Regular readers of Straight.com are well aware of the creeping fascism in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is largely thanks to contributor Gurpreet Singh, who’s chronicled ongoing outrages in the country of his birth, including a clampdown on civil liberties in Kashmir and the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
He’s frequently covered majoritarian violence directed against Muslims and Christians—decried as “beef eaters” by Hindu fanatics—as well as the appalling treatment of Dalits, otherwise known as “untouchables”.
But until this weekend, all of these outrages in the world’s so-called largest democracy have been underreported or simply ignored by the Canadian media.
Canadian politicians, with extremely rare exceptions, have also kept their mouths shut about what’s taking place in India.
That cloak of silence was lifted, however, when supporters of secularism in India held rallies this weekend across Canada to protest the Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act.
For the first time since Modi visited Canada in 2015, protests against his government in Canadian cities were covered on national newscasts.
The growing outrage in Canada has finally penetrated the national consciousness. The heartbreak felt many South Asian immigrants to Canada over what’s occurring in the subcontinent is finally being acknowledged.
That marks a breakthrough.
However, Canadian politicians avoided these noisy demonstrations and the vast, vast majority of elected officials in this country remain insensitive to the community’s fears about what Modi might do in the future. And these same Canadian politicians have proven to be utterly useless to the brave Indians who challenge the prevailing Hindutva ideology of Hindu supremacy being advanced by Modi and his cohorts in the BJP.
Already, 23 people have died in India in uprisings against the citizenship legislation. It allows people fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship, as long as they’re not Muslims.
Annie Ohana honoured at protest
Indians Abroad for Pluralist India’s demonstration in Surrey’s Holland Park began with a moment of silence. It was for those who’ve lost their lives in the recent Indian demonstrations.
Speakers included Muslim community leaders Itrath Syed, Furqan Gehlen, and Dawood Ismail; Hindu interfaith chaplain Arun Chatterjee; Sikh activists Gian Singh Gill and Kulwinder Singh; Niovi Patsicakis of the Global Peace Alliance; leftists Prabhjot Kaur Hundal, Rawait Singh, and Joseph Theriault; and educator and former NDP candidate Annie Ohana.
Ohana, who ran in Fleetwood–Port Kells in the last federal election, was presented with a medal of courage by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India for her willingness to speak up about what’s happening in India and her long record of antiracism.
She and another NDP candidate in the last federal election, Svend Robinson, are among the very few who’ve raised Canadians’ awareness about what’s occurring in India. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has also spoken out on the odd occasion.
In contrast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, and members of B.C. premier John Horgan’s cabinet have not leveraged their high political positions to advance the cause of human rights in India since Modi became prime minister.
This is despite growing outrage among the South Asian diaspora, which is now seeping into the Canadian mainstream.
Another genocide around the corner?
In the words of Amnesty International, the Indian state is “criminalizing protest”.
Ominously, the Modi government plans to extend a National Register of Citizens from the northeastern state of Assam to all of India by 2021. If that happens, everyone will carry national identity cards.
The cabinet minister who will oversee this is none other than Amit Shah, the same minister who shut down the Internet in Kashmir, which is the only Muslim-majority region in the country. Politicians have been jailed and an entire region was turned into an open-air prison.
This has prompted fears that the BJP, which argues that India is a Hindu nation, may embark on a genocide against Muslims along the lines of what occurred in Gujarat in 2002 when Modi was the state’s chief minister.
It’s worth reviewing the words of Arundhati Roy in an essay about the anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat.
“The genocide began as collective punishment for an unsolved crime—the burning of a railway coash in which fifty-three Hindu pilgrims burned to death,” she writes in My Seditious Heart. “In a carefully planned orgy of supposed retaliation, two thousand Muslims were slaughtered in broad daylight by squads of armed killers, organized by fascist militias, and backed by the Gujarat government and the administration of the day.
“Muslim women were gang-raped and burned alive,” Roy continues. “Muslim shops, Muslim businesses, and Muslim shrines and mosques were systematically destroyed. Two thousand were killed and more than one hundred thousand people were driven from their homes.”
Later in that same essay, she points out that the Congress politician who campaigned against Modi was “publicly butchered”. After Ehsan Jafri was cut to pieces, his body was set on fire so he could be burned alive.
“While the mob that lynched Jafri, murdered several people, and gang-raped twelve women—before burning them alive—was gathering, the Ahmedabad commissioner of police, P.C. Pandey, was kind enough to visit the neighbourhood,” Roy writes. “After Modi was reelected, Pandey was promoted and made Gujarat’s director general of police. The entire killing apparatus remains in place.”
Yes, the killing apparatus remains in place.
And the Canadian government, which professes such a keen interest in human rights, can’t be bothered to utter a peep of concern.
Toronto media day: Raducanu eyes 'a clean slate'; Sakkari faces a tough truth – WTA Tennis
TORONTO — Emma Raducanu says she is looking forward to a fresh start to her career ahead of her title defense at the US Open later this month. This week, the World No.10 returns to her birthplace in Toronto to make her tournament debut at the National Bank Open.
Fresh off a run to the quarterfinals of the Citi Open last week, Raducanu was asked to reflect on her US Open win and follow-up season.
“To have success at a young age, obviously you have to be really grateful because I’m doing what I love, but also I’ve reached success way earlier than I ever really would have thought I did,” Raducanu said. “So I’m pretty proud of myself in that way.
“But it has been a tough year. I’ve definitely gone through and experienced a lot of challenges. To be fair, I’ve learned a lot from all of it. I think it’s going to be nice once the US Open is finished and [I can] carry on from there. Start again.
“I think it will be nice to take all of the lessons from the last year and just [have] a clean slate.”
Seeded No.9 this week, Raducanu will face 2021 Montreal champion Camila Giorgi in the first round.
In search of the real Maria Sakkari
After taking a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Shelby Rogers in the second round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic last week, World No.3 Maria Sakkari had to face a difficult truth: She was not enjoying the life of a top tennis player.
“I just sat down with [Coach] Tom [Hill] for a lot of hours and just realized that I’m not enjoying being one of the best players in the world, which was something very tough to admit and very tough to handle,” Sakkari told reporters. “But it’s the truth. It’s the reality. I think that the pressure and everything was something I had to deal with.”
Sakkari has not been herself since making the biggest final of her career this spring at Indian Wells, where she lost to Iga Swiatek in the championship match. Sakkari credits her mother, former player Angeliki Kanellopoulou, for reminding her to enjoy her career. It won’t last forever.
“After the match against Paula [Badosa in the Indian Wells semifinals] it was very emotional because I knew that I was going to be a Top 3 player after winning that match,” Sakkari said. “[In Greece] I was always the person and the player that, because my mom was very famous back home, they always used to say ‘She’s never going to make it, even if she changes everything. She will never make it.’ And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I become one of the best players in the world.
“So for me, it was very tough to handle it. I struggled. Sometimes when you are on the tour and you play week after week, you don’t stop and you don’t realize what you have really achieved. It takes time for some people and I believe that it took time for me.
“But I feel like I’m on the right track to being myself again. And I believe you’re going to see a different Maria than in the last three months.”
Netflix is not in deep trouble. It's becoming a media company – CNN
City of Brandon – August 7th Media Release – City of Brandon –
For the last 24 hours:
Drinking in Public Leads to Multiple Criminal Charges:
At about 11:40 AM Saturday morning, it was reported that a male subject was acting bizarrely in and around the 700 block Rosser Ave. When located in the area, the 21 year-old was drinking an alcoholic beverage so was detained under the LGCCA. He was subsequently found to be in breach of multiple conditions of two separate Probation Orders. Search incident to arrest revealed a machete in his backpack. He disclosed taking an unknown quantity of unknown pills, so was released on appropriate police imposed conditions as he was receiving medical assessment and treatment. He is to appear in Court on October 3rd, facing one count of possessing a weapon and six counts of failing to comply with a Probation Order.
Break & Enters:
An unlocked attached residential garage on Falcon Crescent was entered overnight on Friday and tools were stolen. Some of those were recovered strewn across neighbouring property.
A resident in the 300 block 27th Street reported that the detached garage had been forcibly entered overnight Thursday – Friday. The complainant was unsure if anything had been stolen but the walk-through door frame had been damaged during the incident.
Theft With Threat:
At about 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon, it was reported that a resident in the 700 block 20th Street had been robbed of a bicycle approx. 20 minutes prior, while in his back yard. Police attended and spoke with the victim who related that an unknown male came into his back yard and stole an old bicycle of no value, and brandished a knife while doing so. The suspect left without further incident. The suspect was described as Indigenous in appearance, 6’5”, skinny, wearing a blue hoodie, black bandana and hat. The knife was pulled from the front right pants’ pocket.
A 28 year-old female was encountered in the 700 block 18th Street Saturday evening, with personal effects strewn about a business vestibule. A records query revealed a warrant for arrest for failing to comply with a Probation Order. She was arrested and released on scene with a court date of October 3rd.
Just before midnight Saturday night, Brandon RCMP advised having a 51 year-old male in custody on the strength of a BPS held warrant for arrest for sexual assault. RCMP had attended to a complaint in Glenboro and encountered the accused. He is held in custody and will appear before the court later today.
Motor Vehicle Collision With Injuries:
At 11:15 PM Saturday night, 911 reported a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Crescent. Two occupants were stuck in a vehicle that had rolled over onto its’ side. The investigation revealed that the driver of the rolled vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign. That driver was transported to BRHC by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The second driver was uninjured.
Several people were detained from separate incidents, for their own safety or to prevent a breach of the peace, due to their level of intoxication. They will be held in custody until sober enough to care for themselves.
RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:
A/Staff Sergeant Dallas Lockhart, #101
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
Air Canada denies certain compensations claims, calls staff shortages a 'safety-related issue' – CBC.ca
Senate passes Democrats' sweeping health care and climate bill – CNN
Toronto media day: Raducanu eyes 'a clean slate'; Sakkari faces a tough truth – WTA Tennis
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