Tuesday January 21, 2020
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US senator to be honoured as Friend of India

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Washington: A leading Indian community organisation will honour a US senator as a Friend of India with five outstanding achievers of the Indian American community at its annual awards banquet in Stamford Saturday.

us-india
Image Source: sherman.house.gov

The Connecticut chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has selected senior Democratic senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, for the “Friend of India” award.

Blumenthal serves on several important Senate committees including armed services, commerce, judiciary, veterans’ affairs and science and transportation.

“With increasing US-India cooperation in Defence, Commerce and Science & Technology, Senator Blumenthal helps to improved bilateral relations between the two countries,” GOPIO said.

Five Indian Americans to be honoured for their achievements in profession and community service are: Prof. Akhil Reed Amar, Dr. Vinod Srihari, Nisha Arora, Dr. George Joseph and Moh Sharma.

Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, is being recognized for his achievement and contribution to Arts and Letters.

Author of several books, his work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 received the DeVane Medal – Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence.

Srihari, Yale faculty member and Associate Director of Yale’s Psychiatry Residency Training Programme, is being recognized for his achievement and contribution in Medicine.

His clinical work and research has been focused on the care of individuals with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.

Since 2006 he has served as the founding director of an Early Intervention service for adolescents and young adults with psychotic disorders at the Connecticut Mental Health Centre in New Haven.

Arora, Co-founder of Indian Community Centre (ICC) of Greenwich will be honoured for Community Service and Promotion of Indian Arts and Culture.

ICC promotes Indian arts and culture in the Lower Fairfield and Westchester areas. Its programmes include visual and performing arts, culinary experiences and a speaker series highlighting Indian-American leaders.

Joseph, Deputy Director of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Centre for International and Area Studies at Yale University, is being honoured for his contribution to International Relations and Connecting India to the USA.

He also supports Yale’s engagement, strategy, and visibility in South Asia. Since 2007, Joseph has devoted significant time and energy to advancing the Yale India Initiative and the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme that over seven editions engaged more than eighty Indian parliamentarians.

GOPIO-Connecticut President’s Young Achiever Award went to Moh Sharma who serves as a Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus.

Earlier, Moh had worked for several government agencies and public institutions as well as served in several non-profit and advocacy groups. (IANS)

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Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

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In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

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I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali