandishing its latest dog whistle, announced on Friday (30 April) that any Australian citizens attempting to flee India’s raging pandemic outbreak would face $66,000 fines and five-year gaol terms, both Australians and the international community reacted with disbelief.
Source: India latest front in Morrison Government’s war on Australians
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales and member of the WHO’s COVID-19 team, said a Guardian analysis of data showed India had fewer cases per capita than either the United States or the United Kingdom during their COVID-19 peaks. She said the data suggested the ban for India was likely an “act out of fear” and said it should be reversed “to ensure there is no misconception the ban is in any way racist”. While other countries have suffered horrific virus surges, Australia’s response hasn’t been to put up an impenetrable wall. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done instead.
Source: India travel ban: Australia hasn’t banned flights from any other country
The horrific COVID crisis in India isn’t just the result of rich countries’ criminal hoarding of vaccines and intellectual property — it’s the fault of Narendra Modi’s far-right government, which has prioritized private profits over public health.
Source: India Is In a Horrendous COVID Crisis. It’s Modi’s Fault.
Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised India’s handling of the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. These tweets, which are now inaccessible to Indian users of the social media website, include posts by Revanth Reddy, a sitting Member of Parliament; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; actor Vineet Kumar Singh; and two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.
Source: ‘Not a Surprise, But Terrifying’: At India’s Request, Twitter Blocks Posts Critical of Modi Covid Response | Common Dreams News
Overwhelmed hospitals in India are begging for oxygen supplies as the country’s coronavirus infections soars again in a “tsunami” of disease, setting a world record for cases for the third consecutive day.
Source: In Delhi alone, COVID kills another Indian every 4 minutes
Other comparisons relate to the World Bank’s definition of poverty as the pronounced deprivation of well-being:
- Homicides: Numerous sources report a higher homicide rate in the U.S. than in India.
- Suicides: Numerous sources report a higher suicide rate in India than in the U.S. (although WHO shows a higher male suicide rate in the U.S. than in India).
- Alcohol Abuse: All sources report a higher alcohol-related death rate in the U.S. than in India.
- Homelessness: Based on the best available data, the U.S. has a slightly higher rate of homelessness than India. The numbers may be understated for both countries.
via Comparing Poverty in India and America May Surprise You | The Smirking Chimp
The Corona virus certainly doesn’t understand discrimination, but oppressive social and political structures governed by caste biases certainly add on to the multiple vulnerabilities of the marginalized communities in India. Caste is allotted at birth, it defines the role of a Hindu at birth, defining their social position irrespective of their acquired economic status. Caste is rigid to the extent that it can never be changed, even if a Hindu choses to convert to Islam or Christianity or any other religion, the Caste identity remains. Be it in choosing life partners, jobs or now in dealing with a global ‘pandemic’, where we cannot even spare the First Citizen of our country, Caste discrimination and atrocities seem like they are here to stay, irrespective of Corona.
via The Curse of Casteism in a Plague Year: Rightwing Indian Gov’t AWOL as Lockdown devastates Poor, Dalits
Sky New’s Peta Credlin was paid by Adani to do an advertorial on coal entrely ignoring the real facts of what is occurring in India and why Adani is divesting away from coal and to Solar energy. The total avoidance of mentioning the reality of what is occurring renders that Sky News as Fake (ODT)
India is now for the first time in history investing more in solar energy than in coal.
There is a simple reason for this. Coal costs roughly 5 cents a kilowatt hour to generate electricity. India just let a bid for 1.2 gigawatts of solar energy and four companies scooped it up at 3.6 cents a kilowatt hour. The only advantage coal and gas had is that the sunk costs of plant construction have already been written off. But in India today, it is actually cheaper to build a new solar park than to go on operating a coal plant.
Over-all, India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar electricity, at about 8.5 cents a kilowatt hour. Solar photovoltaic has been declining annually by about 23% year on year since 2010.
Asia hosts over 3 million photovoltaic power jobs, nearly 90% of the global total.
India has grown from 3 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2014 to over 30 GW in 2019!
India might not be able to triple that amount but it will at least double it to 60 gigawatts. From the beginning of time till now, the US has only put in 63 gigawatts of solar, total, and Japan has done 60. For India to catch up to those two countries (#2 and #3 for solar panels) in only two years will be almost a miracle.
via Solar Growing by leaps and Bounds in India, fueling Irrigation and Jobs
Nirav Modi’s rise from a $70-a-month trainee to the biggest player in India’s multibillion-dollar diamond industry was swift. But now he’s in prison, accused of fraud on a truly massive scale.
Adani rose out of the same Industry with the same dark background.
via From India’s ‘Diamond King’ to jail: Nirav Modi’s fall from grace
India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Monday did not mince words in delivering a sharp rebuke to US plans for sanctions on trade with Iran, including National Security Adviser John Bolton’s threats against third parties like India. She said, according to The Hindu,
“Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries . . . We recognise UN sanctions and not country-specific sanctions. We didn’t follow U.S. sanctions on previous occasions either.”
via India stands with Iran against Trump Sanctions
NEW DELHI — “Tear off her clothes!” the policewoman shouted as several pairs of hands ripped at Sheena Thakur’s blue-and-white cotton shirt. Another officer yanked her bra, and Thakur went into shock as she tried to shield her body from being grabbed, punched, and groped.
Around her, students, professors, and journalists were drenched with dirty water from a police water cannon, before a group of male and female officers rained down blows with fists and truncheons.
via A Woman Who Went Viral For Being Assaulted During A Protest Is Now Facing Arrest
In her suicide note she wrote: “Wherever I go, there are men everywhere. I am tired. They won’t let me live.”
By removing herself, she wrote, her parents would no longer have to face eviction.
via India’s #MeToo moment is still about the struggle to survive
Professor Hamilton’s book has been flippantly dismissed as nonsense by those he named as agents of influence for China, but none of them have produced any proof that what he has said is untrue. The proof that Professor Hamilton has provided, however, is quite overwhelming, and other western countries have now begun to follow Australia’s lead in resisting Chinese subversion of our political and social systems.
What a load of alarmist rubbish. Demographically China has an aging problem where some 25% of it’s youth and energy will be devoted to the singular purpose of supporting a non-productive population. Australia in fact most of the world is faced with this problem other than India which is not only moving towards a productive youth-age but is being brain drained by the global corporate world to run the world’s biggest corporations. India is positioned to be the productive power house and management on the planet via simple demographics and a necessary revolution in it’s Education systems. It’s easier today for Indians to get fully paid scholarships to Harvard than to get into its own ITTs Indian Technical Teaching Services . 50% of India’s population was under 25 five years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcW4ABcY3zI
Is China really out to rule the world? The Greentown ‘Ruling Class’
What makes her so special?
Hailing from Ernakulam district of Kerala, P.G Sudha is a potential beat forest officer by trait. She deserves a certificate of excellence for coming up with an initiative of building as many as 497 toilets in the tribal colonies of the Kuttampuzha forest in a bid to get rid of defecation. She chose this activity as her personal interest because she always wanted to make the environment neat and clean.
via Salute this Forest Officer who built 497 Toilets in Kerala’s Tribal Colonies- let’s appreciate her – The Youth
It’s about propping up “besieged majorities” in multiethnic countries.
Washington and New Delhi are having a mutual lovefest these days.
Donald Trump is popular in India — where only 17 percent of the population considers the president “intolerant,” compared to a global average of 65 percent — and he has warmly welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House. Both leaders are eager to bump up bilateral security cooperation to the next level.
Even Donald Trump, Jr. is getting in on the act. He’s visiting India this week as part of the Trump organization’s myriad economic connections to the subcontinent. Indians, treating the president’s son as a representative of the White House, are paying a lot of rupees to gain access to his ear.
Who can blame them? It’s virtually impossible to disaggregate the different components of the Trump megaplex.
via Grievance Politics for Insecure Majorities: Trumpism Worldwide | Informed Comment
World Bank. | (Video Report) | – – “With a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency …
Source: India: With 370% increase in Solar, aims at Electricity for all by 2030 | Informed Comment
An Indian politician has called for Britain to pay reparations to India and other former colonies for its decades of imperial rule, in a speech at the Oxford Union.
Source: Dr Shashi Tharoor tells the Oxford Union why Britain owes reparations for colonising India in viral speech | The Independent
Millions in the Indian subcontinent celebrate the Hindu festival with fervour.
Source: A feast of spectacular colour as Hindus celebrate Holi | | Al Jazeera
Poor air quality causes nearly 1.1 million people to die prematurely in India each year, the study says.
Source: India’s Air Pollution Is Out Of Control, Report Finds | The Huffington Post