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Chanda Bandh Satyagraha reaches every corner of Punjab to create Awareness about opaque Funding Practices by AAP
*After successful launch of the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (No List No Donation campaign) in New Delhi where more than 20, 000 people have taken the pledge Not to donate to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) until it makes its donations public, the campaign is currently taking place in Punjab from Jan 11, 2017
*A press conference took place in Jalandhar (Punjab) on Jan 10 as a pre-launch. Currently, the signature drive is taking place in the state, in Hoshiarpur and Amristar, Jalandhar where more than 2500 people have signed the banner.
*Volunteers of No List No Donation campaign have been distributing pamphlets outside Golden Temple, Amritsar and are educating the public about the basics of transparent political system to make public aware of the opaque funding practices in AAP.
*Dr Munish Kumar Raizada has also submitted the petition to Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the misleading financial behaviour of AAP
*Earlier, based upon submissions from Dr Munish Raizada, Anna Hazare had questioned Arvind Kejriwal in his letter regarding the unfulfilled promises to him and the people
*AAP was issued notice by income tax department regarding opaque funding practices, but the party has not taken any step regarding the transparency in political donations
Jalandhar, Jan 14, 2017: After the successful launch of the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha signature drive in New Delhi with more than 20,000 people having signed the pledge not to donate to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the campaign is currently taking place in Punjab from Jan 11, 2017.
The aim of the campaign is to create awareness among people in Punjab against AAP’s corrupt funding practices before the upcoming elections on February 4. It is now more of a fact that the party which cannot keep its promise to the common people to make the donation list public, will also take their share from Government funds and misuse
them, if they are elected.
Earlier, Anna Hazare too had questioned Arvind Kejriwal in his letter regarding the unfulfilled promises to him and the people. The campaign -blessed by Anna Hazare- is aimed at compelling the Aam Aadmi Party to do course correction since the party has refused to make details of its political donations public.
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A press conference took place in Jalandhar (Punjab) on Jan 10 and the signature drive has so far taken place in the state, in Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Jalandhar in Punjab, where more than 2500 people have signed the banner. Volunteers have also gone to Golden Temple and distributed pamphlets in the area to make people aware of the AAP’s corrupt practices.
AAP volunteers in Punjab too have come forward to support the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha campaign; the disappointment and betrayal by their own party have left them helpless.
Launched by its own volunteers, the Satyagraha campaign has taken on the opaque funding practices of AAP. It may be known that AAP preaches 100 % financial transparency in its donations, yet has discontinued showing names of donors from the website since June 2016.
The satyagrahis of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha stand at public places with banners and placards which essentially convey the message: “Take a Pledge not to donate to Aam Aadmi Party until it makes it Political Fundings Public.”
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An auto driver in Hoshiyarpur, Punjab says, ” I will not donate even 1 rupee to AAP, it has failed to fulfil its promises to common man.” With the formation of AAP, there seemed a national movement against corrupt practices but with time the party is too ruled by corruption, as a result, people are finding it cynical when a party talks about “bringing change” or “revolution”.
The No List: No Donation Campaign against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched in Rajghat, New Delhi on December 24, which was followed by the signature drive at Rajeev Chowk Metro Station, Gate no. 7 in New Delhi. More than 20,000 people came forward to support the campaign by signing the pledge.
Dr Munish Kumar Raizada has also submitted the petition to Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the misleading financial behavior of AAP.
People joining the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha Campaign against AAP are increasing everyday in number.
AAP has also been issued notice by income tax department regarding opaque funding practices, but they have not taken any step regarding the transparency in political donations.
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Raizada has demanded 4 specific conditions to be met: Put all donations in public domain, donations should be searchable by name (and not only via receipt number), Missing Balance Sheets after 2014 to be made public and inquiry to be ordered in the dubious donations of Rupees 2 Cr that the party received in 2014. Kejriwal had promised
an inquiry into this if came into power.
The Chanda Bandh Satyagraha initiative has been taken up by Chicago-based Munish Kumar Raizada, a medical doctor and a suspended member of AAP.
*Join No List: No Donation Campaign / चंदा बंद सत्याग्रह against AAP*
*Sign the online pledge: <http://goog_1899816939>*
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.