They were attacked and then arrested and finally put behind bars for firmly sticking to their faith and fearlessly demonstrating their faith in Christ’s teachings.
Pradeep and Chowdamma belong to the Karnataka Evangelical Ministry of Mysore, and they live in Mandya District of Karnataka. On Friday, 8th February 2013, both of them visited the house of Ms Jyothi and Ms Lakshmi at Bellahalli village in Pandavpura in Mandya District, on a request from them for a prayer in their house. While Evangelist Pradeep and Mrs Chowdamma were praying in their house, a group of about 20 Hindu fundamentalists belonging to RSS, barged into the house and started intimidating and physically attacking both Pradeep and his mother Chowdamma, accusing them of forced conversion of Hindus to Christianity. Both of them were injured in the attack and Evangelist Pradeep sustained injuries on his lips as well as a number of bruises on his face.
The Hindu radicals then forcibly took both the mother and the son by bus to the Pandavpura Police Station and handed them over to the police falsely alleging that the two were fraudulently and forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity by offering them money.
The police who took them to the Pandavpura Government Hospital for treatment, subsequently also filed an FIR against them based on the false complaint and charge-sheeted them under section 295A of IPC and produced them before the local Magistrate who sent them to the Mandya Sub Jail. Please pray for their early release.
Dr. Sam Abraham, President of the Youth Wing of The Synod of Pentecostal Church, Tamil Nadu, said that about six anti-Christian people stopped Pastor Emmanuel from the Indian Pentecostal Church as he was distributing Gospel tracts, hurled verbal abuse at him, snatched his bag which had a Bible, some Gospel tracts and money.
The extremists threatened the pastor not to distribute tracts and never to come back in the area. Pastor Emmanuel received bruises all over his body and he also complained of internal pain. He received treatment in a private hospital.
After the intervention of Christian leaders, the police registered an FIR against the attackers which however was withdrawn after local politicians and the Hindu extremists urged them for a compromise. The attackers promise not to disturb the Christians again. The pastor got his Bible back after he pleaded with the police.
Tamil Nadu, September 17, 2012: The anti-nuke protesters brought water from the sea and cleaned the church in Idinthakarai village in Tamil Nadu that was desecrated by the police.
The protesters suspended their agitation against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant for a day on Saturday.
They had launched a water protest by jumping into the sea, just 500 metres away from the nuclear facility, and forming a human chain to protest fueling of uranium in one of the reactors of the plant.
The protesters claimed that the police entered the St. Lourdes Church in the village and desecrated the church and the statue of Mother Mary.
After the cleaning was completed, special adoration was conducted in the church,
The protesters refused to accept the body of A. Sahayaraj, who died Friday after sustaining head injury during the ‘jal satyagraha’ (non-violent water protest).
Even as the police filed a case of suspicious death, the protesters alleged that the victim, scared by an Indian Coast Guard aircraft flying at low-level, fell on a granite boulder and died.
They demanded registration of a murder case against the pilot.
“We’ll not accept the body till a murder case is registered against the pilot,” they said.
New Delhi, May 21, 2012: The study looks at issues pertaining to privacy on Facebook among the students of Jamia. The findings are based on seven focus group discussions conducted at various departments of Jamia Millia Islamia. The study reveals that there is gross ignorance among most students on how personal user information is collected, used and shared by Facebook. Ignorance of it leaves them susceptible to cyber crimes like identity theft, data theft, cyber bullying, and hacking. In addition, it leaves them open to having their online activity monitored and analyzed by private companies in order to hit them with targeted advertisements.
Our main focus of the study was to understand how Facebook users in Jamia manage their personal information. Our objective is to understand how students understand the term ‘privacy’ and how they manage the risk of ‘Infringement of Privacy’ on Facebook; whether students know how their personal information is protected and used by Facebook.
For the study, the main sources of information were seven focus group discussions for qualitative data collection. And for quantitative data, participants were asked to fill out questionnaires.
The focus group discussions were conducted in Jamia Millia Islamia’s seven Centers/Departments; namely, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Urdu Mass Media, Faculty of Education, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, and Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations.
The total number of students interviewed for the study were 32, between the ages of 18 and 27 years. Each group comprised of no more than seven participants.
Besides collecting information pertaining to our objective, participants were also asked a few questions related to their Facebook usage habits and purpose.
We found, 66% of the respondents had internet access at home. Out of the 34% students who did not have internet access at home, 33% accessed it through their mobile phones and 67% through cyber cafés, and thus all participants were Facebook users.
Motivation to Join Facebook
In our research, one of the main questions we asked was: “What motivated you to join Facebook?” The question was open-ended, so we got several different replies. A majority of the respondents (83%) said they were influenced or pressured by their friends to join. It was the popular thing to do. Few students (9%) joined for educational purposes and 4% for professional purposes. A few (2%) joined Facebook to reconnect with old friends. Interestingly, an equal number of participants (2%) joined for media entertainment purposes.
Frequency of Usage
For most of the students, Facebook has become part of their daily/weekly routine. Our study finds that few students (6%) are addicted to Facebook; so much so that they are on Facebook throughout the day, from morning to late at night. Internet service on mobile phones has tremendously facilitated “Facebooking” (defined as the act of using Facebook), and now students can check and update their status even while they are in class.
More than half of the students (67%) are daily Facebook users, while 19% are weekly users, followed by 8% who are monthly users.
Change in Purpose
Our next question was, now that they have been using Facebook for some time, has their purpose to use Facebook changed in any way from the one they had before they joined Facebook?
A majority of the students (68%) said they still use Facebook to interact with friends; however, a significant number of them (23%) said they also use Facebook to make new friends. There were only a few respondents (7%) who said they use Facebook to be in touch with their family. Interestingly, few of them (2%) said they use Facebook to follow their favorite celebrities.
The virtual and physical world contains the same basic forms of self-representation; the only difference is, the virtual world is much more self-controlled and self-constructed. The way people represent themselves in the virtual and physical worlds has similarities and differences. In the physical world people are able to be identified by their clothes, physical features, mannerisms, and their use of language. Similarly, in the cyber-world, people are identified by the language they use, and how they choose to visually represent themselves.
Of all the ways to represent oneself on Facebook, we found that majority of the respondents (46%) represent themselves by uploading pictures, picture tagging (19%), status update (17%), followed by uploading videos (12%), and there were 6% respondents who said they do not represent themselves by either updating their status, posting pictures, or videos. Instead, they limit themselves to chatting with their friends and to checking their friends’ Facebook activity. And it is in this way they feel connected.
There are instances at universities (not in Jamia) where inappropriate use of Facebook has led to university authorities taking disciplinary action against offending students. So we (researchers) wanted to know from the respondents whether they believed any of their actions could lead to infringement of privacy of others, and should such offenders be taken to task by the university administration.
According to our study, 89% of the respondents think that they do not infringe on other people’s privacy by uploading and tagging other people’s pictures and videos, or posting their GPS location; while the rest (11%) think they do infringe on other people’s privacy in ways mentioned earlier.
Responsibility for Objectionable Content on Facebook
Due to lack of substantial internet related laws, Facebook is increasingly being held responsible for objectionable content posted on its website by its users.
When asked whether Facebook should be held responsible for objectionable content, our study finds that majority of the respondents (53%) think that Facebook should be held responsible for objectionable content, while 38% think Facebook should not be held responsible for user generated content. And 9% did not have an opinion.
Awareness of Facebook’s Advertisement Policy
We wanted to know if the students had read the advertisement policy on Facebook, and whether they were aware advertisers were made available of a user’s personal information once a user clicked on any of the ads. We found that 84% students had not read it and only 13% students had, which was followed by 3% who had read it partially.
Focus Group Discussion Analysis
The study reveals that privacy may be considered conducive to and necessary for intimacy, since intimacy resides in selectively revealing private information to certain individuals but not to others. Trust may increase or decrease within an online social network. At the same time, a new form of intimacy becomes widespread: the sharing of personal information with a large number of friends and strangers alike.
For example, many students considered sharing their information important in order to connect with the outside world for making new contacts. At the same time few believed that in order to be private they can either customize the visibility of their information or not reveal any personal information on Facebook.
Few students knew about tailor made advertisements that Facebook employs as an advertising strategy. Few think that it is a nuisance. Majority of the students were not aware of the consequences of “liking” an advertisement on Facebook.
On the question of surveillance, most respondents claimed to know that the government monitors content on Facebook. However, interestingly, two opposing views were expressed on the issue during discussions. One view expressed no objection to the idea of corporations having access to personal information and browsing habits, but objected to the idea of governments having the same information. The other view was that it was the duty of the government to monitor people’s internet use, but the government should not censor their content because that would mean a violation of their right to free expression.
Out of a sample size of 32, there were four victims of data theft and hacking. Two girls were victims of identity theft in which fake Facebook accounts were created in their name, using their pictures and personal information. Also, a male student discovered a fake account made with his picture on the account profile. He later found out that it was his friend who had created the fake account.
A student also narrated an incidence of misuse of password, which gave unauthorized access to his account.
In every instance, the perpetrator of identity theft was an acquaintance of the victim.
Third Party Applications and Games
We found out that majority of the students do not use third party games and applications on Facebook. And the reasons mentioned were either that they do not find games and applications interesting, or they feel that these games and applications slow down the speed of their computer, so they keep away from them. The ones who use third party games and applications on Facebook did not realize they allow Facebook to share their personal information when they click on the “Allow” button before they get to use them.
We found that there are some students who feel that Facebook is a private space, and withholding or sharing personal information is a personal choice. In terms of usage, many use it regularly and actively, while there are others who choose to be inactive in terms of updating content but use Facebook to stay in touch with friends by chatting and following their friend’s Facebook activity .
We also found that the notion of privacy is different for everyone. Everyone decides differently on what is private and what is not by customizing their privacy settings.
Furthermore, students do not log onto Facebook to merely express themselves but also to form communities that organize and run group projects.
We also found that there is ignorance regarding consequences of privacy infringement because 75% of the students were not aware of web cookies which can steal their information even when they are off-line. Moreover, 85% students had not read the privacy policies and were also not aware of the impact of using Facebook third party games and applications.
At the end of our discussion with every group, we asked whether they would consider deleting their Facebook accounts now that they were aware of the many privacy infringement issues associated with it. The students unanimously said – No. Deleting their account would bring an end to their virtual world. A world they have come to depend on to fulfill their social needs.
New Delhi, May 21, 2012: It seems conventions, conferences, symposium, seminar, debate and discussions have become a trademark of Muslim organizations. By passing long and high-voltage resolutions the leaders of these organizations think they have done their job well. This is happening since after the Independence. These resolutions have no impact on governments at all. The Milli leaders also know it well that no one will take their resolutions seriously and they are bound to fall on deaf ears.
Resolutions won’t solve problem
Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind organized its 31st General Session on 19th May 2012 at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. It is said around 50 thousand people attended the conference. Speaking on terrorism and illegal detention of Muslim youths, Jamiat’s national president Maulana Qari Syed Mohammad Usman Mansoorpuri condemned terrorism of all forms and demanded the government to stop harassing Muslim youths in the name of investigation. Jamiat leader also demanded:1) Transparency in investigation be maintained rising above religion and caste; 2) A fast-track court be set up immediately, which should look at all cases of falsely accused at one designated place in a time-bound manner at daily basis; and 3)All Muslim youths found innocent must be adequately compensated, Character certificate, government job should be provided and the money be collected from the salary of official responsible for destruction of their life. Besides, Jamiat also demanded Muslim reservation, amendment in Article 341 of the Constitution, communal violence bill, end to injustice to Kashmiri people, citizenship rights in Assam etc.
No doubt the resolutions passed by the 31st General Session of Jamiat are the voice and the concern of the community but what impact it will make is also a known fact. Forget about conferences, symposiums and seminars, the last two months witnessed many protest marches and rallies against the illegal detentions of Muslim youths. To utter surprise when these marches and rallies were being held, Maharashtra police was scripting encounter of Muslim youths in Aurangabad and Karnataka police was planning to arrests more Muslim youths from Bihar.
Interestingly, while addressing the Jamiat conference the chief minister of Delhi called upon the massive gathering of Muslims to come forward to push for their demands and to take their rights.
Will Muslim leaders come out of their comforts?
But the Muslim community doesn’t know when these Ulama will come forward and fight for their rights. It has been observed that generally these Ulema and their organizations come forward to impress political parties when the Parliament is in session just to make sure a Rajya Sabha seat for their leader or settle their score by organizing a conference against the conference organized by the rival group. These Ulama who proclaim Nanotwi, practically they have shunned the way of struggling hard like their themselves to be inheritors of Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan and Qasim forefathers and have made themselves confined in conference grounds and seminar rooms. They rarely come out to protest on roads against the injustice. Can’t they learn a lesson from Jaats and Gujjars? Leaders of these castes braved scorching sun and heavy rain and police actions, they laid themselves on the railway tracks and ultimately they got success. How many of our Milli leaders are ready to come out of their comforts, AC rooms and AC cars?
In the past when the whole Urdu media was crying over the series of bomb blasts and speaking loudly and clearly that these could not be the acts of Muslim community and some others are involved in these acts of terror, the same Jamiat was organizing a series of conferences to teach the Muslim youths the lessons of tolerance and declaring that Islam is nothing to do with terror. For them brainwashed Muslims were behind those acts of terror. But when saffron brigades were found involved behind those terrorist attacks the same Jamiat Ulama is now organizing conferences to demand the government to stop illegal arrest of Muslim youths.
No doubt these organizations were assets in the past and had played a significant role for the community but now these assets seem to have become liabilities.
No doubt Jamiat’s (Arshad Madni Group) role in fighting some cases in which Muslim youths are implicated and illegally detained is a laudable act and is an example for other Milli organizations to follow.
Why no joint strategy even on consensus issues?
Other major issue is the lack of unity among Muslim organizations even though they have same views on specific issues. For example, Muslim reservation, communal violence bill or terror arrest of innocents – these are the three major issues today and fortunately all Muslim organizations have same view on them, but unfortunately they are not chalking out joint and united strategy for these issues.
Last month Milli Council organized a convention on the topic of “Muslim Youth Protection” in Delhi. Recently Jamaat-e-Islami Hind declared to launch a campaign against the illegal arrests of Muslim youths. And now two days ago, Jamiat Ulema raised the same issue at its Ramlila Maidan conference. But the fact is that no government will heed to their demand and take these organizations seriously unless they get united on common issues and come out from seminar and symposium rooms and take their demands to the street.
Act before it gets too late
They will have to act before it gets too late. In fact conspirators are out to create a war-like situation in our country. They want to create frustration among Muslim youths. They want to provoke Muslims. They want to instigate Muslim youths. The time has come for the Muslim leaders to come forward and control the situation from getting worse.
Andhra Church proposes PA Sangma for President of India *NIA: 4 Maharashtra blasts & Malegaon linked
Andhra Pradesh, May 01, 2012: The Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC) is a state level apex body and an umbrella organization of the mainline Churches of various Christian Denominations represented by the Bishops / Heads of Churches in A.P. It is an ecumenical fellowship of the Churches and Dioceses of the Catholic, Church of South India (CSI), Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Mennonite, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal / Evangelical Churches and other Christian Denominations.
The APFC proposes candidature of Sri P.A. Sangma for the post of the President of India for the following valid and justifiable reasons. Our beloved country is a beautiful mosaic of multiple cultures, ethnic groups, languages, religions, geographical regions and states. Therefore, it is proper that the candidates who occupy the post of the President of India, who is the Head of the Nation representing the country to the world at large, must reflect our plurality and unity in diversity. This will not only reflect the real picture of the country to other nations, this is sure to foster our national integration. Sri P.A. Sangma is the best candidate now available for us to fulfill this task. Because, he belongs to the Tribal community, and no Tribal / Adivasi was given the post of the President of India so far. He hails from the North East of India, which is not given proper representation in the Government of India and so feels alienated. He is a Christian by religion; though the members of other Minority communities like the Muslims and Sikhs were given the post of the President not Christians. It is the turn of a Christian now.
Apart from these commendable reasons, Sri P.A. Sangma possesses all other qualifications required for the post. He is a scholar in law and practiced as advocate. He ably rendered service as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Union Minister several times. Above all, he gained national fame as the successful Speaker of the Lok Sabha who proved to be amicable and impartial to all the Political Parties.
Hence, the APFC appeals to all the Political Parties, Members of the Legislative Bodies and to others concerned to recommend the candidature of Sri P.A. Sangma for the post of the President of India keeping in mind the above mentioned compelling reasons. May our country be seen by others to be doing justice and fairness to all its citizens irrespective of their caste and creed, language and culture, and their religion and region!
Most Rev. Dr. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur,
President of A.P. Bishops’ Council (APBC) &
General Secretary of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC).
NIA: 4 Maharashtra blasts and those at Malegaon linked
New Delhi, Apr 30, 2012: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing saffron terror cases, has found evidence that blasts in Purna, Parbhani, Jalna and Nanded between 2003 and 2006 are all connected with the perpetrators of Malegaon blasts, although in a peculiar way. All these blasts, in Marathwada region of central Maharashtra, were carried out by proteges of Sunil Joshi, the mastermind of the Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blasts.
The agency has found that Himanshu Panse, Sanjay Chaudhari and several of their associates, all accused in the series of blasts through 2003-2006 in central Maharashtra, were actually trained by Joshi’s group that allegedly executed the Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid blasts.
In fact, it was Joshi’s group that had taught Panse how to assemble bombs and arranged for his training in Pune’s Singhgadh area and other places including the Bhonsala Military School, sources said.
A senior NIA official said, “There is evidence that Panse and some others from his group used to frequently go to Madhya Pradesh, particularly Dewas, and had some connection with Sunil Joshi. We have learnt that Joshi’s group was in fact training them since early 2000 as part of their larger plan to target Muslims across the country. Panse and others were Joshi’s foot-soldiers.”
Despite this close connection, however, NIA says the Marathwada blasts were not sanctioned by Joshi or Abhinav Bharat. “Joshi’s group had trained these men as a sleeper module, who would be used later when the group was fully prepared to execute big attacks. However, the overenthusiastic Panse group started making bombs and attack plans on its own, much to the detriment of Joshi’s plans,” said the official.
“After the first couple of blasts, they were even reprimanded by the Joshi group for executing what the group called ‘chillar blasts’,” another official said. Sources said Joshi’s group also feared that with their reckless blasts, Panse’s group was likely to expose the larger designs of Hindu terror. “And that’s exactly what happened in the 2006 Nanded blasts in which the bomb meant to be exploded in Aurangabad went off in the house of one of the accused, killing Panse. Thankfully for Joshi, his group’s name did not figure on the radar then.”
This development has now brought all Hindu terror cases, except the recent attacks and arrests in Mewat district of Haryana, under one umbrella of the Joshi group. While the Nanded blast has been investigated by the CBI, the other Marathwada blasts have been chargesheeted by Maharashtra ATS.
Pastor Sayam Chandran, who is supported by Gospel for Asia, bought the land in order to build a larger church to house his growing congregation.
His current church in the village, both of which cannot be named for security reasons, has room for up to 90 people during service time.
An additional 200 people in the village receive home visits from Pastor Chandran to make up for the fact that there is no room for them in the church.
Gospel for Asia said that anti-Christian residents in the village had stopped the construction of the church from going ahead.
Although he is facing strong opposition at present, Pastor Chandran has earned the respected title of a religious teacher in 10 neighbouring villages because of the many miracles that have reportedly happened through his prayers and dedicated ministry.
Gospel for Asia president, K P Yohannan, is inviting Christians to pray for Pastor Sayam, his flock and many other Christians facing similar obstacles in their ministry.
“We’re so grateful for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are praying for pastors like Sayam,” said Mr Yohannan.
“It is through these faithful prayers that God’s work is established.
- christian today
Gujarat municipality to ban meat sale
A municipality in an Ahmedabad town is mulling to ban sale of non-vegetarian food but said it would seek people’s view before implementation.
Palitana Municipal Committee passed a resolution in its general body meeting Friday to ban even eggs, within its territory.
However, the municipality said it would first ask its 100,000 residents among whom 40 percent are non-vegetarian.
The Bharatiya Janata Party rules the municipality and its president Pravinbhai Gadhvi told reporters that the decision to ban meat sale was taken following the demand of the Jain religious leaders.
He said that some Jain religious leaders led by Maharajsaheb Maitriprabhasagar in March had sat on a dharna demanding ban of meat.
He had threatened to self-immolate himself if his demand was not accepted.
Gadhvi, however, said that a recommendation for imposing ban would be made to the government only after consulting the residents.
BJP is in majority in the municipality, occupying 30 seats in a house of 36. Six Congress members led by Hidabhai Baloch, a Muslim, boycotted the resolution.
However, Baloch refused to make any comment when contacted.
Meanwhile, a government official, on condition of anonymity, said that Friday’s decision was taken by the municipality under political pressure as Jains were politically very influential in the state and contributed a lot to the BJP election coffers.
However, the official said that the decision for a ban was not as per constitutional provisions.
Besides the 25 percent Muslims, many Hindu communities like Kolis are also meat eaters and are opposing the decision.
Muslim residents of the town fear that if the ban is implemented, they would also not be allowed to slaughter animals during Baqr Id which is their religious duty.
They say that the decision is in favour of one community, overlooking the religious responsibilities of the other.
The Muslims have requested the administration not to buckle under the pressure of Jains who do not account for even five per cent of the town’s population.
Palitana is a well-known Jain pilgrim town, about 400 km from Ahmedabad.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condoled the death of former federal minister N.K.P salve, who died yesterday in Delhi.
Salve, 91, was buried today at a Christian cemetery in Jaripatka in Nagpur.
In his condolence message, Singh said Salve was a veteran politician who served the country in different capacities over many decades.
He made lasting contributions in the promotion of education in Maharashtra and worked hard to develop cricket in the country.
Singh said Salve was closely associated with the 1987 World Cup, which was held in the subcontinent for the first time.
A chartered accountant by profession, Salve served as Power minister in late prime minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet and also worked with prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao. He was also the head of the ninth Planning Commission.
A widower, Salve is survived by his son Harish, a leading lawyer and a former solicitor general, and daughter Arundhati.
Orissa, March 27, 2012: An Odisha (formerly Orissa) court has sentenced a school headmaster to life imprisonment for murdering a cook during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district of the state.
Additional Sessions Judge Sobhan Kumar Das of a fast-track court in Phulbani in the district on March 24 also sentenced Kartik Parmanika for 5 more years for burning the deceased’s house and arson.
He was also slapped a fine of 5,000 rupees (US$100).
This verdict comes against the backdrop of UN Special Rapporteur’s visit to India to prepare a report on extrajudicial or summary killings.
Paramanika, a headmaster of a primary government school, led a mob of fanatics on August 25, 2008 in Petapanga village in the district, the epicenter of the 2008 anti-Christian violence that killed more than 100 community members and left thousands homeless.
He killed Ramesh Digal, a Christian while he was fleeing with his family after his house was set on fire.
The deceased used to work in Paramanika’s school as a cook.
Digal’s brother had lodged a complaint against 45 people for their involvement in the murder but police charge sheeted only 36, said Manas Ranjan Singh, an advocate affiliated to Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) who is handling the case told ucanews.com.
He said there are still 34 people awaiting trial. Another accused Abhinav Pradhan has been convicted for house burning and arson in the case.
It may be noted that trial in the case is taking place in a phased manner as most of the accused are absconding.
“This is first time a person from outside Kandhamal district and an upper caste person has been convicted for murder in the anti-Christian violence,” Singh added.
He said that this verdict gives hope for those awaiting justice in other 30 cases.
Fr. Dibyasingh Parichha, head of the legal cell of Catholic Church in Kandhamal said, “We do appreciate the efforts of HRLN for securing life sentence for the accused. This is a heinous act as the murderer and victim worked in the same school.”
TN Budget: Nothing much for minorities, say Muslim groups
Tamil Nadu, March 28, 2012: It was the first full budget by the Jayalalitha government after she became chief minister in May 2011 after defeating DMK of Karunanidhi. She had returned to power with clear majority as Muslims too had voted her in huge numbers. However, there is no big announcement for the welfare of the community in the state budget 2012-13 presented on Monday, say Muslim organizations.
State Finance Minister Mr O. Panneerselvam presented the budget which talks high about Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s ambitious vision 2023. The budget promised to turn the state into India’s most prosperous and progressive state and therefore the government fixed a target of Rs 2 lakh crores for plan schemes during the Twelfth Five Year Plan period. Annual plan for 2012-2013 has been increased to Rs.28,000 crores as against the Annual Plan size of Rs.23,535 crores in 2011-2012. The year 2012-2013 is the first year of the Twelfth Plan.
While the Scheduled Castes will get a sub-plan of Rs 6108 Cr and Tribal communities a sub-plan of Rs 349 Cr the minorities which include Muslims will get just Rs 57 Cr in the year 2012-13.
For the welfare of minorities, the Jayalalitha government will continue the scholarship schemes for which the funds will be increased to Rs 55 crores from the Rs 39 crores in the year 2011-12. Besides, a sum of Rs.1 crore has been provided as assistance to the Ulema Welfare Board in the Budget for 2012-2013. Similarly, as was done this year, a sum of Rs.1 crore will be provided during 2012-2013 for assisting Christians to undertake pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Budget has nothing concrete for Muslims, say Muslim groups
Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah, MLA, and president of Manidha neya Makkal Katchi (MMK) which had contested the 2011 assembly poll in alliance with AIADMK of Jayalalitha, said he is not satisfied with the announcements for minorities.
“I am not satisfied. There is no big announcement for Muslims. There is just marginal increase in fund for minority scholarship,” says Jawahirullah who is also president of Tamil Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK).
He criticized the government for not taking any step to hike minority quota which she had promised during the election campaign last year.
“We have been demanding increase in minority quota from current 3.5% to 5%. She had also promised hike during the election campaign, but she has not taken any step in this regard, said Jawahirullah while talking to TCN over phone.
He points out two other issues on which Jayalalitha has maintained silence. Minority schools set up after 1991 have not got govt grants, the government is silent on it. DMK had brought change in education policy affecting Urdu and Arabic. After much pressure the DMK government made some changes and brought Urdu and Arabic for exam for kept out of grade system. We have been demanding that students of these languages should be given chance. These papers should be included not only in exam but also marks should be added in the grade. But the new government has not touched the issue.
Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has not welcomed the budget. The party in a statement said the budget has disappointed all weaker sections including Muslims.
“The budget did not include any concrete plans for the advancement of Muslims,” said SDPI adding that the budget has over all disappointed all be it farmers, businesspeople or Muslims.
What is for backward communities in TN Budget?
The minorities will get a total of Rs 57 crores, out of which Rs 55 crores will be for scholarship schemes. Last year the annual grant for Haj Committee was increased to Rs 20 lakh. The increase will continue this year.
Scholarships – Rs 55 Cr
Haj Committee – Rs 20 lakh
Ulema Welfare Board – Rs 1 Cr
Christians’ pilgrimage to Jerusalem – Rs 1 Cr
Adi Dravidar (Scheduled Castes) and Tribal communities
For the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu, the Scheduled Castes will get around 22% of the annual plan funds. “Our Government gives special priority to the welfare of the Adi-Dravidar and Tribal communities. This Government’s commitment to their welfare is evident from the fact that the allocation under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan for 2012-2013 will be increased to an all time high amount of Rs.6,108.60 crores, constituting 21.82% of the Annual Plan outlay,” said the finance minister in his budget speech on 26th March 2012.
Scheduled Caste sub-plan – Rs 6108 Cr
Food for hostel students – Rs 76 Cr
Pre- & Post-matric scholarships – Rs 331 Cr
Facilities in hostels – Rs 83 Cr
TAHDCO – Rs 13 Cr
Economic Development – Rs 82 Cr
Tribal sub-plan – Rs 349 Cr
Tribal welfare – Rs 50 Cr
Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes & Denotified Communities
These communities will get Rs 325 crores, the major chunk of which will be spent on pre- and post-matric scholarship schemes. Besides, Rs 115 crores have been allocated for construction of hostels for the students of these communities.
Food for hostel students – Rs 61 Cr
Construction of Hostels – 115 Cr
Pre- & Post-matric scholarship – 149 Cr
An organization of youth from Nagaland has formed a people’s forum to oppose the construction of a dam in Myanmar that they say will have adverse impact on their northeastern Indian state.
Some 50 representatives of various Naga organisations in the Indian capital yesterday attended a seminar at the Nagaland House in the Indian capital where the campaign against Tamanthi Dam was launched.
The dam is located at Homlin, a Naga-dominated area in Myanmar.
The Naga Youth Organization-Burma which organized the seminar noted that the 80-meter high dam with a reservoir of 1400 sq km would replace 45,000 people.
One of the speakers, Ke Jung, estimated that the dam would displace more than 100,000 people as it would submerge 53 Naga villages, 14 Kuki villages and 15 villages occupied by both groups.
He alleged that some 2,400 people have already been relocated at gun point without giving them any compensation.
An Environment Impact Assessment carried out by an NGO in 2006 had warned that the dam would flood habitats of several globally endangered species.
The Indian government has projected US$3 billion for the dam as India would avail 80 percent of about 1200 MW power it generates while the rest will go to Monywa Copper Mine, Sagaing Division in Myanmar, Jung stated.
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed between Myanmar and India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation in 2004. Another MoU was signed four years later between Myanmar’s Ministry of Power and the Indian corporation.
The construction was supposed to commence in 2007, but was kept in abeyance until last year.