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Nirupama Sekhri

Listener of Small Voices | Posted | News-Current-Topics

Protest Lane

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Listener of Small Voices | Posted

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The security around the Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar that kicked off yesterday is as tight as around the Parliament in New Delhi also sitting for its Monsoon Session. However, clear, unhindered access to media is what differentiates the two. Seven months and counting since the Farmers Protest began, th
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Focus on Ground Realities


The Government presented an anti-people budget, and a two-day platform by a network of 300 organisations deliberated in Jantar-Mantar on how to reclaim full citizenship and state guarantees, along with state laws and policies that are inclusive and non-discriminatory


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After the controversial attack on Jamia students protesting against the CAA by policemen on Dec. 15, 2019; faculty and students at the prestigious JNU were attacked on Jan. 5, 2020 by masked goons.

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‘‘Want to provide evidence that didn’t give in without a fight!’’



These were the words of Anita Singh, who has been with the Dena Bank’s clearance cell for 34 years. This Government-forced merger, that had bank employees across the country going on strike, will have very little impact on Anita due to retire soon, but ‘‘it is essential that I support it to raise our voice

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‘Our Govt. More Regressive than British!’


 ‘Even while the Government is inviting foreign universities to set-up shop in the country, what about looking after

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Lord Rama higher than Guru Ravidass?




Guru Ravidas is widely believed to have been born in Varanasi in 1450 to a community considered low in caste working as they did with animal hide and leather. But, he grew up to be a thinker, philosopher and revolutionary, who spoke about an egalitarian society and envisioned a utopic city - Begumpera - where people were not d

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''We are NOT Hindu''


This was the rallying cry of the 200-odd participants demanding for protection of their identity on International Day of the Wo

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Nine Is Mine


With Jantar Mantar formally closed for protests until the end of Lok Sabha elections, there was yet an unusual group that came to put forward their election agenda for all contesting parties to take into account - children.


From various schools around the city, they shared their vision for a safe an

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“We support RSS & BJP ideology but will oppose them on policy”


“There are more than one and a half lakh direct employees of BSNL, and thousands of retired employees as well as contract labor – we will all oppose the ruling government because their policies have hurt each of us,” was the rallying cry of the huge pan-Indian grou

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Lovely Gift Hamper with NOTHING Inside


Early this year, the central government introduced the General Category EWS 103rd Amendment Act that came into effect on January 14, which allows for 10% reservation for financially disadvantaged of the general category for government jobs.

<
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“Jai Mata meaningless without respecting people”


“Our Parliament can make rules overnight to allow MNCs into the country, but it is dragging its feet to protect its own street vendors – whose government is it?” demands Saktiman Ghosh, General Secretary, National Hawkers Federation (NHF).


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Tripura’s Farmer Philosopher


“When Arjuna faced a problem, he called upon Krishna to guide him. Today, we Indians have the Constitution that plays the same role as the Gita did for Arjuna, so we are here to invoke that right of ours,” says Ravi Jamata, a farmer from Teliamura in the heart of Tripura, who camped in Delhi with about

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“Give us old pension scheme or STOP your own!”


This was the rallying cry of the hundreds of state government employees from across the country, who gathered at Jantar Mantar.


Under the old pension system, a retired state government employee was assured a pension that was adjusted to the rising inflation rate and usually started at Rs. 9,000 per

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Government Playing Ignorant Nanny!


“Our family was exploring surrogacy for one of our family members a couple of years ago, and I had a chance to learn about the issue,” says Kiran Chawla Kapoor, a social activist, “I was struck by the changes the Surrogacy Bill 2016 was proposing and dec

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Peethambaram: One of India’s Unclaimed


In the year of the Indo-Pakistan war 1965, Peethambar enrolled himself in Cochin in the army as a signalman. “I trained in Goa; I was posted in Sikkim in Nathula on the China border; I served with the Western Command Signals, and was serving in Jalandhar during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war ……… they were good days,” he reminisces.

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Banking on Illiteracy


Venkupalem is a small village 27 km west of the coastal city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a population of about thousand people, mostly engaged in small farming activities, many of them illiterate, ten of whom were in Delhi to protest against their lands being taken by the local government with the compensation for it diverte

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“Introduce Pass-Fail from Class 1” 


It was under the UPA government in 2010 that the no-detention till Class 8 policy was introduced. The justification was to reduce academic stress on children and promote healthy, holistic growth in budding minds and bodie

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Not the Creamy Layer


They were back. Headed by their bolshie leader Yashpal Malik; with their now signature bullheaded belligerence, they streamed down Jantar Mantar street to demand Jats to be on the central OBC (Other ‘backward’ Caste) list to be qualified for the 27% reserved quotas in government jobs, as well as some government-backed educational institutions.

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“Stop humiliation of engineers!”


“Imagine an engineering job with NO promotion!” that is a primary grievance that an energetic, dynamic group of railway engineers have with their job.


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‘Legal’ Mining! Who’s speaking for the land?


Since mechanized mining began in the 17th century, it has left in its wake kilometers-long, surreal-looking, gaping gashes of devastation and toxic waste. While in the last century, many developed countries have implemented stringent regulations - if not always to protect the land, at least the workers and local popul

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“Need to talk about Constitution not Manusmriti”


This is what Himshi, one of the coordinators of the veritable juggernaut of the country’s grassroots population that finally halted in the Capital on Dec. 10 after its 3-month journey, asserted. She has been working for the past two and a half years with the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) that led

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“Protesting cow killing is convenience not conviction”


There was frenzied sloganeering and mike-amplified homilies on the 26th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 06 by politicos and the public alike. Cleaved between these big groups was a small, bewildered huddle of four from Lakhimpu

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Country’s right civil arm & military’s left, but stepchild of Govt.


This is what Assam Rifles (AR) veterans consider as their status. While its 66000- strong servicemen are deployed across the north-eastern regions, their one lakh ex-servicemen hail f

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‘Listen to our life stories from around the country’


Demanded thousands of farmers, who descended on Delhi from all over the country. “Thousands of suicides have not melted the heart of the Parliament to find out why farmers are being driven to such extreme measures, so we have to come here to make our voices heard,” said T. Ojha, social activist, heading Mazdoo

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“I paid Rs. 1800 for a ‘free’ gas cylinder!’


Says Reena, a resident of south-west Delhi’s Sitapuri, who works in the informal sector. And she is not alone, “Many of us have been fooled by this Ujjwala scheme – it is a sham,” she claims.


This is what a motley group under the political party CPI (M) (Communist Party of India Marxist) banner came to protes

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“Why are our children condemned to be labourers too?”


“When we join the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) as labourers, it is understood that our children will do the same because no educational facilities are provided for them. We eat dust, burn in the sun, brave the rain and sleet; don’t we deserve any development?” demanded to know Tumge Ete, General Secretary BRO Lab

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“How is a Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train joining India!”


Demanded to know Khargo Bahadur Setry, Bodo leader from Assam. He added, “If you had connected Delhi to Tripura, then yes, it would be connecting India, but how is this short stretch representing India?”


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“Where is the Money?”


That is the rallying cry of band of men, who have been holding protests and demonstrations for the past four years in many parts of north India to seek answers, and get their money back.


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“1984 Sikh Genocide Normalised State Violence”


This is what members of Lok Raj Sangathan asserted at their annual demonstration at Jantar Mantar on the 1st of November this year too. The organisation registered in 1998 is “a political organisation not a political party”, pointedly underlines S. Raghavan, the soft-spoken President of the NGO.


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“One BSF jawan commits suicide every week!”


So claims Navratan Choudhury, who put in four years of service in the BSF (Border Security Force) in a clerical position between 2012 – 2017.


He goes on to say – “It is unemployed people who commit suicide or people who don’t enjoy job security, but why do so many jawans of a paramilitary force that is pr

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