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PART 2: Women Wing Feels Cheated by Aam Aadmi Party on Ticket Distribution

The original woman volunteers of AAP feel betrayed by the party leaders and find ticket selling and favoritism rampant in the party

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Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal, Wikimedia

– by Naina Mishra

March 5, 2017: This is part 2 of our exclusive story on how Women Wing of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has been supporting the cause of “Clean Politics” now feels betrayed and cheated by the opportunist and corrupt practices by the party leadership.

The fight is not for the ticket but for the gratitude of these women who not only strengthened Aam Aadmi Party but gave in their spirit for the nation.

In the earlier story (part 1), NewsGram had revealed how the tickets are being sold. Read the story.

As the Delhi Municipal election is round the corner, it seems that degeneration of value based volunteer party is at full pace. AAP Mahila wing has already started to feel exploited and used over.

Following the apprehensions on unjust distribution of tickets for upcoming MCD elections on reserved seats for women, a few women volunteers from AAP Mahila Wing gathered in front of Delhi CM’s residence  on March 4 to have a word with him regarding the ticket nominations. It was a peaceful gathering by these women who wanted to speak to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and put forward their grievances.

The sole purpose of the gathering was to question the basis of selection of the respective candidates and what is it about them that sets them apart. However, the CM was busy in a meeting and could not turn up to their woes. Later, when these women approached Mr. Kapil Mishra, an MLA, and minister of Aam Aadmi Party, he reprimanded one of the women volunteer by saying “hath hata yaha se, peeche hat” (remove your hand from here, back off), as told by Sapna Banswal.

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“We elected these people, we have voted for them and this is how they are treating us now. We are going to show the real power of a commoner. If we can come on roads to support Aam Aadmi Party, we can fight for our rights on the same path as well”, said Sapna Banswal, Vidhan Sabha Secretary, women wing,  of Karol Bagh Vidhan sabha.

“I was attached with all my heart and soul with this party. I do not know what will be the consequence but is certain that the women power in the country is weak and brittle,” told Renu Thakur of Gondha Vidhan Sabha.

“I am from a backward background and have been a part of every protest and rallies. I am myself an Asha worker and have been into social service for a very long time. We want to firm the very existence of a woman, the existence which has been deteriorated here. We will not let the existence of a woman fade away whether we stay in the party or shall be excluded from the party” said Seema Bhardwaj of Karawal Nagar Vidhan sabha.

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Whatsoever be the repercussion of this trepidation, one thing absolutely clear in mind’s of commoners is that the there is no respect for women in our society. The fight is not for the ticket but for the gratitude of these women who not only strengthened Aam Aadmi Party but gave in their spirit for the nation. Now the question is – For how long will the women sacrifice for the sake of the hidden political agendas?

– reporting by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94

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University Corruption EXPOSED: Retrenchment Was Like a COVID-19 Attack

For 69 lecturers of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the door was shut against them since May 11, 2018 – two years ago.

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University of Trinidad and Tobago has declared that lecturers’ teaching load (as opposed to work-load, which would have included research and service) was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment. (Representational Image). Flickr

By Dr Kumar Mahabir

University
Dr. Mahabir is a former Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow and the recipient of a Government National Award for Education.

Schools, colleges and universities worldwide have been closed since March 11, 2020 when COVID-19 was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic.

But for 69 lecturers of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the door was shut against them since May 11, 2018 – two years ago. Like the outbreak of COVID-19, there was no warning. These lecturers were ambushed with retrenchment letters in the middle of the semester while teaching students in class.

The dismissal letters gave them seven days to take their personal property and vacant the premises. They were caught off-guard with mortgages, loans, rent and bills to pay as well as families to feed. They were suddenly without a job and medical insurance.

The stay-at-home retrenchment order was triggered to these “surplus” lecturers who had become “redundant” in the university’s “restructuring exercise.” Was their forced quarantine justified? Let’s look at the facts and revelations, using my situation as a case study.

University
Lecturers at University of Trinidad and Tobago were ambushed with retrenchment letters in the middle of the semester while teaching students in class. (Representational Image). Pixabay

My teaching load was higher

In all its internal and external releases, University of Trinidad and Tobago has declared that lecturers’ teaching load (as opposed to work-load, which would have included research and service) was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment.

UTT’s disclosure to my Freedom of Information (FOIA) application after I was dismissed states that I was carrying a teaching load of 70.8%, excluding Practicum. However, there were other Assistant Professors who had considerably lower teaching load percentages, but were not selected for retrenchment. 

Some of them had scores as low as 15%, 28%, 35%, 38%, etc. In fact, of the 20 Assistant Professors who were retained, only two (2) or 10% had higher teaching load percentages than mine. 

Although my teaching load percentage (70.8%) was higher than most of my former colleagues, who were retained, I should have earned yet a higher teaching score had it not been for an error and contradiction on the part of UTT. 

University of Trinidad and Tobago’s disclosure to me after I was fired reveals that the PRACTICUM courses I taught were not counted as part of my teaching load. However, the same PRACTICUM Term 2 courses (PRAC 1002 and PRAC 2002) were counted for my colleagues, Additionally, a PRACTICUM Term 3 course (PRAC 2001) was counted for others but not for me.

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These errors and contradictions by UTT are important to note because the university has declared that lecturers’ teaching load was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment.

These errors and contradictions in computing the teaching load scores for me constitute bias, inequality, unfairness and injustice in selecting me for retrenchment. These mistakes and paradoxes resulted in my dismissal which caused me grave humiliation, pain, suffering, stress, trauma and rejection as well as loss of income, status, dignity, pride and institutional affiliation.

Was this Programme really being phased out?

In many of its releases and correspondences, University of Trinidad and Tobago has stated that I and other lecturers were retrenched because the Secondary School Specialisation courses which they taught were being phased out as part of the university’s restructuring exercise. 

At the dismissal meeting at the Centre for Education Programmes (CEP) at UTT, administrator Dr Judy Rocke also told the assembled lecturers that all Secondary School Specialisation courses were being phased out, resulting in us being “redundant” in the university’s “restructuring exercise.” The following facts reveal that this statement is not true.

University
Lecturers at University of Trinidad and Tobago were suddenly without a job and medical insurance. (Representational Image). Pixabay

These same courses were timetabled for a NEW cohort of students during the new semester which began in September 3, 2018. These Secondary School Specialisation courses are taught from Year 2. One of these courses which was not phased out for the new Year 2 student-intake was ANTH 2001- Caribbean Cultural Anthropology, which I taught. After my retrenchment, I was replaced by a lecturer who was not qualified to teach ANTH 2001. 

Substitute lecturers not qualified

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) made the following written disclosures to me, dated August 23, 2019.  Its Executive Director, Dr Eduardo Ali, stated that my substitute lecturer was “not qualified to teach” ANTH 2001.  Additionally, Dr Ali stated that another substitute lecturer teaching the course TVOC 2003: Job Task Analysis in Semester 1 during the Academic Year 2018-2019 at CEP was also “not qualified to teach the said course”.

Also Read- E-Learning Takes Over in the Times of Coronavirus Pandemic

I began my tenure at UTT as an Assistant Professor in January 2007 – longer than most of my former colleagues, who held Ph.D. degrees in CEP. My latest Performance Management and Appraisal Process (PMAP) appraisal score dated October 3, 2017 was 95 out of 100. This score was given, approved and endorsed by my immediate supervisor, Dr Judy Rocke, who paradoxically selected me for dismissal. 

My skills and qualifications are more diverse than those of most of my former teaching colleagues. My M.Phil. degree is in the Humanities (Literatures in English) and my Ph.D. is in the Social Sciences (Anthropology). 

Dr. Mahabir is a former Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow and the recipient of a Government National Award for Education.

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Why You Should Watch Political Documentary Series Transparency: Pardarshita?

Transparency is not an experiment, rather it is a tale of the experience and anguish of a common man, who is in search of accountability

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Transparency
Transparency doesn't only take you to this corporeal world of Indian Politics, but it tells you to raise your voice against the corrupt practices along with believing in what exists as the "Truth". Twitter

– By Kashish Rai

In reality, documentaries are not merely the projection of a story, it is more a story of a life, it’s a story of survival, it’s a story of a time in which people live, it’s a story of success and failure.

In India, the entertainment industry has lagged in providing realistic content which defines the actual aesthetic of a documentary, exclusively in political thrillers. It is a big deal in itself to inculcate real-life accounts and actual scenarios pertaining to an event that has brought a revolution, and undoubtedly, you can see that in Transparency: Pardarshita.

Transparency Webseries is a waypost in the world of political Thrillers in India which exclusively highlights the off-stage candours associated with the famous India Against Corruption Movement (popularly known as the Anna Andolan) and the evolution of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) whose genesis pertains to the famous movement.

You can Watch The Documentary Series Here: https://transparencywebseries.com/

Transparency is not an experiment, rather it is a tale of the experience and anguish of a common man, who is in search of accountability. This 6-episode documentary unravels how the AAP demolished its fundamental principles based on financial transparency, decentralisation of power and internal vigilance upon which it laid its foundation just for the sake of getting in power.

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After coming to power, AAP not only dismantled its core principles but abandoned its idealism and slaughtered the trust of thousands of people who dreamt of a corruption-free India. AAP also collected public funds to contest elections but gradually when it uprooted~ it removed its donors’ list from the website. Thus, Pardarshita at the same time yearns for clean political funding and the failure of the new system.

It may be easy for you to connect your life with an ordinary film but here it is much easier for you to connect with Transparency as you may better understand the sentiments of a “common man” who inevitably dreams to eradicate corruption from the system.

Transparency
Transparency is not an experiment, rather it is a tale of the experience and anguish of a common man, who is in search of accountability. Twitter

Transparency doesn’t only take you to this corporeal world of Indian Politics, but it tells you to raise your voice against the corrupt practices along with believing in what exists as the “Truth”.

Documentary films are the only place where people can speak for themselves, and Transparency is one such pedestal.

It urges people to look at themselves, to look at what has been done wrong and through that really count for the future to come.. and precisely, this is what is the vision of the director, Dr. Munish Raizada, who has himself been part of this mass movement and the Aam Aadmi Party.

ALSO READ: Taking Advantage of the Booming Solar Industry

For this very reason, you should watch Transparency, not to become subjective but to be objective of what is the subsisting need of the hour.

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Transparency Documentary Series Review: Unique and Talks About the Working of AAP

The impact of the film might have been much greater if writer-director Munish Raizada had shortened its length and focused on a single issue

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Transparency
One must congratulate Munish Raizada for making Transparency: Pardarshita. Twitter

By Suyog Zore

First of all, one must congratulate Munish Raizada for making Transparency: Pardarshita. Making a documentary film, let alone a six-part documentary series, on politics in India is not an easy task.

Raizada has made a documentary series on one of the biggest uprisings India has seen after the freedom movement and the Emergency, the Jan Lokpal andolan, also known as the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. He tries to find answers to how the uprising was planned, how it gave rise to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and how the party that came to power in the national capital territory of Delhi with the promise of transparency slowly went off track.

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Transparency is a six-part documentary series written, directed and produced by Munish Raizada, who was himself a member of AAP at one time. In the documentary, he traces AAP’s journey from its inception to now. In this process, he meets old colleagues of party founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as well as others who joined and then left the party.

The first episode, titled Dream Game, deals with how the Anna Hazare movement was organized by people like Kumar Vishwas, Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and some other activists. The episode is very informative and tells us how no movement takes place on the spur of the moment. It takes a lot of time, dedicated people and a lot of effort to create a successful movement like Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Andolan.

Transparency
Transparency is a six-part documentary series written, directed and produced by Munish Raizada, who was himself a member of AAP at one time. Twitter

The third episode focuses on how the IAC came to be formed and what it did. Both these episodes focus on how Arvind Kejriwal used the popularity of the movement as a launch pad for his own political career. Raizada interviews Kejriwal’s former friends and activists like Shazia Ilmi, Kapil Mishra and Kiran Bedi who testify that Kejriwal harboured political ambition from the start. It should be noted, however, that all of these former friends are now part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the foremost rival of AAP in Delhi.

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Raizada uses real footage from the Jan Lokpal movement and from AAP’s formation and victory in the Delhi assembly election of 2015. He juxtaposes visuals of the euphoria among Delhi’s citizens when AAP came to power for the first time with the current situation and tries to find out where things went wrong.

The most important episode of this documentary is number 4, which is titled The Mask. The episode is split into two parts, 4A and 4B. In this two-part episode, Raizada meets many long-standing associates of Kejriwal and tries to dissect his personality. The documentary claims that Kejriwal, who has a proven track record as an activist in the public domain, has a different personality for insiders of the Anna agitation and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Raizada also tries to find answers to many questions like why did AAP stop showing its list of donors on its website and why the party never implemented an internal Lokpal. However, Raizada expects the viewer to be familiar with the Indian political scenario and how things were in those days and that’s why the episode may not interest those who have not kept themselves up-to-date with politics in India. But then, someone who isn’t familiar with Indian politics may not invest six hours of his life in this documentary either.

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The length of the series is the biggest problem with this documentary. Almost six hours long, it is stuffed with too much information to process. By the time you reach the final episode, you are likely to have forgotten some important information from earlier episodes. Maybe if Raizada had focused his effort more sharply on the issue of transparency in AAP and dug out more information, it might have made greater impact.

Also Read- Social Distancing and Lockdown are The Strongest Vaccine: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Another problem is Raizada’s fixation with dramatization. As he mentioned in an interview with Cinestaan.com, he had initially planned a feature film on the subject but later dropped the idea. Perhaps he could not completely let go of the thought, however, because he uses elements from the typical commercial template, like a melodramatic background score, to hammer his message home. All it does is dilute the authenticity of the documentary.

Despite these flaws, Transparency: Pardarshita is a brave and praiseworthy effort. 

You can watch Transparency series here: https://transparencywebseries.com/

Copyright: Cinestaan.com