Cartoonist Shankar, the legend of Indian cartooning

Keshav Shankar Pillai: The man behind ‘Ambedkar-Nehru cartoon’

The NCERT (National Council Of Educational Research And Training) school textbook cartoon of Dr BR Ambedkar  and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru which created a furore in parliament was sketched by renowned cartoonist Keshav Shankar Pillai, popularly known as Shankar.

Shankar sketched the said cartoon in the 1950s while the Constitution of India was being framed.

Shankar (31 July 1902-26 December 1989) was  born in Kayamkulam, Kerala, considered as the father of political cartooning in India, founded the publishing house, Children’s Book Trust, in 1957.

He made number of cartoons for newspapers and magazine, in addition with his magazine, Shankar’s Weekly.

The government of India honoured him with Padma Shri in 1956, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan in 1976. In his honour, the Government of India released two postal stamps 1991.

He is remembered for setting up Children’s Book Trust established in 1957 and Shankar’s International Dolls Museum in 1965.

Shankar’s wife name was Thankam. He had two sons and three daughters. He also published an autobiographical work, ‘Life with my Grandfather’, 1953.

Noteworthy, the said cartoon shows Ambedkar seated on a snail with ‘Constitution’ written on it and Jawaharlal Nehru, whipping the snail with crowd in the background. (courtesy: Dainik Bhaskar)

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Mamata gags the Dodhichi newsletter

Now, it is the turn of the alternative media in West Bengal to be at the receiving end of governmental intolerance. There is a clampdown on a unique mobile alert service in Kolkata, writes RANJIT SUR in The HOOT.

The Mamata Banerjee Government in West Bengal is trying its best to gag the language media. It is not news anymore. To some extent she is exposed in this regard, and people are protesting against such a move. But gagging a small but very important alternative media centre remained out of sight of the people. It is mainly because the big press or the corporate media have not shown any interest over it. Moreover, most of the media persons even do not understand what alternative media could be. So the news of gagging of  the Dodhichi Newsletter did not find any place in any major publication in Kolkata, in print or on TV media, barring a line or two in a couple of news media.

What is the Dodhichi Newsletter? According to its director, Dr Shyamal Roy, “Dodhichi Newsletter is a Kolkata-based cellphone text messaging service disseminating information, news, and views not appearing in the mainstream media.” It is in operation running since 2010. In a letter addressed to Home Secretary, Government of India, Dr Ray said: “ Our service provides a platform to hundreds of freelance news-gatherers, social and cultural activists, and NGOs and reaches out to a select list of thousands of message receivers, among them MPS, MLAs, Ministers, political leaders as well as eminent personalities in various fields.“
This writer himself is a message receiver and sender listed with Dodhichi. It’s a unique service, at least in Kolkata. There is no other service of this kind here. During the last two and a quarter years it has provided wonderful service to all the mass organisations and their activists.
Whenever an organisation calls for a demonstration or rally, or any State crackdown occurs on any mass organisation, a single text message (SMS) sent to Dodhichi was enough to inform and mobilise all the activists. Through the Dodhichi mobile newsletter the SMS containing the information reached hundreds of interested persons within seconds. Within a short time, the activists could decide on their duty or they could assemble at the place of demonstration or at the site of the happenings.
During the last months of Budhadeb Bhattacharjee government Mamata Banerjee got the benefit of this service, as it was the time of anti- government and anti-establishment mass movements.
(Read the full article in The Hoot: Dodhichi Newsletter

An Advertisement of a Woman Caught in the Maoist Conflict

The Home Ministry put up a big advertisement in The Hindu a few days ago, and I believe in other newspapers also. The advertisement speaks of a destitute woman, whose everything is lost in the never ending conflict between the Government of India and the Maoists.

On the first look, it is hard to comprehend for what purpose this advertisement appeared. Who is the target audience? What does the government want to convey? Is it trying to tell itself that there are people suffering because of their negligence (fiat accompli)?  Or is it trying to convince Maoists to drop weapons (As all other semi-adopted methods, they tried, have failed)? Or is it trying to speak to the people of India – a majority of which is not concerned, as they are not affected directly and those who are affected and are concerned, are no position to do anything on their own but feel pity and sympathy.

Since April 2010, when 75 CRPF Jawans were killed, attacks by Maoists have become more frequent and the concern of the authorities has diminished proportionately. The root cause of the issue is well known and understood – Lack of development. It is sad that we are not able to integrate the tribal people into the growth story of India and it is a common failure. But to take the first step to assimilate them is the duty of the government only.

courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz & Mani Mahesh Garg

The advertisements won’t help, and talks among people won’t help unless the government actually means what it portrayed in its advertisement that day, and takes some hard and decisive steps to help the people, whom it projects as the sufferers in the advertisements.

THE MEADOW says ‘India, A State Sponsoring Terrorism’

Catherine Scott-Clark declare India- A State Sponsoring Terrorism.

Review of Book “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”

A Srinagar based human rights group has requested the region’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and subsequent killing of four western tourists by a militant group in 1995 in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark in their book put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim that the four Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. They came to the conclusion after their investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case. The book was released on March 29 in England.

The book contains blow-by-blow descriptions of the negotiations for the hostages’ release between an inspector and the kidnappers, which seemed to be nearly completed several times, only to be blown apart when the agreed terms of the negotiations were leaked to newspapers, including the Hindustan Times, infuriating the kidnappers. At times when the Indian government claimed the kidnappers and their hostages were untraceable, the book said, they were being watched and photographed by an Indian Army helicopter.

Rather than working for the hostages’ release, the Indian government, Indian intelligence agencies and Indian military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers, a new non-fiction book called “The Meadow” alleges. Indian officials’ actions were part of a larger plan to present Pakistan, and the Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir, in as harsh a light as possible to the world at large, the book says. Ultimately, the men were killed by a second group, funded and controlled by the Indian government, the book alleges.

“All the time New Delhi said it was trying to crack Al Faran, a group within intelligence and the STF (Special Task Force, an Indian Police division) was letting them dangle, happy to let the militants portray themselves as savage criminals,” one police detective who worked on the case tells the authors.

Quoting the Kashmir police’s crime branch squad, the two authors write that the investigators had been convinced that the Government-controlled renegades had the control of four Westerners after Al Faran dropped them.

“The squad reported some of its thoughts to its seniors, using these kinds of words, ‘Sikander’s men handed over Paul, Dirk, Keith and Don to Alpha’s renegades in the third of fourth week of November, around the time when the final sightings dried up. Sikander has given up. Al Faran is finished. Embarrassingly, India controls the renegades.’”

Adrian Levy told in a interview to NYT that “We also determined the exact route taken by the kidnappers, and followed that route, through Anantnag, and over in Kishtwar and the Warwan Valley, interviewing hundreds of villagers over the years, staying in Sukhnoi where we learned from villagers, and then the IB and the J&K police, the hostages had been deliberately penned in for 11 weeks approximately, while they were observed in detail and near daily, by an Indian helicopter.”

Inspector General Rajinder Tikoo (who led the negotiations with the kidnappers) confirmed it to Adrian that the sabotaging of the talks and that intelligence did not want there to be a resolution. He resigned as a result from the inquiry. He then had no part to play and does not express a view of the ending.

A member of the Crime Branch team who worked on the case describes the “dawning realization that their desire to solve the crime was at odds with the goals of some senior figures in the military and the intelligence services, who could have saved the hostages but chose not to.” Authors claim that “The kidnapping was a boon that enabled the Indian intelligence fraternity to clearly demonstrate Pakistan backed terror and demonize Kashmiri aspirations.”

“Right from the beginning the strings were being pulled from New Delhi,” said Altaf Ahmed, a police security official who worked with the security adviser to the government of Kashmir.“Those of us dealing with the hostage-taking on the ground in Srinigar were not in control.”

On Christmas Eve, 1995, the four remaining hostages were walked into heavy, deep snow behind the lower village of Mati Gawran, shot and buried, an eyewitness to the killings said, the book reports.

“There was only one end for them, and we all knew it,” he said. “No one could risk the hostages being released and complaining of collusion, having seen uniforms and STF jeeps,” he said. (STF is the Special Task Force of police in Kashmir).

The book’s claims echo some of the darkest fears brewing in the international intelligence community after the hostages, or their bodies, failed to surface month after month.

Almost a year after they were taken, the fate of the hostages was still uncertain, despite diplomatic appeals and secret military operations from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, The New York Times reported.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark an award-winning investigative journalist in their book comprising 500 pages put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim the Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. The book was released on March 29 in England .

The  adventurers and nature lovers across the globe, envy to see Kashmir a paradise on earth. But for one group of travellers in 1995, a trip to the Meadow became a nightmare that none of them could possibly have imagined. These men – two Americans, two Britons, a German and a Norwegian – journeyed to Kashmir in search of nature and humanity – but became entangled in a hostage drama that lasted for six months before they vanished from the face of the earth leaving their loved ones and family in agony for rest of their life. The conclusions in the book are drawn through investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case and the wives and girlfriends of the missing men. It  reveals how the Kashmir hostage crisis was an opening shot in the war on terror; what these terrorists did to a group of western adventurers and set them on a cold-hearted path to terrorise the West.

A review of the book “In the Meadow, A chilling alternate view of the 1995 Kashmiri kidnappings” published in NY Times discussed the kidnappings of six foreign tourists in a meadow in Kashmir by a group calling itself Al Faran. The Indian government, Indian Intelligence agencies and Indian Military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers which resulted in the killing of the hostages. This was later discovered that it was an Indian conspiracy to put the blame on Pakistan and its intelligence agencies afterwards for the killing and kidnapping of the tourists. However, upon investigation it was learned that the men were killed by another group, funded and controlled by the Indian government(See salients from the book below). However, India has always tried to deceive its own people, region/neighbors and the world as a whole .The  TRUTH can only be blurred but never hidden. Few examples from recent history are as under:-

Own people:

  • On night between February 17-18, 2007 at least 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, were killed in a series of explosions and a resultant fire on Pakistan-bound train in the northern Indian state of Haryana, near Panipat, about 80km north of Delhi. Initial investigations blamed the Pakistan-based LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayaba) and JeM (Jaish-e-Muhammad), so much so a Pakistan national, Azmat Ali, was also arrested in this connection…Later it was found by the police that right-wing Hindu activists and an Indian army officer Colonel Prohit had a significant role in not only the Samjhauta Express bombing but also in the Malegaon and other similar terrorist incidents. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand have now further confirmed the Hindutvaradicals’ role in terrorism.
  • In the Makkah Masjid blast on May 18, 2007, 14 people were killed and as a reaction around 80 Muslims were initially rounded up by the police. The bombs are believed to have contained a deadly mix of RDX and TNT, in proportions often used by the Indian army.” CBI director Ashwani Kumar told the media that an activist named Sunil Joshi“played a key role in orchestrating the Ajmer blast and a set of mobile SIM cards that had been used in activation of the bomb-triggers in the Makka Masjid blast was used again in the Ajmer blast. ..India’s National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed a case in a court accusing 11 Hindus and members of the ultra-right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, of masterminding and executing the October 2009 Margao blast.
  • In Ajmer Sharif  Blast on October 11, 2007 ,3 people died. In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad. Initial arrests of Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali linked  to  HuJI, LeT could not be proved.  Again in Malegaon 2nd Blasts in September  2008 in which 7 died   Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev were found involved.

This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India however more can be understood by a statement of Mumbai advocate Mihir who said: “It is believed that CBI is seeking directions from the home ministry to see the Ajmer, Makkah Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction, after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups”.

Source: This is how India shine, read here

Region/Neighbours:

  • India has always had hegemonic approach towards its neighbours and its goodwill gestures have mostly concluded with economic or militarily strangulating projects for the neighbours. May it be the construction of a barrage at Farakka, near the border with Bangladesh or Wullhar Barrage over River Jhelum to dry up the water resources for its neighbours.
  • Pakistan is locked in other territorial disputes with India such as the Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek and construction of dams including Baglihar Dam built over the River Chenab in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly China, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka all have host of problems leading to mistrust in neighbours relationship.
  • India has redrafted its military doctrine on building border infrastructure as a force multiplier in a real war situation. Indian Army Chief’s statement of taking on both Pakistan and China simultaneously through its cold start doctrine is an announced policy.

Source: Who is attacking Balochistan?Read here

The world as a whole:

  • One of the Worlds biggest Glacier reservoir are depleting fast.  Blaming only global warming for rapid defrosting is a false impression being created deliberately by India with a view to covering up the serious and catastrophic environmental crime its army is committing. It leaves not even an iota of doubt that the rapid shrinkage of the Siachen Glacier is due to chemical and explosive storage and cutting of glacial ice by the Indian army and not by global warming.
  • Indian troops are involved in dumping of chemicals, metals, organic and human waste, and daily leakages of 2,000 gallons of kerosene oil. This oil passes through 250 kilometre of a plastic pipeline, laid by the Indian army across the glacier.
  • The global environment and human rights experts and activists may realise one day that they have stains of this blood on their ignorance and not putting enough pressure on Pakistan and India to demilitarise the glacier.
  • The glimpse of misguided investigation handling by India quoted above is worth noting. Wendy Sherman  US Under Secretary of state announced in New Delhi on April 02,2012  that the US had put a bounty of US $10 million on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed a leader of Pakistan based social welfare organization Jama’at-ud-Da’wah(JuD) to please India.. Despite India’s investigation record and fact that Pakistani courts has acquitted Hafiz Saeed on many occasions and in many cases due to lack of evidences against him. On October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed “In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law. But somehow india has succeeded in hiding reality.

See detailed study  here

Conclusion:

It is very much evident from the facts revealed in the book and above mentioned facts that in order to get psychological benefits, India has always remained indulged in dirty games. Either this benefited India or not but it gave a massive blow to humanity. India contributes in making future of this world bleak. Therefore it is the responsibility of analysts, social workers and environmentalists to take notice of these psychological wars that India has waged against not just its neighbors but against the whole world .


Now, Employment news online, thanks to RTI Anonymous !!

Now, Employment news online, thanks to RTI Anonymous !!

Now, Employment news online, thanks to RTI Anonymous !!

Thanks to Two RTI Anonymous activists, the government of India will now published the Employment News/Rojgar Samachar Online . The two RTI Anonymous activists Sangh Priya Rahul and Nawal Agrawal had taken this project and had been following up with the concerned authorities.

RTI Anonymous is an online service, through which, any Indian citizen can File Right to Information (RTI) Applications Anonymously. They DO NOT HAVE TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITY. The RTI Anonymous Community will file those RTI Applications in their name and upload the documents obtained as a reply on this website. The original requester will get an email when this happens. The original requester just has to draft the RTI Application as much as he/she can and the RTI Anonymous community will take care of the rest.

For more information on GETUP FOR CHANGE & RTI ANONYMOUS read :

RTI Anonymous: “One Stop Solution” to Fight Corruption in India !!! http://wp.me/p1TvF9-jT

NO APRIL FOOL: ROBERT VADRA RECEIVES ONE MORE “EXEMPTION” AWARD !

Ministry of Home Affairs (India) has exempted Robert Vadra, husband of an SPG protectee Priyanka Gandhi, from preimbarkation security check at all civil airports in the counrty. MOA did this recommendation in consultation with the security agencies of India. Priyanka Gandhi is the elder sister of the Prime Ministerial candidate of Congress (Inc.) Kumar  Rahul Gandhi.  Vadra, by the virtue of being the son-in-law of Congress (Inc.) President Sonia Gandhi, is unsure whether he will join politics, but claims that he can win “any election” from “any where”.

Ministry of Home Affairs while replying to an RTI application of Anup Kumar Alias Sangh Priya (West Bengal) on this regards has mentioned that ” the details ( of why Robert has been qualified fit to be exempted ) in this regards are exempted ( like Robert himself is) from disclosure under the RTI rule. MOA has obliged to send a copy of this communication to “A” wing Janpath Bhawan.

Readers are cautioned that this is not an “APRIL FOOL” posting and should take a lesson (or follow suit) from this above information for personal benefit.

RTI Anonymous (RTIA) Success: Ministry Admits that it recommended Robert Vadra for exemption from Security Checks at Airports. Why does Government of India need to always keep on buttering one family?