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Get Wired 4/9: No Rama for Muslim, OBC Resistance Grows, Women in Navy, and More

Hindu chauvinists force Muslim columnist to end Ramayana column

MM Bashir a columnist for the Kerala daily Mathrubhumi was forced to stop writing a column on the Ramayana after receiving a repeated set of threatening phone calls. The reason for these calls was because he was a Muslim writing on Hindu mythology. Reportedly the newspaper’s editors also received a flood of threatening phone calls. Facing these threats, Bashir called off the column after the fifth in an intended six part series was published. “The callers would ask me what right I had to criticise Lord Rama,” said Basheer.

Derailment of Chennai Egmore-Mangalore train leaves several injured

At least 38 passengers of a Mangalore-bound express train were injured today after five of its coaches derailed near Cuddalore, about 200 kilometres from Chennai. The mishap occurred around 2 am after five coaches of Chennai Egmore-Mangalore Express derailed at Puvanur in Vriddhachalam.

Patel protests in Gujarat may force OBC resistance

The Patel demand for reservation in Gujarat has sparked off resistance from the OBC Ekta Manch –  a confederation of 146 OBC groups that aims to protect reservation. Broadening their ambit, Aplesh Thakore the face of their group has said that the group would now be termed the OBC SC ST Manch, which would put up a united struggle to protect reservation. This announcement came after the Manch met with tribal community leaders in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Trade Unions demand 15,000 per month as national minimum wage baseline

The labour strike organised by 10 labour unions on Wednesday emphasised that the key demand was the increase of the national minimum wage. The government had given unions a document stating that by current prices and calorific needs, Rs. 6330 per month is adequate for an unskilled worker with a wife and two children. Fifteen crore workers that were striking on Wednesday demanded Rs 15,000 as the monthly minimum wage. The government’s response to that demand was to raise its offer to Rs 7089 per month. The government made this proposal on a series of faulty and archaic calculations that were based on a formula from 1957. Mutton prices have been marked as Rs 80, while the reality is that mutton is priced between Rs 300 and 400 a kilogram. Dal too has been marked at Rs 65, however; only one among various types of dals actually falls in that category. The real discrepancy lies in the non-food items. Just Rs. 390 is supposed to be spent on rent every month. Fuel for cooking and utilities like electricity are all supposed to be covered under a meagre Rs. 780.

Student from Kargil to contest JNU elections

For the first time a student from Kargil will contest the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union election for a central panel position. K Fayaz Ahmad is contesting for the post of president representing the Democratic Students Federation. There are a total of 22 candidates contesting for the four central panel posts. The final list of candidates was issued on Wednesday. The 29 year old Ahmad is PhD student at School of International Studies (SIS). He completed a BA pass degree from Jammu University and mastered in political science at Jamia Millia Islamia. Ahmad says that he was in school during the war where he witnessed the death of a schoolmate and a teacher. He also said that he chose the DSF because it doesn’t have a parent party.

Permanent commission for women in Navy, says Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court announced today that women would now be given permanent commission in the Indian Navy. This is a landmark judgement as it implies that women will now be able to stay with the Indian Navy till retirement. The Army and the Air Force already grant women this right; the Navy, however, had not till the ruling came.

3 people get life sentence for the rape of Japanese tourist in Rajasthan

Three people were sentenced to 20-year jail term for raping a Japanese tourist on the Jaipur-Ajmer National Highway in February. The 20-year old victim had come to Jaipur and was visiting Jal Mahal when she was lured under the pretext of taking her for sightseeing. She was left at a lonely place after the offence. A passer-by took her to Dudu Police Station where a case was registered. Choudhry had taken the tourist to a few places on his motorcycle, following which he sexually assaulted the woman at a deserted place near Mojamabad village in Dudu district. A total of nine people were accused, only three have been given a definite sentence so far.

LC Goyal sacked for not being a yes-man

On June  11, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his noting in a file initiating disciplinary proceedings against an officer said, “Argumentative statements and counter statements between the Addl Secretary (CS) and the Home Secretary must be avoided. With competence for decision making well-defined, I would surely expect all to abide by the norms…” LC Goyal the home secretary at the time had a different stance on the issue, which he put down in writing. Three months later Goyal resigned from the position citing personal. A report in the Indian Express however, points out that there were several disagreements between the two and that those may have played a part in Goyal’s removal.