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Green peace is an anti-national organization.

Don't believe them when they say they are mostly funded by Indians. Green peace was instrumental in Australia declaring Virat Indian Adani's $7 billion Carmichael coal project in Australia unviable for environmental reasons. Now, you will agree that Australians donate to Greenpeace Australia and not Indians. Thus proved that foreign funded Greenpeace is hindering India's development.

Vandana Shiva is completely anti-national.

She wants to save Indian seeds and resist genetically modified seeds taking over the market. Considering that GM seeds are made by foreign companies,this directly harms India's foreign relations with countrys like Monsanto, Mahyco and Times of India.

People protesting in Kudankulam are anti-national

In fact, thousands of them have cases of sedition against them. They are agents of the church and rose in protest against the Virat Russian project in their backyard, but they forgot that Russians are more Indian than unpronouncable names from Tamil Nadu.

Narmada Bachao Andolan is the worst anti-national.

It is trying to prevent electricity from reaching your home just because a few lakh people became homeless. You didn't become homeless, I didn't become homeless. Do you want to live without electricity just so some people can have homes? They need to see how Virat India can be. We are so totally going to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar just to make sure they understand. There is plenty of water, but more electricity is always needed in an electricity surplus state like Gujarat. Also no one can claim the government is unjust. Madhya Pradesh is a BJP ruled state and their people are getting submerged, so Congressis have no reason to complain.

The true Virat Indian has a heart like a lion

...that doesn't cry just because a few lakh people have a problem. Development is important business. And business is best done by the corporations, and interfering with this business of corporations is interfering with the development of the corporations which means it is anti-national. All Indians are hereby requested to turn highly patriotic and make sure that the corporations suffering from threats of decreased profits do not suffer and bring shame to India. We must sacrifice all we can so that the rich may inherit the earth, because the meek will be gone by then anyway and there is no point wasting.

Foreign funded NGOs that engage in anti-nuclear, anti-coal and anti-GMO protests are anti-national (notice the "anti" they all share in common?)

Fact is, with India's population, we could easily lose half our prople and no one would notice. And you must not notice, because it isn't our purpose to cause you unnecessary trauma. Excessive care with health is detrimental to reducing India's population density, and is directly responsible for inflation, crowds on trains, rising prices of real estate and power cuts. Get rid of half the people and see how comfortable you would be. Now that everyone whines if there are riots, at least leave the coal, nuclear and GMOs alone, to reduce the burden on our country.Frankly, it is worrisome that you have read this far, because you aren't supposed to examine what you are told.

Hope you have now understood everything.

Even if you haven't, don't worry about it.

All you have to do to be a Virat Indian is to listen carefully to who is disagreeing with the government about helping the corporate sector of our country grow and listen to what the problem with them is, and make sure others understand.

How can officials exploit rag picker children to pick dead bodies from railway tracks? When I first read the news of a 12 year old rag picker boy forced to pick up a severed limb of a dead body on the railway tracks at Indore, I thought the newspaper had reprinted an old story of abuse. Near identical stories. But the devil is in the detail, this one is a repeat incident. Which makes me wonder if Indore Railway station has made a habit out of exploiting street kids for dirty work that the bloated government employees don't like. Like picking dead bodies.

Reproducing both stories here. You tell me, should Indore station be investigated for child torture?

This is the news in NDTV from today:

Indore: 12-year-old boy forced to pick up mutilated body from railway track

Indore:  A-12-year old boy was allegedly made to pick up a mutilated body part of a suicide victim from the railway track in Indore by the railway police officials.  A top level police investigation has been ordered into the case.

The men in uniform reached the tracks a little later after a labourer named Dhanraj reportedly threw himself in front of the train and committed suicide. One of the railway police officials reached the spot and waited for other team members. The  body lay on the track while other trains continued to pass over it.

Finally, the officials shifted the body from the track. However, a mutilated limb was left behind on the track. The officials then allegedly made a minor rag-picker do the job.

"The police asked me to pick up the mutilated body part. I refused but they pressured me," the boy said.

After this shocking incident was raised by the media, senior railway police officials sprung into action and a DSP level probe was ordered in the case.

Deputy Superintendent of Police GRP Mankamna Prasad told NDTV,"We have recorded statement of our officials but we are not able to trace the boy. Our team is looking for him. As soon as we record his statement I will submit the investigation report. If  officials are guilty we will make sure they face departmental exchange."

The State Commission for Protection of Child rights is closely monitoring the developments in this case, and will be seeking a report from the railway police on the issue and also the action they propose to take. The commission is worried about the minor who they fear may be psychologically affected by the incident.

Chairman of State Commission for Protection of Child rights told, NDTV,"This incident may instil a sense of fear in the mind of the boy which can affect him life long. So the child will need counselling. We will also order the SP to trace that boy and do the needful for him."

This is not the first time that such incident has been reported in Indore. Two years ago, a minor was asked to pick up body parts from the track. In that case, railways police officials were found guilty and also had to face punishment.

And this is the human rights abuse report from 2011:

Police force a child to gather severed human parts in Indore

ragpicker child forced to pick up dead body parts
A ragpicker child forced to pick up parts of dead body from the track at Indore railway station

Despicable it might be, yet it is a relatively irrelevant incident in India. The latest is the case of Firoz, a 12-year-old boy who is now reportedly suffering from serious psychological trauma after being forced by a Head Constable of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to gather the severed remains of a human body run over by a train in Indore, Madhya Pradesh state. The incident happened on 26 September 2011 in full public view. According to the psychiatrist, Dr Ramghulam Razdan, Head of Department, Department of Psychiatry, at the MGM Medical College, who examined Firoz, the boy could be suffering from a "permanent phobic reaction" or that he has developed a "psychotic behaviour" as the direct result of his horrific experience. Firoz is reported to be a rag-picker boy, living in Indore, who initially refused to do the illegal job, but was forced to by the police constable, who also paid him Rs 100. DNA, an independent media group reported the incident on 1 October 2011.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is aware that this is not an isolated incident or an exception in any form in India, Madhya Pradesh in particular. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Madhya Pradesh is on top in the list of states concerning crimes committed against children in the country.

The AHRC is also aware that the RPF and the state police regularly resort to similar illegal methods when they have to deal with dead bodies of persons run over by a train or in cases where the state police have to deal with persons found dead in unnatural circumstances. For instance, the state police in Tamilnadu often pay Rs 100 and offer a bottle of illegal liquor to children who are ordered to 'pack-up' unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies, often found in different stages of putrefaction.

Mr Louise, living in Pavitram village of Thiruvannamali district, who is now aged 20 years used to do this 'job' for the RPF. Louise was first forced to do the 'job' when he was 12-years-old. He continues to do so and today he is the person 'who handles the dead' in the village and has now made it his profession. The AHRC and its partner organisation in West Bengal state, MASUM have been reporting about how inhumanly dead bodies are handled in state-run mortuaries in that state. MASUM has documented dozens of cases in West Bengal, where it is a Dom - name of a particular Dalit community in India, who undertakes the 'autopsy examination' using crude tools, whereas the medical doctor would observe it from a distance. MASUM and the AHRC has also reported cases of dead bodies left unattended, putrefied and body parts eaten away by dogs and rats in government morgues in West Bengal. Despite the reportage, the state government has done nothing so far to improve the situation. Illegal it might be for the authorities to engage a boy or a private person to deal with a dead body in what is in essence a crime scene or a scientific examination. But in India, this is how things are.

Lack of discipline and dereliction to duty that is often condoned by the superiors in the law enforcement agencies; relative absence of accountability; lack of skills and equipments; and the overall belief of impurity associated with dealing with dead bodies often based on caste beliefs along with the practical convenience for the police of having not to physically deal with the dead are the reasons why such practices exist in India today. In essence, Firoz is one more victim of the systemic culture of neglect, lack of accountability and the resultant culture of impunity omnipresent within the law enforcement agencies in the country. In that the Head Constable who forced Firoz to do this despicable job and paid him for it had been acting quite naturally and normally as far as India is concerned.

Shocking the incident might be, yet it must not be a surprise to anyone in India. Take for instance the Indian Railway itself. Despite the country having developed nuclear weapons and scheduled to declare itself as 'developed' by 2020, the Indian Railways is the single largest network of open toilet on wheels in the world.

Human faeces, sprayed on rails and rail sleepers (cross-tie), is a common sight in every railway station and on every inch of the rail network in the country, which is the largest in the world. In that, the Indian Railway still is to realise that there is something called a 'closed closet' technology invented and used widely in the world today, that toilets inside transport vehicles do not cause a hygiene hazard to the public. The concern for the Indian Railways for the ordinary people including its own employees is most visible once again at railway stations where manual scavengers, clean with a broom, human faeces from the rails. In that, the Indian Railway is the single largest employer of manual scavengers in the world - often recruited from the Dalit community and railway stations are the largest open toilets in the country. One of worst predicaments of the Dalits in India is indeed the practice of manual scavenging, repeatedly documented by rights groups, but equally denied by the Government of India.

It is reported that when several people who witnessed the brutal and inhuman predicament of Firoz, complained about it to the RPF, the RPF suspend the Head Constable from service pending inquiry and transferred five other officers. From experience, about the manner in which dereliction of duty is dealt within the law enforcement agencies in India, it has to be assumed that the only reaction by the authorities concerning this incident would be just this transfer and the temporary suspension of the Head Constable.

The reaction by Firoz when he learned that complaints have been made regarding the incident is to flee from home. Understandably this is the best a poor person in India could do, if the person becomes the cause for 'trouble' to a police officer - run, as far as possible, beyond the reach of the officer! It is reported that Firoz fled to a place called Omkareshwar, about 85 kilometres away from Indore fearing that the Head Constable would come for his blood.

Given the manner in which complaints are dealt with in India, it is possible that the Head Constable produces - and if there is an inquiry, it concludes - that Firoz did the job, on his own volition. The RPF might also produce Firoz's signed statement in support for such a defence and statements of similar rag-picker boys, or probably of a shopkeeper and a few other 'chance witnesses'.

Madhya Pradesh state has a Child Welfare Committee. It needs to be seen whether the Committee would take any sensible action upon this case. At the very least, will the Child Welfare Officer, having jurisdiction upon the police station where the incident happened, would take any action on this case?

There would not be an inquiry how and why the Head Constable picked a rag-picker boy to do his job. None would bother to ask how a rag-picker boy becomes so vulnerable to brute exploitation by the very same officer who is also paid to prevent it. It will be nobody's worry why there are so many children in Indore and other cities in India, who make a living picking rags and climbing over piles of trash when they should be at school? None would try to contact the Madhya Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights having its office in Bhopal and dare speak to its Chairperson and former Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court, about what could the Commission do in the present case, and further for the poor and destitute children of the state.

While this statement is being read, there would be several other ill-fated children like Firoz, who are either forced to do similar jobs for a living or for fear of torture; or trafficked along the length and breadth of the country or trying to curl down with empty stomachs since their parents are unable to find them a meal at least once a week. Yet, India repeatedly hear the hollow rhetoric that the country's children are its asset and the country's investment for the future.

The question is, would children like Firoz count in that account?

***
Those who wish to react to this statement kindly contact:

1. Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh
Telephone: + 91 755 2443500
Fax + 91 755 2443501
Email: dgp@mppolice.gov.in

2. District Collector, Indore
Telephone + 91 755 2449111
Fax + 91 755 2449114
Email: dmindore@nic.in

3. District Superintendent of Police, Indore
Telephone + 91 755 2525600 / 2711000

3. Chairperson
Madhya Pradesh State Human Rights Commission
Telephone + 91 755 2571935 / 2424311
Fax: 91 755 2551429

4. Chairperson
Madhya Pradesh State commission for the Protection of Child Rights
Telephone + 91 755 2559903
Fax: 0755-2559900
Email: mpcpcr@gmail.com

# # #

About Vikas Samvad: Vikas Samvad is a human rights/media group and AHRC's partner working in Madhya Pradesh. The office of Vikas Samvad is at Bhopal and their work could be accessed at www.mediaforrights.org

Picture courtesy: Daily News and Analysis www.dnaindia.com

Document Type :
Statement
Document ID :
AHRC-STM-135-2011
Countries :

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There is a category of journalists and publications which consistently publish seemingly scientific articles that are aimed at one or more of the following goals:

  1. Trivializing the problem of farmer suicides and denying the agrarian crisis.
  2. Exonerating the role of neo-liberal policies, insufficient support to agriculture and the role of unsuitable crops (including GM) in the agrarian crisis.
  3. Promoting GM crops, privatization, FDI and reduction of "sops" to farmers.
  4. Discrediting activists and journalists who criticize the role of corporations in increasing inequality.

You will find the same names and publications determinedly plodding along on an agenda that is highly focused (these won't be the guys talking about rural sanitation or soil health or large dams, for example - unless it illustrates some other political issue they are working on - not in terms of important in their own right and requiring solutions)

The latest instalment in this branch of journalism comes from "The myth of farmer suicides" by Ravi Shanker Kapoor in Business Standard. To put it simply, the article aims to trivialize farmer suicides as some invention of sentimental journalists. Much opinion building in the article pads a nonsense central argument. And the argument uses a false premise (what a surprise!)

According to P Sainath, in the six years between 2004 and 2009, as many as 102,628 tillers killed themselves. The total number of suicides in this period were 720,528, which makes farmer suicides 14.24 per cent. The Economic Survey says agriculture accounts for about 58 per cent employment in the country. Out of the 100 employed in India, 58 are farmers. So, if there are, say, 90 farmers among the 100 people who kill themselves, the situation is alarming. But this number doesn't reach even 15. Therefore, farmer suicides don't indicate agrarian crisis.

This entire construct would have you believe that all employment from agriculture is in the form of small and marginal farmers. Either it is a malicious attempt to dismiss what farmers go through, or the author is completely ignorant about agriculture, in which case, it is an important question to ask - why write at all about something you don't know?

Capping ignorance with inhumanity, he goes on to say that a situation is alarming only when it is severe to be the cause for 90%. With this logic, we shouln't bother to fight terror at all. All deaths from terror wouldn't make up 1% of all unnatural deaths in the country. Let alone 15 - a number he pulls from God knows where (my hunch is because it is the closest multiple of five 14.24 falls short of - falling short of something is important to illustrate, I guess. 10% would be more dramatic, but 14.24% didn't fit.).

The shoddily written article forgets to spell out the point it is making, but I'll do it for you. It is trying to say agriculture provides employment to 58%, but causes only 15% suicides, therefore things are actually going well and the bleeding hearts are trying to fleece you of your hard earned money (article is obviously aimed at the middle class working in "service sector") by aiming policies at these better off people. He kind of subtly makes you aware of it by quoting NCRB suicide data for 2011:

While 11.4 per cent people who committed suicide were from the service sector, the corresponding number for the farm sector was 10.3 per cent.

On an unrelated note, this is the sort of thinking that refers to the country's funds collected from taxes as "tax-payer's money" as if since they own it, they have a special right to it. Quite forgetting that the tax payer's money is sitting happily in their bank accounts, and this is the country's account that they are eyeing.

But I digress. Coming back to the numbers:

11.4% people doing committing suicide had profession as "service" - which in India means "had a job working for someone else" - as opposed to doing business or housewife or farming, etc. This includes your workers in mines and factories - as opposed to the "service sector" - which usually refers to the tertiary sector - as in they do not have tangible goods as products. This is an important distinction, because there are far more people in India with jobs than merely in the tertiary sector. How many are these people?

Let's take a look at the employment data from the economic survey. 2,89,99,000 is the number of people employed in the organized sector. The unorganized sector happens to actually be the bulk of jobs. According to the National Sample Survey Organization total employment in both organized and unorganized sector was 45.9 crore workers (2004-2005), of which unorganized workers formed 94%. Out of the 43.3 crore unorganized workers, 26.9 crore workers were employed in the agriculture sector, 2.6 crore in construction and the remaining in manufacturing activities, trade and transport, communication and services. A large number of unorganized workers were home based and were engaged in occupations like bidi-making, agarbatti-making, papad making, tailoring and embroidery work.

So this number of suicides, which is 11.4% of all suicides is 15,482 out of about 45.9 crore employed people in the country.

Now, let us look at the farmer suicide data. The farmer suicides are not typical of the "agricultural sector", but specifically marginal and small farmers who own their own land. Yes. Owning the land is important. Tenant farmer suicides are not suicides according to our government, nor are suiciding farmer relatives of farmers who committed suicides - if the land is not in their name. If the land is in the name of an 80 year old man who no longer is able to work in the fields, and his 52 year old farmer son commits suicide, according to our "statistics", it is a suicide, but not a farmer suicide. Get it? So, the number of farmer suicides is from among owners of small and marginal farms strictly. While I don't have the latest statistics for this, the data from the agricultural census 2005-06 states that the number of individual marginal farmers is:

GroupIndividualJointTotal
Marginal726284571091503283543489
Small20913853298248023896333
Total9354231013897512107439822

In other words, the 14,027 deaths that have happened, have happened from among approximately 10,74,39,822 - which is about a fourth of the number of employed people.

In still other words, 0.003% of all employed people commit suicide, while 0.013% of all small/marginal farmers commit suicide. This looks like it is at least four times "normal". Damn straight that is an agrarian crisis that is being stuffed under the pretty carpet.

And this is without getting into realities that the suicide numbers are not equal across India. Want to tally farmer suicides versus farmer land owning small and marginal farmers in only five states - Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that account for two thirds of all farmer suicides? Want to try it for the farmer suicide capital of India - Vidarbha? The percentages will be far worse.

Vidarbha: The Farmer Suicide capital of India

I was going to do it, except I can't find the land holdings records for Maharashtra. I have seen them somewhere. If I find those, expect this casual debunk to reach levels of devastation.

This is the broad logic. Specific numbers, detailed analysis, inclusions, exclusions, whatever - I'm no number juggler - may make minor differences, but they can hardly change the difference so completely that farmers suicides are the same as others. Let alone what the joker is trying to peddle - that farmer suicides are actually less than the average.

Similar one by "think tank" Takshashila goes a step further and *assumes* that 60% of the population is farmers. Yep. The assumption that 6 out of 10 people are farmers was needed to reach a point where you can say farmers aren't committing suicide any more than others. All nicely packaged as "Indians are killing themselves, while farmers are dying in Vidarbha" What does it imply? Farmers are not Indians? Non-farmers are killing themselves, but farmers are merely dying (as opposed to suicide - killing themselves)? Very cool subliminals. Wondering about the need to fight expert opinion on farmer suicides when agriculture is obviously way beyond the area of expertise or even casual knowledge.

Wiser people with numbers, please feel free to refine the calculations in comments, I'll add them as appropriate.