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Bihar elections: Can development trump caste?

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Patna: Bihar, despite being imbued with casteism, is gradually taking to developmental politics. With head on collisions between BJP led NDA and the JD(U)- RJD- Congress combine, Janta Parivar, encapsulating the political milieu in the state on developmental issues, it seems that Bihar is gradually traversing through new found paths against the much talked caste based politics.

Photo credit: indiaopines.com
Photo credit: indiaopines.com

However, development might bear variegated meanings for people. For some, development might mean caste empowerment, whereas for some development might mean little more than caste or rather development in the literal sense. Though casteism hasn’t received a redundant stature in the state, it has started cohabiting with the development card played by political stalwarts like Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi.

Immediately after the poll schedule was announced on Wednesday, BJP didn’t spare a second to play its development plank. “The BJP will go to the people on the issue of development. The BJP is ready to face the challenge,” said former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, as quoted in a leading daily.

Considering the critical juncture looming the state, NDA hasn’t announced its candidate for the post of chief minister. Modi is leading NDA in the state and has also doled out a whopping amount of Rs.1.25 lakh crore special package for the state and to this was added the inclusion of 21 districts of the state as backward.

In an attempt at getting back at the political stalwart Nitish Kumar announced a package of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore.

The electoral politics in the state has taken to a different essence; however, the result would decide the fate of the state, whether it would be guided by caste or development.

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Domestic Violence Escalates in Bihar Amid Lockdown

Bihar sees surge in domestic violence

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There is a significant increase in domestic violence cases in Bihar amid the lockdown. Pixabay

The enforcement of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has put one vulnerable group more at risk in Bihar.

Domestic violence has escalated in the state as women confined to their homes during the lockdown have no escape from their abusers.

Former Bihar Youth Congress leader Lalan Kumar on Tuesday said, “The cases of domestic violence against women have seen a dramatic rise in all the police stations records in the state since the imposition of lockdown. This shows police inaction while the state has a shortage of women staff in all the stations.”

“Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) released a figure which says that in March alone, the commission registered 587 complaints in connection with domestic violence”, Kumar said.

Domestic Abuse
Women are confined to their homes during the lockdown and hence have no escape from their abusers. Pixabay

He demanded from the state government that women police personnel should be appointed in each police station as soon as possible.

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Kumar said, “A spate of rape cases has also been reported in the state during the lockdown. A minor girl was gang raped by five youths in Darbhanga on May 8. On the same day, another gang rape of a minor girl in Kishanganj also came to light. On May 1, a minor girl in the state capital was raped.”

Though arrests were made in some cases, but in the maximum number of such incidents the criminals were still at large, he alleged. (IANS)

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NGOs and Private Institutions Offer a Helping Hand to Bihar

NGOs and Private Institutions come forward to help the needy and the poor in the state of Bihar

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NGOs coming forth to provide help to the needy and poor in Bihar. Pixabay

With the nationwide lockdown adding to the problems faced by the poor, many private institutions and NGOs are extending a helping hand to the needy in Bihar.

Anukriti Art founder Anukriti said she along with other benefactors has so far helped 50 families in the Shahkund area of Bhagalpur by providing them ration and other essentials.

An awardee for Madhubani and Manjusha paintings, Anukriti pointed out that such little help from individuals across the country could make a huge difference.

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NGOs have helped 50 families in the Shahkund area. Pixabay

An NGO, Ang Madad Foundation, which has earlier helped many women get trained in tailoring, has provided ration and other help to the needy in the Champanagar area in Nathnagar block.

Its head Vandana Jha said that whenever they come to know about the needy or someone calls them for help, they reach out to such persons. She said her organization has so far helped around 200 people.

Ram Jansewa Samiti and area villagers came to the rescue of 50 to 60 persons belonging to a nomadic community left stranded in the Hasanganj block of Katihar district. These needy persons, which included women and children, were provided ration and other essential items.

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The needy were provided with ration and essentials. Pixabay

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A private club led by social activist Mahesh Sav has distributed ration and other items to many needy families in the Shumar Harkhand panchayat area.

Similar reports of help extended by villagers to daily-wagers were received from Naxal-affected areas in Jamui. (IANS)

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Demand For Removal Of Twitter’s Blue Tick In India

Netizens demanded the removal of blue ticks on Twitter in India

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Blue tick on Twitter
Netizens took to Twitter on Wednesday asking the microblogging site to remove the blue tick in India. Pixabay

Netizens took to Twitter on Wednesday asking the microblogging site to remove the blue tick in India.

Since morning, thousands of Twitter users have posted comments with the hashtag #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia accusing the microblogging site of discriminating against Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) activists.

“Why to have a pattern which further divides the society. Your biased approach is exposed @TwitterIndia @jack selectively blocking accounts of Ambedkarite’s and not verifying their accounts reflects the casteist mentality of @Twitter #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia #SackManishMaheshwari,” a user wrote.

“Twitter is mirroring Varna system, authenticating the voice of some and silencing others.
#cancelallBlueTicksinIndia,” wrote another user.

Removal of blue ticks
To remove blue ticks, ‘#cancelallBlueTicksinIndia’ is trending on Twitter. Pixabay

The row started after the account of senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal got restricted. He later got back the account. But Mandal continued the tirade against Twitter. As others joined him, flurry of tweets followed under #CasteistTwitter, #JaiBhimTwitter and #SackManishMaheswari. Manish Maheshwari is the Twitter India Managing Director.

In a statement to IANS on Tuesday, a Twitter spokesperson said the platform’s “commitment to inclusion and diversity is fundamental to who we are at Twitter and crucial to the effectiveness of our service.”

Denying the allegations, the Twitter spokesperson said it has “one set of Twitter Rules”.

“To make it clear, we have one set of Twitter Rules and we enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, religious ideology, professional position or background,” the spokesperson said.

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“We have ongoing efforts to provide local market context when developing and enforcing our global policies. We extensively cover gender and religion (including caste) in our trainings, to provide reviewers with the local context they need to evaluate content. Our Hateful Conduct Policy prohibits behaviour that targets individuals based on protected categories (including caste),” the spokesperson added. (IANS)