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After Sanjiv Bhatt’s Termination From Duty: A Modest Proposal For Mr. Modi

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By Abhishek Jha

The run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw Modi’s public image metamorphose from that of a tainted chief minister accused of deliberate inaction during riots to the man who could salvage India from all its problems, deliver and develop. It would be unthinkable now to be reminded that this man, who is an instant favourite with industrialists, had once been questioned and mistrusted by them due to the riots. Since then, however, he worked hard to bring the metamorphosis to fruition. The Tata Nano plant set up at Sanand, the hiring of the lobbying firm APCO Worldwide for strengthening brand Gujarat, the Vibrant Gujarat summits were all part of the project. It also helped that the SIT submitted that it did not find enough evidence to proceed against him, which was immediately dubbed ‘a clean chit’ and cleared the path to the final throne.

modi sanjiv bhatt
But the hot seat hasn’t been as comfortable and empowering as Modi would wish. One last thorn persists and those who feel that justice remains undelivered in the 2002 carnage have put all their weight behind that last thorn, namely Zakia Jafri. To bury the ghosts of 2002 and to emerge spotless, Modi needs to delegitimise that force. To that end, the work has been relentless. The probe initiated against Teesta Setalvad regarding exhumation of corpses of riot victims, who as a member of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) is assisting Zakia Jafri in her case, is a case in point. In 2012, the Supreme Court bench had said the following about it: “This is a hundred percent spurious case to victimise the petitioner (Setalvad)” and that “this type of case does no credit to the state of Gujarat in any way.

A year earlier, in 2011, Sanjiv Bhatt, an IPS officer who had submitted before the SIT that Modi had asked his administration to “let Hindus vent their anger“, was suspended for dereliction of duty and insubordination. He had failed to report at his post as the principal of the Police Training College, Junagadh, because he was “to appear in the various court cases and [before] the G.T.Nanavati-Akshay Mehta judicial commission“. In the same year he was arrested within 48 hours after he filed another affidavit claiming that Modi and Amit Shah had asked him to destroy documentary evidence regarding the murder of Haren Pandya. Interestingly, Pandya, a minister during Modi’s chief minster-ship, had testified undercover before the Krishna Iyer tribunal in 2002 that Modi had wanted Hindus to vent their anger after the Sabarmati Express was set on fire.

On July 14 this year, just a few weeks before the hearing on Zakia Jafri’s revision plea was to begin, CBI raided Setalvad’s office and residence citing FCRA violations even when demands for a thorough probe in Vyapam case were being raised with great frenzy. The CBI went so far as to demand custodial interrogation of Setalvad and her husband. Bombay HC, however, denied CBI the custody saying that it did not “find any threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the state or a threat to its security or economic interest” if the couple remained free and even granted them anticipatory bail. “A citizen may conduct social activities and may have a different point of view, which may not be liked by the government. However, in a democratic state, a citizen may have his or her point of view,” Justice Mridula Bhatkar said last week. Soon after the suspended IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, was sacked.

The Union Home Ministry termination order, following a recommendation from the Gujarat government, signed on 13th August had 11 charges against Bhatt similar to the ones that had led to his suspension. Bhatt tweeted after he learnt of his termination: “Finally removed from service today after serving 27 years in the Indian Police Service. Once again eligible for employment. 🙂 Any takers?” His son’s letter praising him for his courage has gone viral. Setalvad is cheered every time she comes clean before the courts. Both Setalvad and Bhatt do have the sympathy of a large group of people in the country. It is not unique to those who stand against Modi. Durga Shakti Nagpal, the IAS officer who took on the sand mafia in UP, got a lot of support when she was suspended. A lot of people look up to such officers as honest people fighting a corrupt and powerful system. Their everyday struggles against this system makes them identify with them.

Of course, whenever such action takes place, the state argues that it is in accordance with guidelines, statues, laws, procedure, etc. One would also like to believe that that is true. However, few people who have held the high office of the Prime Minister have invested as much energy in building their public image as Mr. Modi has. So, in the rare case that the charges being filed against these people are false, are spurious, wouldn’t it hurt his public image? Maybe in the enthusiasm of defending the country against anti-national people, of freeing the country of people who do not follow procedure and orders, a case or two might have been exaggerated. He should understand that this is a mistake. Every charge that emerges to be “hundred percent spurious” is likely to weigh against him if the courts give a green signal to a fresh investigation after hearing Jafri’s plea. In the public eye, it has already begun to tarnish him again and maybe the industrialists will start to groan again. A little humility can save him that.

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  1. Drrkd Goel

    tehelka.comhttp://www.tehelka.com/vajpayee-could-have-intervened-but-did-not/ ‘Vajpayee could have intervened, but did not’
    Neha Dixit
    Justice JS Verma, who headed the NHRC during the Gujarat 2002 carnage, tells Neha Dixit that the
    Nanavati Commission Report is far from the truth
    Photo: AFP The Nanavati report states that there is absolutely no evidence of any lapse on the part of the Modi government in the matter of not complying with the NHRC recommendations.
    During the Gujarat riots, I was the chairperson of the NHRC. In the 11 orders passed by the NHRC between March 1, 2002, and July 11, 2003, two orders on April 1 and May 31, 2002, unequivocally indicted the state government. In the April order, the NHRC clearly stated that the government is doing little to stop the violation of fundamental rights to life and dignity of the people in Gujarat. A year after Godhra, a letter was also sent to the then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to intervene and ensure that the government was proceeding with adequate integrity. What was Vajpayee’s response?
    He could have stepped in to monitor the situation and issue directives to the competent authorities, but he did not even comment. Nothing came over, except for a formal acknowledgement from the Prime Minister’s Office. The report says that the government did not slip at all in providing protection and rehabilitation to the victims… This is false again. Many of the largest rescue camps, including Shah-e-Alam in Ahmedabad, did not receive visits at a high political or administrative level till I visited them. This indicated a deeper malaise, discriminatory in origin and character. In its observation on the rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures, the NHRC also said that numerous complaints have been received regarding the lack of facilities in the camps. You also raised questions on discriminatory practices during the riots. What were they? In the NHRC REPORT for 2001-02, the commission noted two matters that raised serious questions of discriminatory treatment. The first was the announcement of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the karsevaks who perished in the attack on the Sabarmati Express, and of Rs 1 lakh for those who died in the riots. The second related to the application of POTA to the first incident, but not to the riots. These issues seriously impinge on the provisions of the Constitution that guarantee equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India, and the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. The day the Nanavati Commission was appointed to probe the Gujarat riots, you expressed your apprehensions. Why?
    I had expressed my concerns as the NHRC head. Now that I am out of it, I have nothing to say regarding this. The Supreme Court set up a SIT under a former CBI director. Shouldn’t Nanavati have waited for their report?
    This you should ask Nanavati, not me.
    (Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 5 Issue 40, Dated 11 October 2008)

  2. Drrkd Goel

    Read below also===
    Express News Service | Ahmedabad | February 18, 2014 6:47 am
    Photo of Justice Suresh not printed here.
    Express News Service | Ahmedabad | February 18, 2014 6:47 am

    Justice Suresh terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book.

    Summary

    The author terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book. Justice Hosbet Suresh, former Judge of Bombay High Court Monday said that CM Narendra Modi was the main conspirator of the 2002 Gujarat riots and was not a suitable candidate as Prime Minister of India.
    Justice Suresh, one of the members of Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal that probed
    into the 2002 Gujarat riots and prepared a report, was speaking at the launch of a book in the city. Justice Suresh added that it would be dangerous for the country to have Modi as PM. Turning down the clean chit given to Modi by a magisterial court, Justice Suresh also said that there were many evidences against Modi and the issue was still to be adjudicated by the High Court and Supreme Court. “Supreme Court has not given him a clean chit,” he said.
    Justice Suresh, who was in the city for the release of Sachchai Gujarat Ki, written by professor of an arts college in Ahmedabad, Hemantkumar Shah. The author
    terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book. Justice
    Suresh said that as a member of the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal, he — along with former Supreme Court judges V Krishna Iyer and P B Sawant — had toured
    Gujarat extensively for 15 days after 2002 riots. Justice Iyer, who chaired the
    tribunal, has given testimonials to Modi.
    “Modi was the main conspirator of Gujarat riots,” Justice Suresh said.
    “What happened in Best Bakery case? All the accused were acquitted by the trial
    court. But the same case got transferred to Maharashtra and the accused got
    convicted,” Justice Suresh said. “He is like Hitler. What happened after Hitler came to power? World War broke out. I do not rule out the possibility of (something) similar if he becomes the PM.”
    Referring to the conviction of Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre
    and Modi’s complicity in the riots, he said, “Whose person is Kodnani? Modi’s.”

    Comments: 17.02.2014
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel
    Wait only for 2014 results of Parliament elections. If the BJP get majority and
    Make Modi to PM of India, it will be disaster for India. No one rule out war with
    Pakistan.
    Read daily the Islamic Pakistan ISI trained terrorists are giving threats to kill
    Saffron Parivar members as they demolished the Babri Masjid in 1992 under the leadership of Mr. L.K.Advani.

    Now the Islamic terrorist gave threats to kill Modi if he will be BJP Prime Minister of India in 2014.
    What happened in Patna on 27.10.2013 in the rally of Mr. Narendra Modi? Six people died due to Bomb Blasts in Patna of which the responsibility are taken by the Islamic Mujahedin’s in Patna to take revenge of 1992 / 2002 riots against the Muslims in India.

    What happened in Muzaffarnagar in September 2013, riots against Muslims on a very pity matter? There were no major riots in Western UP before 1947 and after
    1947 partition of India.

    There was very good harmony between Hindus – Jats and Muslims in western
    UP except some small riots those were controlled in a day.

    Now the saffron parivar 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished under Mr. L.K.Advani and BJP came in power under Mr. A.B.Vajpayee who was having collaboration Center government with NDA partners.

    Now Muslim youths are recruited by Islamic Jihad’s to do riots in India, which again the saffron Parivar want under Mr. Raj Nath Singh a BJP president and Mr. Narendra Modi as convenor of 2014 Parliament elections.
    All powers are now with Modi to whom too give BJP tickets or to whom refused the BJP MP tickets in India. Mr. Narendra Modi has all the powers of BJP now
    with RSS backing to him.

    Wait only for few months. Now Hindu youths of India are with Modi to see him PM of India in 2014 to give a lesson to Pakistan and to remove Islamic terrorists from India, which is not possible as Mr. A.B.Vajpayee also failed to have normal relations with Pakistan from 1998 to 2004 with Kargil war in 1999 with Pakistan.

    See how many Bomb Blasts in India from 1992 to 2o14? Killing more than 4000 innocent people in India (Only in 2008) from 2004 to 2014 only by Bomb Blasts of Islamic Jihad’s.

    Hope Modi will make India terrorist free as Indian Hindu youths are with him.

    All saying there will be disaster, if Mr. Narendra Modi will be BJP Prime Minister of India in 2014.

    Pray to God to maintain peace in India after 2014 Parliament elections.

    Dr.R.K.D.Goel President Forum of Whistle-Blower of India.Ph: 0265-2647677

    Justice Suresh terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book.

    Summary

    The author terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book. Justice Hosbet Suresh, former Judge of Bombay High Court Monday said that CM Narendra Modi was the main conspirator of the 2002 Gujarat riots and was not a suitable candidate as Prime Minister of India.
    Justice Suresh, one of the members of Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal that probed
    into the 2002 Gujarat riots and prepared a report, was speaking at the launch of a book in the city. Justice Suresh added that it would be dangerous for the country to have Modi as PM. Turning down the clean chit given to Modi by a magisterial court, Justice Suresh also said that there were many evidences against Modi and the issue was still to be adjudicated by the High Court and Supreme Court. “Supreme Court has not given him a clean chit,” he said.
    Justice Suresh, who was in the city for the release of Sachchai Gujarat Ki, written by professor of an arts college in Ahmedabad, Hemantkumar Shah. The author
    terms the campaign of Gujarat’s development as “fiction” in the book. Justice
    Suresh said that as a member of the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal, he — along with former Supreme Court judges V Krishna Iyer and P B Sawant — had toured
    Gujarat extensively for 15 days after 2002 riots. Justice Iyer, who chaired the
    tribunal, has given testimonials to Modi.
    “Modi was the main conspirator of Gujarat riots,” Justice Suresh said.
    “What happened in Best Bakery case? All the accused were acquitted by the trial
    court. But the same case got transferred to Maharashtra and the accused got
    convicted,” Justice Suresh said. “He is like Hitler. What happened after Hitler came to power? World War broke out. I do not rule out the possibility of (something) similar if he becomes the PM.”
    Referring to the conviction of Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre
    and Modi’s complicity in the riots, he said, “Whose person is Kodnani? Modi’s.”

    Comments: 17.02.2014
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel
    Wait only for 2014 results of Parliament elections. If the BJP get majority and
    Make Modi to PM of India, it will be disaster for India. No one rule out war with
    Pakistan.
    Read daily the Islamic Pakistan ISI trained terrorists are giving threats to kill
    Saffron Parivar members as they demolished the Babri Masjid in 1992 under the leadership of Mr. L.K.Advani.

    Now the Islamic terrorist gave threats to kill Modi if he will be BJP Prime Minister of India in 2014.
    What happened in Patna on 27.10.2013 in the rally of Mr. Narendra Modi? Six people died due to Bomb Blasts in Patna of which the responsibility are taken by the Islamic Mujahedin’s in Patna to take revenge of 1992 / 2002 riots against the Muslims in India.

    What happened in Muzaffarnagar in September 2013, riots against Muslims on a very pity matter? There were no major riots in Western UP before 1947 and after
    1947 partition of India.

    There was very good harmony between Hindus – Jats and Muslims in western
    UP except some small riots those were controlled in a day.

    Now the saffron parivar 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished under Mr. L.K.Advani and BJP came in power under Mr. A.B.Vajpayee who was having collaboration Center government with NDA partners.

    Now Muslim youths are recruited by Islamic Jihad’s to do riots in India, which again the saffron Parivar want under Mr. Raj Nath Singh a BJP president and Mr. Narendra Modi as convenor of 2014 Parliament elections.
    All powers are now with Modi to whom too give BJP tickets or to whom refused the BJP MP tickets in India. Mr. Narendra Modi has all the powers of BJP now
    with RSS backing to him.

    Wait only for few months. Now Hindu youths of India are with Modi to see him PM of India in 2014 to give a lesson to Pakistan and to remove Islamic terrorists from India, which is not possible as Mr. A.B.Vajpayee also failed to have normal relations with Pakistan from 1998 to 2004 with Kargil war in 1999 with Pakistan.

    See how many Bomb Blasts in India from 1992 to 2o14? Killing more than 4000 innocent people in India (Only in 2008) from 2004 to 2014 only by Bomb Blasts of Islamic Jihad’s.

    Hope Modi will make India terrorist free as Indian Hindu youths are with him.

    All saying there will be disaster, if Mr. Narendra Modi will be BJP Prime Minister of India in 2014.

    Pray to God to maintain peace in India after 2014 Parliament elections.

    Dr.R.K.D.Goel
    President Forum of Whistle-Blower of India.Ph: 0265-2647677

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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