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Bangladesh over the years show that the state has failed in its duty to protect minorities

By- Salil Gewali

If humanity is hurt, God is hurt.

Religion without compassion might give way to hatred. Compassion with a "self-interest" motive is completely irreligious. But of late, some of the religions have departed from those basic human values. Love and compassion are for only those who follow their "specific" faith. Very sadly, the religions are up as trading commodities in the world of proselytization. Better preachers attract more followers. Of course, no issue if they are not vying for their religious "supremacy". But the ground reality is utterly different. The claim for exclusive supremacy has become the first commandment --- a real bone of contention among the existing religions. In the name of religion, we have polluted our minds. we have corrupted our souls. We have also gone so much astray that God must have now shut his gateway to heaven!

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Author Chandan Pandey

Way back in 2014-15, when an engineer was lynched by a mob in Pune, it got author Chandan Pandey thinking. While one hears of road rage and murders almost every day, Pandey says the fact that when a crowd is created -- with sometimes through calls given over the loudspeakers of different religious places -- facts and fiction mixed, and killings executed coldly, it demands more than a newspaper headline.

His novel 'Legal Fiction' (originally Vaidhanik Galp), translated by Bharatbhooshan Tiwari and published by HarperCollins India, which recently hit the stands reflects on several realities faced by contemporary India including the controversial CAA, 'Love Jihad', hate-mongering, and mob lynchings. In fact, the author took back the original manuscript written long back from the Hindi publisher to add different elements. "Yes. I had submitted a long novel in 2015. However, to ascertain that the message was not lost, I amended the story and made three novels. This one is the first in the series."

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Pandey also wanted to go into the history of mob-lynchings and find out if they had been happening across the world in the past. "American history is rife with this. In every generation of American history, such incidents have occurred. For example, when the non-white Americans were granted franchises. I wanted to explore that in the Indian mentality."

Adding that the powers-to-be tend to claim that the mob and its actions are spontaneous, the author stresses that in most cases, the reverse is true. "It is mostly premeditated. After the violence has subsided and the names of people present there to come out in public domain, one wonders what were they doing there in the first place?"

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Areas which produce a lot of misogynistic tweets are more likely to have higher incidences of domestic and family violence against women, finds a study.

Tracking such tweets using Big Data can help determine where violence against women is likely to occur, according to the study published in the journal Psychological Science.

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This exercise was touted by some Pak media as Pakistan’s “opportunity to project a positive image as a key player in regional peace and stability”. Further, the six-day long exercise was said to “affirm Pakistan’s resolve of cooperation against terrorism” — a rather rich statement coming from a country that is in itself a major contributor to terrorism, violence, illegal activities, and instability in the region.

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