WTF Just Happened: November 29

#1. To live where I please, to do as I wish, to believe as I wish, to love as I like — these are my fundamental rights as a free citizen of a free country. The rights to equality, to freedom of thought and expression, to freedom of religion — these are guaranteed by the state. It says so, right here.

And yet, lo these many years after the state was formed and the constitution was formalized, we have the ongoing spectacle of a young woman, an adult, having to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get these rights for herself. ‘I want my freedom,’ she tells the court — and it is telling that she actually has to go to court to ask for it. We have, too, the spectacle of the Supreme Court doling out these rights to her piecemeal, a little bit at a time — while the state, which (constitutionally) guarantees her inalienable rights, is busy opposing, in the apex court, her right to live and to love as she pleases. What country, what century, are we living in, again?

Meanwhile, we have the National Intelligence Agency — which has been systematically weaponized by the ruling party — saying that it has proof Hadiya’s husband is a recruiter for the ISIS.

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The story Chhattisgarh police don’t want you to know

Supriya Sharma’s deep dive into police atrocities against the tribals in the Bastar region is the story you won’t like to read, but should.

On the same subject, Freny Maneckshaw has more.

 

Tribals have no right to reject: Odisha

Yesterday I’d posted this Chitrangada Choudhury report on the systematic way the Odisha government and its various arms had resorted to forgery to manufacture tribal content.

Today, this: The Odisha government argues that the consent of tribals is not even needed.

The Odisha government has challenged the landmark Vedanta bauxite mine judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the statutory powers of the tribal village councils under the Forest Rights Act and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Area) Act to decide if they wish mining to take place in their traditional forestlands or not.

 

Filing a new interlocutory application before the apex court, Odisha government has claimed that the Forest Rights Act and its rules do not require any consent from gram sabha (village councils) for use of forestlands if the government decides that the rights of the people have been settled.