Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
26 January 2020

De Schelde

De Scheldedijk

This settlement belongs to Heusden, not to Gentbrugge

Much more water than in most of 2018 and 2019

The building with the tower is a posh Thai Restaurant

And more water …

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

American Sikh Council – Targeting Muslims through ethno-religious cleansing in India must stop!​

The American Sikh Council (ASC) is very concerned about major human rights violations against religious and ethnic minorities. ASC stands for everyone to practice their faith freely with no fear from anyone, including tyrannical governments.

In the recent past Muslims have become specific targets of the Brahminical ire. Brahmins have never taken kindly to anyone being their ‘equal’!

The vast majority of Muslims are all indigenous people of modern India, who like other faiths adopted a faith to get a measure of dignity and self-respect so they could be treated as humans and equals, as that was never possible under the religiously sanctioned Hindu-apartheid commonly known as the ‘caste system’!

Brahmins are less than 3.5% of India’s Hindu population, yet wield an enormous control on all federal (central), state positions, which include the judiciary, police, administration, and all the way to the upper echelons of political power.

According to the former director of Indian intelligence P K Dhar of the ‘Intelligence Bureau’ (IB), “The IB is 100% Brahmins”!

At least six out of twelve Prime Ministers in the last 73 years have been Brahmins. At least four out of eleven Presidents have been Brahmins.

The devil is in the detail, so for those across the globe who think India is a secular nation based on secular laws, need to read the very verbose Indian constitution, closely.

All freedoms are conditional and it is very obvious that most of the constitution has been written from the Brahmin perspective to have perpetual control on not just the masses but also citizens of other faiths.

It seems strange how this is possible, but the deviousness and ingenuity of the Brahmins knows no bounds. The Hindus really have three upper castes: namely, Brahmins, Khatris/Kshatriyas, Vasiyas/Banias and are approximately 15% of the so-called Hindu population.

The rest of the vast 85% have been lumped into ‘Hinduism’ through legal laws, co-opting everyone else to be Hindu, so that the Brahmins and their cohorts have control over a massive permanent vote-bank, otherwise there is little chance of garnering political power.

Most of the ‘lowered castes’ do not even follow or believe in the same beliefs, prayers or rituals of the (minority-upper caste) Hindus.

To make sure it does not stop there and all other religious minorities understand who is the boss, the Brahmins even legally co-opted Buddhism, Jainism and the Sikh Faith, making all three major world faiths and all their followers into Hindus according to the(ir) law since 1950.

According to Article 25 (b) of the Indian Constitution, “in sub-clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.”

This clause is very clear and makes all three independent world faiths into sects/denominations of so-called Hinduism. Furthermore, even the religious intuitions are under the control of Hindu laws.

A perfect example is, the Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya, Bihar, India, the holiest site for Buddhists is completely controlled by Hindu Brahmins to date!

Unfortunately, for the Brahmin puppeteers Muslims make up approximately 15% of India’s population and Islam exists in over 50 countries across the planet. India has refused to put out the latest census numbers on the Muslim population in India for reasons best only known to them.

The current Prime Minister Modi who was denied a visa to the US for over ten years due to his direct involvement in the heinous Genocide of Muslims in his home state of Gujarat in February 2002 has stated many a time that he wants to implement the ‘Gujarat model’ across the India.

So, Modi and his henchman Amit Shah have implemented the ‘Gujarat model’ which is planned lynching, attacks by goons from the various branches of the RSS/BJP an extreme right-wing Hindu party and finally genocides against Muslims and others.

All the above is the age-old masterplan of ‘Hindutva’ which is now out in the open for the Brahmin puppeteers of the RSS (akin to the KKK in the US) to carry out through their various minions, including the PM of India.

It is the first time in nearly a millennium when the Brahmins have finally got political power and their intent is to make a unitary Hindu nation at the expense of secularism and whatever little sanity exists in the Indian Constitution.

Illegally using Article 370 to clamp down on Kashmir a majority Muslim state, and blacking it out from the rest of the world for the last several months was a clear indication of scary forebodings for religious minorities and currently for Muslims.

The CAA, NPR and NRC bills were secretly planned, quietly introduced on 09 December 2019 and passed on December 10, 2019 by the majority BJP members in the lower house of the Indian parliament, without any discussion or public input.

The long term, insidious, hegemonic Hindutva agenda is to covertly and overtly coopt and bulldoze over all minorities and assimilate them into the cavernous Brahminic fold. The CAA, NPR and NRC laws enacted are clearly targeting the Muslims, but also puts the onus of proof of citizenship on the common ‘man/woman’.

In a country with over 649,000 villages; the Indian Parliament enacted the law called Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD Act), 1969, which was enforced in most parts of the country in 1970. Though many citizens living in the same village for generations did not have birth certificates. The poorest of the poor still do not!

All peaceful dissent including through the media is being met with physical violence and death, which clearly indicates that once any minority group is stripped of their ‘legal’ citizenship, all other associated rights disappear immediately.

A perfect example is the how the Rohingyas (Muslims) of Myanmar were stripped of their citizenship and a full-scale genocide ensued, while the world watched recently. India is already building detention centers across in India, some under construction and others planned soon, very similar to the Chinese who have incarcerated over a million Muslims in detention centers.

Protests are being held nationwide for more than two months creating a civil war like situation. If India truly is the largest democracy in the world then they need to get their act together urgently before their Lilliputian leaders tear it apart with ill-planned laws which target minorities like Muslims and many other religious groups, for no other reason but hatred of the other!

Sunil Jhakar of the PPCC party in Punjab called out the Modi leadership as, “tukde tukde government, which was out to divide the country.”

Many states but the state government of Punjab in particular has continuously challenged and refused to implement the (il)legally formed CAA, NPR and NRC laws which are extremely divisive and racist.

On Monday, United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC) Michelle Bachelet informed India that her office has filed an application urging the Supreme Court to make the UN body a third party in a petition filed by a former civil servant against the law.

From the early 1980s to the late the 1990s Sikhs in Punjab were subjected to draconian laws like TADA, POTA, and others, simply to snuff out legal dissent and protest, all in the name of trumped up terrorism.

Many well-meaning Hindus from students to academics, from the poor to the rich, across the spectrum have openly protested against these (CAA, NPR, NRC) ill-thought laws and continue to do so.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) calls upon all Sikhs, Dalits, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus and all others to stand together to stop this insanity and not be cowed down by the ‘goonda raj’!

The American Sikh Council is the umbrella organization representative of Sikhs in the United States. It is an elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions. Currently 74 Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions across the nation are members of ASC. The major governing purpose of the organization is to represent the collective view of Sikhs in the United States. ASC works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.

Dawn – AFP Fact Check: A photo from Lahore’s Aurat March of a TV anchor and his wife has been doctored

The original photo of anchorperson Mansoor Ali Khan and his family shows his wife holding a blank card.

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 10 March 2020. A photo of television news anchor Mansoor Ali Khan with his wife and son at the Aurat March rally in Lahore has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts. The image purports to show the news anchor’s wife holding a placard that promotes “no shame” in nakedness.

This claim is false; the photo has been doctored to add the text to the blank paper that Khan’s wife was holding.

The photo was published here on Facebook on 08 March 2020. It has since been shared more than 400 times. It shows journalist and anchorperson Mansoor Ali Khan with his wife and child.

The Urdu-language slogan on the piece of paper in Khan’s wife’s hand translates to English as: “There is no shame in getting naked”.

The post’s caption translates as: “Mansoor Ali Khan’s wife is carrying a slogan ‘there is no shame in getting naked’ and my host is laughing sheepishly.”

The same photo showing the slogan on the placard was also shared on Facebook here and here and on Twitter here and here, with a similar claim.

But the claim is false; Khan posted the original photo, which shows his wife holding a blank piece of paper, on his Facebook page here.

Khan also posted another collage image that showed the original photo beside other doctored versions of the photo with different slogans. He captioned this post: “The dark world of Photoshopped pictures”.

The other texts digitally edited into the collage reads “My body, my choice” and “Divorce wanted.”

The Khan family were among the thousands of protesters who marked International Women’s Day in cities across Pakistan on March 8. The rallies promoted counter “anti-feminist” rallies, AFP reported here.

The News – Aurat March: Women’s rights advocates rally across largely patriarchal Pakistan

Karachi/Islamabad, 08 March 2020. Tempers flared in the federal capital on Sunday as protesters marched to celebrate International Women’s Day in an ultra-conservative society where women are still put to death under ancient “honour” codes.

The Aurat March has sparked controversy in largely patriarchal Pakistan, and, at one point in the capital, right-wing counter-protesters hurled sticks and stones at women’s rights demonstrators, causing some injuries and forcing a crowd of people to seek cover before the police intervened.

The tensions follow on from last year’s Aurat march, which sparked a furious backlash when participants held placards with slogans such as “Mera jism, meri marzi [My body, my choice],” which was viciously attacked during the week leading up to the rally by a playwright who recently shot to fame.

In a society where women have been shot, stabbed, stoned, set alight, and strangled for damaging a family’s “honour”, such expressions have seen marchers accused of promoting Western, liberal values and disrespecting religious and cultural sensitivities.

In Islamabad, tensions rose when thousands of people gathered to call for greater reproductive and other rights. The march ended at a park alongside a separate “anti-feminist” rally, with the duelling protests separated only by a flimsy barrier and a line of police.

“The women in Pakistan are considered property by their male counterparts,” said Tahira Maryum, 55. “There is nothing vulgar in asking for your rights,” she added.

At the religious counter-protest, dozens of women in burqas held their own placards, including one saying “Anti-Feminist”, while shouting “Our bodies, God’s choice”. AFP saw several men throwing sticks and stones at the women’s march.

Ismat Khan, a 33-year-old woman, said women’s rights activists were “naive” and being exploited by non-government groups and a foreign “lobby”. “We are free and to live our lives are according to Sharia [Islamic law],” she told AFP.

In Lahore, a crowd of several hundred women and men took to the streets chanting slogans such as: “Give me what’s mine” and “We want freedom”, while countless more gathered in Karachi’s Frere Hall, chanting slogans, beating drums, and singing.

“We are not scared of the [religious leaders], let them be jealous of us,” said Anis Haroon, a veteran women’s right activist in Karachi.

Systemising oppression of women

The nationwide Aurat March also saw a group of women gather in the southern city of Sukkur near the Indus river, where the bodies of women who have been slain in “honour” killings are sometimes dumped.

This year, anti-march campaigners filed unsuccessful court petitions to try to ban Sunday’s events and a religious political party warned it would stop the march at “all costs”.

Much of Pakistani society operates under a strict code of “honour”, systemising the oppression of women in matters such as the right to choose who to marry, reproductive rights, and even the right to an education.

Social media on Sunday was filled with comments both for and against the march with, “HappyWomensDay2020” and “MeraHijabMeriMarzi [MyHijabMyChoice]” both in the top Twitter trends.

Rights activists have long fought against the patriarchal notion of “honour”, which remains prevalent across Pakistan. According to estimates, at least 1,000 women fall victim to honour killings in Pakistan every year.

A handful take to the streets in Afghanistan

In neighbouring Afghanistan, frequently rated one of the world’s worst places to be a woman, a handful of people took to the streets to mark Women’s Day.

University graduate Tahmina Ghoori explained that while urban Afghan women have seen some progress since the end of Taliban rule in 2001, they still face many challenges due to “gender inequality and the misogynistic views in our society”.

She was especially worried about the possibility of the insurgents returning to power on the back of a US-Taliban deal signed last month.

“We have left a dark era behind, my concern is that if they make a comeback, we will go through the same situation and women’s rights will be trampled again,” she told AFP. – Promise of free bus from Amritsar to Dera Baba Nanak Terminal is still in papers

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 10 March 2020. On 19 December, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had announced to start a free bus service from Amritsar to Dera Baba Nanak in the first meeting of the present Executive committee at Fatehgarh Sahib last year. This was announced to facilitate the pilgrims visiting Sri Kartarpur Sahib.

However, to date, this announcement remains on paper only and there is no sign of the SGPC implementing a bus service.

In December last year, the Shiromani Committee had announced that the free bus will depart from Gurdwara Sahib Saragari (Heritage route) at 8:00 am every day and it will arrive back in Amritsar from Dera Baba Terminal at 5:00 pm.

This announcement was made seeing a huge rush of pilgrims to Sri Kartarpur Sahib and the lack of public transportation available to facilitate their pilgrim.

After two and a half months, still, this announcement has been proved deceptive.

It is pertinent to note that the pilgrims who visit Kartarpur Sahib through Dera Baba Nanak corridor have to reach Dera Baba Nanak Terminal by 9:00 am and for this, pilgrims from various villages and cities of Punjab and from other states reach Sri Harmandr Sahib a day before and stay during night here and reach Dera Baba Nanak on next morning by taking expensive taxis.

At the time of the announcement, the Shiromani Committee officials had also said that unless a new bus was purchased for this purpose, another bus would be used. Speaking with Sikh24, an SGPC official who wished to remain anonymous said, “The bus service will be started surely as announced by the ‘Shiromani Committee’.

There has been a drop in sangat that visits Kartarpur Sahib due to issues with visa stamping so the priority has lowered.”

It is however not known if the visits to Sri Kartarpur Sahib have decreased due to lack of transportation or for other reasons.

Promise of free bus from Amritsar to Dera Baba Nanak Terminal is still in papers

Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
26 January 2020


Geboortebos, names and date of birth of Gent children

A place that the cattle that graze in the Meersen
during the summer months are fond of

Path along the Scheldedijk

The Scheldedijk

The Schelde is a tidel river up to the Gent locks

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Eurasia Review – Riots in India’s capital: An outcome of intoxicated young minds with hate

Saman Ahmed

Op/Ed, 09 March 2020. ‘Mama! I had a dream last night. What was it? I asked. ‘Zaynab and I were going somewhere on my bicycle. A group of people stopped us and inquired, ‘Are you Hindu or Muslim? I was very terrified and confused Mama! I didn’t know what to answer?

We are Sikhs! I answered them after a while. They looked at each other and then told me to leave. As I left, I heard them murmuring, Musalman hota toh maar dete’. This narration of dream comes from my 10 year old son a day ago. One can well imagine the mental state of children that they are passing through in present times in the capital city of India.

As he ran out to play, I sat down on my sofa recalling the image of Ankit’s mother mourning her young son’s brutal murder. I cried my heart out when I saw the video of this bereaved soul. It is beyond my imagination to even feel the twinge of that bride who was married few days back.

Her husband Ashfaque was fired 4-5 bullets straight in the chest. The image of an eight year old son crying inconsolably next to the coffin of his father Modassir squeezes my heart with pain.

Fearful audio clips asking for help, rounds of messages circulating for help, houses with people inside set ablaze, shops on fire, hundreds of people hiding to save their lives, families seeking shelter on the roof of their house, while the house is set alight, youngsters cruelly beaten and asked to sing National Anthem, etc. did a rapid round in my mind.

Annotations like ‘Marne do Musalmano ko’, ‘Hum denge tujhe Azaadi’,’Desh ke Ghaddaron ko……Goli maaro saalon ko’, ‘Pakistan kion nahi jaate’ and several other remarks echoed my ears and tears rolled down.

Am I staying in a civilized country? NO! Absolutely Not! Was the answer. No cultured society can butcher and bake its citizens like it has done in the capital city of India in North East Delhi recently.

Are we living in a democratic setup? Perhaps not. Actually, our democracy is hypocrisy. The idea of secular, socialist, sovereign, democratic republic is eventually changing.

After the passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha on 9th of December 2019 students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University raised their voices against the unconstitutional bill as it gives citizenship on the basis of religion.

However, two days later the bill became an Act as it was passed in the Rajya Sabha too. According to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 people from three neighbouring countries namely; Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and people of six faiths namely; Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians will be given Indian citizenship.

The citizenship criterion clearly excludes Muslims. In India, religion has never been the basis for providing citizenship as it is a secular, socialist and democratic republic.

People also started protesting against the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) which has already been carried out in the Assam state of India and the Home Minister had announced in the Parliament that it would be carried out for the entire country.

It is worth mentioning that in Assam 19 lakhs people were left out of the NRC as they could not provide the documents as a proof of their citizenship.

It is such an irony that even voter identity cards are not a proof of Indian citizenship. It is on the basis of voter identity cards that Indians have voted and elected the present government and now the elected government is questioning the citizenship of its people.

Along with CAA and NRC people are also protesting against National Population Register (NPR).

Though NPR is not a harmful exercise but the present NPR based on 2003 rules is arbitrary in nature in both text and context. As mentioned on the official website of Ministry of Home Affairs, NPR is the first step towards NRC. Thus, CAA along with NPR and NRC is currently facing criticsm from all caste, class, region, religion, gender, faith, etc.

University protests were brutally cracked down by the police and students were beaten up mercilessly to the extent of losing their arms, hands, legs and eyesight. Forget the mental trauma all of them have been going through since then.

The wave of peaceful and non-violent protests against CAA from Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University soon spread to different places in the capital city of Delhi and several other parts of India.

Protesters in Uttar Pradesh state of India were killed, looted and now their names along with house addresses are at display at public places. The State government has threatened to confiscate the properties of protesters. This is not the end; violence broke out in several parts of North East Delhi on 24th of February.

Young armed goons full of hate looted and burnt several houses and mercilessly killed people. Charred bodies were dumped in the nearby canal.

Dead bodies with multiple stabs kept coming until recently and hundreds were brutally injured. They are still under treatment in various hospitals. 29 from Uttar Pradesh and 53 from North East Delhi have been declared dead till now.

Is holding peaceful protests and demonstrations such a heinous crime in a democratic state? Is this the way dissent is met in a democratic country? Don’t the people in India have a right to disagree with any law passed by the government?

The state is democratic only till you do not show your disagreement. I wonder how Mr. Prime Minister can go hugging and cuddling with the United States President on that particular day while his own capital of the country was engulfed in flames.

*The author is a Post Doctoral Fellow at Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women’s Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia

Riots In India’s Capital: An Outcome Of Intoxicated Young Minds With Hate – OpEd – The Daily Fix: CM Yogi Adityanath has little regard for the Constitution, as Allahabad HC order proves

Hours after the court made it clear that the billboards with details of CAA protestors would have to come down, they were still standing in Lucknow.

Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 10 March 2020. The Allahabad High Court did something on Monday that was completely unusual. It not only delivered a judgment that was critical of the majoritarian government that rules in Uttar Pradesh, it did so after taking “suo moto” action, meaning the court did not wait for someone to even file a petition.

The court had seen the Uttar Pradesh government putting up banners in several parts of Lucknow on which were displayed the photographs, names and addresses of people involved in the protests against the Citizenship Act amendment.

Though none of these people had been convicted by a court, the government had gone ahead and placed their details on these billboards in a bid to “name and shame” them. The inclusion of their addresses suggested something more sinister.

Considering the violence that has been unleashed in various parts of the country against CAA protesters and the fact that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has led calls to “shoot the bloody traitors”, the inclusion of personal details also made the billboards a breach of privacy that could have very real, very dangerous outcomes.

“We are having no doubt that the action of the State, which is subject matter of this public interest litigation, is nothing but an unwarranted interference in privacy of people,” the court said.

In response, the state, which was unable to point to any legal provision that allowed it to put up these billboards, focused its energy on insisting that the court did not have the powers to take up the case by itself.

Here the court’s comments should come as an indictment, not just of the state, but also of constitutional courts around the country, including the Supreme Court, that have turned a blind eye to the state’s deliberate trampling all over civil liberties and fundamental rights.

“Where there is gross negligence on part of public authorities and government, where the law is disobeyed and the public is put to suffering and where the precious values of the constitution are subjected to injuries, a constitutional court can very well take notice of that at its own,” the bench said.

“The Court in such matters is not required to wait necessarily for a person to come before it to ring the bell of justice. The Courts are meant to impart justice and no court can shut its eyes if a public unjust is happening just before it.”

If only this were true

The fact is, even in this matter, Uttar Pradesh’s unleashing of violence and intimidation against the CAA protesters and Muslims in general as retribution, the courts have not stepped up to the task of holding the state accountable.

While there are now many instances of courts finding the police’s actions egregious and the High Court asking for accountability, there is no sense that the Chief Minister Adityanath’s government has been chastened.

Indeed, many hours after the Allahabad High Court made it clear that the billboards would have to come down, they were still standing in Lucknow.

This shame-faced display of impunity in the face of direct, unambiguous orders from the Allahabad High Court is as clear a declaration as can be that Adityanath’s government is not bothered about applying the rule of law.

It is thus doubly necessary for the judiciary, at whichever level, to assert itself. Here is a government that is on the face of it going far beyond where the law would allow it to travel, and refusing to listen to specific directions.

From the Supreme Court down, the higher judiciary needs to send the message to the Uttar Pradesh government that simply riding high on the wave of majoritarian politics does not give it carte blanche to undermine the rights of citizens.

As the bench said, “The Courts are meant to impart justice and no court can shut its eyes if a public unjust is happening just before it.”