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Even the coffins of Manipur tribals go unnoticed

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Source- The quint.com

New Delhi: Nine civilians allegedly killed in police firing in Churachandpur district of Manipur are yet to be buried and for the past one month people of tribal communities of the North Eastern state have been protesting at Jantar Mantar with nine coffins of the slain people.

The protest by the Manipuri community has been taking place in the national capital since November 4 in a bid to highlight the plight of tribal people in Meitei dominated North Eastern state, however, even that has failed to draw the government’s attention.

The Manipur Tribals’ Forum Delhi (MTFD) along with other people from the state has been vociferous against the killing of nine civilians in the police firing in Churachandpur district on September 1.

The protest is against the alleged killing of nine civilians, including an 11-year-old boy in police firing, while they were protesting against the passing of the three controversial bills in assembly.

Nine coffins are kept at Jantar Mantar as part of the protest. Bodies are yet to be buried.

The protesters said that this was a way to tell Indian people and Indian government about the plight of tribal people in Meitei dominated Manipur state.

Tribals believe that the bills mentioned above give more power to majority Meitei community. They are also demanding political separation from the Manipur state.

The protest is almost one-month-old (and the incident is three-month-old) but the Government is yet to react to the issue. It appears as if they either don’t care or fail to realise that the Northeast is also a part of India.

As a result of the market-oriented media, some areas of India do not get the attention they deserve. Their issues and people live under the shadow; people from other parts of India indulge in pathetic stereotyping, using derogatory terms like ‘Chinki’.

Chennai flood is now all over the media after people slammed the so-called ‘national news channels’ for allegedly ignoring the natural disaster in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Similar apathy was shown to Assam which was hit by floods earlier this year; it failed to attract get the one-tenth of the coverage of what the reportage of a disaster in a North Indian state would receive.

The north-eastern part of the country has often been treated as the step-son of the mother India. They seem to have no information about their culture and history of the NE. They call them Chinese or Nepalese in utter ignorance. It is media’s job to inform people, however, media is apparently selective in its approach.

Media seem to have a different idea of India. Anything that happens in Delhi concerns India, according to them. The role of media is very important, it forces the government to take actions and if the media do not highlight some issues, the government usually ignores them. The only problem is that on the receiving end of this apathy mostly are Northeastern states or the Naxal-infested villages in Chattisgarh.

In Delhi, if police lathi-charge at a crowd, it becomes a national news and here nine people were killed and their bodies are yet to be buried. It has been one month of the protest and yet nobody from the government has reached out to them.

Kejriwal got massive coverage for his hunger strikes, became a national leader, but more than half of this nation might not be aware of Irom Sharmila’s existence.

This kind of protest does not take long to turn into a violent struggle. Not everyone has patience like Irom Sharmila. This is why an issue should be solved in the early stage.

India has seen a lot of struggle in the northeast, leading to the loss of precious lives. However, the situation in recent times has changed for the better. But if the Government fails to satisfy and listen to their grievances, it could lead to the return of old violent ways.

Delhi sees a number of students coming over from the northeast every year. Tragically several of them face racial attack, some of them have even lost their lives and still the issues concerning our NE brothers fail to secure well-deserved media attention. People, on the other hand, sympathize for a day and then move on.

India is very vocal about its unity in diversity. But such treatment from the media and the government does not augur well for the country’s unity and forces people to think that they are different or ‘others’, giving ammunition to the anti-national forces.

The worst case scenario for a democracy is when any section of the population starts having the feeling that its government does not care about them. It creates rebels and conflicts which impact the internal peace of the nation.

Saying that India is as much of a northeastern’s as it is of a Delhite’s wouldn’t suffice. Media need to be more sensitive and the government has to take more actions, instead of lip service, to counter the issues in the northeast and all other such neglected parts of the country.

  • tirudesi

    This report is a bit muddled. There is a general sense of unhappiness about the northeast but the writer has led with the nine hill tribal martyrs. In their case it is not true that the Union Governmnent has ignored them. The three new bills passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly have not been made into law instead the Union Government sent junior ministers to Churuchandpur in Manipur where these citizens were killed mainly by police officers. They reassured the people that they would not allow divisive laws to be passed by the Manipur Assembly and they warned the Manipur Assembly that if they could not maintain law and order without farther killings of Indian Citzens the Centre would not be found wanting. I take this to mean that they are prepared to declare direct presidential rule of Manipur and Mr Modi will take direct control over governance in that state. The other many problems of the northeast though I agree are being ignored. Even Mr Rahul Gandhi’s pledge to begin talks with Irom Sharmila appear just to be another one of his gaffes not approved of by his mother.

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  • tirudesi

    This report is a bit muddled. There is a general sense of unhappiness about the northeast but the writer has led with the nine hill tribal martyrs. In their case it is not true that the Union Governmnent has ignored them. The three new bills passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly have not been made into law instead the Union Government sent junior ministers to Churuchandpur in Manipur where these citizens were killed mainly by police officers. They reassured the people that they would not allow divisive laws to be passed by the Manipur Assembly and they warned the Manipur Assembly that if they could not maintain law and order without farther killings of Indian Citzens the Centre would not be found wanting. I take this to mean that they are prepared to declare direct presidential rule of Manipur and Mr Modi will take direct control over governance in that state. The other many problems of the northeast though I agree are being ignored. Even Mr Rahul Gandhi’s pledge to begin talks with Irom Sharmila appear just to be another one of his gaffes not approved of by his mother.

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80% Cases of COVID-19 in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that nearly 80% of COVID cases in India are asymptomatic

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Health MinisterHarsh Vardhan said that almost 80% COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Wikimedia Commons

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said almost 80 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in India are asymptomatic or at best with very mild symptoms, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

In an exclusive interview to IANS, the Health Minister said, “Even today, in almost 80 per cent of the cases of COVID-19, which are being reported in India, the patients tend to exhibit either nil or mild symptoms. These patients are mostly contacts of confirmed cases. Interestingly, had it not been for our contact tracing efforts, and if left to their own in isolation, these patients may not have even remembered or reported their infection.”

Harsh Vardhan, who has recently been elected the chief of WHO’s Executive Board, was answering a query on whether asymptomatic patients who are potential virus carriers and who can take the virus deeper into rural India are causing worry to the government.

He said, “I am aware about WHO’s mention of some laboratory-confirmed cases that are truly asymptomatic. It is equally true, that as on date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.”

However, he added that recently, more symptoms like headache, muscle pain, pink eye, loss of smell, or loss of taste, intense chills, rigors and sore throat have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States. “It will require more studies before these symptoms are finally included in our list in India,” he quipped.

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Recently, more symptoms like headache have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms. Pixabay

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He added that the new symptoms were very subjective and vague which might go unnoticed, might not be remembered by the patient and, thus, might even go unreported. “Moreover, if for a moment we talk of testing such asymptotic patients, identification of all these asymptomatic cases will require repeated testing of 1.3 billion population which is a resource expensive exercise for any country and is neither possible nor recommended,” the Health Minister said.

He emphasized on priority-based and targeted testing and said that it will be helpful in detecting more cases of COVID-19 and curbing the disease. “With our efforts at sustained and quality assured scaling up of the testing facilities, I am sure, we shall be better placed for maximum case detection,” he concluded. (IANS)

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Don’t Lecture India; Look at Your Own Record

Many countries worldwide have a horrifying record regarding human rights

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Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Pixabay

By Maria Wirth

Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Germany is well known for an unprecedented, systematic holocaust of Jews and gypsies right in the middle of Europe only 80 years ago. Yet Britain, France, Portugal and others were as brutal with equal or even higher number of humans killed in their colonies. Their victims count many millions and many of them were Indians.

The Arabs, Turks and Mongols, too, have a horrifying record regarding human rights. The number of victims killed also goes into many millions, and many of them were Indians.

The Muslims invaded India already over thousand years ago and were as brutal as ISIS in our times. Unspeakable torture and beheadings were done on massive scale. Even the supposedly benign “Akbar the Great” slaughtered Hindus in huge numbers. The collective sacred threads of the Brahmins massacred by him is said to have weighed 200 kilogram. Can one even imagine such incredible injustice and brutality to civilians and priests? Thousands of temples were destroyed. Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Hindus even had to open their mouth and receive gratefully the spittle by Muslims sitting on horses, and slaughtering cows was seen as “noblest deed” because it was so painful for Hindus, is recounted in “Legacy of Jihad” by Andrew Bostom.

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Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Pixabay

The brutality experienced by Hindus was so horrendous that, even in independent India, they hardly dare to complain when they are subjected to cruel discrimination. It is painful to read comments whenever Hindus are killed or raped by Muslims: “This won’t make news, as the victim is only a Hindu”. It is so sad, but understandable after what they have gone through for over thousand years. They had no way to get justice; had to bear their suffering silently.

Guru Nanak cried out to the Supreme, and it is part of the Grant Sahib, “Having lifted Islam to its head, You have engulfed Hindustan in dread… Such cruelties they have inflicted and yet Your mercy remains unmoved….Oh Lord, these dogs have destroyed the diamond-like Hindustan.”

The British colonial masters were not less brutal. Their disdain for the natives was incredible. Winston Churchill is on record saying that he “hated Indians” and considered them a “beastly people with a beastly religion”. Celebrities like Charles Dickens wanted the Indian race ‘exterminated’ and considered them vile savages and Max Mueller wanted them all converted to Christianity.

Britain looted and reduced the formerly wealthiest country of the world to painful poverty, where during their rule over 25 million people starved to death, 3 million as late as in 1943 in Bengal.

The crimes of the British colonialists are, like those of the Muslim invaders, too numerous to list. They tied Indians to the mouth of canons and blew them up, hanged scores of them on trees, and even just after over one million Indian soldiers had helped Britain to be victorious in the First World War with many thousands sacrificing their lives, General Dyer gave orders to shoot at a peaceful gathering in Amritsar in 1919 where thousands died. An old coffee planter in Kodagu told me that even in the early 1950s there was a board in front of the club house in Madikeri. It read: “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.

Can anyone imagine the pain those Indian generations went through, having arrogant, often uncouth ruffians looting their land and despising them as dogs?

How could Europeans and Arabs be so cruel to other human beings? The reason is that they saw themselves as superior and others not quite as human.

Religion played a big role in making them feel superior. Both Christianity and Islam teach their members that only their religion is true and that the Creator will reward them with eternal heaven, but will severely punish all those who do not follow their ‘true’ religion. If God himself will torture them eternally in hellfire, why should his followers be good to them? Wouldn’t it mean siding with God’s enemies and betraying Him?

But on what basis do they consider only their religion as true and themselves as superior? The reason is that the respective founder of their religion allegedly said so. No other reason exists and no proof. On this flimsy basis, Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly, believing they are destined for hell while they themselves are God’s favorites and will go to heaven. This brainwashing in the name of religion happens even in our times and its effect is still not questioned and analysed.

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Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly. Pixabay

Yet today, neither white Christians, nor Arab or Turkish Muslims are constantly reminded of those terrible crimes of their forefathers. “The present generation must not be held accountable for the sins of their fathers”, is however not applied to Hindus and especially not to Brahmins. Media keeps hitting out at them as if they had been the worst violators of human rights in the past. Hinduism is portrayed as the villain due to the “horrific and oppressive” caste system.

Anyone, who knows a little about history, knows that this is false and malicious. The structure of Hindu society into four varnas or categories is mentioned in the Vedas and depends on one’s aptitude and profession – Brahmins, who memorise and teach the Vedas, Kshatriyas, who administer and defend society, Vaishyas who supply the society with goods and Shudras, who are the service sector. The varnas are not fixed by birth in texts like Bhagavad Gita or Manusmriti. But the British themselves cemented ‘castes’ (a Portuguese word) in their census and then turned around and accused Hindus of their birth-based, fixed caste system.

There was however one more category which the whole world has been told about and which is used to the hilt to despise Hinduism. They were the untouchables who do unclean work, like handling dead animals, cleaning sewers, etc. The fact that other varnas avoided touching them is still made a huge issue of in the West. In fact it is portrayed, as if this practice made Hindus the greatest violators of human rights and makes the millions tortured and killed by Christians and Muslims pale in comparison.

Yet there is no proof that even one of those untouchables has been killed for doing unclean work. Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. It has nothing to do with Hinduism. Most people are aware that such work also needs to be done.

There is in all likelihood another angle regarding “untouchability”, which the British did not realize: Ayurveda knew already 3000 years ago that invisible germs can cause serious illness and those dealing with cadavers and dirt are more likely to carry and spread those. However, the British didn’t know about this fact till only some 150 years ago, when Louis Pasteur claimed that germs cause sickness. (By the way, Google describes this discovery as “crowning achievement of the French scientist”, and avoids mentioning India’s ancient Ayurveda).

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Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. Pixabay

Now in today’s time of “social distancing” due to the Corona Virus, we know that not touching others is a precaution to prevent potential infection and has nothing to do with discrimination. The British could have given Hindus the benefit of doubt that they avoided physical contact with certain people due to caution. But since the British didn’t have the advanced knowledge about harmful germs they could not see the possible reason behind it.

Since Independence, the caste system is officially abolished and discrimination against lower castes is a non-bailable offense. Yet the West still makes a huge issue of the caste system and untouchables. Why? Was this the greatest crime the British could find against the “natives” and therefore exaggerated it tremendously?

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This is not to say that people of higher castes didn’t or don’t look down on lower castes, but the demonization of Brahmins is most unwarranted, as Brahmins are least likely to harbour hatred for others due to their strict rules for sadhana which requires them to keep a very high standard of mental and physical purity.  Yet evangelicals, NGOs, international media, Muslim organisations, they all are after them and Hindus in general. They attack them for “atrocities” which never even happened, while the unspeakable atrocities, which were perpetrated upon them, are ignored. It’s a classic case of noticing the speck in the brother’s eye, but not the beam of wood in one’s own eye.

They got away with it for too long, because Hindus didn’t react. The meekness of Hindus was legendary. They were even called cowards. Yet in recent time, Hindus are becoming more assertive. They realize that the constant attacks on them are malicious, and that they are being fooled in the name of secularism because neither Christians nor Muslims can be secular. They are by nature communal because they need to make their community spread all over the world.

It is time to call out this blatant insincerity. When a head of state, like Imran Khan, accuses the Modi government in a tweet of “moving towards Hindu Rashtra with its Hindutva Supremacist, fascist ideology”, he better looks at his own country and his own ideology. A Hindu Rashtra with its inclusiveness and freedom are any time better than the exclusive, supremacist ideologies of Islam and Christianity, which force human beings into a strait-jacket of blind belief and several Muslim states threaten even today those who want to get out with death sentence.

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India Witnesses a 37% Rise in Cyberattacks in the First Quarter of 2020

The report shows that India ranks 27th globally in the number of web-threats

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India has seen a 37 per cent hike in cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020. Pixabay

India has seen a 37 per cent increase in cyberattacks in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year as a result of social media disadvantages, a new report revealed on Saturday.

The Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) report showed that its products detected and blocked 52,820,874 local cyber threats in India between January to March this year.

The data also shows that India now ranks 27th globally in the number of web-threats detected by the company in Q1 2020 as compared to when it ranked on the 32nd position globally in Q4 2019.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of attacks in 2020 Q1 that may continue to rise further in Q2 as well, especially in the current scenario where we notice an increase in cybercriminal activities, especially in the Asia Pacific region,” said Saurabh Sharma, Senior Security Researcher, GReAT Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

The number of local threats in Q1 2020 in India (52,820,874) shows how frequently users are attacked by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other “offline” methods.

Protection against such attacks not only requires an antivirus solution capable of treating infected objects but also a firewall, anti-rootkit functionality and control over removable devices.

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The high numbers of cyberattacks are likely to keep rising in Q2. Pixabay

According to the firm, the number of local threats detected in Q4 2019 was 40,700,057.

India also ranks 11th worldwide in the number of attacks caused by servers that were hosted in the country, which accounts of 2,299,682 incidents in Q1 2020 as compared to 854,782 incidents detected in Q4 2019, said the report.

Also Read: Reimagining Business Models for a Post-Pandemic World

“We see smartphone users being targeted more due to mass consumption and increased digitalisation,” Sharma said.

“Risks like data leakage, connection to unsecured wi-fi networks, phishing attacks, spyware, apps with weak encryption (also known as broken cryptography) are some of the common mobile threats that Android users face,” he added.

“In order to mitigate some of the major risks like data breaches, targeted ransomware attacks, large scale (distributed denial-of-service) DDoS attacks, etc, businesses will need to allocate their budgets correctly to build a stronger security infrastructure,” said Dipesh Kaura, General Manager for South Asia, Kaspersky. (IANS)