Saturday December 14, 2019
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Youth Congress gherao Parliament, several detained


New Delhi: Thousands of Youth Congress party cadres assembled at Jantar Mantar today to protest against the BJP-led NDA government for failing to contain the issue of rising intolerance in the country.

They were also protesting against the denial and silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. The agitators alleged, while the country was engulfed by intolerance, the Prime Minister was busy in his foreign tours.

In its “Sansad Gherao” program, Youth Congress activists said that they would continue their fight against those who are supporting the murderer of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

The protesters targetted the government for the price hike of essential commodities as well,  especially onions and potatoes.

The Youth Congress blamed the BJP and the RSS for fuelling intolerance across the country.

The Opposition has been targeting the government on the issues of growing intolerance and it is obvious that the Congress-led opposition would try to suffocate the government using the imbroglio.

In this context, the Youth Congress recalled LK Advani’s recent comments to target the BJP saying, even the ‘Margdarshak’ was feeling the same.

The youth wing of Congress also claimed that the BJP was not only intolerant towards the minorities, but women in India were under attack. The recent Haryana case where a minister asked a lady SP to leave justifies the allegations of the congress.

Jyotiraditya Scindia said that atmosphere of intolerance was created by the BJP and it should be rid off. He quipped that BJP was interested in “gai pe charcha’ (discussions on the cow) rather than ‘chai pe charcha’ (discussion over tea).

Youth Congress claimed that BJP had dumped the youths who voted them to power.

Reportedly, a clash broke out between the police and the agitators during the Sansad Gherao program outside the Parliament. Police resorted to lathi charge and used water cannons to disperse the mob. Several youth congress workers were also detained.

However, the Opposition is firm on carrying out their protest programs.

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Curb Racism And Semitic Intolerance In The U.S: UN Human Rights Expert

She also urged governments to work with the private sector — specifically technology companies — to fight such prejudices in the digital space.

Pittsburgh, Hate, shooting
Monks pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday's shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn. VOA

Following the shooting deaths of 11 worshippers at a synagogue in the eastern United States, a U.N. human rights expert urged governments on Monday to do more to curb racist and anti-Semitic intolerance, especially online.

“That event should be a catalyst for urgent action against hate crimes, but also a reminder to fight harder against the current climate of intolerance that has made racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic attitudes and beliefs more acceptable,” U.N. Special Rapporteur Tendayi Achiume said of Saturday’s attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Achiume, whose mandate is the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, noted in her annual report that “Jews remain especially vulnerable to anti-Semitic attacks online.”

A mother and her child arrive to place flowers at a spontaneous memorial of flowers and sidewalk writing a block from the Tree of Life Synagogue. VOA

She said that Nazi and neo-Nazi groups exploit the internet to spread and incite hate because it is “largely unregulated, decentralized, cheap” and anonymous.

Achiume, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, said neo-Nazi groups are increasingly relying on the internet and social media platforms to recruit new members.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among their favorites.

Tree of Life Synagogue, racist
A person pauses in front of Stars of David with the names of those killed in a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Pittsburgh. VOA

On Facebook, for example, hate groups connect with sympathetic supporters and use the platform to recruit new members, organize events and raise money for their activities. YouTube, which has over 1.5 billion viewers each month, is another critical communications tool for propaganda videos and even neo-Nazi music videos. On Twitter, according to one 2012 study cited in the special rapporteur’s report, the presence of white nationalist movements on that platform has increased by more than 600 percent.

The special rapporteur noted that while digital technology has become an integral and positive part of most people’s lives, “these developments have also aided the spread of hateful movements.”

She said in the past year, platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have banned individual users who have contributed to hate movements or threatened violence, but ensuring the removal of racist content online remains difficult.

The Tree of Life Synagogue, racist
One man pays his respect in front of a Star of David memorial for one of the 11 victims killed in the Oct. 27, 2018, synagogue shooting. VOA

Some hate groups try to get around raising red flags by using racially coded messaging, which makes it harder for social media platforms to recognize their hate speech and shut down their presence.

Achiume cited as an example the use of a cartoon character “Pepe the Frog,” which was appropriated by members of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and was widely displayed during a white supremacist rally in the southern U.S. city of Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Also Read: U.N. Reports Global Cocaine, Opium Production At Heights


The special rapporteur welcomed actions in several states to counter intolerance online, but cautioned it must not be used as a pretext for censorship and other abuses. She also urged governments to work with the private sector — specifically technology companies — to fight such prejudices in the digital space. (VOA)