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Google Doodle celebrates 45th anniversary of Chipko Movement

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Google Doodle Chipko Movement

New Delhi, March 26: To mark the 45th anniversary of the famous Chipko Movement, search engine giant Google on Monday dedicated its doodle to the movement.

The doodle portrays a colourful design where a group of women are standing around a tree, representing their fight against deforestation which was the main objective of Chipko Movement.

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The word Chipko means ‘to stick’ or ‘to hug’ and the name of the movement has been derived from these words.

The Chipko Movement followed Gandhian philosophy of peaceful resistance and was an uprising against the people destroying ecological balance.

The Movement took place in the 18th Century. Under the leadership of Amrita Devi, 363 women from 84 villages of the then Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand) took to themselves to protect khejri trees from being cut down at the order of the king of Jodhpur. The resistance was important for these women since deforestation would have directly affected the supply of firewood. The king later decreed an order that the trees would be left unaffected.

Sunderlal Bahuguna, a renowned environmentalist took the initiative to protect the beautiful regional forests in Uttar Pradesh. Chipko Andolan was to preserve the nature from being mercilessly destroyed on accounts of setting up of factories or roads and constructing dams. Sundarlal Bahuguna was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

One of Chipko’s most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers.

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Identity of rape victims has to be protected: Supreme Court

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the identity of rape victims has to be protected at all stages of the case including during trial.

A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) reports and other documents related to such cases would be handed over to the trial court in a sealed cover without disclosing the identity of the victims.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Gupta advised the media to avoid sensationalising rape cases for the purpose of increasing the TRP and ordered that identity of minor rape victims cannot be disclosed even by their families.

The court verdict came on a PIL by advocate Nipun Saxena who had moved the court seeking steps for the safety of women in public places.

The petition was filed in the aftermath of the December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape case.

“The media has not only the right but also duty to report” the cases of sexual assault but “should refrain from interviewing the victim”, it said.

IANS

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‘Jallianwala Bagh massacre was preceded by reign of terror by the British’

“The massacre on 13 April was part of a policy of oppression unleashed by O’Dwyer against the frequent ‘hartals’ (strikes) or the ‘Satyagraha Movement’ (launched by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

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Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story : (Flickr)

Chandigarh, Dec 11 : As the country gears up to observe the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of innocent, unarmed Indians by ruthless British forces, the events before and after the April 13, 1919, killing of hundreds clearly indicate that the British rulers of that time were unnerved by the unrest in Punjab in general and Amritsar in particular, which led them to do something which could “teach a lesson” to the Indians.

“Though Brigadier General Reginald Dyer (who ordered his troops to fire on people who had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh on the fateful day and killed hundreds) was blamed for the action, there is hardly any documented evidence to show how he landed in Amritsar on that day as he was posted in Jalandhar (earlier Jullundur),” author and columnist Kishwar Desai told IANS in an interview here.

Desai, who has penned a book “Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story” recently, said that her extensive research on the happenings around the massacre revealed that the British rulers were quite unnerved by the unrest in Punjab and Amritsar.

“Prior to the killings at Jallianwala Bagh, there had been signs of increasing unrest in Punjab. These signs were being interpreted as sedition, even though causes of the unrest were varied. Indeed, it is impossible to understand what happened on 13 April 1919, without an examination of the barbarism unleashed in Punjab under the regime of the then Lieutenant Governor Sir Michael O’Dwyer to suppress the so-called rebellion,” Desai, who is the chair of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust that set up the world’s first Partition Museum at Amritsar’s Town Hall, points out in her book.

The author said that the idea to write this book and to bring out “some facets which had not been researched in detail so far” came after she chanced upon a photograph of the burnt-down Town Hall building of Amritsar. This happened in April 1919.

Further investigation and research, according to Desai, led to more evidence of the British atrocities on Indian subjects just before the Jallianwala Bagh incident and the violence that erupted in Amritsar on April 10 in which many people, including five Europeans, were killed. Properties, including the Town Hall, were targeted to protest against the British atrocities.

Disputing the commonly held narrative that the people who had gathered at the Bagh on the fateful day for an anti-Rowlatt Act meeting were outsiders who had come to Amritsar for the Baisakhi festival, Desai points out that the meeting was attended mostly by local residents of Amritsar and no more than 25 per cent of them were from outside.

“And it is very likely that the massacre was a carefully planned one, not spontaneous one as has been often made out. In all likelihood, no women were present,” Desai states in the book, adding that O’Dwyer, who was nearing retirement at that time, and others in power, were upset over the emerging importance of Punjab in the freedom struggle and retaliated with a reign of terror where people were whipped in public, bombed, incarcerated, forced to crawl, starved, beaten, caged and even executed.

“The massacre on 13 April was part of a policy of oppression unleashed by O’Dwyer against the frequent ‘hartals’ (strikes) or the ‘Satyagraha Movement’ (launched by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)… in fact, the civil administration of Punjab had already declared Amritsar a war zone (around April 11) and regarded the residents as their enemies,” Desai points out in the book.

Dyer, who had arrived in Amritsar from Jullundur on the evening of April 11, had ordered his troops to fire on the gathering inside Jallianwala Bagh on the evening of April 13, 1919. The official death figure was put at 379 while nearly 1,200 were injured. The death toll is often disputed, with claims (Indian National Congress Report) that over 1,000 innocent people were killed.

“Not a very well-known entity” when he arrived in Amritsar, Dyer had a “fairly humdrum career” till he “hit immortality as a mass murderer”, the new book says.

(Jaideep Sarin can be reached at [email protected])

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Urjit Patel’s resignation signals dangerous trend: AIBEA

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Urjit Patel

Chennai, Dec 11 : Although the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) had earlier demanded RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s resignation, his calling it quits on Monday has left the banking body shocked and disturbed and it has termed it a “dangerous trend”.

“The resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel is quite shocking and disturbing. The reasons for his resignation are obvious and signals a dangerous trend that institutions like RBI are no longer independent,” AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said.

Venkatachalam said at a time when there is a need for a more stronger and independent RBI, this vital institution is being intimidated by the central government.

The government is bent on weakening the RBI and making it pliable to meet its own political needs, he said.

When cited AIBEA’s earlier demand that Patel should quit, Venkatachalam told IANS: “We had demanded his resignation over inaction on Nirav Modi issue. This is different. He is being eased out. It is an attempt to weaken the RBI.”

In February, Venkatachalam demanded Patel’s resignation owning up moral responsibility for the massive $1.8 billion Punjab National Bank scam/fraud allegedly committed by diamond retailer.

“The continued silence of the RBI Governor with regard to the scam/fraud in PNB is surprising and astounding. It indicates the deep involvement and failure of RBI in non-monitoring the Nostro account of PNB,” Venkatachalam had told IANS then.

In April, the AIBEA had aggain demanded Patel’s resignation, charging that the central bank was grossly negligent on several issues, including the cashless ATMs across the country.

In a statement at the time, Venkatachalam had said: “RBI has increasingly become irrelevant because they are becoming an appendage of the government, not enforcing their independent powers.

“In issue after issue, RBI is found wanting. It is high time that the present RBI Governor owns up and resigns or he should be removed. RBI is grossly negligent.”

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