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The Doval Scorecard : National Security in the Election Year | Economic and Political Weekly

Friday, May 25 2018

The Doval Scorecard : National Security in the Election Year | Economic and Political Weekly

Google Scholar Ali Ahmed () blogs on national security issues at www.ali-writings.blogspot.in . As the ruling party at the centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party, contemplates the forthcoming national elections, its record on national security warrants a review. The key player in crafting and implementing its national security strategy has been National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. An examination of Doval’s record over the past four years reveals that his principal contribution has been in facilitating national security interests to be held hostage to the electoral calculus of the Narendra Modi–Amit Shah combine. On his nomination as National Security Adviser (NSA), Ajit Doval had acquired a larger-than-life image. Hagiographical accounts of his derring-do as an intelligence officer in all of India’s national security predicaments since the 1971 war—including Mizoram, Punjab, Pakistan, Kashmir and Kandahar—have featured him in a stellar role (Gokhale 2014). He remained indefatigable in retirement as founding head of the Vivekananda International Foundation, where his think tank provided respectability to the penetration of cultural nationalism into the strategic discourse (Donthi 2017). While at it, he comprehensively stalled any national security initiatives of the United Progressive Alliance—such as its last gasp in reaching out to Pakistan in 2013—by leading Delhi’s strategic community in warning against any such initiative (Vivekananda International Foundation 2013). By early 2014, he had staked a claim, laid out in lectures across the country, on heading the national security apparatus; the more (in)famous claim being during a lecture in which he warned that Pakistan stood to lose Baluchistan if another attack like the 26/11 attack in Mumbai were to happen ( The Fearless Indian 2014). It was not a surprise then that one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s very first decisions on reaching 7, Race Course Road, was to appoint Doval as the NSA. As the NSA, Doval hit the ground running. Modi’s foreign policy coup of bringing together the heads of neighbouring countries, Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif among them, is attributed to him. It did not take long for criticism to catch up with him. Critics had it that he was—true to his reputation—tactically agile, but strategically untested. Unfortunately for him, the skill set that goes with a proactive intelligence profile, does not necessarily lend itself to a sound performance at the strategic level (Ahmed 2015). For instance, though Sharif’s presence at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt presaged an opening up to Pakistan, by the end of the season, the follow-on foreign secretary-level talks were called off. Instances of smart about-turns continued. Barely had Modi landed back in India from visiting Sharif at his Raiwind farmhouse on Christmas eve in 2015, the possibilities of the peace process resuming after this outreach were spiked yet again a week later, with India referencing a terrorist attack on the Pathankot airfield. Even so, the actions in the national security field were such and so fast in coming, that some had it that there was a new national security doctrine at play. While some dubbed this the “Doval doctrine” (Noorani 2015), others—mindful of the overlord—called it the “Modi doctrine” (Chaulia 2016). The high-water mark of the national security reset was the “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control (LoC) in late September 2016. The opposition was quick to point out that these had precedent, the difference being that earlier governments in place did not seek to profit politically from such strikes. In short, little had changed, but the attendant perception-management exercise had been taken to new levels. This owed less to national security factors than to the electoral calculus of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Modi and Amit Shah. This political need of the BJP, which has kept it in election mode all through its tenure, stems from its deep linkages with the right-wing organisations headed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Their aim is to profit from Modi’s sway over voters for a cultural-nationalism inspired reset of India, one distanced from an inclusive, plural, democratic, and secular India. Democratic gains by the BJP covering all regions in India, the latest being inroads into the south by their electoral showing in Karnataka, place this within sight. Alongside, a hollowing out of institutions is underway. The state of the ruling party is itself a case in point, as brought out by an old-timer in the party who has since left, Yashwant Sinha (2018). Taking the cue, the police, bureaucracy, and media have keeled over. Even the armed forces have not been spared, with the army’s proverbial line-of-succession that is predicated on seniority being rudely tweaked to elevate Bipin Rawat—who had developed a working relationship with Doval—over two of his seniors to head it (Dutta 2016). The judiciary is currently in the cross hairs, perhaps with a view to making it an inert institution, which would enable the Modi government to trifle with the basic structure of the Constitution sometime into its next tenure should it win the 2019 elections ( Business Standard 2018). What this enervation of institutions spells for national security is rather obvious. National security is a function of the good health of these institutions and their pulling together. Therefore, in evaluating the Doval tenure as head of the national security establishment, it would not do to restrict the assessment to how India has managed its external and internal security environment alone. Doval’s place in history needs examining against what his role has been in bringing about a denouement today, in which India stands vulnerable to a majoritarian assault on its fundamentals. To his clients in the right-wing conglomerate, Doval has by this yardstick succeeded admirably. Not in National Interest But, first, we take a look at Doval’s exertions in the field of mainstream national security in relation to Pakistan and China. Even while India professed to be matching up to China, it suddenly backed down. Take, for instance, the “informal summit” with China at Wuhan last month. It is a step back for India, intended to paper over the Doklam episode where Chinese activity has reportedly continued. With the informal summit, Modi has bought some time by negotiating a lull in the election year. The army has been asked to moderate its responses on the Line of Actual Control (Som 2018). A former military adviser in the national security system notes, “Only a calculation based on the dynamics of domestic politics can yield a suggestion to keep quiet [on Chinese aggression]” (Menon 2018a). One advantage of stability on the China front is an increase in the possibility of mounting pressure on Pakistan. A climbdown on the China front does away with a two-front problem, enabling pressure to be mounted on the Pakistan front. India espied an opportunity in the pressure on Pakistan promised by United States President Donald Trump. This, however, has not quite materialised and the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has gone on to offer an olive branch to the Taliban. India appears to have since fallen in line. Not only has there been a drawdown in firing across the LoC, but there has been a resumption of Track II confabulations. Under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, India and Pakistan are to undertake military exercises together for the first time. Doval has taken care to keep a line open with his Pakistani counterpart, Nasser Khan Janjua. In short, Doval is taking no chances of an India–Pakistan crisis emerging and escalating to an inherently uncertain conclusion in the election year. Implicit in India’s allocation of the lowest amount for defence in relation to its gross domestic product since the 1962 war (Unnithan 2018) is the message to both adversaries that, at least for this year, India would be less assertive. This is in stark contrast to the tough-on-defence image that the government aspired to and attempted to foster over the past four years. The about-turn on both fronts suggests that the electoral interests of the ruling party are now the national security imperative, and not the national interest. Internal security initiatives have also been taken with an eye for votes. In Kashmir, Operation All-Out over the past two years has led to the killing of some 275 alleged terrorists in operations reminiscent of the 1990s ( Kashmir Times 2018). The dividend from the simultaneous admi­nistration of the carrot-and-stick approach—the union government-appointed special representative’s periodic forays into Jammu and Kashmir and the military template—has not been obvious. India could well have arrived at the possibility of peace without having gone down the route of confrontation over the last four years. The centre has reluctantly, and only partially, accepted the proposal for a ceasefire during Ramzan made by the chief minister after an all-party meet. For its part, though defiant on the LoC, Pakistan has signalled its readiness for dialogue (Baruah 2018). If India’s strategy was to display resolve through its use of force, then it is time to capitalise on the strategy. The hypothesis here that India’s security policy is driven by the BJP’s electoral calculus suggests that the potential for a peace process that the Ramzan ceasefire has will go unrealised. Instead, this juncture will be milked for showing India’s peaceful intent, useful both internationally and domestically to obscure that its ruling party needs to keep both problems alive for their internal political utility. Since national security has been allowed to be usurped for political and ideological ends, Doval is answerable. Cultural Nationalism The benefits of cultural nationalism—read religious majoritarianism­—for national security are not self-evident. The contrary is more likely the case, in terms of the threat of authoritarianism, impact on constitutional governance, and marginalisation of minorities. A snapshot of the impact on the three can be seen through the prism of the rule of law. The recent discharge of Maya Kodnani in the case related to the Gujarat carnage of 2002 and that of Swami Aseemanand in the Mecca Masjid blast case shows how perpetrators close to, and possibly acting at the behest of the Sangh Parivar, have been let off. Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, a leader of the saffron terror outfit, Abhinav Bharat, has been granted bail and has rejoined the army. Clearly, the plea made in 2013 by police officer D G Vanzara, when incarcerated in jail, that he and fellow cops had been abandoned appears to have been heeded by the right quarter, by Modi, who has been likened to a “god” by Vanzara (Vanzara 2013). The crowning case is that of BJP President Amit Shah in relation to the encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and custodial killing of his wife. Even the possibilities stemming from the manner of death of Justice B H Loya, the Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge earlier handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, could not make a dent, even though it led to open dissent in the upper judiciary. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) head, Sharad Kumar, under whom the agency dragged its feet in all such cases, is slated to join the National Human Rights Commission on retirement (Bhatnagar 2018). The subversion of institutions from within is the primary internal security threat taking place on Doval’s watch. The implications need spelling out. The RSS supremo, Mohan Bhagwat, let on that he could mobilise a militia within three days (Tewary 2018). In effect, saffronite foot soldiers can graduate to becoming storm troopers in short order. The disruption at Aligarh Muslim University on the day of a function at which the former vice president was to speak is indicative of such power and its outcome. The invasion of the makeshift open-air Friday prayer of Muslims in Gurugram by majoritarian outfits over successive weeks, under the watch of a benign BJP government, is another example. In short, there is a parallel structure of force in place. A shift in the monopoly over the use of force from the state to such structures is underway as the state apparatus kowtows to the parallel power centres. If this elides the head of India’s national security establishment, Doval, it is not because he is oblivious or merely complicit, but is more likely the chief steward. The profile of Doval carried in the Caravan provides a clue (Donthi 2017). He is quoted arguing that there is a “higher rationale” in which the rights-based rule of law must yield to the welfare of the collective. For him, and in the cultural-nationalist perspective, the national interest is that of the majority community. Finally, with the current government having barely a year left in its term, the jury is likely to remain out on the new-fangled Defence Planning Committee (DPC) with Doval as its head. The DPC has been charged with, among and as a precursor to other things, the task of ­formulating a national security strategy. This amounts to Doval inadvertently writing his own appraisal since it testifies to India’s dysfunctional national security system having remained in place over the last four years, though the BJP came to power claiming that it could best revitalise it. As remedy, it has resorted, rather late in its term, to collapsing policy, strategy, and planning into one package in the form of the DPC for the sake of political optics (Menon 2018b). More importantly, Doval’s ultimate test is yet to come. In case his mentor, Modi, is increasingly beleaguered, it is widely expected that the mandir card will be played. It is not without purpose that the opposition had requested the apex court to postpone its judgment on the issue to after the elections. The god-man Sri Sri Ravishankar has predicted a Syria-like situation in case the verdict goes against the claim of one of the two communities, taking care not to name the community (Joshi 2018). Any pronouncement on Doval can only follow from how the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision turns out. Though it is unlikely that Doval will baulk at this potential culmination point of the Hindutva takeover of India, how he handles the Hindutva machinery may yet be an opportunity to vindicate, if not redeem, himself. References Ahmed, Ali (2015): “India: Dissecting the Doval Doctrine,” Eurasia Review , 7 August, http://www.eurasiareview.com/07082015-india-dissecting-the-doval-doctrine-oped/ . Baruah, Amit (2018): “Pakistan Army Ready to Join Dialogue Process with India,” Hindu , 17 May, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ready-to-join-dialogue-with-india-pak-army/article23905872.ece . Bhatnagar, G V (2018): “National NGO Network Opposes Ex-NIA Chief’s Proposed Appointment as NHRC Member,” Wire , 16 May, https://thewire.in/rights/national-ngo-network-opposes-ex-nia-chiefs-proposed-appointment-as-nhrc-member . Business Standard (2018): “BJP Will Make Major Assault on Constitution if It Controls Both Houses, Says Shashi Tharoor,” 8 February, http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/bjp-planning-major-assault-on-constitution-shashi-tharoor-ians-interview-118020800551_1.html . Chaulia, Sreeram (2016): The Modi Doctrine: Foreig n Policy of India’s Prime Minister , New Delhi: Bloomsbury India. Donthi, Praveen (2017): “Undercover: Ajit Doval in Theory and Practice,” Caravan , 1 September, http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/ajit-doval-theory-practice . Dutta, Saikat (2016): “Gen Rawat’s Appointment as Army Chief Is in Line with Modi’s Aggressive Foreign Policy,” Scroll.in , 19 December, https://scroll.in/article/824529/rawats-appointment-as-army-chief-is-in-line-with-modis-aggressive-foreign-policy . Gokhle, Nitin (2014): “Ajit Doval: The Spy Who Came In from the Cold,” NDTV , 30 May, https://www.ndtv.com/people/ajit-doval-the-spy-who-came-in-from-the-cold-564734 . Joshi, Padmaja (2018): “If Not Resolved Amicably, Janmaboomi Dispute Can Turn India into Syria: Sri Sri,” India Today , 5 March, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/if-not-resolved-amicably-janmaboomi-dispute-can-turn-india-into-syria-sri-sri-1182073-2018-03-05 . Kashmir Times (2018): “Forces in J&K to Stop Ops during Ramzan,” 17 May, http://www.kashmirtimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=79199 . Menon, Prakash (2018a): “Doklam—India’s Silence Is a Strategic Blunder,” Indian National Interest , 20 March, https://nationalinterest.in/doklam-indias-silence-is-a-strategic-blunder-3c172516ae98 . — (2018b): “The Problems of Defence Planning,” Pragati , 16 May, https://www.thinkpragati.com/opinion/4527/the-problems-of-defence-planning/ . Noorani, Abdul Ghafoor (2015): “The Doval Doctrine,” Frontline , 13 November, http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/the-doval-doctrine/article7800194.ece . Sinha, Yashwant (2018): “Dear Friend, Speak Up,” Indian Express , 17 April, http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/narendra-modi-budget-economy-rapes-foreign-policies-yashwant-sinha-5139969/ . Som, Vishnu (2018): “’No Aggressive Patrolling’ Along China Border, Army Told After Wuhan Meet,” NDTV , 2 May, https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/no-aggressive-patrolling-along-china-border-army-told-after-wuhan-meet-1846210 . Tewary, Amarnath (2018): “RSS Can Prepare an Army within Three Days, Says Mohan Bhagwat,” Hindu , 12 February, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rss-can-prepare-an-army-within-3-days-mohan-bhagwat/article22727198.ece . The Fearless Indian (2015): “Ajit Doval Warns Pakistan “You Do One More Mumbai, You Lose Balochistan,” 7 January, (10th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture by Ajit Kumar Doval, Sastra University, 21 February), YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ESR5RU3X4 . Unnithan, Sandeep (2018): “Budget Squeeze Threatens Indian Army’s Preparedness for Possible Two-front War,” India Today , 3 May, https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/cover-story/story/20180514-defence-budget-squeeze-indian-army-unprepared-for-wars-1226462-2018-05-03 . Vanzara, Dahyabhai Gobarji (2013): “Read DG Vanzara’s Letter,” Times of India , 3 September, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Read-DG-Vanzaras-letter/articleshow/22262722.cms . Vivekananda International Foundation (2013): “Press Statement on India-Pakistan Relations by Members of India’s Strategic Community,” press statement, 9 August, http://www.vifindia.org/event/report/2013/august/09/press-statement-on-india-pakistan-relations-by-members-of-india-s-strategic-community . More Image Courtesy: Modified. Wikimedia Commons/ U.S. Department of State from United States / Public domain Updated On : 29th May, 2018

Baltimore’s Rosewood scandal: Wealthy families sprang asylum inmates to be servants.

Monday, May 21 2018

Baltimore’s Rosewood scandal: Wealthy families sprang asylum inmates to be servants.

March 17 2014 11:55 PM A Forgotten Scandal in Baltimore’s High Society Crooked lawyers sprang inmates from an asylum to make them slaves. The Rosewood Center in Owings Mills, Md., pictured in March 2009, was once a clearinghouse for exploitation of the mentally ill. Photo courtesy SheepNotGoats/Creative Commons The Rosewood Center (née the Maryland Asylum and Training School for the Feeble Minded, est. 1888) is an abandoned mental hospital on the outskirts of Baltimore. The state closed its doors only in 2009 after a mountain of angry complaints involving understaffing, patient abuse, and neglect. Much of the rotting old bedlam now lies in ruins or is caked in thick soot, the aftermath of a recent suspected arson. But even in this dilapidated state, its imposing presence stirs up a sense of the foreboding. Like many overwhelmed psychiatric facilities built around the turn of the last century, Rosewood had been dogged by shameful accusations for a long time. The most scandalous—the one that sets Rosewood apart from other asylums—was made by Leo Kanner on May 13, 1937. Before a hushed gathering at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Pittsburgh, Kanner shared the shocking tale of “the Rosewood girls.” It’s not a story most people know about today, but it’s an important reminder of just how destructive an upper class with an unchecked sense of entitlement can be, and how vital it remains to safeguard the interests of those who can’t do so for themselves. It also forces us to revisit an uncomfortable moment in our nation’s history when the practice of eugenics—human breeding for socially desirable attributes, such as intelligence—was viewed by even the most progressive human rights advocates as humane and ethical. Kanner, a prominent Austrian-born physician who headed up the child psychiatry unit at Johns Hopkins University, was an advocate for the “feebleminded.” He’s mostly remembered today as the discoverer of autism . (For a while, autism was known as “Kanner syndrome.”) Remarkably, the cluster of symptoms that he was able to piece together from just a small sample of autistic children more than 70 years ago is still routinely used for diagnostic purposes. It was while researching the history of autism for another story , in fact, that I stumbled upon a passing reference to Kanner’s role as the main whistleblower in the Rosewood case. Advertisement It’s cliché, I realize, to describe evil as “banal.” Yet there’s no better word to describe what Kanner discovered. Evil wore tightly laced girdles under fashionable gowns. Scheming in embroidered cloche hats, it sipped tea and fingered jewels while listening to the gossip of the haut monde. It lingered especially, Kanner showed, in the affluent Baltimore suburbs of Catonsville and Forest Park, in huge, wood-paneled homes on tree-lined streets, where its heartbeat could be made out in the incessant ticking of grandfather clocks. What was the nature of this evil? For more than 20 years, some of Baltimore’s wealthiest and most established families had been helping themselves to the institutionalized patients at Rosewood. They’d been “adopting” these mentally challenged girls and women only to turn them into their own private slaves. It’s unclear from Kanner’s report just whose brainchild it was to steal these patients away from their cloistered lives at Rosewood, but I suspect a money-hungry wolf was at its center. The notorious Harry B. Wolf, Esq., to be precise. Wolf was a prodigious trial attorney—he racked up an average of 1,000 cases a year, nearly all of them successful—who seems to have had his hands in just about everything else in Baltimore. Real estate deals, hotel investments, even a successful ferry service company operating on the Eastern Shore. By the age of 28, he was already a former U.S. congressman . During the Great Depression, Wolf drove a Rolls Royce and lived in a sunny corner mansion in one of the area’s toniest neighborhoods. Clues to Wolf’s involvement can be found in old court proceedings, many of which were published in the Baltimore Sun . “In Rosewood 30 Years, Woman Gains Release,” reads one early headline from 1920. “Girl Is Released by Court After 7 Years in a Home,” says another. In these newspaper accounts, Wolf is named as the attorney for long-term Rosewood patients, having personally obtained writs of habeas corpus to gain their freedom. “Attorney Wolf made a vigorous plea to the jury in the girl’s behalf, severely criticizing those responsible for her detention,” according to the account of one courtroom scene. Perhaps the clearest sign of Wolf’s central role in the sad plot is a casual statement in the same article that Wolf had 26 other similar cases lined up for trial. Advertisement If it sounds to you like Wolf was the good guy, helping some poor women escape from a lifetime of captivity at Rosewood, you’d have been putty in his hands as one of the jury members. What he was in fact doing was abusing the system for his own profit. The old judicial writ of habeas corpus (Latin for “bring the body here”) guarantees a physical hearing before a judge to weigh the legality of a person’s continued detention. If a patient at Rosewood was determined sane by the (nonexpert) judge after appearing under such a writ, she was released into society—or rather, into a custodial arrangement filed by her lawyer. In 1922 Wolf was disbarred for an obstruction of justice charge in an unrelated murder trial . But other unethical lawyers quickly mastered Wolf’s legal legerdemain, and Rosewood became a booming cottage industry for those in the know. The families of these patients weren’t told about their releases; many, of course, had dumped their unwanted relatives at the facility long before and weren’t likely to care. Kanner found that an astonishing 166 patients left Rosewood under habeas corpus writs from 1911 to 1933, with nothing at all to indicate the oddly obliging judges’ criteria for their decisions. And when Kanner and a diligent social worker named Mabel Kraus looked into the matter further, they confirmed that these girls, women, and a few boys had not only been legally snatched from Rosewood right under everyone’s noses, but they’d been bought by the rich as unpaid laborers and indentured servants. It was a well-oiled human trafficking operation. At first, the psychiatrists at Rosewood protested. Yet with the judges—more than likely paid off—being so accommodating to the lawyers’ requests, eventually they gave up, letting the residents leave as soon as some aggressive lawyer merely threatened to get a writ. Thus the scandal almost certainly involved more than the cases on record. Rosewood’s superintendent, Frank Keating, who died a few years prior to Kanner’s 1937 report, may have been the one to tip off Kanner about the whole affair. “In the State of Maryland,” Kanner told the conference audience in Pittsburgh, “Dr. Keating’s was a lone voice in the wilderness. Having no support from the community, he was forced to capitulate.” Kanner, however, refused to do the same. He demanded that these injustices be stopped. “In our last so-called era of prosperity, housemaids were relatively expensive,” Kanner told the Bar Association of Baltimore City shortly before leaving for Pittsburgh. “Lawyer I and a number of ‘society matrons’ concocted a nightmarish scheme, which was to provide the matrons with cheaper help.” (“Lawyer I,” most likely Harry B. Wolf, had somehow obtained a list of patients given various light chores at Rosewood, seeing them as potential domestic workers.) “Lawyer I, his office associates and three other attorneys who soon joined the sport filed a writ for each girl without her knowledge . The girls, who had resided at the school from 5 to 30 years, had no thought of leaving. There they were well treated, had a permanent home and were not suited for extramural existence. They knew nothing about the writs until the day when, by order of the court, their ‘bodies were had’ for the hearing and they found themselves ‘released to the custody’ of women whom they did not know and who did not know them.” Advertisement Imagine if you’d lived 30 sheltered years in a mental institution, then suddenly found yourself scrubbing toilets in some lavish Edwardian estate where a socialite complained that you should be more grateful for what she’d done for you. The shocking revelations didn’t end there. Kanner and Kraus tracked down most of the former residents of Rosewood to determine what had become of them since their releases. It wasn’t a pretty picture. The vast majority had indeed gone to reside with those “society matrons” who, under the pretense of providing them with a loving home, had in fact paid Wolf or the other unscrupulous lawyers to obtain a resident of their choosing. Most got more than they bargained for. “Many of the women soon became dissatisfied with their maids and expressed great astonishment that the girls seemed ‘stupid’ and ‘slow,’” Kanner told his colleagues in Pittsburgh. “This discovery, however, did not deter them from ordering another girl from Lawyer I when they got rid of the one they had.” One lady had a change of mind about a particular Rosewood girl the moment she left the courtroom, leaving her confused new charge in the parking lot. Another intended her adoptee to be a personal housemaid for just two months, kicking her out when the family left for a European vacation. Others fell victim to abuse in these high-society homes. “A few of the women so overworked and underfed their imbecile maids,” Kanner reported, “that several of them died within two or three years after their release, mostly of acute pulmonary tuberculosis.” One woman who collected no fewer than 35 Rosewood girls had an especially mean-spirited young daughter who would spit in the maids’ faces and tip over their buckets while they did backbreaking work. Those who complained about her behavior were simply replaced by new girls. Some were sexually abused. “One girl placed in the home of a physician under his wife’s supervision was so poorly supervised,” Kanner told of another deplorable story, “that she went through nine months of an illegitimate pregnancy and gave birth to a child without anyone noticing it; the ‘supervising’ wife of the doctor … found the newborn baby in her cupboard.” Once they proved poor housekeepers, the women were eventually tossed out on the streets. And here, things got even grimmer—the former Rosewood girls saw “a sad peregrination through the whorehouses and flophouses of the slums,” as a student of Kanner’s would write many years later . For the original 1937 report, social worker Kraus had managed to track down 102 of the 166 habeas corpus cases on record. She found that 11 women (all of whom had been in perfect health when they left Rosewood) had died of illness or neglect; 17 were plagued by infectious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, or tuberculosis; 29 were prostitutes; eight had been reinstitutionalized in mental hospitals; and six were in prison for serious crimes. Overall, Kanner wrote, 89 had “failed miserably and inflicted grave harm and perils on themselves and the communities in which they live.” Leo Kanner, circa 1955. Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University/Creative Commons Advertisement After Kanner’s exposé, the nation was abuzz with the outrageous news of how a blueblood Baltimore society had coldheartedly exploited all those vulnerable people. “Record of Misery Traced in Freeing of Moronic Girls,” read a Washington Post headline the next day. Sweeping changes were made to ensure it could never happen again. But Kanner was a hero for his time, not ours. He was genuinely concerned about the Rosewood girls, yes, but his detailed analysis of these “imbeciles’” reproductive behaviors doesn’t seem so benevolent today. One of the primary reasons Kanner was so incensed by the whole affair was that he believed intelligence, or lack thereof, was hereditary. Once these fertile women were set free in the world, he reasoned, their mentally defective offspring became a new strain of civic pestilence. From his perspective, the Rosewood girls’ feebleminded young would burden a nation already struggling to find its economic footing. In fact, by the time of his report, a total of 165 children had already been born to this troubled pool of 102 former Rosewood patients. And of this second generation, Kanner claimed, “108 are incontestably feebleminded.” A typical case was that of “Edna May H.” In 1924, a judge released [her] to a woman who wanted a maid. Edna May became a prostitute and, at least on one occasion, had sexual intercourse with her own brother. [She] now has four feebleminded, neglected, malnourished children who are often covered with scabies and live in dirty, vermin-infested quarters. Based on such an avalanche of woe, Kanner assumed that these women—and the rest of us who are now suffering the social consequences of their unwise releases—would have been better off if they’d have been kept for life at Rosewood and away from the rest of the world. So while it’s clear enough that Wolf was the bad guy in this embarrassing American tale, was Kanner really the good guy? Top Comment I love how the author acknowledges that historical figures should be judged by the standards of their time, then proceeds to judge Kanner by the standards of our time. More... -plan17 Join In People should be judged in historical context. Nonetheless, Kanner’s position is but a step or two away from forced sterilization of “undesirables.” Do the mentally challenged have the right to bear children? Today, most of us would unhesitatingly say “yes.” Yet Kanner thought the reproductive rights of those Rosewood girls were irrelevant due to the impact of their reproduction on society. “Time alone will tell how many more feebleminded, illegitimate, neglected children this group of released Rosewood patients will in the future bestow on a commonwealth that can do nothing but look on and pay the penalty for indiscriminate habeas corpus releases by its courts of justice,” he said. By keeping these poor thick souls safe behind the walls of Rosewood, Kanner concluded, everyone’s interests would have been protected. Out of sight, out of mind.

Tuesday, June 5 2018

Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the West Bengal State Government Employees and some other categories of Employees for the year 2017-2018.

Home » West Bengal » You are reading » Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the West Bengal State Government Employees and some other categories of Employees for the year 2017-2018. Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the West Bengal State Government Employees and some other categories of Employees for the year 2017-2018. Government of West Bengal 325, Sarat Chatterjee Road, Nabanna, Howrah-711 102. Howrah, the 30th May, 2018 MEMORANDUM Subject : Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the State Government Employees and some other categories of Employees for the year 2017-2018. The undersigned is directed by order of the Governor to say that the Governor is pleased to decide that the State Government employees who are not covered by any of the productivity linked Bonus Scheme and whose revised emoluments did not exceed Rs.28,000/ – per month as on 31st March, 2018 will be entitled to ad-hoc bonus for the accounting year 2017-2018 at the rate of Rs. 3,800/-(Rupees three thousand eight hundred) only per head. The upper eligibility ceiling of Rs.28,000/- p.m as on 31st March, 2018 will be applicable irrespective of whether the emoluments are drawn in the pre-revised or revised scale of pay or on fixed/consolidated contract pay. 2. The benefit will be admissible subject to the following terms and conditions:- i. Ad-hoc Bonus admissible under this order will be worked out on the basis of emoluments as admissible on 31.03.2018. For the employees drawing pay and allowances in terms of the West Bengal Services (Revision of Pay and Allowances) Rules, 2009 the term ‘revised emoluments’ in this order will mean and include pay in the pay band plus the grade pay in the revised pay structure and includes the non-practicing allowance, if any, Dearness Allowance, but will not include any other pay and other allowances such as house rent allowance, medical allowance, compensatory allowances, etc. For those who are drawing pay and allowances in the un-revised scale, the term ’emoluments’ will mean and include basic pay, personal pay, special pay (additional remuneration), dearness pay, dearness allowance, deputation (duty) allowance, Steno Allowance but will not include specialist pay and other allowances such as house rent allowance, medical allowance, compensatory allowance, etc. For those who are drawing remuneration on contract basis, the term ‘revised emoluments’ will mean the consolidated contract pay drawn by them. ii. The employees whose revised emoluments on 31.03.2018 exceeded Rs.28,000/- p.m but during the year 2017-2018 their emoluments at least for six months were less than Rs.28,000/- p.m, i.e., the said emoluments exceeded the eligibility ceiling of Rs.28,000/ – p.m on account of promotion, drawal of increment, implementation of C.A. Scheme, enhancement of dearness allowance etc. after remaining less than Rs. 28,000/- p.m for at least six months, will be entitled to ad-hoc bonus of Rs 3,800/- per head under this order. iii. The employees who were in service on 31.03.2018 and rendered at least six months continuous service during the year 2017-2018 will be eligible for payment of ad-hoc bonus under this order. Pro-rata payment will be admissible in such cases to the eligible employees for periods of continuous service during the year ranging from six months to full year, the eligibility period being taken in terms of number of months of service (rounded off to the nearest number of months). A fraction of 15 days or more should be counted as one month. iv. The amount of ad-hoc bonus on pro-rata payment as admissible under 2(iii) herein before above will have to be calculated according to the following formula :- E moluments as on Eligibility period in number of months 31st March, 2018. X 12 = The amount of ad-hoc bonus, subject to maximum amount of Rs.3,800/ – only. v. The casual workers who have put in work at least for 120 days and the employees on consolidated pay in the year 2017-2018 will also be entitled to ad-hoc bonus under this order according to the following formula :- Total amount of salary/wages earned during the year 2017-2018 12 = The amount of ad-hoc bonus, subject to maximum amount of Rs. 3,800/- only. The salary/wages in these cases should have the same meaning as ‘revised emoluments’ as defined in Para 2(i) hereinbefore. 3. The disbursement of Ad-hoc Bonus sanctioned hereinbefore should be made in case of Muslim State Government employees by 8th June, 2018 and in case of other State Government employees (other than Muslim State Government employees) such disbursement should be made from 26th September, 2018 to 5th October, 2018. In case of failure, the disbursement should be made as early as possible before the festival of Id-UI-Fitre/Durga Puja. 4. The charge in respect of payment of ad-hoc bonus under this order will be debitable to the detailed head viz., “Ad-hoc Bonus” the opening of which was sanctioned under the ‘Salary’ head sub-ordinate to all Major, Minor and sub-heads in the Revenue Expenditure section of the State Budget in terms of Para 9 of this Department’s Order No. 4611-F, dated 22.04.1988 and necessary fund for this purpose have been provided under the above-detailed heads in the budget grant available for 2018-2019. 5. The Governor is further pleased to direct that the benefit of ad-hoc bonus sanctioned under this order will also be available to different categories of employees who had been allowed the same in the last year in accordance with Finance Department’s Memo No. 3707-F(P2) dated 13.06.2017 by issue of Government Orders by various Departments in this connection. As done in the last year, orders for grant of ad-hoc bonus in respect of the employees of Statutory Bodies/Local Bodies/State aided Non-Government Educational Institutions and such other categories of employees of various establishments, who were allowed ad-hoc bonus/ex-gratia at par with the State Government employees or at the rate not more than the rate as approved by the government in the last year, should be issued by the Department concerned without referring the file to Finance Department, Group ‘P2’. 6. Clarifications issued in previous years in respect of various points raised in connection with admissibility and drawal of ad-hoc bonus would continue to apply. S/d, O.S.D. & Ex. Officio Special Secretary to the Government of West Bengal http://www.stategovernmentnews.in/grant-of-ad-hoc-bonus-to-the-state-government-employees-and-some-other-categories-of-employees-for-the-year-2017-2018/ 2018-06-05T16:48:25+00:00 admin West Bengal 7th CPC,Ad-hoc Bonus,WB Government employees,West Bengal,West Bengal government Employees,West Bengal state government employees Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the West Bengal State Government Employees and some other categories of Employees for the year 2017-2018. Government of West Bengal Finance (Audit) Department 325, Sarat Chatterjee Road, Nabanna, Howrah-711 102. No. : 3425-F(P2)/FA/O/2M/493/12 Howrah, the 30th May, 2018 MEMORANDUM Subject : Grant of Ad-hoc Bonus to the State Government Employees... admin [email protected] Administrator State Government Employees News

Jurassic Lark What Do Dinosaurs and the Civil War Have in Common? Mark Cline's Art - The Washington Post

Monday, June 4 2018

Jurassic Lark What Do Dinosaurs and the Civil War Have in Common? Mark Cline's Art - The Washington Post

Jurassic Lark What Do Dinosaurs and the Civil War Have in Common? Mark Cline's Art By Peter Carlson April 24, 2006 NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. Mark Cline says his greatest artistic triumph is Foamhenge, a life-size reproduction of Stonehenge that he carved out of Styrofoam and erected in a field here. But future art critics might conclude that Cline's greatest achievement is Escape From Dinosaur Kingdom, a roadside attraction that incorporates two classic tourist-trap themes (dinosaurs and the Civil War) in a uniquely Virginian way -- by having the dinosaurs attack Yankee soldiers. Right now, Cline, 45, is strolling into Dinosaur Kingdom, wearing his ever-present white fedora because, he explains, "the white hat suggests the hero." There's nobody around because it's a Monday and the Kingdom doesn't open on weekdays until after Memorial Day. Cline flips a switch, turning on the sound effects, which consist of operatic music and dinosaur growls. "This is called creating the ambiance," he says. "You set the stage. You hear the screams. You get the feel." At the Kingdom's entrance, a sign explains the premise: It's 1863 and Union soldiers have discovered a hidden valley filled with dinosaurs. Now the Yankees plan to "use the dinos as weapons of mass destruction against the South." Cline enters the Kingdom and walks past a fiberglass raptor sitting in an old wagon, past a fiberglass cow surrounded by eight hungry-looking fiberglass dinosaurs, past a fiberglass little girl fighting off a dinosaur who has attacked her treehouse. Then he arrives at the Kingdom's pièce de résistance -- a life-size Yankee cavalryman on a horse trying to lasso a T-rex that's clutching a Yankee soldier in its fearsome jaws. It's amazing! It's brilliant! It's hilarious! It's also a real crowd-pleaser. "The Southern people like it," Cline says, "and the Northern people have a sense of humor." Next year, Cline adds, he hopes to open a Civil War-themed dinosaur attraction in Gettysburg. Up there, he says, the Yankees won't be the bad guys. "I'm thinking of doing Pickett's Charge using dinosaurs," he says. "It's an alternate reality." 'When I Grow Up . . .' One day when Cline was a kid, he was riding in his father's car near White Post, Va., when he spotted a billboard advertising Dinosaur Land. He begged his father to stop, but it was late and when they arrived, the place was closed. Mark peeked through the fence at the ersatz prehistoric lizards. "Dad," he said, "when I grow up, I'm gonna build these." And now he does. He builds sculptures of dinosaurs and skulls and monsters and celebrities -- sculptures that are displayed in tourist traps and theme parks and miniature golf courses and haunted houses all over this great land. And he has fulfilled his childhood dream by building dinosaurs for Dinosaur Land. "He's made, golly, 15, 16, maybe 20 dinosaurs for us," says Joanne Leight, who inherited Dinosaur Land from her father, who created it in 1963. "His faces are so good, much better than the ones we had in the '60s. The eyes seem to follow you. The dinosaurs built for Daddy back in the '60s, they kind of just sat there, but Mark makes dinosaurs that interact with the environment. We have a triceratops that looks like it's gouging into the stomach of a T-rex." Cline works his magic in a studio near Natural Bridge, about 40 miles north of Roanoke. You can't miss the place: Superman is perched on a tower above a fence lined with Egyptian pharaohs. Inside the fence, the ground is littered with fiberglass pterodactyls and random pieces of sharks and elephants. "This place is a real mess right now," Cline says. He points to a huge fiberglass frog. "I made that for a guy who has a day-care center in Alabama." He points to four fiberglass skeletons. They're destined for Professor Cline's Haunted Monster Museum, which is right next to Cline's Civil War dinosaur attraction. "These are not just any skeletons," he says. "They're going to be the Marx Brothers' skeletons. Harpo will have a harp and Groucho will have a cigar." In a storage area, Cline points to a cowboy wearing a hat and bandanna. "He was my Headless Horseman," he says, "so when we rented him to a cowboy-themed dinner, we had to add a head." On the balcony stands a statue of Michael Jackson that could be described as lifelike except that the real Michael Jackson isn't particularly lifelike. "I built him in the '80s, when he wasn't so, um, controversial," Cline says. "Since then, I had to make his nose smaller and I had to change his color." His Purpose in Life Cline can't sit still. He squirms in his chair like a little boy, then pops up and paces around his office, talking a mile a minute. "I'm not considered a real artist by other artists," he says. "But neither was Norman Rockwell. Neither was Walt Disney. It doesn't bother me." Son of an electrician and a secretary, he was born in 1961 in Waynesboro, a town in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. In high school he was a terrible student, he says, and when he got out, he bummed around the country, rafting down the Missouri River like Huck Finn and motorcycling to Key West, where he earned a living taking photographs of tourists sitting on his bike, posing with his homemade statue of a two-headed biker. Eventually he drifted back to Waynesboro and tried to make a living as a sculptor. "He stood up at the City Council with a proposal to make a huge Styrofoam statue of Mad Anthony Wayne, for whom the town is named," recalls Doug Harwood, editor of the Rockbridge Advocate, a local tabloid whose slogan is "Independent as a Hog on Ice." Alas, the philistines on the City Council nixed Cline's proposal. He traveled to Virginia Beach, hoping to find employment making monsters for that city's many tacky tourist traps. "They laughed at me," he says. In 1982, he moved to Natural Bridge and opened a haunted-house attraction, hoping to cash in on the tourists who came to see the Natural Bridge, a rock formation once owned by Thomas Jefferson. For a while, his haunted house did fairly well, but by the end of the 1984 season, he was going broke and sinking into depression. "For four months," he recalls, "the only reason I had to get up in the morning was to struggle through the day so I could go back to sleep." A few days after Christmas, he recalls, he traveled to a theme park called Holyland USA, in Bedford, Va., hoping to find work sculpting religious statues. Rejected, he drove home through a nasty sleet storm and decided to end his misery. He steered deep into the mountains, then climbed to a high peak, planning to jump off. "But I hesitated," he says, miming the action of a man about to jump off a mountain. "Instead of looking down, I looked up. The clouds were moving and the sun came through. I took a deep breath and I felt this high I'd never experienced before. I walked down the mountain a changed person. I realized that my only purpose was to help people and make them happy." So he changed his haunted house into the Enchanted Castle -- a place with fewer monsters and more zany stuff like a bungee-jumping pig. And tourists got to watch Cline create his sculptures, which enabled him to indulge his inner ham and entertain folks with his impressions of Elvis and Mick Jagger and Barney Fife. It was weird but it worked. Soon he was winning commissions to build sculptures for other attractions, including eight-foot statues of Yogi Bear for the Jellystone Park chain of family campgrounds. In the mid-'80s he made a statue of Freddy Krueger, the psycho killer from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies, for a haunted house in Virginia Beach. When businessman Jim Johnson saw it, he was awestruck. "It was right on," Johnson recalls. "I could tell he was extremely creative, and I went and visited him." Johnson hired Cline to turn a tired old Virginia Beach wax museum into something with more pizzazz. Cline came up with a ride that took tourists from ancient Pompeii to the Wild West to the Bermuda Triangle to a spaceship full of aliens. To honor its creator, Johnson named the place Professor Cline's Time Machine. "It was very successful," Johnson says. Last winter, Johnson hired Cline to come up with a new attraction. Cline created a pirate ride that includes a ship full of skeletons, a giant snake, a giant shark that eats a pirate, a giant octopus that fights a pirate for a buried treasure -- and, of course, dinosaurs. Johnson named it Captain Cline's Pirate Adventure Ride. It opened this month. "Mark's an artist," Johnson says. "I haven't seen anybody more creative than Mark. And his prices are not out of line." But not everyone is quite so fond of Cline's oeuvre. Conservative Christians around Natural Bridge denounced his haunted house as satanic. In 1997, when Cline staged a mock seance designed to end the losing streak of a local baseball team called the Salem Avalanche, a Christian radio station urged fans to boycott the team for promoting the occult. On April 9, 2001, a midnight fire destroyed Cline's Enchanted Castle. While he watched it burn, he opened his roadside mailbox and found a handwritten note. It began, "In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit" and ended, "Fire represents God's judgment. Behold -- The Judge is standing at the door." Virginia State Police investigated the fire but never arrested anyone. Cline rebuilt his studio and kept working. In 2002, Leonard Puglisi, owner of the Natural Bridge, hired Cline to create Dr. Cline's Haunted Monster Museum in an old farmhouse. Two years later, Cline built Dinosaur Kingdom next to it. Last year, he built Foamhenge nearby. "I guess he's always wanted to make a replica of Stonehenge," says Puglisi, "so I decided to give him a place to put it." Cline says he just can't stop creating this stuff. "It's my gift," he says. "I don't know where it comes from. I'm not going to tell you it comes from God or the Devil or Alpha Centauri. But I have been given this amazing gift and I have to use it. I have to." He's waxing lyrical about creativity when his wife, Sherry, walks into the office. "I'm the bookkeeper, the secretary, the hairdresser and the housekeeper," she says. "Without me, the show would not go on." She met him in a bar in 1987, when he was doing his Mick Jagger impersonation with a local rock band. "He didn't really impress me much," she says. He asked her to dance and then they talked for hours. "The next day he showed up where I worked," she says, "and brought me a long-stemmed red rose." They got married in 1992. Now they have two daughters, Sunny, 12, and Jenna, 6. "Everybody thinks artists are weird and they think he's bizarre because of his creativity," she says. "But we live in a normal house with normal things -- there are no skulls there. And he's a great dad." Ta-Da! Cline pulls his pickup off to the side of Route 11 and points toward his masterpiece. There it is, sitting atop a verdant hill in all its fabled glory -- Foamhenge. He hops out of the truck and starts up the hill. A soft rain is falling from a gray sky. "It's all Styrofoam," he says, "beaded Styrofoam spray-painted gray to look like stones." It took prehistoric Brits four centuries to build the original Stonehenge, but Cline works a lot faster. "I built it in six weeks," he says. "We put it all up in one day -- March 31, 2004. We hung a huge piece of plastic over it and invited people up for April Fool's Day and I unveiled Foamhenge. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a virgin to sacrifice." He walks into the center of the circle of Styrofoam stones. Up close, Foamhenge is an impressive sight, certainly among the greatest of America's henges. Stand inside it and you can feel its power. Close your eyes and you can sense the presence of ancient Styrofoam Druids. Perched on this mystical spot, Cline recalls the magical moment he conceived of Foamhenge. "I was in a store called Insulated Building Systems in Winchester and I saw these huge pieces of Styrofoam and I thought: Foamhenge! " he says. "And the idea sort of festered in my brain." He sold the concept to Puglisi as a freebie that might lure tourists to Natural Bridge's other attractions. But right now, Foamhenge is inspiring Cline to more cosmic thoughts. "Styrofoam isn't biodegradable, so Foamhenge might outlast Stonehenge," he says. "In 1,500 years, people might stand right here and say, 'I wonder what this was? Probably some kind of calendar.' " He laughs and heads back down the hill. "Because I make these things, people think I'm smart, but I just do them to make people happy," he says. "But if people want to think I'm smart, that's fine. I've been called a genius but I don't like that word. It's overused." He looks down the hill to the road, where two vans have pulled up next to his pickup. "Look -- people stopping at Foamhenge!" he says. He jogs down the hill and stops a few yards from a bearded man who has emerged from one of the vans. "Here to see Foamhenge?" Cline asks, his face is beaming with joy. "I know the guy who made it -- me!"

World Cup 2018: Mexico stun Germany by exposing their full-backs and harassing Toni Kroos out of the game | The Independent

Monday, June 18 2018

World Cup 2018: Mexico stun Germany by exposing their full-backs and harassing Toni Kroos out of the game | The Independent

Click to followSport World Cup 2018: How Mexico stunned Germany by exposing their full-backs and harassing Toni Kroos out the game Popular Videos The first four days of World Cup 2018 have featured a string of impressive underdog performances, largely about sitting back and frustrating the opposition. Iceland’s defensive-minded approach worked well against Argentina , Switzerland were content to soak up pressure against Brazil , and both recorded unexpected draws. Mexico’s approach in yesterday’s 1-0 victory over reigning champions Germany , however, was braver, bolder and ultimately more successful. Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio has been criticised for his constant chopping and changing, but while he might be reactive, that doesn’t mean he’s defensive. Here, he used a 4-2-3-1 system, rarely seen throughout Mexico’s qualifying campaign, in order to nullify Germany’s strengths and expose their weaknesses. There was plenty of attacking intent: Mexico pressed well in open play, and left three men upfront when defending set-pieces. In the latter stages they were forced to defend deep, but for long periods of the first half, they outplayed Germany. Mexico’s key defensive tactic involved man-marking Toni Kroos, Germany’s deep-lying playmaker. Kroos was followed diligently by Carlos Vela, more renowned for his attacking speed than his defensive work, and occasionally by centre-forward Javier Hernandez, when Vela found himself out of position atfer attacking moves broke down. Mexico record first shock of Russia 2018 by beating reigning champions Kroos failed to vary his position to find space, and without his metronomic influence, it was left to centre-back Jerome Boateng to spray hopeful diagonal balls into the final third, generally without success. Kroos only influenced the game when Mexican man-marking was impossible - his 25-yard free-kick was expertly turned over the bar by Guillermo Ochoa. Whereas Kroos was tracked everywhere, Germany left-back Marvin Plattenhardt was completely ignored, with Mexico’s right-sided midfielder Miguel Layun tucking inside to assist the outstanding duo of Andreas Guardado and Hector Herrera, frequently leaving Plattenhardt all alone. Germany seldom looked towards him, however, and this felt somewhat similar to Germany’s experience at the last World Cup, when Benedikt Howedes, naturally a right-sided centre-back, offered no threat from left-back, which allowed the opposition to mark more dangerous players. Four years on, the left-back problem hasn’t been solved. World Cup 2018: Germany vs Mexico player ratings 20 show all World Cup 2018: Germany vs Mexico player ratings 1/20 Manuel Neuer 7 Could do little for the Mexico opener and was left exposed by a wandering defence AFP/Getty Images 2/20 Marvin Plattenhardt 6 Put in a solid performance and a surprise inclusion into the starting XI. Again could’ve tried harder to get back for Mexico’s counter Getty Images 3/20 Joshua Kimmich 6 Despite all his talent, Kimmich struggled to get back after attacking, and left Ozil to defend, making him culpable for the Mexico goal AFP/Getty Images The stronger of the German defenders but still caught on the counter attack several times Getty Images Struggled against the intelligence and pace of Hernandez, another to be caught on the counter Getty Images 6/20 Sami Khedira 4 Usually the defensive cover in midfield, he left his defence open to the Mexican counter attack, hauled off early in the second half AFP/Getty Images 7/20 Toni Kroos 5 Provided little to the German attack, other than an excellent free kick pushed onto the bar by Ochoa Getty Images 8/20 Thomas Muller 5 Failed to impact the Germans attacking play, and wasn’t helped by the likes of Khedira underperforming Getty Images 9/20 Mesut Ozil 6 Sprayed some average passes to his teammates, may get the blame for Mexican’s opener but at least he tracked back unlike others AFP/Getty Images 10/20 Julian Draxler 7 Offered an attacking outlet down the left and looked a bright spark against the Mexican defence, but ultimately couldn’t break through Getty Images Had a couple of half chances and showed some of his talent at just 22-years-old. Getty Images 12/20 Guillermo Ochoa 8 An excellent save to deny Toni Kroos from a free kick, and kept his nerve towards the end as Germany attacked AFP/Getty Images 13/20 Carlos Salcedo 7 Solid at the back against the array of German talent especially as the pressure piled on in the second half AFP/Getty Images 14/20 Jesus Gallardo 7 Had remarkable energy to defend all the German attacks, and still manage to fly forward to the byline in the 87th minute. Getty Images 15/20 Hector Herrera 7 Loose in possession at times as Germany pressured to come back into the game, but gave everything until the end Getty Images A calm and composed figure with the vast energetic attacking talents in front of him AFP/Getty Images 17/20 Carlos Vela 7 Impressed on the counter and linked well with Layun and Lozano. Guilty of missing a couple of chances from range AFP/Getty Images 18/20 Miguel Layun 8 Missed a host of chances, mostly from range, but was one of many to look dangerous on the counter Getty Images 19/20 Javier Hernandez 9 A constant threat to the German defence, his pace and intelligence can frustrate most defences in the world. Always looks better for country than club AFP/Getty Images 20/20 Hirving Lozano 9 Picked up an early, needless yellow card for time wasting, but performed well and gave everything for his team AFP/Getty Images Could do little for the Mexico opener and was left exposed by a wandering defence AFP/Getty Images 2/20 Marvin Plattenhardt 6 Put in a solid performance and a surprise inclusion into the starting XI. Again could’ve tried harder to get back for Mexico’s counter Getty Images 3/20 Joshua Kimmich 6 Despite all his talent, Kimmich struggled to get back after attacking, and left Ozil to defend, making him culpable for the Mexico goal AFP/Getty Images The stronger of the German defenders but still caught on the counter attack several times Getty Images Struggled against the intelligence and pace of Hernandez, another to be caught on the counter Getty Images 6/20 Sami Khedira 4 Usually the defensive cover in midfield, he left his defence open to the Mexican counter attack, hauled off early in the second half AFP/Getty Images 7/20 Toni Kroos 5 Provided little to the German attack, other than an excellent free kick pushed onto the bar by Ochoa Getty Images 8/20 Thomas Muller 5 Failed to impact the Germans attacking play, and wasn’t helped by the likes of Khedira underperforming Getty Images 9/20 Mesut Ozil 6 Sprayed some average passes to his teammates, may get the blame for Mexican’s opener but at least he tracked back unlike others AFP/Getty Images 10/20 Julian Draxler 7 Offered an attacking outlet down the left and looked a bright spark against the Mexican defence, but ultimately couldn’t break through Getty Images Had a couple of half chances and showed some of his talent at just 22-years-old. Getty Images 12/20 Guillermo Ochoa 8 An excellent save to deny Toni Kroos from a free kick, and kept his nerve towards the end as Germany attacked AFP/Getty Images 13/20 Carlos Salcedo 7 Solid at the back against the array of German talent especially as the pressure piled on in the second half AFP/Getty Images 14/20 Jesus Gallardo 7 Had remarkable energy to defend all the German attacks, and still manage to fly forward to the byline in the 87th minute. Getty Images 15/20 Hector Herrera 7 Loose in possession at times as Germany pressured to come back into the game, but gave everything until the end Getty Images A calm and composed figure with the vast energetic attacking talents in front of him AFP/Getty Images 17/20 Carlos Vela 7 Impressed on the counter and linked well with Layun and Lozano. Guilty of missing a couple of chances from range AFP/Getty Images 18/20 Miguel Layun 8 Missed a host of chances, mostly from range, but was one of many to look dangerous on the counter Getty Images 19/20 Javier Hernandez 9 A constant threat to the German defence, his pace and intelligence can frustrate most defences in the world. Always looks better for country than club AFP/Getty Images 20/20 Hirving Lozano 9 Picked up an early, needless yellow card for time wasting, but performed well and gave everything for his team AFP/Getty Images But the real battleground was on the opposite flank, where Germany’s Joshua Kimmich played an absurdly attack-minded role: overlapping Thomas Muller regularly, and sometimes making diagonal runs into centre-forward positions. He offered an attacking threat in the first half, crossing to the far post and nearly tempting Mexico right-back Carlos Salcedo into an own goal, and later chipping into the path of Timo Werner, who tested Ochoa after a quick turn. He also attempted an extravagant bicycle kick from on the penalty spot, hardly the natural positioning of a right-back. Kimmich’s attack-minded tendencies constantly caused Germany serious problems when they lost possession, because Mexico’s dangerman Herving Lozano, playing on the left, remained in a position to counter-attack and regularly found space on the outside of Boateng. This was apparent inside the first two minutes after Vela and Hernandez had found space between the lines, and on 17 minutes Hernandez drifted to the left himself, before producing an unsuccessful pirouette in an attempt to work the ball onto his right foot, when he might have pulled the trigger with his left. (www.sharemytactics.com) Lozano was the greater threat, however, and Mexico ought to have located his dangerous runs more regularly, with better decisions on the counter-attack. Boateng and Mats Hummels were badly exposed against several Mexican runners, with huge amounts of space in the full-back areas, vacated by the dangerous Kimmich and the ineffective Plattenhardt. Hernandez, meanwhile, also made runs towards play, bringing Boateng or Hummels up the pitch, and opening up space for others to exploit. Generally considered a mere goal-poacher at club level, Hernandez’s all-round game for Mexico has always been impressive, and here his movement in deeper positions was outstanding. Mexico’s winner, on 35 minutes, was a perfect demonstration of their attacking strengths. Germany vs Mexico Germany vs Mexico 1/10 Mexico fans await the start Mexico fans enjoy the atmosphere in the ground before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 2/10 Toni Kroos arrives Toni Kroos of Germany arrives at the stadium prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia FIFA via Getty 3/10 Javier Hernandez arrives Javier Hernandez of Mexico arrives at the stadium prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia FIFA via Getty 4/10 Germany fan inside the stadium before the match Group F - Germany vs Mexico - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 17, 2018 Germany fan inside the stadium before the match REUTERS 5/10 A fan waves a Mexico flag General view of stadium as a fan waves a Mexico flag in the stands prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 6/10 Oezil is challenged by Hector Mesut Oezil of Germany is challenged by Hector Herrera of Mexico during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 7/10 Germany fans during the match Germany fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 8/10 Lonely Neuer of Germany Manuel Neuer of Germany looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty Image 9/10 Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico Manager Juan Carlos Osorio, Manager of Mexico during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 10/10 Özil of Germany looks dejected Mesut Özil of Germany looks dejected. Germany v Mexico, Group F, 2018 FIFA World Cup football match, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - 17 Jun 2018 Rex 1/10 Mexico fans await the start Mexico fans enjoy the atmosphere in the ground before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 2/10 Toni Kroos arrives Toni Kroos of Germany arrives at the stadium prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia FIFA via Getty 3/10 Javier Hernandez arrives Javier Hernandez of Mexico arrives at the stadium prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia FIFA via Getty 4/10 Germany fan inside the stadium before the match Group F - Germany vs Mexico - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 17, 2018 Germany fan inside the stadium before the match REUTERS 5/10 A fan waves a Mexico flag General view of stadium as a fan waves a Mexico flag in the stands prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 6/10 Oezil is challenged by Hector Mesut Oezil of Germany is challenged by Hector Herrera of Mexico during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 7/10 Germany fans during the match Germany fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 8/10 Lonely Neuer of Germany Manuel Neuer of Germany looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty Image 9/10 Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico Manager Juan Carlos Osorio, Manager of Mexico during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Getty 10/10 Özil of Germany looks dejected Mesut Özil of Germany looks dejected. Germany v Mexico, Group F, 2018 FIFA World Cup football match, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - 17 Jun 2018 Rex Germany lost possession in midfield with Kimmich charging forward on the overlap, leaving Lozano with space to break into. Hector Moreno’s direct pass into Hernandez, again moving deep, prompted such a neat one-two with Guardado that it left Hummels on the floor, which in turn meant Boateng was isolated against both Hernandez and the rampaging Lozano. Mesut Ozil, of all people, found himself desperately attempting to cover Kimmich’s right-back zone, but Hernandez slipped in Lozano, who turned inside and crashed home the biggest goal of World Cup 2018 so far.

Family separation at the border: what you need to know about Trump’s alarming immigration policy ⋆ Epeak World News

Monday, June 11 2018

Family separation at the border: what you need to know about Trump’s alarming immigration policy ⋆ Epeak World News

OldTwitter As a matter of policy, the US government is separating families who seek asylum in the US by crossing the border illegally. Dozens of parents are being split from their children each day — the children labeled “unaccompanied minors” and sent to government custody or foster care, the parents labeled criminals and sent to jail. To many critics of the Trump administration, family separation is an unpardonable atrocity. Articles depict children crying themselves to sleep because they don’t know where their parents are; one Honduran man killed himself in a detention cell after his child was taken from him. But the horror can make it hard to wrap your head around the policy. Family separation isn’t sudden, nor is it arbitrary. While the Trump administration claims it’s taking extraordinary measures in response to a temporary surge, it is entirely possible this will be the new normal. Here’s what you need to know to understand it. 1) How is the government separating families at the border? To be clear,there is no official Trump policy stating that every family entering the US without papers has to be separated. What there is is a policy that all adults caught crossing into the US illegally are supposed to be criminally prosecuted — and when that happens to a parent, separation is inevitable. Typically, people apprehended crossing into the US are held in immigration detention and sent before an immigration judge to see if they will be deported as unauthorized immigrants. But migrants who’ve been referred for criminal prosecution get sent to a federal jail and brought before a federal judge a few weeks later to see if they’ll get prison time. That’s where the separation happens — because you can’t be kept with your children in federal jail. According to federal defenders, some Border Patrol agents are lying to families about why and how long they’re being separated. A federal defender told the Washington Post’s Michael E. Miller that parents were told their children were just being taken away briefly for questioning. Liz Goodwin of the Boston Globe cites a defender saying that in several cases children were taken “by Border Patrol agents who said they were going to give them a bath. As the hours passed, it dawned on the mothers the kids were not coming back.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who visited a federal prison where some mothers were being housed on Sunday, recounted stories of women being told by Border Patrol agents that “their ‘families would not exist anymore’ and that they would ‘never see their children again.’” First-time border-crossers don’t usually do prison time. After a few weeks in jail awaiting trial, they’re usually brought before a judge in mass assembly-line prosecutions (according to Lomi Kriel of the Houston Chronicle , one courtroom in McAllen, Texas, has been hearing 1000 cases a day in recent weeks) and sentenced, within minutes, to time served — as long as they plead guilty. Michael E. Miller depicted the scene for the Washington Post : As [the federal defender] consulted with Nicolas-Gaspar, dressed in the same dirt-caked tennis shoes and mud-stained shirt in which he’d been detained, the immigrant in his late 20s began to sob. She told him the best chance he had of seeing his son soon was to plead guilty. “ Culpable ,” he told the judge when court resumed minutes later. “ Culpable. Culpable .” There are also some cases in which immigrant families are being separated after coming to ports of entry and presenting themselves for asylum — thus following US law. It’s not clear how often this is happening, though it’s definitely not as widespread as separation of families who’ve crossed illegally. Upon being separated from their parents, children are officially designated “unaccompanied alien children” by the US government — a category that typically describes people under the age of 18 who come to the US without an adult relative arriving with them. Under federal law, unaccompanied alien children are sent into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The ORR is responsible for identifying and screening the nearest relative or family friend living in the US to whom the child can be released. ICE has now released a flyer for parents separated from their children at the border. A flyer. — Prerna P. Lal, Esq. (@prernaplal) June 6, 2018 2) How many families have been separated at the border? We don’t exactly know. Lomi Kriel of the Houston Chronicle first reported last fall that families were being separated by Border Patrol after arriving in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The New York Times later reported that from October 2017 to April 20, 2018, 700 families were split by the Trump administration. (The Trump administration claims it piloted its “zero-tolerance” prosecution policy in the Rio Grande Valley in summer 2017, which would have led to family separations over that period; Reuters has reported that nearly 1,800 families were separated between October 2016 and February 2018, suggesting that the practice may have been going on for some time.) In early April, the Department of Justice announced that any migrant referred for illegal entry by DHS officials would be prosecuted. On May 7, DOJ and DHS announced that any migrant caught by Border Patrol agents after crossing illegally would be sent to DOJ — and, therefore, prosecuted. From May 7 to May 21, according to statistics provided by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to Congress , 658 children were split from 638 adults put into the “prosecution process.” It doesn’t look like all families apprehended by Border Patrol get separated — or even most of them. According to Border Patrol statistics, 9,485 migrants were apprehended in “family units” in May 2018 — 306 a day — while the CBP statistics on family separations suggest that 93 people were separated from their children or parents a day after the zero-tolerance directive went into effect. But the pace may be picking up. Federal defenders in McAllen counted 421 parents coming into court between May 21 and June 5 — and that represents just one Border Patrol sector, though admittedly the highest-traffic one for family crossings. (Many of those parents could have been apprehended and split from their children during the May 7-21 period and counted in the Customs and Border Protection stats.) 3) Is the policy of separating families new? Yes. But it’s building on an existing system, and attention to family separation has brought more awareness to problems with that system that have been going on for some time. For the past several years, a growing number of people coming into the US without papers have been Central Americans — often families, and often seeking asylum. Asylum seekers and families are both accorded particular protections in US and international law, which make it impossible for the government to simply send them back. Those protections also put strict limits on the length of time, and conditions, in which children can be kept in immigration detention. When the Obama administration attempted to respond to the “crisis” of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border in summer 2014, it put hundreds of families in immigration detention — a practice that had basically ended several years before. But federal courts stopped the administration from holding families for months without justifying the decision to keep them in detention. So most families ended up getting released while their cases were pending — which immigration hawks have derided as “catch and release.” In some cases, they disappeared into the US rather than showing up for their court dates. The Trump administration has stepped up detention of asylum seekers (and immigrants, period). But because there are such strict limits on keeping children in immigration detention, it’s had to release most of the families it’s caught. The government’s solution has been to prosecute larger numbers of immigrants for illegal entry — including, in a break from previous administrations, large numbers of asylum seekers. That allows the Trump administration to ship children off to ORR, rather than keeping them in immigration detention. 4) What happens to the children? In theory, unaccompanied immigrant children are sent to ORR within 72 hours of being apprehended. They’re kept in government facilities, or short-term foster care, for days or weeks while ORR officials try to identify the nearest relative in the US who can take the child in while his immigration case is being resolved. But the system for dealing with unaccompanied immigrant children was already overwhelmed, if not outright broken. ORR facilities were already 95 percent full as of June 7; 11,000 children are being held. (Remember, most of these are probably children who arrived in the US without their parents.) According to the New York Times , the government “has reserved an additional 1,218 beds in various places for migrant children, including some at military bases.” The agency has been overloaded for years; its backlog in 2014 precipitated the child migrant “crisis,” when Border Patrol agents ended up having to care for kids for days. An ACLU report released in May 2018 documented hundreds of claims of “verbal, physical, and sexual abuse” of unaccompanied children by Border Patrol. This picture is from 2014, when a surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border caused Border Patrol to use temporary holding centers to house immigrant children before sending them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement to be placed with relatives. Often, the children’s parents were already living in the US. John Moore/Getty Images There are questions about how carefully ORR vets the sponsors to whom it ultimately releases children. A PBS Frontline investigation found cases of teenagers getting released to labor traffickers by ORR. The agency told Congress in April that of 7,000 children it attempted to contact in fall 2017, 1,475 could not be contacted — leading to allegations that the government “lost” children, or that they’d been handed over to traffickers. For the most part, though, it’s probable that the families ORR was unable to contact made the deliberate decision to go off the map. People who came to the US as unaccompanied children were usually teenagers who had close relatives here to reunite with. In 2014-2015, according to an Office of the Inspector General report, 60 percent of unaccompanied children were released to their parents; 99 percent were released to relatives or close friends. (The other 1 percent were put in long-term foster care.) That isn’t true of children who come to the US with their parents — children who don’t have to be old enough to make the journey on their own — and are then separated from them. ORR isn’t used to changing diapers. In May, according to the New York Times , the government put out a request for proposals for “shelter care providers, including group homes and transitional foster care” to house children separated from parents. One organization coordinating placements is placing children with foster families in Michigan and Maryland — and planning to expand to several other states. Some of these foster families have experience fostering unaccompanied children. But they’re not used to children who’ve just been separated from their parents. 5) Are families being reunited? Some have been. But the government is sending very mixed signals about how families can be reunited — and whether the Trump administration is even trying to make that happen at all. In an ACLU lawsuit over the separation of families in immigration detention, a DOJ official told the judge that “once a parent is in ICE[Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody and the child is taken into the Health and Human Services system, the government does not try to reunite them, and instead attempts to place the child with another relative in the United States — if the child has one.” That isn’t what ICE and DHS say. They claim that once parents have finished their criminal sentences for illegal entry or reentry, they can be reunited with their children in civil immigration detention while they pursue their asylum case. They don’t appear to have a system to bring families back together. This family was reunited in Houston after being separated upon crossing into the US from El Salvador. Others aren’t so lucky. Michael Stravato/The Washington Post via Getty Images One flyer given to parents in Texas offered a number to call to locate children. But the number was wrong: Instead of being a number for ORR, it was an ICE tip line. (The flyers had to be corrected in pen.) And even if a parent can call ORR and ORR can identify the child, they might not be able to call the parent back — because immigrants in detention don’t have phone access. (Federal judges sentencing immigrants have urged the government to make sure that they have access to phones so they can relocate their kids.) The plaintiffs in the ACLU’s family-separation lawsuit are one woman separated from her child for eight months after she presented herself for asylum at a port of entry, and another woman who was sentenced to a brief jail term for illegal entry but couldn’t be reunited with her child for months after her release back to DHS custody. Some parents are being deported without their children. And some small children, according to advocates in Central America, are getting deported without their parents. 6) Why does Trump say there’s a “Democratic law” requiring families to be separated? President Trump has responded to criticisms of family separation by claiming that a “Democratic law” requires him to do it, and that if Congress doesn’t like it they can change the law. Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018 This is not true. There is no law that requires immigrant families to be separated. The decision to charge everyone crossing the border with illegal entry — and the decision to charge asylum seekersin criminal court rather than waiting to see if they qualify for asylum — are both decisions the Trump administration has made. Other administration officials back Trump up by pointing to the laws that give extra protectionsto families, unaccompanied children, and asylum seekers . The administration has been asking Congress to change these laws since it came into office, and has blamed them for stopping Trump from securing the border the way he’d like. (Those aren’t “Democratic laws” either; the law addressing unaccompanied children was passed overwhelmingly in 2008 and signed by George W. Bush, while the restriction on detaining families is a result of federal litigation.) In that context, the law isn’t forcing Trump to separate families; it’s keeping Trump from doing what he’d perhaps really like to do, which is simply sending families back or keeping them in detention together, and so Trump has had to resort to Plan B. 7) Does family separation deter people from coming illegally, or coming at all? John Moore/Getty Images Some administration officials say they’re prosecuting immigrants (and separating families) for a simple reason: They want to stop people from coming into the US illegally between ports of entry. “You have an option to go to a port of entry and not illegally cross into our country,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate committee last month. It sounds like common sense — and it allows the administration to avoid awkward legal or moral questions about trying to keep out people fleeing persecution. But there isn’t evidence that strategy will work. In early May, rolling out the zero-tolerance policy, the Trump administration claimed that a pilot of the program along one sector of the border had reduced border crossings in that sector by 64 percent — but failed to produce numbers to back up that claim and instead produced numbers about something else. Furthermore, the administration sends mixed signals about whether it actually wants people to use ports of entry to seek asylum legally. Some asylum seekers have been separated from their children at ports of entry, though advocates don’t believe it’s happening systematically. The Trump administration has promised to prosecute anyone who submits a “fraudulent” asylum claim — and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that he suspects many, if not most, asylum claims are fraudulent. Meanwhile, at several ports of entry, asylum seekers are being told there’s no room for them and that they’ll have to come back another time. In at least one case, asylum seekers were physically prevented from stepping on US soil — which would have given them the legal right to seek asylum at the port of entry. The statistics the Trump administration uses to back up the idea that there’s a “surge” since last year sometimes count both people getting caught by Border Patrol between ports of entry, and those presenting themselves without papers at ports of entry for asylum. The implication is that the current crackdown will reduce both — implying that one point of the policy is to stop families from trying to enter the US to seek asylum, period. 8) How is family separation legal? The Trump administration puts it bluntly: Criminal defendants don’t have a right to have their children with them in jail. The question is whether the Trump administration has the legal authority to put asylum-seeking parents in jail awaiting trial to begin with, knowing they’re splitting them from their children. Human-rights organizations — including the United Nations — have argued that it violates international law to prosecute asylum seekers criminally. But no administration has agreed with that interpretation; the Obama administration prosecuted some asylum seekers too, just not as often. Federal courts have, however, ruled that it’s illegal to keep an immigrant in detention in the hopes of deterring others, instead of making an individual assessment about whether that immigrant needs to be detained. That might pave the way for advocates to fight back against family separation — or, at least, to force the government to start helping families get reunited after the parents have been sentenced. The ACLU won an early victory in its case in June: the federal government asked the judge to throw out the case, and the judge refused . In his ruling, he made it clear that he believed that if the allegations against the administration were true, they might very well be unconstitutional — violating family integrity, which some courts have found is implicitly part of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of “liberty” without due process of law. This doesn’t mean that the case is definitely going to succeed, though the tea leaves are favorable. And, of course, any opinion will be appealed — and will likely go to the Supreme Court unless something else happens to change the policy before then. Even if the ACLU does succeed, it won’t stop families from being separated at the border. The lawsuit argues that it’s unconstitutional for parents who are in immigration detention to be separated from their children — but not that it’s unconstitutional to charge parents with illegal entry and take them into separate criminal court. A victory would merely obligate the federal government to reunite parents with their children once they’ve served their (brief) time for illegal entry. But whether or not the government will actually be able to do that is another question. And it’s certainly less preferable, for families, than not being separated at all. Spencer Platt/Getty Images 9) How long will this last? The Trump administration presents its crackdown as a temporary response to a temporary “surge” of people crossing the border illegally. But the “surge” is simply a return to normal levels of the past several years after a brief dip last year. It would be foolish to assume that the administration will be satisfied with border apprehension levels in a few months, and wind down the aggressive tactics it’s started to use. If we had a different president running a different White House, the outrage that family separation has generated would probably make it more likely that the policy would be quietly ended or at least curbed. Not only is it galvanizing progressives, but some conservatives — including talk show host Hugh Hewitt and evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez — have voiced concerns for the children. But this administration very rarely backs down from something because people are mad about it — often, the president takes that as an indication he’s doing something right. It’s possible the administration simply won’t have the resources to keep this many people in detention for this long — it’s already running out of space in ICE detention — or to keep prosecuting more and more people for a crime that already overwhelms federal dockets. But it’s also possible that it will simply burn through the money it has and demand Congress give it more, in the name of protecting the US from an invasion of illegality. It is extremely unlikely that Congress is going to pass a law that stops the administration from separating families at the border. Democrats are scrambling to propose bills to limit prosecution and separation, but the issue isn’t even inspiring the bipartisan momentum that Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last fall did . Indefinite family separation is almost certainly going to overwhelm the already precarious system for dealing with migrant children. Border Patrol and ORR aren’t going to get the resources they need to address the new jobs they’re being asked to take on by treating children separated from their parents as “unaccompanied” children. But the public and policymakers never paid much attention to that part of the immigration system, anyway. When it first became clear that the Trump administration was engaging in wide-scale family separation, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly waved off questions about the policy by saying that children would be sent to “foster care or whatever.” The vagueness and inaccuracy were telling. The administration knows it is separating families. It does not appear to believe it’s its job to reunite them.

Friday, June 8 2018

Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff go on strike demanding pay hike

Home » Maharashtra » You are reading » Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff go on strike demanding pay hike admin June 8, 2018 Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff go on strike demanding pay hike 2018-06-08T16:44:59+00:00 Maharashtra No Comment Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff go on strike demanding pay hike Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation today went on strike at several of the state-run undertaking’s depots demanding an immediate pay hike. Bus services were affected due to the strike and thousands of commuters bore the brunt of it. An MSRTC official said that the strike had affected operations at its depots in Parel, Mumbai Central, Uran, Panvel and Kurla and bus services to cities like Pune and Nashik were affected. The strike comes two days after the MSRTC announced an 18 per cent fare hike for customers on the back of higher fuel and wage bills. A senior MSRTC official today said that a section of the staff did not report to work, affecting bus operations. “This move (of nor reporting to duty) is unacceptable and a resolution has been passed to take stern action against the erring employees. We have not received a notice from any union regarding the strike,” he said. He said that, in the absence of a strike notice, the administration was in the dark about those who had called the strike as well as their demands. Rajan Yevle, former divisional secretary of the Maharashtra State Transport Kamgar Sanghatana, however, justified the employees’ actions and claimed that their “minuscule” salaries was making it “impossible for them to survive”. “Can you believe that our ST drivers get only Rs 10-11 thousand in monthly wages? Moreover, they have to stay out of their homes for at least 15 days of the month as part of their work,” Yevle said. He said that a demand for a wage hike was being made for the past two years but the administration had been ignoring it. Over 1.02 lakh MSRTC staffers had struck work in October last year, a few days ahead of Diwali, demanding salaries in line with the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The transport undertaking has around 17,500 buses in its fleet and makes 56,756 trips every day. While it has an annual turnover of around Rs 7,000 crore, it also incurs losses to the tune of Rs 2 crore every day. PTI http://www.stategovernmentnews.in/maharashtra-state-road-transport-staff-go-on-strike-demanding-pay-hike/ 2018-06-08T16:44:39+00:00 admin Maharashtra Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff,Maharashtra Transport Employees,MSRTC,pay hike,Strike Maharashtra State Road Transport Staff go on strike demanding pay hike Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation today went on strike at several of the state-run undertaking’s depots demanding an immediate pay hike. Bus services were affected due to the strike and thousands of commuters bore the brunt of... admin [email protected] Administrator State Government Employees News

Manual Scavengers: A Blind Spot in Urban Development Discourse | Economic and Political Weekly

Monday, June 4 2018

Manual Scavengers: A Blind Spot in Urban Development Discourse | Economic and Political Weekly

Book Reviews Manual Scavengers: A Blind Spot in Urban Development Discourse In the wake of the recent deaths of manual scavengers in Mumbai and Bengaluru, this article focuses on the life of conservancy workers and highlights the challenges they face through a few narratives of the workers themselves. It is based on the Baseline Survey of Conservancy Workers of MCGM which was conducted in 2015 by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and was sponsored by the Tata Trusts. Four contract workers fell to their death on 1 January 2018 while repairing a nine metre-long sewer line in Powai, Mumbai (Johari 2018). The cable of the crane which was lifting the workers from the manhole snapped, causing their deaths. Less than a week later, three manual scavengers in Bengaluru died of asphyxiation, a common cause of death among the workers ( New Indian Express 2018). This is routine news for the workers—the unappreciated, true foot soldiers of “Swachh Bharat” who dive into manholes with minimal protective gear and put their lives at maximum risk. Manual scavenging is a hereditary, caste-based occupation that predominantly involves forced labour. More than an occupation, it has been a custom or practice that has continued uninterrupted despite all the available technology and alternatives. It is also the most dehumanising and degrading practice in the country and is undertaken mostly by Dalits. The news of these deaths just shows us that nothing has changed in recent times. What is the need of the hour? We need to plan multiple interventions to reduce and eventually eradicate the inhumane, undignified, and unsafe practices in manual sanitation work in Mumbai. This article provides the low-down on what it is like to be a conservancy worker, [1] why things have remained the same over the years, and what can be the way forward. Mission Garima Padma Shri Sudharak Olwe captured the hard-hitting realities of the daily lives of about 38,000 conservancy workers employed in Mumbai in his photo documentation project “In Search of Dignity and Justice—The Untold Story of Conservancy Workers.” The project began in 1994 when Olwe, a photojournalist, tried to capture the experiential realities of the day-to-day lives of conservancy workers. Two decades later, in June 2014, this powerful imagery documented by Olwe led to the launch of Mission Garima (Mission Dignity), a collaborative effort of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM/BMC) and the Tata Trusts, Mumbai. This mission aims to eliminate or reduce unsafe practices of manual scavenging in Mumbai. Baseline Survey In order to plan the interventions and other strategies for achieving the said goal, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences was requested to carry out a baseline survey [2] with three broad objectives: i) determine the exact number of workers doing manual conservancy work of any form in Mumbai; ii) categorise the total number of workers based on wards, type of job, work profile, and department; iii) identify the basic problems that lead to manual conservancy in order to plan intervention. Thus, the survey explored aspects such as working conditions, tools/equipments, conditions at chowki, [3] health, housing, alcoholism, and indebtedness. The methodology of the baseline survey was designed in such a way that the data collection covered all the conservancy workers engaged in the following departments of the MCGM: solid waste management (SWM), storm water drains (SWD), and sewerage operation (SO). The baseline survey attempted to cover permanent conservancy workers, including leave reserved (LR) workers [4] and those deployed by community based-organisations (CBOs)/non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It was found that the nature of work of the SO and SWD departments was more or less similar, and it differed from the SWM workers. As far as the strength of workforce was concerned, a larger number of workers was concentrated in the SWM department in comparison to SO and SWD. A total of 39,729 workers were surveyed, of which 82% (32,588) were interviewed, and 18% (7,141) were not interviewed. The number of permanent workers across departments was 28,847. Among the total number of workers surveyed, 80.3% were male and 19.7% were female. Life of Conservancy Workers in Mumbai As far as the working conditions of the conservancy workers are concerned, the workers reported very little or no change over the last few years (especially since the mid-2000s when Olwe documented their lives). The nature of their work and the tools they use have remained the same but the quantum of work has increased. Some of the old areas of the city are infamous for theit house gullies. [5] Neither the house gullies have changed nor have the lives of the house gully workers. Similarly, for manhole workers there is hardly any change in the way the task is done. There are machines, but they have not yet simplified the lives of these workers who still have to compulsorily enter the manholes. There is no change even in the tools they use—spliced bamboo, rods, spades, and buckets. Govind, [6] a motor loader safai karmachari , working at P L Lokhande Marg says: The BEST workers have a lot of facilities. But for us there is no facility, no soap, no uniform, and no safety gears. The rooms provided to the workers are usually filthy, with no proper toilets and bathrooms, dysfunctional fans, and no desks. Very few karmacharis even have their own lockers. We earn less but expend more. The sweepers (designated as scavengers) revealed that there has hardly been any change in their daily work of sweeping roads, and collecting and disposing waste in community bins or at collection points. Even their tools (broom, wooden plate, pushcarts or two-wheeled bins) are the same. The quantum of garbage generated in Mumbai has increased substantially. In 2004, the city generated around 7,800 metric tonnes of waste per day (Mahadevia et al 2005). This increased to 9,400 metric tonnes per day in 2017 (Telang 2018). However, the strength of the workers has more or less remained the same. [7] The city has witnessed an uninterrupted process of construction and reconstruction of buildings. The tasks of toilet cleaners (known and designated as halalkhors [8] ) are of the same nature as in the colonial times. The lack of water storage facilities at public toilets is an age-old problem and it continues to add to the difficulties of workers. The tasks of drain cleaners have not changed much, but they have to face unique challenges: structures/tenements in slums do not remain static; the gullies have become narrower over time; and water pipes and cables run through the drainage lines (Bjorkman 2015). In some slum areas, the drainage lines are covered with cement and cleaning these drains, given the congestion, is a big challenge. The drain cleaners face all kinds of problems from the residents too. The workers do not get protective gear or equipment on a regular basis and complain that the equipment given is often of inferior quality. Change and Continuity in the Last 15 Years Ajay, a safai karmachari working with the BMC, while cleaning a small gutter with his bare hands says: Aamchi pidhi hech kaam karat hoti, ani pudhe suddha hech kaam karnar aahe (Our entire generation has been doing this work, our next generation will also inherit the same work.) The locals call us kachre wala or gutterwala. They say that the municipal corporation pays you for doing work. We know that we clear garbage and clean gutters, but that does not mean that the people will address us by our occupation. We are also humans. We have feelings too. What they don’t know is that we don’t have basic bathroom and toilet facilities, no changing rooms, no place to have food or even to rest. In a few words, Ajay summed up what it means to be a safai karmachari or a conservancy worker in the financial capital of the country. Further, it also highlights the plight of safai karmacharis in the wake of Swacch Bharat which has invisibilised the work and condition of the worker. The Swachh Bharat Mission focuses only on cleanliness, but the workers carry the real burden of this cleanliness on their shoulders. They are the backbone or foot soldiers of such a campaign. However, the campaign has mostly been about politicians taking selfies but no discussion on eradicating manual scavenging has been forthcoming (Durgesh 2016). The biggest problem in Mumbai is the city’s shrinking land space for development. Despite being the financial capital of India, more than 42% of Mumbai’s population lives in slums and is said to be crammed in about 8% of the city's land (Ashar 2016). In such a situation, it is a huge challenge for the MCGM to provide basic amenities, services, and shelter to the citizens. The findings of the survey have highlighted that the working conditions of conservancy workers have improved very little over the years and have remained hazardous. Conversion of mill lands into commercial buildings, increase in floor space index, and slum rehabilitation projects have changed the landscape of the city, but in terms of the sanitation infrastructure, dumping sites, garbage collection points, chowkis, equipments, and communities doing the sanitation work, there has been no change. Poor Equipment Conservancy workers are exposed to raw garbage due to the absence or inadequacy of safety gears and proper equipment. The equipments or tools provided to the workers are outdated, damaged, inadequate, or ineffective for performing their designated tasks. Safai karmacharis do not get safety gears such as gloves, masks, safety belt (for manhole workers), and safety shoes on a regular basis. About 69.1% (22,508) of the interviewed workers received safety gears. It is reported that masks and hand gloves are distributed across the departments; but since the quality of same is reported to be poor and not user-friendly, a majority of the workers hardly make use of these safety gears. Workers also revealed that they never get this equipment on time and on demand. Aprons (16.9%) (used mainly by scavengers, motor loaders, drain cleaners, house gully workers and Raste Swachhata Yojana workers), safety belt (1.2%) (mainly used by SO workers) and helmets (0.6%) are reported to have been distributed among the workers. There are nine divers working in Mumbai and only one diving suit is available. Health Hazards Civic bodies in India are required to conduct health check-up of the workers at regular intervals but never do so. [9] Some of the common health problems faced by motor loaders and manhole workers are skin and respiratory tract infections, malaria, dengue, back and knee pain, paralysis, hypertension, asthma, tuberculosis and noise pollution causing hearing impairment. About 31.1% (10,122) workers reported being ill during the period of the survey (2014–15). Sushant, a karmachari working in Amrut Nagar says There are so many cases of injury on a daily basis, but BMC hospitals are not concerned. Once the BMC hospital staff comes to know that the person in front of them is a conservancy worker, then they treat the worker very badly. Conservancy workers have been given the responsibility of keeping the city clean. They do their job, but the price they pay is the damage to their own health. The MCGM lost 2,614 conservancy workers between 2004 and 2013. This means that an average of 261 workers die every year (Makne 2014). Almost one-fourth (8,003) of the workers who were interviewed reported that a family member had died during service as a conservancy worker. Basic compensation is also not paid to the workers if they are injured during work. Meenal, a scavenger working at Khar Bridge Chowki, met with a train accident. She lost one leg and sustained fractures in her other leg and her waist. The BMC hospital that she had approached referred the case to a private hospital. The cost went up to Rs 5.5 lakh. The physiotherapist charges Rs 300 for one sitting. I had to discontinue my treatment as I couldn't afford it. There was no medical compensation. MCGM is touted as the richest civic body in India, and its annual budget crosses Rs 30,000 crore ( Financial Express 2017). However, in 2016–17, the civic body could spend only Rs 69.7 crore (43%) of the total Rs 122 crore allocated for SWD by the third quarter (Pinto 2017). It is unfortunate that a civic body with such a large budget spends meagrely on improving the working conditions of conservancy workers. This money could also be utilised for laying better infrastructure and acquiring new machinery. Perhaps the MCGM can learn from the Kerala Water Authority which recently announced that a fully equipped robot called “Bandicoot” would soon be used for cleaning the sewers in the state, relieving manual scavengers from this menial job ( Wire 2018). An Occupation Inherited by Caste These occupations are considered the social obligations of Dalits. To date, large sections of society and its members harbour preconceived notions about manual scavengers. Some think that it is an age-old occupation and scavengers are doing a great service to the society. Another reason for the continuity of this profession is the absence of substantial or collective backing from human rights activists. Over the past few years, the cause of cleanliness seems to have been reduced to celebrity events and photo opportunities. Rather than contributing superficially by clicking selfies, a proactive approach would be to stop the authorities who allow manual scavenging to continue. This would be a real shot in the arm for people like Bezwada Wilson of Safai Karmachari Andolan, who have been working on this issue for several years. M K Gandhi and B R Ambedkar also had contrasting views on manual scavenging. Ambedkar emphasised that caste and jobs like manual scavenging go hand in hand, and unless you annihilate caste, you cannot eradicate manual scavenging or change the perception of the society towards Dalits. On the other hand, Gandhi believed that behavioural change in the society would happen eventually, although it might take its course. During a speech in Thandakarancheri on 3 February 1934, Gandhi said, I call scavenging one of the most honourable among the occupations to which mankind is called. I do not consider it an unclean occupation by any means. That in performing the cleaning operation you have to handle dirt is true. But, that every mother has to do, every doctor does. But, nobody says that a mother’s occupation when she cleans her children, or a doctor’s occupation when he cleans his patients, is an unclean occupation. [10] Ambedkar (1990) in dissent reiterated, Under Hinduism scavenging was not a matter of choice, it was a matter of force. What does Gandhism do? It seeks to perpetuate this system by praising scavenging as the noblest service to society! … What is the use of telling the scavenger that even a Brahmin is prepared to do scavenging when it is clear that according to Hindu Shastras and Hindu notions even if a Brahmin did scavenging he would never be subject to the disabilities of one who is a born scavenger? For in India a man is not a scavenger because of his work. He is a scavenger because of his birth irrespective of the question whether he does scavenging or not. Manual scavenging, therefore, has remained a hereditary, descent-based, or caste-based job, exclusively carried out by Dalits. Interestingly, one would find that those who are generally opposed to reservation never protest 100% reservation for Dalits in this occupation. Failure of Legal Measures In India, it is often found that the laws for ensuring social transformation lack social conscience. On the issue of manual scavenging, the nation has always lacked the political will and hence, the legislations to abolish this practice could not be converted to social justice for millions of manual scavengers. The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act was enacted in 1993. It was drafted by the Ministry of Urban Development as an issue under item 6 “Public Health and Sanitation” of the state list. As a result, the act gave importance to public sanitation and placed only marginal emphasis on the objective of liberating persons employed as manual scavengers. Another reason was the narrow definition of a manual scavenger did not cover scavengers other than those cleaning dry latrines. It excluded manhole workers (sewer workers), scavengers cleaning septic tanks, open defecation, and railway tracks. The act also lacked a clause on rehabilitation of manual scavengers. The law could have instead been legislated under “human dignity” in the union list. Since the 1993 act was a state subject and not mandatory, several states refused to adopt it, while others framed their respective acts. Several states such as West Bengal, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh refused to adopt it while others like Bihar and Rajasthan framed their own acts. In fact, the legislation would have had weightage if the central government had rooted the act in the problem of caste instead of merely addressing it as an issue of sanitation. Since its implementation, not a single case was registered across India under the act and the government had no option but to bring in a new law in the ambit of human dignity. New Legislation and its Limitations The new legislation—the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013—has been enacted under entry 24 (welfare of labour) in the concurrent list by the union government. It prohibits the employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment, and the construction of insanitary latrines. It seeks rehabilitation of manual scavengers in alternative employment. Section 2 (g) (b) of the act mentions that “a person engaged or employed to clean excreta with the help of such devices and using such protective gear, as the central government may notify in this behalf, shall not be deemed to be a manual scavenger.” What constitutes protective gear is not explained here. It could just be a helmet, or a mask, or only gumboots. A worker may be provided only a safety belt but not the helmet, waterproof apron, or headgear. It defeats the whole purpose of safety from hazardous work and does nothing to maintain the dignity of a sewer worker. Clause 2 (g) of the act explains “manual scavenger” as “a person engaged or employed, at the commencement of this act or at any time thereafter.” This has implications for rehabilitation as the cases will only be considered after the enactment of the act. The state government can grant judicial power to the Executive Magistrate to try offences under the act. This may create a conflict of interest if the Executive Magistrate is also the implementing authority. Sewer Workers: A Neglected and Vulnerable Workforce Among all the categories of conservancy workers, the most dangerous work is that of the sewer workers. From time to time, the Supreme Court, high courts, human rights commissions, and appointed committees have issued guidelines for the protection of vulnerable sewer workers. In Delhi Jal Board v National Campaign Etc and Ors (2011), it was observed that The human beings who are employed for doing the work in the sewers cannot be treated as mechanical robots, who will not be affected by poisonous gases in the manholes. The state and its agencies/instrumentalities or the contractors engaged by them are under a constitutional obligation to ensure the safety of the persons who are asked to undertake hazardous jobs. This has not been implemented because there is no political will among the bureaucracy, politicians, civil society or even the judiciary. They are all complacent in their positions and power. Ignoring the Supreme Court's order can be considered to be contempt of court, but no action has been taken against any state. In Conclusion The news of deaths such as the ones in Mumbai and Bengaluru raises an important question: how many of the judgments and guidelines are followed? The urban poor in India do not have access to dignified sanitation facilities. Cramped spaces in cities like Mumbai (with a high influx of migrants) have public toilets which are not connected to sewer lines and do not have enough space. Many men and women in slums choose to go out in the open for defecation as their homes do not have toilets and the condition of public toilets is deplorable. This compounds the plight of scavengers responsible for cleaning the cities. In a technology-driven world where India aspires to become a super power, it is shameful that we still ask fellow humans to descend into manholes. We have not produced technology which can liberate them from this inhuman and hazardous task of cleaning the dirt that is created by all of us. We feel safe that at end of the day it is not us or our family members who are made to do this, and that it is a “reserved” section of our society that does as is ordained to them. It is very normal even in metropolitan, “modern” cities like Mumbai that someone is “assigned” this task and does it religiously. It is easy to sympathise with or hate and degrade a manual scavenger from a safe distance. It is hard to imagine what goes through the mind of the worker when he descends into a manhole or sewer or cleans someone else’s dirt. After all, writing and venting about these issues will not make a difference unless concrete actions and measures at the policy level are implemented. To end, it is pertinent to quote Singh (2017), It is a fact that without addressing the issue of caste it is impossible to deal with the question of cleanliness in our country. The author would like to thank Durgesh Solanki for his comments on the first draft of this article and the editor of this article for their feedback. Notes [1] The term conservancy worker is an umbrella term under which all the workers belonging to different departments (solid waste management, storm water drains, and sewer operation) are employed under different designations. Safai karmachari is a Hindi term for conservancy workers and it is used interchangeably throughout this article. [2] Baseline Survey of Conservancy Workers of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was carried out under Mission Garima: A collaboration between MCGM and Tata Trusts and conducted by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai during July 2014–December 2015. [3] Chowki refers to the place where workers come and report for duty. It is also the place where workers keep their tools and equipments. There are two types of chowkis: section chowkis and motor loaders chowkis. The former is meant for the scavengers, sweepers, drain cleaners, and halalkhors. It is also a place where workers may change clothes, wash themselves, and have lunch. A majority of these spaces are in a state of neglect and do not have adequate facilities for drinking water, tap water, or even designated places for sitting or changing clothes, etc. [4] After being appointed as a conservancy worker by the MCGM, the worker is appointed as a leave reserved (LR) worker for the initial few years. When a permanent position is vacated after the retirement or death of a permanent conservancy the worker, the LR worker gets confirmation on a permanent post of the conservancy worker. The nature of the LR worker’s tasks in the SWM department is not fixed. They may be asked to perform multiple tasks (sweeper, motor loader, halalkhor, etc) especially during their tenure as an LR. [5] The term house gullies refers to very narrow lanes between residential buildings where residents dump kitchen and other waste. These gullies also have pipelines (from kitchens, toilets, and bathrooms) connected to sewer lines on the ground. These lines are often completely broken and add to the workers’ deplorable working conditions. Workers report suffocation while working in these gullies because of lack of ventilation. At times, conservancy workers find kitchen waste, water from bathrooms, and filth from toilets falling on their body as they perform their tasks of cleaning. The worker has to enter and clean the sludge, garbage, and silt from these narrow lanes. [6] Names of all the respondents have been changed. [7] The strength of workers has been calculated from the roster maintained at each chowki. The baseline survey covered all the chowkis and the numbers of conservancy workers (both permanent and contractual workers) at each chowki was noted. There has been no new recruitment. Even otherwise, it has always been done by recruiting a family member once the worker retires from the job or dies. [8] Halalkhors are workers who mainly clean public latrines/toilets in slums and chawls under the MCGM jurisdiction. [9] The annual report (2010–11) of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, states that the total health check-up for safai karamcharis working in local bodies (paid- for by the government) should be done at least twice a year. [10] The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), Vol 63, New Delhi, Publications Division, Government of India, 1999, pp 104, http://www.gandhiashramsevagram.org/gandhi-literature/mahatma-gandhi-collected-works-volume-63.pdf. References Ambedkar, Bhimrao R (1990): “What Congress and Gandhi have Done to the Untouchables,” Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches , Vasant Moon (ed), Vol 9, Dr Ambedkar Foundation, New Delhi, http://www.mea.gov.in/Images/attach/amb/Volume_09.pdf. Ashar, Sandeep (2016): “Average Living Space in Mumbai: Each Resident has Just 8 sq m To Call Own,” Indian Express , 10 May, http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/average-living-space-in-mumbai-each-resident-has-just-8-sq-m-to-call-own-2792538/. Bjorkman, Lisa (2015): Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai , Durham: Duke University Press. Durgesh (2016): “Two Years of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” Raiot , 27 October, http://raiot.in/two-years-of-swacch-bharat-abhiyan/. Financial Express (2017): “BMC Elections 2017: 8-Point Guide to India’s Richest Civic Body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Polls,” 21 February, https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/bmc-elections-2017-8-point-guide-to-indias-richest-civic-body-brihanmumbai-municipal-corporation/560231/. Johari, Aarefa (2018): “In Mumbai, Death of Four Sanitation Workers in a Manhole Puts Illegal Contract System Under Scrutiny,” Scroll , 7 January, https://scroll.in/article/864005/in-mumbai-death-of-four-sanitation-workers-in-a-manhole-puts-illegal-contract-system-under-scrutiny. Mahadevia, Darshini, Bela Pharate, and Amit Mistry (2005): “New Practices of Waste Management–Case of Mumbai,” Working Paper No 35, School of Planning, CEPT University. Makne, Eknath (2014): “Finally, BMC Probe into High Death Rates Among Mumbai Sweepers,” DNA , 24 December, http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-dna-impact-finally-bmc-probe-into-high-death-rates-among-mumbai-sweepers-2046519. New Indian Express (2018): Three Manual Scavengers Die of Asphyxiation in Bengaluru, 7 January, http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/jan/07/three-manual-scavengers-die-of-asphyxiation-in-bengaluru-1747011.html . Pinto, Richa (2017): “43% Of Funds For Waste Management Projects Unused,” Times of India , 1 April https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/43-of-funds-for-waste-management-projects-unused/articleshow/57949899.cms. Sathyaseelan, Samuel (2013): “Neglect of Sewage Workers: Concerns About the New Act,” Economic and Political Weekly , Vol 48, No 49, http://www.epw.in/journal/2013/49/insight/neglect-sewage-workers.html. Singh, Garima (2017): “The Caste of Sanitation,” Democracy News Live , 2 November, http://www.democracynewslive.com/asia/the-caste-of-sanitation-438130 . Telang, Sonali (2018): “Maharashtra Was Number One Solid Waste Generator In 2017,” Asian Age , 6 January, http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/060118/maharashtra-was-number-one-solid-waste-generator-in-2017.html. Wire (2018): “In Kerala, Sewer-cleaning Robots to Soon Replace Manual Scavengers,” 11 January, https://thewire.in/politics/kerala-sewer-cleaning-robots-soon-replace-manual-scavengers. Image Courtesy: Modified. Flickr/ Sharada Prasada CS / CC by 2.0 The Grid

Adivasis in Chandauli, UP file Community Resource rights claims to Forest Land | CJP

Tuesday, July 3 2018

Adivasis in Chandauli, UP file Community Resource rights claims to Forest Land | CJP

Kubradih All the GSs resolved to file their community resource claims together. Earlier, on March 23 2018, as many as 16 GSs in Sonbhadra UP had filed their claims together in Collector’s office. However, they had to face repressive measures from the state and forest departments, purportedly to deter them from their collective resolve to stake claim on what they feel rightfully belongs to them. All the GSs were served notices and police cracked down on all the Gram Sabha office bearers for having filed the claims. Clandestine arrests of Adivasi women leaders In a particularly disturbing move, Adivasi human rights defenders Sukalo Gond (Treasurer of AIUFWP) and Kismatiya Gond (Secretary, Forest Rights Committee) were picked up in a clandestine manner from Chopan station, Sonebhadra, UP just as they were returning after a meeting with the state forest minister, Dara Singh Chauhan and Forest Secretary in Lucknow. Their names were not mentioned in any FIR and at present, they are being detained illegally by the police. Even after the lapse of more than 20 days, they have not been produced before any court! This is a blatant violation of the law as a person must be produced before the court within 24 hours of arrest. CJP and AIUFWP have been jointly monitoring the situation of forest rights in UP. On June 27, 2018, CJP moved the Allahabad HC demanding the immediate release of Kismatiya and Sukalo. On June 29, 2018, a two member bench of the Allahabad High Court issued a notice to the respondents in the case that include the State of UP (through the Principal Secretary, Home), Sonebhadra Superintendent of Police (SP) and District Management (DM) and Station House Officer, Muirpur Police Station. The court has demanded an explanation for the detention from the SP and the DM. The court also directed that both Sukalo and Kismatiya be produced before it at the next hearing on July 9. Past episodes of Institutional violence Not only this, Adivasis have been facing constant institutional repression in the form of false cases being foisted on them. In May 2018, the Muirpur police picked up around twelve villagers, ten of whom were women forest rights workers. Though the Station officer (SO) PS Mr. Satyaprakash Singh had said that the people were involved in chopping trees that were part of a supposed afforestation project, the police failed to provide any details when the CJP team enquired about the details of the project. After multiple calls from the CJP team and a day long ordeal they were finally let off at Dudhi, an area about 30 kilometers away from Lilasi village. They had to walk barefoot from there, adding further to their hardships. Soon after, on May 22, the UP police entered the Lilasi village and started assaulting Adivasis , in particular, Adivasi women, who were engaged in their daily chores. They hit on the head of Kismatiya and she bled profusely. When the villagers tried to file an FIR and get her medical tests done, they received no support from the administration or authorities. CJP intervenes CJP had immediately intervened in both the cases and helped spread the word through its constant follow ups and interventions. With CJP’s help two letters were sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) dated May 30 and June 14 highlighting the severe repression on Adivasis and fallacious cases as a vicious state and forest department targeted them. In a big win for the movement, the NHRC subsequently directed the DM of Sonbhadra to submit a report within three weeks from the date of meeting. NHRC had also assured of sending its own, independent fact finding team to investigate the blatant episodes of gross human rights violations. The list of documents attached in the recent community claims are as follows – Gram Sabha Resolution

Widows of Farmer Suicide Victims in Vidarbha : Differential Dependence in Early and Later Cases | Economic and Political Weekly

Wednesday, July 4 2018

Widows of Farmer Suicide Victims in Vidarbha : Differential Dependence in Early and Later Cases | Economic and Political Weekly

Home » Journal » Vol. 53, Issue No. 26-27, 30 Jun, 2018 » Widows of Farmer Suicide Victims in Vidarbha Differential Dependence in Early and Later Cases Kota Neelima Farmer suicides due to agricultural distress are a tenacious and recurring tragedy that plunge the lives of the unprepared widows into chaos. First, the widows must struggle to survive in the same circumstances that claimed the lives of their husbands, but with much less experience and guidance. Second, the widows must emerge from entrenched invisibility imposed upon them by the state, the community, and even the family. However, the study of five widows of the farmer suicides across a decade in Vidarbha reveals differential dependence and autonomy. The widow-headed households of earlier cases appear to succeed with time as compared to the later cases, and mostly through their own individual agency. The study, originally conducted through the years 2014–17 in 18 villages of six tehsils of two districts of Vidarbha, also points to normalisation of distress of widows that leads to their continuous exclusion from the state understanding of farmer suicides. Subscribers please login to access full text of the article. New 3 Month Subscription to Digital Archives at ₹ 649 for India

Inside the Mysterious Intelligence Firm Now in Mueller’s Sights

Thursday, July 5 2018

Inside the Mysterious Intelligence Firm Now in Mueller’s Sights

HUSH HUSH Inside the Mysterious Intelligence Firm Now in Mueller’s Sights Wikistrat bills itself as a ‘crowdsourced’ analysis agency based in Washington. But interviews with current and former employees and documents tell a very different story. exclusive Kendall McMinimy/Getty In the fall of 2016, Donald Trump Jr. and other key aides to the future president reportedly met in Trump Tower with Joel Zamel, the founder of a company called Wikistrat. Wikistrat bills itself as a “crowdsourced” geopolitical analysis firm based in Washington, D.C. But interviews with current and former employees and documents reviewed by The Daily Beast tell a different story: that the vast majority of Wikistrat’s clients were foreign governments; that Wikistrat is, for all intents and purposes, an Israeli firm; and that the company’s work was not just limited to analysis. It also engaged in intelligence collection. Robert Mueller’s office is investigating Wikistrat and Zamel, according to The Wall Street Journal , as the special counsel’s probe expands into Middle Eastern governments’ attempts to influence American politics. Publicly, Wikistrat touts its crowdsourcing interface it has described as “Wikipedia meets Facebook” to develop reports for clients. The documents also highlight Wikistrat’s heavy reliance on “gamification”—applying game design features to encourage user engagement—to solicit information from sources. Former Wikistrat employees say its founder viewed himself as the Mark Zuckerberg of the national-security world. But despite the firm’s purported commitment to “transparent, open-source methodologies,” the documents provided to The Daily Beast show something different: that the company exploits “in country… informants” as sources. Wikistrat’s “About” page includes mention of “on-the-ground collection.” And according to internal Wikistrat documents marked “highly confidential and sensitive material,” 74 percent of the firm’s revenue came from clients that were foreign governments. Although Wikistrat’s clients were overwhelmingly foreign governments, the company boasted incredible access to top U.S. military and intelligence officials. The firm’s advisory council lists former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser James L. Jones, former deputy director of the National Security Council Elliott Abrams, and former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd, among others. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the company’s website is adorned with the insignias of U.S. military agencies and that it claims D.C. as its headquarters. But exactly how much of a connection these advisers have with the company isn’t totally clear. “I have always been informal… but I support the concept of their work (as my quote [on Wikistrat’s website] points out),” Hayden told The Daily Beast in an email. “There is no paperwork between us and I have never been to a board meeting.” A former senior analyst for Wikistrat, James Kadtke, described his experience with the company to The Daily Beast. A physicist by training, Kadtke worked as a defense and technology adviser to Sen. John Warner from 2002-05 and as a senior fellow at the National Defense University before joining Wikistrat in 2016. When Kadtke first interviewed with a couple of Wikistrat executives to discuss working for them, he said it became obvious to him that there was more to this company than meets the eye. Get The Beast In Your Inbox! Daily Digest Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. Cheat Sheet By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy Subscribe Thank You! You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason. “It was clear to me that both of these guys had intelligence backgrounds, intelligence professionals, not academics or analysts,” Kadtke told The Daily Beast. “They were using their experts for tacit information going on in various parts of the world. I got the impression they were doing things outside of Wikistrat. It seemed mysterious.” Working for Wikistrat didn’t seem to clear up Kadtke’s questions. Kadtke said that, in retrospect, Wikistrat appeared to be more about intelligence collection than anything else. Elad Schaffer, the Wikistrat CEO who succeeded Zamel this year, did not respond to a request for comment. Asked about Kadtke’s remarks about intelligence collection, one former high-ranking employee said, “Could he [Wikistrat’s founder] have done this? Yes, by all means,” adding that Wikistrat’s work “was not limited to geopolitics.” HUSH HUSH The documents provide rare insight into a company that Wikistrat employees repeatedly described as extraordinarily secretive. “Joel ran a very compartmentalized organization,” one former high-ranking staffer said. “I felt like I had no real visibility into what the company was really doing,” another former senior employee said. “He was very secretive, everything was highly compartmentalized… It was clear that he kept the entire company in the dark. Even [company executives] didn’t have the whole picture,” a former employee said, adding that if someone took a photo at a company gathering, Zamel would leave the room. “He never allowed anyone to get near his phone, his laptop, stuff like that.” Even in the internal company documents, which include a page about the company’s leadership, photos of each of the executives are included—except Zamel’s. “I suspected he was involved in other stuff simply because a man without secrets doesn’t need to be secretive. If he had nothing to hide, he would’ve been much more open. I thought he was involved in other operations.” THE ISRAEL CONNECTION If Wikistrat was engaged in intelligence collection, an obvious question arises: For whom? Much of the reporting so far has focused on Wikistrat’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates. For instance, The New York Times recently reported a secretive Trump Tower meeting three months before the 2016 presidential election, between Donald Trump Jr., Zamel, and George Nader, an emissary for the UAE. The meeting drew comparison to the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. Zamel is reported to have pitched Trump Jr. on a social-media manipulation strategy to help his father win the election. After Trump was elected, Nader is said to have paid Zamel a large sum of money—as much as $2 million. In light of the scrutiny of Zamel’s ties to the UAE, it’s natural that news coverage would focus on that country. But Wikistrat may, in fact, have stronger ties to Israel. Zamel is a citizen of Israel and master’s graduate of IDC Herzliya—a small, elite college that’s often compared to U.S. Ivy League schools—where he studied government, diplomacy, and strategy, specializing in counterterrorism and homeland security. (The internal documents reviewed by The Daily Beast confirm that Zamel also owned the lion’s share—86 percent—of Wikistrat, with the next biggest shareholder possessing less than 6 percent of the company.) Though Wikistrat’s website lists its location as Washington, Kadtke said the company was run out of Israel the entire time he worked there. A former Wikistrat employee confirmed the company was run out of Tel Aviv, with the D.C. office only handling sales and business development, he said. “He knew a whole lot of people there [in Israel]. One of his connections was the former head of the [Israeli] intelligence directorate, Amos Yadlin.” In fact, each of Wikistrat’s principals listed Tel Aviv as their address in a 2015 copy of Wikistrat’s Virginia business license . Former employees say that at the core of Wikistrat’s leadership were three Israelis: Daniel Green, the CTO, Elad Schaffer, formerly the COO and now the CEO, and Zamel, the founder and, until this year, its CEO. “Those people were very close, and it wasn’t just professional,” one former employee said. That former employee added, “I had an initial conversation with Joel where I said, ‘One of the issues you’re going to run into, if you want to be focused on [U.S.] government work, you’re going to run into problems every day because of the Israeli connection.’ He said, ‘Well, why is that? They’re amazing allies?’” “There were many conversations internally [about this]... Israel is one of the top counterintelligence concerns for the U.S.” One of the internal documents reviewed by The Daily Beast lists a former “major in [an] elite Israeli intelligence-analysis unit,” Shay Hershkovitz, as its chief security officer and director of analytic community. That document also describes Schaffer as a former “counterterrorism officer for Israeli intelligence.” “Elad was involved in a very elite, select group of individuals performing a very important mission… dealing with the height of the global war on terrorism,” one former employee said. “He did some collaborative work with U.S. special-operations counterparts who were working in the Middle East to deal with threats coming from al Qaeda.” “Elad kept a very low profile.” Schaffer did not respond to a request for comment. ‘FLYNN TOOK A REAL SHINING TO JOEL’ Zamel apparently wanted former national security adviser Michael Flynn to be a member of the firm’s advisory board; Zamel spoke with him about it on multiple occasions around the time Flynn was forming his ill-fated Flynn Intel Group, a former high-ranking Wikistrat employee told The Daily Beast. “Flynn took a real shining to Joel,” the source said. Another former Wikistrat employee appeared to confirm Zamel’s links to Flynn, saying a mutual contact, Adam Lovinger, helped introduce Zamel to numerous Pentagon officials. Lovinger, a Pentagon strategist and former Trump NSC analyst, had been named to the National Security Council by Flynn and was reportedly associated with Flynn Intel Group. Flynn Intel Group would later be investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller in connection to a $530,000 payment it received from a company owned by a Turkish businessman close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Lovinger told The Daily Beast that he had introduced Zamel to Pentagon officials after a Navy commander brought him to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. “I know both Joel and Mike Flynn, but I don’t know the extent of their relationship,” Lovinger added. Zamel had apparently been introduced to Flynn by Bijan Kian, Flynn Intel Group’s former vice chairman of its board of directors, according to one source. Kian had been a partner at Flynn Intel Group and served as point man on Flynn’s discussions with Zamel. Neither Flynn nor Kian responded to requests for comment. “Joel Zamel has never met Michael Flynn,” Zamel’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, told The Daily Beast via telephone. Asked about Zamel’s relationship with Kian, Mukasey hung up. However, shortly after this report’s publication, Mukasey confirmed via email that Zamel had indeed communicated with Flynn. In an email to The Daily Beast, Mukasey wrote: “Regarding Joel and Wikistrat, your information and your statistics and your numbers and your descriptions are flat-out wrong. You’ve been fed misinformation (likely by a disgruntled ex-employee) or you’re simply making things up. By way of example, there was one—and only one—conversation with Flynn.” BUT WHY? The appeal of working with a high-profile intelligence officer like Flynn is easy to see. What’s more opaque is why Zamel moved away from harvesting “crowdsourced” intel to making foreign deals. The allure of quick and easy money from extravagantly wealthy Middle East leadership figures, coupled with an increasingly personal relationship with them, represented a “shiny object” that lured Zamel away from Wikistrat’s original mission, a former senior Wikistrat employee said. And although Zamel was rich, he might not have been wealthy enough to float Wikistrat on his own. “It was never clear to me how much Joel was actually paying out of pocket to subsidize the company vs. what was brought in,” another former employee said. “Clients paid decently but not enough to sustain the company. So Joel was either substantially funding the company or we were getting money from somewhere else. That naturally leads you to focus on non-U.S. sources of income.” The documents appear to corroborate this, showing that Wikistrat had been losing large amounts of money. For example, an income statement summary shows Wikistrat’s income as -$603,000 in 2013, -$110,000 in 2014, and a projected -$773,000 for 2016. Kadtke said that, toward the end of 2017, Wikistrat’s ordinary operations (i.e., war games and analysis) went “way down.” “Around the beginning of 2017, the three people I knew there left very abruptly… The last study on the website was January 2017 (they used to do a lot). They seemed to have ceased operations,” Kadtke said. “It was very strange to me that they just sort of collapsed. It was probably a three-month period after which everyone I knew there left.”

Thursday, July 5 2018

The group least likely to think the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees? Evangelicals.

By Philip Bump May 24, 2018 at 1:26 PM A Syrian girl sits on a water container April 18 at a camp for displaced Syrians from the former rebel bastion of Douma, in al-Bil, east of the rebel-held town of Azaz, in northern Syria. (Zein al-Rifai/AFP/Getty Images) In February 2017, as debate raged nationally over President Trump’s decision to curtail immigration to the United States, the conservative Christian Broadcasting Network dipped into the Bible to share what that sacred text said about refugees. “Treat refugees the way you want to be treated,” it said, quoting Leviticus. “Invite the stranger in” (Matthew) and “Open your door to the traveler” (Job). The first comment in reply to the article captures the tone of the rest of the feedback the site received: “Shame on CBN for this very poorly written article full of political rhetoric. This is not a Biblical issue.” At the time, polling from Pew Research Center showed that about 56 percent of Americans believed that the United States had a responsibility to welcome refugees into the country. In the year since, that figure has dropped and is now at a bare majority, 51 percent. But Pew’s new research includes a fascinating detail: No group agrees less with the idea that the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees than white evangelical Protestants. Only 25 percent of evangelicals told Pew that they believed the United States has such a responsibility, half the percentage of Catholics who said the same thing and substantially lower than the religiously unaffiliated. In statistical terms, the percentage of evangelicals holding that view was about equal to the percentage of Republicans, 26 percent, given margins of error. The next least-supportive group was those without college degrees, nearly 4 in 10 of whom agreed with the idea that a responsibility existed. Among mainline white Protestants, the percentage was slightly higher. There is, of course, a heavy overlap between evangelical Americans and Republicans. Since Trump took office, the percentage of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believing that there is a responsibility to accept refugees has slipped from about a third to just over a quarter. That’s what’s driven the overall number lower; support for accepting refugees among Democrats has increased. A key difference between those who identify as Republicans and those who identify as evangelicals, of course, is that the latter necessarily ascribe to a religious worldview. We’ve seen the boundaries of that worldview shift over the past several years, as Trump quickly became the preferred candidate of evangelical voters. In October 2016, after The Washington Post published the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump describes groping women, the pollsters at PRRI asked Americans whether an elected official who’d committed an immoral act in their personal life could still behave ethically in office. In 2011, 30 percent of evangelicals said that he or she could, the lowest percentage of any religious group. In 2016, 72 percent of evangelicals said that the politician could do so — the highest percentage. The gulf between what might be expected and the political reality would not be unfamiliar to the author of that article at CBN about the Bible and refugees. Pew notes that evangelicals who support Trump and oppose accepting refugees are getting what they hoped for. So far this fiscal year, the number of refugees accepted to the country is down dramatically . Philip Bump is a correspondent for The Washington Post based in New York. Before joining The Post in 2014, he led politics coverage for the Atlantic Wire. Post Recommends