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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Holocaust and Genocides event

15th Annual Holocaust and Genocides


Dr. Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism
email: MikeGhouse@gmail.com 
Office: (202) 290-3560
Cell: (214) 325-1916

15th Annual Reflections on the Holocaust and Genocides  

The purpose of this event is education, information, and activism. We hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to our share of saying, "Never Again."

15th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM Sunday, January 26, 2020
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201

Tickets are complimentary, but donations are accepted 

We hope you will walk out of the event with a genuine feeling of being a contributor towards building a cohesive world where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

The Jewish community has been commemorating the Holocaust event since 1953, known as Yom HaShoah in Synagogues around the world. The general public learns it by visiting the Holocaust Museums and educational institutions.

At the Center for Pluralism, we are committed to spreading knowledge of the Holocaust and Genocide through interfaith and public events, including the Annual reflections. 


Robert F. Teitel - Holocaust Story

Dr. Gregory Stanton - Signs of Genocides

Rushan Abbas & Omer Kanat - Uyghur Updates

Dr. Wakar Uddin - Rohingya Update

Muneer Baig - Kashmir Update

Dr. TO Shanavas - India Update

Dr. Rani Khan - Peace Pledge

Dr. Mike Ghouse - Genesis of this event

Rabia Baig - Mistress of Ceremony


Nausheen Baig

Rabbi Alana Suskin

Jafer Imam

Dr. Zafar Iqbal

Charles Stevenson


Would you like to be a sponsor?

Our budget is $2000, full or any part 


Dr. Rani Khan

Dr. Mike Ghouse

Organized by:

Center for Pluralism

Our format consists of four parts; Interfaith prayers, Holocaust, Genocides, Massacred and the Pledge of Peace. Silently, we will acknowledge all suffering, but physically we are limited to a few Genocides each year. 

 This year, a Holocaust survivor will share his story, followed by updated Uyghur, Rohingya, and the signs of making of Genocide in India. I urge everyone to watch the Schindler's list and Civil War movies to grasp the signs.

I believe, when we acknowledge each other's grief and participate in each other's commemoration, we connect with the humanness within ourselves and seed the relationship of understanding and caring for each other. 

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own, or amounts to infidelity to our pain, and every community and nation has suffered through this. To all those who have endured the Holocaust, Genocides, Massacres, Ethnic Cleansing, Land Mines, Hunger, Rape, Torture, Occupation, Expulsion, and inhuman brutality, we must say, you are not alone. The least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one voice. 


I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.

This is a Muslim initiative to assure fellow humans who have endured the Holocaust, Genocide, ethnic cleansing, massacres, rapes, injustice and other atrocities that we are all in this together to create a better world. Tikkun Olam is our sacred duty. 


# # #

List of Supporting Organizations (links embedded)

Published at 148 News Outlets
A few are listed below 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

India does not need the CAA-NPR-NRIC - 100 IAS Officers

Over 100 IAS Officers appeal to Indian Citizens


9 January 2020

Dear Fellow Citizens of India,
Over the past few weeks, many of you have been understandably agitated over the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 ("CAA"). Your fears have been compounded by the contradictory and confusing statements made by spokespersons of the Government of India on the implementation of the National Register of Indian Citizens ("NRIC"),  Though that government now seeks to delink the National Population Register (“NPR”) from the NRIC, we, the Constitutional Conduct Group, comprising former civil servants from the All-India and Central Services committed to the Constitution of India, consider it our duty to inform you that the three issues are linked, acquaint you with the facts regarding the NPR, NRIC and the CAA and emphasise why these measures need to be resolutely opposed. For easy comprehension, we are listing the issues pointwise:

  1. There is no need for the NPR and NRIC
Both the NPR and NRIC exercises flow out of the amendments in 2003 to the Citizenship Act, 1955 (“1955 Act”) and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 ("2003 Rules") framed by the then NDA government in 2003. The NPR has nothing to do with the Census of India, which is conducted every ten years and is next due in 2021. While the Census collects information about all residents of India without listing their names, the NPR is a list of names of all those who have lived in India for over six months, regardless of their nationality. A Population Register will contain the list of persons usually residing within a specified local area (village/town/ward/demarcated area).
The NRIC will effectively be a subset of the Population Registers for the entire country. The 2003 Rules provide for verification of the details in the Population Register by the Local Registrar (normally a taluka or town functionary) who will separate out cases of doubtful citizenship and conduct further enquiries. After carrying out enquiries in respect of residents whose citizenship status is suspect, the Local Registrar will prepare a draft Local Register of Indian Citizens, which would exclude those not able to establish, through documentary proof, their claim to be citizens of India.
It is at this stage that the experience of the citizens of Assam can cause apprehensions in the minds of those who are required to establish their citizenship, whether or not they profess any religion. The NPR 2020, unlike the NPR 2010, asks not only for the names of the parents of the resident, but also seeks to also record their dates and places of birth. A person who is not able to furnish these details for his/her parents or, for that matter, for himself/herself, could well be classified a “doubtful citizen”.
The 2003 amendments to the 1955 Act (vide Sections 3 (b), 3 (c) and 14A)  and the consequent introduction of the 2003 Rules seem to indicate an undue obsession about illegal migrants, without any factual basis. We fail to understand the need for a nationwide identification of “illegal migrants”, which is what the NRIC in effect amounts to, when census statistics over the past seven decades do not show any major demographic shifts, except in certain pockets in some areas of North-Eastern and Eastern India adjoining our neighbouring countries.
We are apprehensive that the vast powers to include or exclude a person from the Local Register of Indian Citizens that is going to be vested in the bureaucracy at a fairly junior level has the scope to be employed in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner, subject to local pressures and to meet specific political objectives, not to mention the unbridled scope for large-scale corruption. Added to this is the provision for objections to the draft Local Register from any person. The Assam NRC exercise has thrown up the dangers of such a large-scale exercise: lakhs of citizens have been made to spend their life’s savings running from pillar to post to establish their citizenship credentials. Worrying reports are already coming in of people in different parts of India rushing in panic to obtain the necessary birth documents. The problem is magnified in a country where the maintenance of birth records is poor, coupled with highly inefficient birth registration systems. Errors of inclusion and exclusion have been a feature of all large-scale surveys in India, the Below Poverty Line survey and the Socio-Economic Caste Census being prime examples. The recently completed NRC exercise in Assam has been equally error-ridden and has led to major discontent. Indeed the State Government itself, with the BJP in power, has rejected its own NRC data, an extremely ludicrous scenario.
The provisions of the CAA, coupled with rather aggressive statements over the past few years from the highest levels of this government, rightly cause deep unease in India’s Muslim community, which has already faced discrimination and attacks on issues ranging from allegations of love jihad to cattle smuggling and beef consumption. That the Muslim community has had to face the brunt of police action in recent days only in those states where the local police is controlled by the party in power at the centre only adds credence to the widespread feeling that the NPR-NRIC exercise could be used for selective targeting of specific communities and individuals.
Added to the inconvenience that the NPR would put the common person through is the unnecessary expenditure on the NPR exercise, when data which is now to be gathered is already available through the Aadhaar system: these include name, address, date of birth, father/husband’s name and gender. Most Indian citizens are already covered by Aadhaar. The purpose of gathering a lot of the additional data (over and above the Aadhaar details) is unclear and will only give rise to the reasonable apprehension that the bona fide citizen could be enmeshed in an interminable, costly bureaucratic exercise if his/her citizenship status comes under doubt.
Our group of former civil servants, with many years of service in the public sphere, is firmly of the view that both the NPR and the NRIC are unnecessary and wasteful exercises, which will cause hardship to the public at large and will also entail public expenditure that is better spent on schemes benefiting the poor and disadvantaged sections of society. They also constitute an invasion of the citizens’ right to privacy, since a lot of information, including Aadhaar, mobile numbers and voter IDs will be listed in a document, with scope for misuse.  

  1. Why authorise widespread setting up of Foreigners’ Tribunals and detention camps?:
The Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019 (issued on 30 May 2019) has unnecessarily stoked fears that Foreigners’ Tribunals can now be set up on the orders of any District Magistrate in India and is the precursor to a widespread exercise to identify “illegal migrants”. While the central government may contend that there is no such intention, it was surely impolitic, given the prevailing atmosphere in Assam and elsewhere, to issue such blanket orders delegating powers for constituting Foreigners’ Tribunals. The experience with Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam has been, to put it bluntly, traumatic for those at the receiving end. After running the gamut of gathering documents and answering objections to their citizenship claims, “doubtful citizens” have also had to contend with these Tribunals, the composition and functioning of which were highly discretionary and arbitrary. Consequently, a number of citizens lost their lives in the quest for affirming citizenship or have had to suffer the indignity of incarceration in detention camps.
There have also been media reports, not denied by the Government of India, that orders for setting up detention camps have been given to all state governments. We are frankly bemused by the Prime Minister’s recent statement that no such camps are in existence, when reports have documented the construction of such camps in states as far apart as Goalpara in Assam and Nelamangala in Karnataka and the intention to construct a detention centre in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra. The Government of India has not come out with any statistics to show that the “illegal migrants” problem in India is so severe that it requires the large-scale construction of detention camps all over the country.

  1. The constitutional and moral untenability of the CAA:
              We have our grave reservations about the constitutional validity of the CAA provisions, which we also consider to be morally indefensible. We would like to emphasise that a statute that consciously excludes the Muslim religion from its purview is bound to give rise to apprehensions in what is a very large segment of India’s population. A formulation that focused on those suffering persecution (religious, political, social) in any country in the world would not only have calmed local apprehensions but would also have been appreciated by the international community. In its current formulation, the CAA does not even mention the word "persecuted", probably because using this word in the context of Afghanistan and Bangladesh would have marred India's relations with these countries. Given that the Government of India has powers to grant citizenship after a migrant has completed eleven years in India, it would be instructive to know whether the Government of India has cleared all pending cases of “illegal migrants” till end-2008. Since the discretion to grant citizenship and to exempt individuals/groups from the purview of the Passport Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946 lies entirely with the Government of India, this discretion could have been exercised on a case by case basis by the Government of India without any need to go through the exercise of the CAA and mentioning specific communities from specific countries.

            What has given rise to grave apprehensions about the intentions of the Government of India has been the rash of statements by Ministers of the Government of India in recent times, linking the NRIC and the CAA. The Prime Minister’s statement at a public meeting in Delhi on 22 December that the CAA and the NRIC are not linked contradicts the averments of his Home Minister on repeated occasions in various fora. In such a welter of conflicting and confusing utterances, it is hardly surprising that the ordinary citizen is left bewildered and is overcome by unknown fears, more so when government has not entered into any dialogue on this issue. At a time when the economic situation in the country warrants the closest attention of the government, India can ill afford a situation where the citizenry and the government enter into confrontation on the roads. Nor is it desirable to have a situation where the majority of State Governments are not inclined to implement the NPR/NRIC, leading to an impasse in centre-state relations, so crucial in a federal set up like India. Above all, we see a situation developing where India is in danger of losing international goodwill and alienating its immediate neighbours, with adverse consequences for the security set-up in the sub-continent. India also stands to lose its position as a moral beacon guiding many other countries on the path to liberal democracy.

            We, therefore, urge our fellow citizens to insist, as we do, that the Government of India pay heed to the voice of the citizens of India and take the following steps at the earliest:
(1)   Repeal Sections 14A and 18 (2) (ia) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, pertaining to the issue of national identity cards and its procedures and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 in its entirety.  
(2)   Withdraw the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019 and withdraw all instructions for construction of detention camps.
(3)   Repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.


(106 signatories, as below)

Anita Agnihotri
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
Salahuddin Ahmad
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
V.S. Ailawadi
IAS (Retd.)
Former Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority
S.P. Ambrose
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
Anand Arni
R&AW (Retd.)
Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
Mohinderpal Aulakh
IPS (Retd.)
Former Director General of Police (Jails), Govt. of Punjab
N. Bala Baskar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Principal Adviser (Finance), Ministry of External Affairs, GoI
Vappala Balachandran
IPS (Retd.)
Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
Gopalan Balagopal
IAS (Retd.)
Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
Sharad Behar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
Madhu Bhaduri
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Portugal
Meeran C Borwankar
IPS (Retd.)
Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
Ravi Budhiraja
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
Sundar Burra
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
R. Chandramohan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
K.M. Chandrasekhar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Cabinet Secretary, GoI
Rachel Chatterjee
IAS (Retd.)
Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
Kalyani Chaudhuri
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
Anna Dani
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
Surjit K. Das
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttarakhand
Vibha Puri Das
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
P.R. Dasgupta
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
Nareshwar Dayal
IFS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Pradeep K. Deb
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
Nitin Desai
IES (Retd.)
Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
Keshav Desiraju
IAS (Retd.)
Former Health Secretary, GoI
M.G. Devasahayam
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
Sushil Dubey
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Sweden
K.P. Fabian
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Italy
Prabhu Ghate
IAS (Retd.)
Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
Arif Ghauri
IRS (Retd.)
Former Governance Adviser, DFID, Govt. of the United Kingdom (on deputation)
Gourisankar Ghosh
IAS (Retd.)
Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
S.K. Guha
IAS (Retd.)
Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
Meena Gupta
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
Ravi Vira Gupta
IAS (Retd.)
Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
Wajahat Habibullah
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, GoI and Chief Information Commissioner
Deepa Hari
IRS (Resigned)

Sajjad Hassan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
Siraj Hussain
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI
Kamal Jaswal
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
Jagdish Joshi
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary (Planning), Govt. of Maharashtra
Najeeb Jung
IAS (Retd.)
Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
Rahul Khullar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
K. John Koshy
IAS (Retd.)
Former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal
Ajai Kumar
IFoS (Retd.)
Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI
Arun Kumar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, GoI
Brijesh Kumar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
P.K. Lahiri
IAS (Retd.)
Former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank
Subodh Lal
IPoS (Resigned)
Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
S.K. Lambah
IFS (Retd.)
Former Special Envoy of  the Prime Minister of India
P.M.S. Malik
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Myanmar & Special Secretary, MEA, GoI
Harsh Mander
IAS (Retd.)
Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
Lalit Mathur
IAS (Retd.)
Former Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, GoI
Aditi Mehta
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
Shivshankar Menon
IFS (Retd.)
Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
Sonalini Mirchandani
IFS (Resigned)
Sunil Mitra
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
Deb Mukharji
IFS (Retd.)
Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
Shiv Shankar Mukherjee
IFS (Retd.)
Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Pranab S. Mukhopadhyay
IAS (Retd.)
Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
Sobha Nambisan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Principal Secretary (Planning), Govt. of Karnataka
P.G.J. Nampoothiri
IPS (Retd.)
Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat
Surendra Nath
IAS (Retd.)
Former Member, Finance Commission, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
P.A. Nazareth
IFS (Retd.)
Amitabha Pande
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
Alok Perti
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
R.M. Premkumar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
T.R. Raghunandan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, GoI
N.K. Raghupathy
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
V.P. Raja
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
C. Babu Rajeev
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, GoI
K. Sujatha Rao
IAS (Retd.)
Former Health Secretary, GoI
M.Y. Rao
IAS (Retd.)

Satwant Reddy
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
Julio Ribeiro
IPS (Retd.)
Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
Aruna Roy
IAS (Resigned)

Manabendra N. Roy
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
Deepak Sanan
IAS (Retd.)
Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
G. Sankaran
IC&CES (Retd.)
Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal 
Shyam Saran
IFS (Retd.)
Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board
S. Satyabhama
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
N.C. Saxena
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
Ardhendu Sen
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
Abhijit Sengupta
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
Aftab Seth
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Japan
Ashok Kumar Sharma
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
Navrekha Sharma
IFS (Retd.)
Former Ambassador to Indonesia
Pravesh Sharma
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
Raju Sharma
IAS (Retd.)
Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
Rashmi Shukla Sharma
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
Har Mander Singh
IAS (Retd.)
Former Director General, ESI Corporation, GoI
Padamvir Singh
IAS (Retd.)
Former Director, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, GoI
Satyavir Singh
IRS (Retd.)
Former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, GoI
Sujatha Singh
IFS (Retd.)
Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
Tirlochan Singh
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
Jawhar Sircar

IAS (Retd.)

Narendra Sisodia
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI

Manoj Srivastava
IAS (Retd.)
Former Commissioner, Departmental Enquiries (Chief Secretary rank)
Sanjivi Sundar
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary, Ministry of Surface Transport, GoI
Parveen Talha
IRS (Retd.)
Former Member, Union Public Service Commission
Thanksy Thekkekera
IAS (Retd.)
Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra
P.S.S. Thomas
IAS (Retd.)
Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
Geetha Thoopal
IRAS (Retd.)
Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata
Hindal Tyabji
IAS (Retd.)
Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
Ramani Venkatesan

IAS (Retd.)
Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra