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Hardik Patel’s sedition case to stay, supporters threaten suicide

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday turned down a petition to quash sedition charges against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel, even as his three supporters threatened to set themselves on fire if he was not set free by October 29.

Justice J B Pardiwala earlier in the day rejected the plea filed on October 20 by Patel’s father Bharat Patel, a BJP activist, days after his five-day police remand in Surat.

Simultaneously, three youngsters from the Patidar community – one word for the Kadwa and the Leuva Patels – threatened to immolate themselves in front of the state legislative assembly if the government did not let off Hardik Patel by Thursday.

Bharat Patel, Vijay Patel and Pratik Patel from Tenpur village of Aravalli district in north Gujarat submitted a memorandum to an official, warning the state government that if the sedition charges against Hardik Patel were not dropped, they would set themselves on fire before the state assembly building in Gandhinagar. They said the ruling party would be responsible for it.

While a metropolitan court in Surat rejected a plea for his further remand, Hardik Patel found himself in the Ahmedabad Crime Branch police office yet again on sedition charge.

The sedition charge was slapped against Hardik Patel, 22, last week after he advised a Surat youth, Vipul Desai, not to think of committing suicide but show courage to kill a policeman or two.

Desai had announced that he would commit suicide to press the demand for reservation for the Patels under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in government jobs and educational institutions.

Hardik Patel had called on Desai on October 3 when he took a TV channel reporter with him. Once the channel aired his remark, it went viral on the social media.

The Crime Branch in Ahmedabad claimed it has telephone call records of conversations between the PAAS leaders and their supporters, and these show Hardik Patel and his associates allegedly inciting youngsters to resort to violence against police and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

It was on this basis that the sedition charges were slapped against the agitators in Ahmedabad, police said.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch has suspended a police constable and a computer operator for taking selfie pictures with Hardik Patel after the photograph went viral on social network.

Tenpur, where the three youngsters have threatened to immolate themselves, is the same village from where Hardik had reportedly disappeared last month and surfaced the next afternoon. He claimed he was kidnapped by some policemen in plainclothes and was threatened at gunpoint if he did not suspend his agitation.

The Gujarat High Court, which heard a habeas corpus petition the night Hardik Patel disappeared, has now asked him to submit an affidavit giving the exact chronology and other details to substantiate his allegation of having been abducted by some people resembling policemen.

Earlier, the high court had pulled up Patel and his lawyer B.M. Mangukiya of staging a fake kidnap drama since he had appeared before a local Gujarati TV channel while the habeas corpus petition was pending.

(IANS)

 

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Decoding Reservation in India: Is it a Constitutional Flaw or Unnecessary Favor?

The idea of 'reservation' has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world

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Representational image. Pixabay

November 12, 2016: The word ‘reservation’ came up with the idea of representative government, where for the first time numbers mattered. The inequality of Indian society has solidified the need for numeric representation. The caste based representation, no doubt created a more confident lower class mass with their greater involvement in the public sphere. Reservation in education has evolved as a major challenge for lakhs of students. Far from providing an equal opportunity it has an electoral agenda. Education has been politicized based on reservation.

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However, the backward class proportion is still underrepresented. Article 15 (1) of the Constitution says, “State shall not discriminate any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”, it also provides for compensatory or protective discrimination in favor of certain sections of the disadvantaged people. Article 15(4) of the constitution stipulates that notwithstanding the provision stated above, the state can make “special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”. Thus constitution itself provides contradictory clause.

The idea of ‘reservation’ has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world. ‘Caste should no longer be the eligibility criteria for reservation, rather income should be’ said HemangoAkshayHiwale, an M.phill aspirant in Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prakash, another student of same university claims reservation as a ‘good thing but in present scenario in India need to be reformed.’

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In August 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that for admissions at super-specialty level in medicine and engineering faculties, no special provisions like SCs, STs, BCs were permissible. Even among the quotas there are also sub-quotas. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, 15% of the seats in each course of study reserved for Scheduled Castes are in turn allotted, in proportion to their population, to four categories of SCs classified as A, B , C and D.

This affirmative step has so far brought with it social justice. US Carnegie Mellon University, published a study in American Economic Review, which shows that reservations do place those who do not qualify for affirmative action at a disadvantage, 53,374 scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, other backward classes and general category students are at a loss.

Reservation in the past decades has increased the numbers of scheduled castes and scheduled tribe families with highly educated members, who can encourage and provide support for younger family members to continue their education. Thus, reservation in education as of now is more of a luxury scheme for these classes as the benefit is only confined to a limited population, whether they need it or not. The real needy ones are at a loss to whom the information or the financial access is debarred.

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Instead of favoring reservation, the government should increase the number of universities and government jobs for the benefit of its people. Nationalization of education can also be a solution to this issue. When the discrepancies within the universities are omitted; i.e. equal access to education without compromising the quality of education the disadvantaged students in remote areas will get justice. The proliferation of universities in villages with good teachers can also be an alternative.

Reservation should not be treated as a vote bank or an emotional quotient but a practical measure to help the lower section of the society. It should be kept in mind that the extended favor to the marginalized section might create an insufficiency for the other classes. With the critical Indian class structure, it should be kept in mind that any reform of upliftment will be judiciously measured before its implementation.

by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Jats to get reservation along with four other casts

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Image source: picsture.com

Haryana: The Haryana Cabinet on Tuesday unanimously passed the Jat Reservation Bill in the Vidhan Sabha. The bill proposes to include Jats and five other castes in backward classes by bifurcation. On Monday, the Haryana Cabinet gave its nod to a bill providing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to Jats and four other castes. The move came a day after protesters threatened to resume their agitation if their demands were not met by March 31, the last day of the Vidhan Sabha’s Budget Session.

The draft reservation bill proposed six per cent reservation for Jats and four other castes in Class-I and II government jobs, and 10 per cent reservation for the five castes in educational institutions and Class III and IV government jobs.

The Jats had given an ultimatum till April 3 to the state government to meet their demand of reservation. A meeting of Jats from 13 states is likely to be held in New Delhi on April 3 to discuss the reservation issue and further course of action. At least 30 people lost their lives and over 320 were injured, besides private and government property suffered losses to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees, during the Jat agitation and subsequent violence in February.

Credits: Indian Express

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Siddi community of India : a case study

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photo credits: www.scoopwhoop.com

by Shriya Katoch

  • About Siddi community of India:
  • They were brought in as slaves by the Arab.
  • They have preserved 70% of their gene pool through Endogamy.
  • They have faced severe poverty and have been alienated by society .

Siddi: Where are they from?

Siddi is a tribe living in Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad .Many members of the Siddi community have migrated to Pakistan during the partition .In India, Karnataka has the largest concentration of Siddi. According to estimates there are around 3,700 Siddi families in the state with a total population of 18,000. Other Siddi populations in the sub-continent include around 10,000 in Gujarat and 12,000 in Hyderabad. A few hundreds are also found in Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata.. They are known to have East African roots .It is believed that between 16th and 19th century Siddi were brought in India by the Arabs as slaves .

What is their social standing?

They were extremely talented in the art of battleship and between the 18th and 19th century , some Siddi usurped their rulers and settled in the depths of the forest in Karnataka .Even after living in India for centuries they are still not accepted in the Indian society .
Outcasted, they have distanced themselves by establishing independent societies .They are considered to be lower than untouchables .
In terms of social structure they are at the bottom of the pile .

They are regarded as encroachers .Many Siddi dream of returning back to their native country Africa but they do not have the financial means to do so .Shunned and forgotten they dream of returning to the land of their forefathers where they believe they will finally have a sense of belonging.
However ,in actuality the Siddi have diffused themselves in our society to such an extent that they are treated as foreigners in their own homeland as well.
Even though they have adapted to our society ,they have still withheld their own cultural roots.They have adapted to the local custom but still preserve parts of their strong African culture .Infact according to DNA testing the average Siddi is 70% Sub Saharan African .It is truly remarkable that they have retained 70% of their genes after residing in a country ,with a population of 1 billion, for 200 years .
Endogamy has played a crucial role in preserving the gene pool .

Siddi are victims of abject poverty. After inhabiting the country for more than 1000 centuries ,they still face social ,political and economic injustice.The government has attempted to improve their situation . On January 8 ,2003, the union government brought Siddi under the list of scheduled tribes in order to empower them constitutionally. Further, policies were also endorsed by parliament. It is hoped that proper implementation of these policies would result in an enhanced social and economic status of the Siddi community .However the Siddi population argue that when they don’t have enough financial support to enroll in a college how can they claim the seats ?
Due to such unrealistic reservations ,most Siddi are restricted to work as farm labourers for the entirety of their life until their children resume the same work.Many Siddi women work as maids in the neighbouring cities .

Despite living in such harsh conditions it is known that when a child dies a mother wails for days to ensure that the child be born again as a siddi and not in any other caste.

Siddi are mainly Roman Catholics ,with a minority practicing Islam and Hinduism instead.Even though they practise such diverse religions ,they inter marry between different religions.

Siddi are branded as incapable of intellectual endeavours only talented in the field of music and sports .

Even after facing such cruel conditions it is hoped that the Siddi will rise through the abyss ,empowered.

Shriya Katoch multitasks as an Engineering student , an avid reader ,a guitar player and a death note fan.