The Madras high court has ordered notice to the Centre on a public interest writ petition seeking ban on all sorts of online gambling websites and apps. Admitting the PIL filed by advocate A P Suryaprakasam on Tuesday, a division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha

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Online gambling: Madras HC sends notice to Centre, wants reply in 3 weeks
TNN | Aug 26, 2020, 09:14 IST
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Madras HC
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has ordered notice to the Centre on a public interest writ petition seeking ban on all sorts of online gambling websites and apps.
Admitting the PIL filed by advocate A P Suryaprakasam on Tuesday, a division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha directed the central government to file its reply in three weeks.
Suryaprakasam wanted the court to direct the authorities to prosecute cricketer Virat Kohli and actor Tamannaah for endorsing such websites and apps as it allegedly amounts to abetment to gamble, which is a criminal offence. “To hook innocent youngsters to play the games, they engage the services of cricketers like Kohli and actors like Tamannaah,” he said.
According to the petitioner, such unethical and immoral online gambling is being promoted online by various antisocial elements promising people with an initial bonus of several thousands.
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Youngsters who fall for the initial bonus offered, ultimately start to spend their hard-earned money or that of their family members. Subsequently, they suffer heavy losses and resort to take loans at exorbitant interest and end up committing crimes to raise money, he added. “When they are not able to return or repay the debt they commit suicide.”
Asserting that such online gambling games are similar to that of ‘blue whale’ game which has been banned in the country, the advocatewantedthecourtto intervene and direct the Union and state governments to ban such games.

He further submitted that the court must pass such order in the interest of society and to protect the honour and dignity of youngsters.
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America faces new civil rights struggle in caste system
TNN | Updated: Aug 26, 2020, 09:12 IST
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What are some things that could remind you of home in a foreign land? A recipe from childhood? A familiar tune on the radio?
For 39-year-old Maya Kamble*, the hours spent at the boardroom of her tech company in Silicon Valley invoked memories of her mother’s quiet will, her father’s boundless wisdom, and their collective ambition to create a life of their choice. Maya grew up in an oppressed caste family in Telangana, and summoned up her parents’ revolutionary spirit years later in the US, to stand up to her casteist supervisor, as he shot down her ideas at meetings and called her ‘manhoos’ (‘ill-fated’ in Hindi).
For decades, oppressed caste members of the United States’ five million South Asian population, have lived with the knowledge that the American Dream – that great equalizer rooted in the country’s Declaration of Independence – is less than ideal for them.
On June 30, the US state of California filed a lawsuit against tech giant, Cisco, for discriminating against an Indian engineer on the grounds of his caste. The engineer had accused his dominant caste managers at the company’s San Jose headquarters – for outing him as a ‘Dalit’ to his colleagues, and refusing him opportunities.
In the United States, where caste has no direct legal ramifications, the case was filed under the federal Civil Rights Law 1964, that bars all discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex and national origin.
Since it broke, Dalit civil rights group Equality Labs has received more than 300 complaints of caste-based discrimination in companies across the spectrum, and another, Ambedkar King Study Circle (AKSC), has received more than 60 testimonies.
In these accounts, victims cite the implicit caste curiosity they are often subject to. “Among the most common routine is the ‘pat on the back’, to locate the sacred thread,” says Sam*, a mid-40s software engineer from Georgia, who got into trouble after he offered his “honest views” at a discussion over India’s caste system, to the Americans in his team. “My dominant caste manager was explaining that it intended functionality and not division. I jumped in to educate our audience on the flipside,” says Sam. In less than two months, he alleges to have received a poor appraisal and a transfer back to India. “Thankfully, I had gotten another job in California by then, so I could move with my wife and kids,” he says.
But Sam’s case is an exception in a scenario where the slightest rebellion could risk one’s chances of living in the United States altogether. “The H1B work visa is provided by the company whose HR department may not be competent enough to relate to this kind of hegemony within the Indian community,” says Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director of Equality Labs, which has been pushing for caste to be included as a protected category alongside race, faith and sexual orientation in HR policies.
“Most workplaces are already trained in inclusion and diversity owing to the country’s vibrant civil rights movement. Extending this commitment to caste is crucial to creating a safe workplace for their Indian workforce, who constitute a significant chunk.”
*(Names have been changed)
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