Iron Lady of India in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

An Indian woman who has spent nearly 12 years fasting to protest against a law that gives special powers to the armed forces has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Irom Sharmila Chanu, 40, has been on a hunger strike since 2 November 2000 in the north-eastern state of Manipur.

She has been force-fed through a pipe in her nose since November 2000.

Ripley’s site features a cartoon on the activist and describes her as “the iron lady of Manipur”.

Ms Chanu has repeatedly rejected requests to call off her fast until the government withdraws the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The act gives sweeping powers to the armed forces when they fight separatist insurgents or leftist radicals – powers which critics say are often misused.

‘Iconic’

Kshetrimayum Onil, a trustee of Just Peace Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in the state capital, Imphal, told the BBC that he sent an e-mail to Ripley’s site about Ms Chanu’s struggle in mid-March.

“Lucas Stram, one of the researchers from the Ripley’s team, sent me a link to the cartoon page a few days back,” Mr Onil said.

Ms Chanu’s years of fasting have made her into an iconic figure in Manipur.

The state has a population of about 2.5 million people and a huge force of army, paramilitary and state police. They have been fighting at least 12 insurgent groups since 1980.

The government and the army maintain that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is necessary to restore normality in the state.

But civil society groups allege gross human rights violations by troops and policemen.

Ms Chanu’s hunger strike started after soldiers of the Assam Rifles paramilitary force allegedly killed 10 young Manipuri men in November 2000.

She has been arrested many times and taken to hospital where she has been force-fed a liquid diet through her nose in a bid to keep her alive. (courtesy: BBC)

BBC: “Sorry (Narendra Modi), we goofed-up, “Gujarat ‘IS’ a red hot economy.”

Gujarat and Growth: Media does a Flip-Flop

The ” Modi”fied article of BBC can be read here:

Gujarat IS a red hot economy.”

In what can be termed as acute embarrassment to major media houses, a “Modi”fication of articles that were published, based on GDP of Gujarat state was done hurriedly. Today Business Standard, one of India’s leading newspaper, carried an article by AK Bhattacharya, with a set of figures that depict growth in Gujarat, trying to drive home a point that ‘growth of Gujarat is a myth’. Soon, other media houses like Rediff, and surprisingly the British Broadcasting Corporation joined the bandwagon. this resulted in print media splashing articles quoting the figures quoted by Business Standard. BBC even went to the extent of nailing Gujarat with a story titled “Is Gujarat’s Red Hot Economy a Myth?” But soon followed counter figures, with accurate proof, which put the very  same media houses to shame. The article published byBusiness Standard quotes the GDP of Gujarat as 6.3%, where as the actual figures stood at a towering 10.08%.

The credit of exposing the leading media houses and their credibility goes to Vijay (@centerofright) who exposed the mammoth difference between the real figures and what was contorted and published. With the real facts presented before them,Business Standard was forced to edit their original article and issue a clarification that read thus: This column has been modified to incorporate corrected data. (Read the article here).

The step taken by Business Standard of publishing the original article without conforming to real data and their subsequent correction led to an outright flurry over Twitter, the micro-blogging site. There were rampant discussions that questioned the credibility of leading media houses and the news they present the common man with. Even the reliability and integrity of BBC stood at stake. A shamefaced BBC had to change the title of their article to ‘Gujarat IS a Red Hot Economy’.

“It is silly that reputed media houses made mistake in a topic like GDP of Gujarat when Growth of Gujarat is a heavily debated issue.” Many tweeple raised their concern.

The ” Modi”fied article of BBC can be read here: “Gujarat IS a red hot economy.”

How Business Standard and BBC had to Retract a Story on Gujarat (read), Modi bashing!!!

It all started with

and then

The original article in Business Standard by AK Bhattacharya.

http://www.scribd.com/embeds/92187799/content?start_page=1&view_mode=slideshow&access_key=key-111sv1hgm44z54lbkunc

Then i had tweeted a bunch in the morning and left it at that and forgot about the same.

Then Soutik From BBC Came up with this Gem and a link to his BBC Article with a Headline – Is Gujarat Red Hot Economy a Myth? quoting the same Business Standard article.

Read the full posting: How Business Standard and BBC had to Retract a Story on Gujarat.

Is India’s ‘iron man’ Modi a spinmeister or is there something everybody is missing?

Mr Modi has become synonymous with Gujarat's growth

Is Gujarat’s red hot economy a myth?

BBC’s New Delhi correspondent, Soutik Biswas writes in his column:

Is Gujarat’s so-called red-hot economic growth a myth peddled by the government of the controversial chief minister Narendra Modi?

Mr Modi, who was blamed for not doing enough to stop the horrific 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the state after the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims, has modelled himself as a no-nonsense economic reformer leading one of India’s fastest-growing states.

Gujarat also signed on to a fiscal responsibility law only after five other states did, and 20 states preceded Gujarat in implementing value added tax.

More interestingly, states like Uttarkhand (13.2%), Bihar (10.9%), Maharashtra (10.7%), Tamil Nadu (10.4%) and Haryana (10.1%) recorded double-digit growth in the seven-year period under review.

None of these states have the kind of hype associated with them as does Mr Modi’s Gujarat, which is often called the most business friendly state in India. So is Gujarat really the “breakout” state that Mr Modi wants the world to believe?

So is Mr Modi a spinmeister or is there something everybody is missing?

Read the full column: Is Gujarat’s red hot economy a myth?

Asian Lite, UK won ‘How Do’ award without psychics, astrologers or sex ads!

In the papers five-year history, we never took a single advert of psychics, astrologers, faith healers or premium-priced sex chat lines. Journalism is more than a business and we are trying our best to serve the community in a better way. We follow a strict advertising policy to protect the readers from the clutches of psychics and the sex industry.” 

said, Anasudin Azeez, Editor of Asian Lite, a fortnightly focussing on British Asian events and issues who recently won the prestigious How-Do newspaper of the year award for 2012.The panel also praised the newspaper’s quality, creativity and producing the contents ‘appropriate to that target audience’.

Azeez, who hails from Palakkad district in Kerala said the How-Do award will inspire the editorial team to stick with its policies to bring back the missionary values of journalism.

The award committee said Asian Lite, published by New Asian Media Ltd, bucked the current British trends in declining sales and circulation in publishing and derived innovative solutions to identify new models and revenue streams.

A judging panel comprising BBC veteran Jim Hancock and Google’s Andy Barke selected Asian Lite as the Newspaper of the Year 2012 from the short-list of eight leading British titles, including Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporations’ The Times; Newsquest’s The Bolton News and Johnston Press Group’s Lancaster Guardian. Asian Lite was the only British ethnic media title shortlisted in the 18 award categories. The award ceremony was held at the prestigious Lancashire County Cricket Club and attended by several media personalities and industry leaders, a statement said.

Praja Vani’s (kannada daily) ‘dalit’ initiative appreciated globally !!

Praja Vani‘s committed readers from all walks of the life appreciated the newspaper initiative of inviting a Dalit litterateur as the Guest Editor received widespread acclamation and the newspaper reciprocated it by publishing more than a half page of reader comment. Some readers have described this initiative as a “landmark”.

Videos: Female Gendercide and Infanticide in India and China

Between India and China, 200 million girls have gone “missing” as parents abort female fetuses or kill and abandon baby girls. Several documentaries and reports cover this phenomenon, trying to explain the causes for this deadly gender discrimination and figure out what can be done about it.

With the tagline of “The three deadliest words in the world”, the “It’s a Girl” documentary is one which through interviews and on-location filming is figuring out why 200 million girls are “missing” in India and China, and why there has been no effective actions to this problem.

Born to Die is another film investigating the rise in female feticide and infanticide in modern India.

Poh Si Teng for Global Post also has a video on the relationship between ultrasound devices, gender screening and female feticide, and whether the laws banning portable ultrasound will help stop the selective abortions in India:

The BBC’s 2007 investigatory documentary on India’s Missing Girls and people who are trying to turn the tide on a cultural phenomenon that affects all of India’s socio-economic levels: the cult of boys, and the belief that girls are not worth the trouble to raise them. The documentary, split in 3 parts can be found online (123).

One of the organizations trying to make the difference is the Aarti Home in Kadapa, who take in abandoned children, most of whom are girls abandoned because they are girls, and also talking to expectant mothers of female children to encourage them to have and cherish them.

Aarti House hopes to be a home for girls who were already rejected once for being girls and make sure they have a safe haven. At the very beginning of this next video, a young girl talks about the disadvantages and hardships she went through just because she was a female:

World renowned Chinese-American novelist Anchee Min, who writes strong female characters admits in this next video how she didn’t want to have a daughter, and all through her pregnancy, secretly hoped that it would turn out to be a boy, despite ultrasounds and tests because “Who wants to be a girl in China?”

Taiwanese Next Media Animation explores the consequences of the gender imbalance in China brought on by the One Child Policy and a society which values males more than females with the video and song No Girls Born (In China Anymore)

Beginning of December, a program aired on ABC 20/20 about India’s deadly secret. It was about 40 million girls who have vanished. All aborted before they could take their first breath. Their crime was that they were girls. As you know the gender ratios is India are terribly skewed about 914 girls per 1,000 boys.
In Punjab it is about 833 girls per1,000 boys. Unfortunately this happens amongst the privileged and the educated also. The only woman who has brought cases against her in-laws and husband is Dr Mitu Khurana. Please watch her story and sign her petition for justice. Please give those 40 million girls silenced forever, a voice.
Please forward this to as many friends as possible.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/a-mothers-fight-to-save-her-daughters/
http://gendercide.epetitions.net/
and here is the link to her website-
http://www.mitukhurana.wordpress.com/
After you sign the petition, there will be a request from the site for a donation. This donation is totally discretionary and does not in any way or form affect or benefit Dr Mitu Khurana. All she is asking for is your support (signing this petition) so that pressure can be put on the Indian authorities that the whole world is watching them in total disbelief as they make a young mother run around in vain for four years in search of justice
Sign the following petition to end the GENDERCIDE in India
http://www.change.org/petitions/minister-of-health-and-family-welfare-end-the-gendercide-in-india-stop-female-foeticide