Why Dalits are turning against the BJP
Written by Anand Teltumbde | Published on: July 29, 2016
With Hindutva baring its anti-Dalit fangs, the BJP is bound to feel the heat in the next elections.
Image: Indian Express
ಉಡುಪಿ : ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕೋಮು ಸೌಹಾರ್ದ ವೇದಿಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸಹಭಾಗಿ ಸಂಘಟನೆಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ದಲಿತ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ ಸಮಿತಿ(ರಿ.) ಉಡುಪಿ ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಘಟಕದ ವತಿಯಿಂದ ಗುಜರಾತ್, ಜಯಪುರ ಮತ್ತಿತರ ಕಡೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿನ ದಲಿತ ದೌರ್ಜನ್ಯದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಉಡುಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆ ಜುಲೈ.24-2016 ನೇ ಭಾನುವಾರ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ ಉಡುಪಿಯ ಕ್ಲಾಕ್ ಟವರ್ ಎದುರು ನಡೆಯಿತು.ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಜುಲೈ.25-2016 ರ ‘ವಾರ್ತಾಭಾರತಿ’ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾದ ವರದಿ…….
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ಈ ಹಿನ್ನಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಳೆ -ಜುಲೈ,24-2016, ಭಾನುವಾರ- ಉಡುಪಿ ನಗರದ ಕ್ಲಾಕ್ ಟವರ್ ಎದುರಿನ ಗಾಂಧಿ ಪ್ರತಿಮೆಯ ಎದುರು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕೋಮು ಸೌಹಾರ್ದ ವೇದಿಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸಹಭಾಗಿ ಸಂಘಟನೆಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ದಲಿತ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ ಸಮಿತಿಯ ಜಂಟಿ ಸಹಯೋಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ : 11-00 ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನಾ ಸಭೆ ನಡೆಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ.
ತಾವು ಈ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಚಾರ ನೀಡುವುದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ , ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದ ವರದಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಮಾಡಬೇಕಾಗಿ ಈ ಮೂಲಕ ವಿನಂತಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ.
* ಜಿ.ರಾಜಶೇಖರ್ ( ಜಿಲ್ಲಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು,ಕ.ಕೋ.ಸೌ.ವೇದಿಕೆ)
*ಶ್ಯಾಮರಾಜಬಿರ್ತಿ(ಜಿಲ್ಲಾಪ್ರಧಾನ ಸಂಚಾಲಕರು,ಕ.ದ.ಸಂ.ಸಮಿತಿ(ರಿ.) ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಶಾಖೆ, ಉಡುಪಿ)
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Muhammad Arif. Credit: Mudassir Ahmed.
Almost 300 years ago, Jonathan Swift made ‘a modest proposal’ to the British nation. Erroneously remembered today as a writer of tales for children, Swift was in fact a fierce political satirist and fabulist, with a touch of misanthropy. Himself an Irishman, he proposed that allowing thousands of Irish children to die of malnutrition and starvation due to prolonged conditions of famine induced by the feudal system and British taxation, made for silly economics and a waste of resources.
In a faux econometric style, he presented his arguments in the tract, ‘A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from being a Burthen to their Parents or Country and for making them Beneficial to the Publik’. In this disarmingly earnest sounding tract, he laid out the larger public and economic benefits of feeding and fattening the children first and then converting them into “a most deliciously healthy and nourishing food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled”. This, he claimed, was “a fair, cheap and easy method” for converting the children of Ireland into “sound and useful members of the Commonwealth,” rather than just letting them die on the street.
The work, anonymously published in 1729, provoked outrage and anger. But it also pricked that nation’s ‘collective conscience’ enough to help usher in wide-ranging and progressive British laws about food taxes, reforms in labour laws, treatment of children and their exploitation in fields and factories as well as reforms in education.
One invokes this story now in the context of what the Indian state is up to in Kashmir. What – I mean, WHAT – does India think it is doing in Kashmir? It seems to have become fatal to be below 25 there. According to figures released by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society, 99% of those killed and injured (41/1500) in the Valley by the security forces, in the week since July 8, are below the age of 25. And huge numbers of them have been blinded or are with serious chest or abdominal injuries due to reckless splaying from pellet guns by our brave paramilitaries and policemen.
For all the claims to a ‘demographic dividend’ that India boasts of – that almost 70% of our population is below 25 years old – and how that constitutes a developmental advantage, what we are seeing is a gleeful elimination of this social capital. Swift’s ‘Modest Proposal’ is certainly a better idea than this. Now that cow slaughter is banned in most places, planned, well-executed (sic) youth-slaughter-for-food programs in Kashmir can help enhance the protein deficiency amongst the starving masses in India. At least the killing of the youth there won’t be in vain. And – such joy – it won’t even be ‘beef’.
The kind of hysterical political and media celebration in India over the killing of 22-year-old Burhan Wani on July 8, was not just vulgar; it should be construed as incitement to war against unarmed civilians. The ‘collective conscience’ here works the other way – it drools with blood-lust. Stool-pigeons masquerading as journalists on prime time TV have now acquired a manic edge to their cheerleading. All sense of proportion seems to have evaporated. They feel no sense of shame in doing ‘high-fives’ over the encounter killing of a brat posturing his bravado over social media, without ever being any real threat to the Indian establishment. Is the Indian state so clueless as to not realise that it does not need youngsters like Burhan Wani to recruit militants for a cause in Kashmir; the behaviour of the security forces is enough for that. And how this cricket and art loving boy turned into a ‘dangerous rebel’ as they are making him out to be, is of course, the same old tiresome narrative of having been brutalised at a younger age and, more recently,witnessing his own elder brother being hunted and shot dead by our ‘insecurity forces’.
There is a total mismatch between the Supreme Court’s ruling on July 8, withdrawing immunity for India’s armed forces in ‘disturbed areas’, and the army action in the Valley the very same night. The timing is ominous – as if the Army is cocking a snook at the judiciary through deliberate and wanton violence. The boy, though there was a prize on his head, once located and encircled, ought to have been arrested. If he was such a lynchpin as is being suggested, they could have harvested information from him. Instead, the forces (obviously in some panic) went trigger-happy and turned him into a martyr. And then they lost any semblance of ‘intelligence’ they may be credited with – they were caught totally unprepared for the furious gathering of over a 100,000 people who, despite strict curfew, turned out for the funeral. They were even less prepared for the spontaneous protests that broke out across the Valley – hordes of young people pouring out on to the streets in defiance of all curbs and facing off against armed soldiers with their slogans and stones.
This is when the Indian state sent for its pellet guns, categorised in charmingly euphemistic double-speak, as ‘non-lethal’. They describe it as if it’s merely a toy device that won’t hurt a soul. Consequently, without any intent to hurt, they splay into crowds like incense water is sprinkled over guests at a wedding. Now supposing, instead of incense it was acid? Nothing lethal. You only maim for life. You take away eyes. You perforate the lungs and liver and kidneys. You let the toxic lead pellets infect the blood stream. Oh no; not lethal at all. One hears of doctors in Kashmir going into utter depression at the sight of hundreds of youngsters with their face and torsos peppered with pellets – injuries that are likely to take a lifetime of treatment and convert the victims into permanent invalids. In utter disgust, artist Orjit Sen has used a visual from social media of a boy’s back that looks like a pin-cushion with embedded pellets and has given each pellet wound a geographic location – Baramulla, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar, Batmaloo, Anantnag, Tral, Pampore, Kupwara, Rajouri. You can list out all the locations in Kashmir on the boy’s back and still have pellet wounds left with no name.
So these are the people you call part of your nation – with whom you are so much in love that you don’t want to let go, even if it means killing and maiming them! Strange love. Jhuma Sen, in Kafila, has quoted this allusion to the kind of fatal love that Rahul has for Kiran in the film Darr, a reference pointed out by Sucheta De on Facebook. Hey, but that’s the story of a psychopath. India can’t be called psychopathic, can it? Yet, doubtless, there is much pleasure in playing the big bully. In campuses, ragging is banned. On TV they stream ads that ask citizens to intervene in and prevent domestic violence in the neighbourhood. But as a nation, we are not above a little rough stuff with those who do not want to ‘love’ the same compulsive map that you love. This is sheer cuckoo-land, to enter which you need no visas.
The truth is out there
The issue here is no longer of what the Indian state is doing in Kashmir. It’s clear that it has no clue. Bludgeon them into submission, is the prevailing wisdom. No point agonising over those ‘troublesome’ people. Dipankar Gupta suggests in a pop-sociological piece in the Times of India on Saturday that these are people for whom ‘militancy has become culture’ – as if, they have no serious issues and merely agitate for the sake of agitating, because, for them, it’s the substitute for a seasonal carnival.
It is also, perhaps, no issue that now they are turning the tourniquet and gagging the press. First it was a comprehensive decommissioning of internet and mobile phone services across the Valley. Now, both Kashmir Timesand Rising Kashmir have their offices raided and sealed. With increasing international pressure and even the US joining in, they think silencing the press will draw attention away from what they are doing. Of course, with the Indian press, they didn’t even have to try. The rapidity with which news from Kashmir has been either ignored or pushed into the inside pages of our mainstream media, is a story in itself. All these are distressing, of course, but par for the course, and expected to be part of any army’s counter-insurgency strategy.
The worry really is what the average Indian citizen is thinking about this recurring propensity of her country to assault those, it claims, are its own people. Is it not strange that there has been no time since Independence when at least some parts of the country have wanted to secede? Does it not seem odd that an entire population is asked to ‘belong’ at the point of a gun? Has the Indian citizen licensed the government to do this in her name? Conversely, have we paid sufficient attention to the fate of our jawans, whose average age too must be around 25? We send out this bunch of lads – for whom the army or paramilitary forces is merely a desperate career option – stuffed with notions of virtue in martyrdom and, once an ‘enemy’ is pointed out, assuring them immunity from the consequences of their actions. We pump them up on airy notions of patriotism so that they can go out there and, in our name, kill and maim and torture and pillage and rape. Is this really right that we do this to our young? India possesses Kashmir by stationing 600,000 troops there.
Of course, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and such protections have till now insulated the army from the legal consequences for their behaviour. But all India needs is something like the recent Chilcot Report, which severely indicted former British PM Tony Blair for the needless war in Iraq – leading to over 450,000 civilian and military casualties, not to speak of endangering British lives. Indian politicians too are sure to find themselves thus charged soon enough. But the worry is about the young men who return to their villages and towns and homes after having spent a few years in devastating the lives of people in Kashmir. Their nerves are sure to be in tatters for having inflicted such unspeakable brutalities on a population that was, after all, only asking for the most basic of things – freedom. Will India, as a nation, have the wherewithal to handle this huge population of pathological cases who can live down the subliminal guilt of their uncalled for savagery while in uniform, only with even more psychotic violence when they return as civilians?
I doubt if there is any educated Indian who is unaware of what the Indian state and its security forces are doing in Kashmir. In the decade of the 1990s, one could have said people were unaware. But subsequent to the youth uprisings of 2008 and 2010, subsequent to the searing films made by documentarists like Sanjay Kak (Jashn-e-Azadi), Amir Bashir (Harud), Ashvin Kumar (Inshallah Kashmir), Iffat Fatima (Blood Leaves Its Trail)and others, none can pretend ignorance or innocence any more. And yet so many years of dead silence. Can we degrade ourselves any further by ignoring what our politics and our soldiers are doing in Kashmir?
In recent years, one has never tired of quoting Jean-Paul Sartre, from his introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. ‘France’, wrote Sartre in the context of the French brutalities in Algeria, ‘in other days was the name of a country. We should take care that in 1961 it does not become the name of a nervous disease’. The French sat up and listened. It is time we, in India, paid attention. This too is a modest proposal.
Sadanand Menon is adjunct faculty, Asian College of Journalism and at IIT, Madras. He is currently managing trustee of the Arts Foundation, SPACES, Chennai.
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How Many Alphabets are there in Tulu Script ? Debate on July 16 at Don Bosco, Mangalore.
‘Tulutu E’th Barepilulla’ or how many letters are there in Tulu Script ? A debate will be held in Don Bosco Mini Hall on July 16, evening at 4pm. Tulu Religion Research Centre, Perooru will conduct the debate and P Jaru has said that all are welcome to express their views in this Debate. ****
ತುಳು ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಎಷ್ಟು ಅಕ್ಷರಗಳಿವೆ? ವ್ಯಂಜನಗಳೇನೋ ಕನ್ನಡದಷ್ಟೇ ಇರಬಹುದು ಆದರೆ ಸ್ವರಗಳು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿರಬೇಕು ಅಲ್ಲವೇ? ಕಾರಣ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವ ಕೆಲವು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ. ‘ಅ’ ಮತ್ತು ‘ಉ’ ಇವೆರಡೂ ಸ್ವರಗಳ ನಡುವಿನ ಒಂದು ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ಹಾಗೂ ‘ಅ’ ಮತ್ತು ‘ಓ’ ನಡುವಿನ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ ಹಣತೆಗೆ ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ತುಡಾರ್ ಅಥವಾ ತುಡಾರು ಎಂದು ಬರೆಯಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದರೆ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುವಾಗ ನಾವು ‘ಆರ್ ಮತ್ತು ರು’ ಇವೆರಡರ ನಡುವಿನ ಒಂದು ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ಬಳಸುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಮಹಾಭಾರತ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ (ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ) ಬರೆಯುವಾಗ ಮಹಾಭಾರತೊ ಎಂದು ಬರೆಯುತ್ತೇವೆ. ನಿಜವಾಗಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ‘ತ ಮತ್ತು ತೊ’ನಡುವಿನ ಒಂದು ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕ ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೆ ಆದರೆ ಇದು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ, ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಮಹಾಭಾರತೊ ಎಂದು ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಇನ್ನು ಹಳೆಗನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವ ‘ರಳ’ಉಚ್ಛಾರ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಇದೆ. ಹಳೆಗನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದ್ದ ಈ ಅಕ್ಷರ ಮಾತ್ರ ಈಗ ಹೊಸಗನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಳಕೆಯಿಂದ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಮಾಯವಾಗಿದೆ. ತುಳು ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇದು ಇದೆಯೇ?
ಮೂಲತಃ ತುಳುವಿಗೆ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಲಿಪಿಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಅನ್ನುವವರೂ ಇದ್ದಾರೆ. ನಾವು ಈಗ ತುಳು ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯುವ ಲಿಪಿ ಮೂಲತಃ ತಿಗಳಾರಿ ಎಂಬ ಲಿಪಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದು ಇದು ಮಲೆಯಾಳಂ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಸಹೋದರ ಲಿಪಿಯಾಗಿದೆ ಎನ್ನುವವರಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಹಿಂದಿನ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಲಿಪಿಯನ್ನು ಕೇವಲ ಹವ್ಯಕ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣರು, ಶಿವಳ್ಳಿ -ಕೋಟಾ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣರು ಮತ್ತು ಜೈನರು ಮಾತ್ರ ಬಳಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದುದರಿಂದ ಇದು ದ.ಕ –ಉಡುಪಿ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತ್ರವಲ್ಲ ಉತ್ತರ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮತ್ತು ಶಿವಮೊಗ್ಗ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಬಳಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿತ್ತು, ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ಇದು ತುಳುನಾಡಿಗೆ ಸೀಮಿತವಾಗಿದ್ದ ತುಳು ಲಿಪಿ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಸರಿಯಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ ಹಲವರದ್ದು. ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಭಾರತದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಲಿಪಿಗಳು ಗ್ರಂಥ ಲಿಪಿ ಅಥವಾ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಿ ಲಿಪಿಯಿಂದ ವಿಕಸನ ಹೊಂದಿದವುಗಳು. ನಮ್ಮ ತುಳು/ತಿಗಳಾರಿ/ ಮಲೆಯಾಳಿ ಲಿಪಿಗಳು ಗ್ರಂಥ ಲಿಪಿಯಿಂದ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂದವುಗಳು.
ಮೂಲತ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ (ಶೂದ್ರ) ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ‘ಳ’ ಮತ್ತು ‘ಣ’ ಅಕ್ಷರಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ, ಕೇವಲ “ಲ-ನ“ ಮಾತ್ರ ಇರುವುದು, ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣರು ಮತ್ತು ಜೈನರು ಹೊರ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಿಂದ ತುಳುನಾಡಿಗೆ ವಲಸೆ ಬಂದಾಗ ಅವರ ಉತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದ ಭಾಷೆ ಮತ್ತು ಕನ್ನಡದ ಪ್ರಭಾವದಿಂದ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಳ-ಣ ಸೇರಿತು ಎಂದು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನವರ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ. ಜತೆಗೆ ತುಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಾಪ್ರಾಣವೂ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬುದು ಕೆಲವರ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ. ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಯ ಸಂಶೋಧಕ ಇರ್ವತ್ತೂರು ಗೋವಿಂದ ಭಂಡಾರಿಯವರು ಈ ವಿಷಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅನೇಕ ಲೇಖನ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
ಈ ಮೇಲಿನ ವಿಷಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ತುಳು ಸಂಶೋಧಕ ಪೆರೂರು ಜಾರು ಇವರು ಇದೇ ಶನಿವಾರ ಜುಲೈ 16 ರಂದು ಒಂದು ಸಂವಾದ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ಡಾನ್ ಬಾಸ್ಕೋ ಮಿನಿ ಹಾಲ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಯಂಕಾಲ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ಹಮ್ಮಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಈ ವಿಷಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮುಕ್ತ ಸಂವಾದಕ್ಕೆ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಆವಕಾಶವಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಪೆರೂರು ಜಾರು ತಿಳಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಕೇವಲ ಬಾಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ತುಳು ಅಭಿಮಾನ ತೋರಿಸದೇ ನಿಜವಾಗಿ ತುಳು ಅಭಿಮಾನ ಇರುವ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಸ್ವಾಗತವಿದೆ.
ಪ್ರವೀಣ್. ಎಸ್. ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ , ಮಂಗಳೂರು. Date: 14-7-2016.
By William K. Black
July 4, 2016 Bloomington, MN
The New York Times published a book review entitled “Thin Blue Lines.” The two books reviewed were about street crimes. Based solely on reading the NYT book review, and wearing my criminology hat, neither book adds materially to the useful literature. The two books, and the book review, however, share a common characteristic that is worth analysis. All three conflate “street crime” with “crime” and “police” with “law enforcement.” The “blue lines,” of course, refer to police, rather than the FBI white-collar crime section that is supposed to investigate elite white-collar crime. If the American police represent “thin blue lines,” then in comparison the pittance of law enforcement personnel charged with investigating elite white-collar crime represent the sheerest tissue paper – so insubstantial that they must be described as diaphanous or gossamer.
We are living with the consequences of the three most devastating epidemics of elite financial frauds (liar’s loans, appraisal fraud, and the fraudulent resale of these fraudulently originated mortgages through fraudulent “reps and warranties”) in U.S. history. Not a single executive who led, and became exceptionally wealthy, by leading those epidemics has been imprisoned or even required to pay back the fraud proceeds. But none of this shows up in reported “crime rates” for a reason so basic and so outrageous that it reveals how little our political cronies care about crimes by their elite supporters. The FBI and the Department of Justice refuse to keep statistics on the most damaging white-collar crimes committed by elites.
The reviewer, Barry Friedman, is an academic whose principal areas of expertise are street crimes and policing. The authors of the two books that Friedman reviews are distinct. Malcolm Sparrow is a former police official in the UK and a U.S. academic. He is best known for his disastrous aid to Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s “reinventing government” (ReGo) movement. ReGo, exacerbated by George W. Bush’s “Wrecking Crew” (see Tom Frank’s devastating book by that title), created the intensely criminogenic environment that was critical to generating the three fraud epidemics that drove the financial crisis and the world’s largest cartels (Libor and FX).
The other book that Friedman reviewed is a travesty by someone who lacks expertise even in blue-collar crime. It is sad that the NYT would review it and that Friedman’s review draws a false equivalency between Sparrow (supposedly representing “the Left” though he is center-right on white-collar crime and regulation) and a wacko who supposedly represents “the Right.” Friedman spends most of his review on the wacko’s claims. (The wacko, in other diatribes, is also hostile to effective regulation and prosecution of elite white-collar criminals.) While he is critical of her assertions, which are not supported by the data, Friedman leaves the following assertion unrebutted.
Second, there is a “false narrative” of racial discrimination in policing. In truth, she asserts, blacks commit far more crime, and policing simply follows the crime.
If anything, Friedman seems to endorse her claim, for he also leaves the following claim unchallenged.
Take stop-and-frisk in New York. Those who challenged it proved that members of minorities were stopped with a frequency far in excess of their percentage of the city’s population. The Police Department responded that if you compared the frequency of stops with the rates at which minorities were reported to have committed crimes, they actually were not stopping people of color often enough.
Rather than taking the NYPD claim on, Friedman remarks that even if people of color commit far more crimes than whites, it still did not justify stopping millions of innocent people of color.
Notice that the wacko, like the NYPD, conflates “crime” with “reported crime.” The victims of elite white-collar crime, however, typically do not know that they are the victims of fraud. Elite white-collar frauds occurred in the three fraud epidemics millions of times annually. VW committed 11 million fraudulent sales. Takata sold tens of millions of airbags with defective designs, components, storage, and assembly. The people who committed those crimes were overwhelmingly and disproportionately not blacks and Latinos. None of these elite white-collar crimes, however, is “reported.” Any competent criminologist knows not to conflate “crime” and “reported crime” and not to conflate “crime” with “street crimes.” The VW and Takata examples also show that elite white-collar crimes can maim and kill. Had Friedman taken elite white-collar crime seriously he would never have allowed the racist memes of the wacko or the NYPD to go unrebutted.
Friedman’s discussion of reforms is also degraded by his failure to consider elite-white collar crime.
The sort of reform that Sparrow seeks won’t happen until we are candid about, and tackl
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Scroll Hashimpura May 22 1987: The forgotten story of one of Indias biggest custodial killings
Hashimpura, May 22, 1987: The forgotten story
of one of India’s biggest custodial killings
‘PAC personnel had rounded up dozens of Muslims from riot-torn Meerut and had killed them in
Time heals, indeed, but sometimes it drags some dark nightmares from the recesses of our past into
the present; nightmares whose repercussions are felt in the future too. Still weighing heavy on my
conscience is that horrifying night of 22 May in the humid summer of 1987. And the subsequent
days, similarly, are etched in my memory like as if on stone – it was something that overpowered the
cop in me. The Hashimpura experience continues to torment me.
Searching for those who had survived among the blood-soaked bodies strewn around the canal and
between ravines near Makanpur village on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border in the pitch dark, on the
night of 22 May, armed only with a dim torchlight, while ensuring that we didn’t trample upon the
bodies – each scene still streams through my mind like a horror film.
It was around 10.30 at night when I heard about the incident. At first, I could not believe it. It
was not until I reached the Hindon canal in Makanpur village, along with the district
magistrate and other officials, that I realised had become a witness to secular India’s most
shameful and horrendous incident.
7/3/2016 Scroll Hashimpura May 22 1987: The forgotten story of one of Indias biggest custodial killings
I was the superintendent of police, Ghaziabad district, and personnel from Provincial Armed
Constabulary (PAC) had rounded up dozens of Muslims from riot-torn Meerut and had killed them
in cold blood in my area of jurisdiction. One of the survivors of this horror was Babudin; he was the
first survivor we found and he helped us put together the details of the incident. It was through him
that we learnt about similar killings near another water canal that was just forty minutes away. This
was the Gang canal that traversed through Muradnagar.
Between 22 May 1987 and 21 March 2015, when the verdict on the crime came, it would seem that
Indian society had undergone a sea of change. The changes that have taken place in the political,
economic and social spheres have metamorphosed the social milieu of the country. But the fact that
the case dragged on endlessly in the courts actually serves as a grim reminder that nothing has
The relation between the Indian state and the minorities is almost the same now as it was then in
1987 or even earlier, in the 1950s and the 1960s. The same absence of trust, the same hatred, the
same prejudices, the same notions, and the same requirement and attempt to prove their ‘Indian-
ness’. Nothing has changed. It is as if the more things change, the more they remain the same. Or
Just a few days after the Hashimpura massacre, I decided to write about it and bring its details
I began by recording the tales of those who committed the atrocity in order to make sense of their
psyche – I wanted to understand how they could pull the trigger on fellow human beings. The
victims had no idea what they had done to deserve such a brutal death.
It took me nearly five to six years to realise that my belief that the killers would receive exemplary
punishment for such a heinous act would remain just that – a mere belief. As time flew by, it became
evident that the Indian state was just not interested in penalising the guilty. All the stakeholders of
the state kept playing hide but not seek with their responsibilities and many shielded themselves
behind criminal negligence. And it worked for them.
It was in 1992 when I finally decided to write this book. By then, I was transferred to a distant place
on deputation, with Lucknow and Meerut far beyond my reach. My writing began at a slow pace
because of my busy schedule, but when the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, granted me a
research fellowship in 1994, my prospects brightened. My subject was related to the image of the
police among Hindus and Muslims during communal riots, and I deliberately chose this topic in
order to work on the book; it also provided me with a year-long relief from regular routine.
With the help of friends who were working in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and PAC,
I was able to access a lot of documents, which