India Trip: Blog 3 (January 7, 2020) Some News From Delhi
9:20 Evening. I am catching up on some news. I read some of the Times of India. It is pretty clear that this attack on students and professors at JNU was carried out against secular and leftist students on Sunday evening (January 5, 2020). It reminds me of the events in Ayodhya in 1992. There, the police just stood by and let the demolition of the mosque happen. The same thing seems to have happened here for at least three hours while the masked goons were attacking students and professors on the JNU campus.
I was there at JNU in 1983 and again in 1989. I stayed in one of the hostels in 1983. I do not quite remember how I made that arrangement. I know that there was a water problem and the students only got water for a bath part of the day. It was in the hottest part of the summer.
Now there is a lot of news about what is happening there. A whole new generation is there now. It is sort of like the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany and like what is happening in the USA these days.
Of course the ABVP (right-wing student’s group) is attacking and accusing the left. This is also a classic maneuver, like the Reichstag fire in the 1930s in Germany.
Now there is going to be elections in Delhi next month. The Delhi population is over 20 million now. It is more than the population of 140 countries. It is one of the two biggest populaition agglomarations in the world. These are Tokyo and Delhi. Istanbul is also very big.
I can see that the BJP-RSS-ABVP students got a lot of footage on Indian TV. Why not? They are really in power in the country.
The ABVP is opposed to the NSUI and other organizations. (National Students Union of India?)
Now in Delhi, the Aam Adam Party, the common man’s party, has been in rule since about 2012, I believe. Of course, the BJP wants to rule the city. It is quite like Istanbul. Almost exactly, with the Ak Party (Justice and Development Party in Turkey) trying to get control of Istanbul. And also the old Congress Party is there, but they seem quite weak in Delhi. This Chief Minister in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, took over from the old politician, a woman, Sheila Dikshit. He is head of the Aam Adam Party. In 2015, he won 67 out of the 70 assembly seats in Delhi. Sounds a lot like Istanbul. Delhi has three Rajya Sabha seats (upper house of the Indian Parliament) and seven Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament) seats. The party expanded to Punjab. But the votes in Delhi declined recently. Kejriwal tried to improve education and health with bigger budgets, increasing from Rupees 6600 crores to 15,600 crores and Rupees 3500 crores to Rupees 7500 crores. (A crore is ten million.) There are free water and electricity schemes and 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in Delhi. (A lakh is 100,000.) They piped water to 93 percent of the houses. They increased infrastructure development in unauthorized colonies. (Similar to gecekondus in Turkey) They say there are more than two million persons living in such places in Delhi. And the BJP is campaigning in the election without naming a chief minister candidate. They are riding on Narendra Modi’s, (the Prime Minister of India) popularity. This also sounds a lot like Turkey.
Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. It does not take too long to catch up on the politics of a country even though one has been away from it for quite a long time.
I had the wet suitcase problem. A few of my papers got wet in my suitcase from the rain in Istanbul. I should have kept them in my back pack.
January 8. Wednesday. 10:20 Morning. I woke up around 8:45 local time. So I had a good sleep. But it was almost two in the morning before I slept. After taking that nap in the afternoon, it was hard to get back to normal. I didn’t wake up till morning.
The room feels quite cold, but I was alright in the night. I freshened up without a shower and went down for breakfast. It is the same thing. Sort of crude puris and potato curry, but they do have toast and jam and the waiters will make one an omelet if one wants. I did not bother with that this morning.
It was raining heavily outside. I think some of the storm has come here from Turkey. The news was on in Hindi, of course. Then the signal was lost in the heavy rain. The tea is okay and the juice too, but it is made up, not real juice. They also have some fruit, papaya and pineapple and another fruit that I did not recognize. I would like bananas.
I will go out when the weather gets a little better. My room does not have windows, in Hotel Alka, so I cannot check the weather from the room. I saw some of the news. It appears that the state is going to hang four guys in for rape on January 22, according to the Times of India. They are in a jail in Delhi. It may be postponed.
The hotel culture seems the same as I remember from years ago, and it still strikes me. How the waiters, two of them, stand around watching the TV and not taking care of the tables. There was just me there for breakfast and a sadougie (Sikh) sitting close to me. So there was really nothing for them to be doing. I got two cups of tea and the guy just brought my toast from the toaster. That’s all.
I’ll take it a little easy this morning. Maybe the weather will get better. I’ll get out and take some pictures. It could be nice, even if there is no sun. Maybe better in the afternoon. But maybe I need a fast lens, and not the zoom lens on the Minolta.
Here is one thing about the Nirbhaya Rape case that is in the papers. Four men are sentenced to hang on the 22nd of January. (They still had not been executed on 2 February, 2002) Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur. They had been sentenced to death six years before by another court. It is a rape and murder case. It is in Delhi’s Patiala House Courts. The judge was Satish Kumar Arora. The mother of Nirbhaya had filed the case through her advocate Jatindra Kumar Jha and Seema Kushwaha.
Asha Devi is the mother. The report says that the court ignored the pleas of the rapists. Well, I wonder if they are all guilty. I don’t know. In December 2018, the parents had brought another case to have them executed.
The women are crying to have them hanged speedily. The National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Swati Maliwal says that the case took seven years. She wants it to be done in six months. “Justice will be done,” she says.
Is it really justice?
Ranjana Kumari, the director of the Centre for Social Research says “Fast Track Justice is still to become real.” She says that the crimes can be prevented by ensuring “fast track” justice. I doubt that. They will be launching campaigns in districts with state commissions.
The National Federation for Indian Women, general secretary, Annie Raja, talked about the need for reforms in the law. And the need to focus on “witness protection.” They need more forensic laboratories, police and judicial reforms, and a review of implementation of existing legislation.
Enanshi Ganguly Haq, at the Centre for Child Rights, said there was a need to focus on “preventing violence.” They are counseling survivors of sexual violence, rape and so on.
The Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal also said that the hanging needs to be done in six months. But “this has given people some relief.” I am sorry, but seeing them hanged does not really give me any relief. “Then, only, a deterrence will be created.” I wonder why six months? Where did that number come from? “We have to make Delhi a safe city where no such incidents take place,” he said.
But it is a tautology. At a town hall: “If police are more alert, together with the citizens, we can make a safer society.” It just says that if society is safe, then it is safe. Exactly.
The father of one if the convicted. Vinay Sharma. İs Hari Ram. The father said “He has not done anything.” Champa is his mother.
Now, I will check on the weather.