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BJP leader and husband of a BJP corporator Hridayesh Rajput and his brother Neeraj attacked journalist Ashish Vishwakarma with a sword and baseball bat in their home in Shastri Nagar, Jabalpur. The journalist managed to escape and contact his family before collapsing and they took him to a local hospital. He was later moved to the government hospital in Jabalpur.

According to the statement Ashish Vishwakarma made to the police, they had been angry two days before the incident over a news report he had made. However, the matter had calmed down. On Friday, 9th October, 2015, Ashish Vishwakarma was called to the home of Hridayesh Rajput on the pretext of wishing him on his birthday. He was assaulted by the duo immediately on arrival with a sword and baseball bat. He got severe injuries on his head from the sword.

Journalist Ashish Vishwakarma attacked by BJP leaders
Journalist Ashish Vishwakarma attacked by BJP leaders. Photo: News18

The local police station refused to file a complaint and the family were forced to approach the suprintendent of police and other officials. The officer who had refused to file the complaint has been suspended and it was said that the two BJP leaders would be arrested soon for attempted murder.

However, since then, there is no further news, and similar to the murder at the Toyota Service Center, this news itself has not been reported by most media other than News18 (Hindi) and Hindustan Times.

1

Ajith Kumar AS,

I read your letter on the Round Table India website that was addressed to "whomsoever it may concern" and being concerned, I choose to reply.

I can act all intellectual and Brahmanical over this or I can simply lay it straight. Your letter was a hatchet job on TM Krishna over his caste. You saw his caste in the manner in which he wrote and chose to attack him over it, with scant regard for his message that you were attacking in the process.

While contempt and a sense of being misappropriated or somehow lorded over by Brahmins that dalit fundamentalists promote for Brahmins is something that bothers me for the sake of dalits, this letter is not about that, it is as a citizen of India. I think I'll use that royal "we" as well, since it bugs you. Feel free to make an exception for yourself, but not dalits as a whole, because you have as much right to speak for dalits as TM Krishna has for Indians.

I don't think dalits will universally have a problem with a call to condemn violence being made to the Prime Minister, the way you seem to have. If they do, they are free to state it as well.

As a citizen of India, I do not think India's interests are served by discrediting a voice calling for sanity in the face of communal violence.

The only other thing I want to mention here is the absurdity of the allegation you make on TM Krishna in order to discredit him and thus devalue his message.

The privilege/power/social status of the Brahmin/caste Hindu self hides itself by claiming as "we citizens" who "have been abused, ridiculed and trivialized". This is how progressive upper castes confront the shame of the privilege they enjoy. Who among the "Indians" enjoy full citizenship? Who are denied citizenship? Why certain communities are always asked to prove their loyalty to the country or that they are "Indians"? These questions are never being addressed. By talking for the victims Krishna presents himself as a victim – the "citizen".

It may have escaped your notice, but people condemning the rising crimes by Hindutva fanatics are indeed across castes and religions. As are victims. Narendra Dabholkar, a victim of this fanaticism, was a Brahmin. As is Nikhil Wagle, who got threatened for questioning Hindutva zealotry. I am a Brahmin and have often spoken up for the rights of all sorts of citizens and faced the anger of the Hindutva brigade for it.

A reader recently pointed out that those opposing religious or caste discrimination among Brahmins face far more risk than dalit activists - who get more ignored, while we threaten to split the consensus fanatics count on and must be silenced.

Us suffering differently from you does not make us fake. Nor is a call to stop inhumanity a claim of personal victimhood.

As Brahmins, we have our own style of speaking, as do you. Attacking us because we don't speak like you does not make you inherently correct, it just is an ad hominem attack.

What you did, in effect was asserted your copyright to object to suffering for dalit by making it explicit that a Brahmin did not have the right to do it.

And you used a nasty personal attack as your weapon. The letter was not about TM Krishna's caste, his music or what you read into his inclusion. You could have objected to it upfront whenever he did it, instead of use it to discredit his words on another subject you wanted him to not have legitimacy on. Because, in your bigotted little narrow world, an unworthy Brahmin must be on the side of oppression whether he wants to be or not.

Your attempt to hold the copyright on victimhood was excellent, but I read your letter and unlike many others, I do not hesitate to confront fundamentalism regardless of the identity of the fundamentalist. To me, caste equality also means the same contempt for fundamentalists as upper caste or Islamic fundamentalists. I won't trivialize dalits by going "Never mind, what harm can a dalit do to a brahmin's reputation?" Because I listen to your voice, and respect it, I also have a problem when it is hostile or unfair. Because the harm you did wasn't to a Brahmin, but to the overall interest of India when you did a hatchet job on someone objecting to hate crimes. Incidentally, dalits also suffer from hate crimes from the same band of zealots you undermined condemnation of. Your action helped your real oppressors, as opposed to someone you attacked just for his caste.

TM Krishna was indeed abused, ridiculed and trivialized by the same caste and religion supremacists that killed and then defended the killing in Dadri. The idea that because you were harmed, others not you are faking and hiding among "real victims" has been done by Islamists and Hindutvawadis and KKK and a dozen agents profiteering from radicalizing communities they represent before you.

What you in effect did with your open letter was to neatly separate the dalits from a whole because a Brahmin spoke for it. Your validity to refuse inclusion of dalits from this group is no greater than TM Krishna's for including all Indians, dalits included. Being able to do a personal attack does not make you right.

Perhaps you see a part speaking for the whole as an appropriation because that is what you are trying to do with a blog called "Round Table India - for an informed Ambedkar age"? It isn't called Round Table Dalits. Is that your subtle psyops agenda which is why you interpret someone else doing it as sinister? Because TM Krishna clearly did not even explicitly try to represent dalits or any specific identity beyond citizens.

In effect, what you achieved was saying, TM Krishna, speak for yourself and your caste when you demand the condemnation, we and our castes demand no such thing. It wasn't TM Krishna looking down at dalits, it was YOU who went out of your way to invent a suppression based on his caste and refused to be included.

What would you call someone who explicitly excluded themselves from a condemnation of crimes against dalits? That is what I think of you when you exclude yourself from a condemnation of a crime against an Indian. A Muslim in this instance.

And no, I don't recognize your authority to exclude dalits when Indians as a whole are mentioned. Nor would Ambedkar, I think.

Vidyut

Blogger. Indian. Brahmin.

8

A hate crime appears to have been committed at the Toyota Service Center in Mumbai. Yakub was brought dead to the hospital on the 29th September 2015 in an abnormally bloated condition and protruding eyes on the day he had returned to work after Eid. Otherwise in good health, the condition of his body alarmed his family enough to decide on an autopsy. Until this point, all they had to go on was his colleagues telling them that he had suddenly fallen ill and bloated as they carried him to the hospital.

His death certificate from his autopsy at the KEM postmortem center, conducted by Dr. Sunil Vidhate and Dr. H. M. Pathak states as provisional cause of death:

"Respiratory failure due to pulmonary air embolism with pressurized air in large and small intestine, thoracic and abdominal cavities, and scrotal sac" (UNNATURAL)

death certificate of Mohammed Yakub Shaikh
death certificate of Mohammed Yakub Shaikh speaks clearly of embolism from bodily cavities being filled with pressurized air

In other words, pressurized air was inserted into his body through his anus with enough force to fill him up like a balloon and cause his death within seconds due to air entering his blood vessels. Something his colleagues had missed describing to his family. The narrative then changed to them having some "fun" with him. Apparently filling a person up with air from the industrial compressors used in a service center is the idea of fun in a Toyota Service center?

What follows is more appalling. The police have bought this "fun" theory without hesitation and everyone else also apparently seems fine with it. Here's a rough translation.

Santosh Arekar while teasing and harassing Mohammed Yakub Shaikh got angry and using a pressure pipe in the Toyota Service center, filled Mohammed Yakub Abdul Hassan Shaikh with air.

Bewildered and intimidated by the murder, Yakub's family was helpless in the face of people who all seemed to think that it was "fun" and were fine with it. They are having difficulty being heard and having their concerns addressed. Santosh Arekar has been arrested under Section 302 of the IPC alone, in what was clearly a targeted hate crime (mentions of anger against Muslims over Qurbani - slaughter at Eid).

As of now, AIMIM appears to be supporting them by insisting on action being taken.

The question is larger. Why are they in this situation? Why is another Muslim man murdered in a hate crime with the state conniving to make light of it?

What are we planning to do about ongoing hate crimes against Muslims for no fault of their own?

There is a need for the state to ensure speedy and factual justice. There is also a need for Toyota to clarify what appropriate use of the pressurized air in their Service Centers is, given how no one seems to see filling people with it as extraordinary even with a man dead.

The remaining documents of the case may be found here: mohammed-yakub-shaikh-murder

 

Yakub is murdered at Toyota Workshop in Mumbai, Police is not ...Yakub is murdered at Toyota Service Centre in Sewri, Mumbai allegedly by colleagues on 29th September 2015, when Yakub joined office after Eid. Family accuses Police of hushing up the matter as a "freak accident while having fun". Fun? Pressured Air is sent into a person and that is funny? Toyota Service Centre is not providing CCTV footage of the workshop. According to the family, Yakub was punished by this colleagues for doing Qurbani in Eid. Listen to what Yakub's family has to say. [Video courtesy: Akeel Shaikh, Mumbai]For FIR and Postmortem reports click here:https://www.facebook.com/milligazette/posts/1109366419081007

Posted by The Milli Gazette on Monday, October 12, 2015

Update: AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan has stepped up to support Yakub's family.

2

This thing has gone on long enough. Thanks to extremely targeted promotion of one tweet, many BJP supporters who accuse me of it get used to unintentionally participate in a sexualized trolling campaign by BJP's gutter wing. Several have apologized after coming to know the full story. So, this post is addressed to Modi fans - bhakts in common parlance who may or may not be intentionally engaging in something they would otherwise find obscene.

This post is not a defense of that tweet. I do not feel sorry for it and I stand by it and it has not been answered to date. It is merely the larger picture around the tweet that allows you to make an informed choice on how low you are willing to fall in order to attack people.

Since I have finally been able to download my tweet archive, here is the series of tweets relevant in that scenario. Some are from me, some are from others. Some supporting me, some attacking me, some by me attacking the trolls as well as BJP's signature sexualized trolling. To be noted here is that since this happened, I have also seen supporters of AAP doing this on occasion, but the overwhelming "market leader" continues to be BJP.

There is good reason to believe that this behavior is part of BJP's media strategy given the revelations in Operation Blue Virus stings, the fact that the Gujarat government under Modi explicitly created social media budgets (at Gujarat state expense) and that some of the most abusive profiles are followed by our Prime Minister's Twitter account - independently verifiable.

**************************************

It was election time and anonymous handles supporting BJP were out in full force. These handles execute organized trolling attacks on critics of BJP using a combination of statements taken out of context and interpreted to create offense, false accusations and sexual insults - particularly against women critical of BJP. These tweets are also used to incite regular followers of BJP against critics and create an overall sense of BJP being wrongfully under attack.

This is not a new thing. However, it seems to be escalating and I chose to not accept the defiling and deliberate hostile environment that is aimed at silencing criticism of BJP. Over the week leading to this, I as well as several other women had been the targets of extremely obscene attacks by the "bhakts" as they are called for their unreasoning worship of Modi and relentless attacks on his critics.

The nature of these organized attacks is to intimidate or shame women into silence. Some of the tweets spoke of me having 10 fathers. Earlier I had been asked about the "rate" I charge for my son - implying I prostitute him to pedophiles. I have been accused of being a "lesbian" (it is apparently an insult in bhakt lingo). The broom shoved between my legs has featured in many sneering insults (implying sexual favors to the Aam Aadmi Party). And more.

These are 100 tweets from that day, removing irrelevant replies or comments.

 

 

 

This is where shit hit fan.

BJP supporters started targeting me with insults. I replied to some, ignored others, etc.

It was one of these tweets that got a reply telling me that I "open my legs for Kejriwal". When I was told that I "open my legs" for Kejriwal (the week before that it was promoting me as the date for AAP politician Ashutosh for the kissing festival) and more, I asked back if it was normal for women in BJP to "open your legs" for Modi. Was that why BJP supporters kept assuming sexual favors to politicians in the actions of women who didn't support Modi?

 

 

A second tag floated by @AListRap started trending as people got angry with the content on #OpenYourLegs

And then I did what I often do to tags that bully people. How could I do any less than that for myself?

I participated the tag, disrupted it and turned its tone.

Many people were also furious. Angad Singh blogged about what had happend on The Young Indian blog.

https://twitter.com/nishantberia/statuses/528581173614608384

https://twitter.com/AAPkSaath/statuses/528589339039514624

https://twitter.com/pksundaram/statuses/528592392081784832

https://twitter.com/waterfiresand/statuses/528594279325655041

 

Even BJP supporters were apalled in their own ways.

 

 

And there were a few who got uncomfortable, but couldn't bring themselves to quite say that sexualized trolling is wrong, but still thought it should not be done because it gives "publicity" to me. Yeah. Strategy backfiring is a problem. Abusing women should be fine.

Rattled trolls made me a target of a solid 3 day campaign of sleaze. The quote "open your legs" which was quoted originally from an accusation leveled at me (by a female profile) became a meme. Tweets ranged from the mundane "hey bitch #openyourlegs" to elaborate poems, jokes and more.

https://twitter.com/sunil_kachroo/status/528501580228603904

 

The tag continues to get criticism

But it isn't only me. Every woman with a real profile who criticises BJP meets this treatment sooner or later and at the same time from a horde of handles. Yesterday it was Sonakshi Sinha (who happens to be the daughter of Shatrugan Sinha - a BJP leader currently not kowtowing to high command) and Sonam Kapoor. But it is pretty normal for those who dislike BJP to face such attacks.

This is what you end up participating in, when you believe you are oh so defending. Because you're the cannon fodder to be fed information selectively so you will participate in a hostile mob. Whether you want to be used or not is your headache.

The abusive tweets are always made from anonymous profiles, they always defend BJP and they are never asked to exercise caution by any real BJP profile. The strategy of deniable bullying reaping profits for the party continues and it will continue till the masses decide that this is not acceptable for us.

It is not acceptable for me. I will not be intimidated into silence.

In any case, you, your shift and your overtime cannot shut me up.

The Maharashtra government advisory to the police on Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code make a mockery of democracy itself. Here is a translation of the five preconditions it has issued.

  1. Verbal or written, words, gestures or images or other content that expresses hate or contempt or dislike, insult or discontent or enmity or treachery or disloyalty towards the state or central governments in a manner that provokes violence or discontent.
  2. Written, verbal, gesture/signs or other communication that suggest that these politicians or public servants are representatives of state
  3. Criticism that intends to create change through legal means and that doesn't demean or create dislike for the government should not be prosecuted under this section.
  4. Only obscenity or indecency should not be applied with this section.
  5. Before this section is applied, opinion of Zilla officials should be obtained. Within two weeks, the the public prosecutor should be consulted.

This advisory has naturally generated significant outrage. The document being in Marathi has prevented many legal commentators who don't understand the language from commenting, while BJP supporters are attempting to discredit the outrage as false by emphasizing the third point and pretending that that is all the advisory contains.

I am not a lawyer, but my reactions.

  1. The vagueness of the parameters identifying sedition rival the notorious IT Rules. Similar to them, pretty much anything that reflects badly on the government could be described by such sweeping descriptors. Irritate normal people, get takedown notices was the UPA2 gift, irritate the government and get booked for sedition seems to be the summary of this point - it covers dislike - you don't even need to read the rest! Disliking a government could get you arrested? How about a government serving people as promised and not being disliked? Something like asking for your promised 15 lakh could now go beyond not just getting your promised riches, but also landing in jail for asking for it, because hey, people would be discontented because of this, right?
  2. This basically amounts to the words/signs being against government representatives.
  3. This seems very magnanimous of them with all the nice promotion by organized trolls, but the fact is that it is rather sinister that legal process to address problems gets covered under a law for sedition to begin with, and then you actually don't have a categoric endorsement of your right to engage the system, you have it as long as you don't demean the government or create dislike for it. It is actually taking a right you had without restrictions, magnanimously handing it back to you with restrictions, and then promoting the hell out of it because they gave it back at all.
  4. This is actually the real "magnanimous point". How generous the government is being, upholding your right to not be prosecuted for sedition over obscenity or indecency. Waitaminit, HOW in the big fat world would either of them be sedition to begin with that their not being has any meaning at all? I doubt that even the sexually repressed Hindutva brigade can anticipate an epidemic of indecency large enough to be a threat to the nation. This is a talking point basically to show that the advisory had a larger aim than creating a set up for people to be arrested and prosecuted for a crime against their motherland for pissing the government off. This point, not having any real stake could even be happily conceded to critics in a compromise.
  5. Nothing much to comment here. Procedural sho-sha. Let us not even pretend either entity cannot be managed to target whoever the government wants to put six feet under.

In my view, a document that advises punishing people for disliking their government or being discontented has no place in a democracy.

There seems to be an organized effort to present this draconian advisory as a requirement emerging from the Aseem Trivedi case. This is a flat out falsehood. This advisory contradicts the High Court guidelines, and as pointed out by Saurav Datta on Twitter, invites contempt of court.