Justice Done: No Muslim got elected as MP from Uttar Pradesh

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In December 2013, I visited Muzaffarnagar as part of winter relief activities organized by a NGO. I spent time at relief camps and got an opportunity to interact with people, both the victims of the riots and the general Muslim population. The most depressing aspect of the whole visit was, lack of apathy & absolute cold-bloodedness of Muslim MPs & MLAs of Uttar Pradesh, who didn’t contribute anything to the relief activities. Instead, many of them chose to visit foreign countries when the women and children were dying due to severe cold. If any of them Muslim MP or MLA had chosen to raise funds for the victims, within a week, none of the victims would have stayed in open air camps.

It was the sheer arrogance & betrayal of the elected Muslim representatives that caused more deaths of Muslims than in the riots of itself. As per the official reports, more than 70 children lost their lives due to severe cold. On the ground, people mentioned that, over 100 children, women and senior citizens passed away fighting the winter cold in refugee camps.

Five months later, the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh has spoken out. Not a single Muslim MP from Uttar Pradesh has got elected in 2014 National Elections. Uttar Pradesh has around 20% Muslim population and it was expected that, out of 80 MP seats, at least 5 seats would be won by Muslims.

I recollect having this conversation with a Maulana at Meerut. I asked him, what’s the reason, why all the Muslim MPs & MLAs have distanced themselves from helping the people. He mentioned something very funny but profound. He said, ‘elections se pehle, yeh log ghulaam-e-Rasool bolte hain, elections ke baad, ghulaam-e-mayawati ya ghulaam-e-mulayam ho jate hain” (before elections, they call themselves slaves of Prophet (ﷺ) but after elections they become slaves of Mayawati or Mulayam). So, from the results, it has become apparent that, Uttar Pradesh Muslims neither want the slaves of Mayawati nor the slaves of Mulayam.

Another interesting point from this election results is that, BJP which has won over 280 seats, doesn’t have even a single Muslim candidate who has won the seat. So, the whole government doesn’t have even a single Muslim MP.

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Justic Katju’s letter

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Recently, in an enlightening speech, Justice Markandey Katju mentioned that, ‘90% of the Indians are idiots’ as an honest feedback. However, as usual, some people mistook his words of wisdom and sent legal notice to him. In Justice Markandey Kajtu was a Muslim, people would have labeled him anti-national. I say this, because, once in a seminar, I spoke about the status of science in India and criticized the current standard of science in India… after the seminar… a lady walked up to me and started labeling me as antinational. Anyhow, some idiots can’t take feedback. Below is the letter written by Justice Kajtu to the people that have sent him legal notice.

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Dear Tanaya and Aditya,

I have received your email, and am giving my reply, but before doing so in detail I wish to make some preliminary remarks:

  1. I have been misquoted in the press reports, but it is true that I have said that 90% Indians (not all) are fools. My intention in saying so was not to hurt anyone but to awaken people to the realities, that is, the widespread casteism, communalism, superstitions, and other backward traits in the mindset of a large section of our people which is blocking our progress and keeping us poor.
  2. The figure 90% is not a mathematical figure, it simply means that in my opinion a large proportion of Indians (and again I repeat, not all) are fools.
  3. I never named you, nor any community, caste, or sect, and I never said that you are in the category of 90%. Hence I do not see how you are defamed.
  4. I made this comment not to humiliate or harm anyone but because I love the Indian people, they are my people, and I wish them to prosper and have decent lives, which is only possible if the Indian masses develop the scientific outlook and scientific temper and give up casteism, communalism, superstitions and other mental attitudes which a large part (not all) of them presently suffer from. I wish to see India in the front ranks of the advanced industrialized nations of the world, with our people having a high standard of living, instead of suffering from the present evils of massive poverty, unemployment, price rise, corruption, farmer’s suicides, child malnutrition, absence of health care and good education, casteism etc. So you see I made that statement not to harm the Indian people, whom I love, but to benefit them. The truth is sometimes bitter, but sometimes bitter medicine has to be given to an ailing person.

Having said this, I may proceed to give a more elaborate explanation.
I wish to first of all clarify that I do not regard Indians as inherently stupid or foolish. It is only at present that large parts of our people are foolish. But there was a time when we were leading the whole world in science and technology, and India was perhaps the most prosperous country in the world. It is now that we are having bad times, but we had a glorious past and shall have a glorious future too, but for that we have to get rid of casteism, communalism, superstitions and other backward traits in the mentality of a large part of our people (because of which I call them fools).
India’s Past

With the aid of science we had built mighty civilizations thousands of years ago when most people in Europe( except in Greece and Rome) were living in forests. We had made outstanding scientific discoveries e.g. decimal system in mathematics, plastic surgery in medicine, etc (see in this connection my article ‘Sanskrit as a Language of Science on my blog justickatju.blogspot.in and on the website kgfindia.com). However, we subsequently took to the unscientific path of superstitions and empty rituals, which has led us to disaster. The way out of the present morass is to go back again to the path shown by our scientific ancestors, the path of Aryabhatta and Brahmagupta, Sushrut and Charak, Panini and Patanjali, Ramanujan and Raman.
It is not necessary to mention here all the great achievements of our ancestors, but I may just mention a few.

  1. The decimal system in mathematics was the most remarkable and revolutionary invention in the past, and it was created by Indians. To understand its significance, one must know that the ancient Romans, who built a great civilization (The civilization of Caesar and Augustus), felt very uncomfortable with numbers above 1000. This was because they expressed their numbers in alphabets, I standing for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50, C for 100, D for 500, and M for 1000. There was no single alphabet expressing a number above 1000. Hence to write 2000 an ancient Roman had to write MM, to write 3000 he had to write MMM, and to write 1 million he had to write M one thousand times, which would drive him crazy. 
    On the other hand, our ancestors discovered the number 0, and hence to write 1 million they had simply to put 6 zeros after 1.
  2. Plastic surgery was invented by Sushrut 2000 years ago, whereas Europeans invented it only about 100 or 200 years back.
  3. The English alphabets are all arranged haphazardly, there is no reason why D is followed by E, or E by F, or F by G, etc. On the other hand Panini in the first 14 sutras of his Ashtadhyayi arranged the alphabets in Sanskrit scientifically. Thus , the first sequence of 5 consonants (the  ka varga i.e. ka, kha, ga, gha, na ) are all sounds which emanate from the throat, the second sequence from the middle of the tongue, the third from the roof of the mouth, the fourth from the tip of the tongue, and the fifth from the lips. The second and fourth consonants in each sequence are aspirants in which the sound ‘ha’ is combined with the previous consonant e.g. ka+ha =kha.
  4. 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley Civilization the system of town planning was created with straight streets, covered drains, water and sewage system, etc.

Before the coming of the British India was a prosperous country. Its share in world trade in 1700 was about 30%, which fell to 2% by the end of British rule and is still not more than 3%.

India’s Present
Today there is no doubt that India is a poor country. While there are some pockets of affluence, about 80% of our people are afflicted with poverty, unemployment and other evils, and one major cause of this is the mental backwardness of a large part of our people.
(though there are also brilliant people like the Indian scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley)  Consider the following:

  1. When most of our people go to vote they cast their votes on the basis of caste or religion, not the merit of the candidate. What else is the meaning of vote banks? And this is exploited by some unscrupulous politicians who know how to manipulate and manage these vote banks. That is why many persons with criminal backgrounds get elected.
  2. ‘Honour’ killings are common in many parts of the country. This is a barbaric practice, and shows how backward many of us still are.
  3. Dowry deaths are common in India, and as a former Judge I can tell you that our courts have a large number of cases of young married women who are murdered in a barbaric manner by their in laws for not getting dowry e.g. by pouring petrol on them and setting them on fire.
  4. Scheduled castes are still often treated inhumanly, and an example is the recent attack on dalits in Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu.
  5. Female foeticide is common in many parts of India. Often when a male child is born the relatives are happy and distribute sweets, but when a female child is born often relatives get dejected. This is also a sign of backwardness among many of us.
  6. Communalism, which was almost non-existent in 1857, is widespread in our society today. Muslims often face discrimination in getting jobs, houses on rent, etc, as the Justice Sachar Committee report has highlighted.  Muslims are often falsely implicated in bomb blasts and they have to spend years in jail though ultimately found innocent.As I mentioned, upto 1857 communalism was almost non-existent in India. There were no doubt differences between Hindu and Muslims, but there was no enmity between them. In the Mutiny of 1857 Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. After crushing the Mutiny the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule.Consequently, the policy came from London to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims. The British Collector used to secretly call the Panditji and gave him money to speak against the Muslims, and similarly he gave money to the Maulvi Saheb to speak against Hindus. All communal riots began after 1857. The communal award in the Minto-Morley ‘Reforms’ of 1909 introduced separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims. Year after year, decade after decade, the communal poison was injected by the British into our body politic, and even after 1947 there are elements which continue this (see online ‘History in the Service of Imperialism’ and my article ‘What is India’ on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in)Certain agent provocateurs take advantage of our backwardness to incite communal riots, and unfortunately many people fall prey to these evil designs and get emotionally carried away by communal propaganda and fight with each other.
  7. Superstition is rampant in India. Most people believe in astrology, which is pure superstition and humbug. And it is not just the illiterates who believe in it, it is also most of the so called educated people in India. Many Ministers and Judges prefer to take oath of office at the ‘auspicious’ time.A few years back it was announced that Lord Ganesh is drinking milk, and there was a rush of people to offer milk to Ganesh. Earlier, a ‘miracle’ chapati was circulating.
  8. A large section of the media, taking advantage of the backwardness of a large section of our people, dishes out lives of filmstars, cricket, etc as if these are the real issues before the people, when the real issues are socio-economic.

As I said above, when I called most people(not all)  fools I did not wish to harm them, rather it was just the contrary. I want India to become a prosperous country, but this is possible only when the mindset of a large number of people changes, and their minds are rid of casteism, communalism, superstitions, and other backward ideas and they become scientific and modern.
By being modern I do not mean wearing a nice suit or a beautiful sari or skirt. By being modern I mean developing a modern mind, which means a rational mind, a scientific mind, and a questioning mind. As already stated above, at one time we led the whole world in science and technology, but today we are undoubtedly far behind the West and even China. How did this happen? Why were we left behind, why did we not have an Industrial Revolution like Europe? This is known as ‘Needham’s Question’ or ‘Needham’s Grand Question’, named after Prof. Joseph Needham of Cambridge University (1900-1995). It is high time Indians try to answer this question, instead of trying to evade the reality of the backwardness of most of us.

The worst thing in life is poverty, and 80% of our people are poor, which is largely because of the mental backwardness of most (not all) of us. To abolish poverty we need to spread the scientific outlook to every nook and corner of our country. It is only then that India will shine. And until that happens the vast majority of our people will continue to be taken for a ride.

Justice Markandey Katju
10.12.2012

Indian Government Scanning Facebook Posts

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Yesterday at around 12 noon, I posted the following message on my Facebook account and immediately my account got disabled.

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For next three hours or so, I have receiving the following message when I logged on the Facebook account.  The message said “The URL you requested has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecom (CHNN). URL = www.facebook.com/nextnewton”. 

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www.facebook.com/nextnewton happens to be my account profile page.

After some time, my Facebook account was up, however I was not able to find my post on Facebook. In the notifications tab, I found that someone had liked my post, before my Facebook account was disabled… so I clicked the notification and it redirected to this message.

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Anyhow, by yesterday evening my account and my posts were reinstated.

State of Education and Teaching in Indian Universities

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An excellent article written by Krishna Kumar, Professor of Education at Delhi University and a former Director of NCERT, published in THE HINDU news paper.

———— Universities, ours and theirs ————–

As long as we discourage young talent, encourage an obsolete examination system and remain indifferent to research, we will continue to lag behind the West

There are four critical differences between universities of the western world and ours. The first is that they do all they can, when they recruit young faculty, to make way for excellence. We do everything to block its entry. We start discouraging talent early, but a few bright youngsters manage to come up despite our best efforts. They are the ones who face the greatest resistance from our institutions at the time of selection for vacancies. The norms and standards that western institutions apply for selecting young faculty focus on individualised assessment of potential. Senior people and administrators who make decisions make sure that the aspirants are assessed on the basis of what they have published, the quality of research they have done, and how passionate they seem about the pursuit of knowledge and teaching.

Mechanical criteria

In our case, the initial criteria applied are purely mechanical. Any hint of trans-disciplinary interest means that the candidate loses the chance to be interviewed. And those who somehow escape this fate are ultimately sized up at the time of interview in terms of the lobbies they might belong to. Someone rare enough to be independent of personal as well as intellectual lobbies is the first to be eliminated. In the semi-final act of short listing, those lacking support from the dominant lobbies get weeded out. Then, in the ultimate moment, hard bargaining takes place and the institution’s future gets sealed. If there is someone with an unusual background or achievement, you can depend on the selection committee to find a technical ground to reject him or her. The only way he or she might get appointed is if a determined Vice-Chancellor forces the person in. Democratic procedures and correctness have become incompatible with respect for quality. Our universities feel comfortable with the labyrinth of eligibility norms that the University Grants Commission has nurtured with relentless energy to issue circulars over the decades. Selection committees debate over the finest of technicalities to justify the selection of the average, allowing anyone with sheen to get stuck and lost in the maze of criteria.

The second major difference between our universities and the western ones relates to the concept of teaching. We calculate teaching in terms of periods taken. The Radhakrishnan Commission had bemoaned the fact that our colleges work like higher secondary schools. More than six decades after the commission gave its report, life in our undergraduate colleges is just the same. The UGC demands 18 periods of teaching per week from an assistant professor. “Isn’t that reasonable?,” one might ask. Of course, it is, if you ignore what the word “teaching” means. The practice of calculating teachers’ daily work by counting the number of periods they stand beside the blackboard exposes the hollowness of our system and the concept of education. It also shows how little we have progressed since colonial days when accountability was tied to crude measures. How far Britain has moved away from the procedures it introduced in India long ago became apparent to me a year ago when I was invited to serve on a course evaluation committee in a British institute. After examining the course content, the recommended readings and the description of each lecture session taken through the year, the committee met groups of students from the previous three years. We also read the detailed feedback each student is required to give at the end of each course.

Our discussion with students and — separately — with their teachers was frank and detailed. We learnt how students assessed their teachers in terms of preparedness for each class, personal interest in the subject, the pedagogic strategies used to arouse interest, and not just regularity — which was, in fact, taken for granted. In India, we worry about attendance records to keep the student under pressure to attend classes that may be altogether devoid of intellectual stimulation. Despite attendance norms being stringent, there are classes without much attendance. There are also numerous cases of attendance without classes. An obsolete system of examination helps teachers who miss classes and make no effort to relate to students. There are many who take the number of periods required, but their classes have no soul or spark.

Concept of knowledge

The third critical difference between life in an Indian university and a university in the West arises out of the concept of knowledge embedded in the system. The crude measures our regulatory bodies such as the UGC apply in the name of accountability mask the epistemic sterility of the curriculum, the pedagogic process and examination. In the West, curriculum and pedagogy both follow the teacher’s own research interests. Even smaller universities with limited resources attempt to cultivate a research environment. Topics of research reflect the university’s concern for the social and natural world surrounding it. Research is seen as an inquiry to solve problems as well as to induct the young into a community of inquires. Keeping a record of hours spent on direct teaching becomes irrelevant in such a system, even in the case of undergraduate students. To keep their research interests alive and popular, senior professors engage with young undergraduates who bring fresh questions and perspectives to ongoing inquiries. In India, you stop teaching undergraduate classes as soon as you attain professorial status. Teaching and research are seen as two separate activities. While teaching is perceived as institutional work, research is viewed as a personal agenda for moving forward in one’s career. Not surprisingly, infrastructure and administrative procedures that might facilitate research do not exist. Obstacles do, and the teacher who makes the mistake of initiating a research project has to struggle all the way to its completion and the ritual of report submission to the funding agency. No one among colleagues or in the administration cares to know the findings, let alone their implications. Teaching goes on following the grooves of preset syllabi, like the needle boring into an old gramophone record.

The fourth critical difference lies in the library. In the West, even in the most ordinary universities, the library forms the centre of life, both for teachers and students. Librarians enjoy a high status as their contribution to academic life cuts across academic disciplines. They work closely with teachers and students in the various tasks involved in procurement of books and journals, keeping the library quiet and friendly, and ensuring speedy access. Our case is the opposite. The library exists on the margins of the classroom. In many universities, undergraduate students are not allowed to use the university library. Subscription to journals and magazines has dwindled over the years, and maintenance of past volumes is now seen as an obsolete practice because e-storage is available. We forget that the library is not merely a service; it is also a physical space whose ethos induces the young to learn the meaning of belonging to a community of scholars. Our reading rooms carry an unkempt, hapless look, with clanking ceiling fans and dog-eared books waiting to be removed. Book acquisition has been saturated with petty corruption and a crowd of spurious publishers has thrived on the outskirts of the academia.

Symptomatic

These four critical differences are, of course, symptomatic of deeper problems entrenched in structures that govern higher education in India. Those who perceive all problems in financial terms miss the barren landscape of our campuses. Inadequacy of funds is, of course, worrisome, but it cannot explain the extent to which malice, jealousy and cussedness define the fabric of academic life in our country. There is a vast chasm that separates the Indian academia from society. Let alone the masses, even the urban middle class cares little for what goes on inside classrooms and laboratories.

The citizenry does not see higher education as an intellectual resource. Nor do political leaders. The only commonly understood purpose that the system of higher education serves is to alleviate — and keep under tolerable levels of discomfort — what the British economist, Ronald Dore, has called the ‘Diploma Disease’ in his 1976 classic on education in developing economies. Dore has explained why a country like ours will continue to lag behind the West in knowledge and technique so long as we keep using mark-sheets and certificates to screen the young for further education and employment. His insight that the valid goal of widening the pool of talent is defeated by bureaucratisation of selection continues to be pertinent across the colonised world.

A Conversation with an old Chinese Man

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Recently, while I was waiting for the train at Sydney Central Station, an old man who can barely walk came up to me and asked ‘are you from India?’ I politely replied ‘yes sir, I am’. He then asked ‘can I sit next to you?’ I wonder why he asked that question. The seat was empty and it’s a public railway station. I replied, ‘please’, after a bit of delay. After adjusting himself on the seat, the old man told me that ‘India is making lot of progress, earlier it was all mess but now it is gaining strength’. For a moment, I was taken aback. Now, I was able to guess, why the old man wanted to sit next to me. He had some opinions regarding India and he wanted to share those with me. Generally, I am the kind of guy who jumps into political discussions, however given his age, I wanted to be calm and polite. I told him that, ‘yes, India is making progress and China is doing well too’. By the way, I forgot to say, the old man was from Chinese decent. After hearing my reply, he gave a childish smile and said, ‘China has got one problem that is not known to the world’. Internally, I was thinking, oh damn, this conversation is picking up. I mean, how exciting it is to have a political conversation with an old Chinese man at Sydney Central Station when there is an option of checking out beautiful Australian women. I think I am very fond of Australian ladies… especially the ones I noticed in Canberra. Most women in Canberra wear high healed leather boots… which for reason I found very appealing. Maybe, because they all appeared tall in that 5 inch leather boots and all my fantasies involve tall women. Even without those 5 inch leather boots, Australian women are tall compared to women in US and Europe. Anyhow, back to the conversation with the old man at Sydney Central station. So, I started wondering, what could that one problem that China has which is unknown to the world. I gave a thought but then I quickly gave up. Maybe, I wasn’t in mood for thinking. I asked the old man, ‘may I know what the one problem is?’ He instantly replied, ‘do you know China has one child policy?’ I told him that I am aware of it. He continued ‘so, if two people produce one child, the working force of China is going to decrease by half within twenty years’. That’s certainly is an interesting observation! A gave a thought and then replied, ‘the progress of the countries isn’t dependent on work force, but rather on the intellectual and political acumen’. The discussion continued for more than half an hour since coincidently, the old man was also heading to same stop as I was. We discussed about India-China relations, US, Iraq genocide, terrorism and related topics.

As I now look back at that conversation, couple of observations I felt are worth giving a serious thought. People around the world are able to see potential in India and view it as future super-power. When I say people, I mean common people. This is a very positive indication. However, such an impression means we (Indians) have got more responsibility on our shoulders. Now, the question is, are we prepared to take on that responsibility?

(To be Continued)

Stuck in Bandh–Can I run over my car over rioters?

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Supreme Court of India has declared ‘Bandh’ as unconstitutional in several of its judgments. Here’s an abstract of one such judgment “Held High Court was right in its conclusion that there cannot be any right to call or enforce a `Bandh’ which interferes with the exercise of fundamental freedoms of other citizens-Fundamental Rights of the people as a whole cannot be subservient to the claim of Fundamental Right of an individual or only a section of people-Distinction drawn by High Court between a `Bandh’ and a call for general strike or `Hartal’ is well made out-Held the impugned judgment does not call for any interference. CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal Nos. 7728-29 of 1997.” ‘Rasta-rokos’ or ‘bandhs’ are clear violation of Indian constitution.

According to Article 51A of Indian Constitution, the fundamental duties of Indian citizens include

“It shall be the duty of every citizen of India— (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;  (b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom; (c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India; (d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so; (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; (f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; (g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compass ion for living creatures; (h) to develop the scientific temper , humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform; (i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;  (j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. (k) **who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

** Ins. by the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002, s. 4 (which is yet not in force, date to be notified by the government)”

Now, if you read the forth duty, it says “to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so”. Here, an obvious question is… who would take a call on when to defend the country? Constitution of India, doesn’t explicitly names certain XYZ would be the person who would take this call. I believe, whenever some individual or organization announces ‘bandh’, it is the fundamental duty of Indian citizens to defend the nation by acting against the people who are imposing bandh. This is what our constitution says.

If you are among those who want to abide the constitution of India, then here are the things you can do. Whenever someone declares a bandh, carry a HD camera and record unlawful happenings. You can place the camera at the front glass while driving the vehicle through a Bandh area. In most of the cases, criminals are acquitted because of lack of evidence. Irrespective of whether you have been impacted by the unlawful act, submitting evidence (if you happen to have or witness an act of crime) is duty of responsible citizens. You can hand-over the video to any of the news channels anonymously. Or just upload the video on YouTube.

Also, in cases of emergency… You have the right to self-defend. According to Section 97, you can self-defend you property too. Property includes anything that is movable or immovable, therefore an automobile is an property and if it’s attacked you have right to defend it. If you want to know… to what extent you can do to defend yourself and property, then do read IPC section 100. In case you are wondering… say you are travelling and stuck in a unlawful Bandh… can you run-over your vehicle over the rioters to avoid physical harm? I ran several queries on Judgment Information System (http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/fsrgqry.aspx Yes, all Supreme Court Judgments are digitalized) to identify whether there has been cases where one has ran over people using a vehicle to self-protect but I haven’t found any. In any case, running over using a vehicle to self-protect is not a good idea unless you have enough evidence to overwhelmingly prove acute death threat in court. If I had a degree in Law, I would have a filed a PIL about this. I believe, citizens should be permitted to run over the rioters for escaping the riot zone.

Following are some of the Indian Penal Code sections that you need to know, in case of emergency.

Indian Penal Code: Section 149: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object

“If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members or that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.”

Indian Penal Code: Section 150: Hiring, or conniving at hiring, of persons to join unlawful assembly

Whoever hires or engages, or employs, or promotes, or connives at the hiring, engagement or employment of any person to join or become a member or any unlawful assembly, shall be punishable as a member of such unlawful assembly, and for any offence which may be committed by any such person as a member of such unlawful assembly in pursuance of such hiring, engagement or employment, in the same manner as if he had been a member of such unlawful assembly, or himself had committed such offence.

Indian Penal Code: Section 151: Knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse

Whoever knowingly joins or continues in any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace, after such assembly has been lawfully commanded to disperse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Section 96. Things done in private defence

Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence.

Indian Penal Code: Section 97: Right of private defense of the body and of property

Every person has a right, subject to the restrictions contained in section 99, to defend— First.— His own body, and the body of any other person, against any offence affecting the human body; Secondly.—The property, whether movable or immovable, of himself or of any other person, against any act which is an offence falling under the definition of theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass, or which is an attempt to commit theft, rob­bery, mischief or criminal trespass.

Indian Penal Code: Section 99. Act against which there is no right of private defense

There is no right of private defence against an act which does not reasonable cause the apprehension of death or of grievous hurt, if done, or attempted to be done, by a public servant acting in good faith under colour of his office, though that act, may not be strictly justifiable by law. There is no right of private defence against an act which does not reasonable cause the apprehension of death or of grievous hurt, if done, or attempted to be done, by the direction of a public servant acting in good faith under colour of his office, though that direction may not be strictly justifiable by law. There is no right of private defence in cases in which there is time to have recourse to the protection of the public authorities.

Extent to which the right may be exercised: The right to private defence in no case extends to the inflicting of more harm that it is necessary to inflict for the purpose of defence. Explanation 1: A person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act done, or attempted to be done, by a public servant, as such, unless he knows or has reason to believe, that the person doing the act is such public servant. Explanation 2: A person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act done, or attempted to be done, by the direction of a public servant, unless he knows, or has reason to believe, that the person doing the act is acting by such direction, or unless such person states the authority under which he acts, or if he has authority in writing, unless he produces such authority, if demanded.

Indian Penal Code: Section 100: When the right of private defense of the body extends to causing death

The right of private defence of the body extends, under the restrictions mentioned in the last preceding section, to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the assailant, if the offence which occasions the exercise of the right be of any of the descriptions hereinafter enumerated, namely:— First.— Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehension that death will otherwise be the consequence of such assault; Secondly.—Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehen­sion that grievous hurt will otherwise be the consequence of such assault; Thirdly.— An assault with the intention of committing rape; Fourthly.—An assault with the intention of gratifying unnatural lust; Fifthly.— An assault with the intention of kidnapping or abduct­ing; Sixthly.— An assault with the intention of wrongfully confining a person, under circumstances which may reasonably cause him to apprehend that he will be unable to have recourse to the public authorities for his release.

Indian Penal Code: Section 103: When the right of private defence of property extends to causing death

The right of private defence of property extends, under the restrictions mentioned in section 99, to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the wrong-doer, if the offence, the committing of which, or the attempting to commit which, occasions the exercise of the right, be an offence of any of the descriptions hereinafter enumerated, namely:— First.— Robbery; Secondly.—House-breaking by night; Thirdly.— Mischief by fire committed on any building, tent or vessel, which building, tent or vessel is used as a human dwell­ing, or as a place for the custody of property; Fourthly.—Theft, mischief, or house-trespass, under such circum­stances as may reasonably cause apprehension that death or griev­ous hurt will be the consequence, if such right of private de­fence is not exercised.

Technical Conferences in India – The rise of Educational Mafia

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Arranging technical conferences in govt. and private engineering colleges has become a revenue generating business in India. I was going through different conferences that are being held in India in the fields of computer science and was totally shocked at the registration fee for each of these conferences. Registration fee in the range of $200 – $500 is ridiculous for the economy like India.

Now, let’s try to understand the facts. I run a discussion community called “Technical Research papers” on Orkut and it has over 1500 members. Most of these members are students, who aren’t aware much about research and how technical papers needs to be written. After moderating the community for more than a year, one thing that was clearly evident that, majority of the students in India don’t care about research. All they want is a tag of publishing a research paper to enhance their chances for securing an admission in a university (mostly foreign universities in US/Australia/Europe). These students pick the research papers from internet and publish it claiming that it’s their own. Apparently, they don’t even realize that its plagiarism. This is where the educational mafia assists such students.

The conference organizers are well aware that majority of the Indian students are doing plagiarism and they also know that, these students desperately need a publication to their credit to get an admission in a university. This is where the ‘give-and-take’ relationship begins. Or rather, I should say, educational mafia takes over. International and National Conferences are organized by govt. and private educational institutes that accept plagiarized papers. The trick here is that, these conferences generally have inflated registration free, something of the range $200-$500. Considering Indian economy, this price is too high, however, the organizers of the conferences are well aware that, they will receive papers from students who want to publish papers at any cost.

Now, I don’t mean to say, all the conferences organized in India are of this type and all the Indian students do plagiarism. However, majority of the conference are of that type and majority of the students do plagiarism. When you question these organizers, they act like mafia. Typically, when asked for scholarship/registration fee waiver, they would simply reject the paper. In fact, there is no concept of scholarship/fee waiver in majority of the conferences. The worst thing about all this fraud is, it is being done by highly educated professors. When you meet them in person and question them, they would say “they are promoting research among students and they are being lenient so that student attends conferences and learns about research’. That’s a very lame excuse. If they want to promote research among students, they should arrange workshops for students so that they learn the art of research and publishing papers. Accepting plagiarized papers should be strictly avoided.

In India, AICTE provides funding for educational institutions to arrange conferences. Even if a particular institution fails to acquire funding from AICTE, the institution should fund the conference. However, majority of the govt. and private colleges don’t take this route. Instead, they arrange the conferences purely from the money they obtain from the registration fees from the participants. And to make things worse, they try to derive profit out of it.

I wonder, for how long this education mafia and plagiarism would continue in India. And I fear, this will deeply affect the reputation of Indian researchers…