THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

In Australia, three Dawoodi Bohras face Supreme Court trial for circumcising or cutting their daughters’ clitoris for removing their sexual desire. I applaud Australia. These Bohras should be given life term for ruining lives of 7-year old girls. We need more such prosecutions and life terms in other countries too, especially in India.


In Australia, three Dawoodi Bohras face Supreme Court trial for circumcising their daughters

Female genital mutilation is illegal in Australia. But in India, where Dawoodi Bohras are the only known community to practice the ritual, there is no law against it.

Aarefa Johari  · Sep 17, 2015 · 12:30 pm

In the first case of its kind for the Dawoodi Bohra community, three Bohras living in Australia are facing a Supreme Court trial for practicing genital mutilation on two minor girls.

On September 14, three years after they were arrested, the Supreme Court of New South Wales began hearing the 
trial of the girls' mother, senior clergy member Sheikh Shabbir Vaziri and a 68-year-old nurse who performed the genital cutting on the girls.

The trial could last for six weeks and if convicted, the three accused could face seven years in jail.

The Dawoodi Bohras are a small but influential sub-sect of Shia Islam, between one and two million in number, who predominantly hail from Gujarat. While the majority of the community lives in India, there is a large Bohra diaspora around the world.

In India, the Bohras are the only community known to practice female circumcision – cutting the tip of a young girl's clitoris – a ritual that is regarded by the World Health Organisation as a type of female genital mutilation. India does not have a specific law against this practice, but in several countries, including Australia, FGM is considered a criminal offence.

What is FGM?

The practice of female genital cutting is said to have originated somewhere in Africa much before the rise of Islam, and finds no mention in the Quran. Most of the communities that practice varying degrees of genital cutting believe it is done to moderate a woman's sexual desire and prevent her from having extra-marital or pre-marital sex.

The World Health Organisation has classified female genital mutilation into four types based on the degree of severity and damage: while Type 1 involves cutting a part or whole of the clitoris, Types 3 and 4 involve cutting off most of a woman's external genitalia and, at times, sewing up the vaginal opening.

The Bohras are known to practice Type 1 FGM – slicing off the clitoral hood when a girl is around seven years old – although there are some cases where the damage caused has been 
more severe. It is likely that the Bohras inherited the practice from Yemen and Egypt, where the sect traces its origins to the Fatimid dynasty of the 11th century.

The Australia case

In Australia, where female genital cutting is practiced mainly among migrants from Africa, West Asia and South Asia, all forms of FGM were made illegal in 1997.

The case of the two circumcised Bohra girls was uncovered in 2012, when the Department of Community Services in New South Wales received an anonymous tip-off about the prevalence of FGM in the Dawoodi Bohra community. The state police began investigating the community by recording phone calls and using listening devices, and found that the two sisters – then aged six and seven – had been circumcised in two separate incidents, in Sydney and Wollongong, sometime between October 2010 and July 2012.

When the girls were interviewed in their school, they revealed thatkhatna (circumcision) had been done to them by a woman they did not know, and 
described the procedure as "a little cut down there". According to the police, one of the girls said she was given some lemonade before the procedure and was asked to imagine a place that she liked to ease the pain during the circumcision. While showering after the cutting, she was also reportedly scared that it would hurt.

In conversations secretly recorded after the girls' family came to know of the police investigations, their mother allegedly told them, "We told you, my child, this is a secret. Never tell anyone." In another recorded phone call, the nurse who performed the cutting was heard saying, "I'm in trouble. I do not want to go to jail at my age."

Initially, eight Bohras were arrested in the case, but charges against the girls' father and four other relatives were dismissed by the lower courts. Now, in addition to the mother and the nurse who have been charged with arranging and performing the circumcision, a senior Bohra clergy member Sheikh Shabbir Vaziri has been accused of hindering the investigation by instructing community members to lie to the police about the prevalence of FGM among Bohras.

So far, the defence lawyers representing the accused have argued that the cutting was just a "ritualistic ceremony" that did not cause any visible injury to the external genitalia. The lower court did not accept this argument, but the Supreme Court's verdict is not likely to be out for another six weeks.

All the accused have been granted bail and the next hearing is onSeptember 26. So far, the girls have been in their parents care.

Community reacts

In Mumbai, the administrative headquarter of the Dawoodi Bohras, community spokespersons declined to comment on the Australian case. A senior Bohra scholar, however, confirmed that this is the first instance of Bohras being arrested for female genital cutting.

Community members in India, meanwhile, are ambivalent about the ongoing trial in Australia.

"It is important to follow the law of the land in which you live, so if this practice is illegal in Australia, they should not have done it there," said a Bohra businesswoman from Mumbai who did not wish to be identified. "But seven years of jail would be too much if they are convicted – what would happen to the children?"

Pious Bohras, say community members, follow the practice not to harm their children but because they believe it is mandated by the religion for the good of their daughters. This, they say, does not make them bad parents.

"I too have had 
khatna performed on my daughters and initially I saw no harm in it," said a Bohra mother from Vapi who was told that the circumcision is meant to curb a girl's sexual energy during puberty. "Now I am ambivalent about the practice. There must be some reason why the Prophet endorsed it, but if it is stopped, then it should be stopped uniformly everywhere."

Some Bohras in Australia, however, are hopeful that the case will deter the community from continuing the practice.

"I am horrified that this barbaric practice has followed this community overseas," said Rashida Murphy, a Bohra from Perth. "Those little girls will never be the same again and their mother should be made to pay by jail time to deter others contemplating this savagery."

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