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After Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’

“Modi believes in only branding,” he said while demanding that the NDA government should come out with a white paper on the amount of money earned through cess and whether it has been used for the purpose for which it was collected

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Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Bigg Boss 9: Gossiping, fighting and New Year celebrations! All that happened on Day 81!<!– /.block –>Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim

“On behalf of the government, we just wish to state that action will be taken against the accused persons as per law and no diktat of the panchayat will prevail. Anyone who tries to illegally give directions to the family members of the complainant or the complainant herself, action will be also taken against them,” he said.

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Naqvi cites National Commission for Minorities data, says talk about intolerance ‘politically manufactured’ <!– /.block –>
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Odd-even formula: Car pooling for senior officers in Home Ministry

Five Additional Secretary level officers and about 22 Joint Secretaries in the Home Ministry will also have to abide by the odd-even formula.

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IPL 2016: From Yuvraj Singh to Kevin Pietersen — complete list of players released by the clubs <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Naqvi cites National Commission for Minorities data, says talk about intolerance ‘politically manufactured'<!– /.block –>IPL 2016: From Yuvraj Singh to Kevin Pietersen — complete list of players released by the clubs<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Saradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14

Mitra’s frail health condition was another reason why he be granted bail, his counsel said. The counsel for CBI argued that there “is not such change of circumstance” and opposed Mitra’s bail plea.

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Delhiites flock to malls, hotels to ring in the New Year <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Odd-even formula: Car pooling for senior officers in Home Ministry<!– /.block –>Delhiites flock to malls, hotels to ring in the New Year<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’

The Secretaries will now interact among each other, in sub-groups over the next two weeks, after which they will present their ideas and suggestions to the Prime Minister, the statement said.
Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari were also present at the interaction.

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Odd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJP <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Delhiites flock to malls, hotels to ring in the New Year<!– /.block –>Odd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJP<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Odd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJP

She said infrastructure development and better traffic management were ways to deal with pollution and cited the highway project launched by the Centre on Thursday in this regard. The Centre, Lekhi said, had given an additional fund of Rs 1200 crore to the Delhi government for sewage treatment but nothing has been done so far. AAP has also done nothing on its promise of ‘swaraj’, she said, noting that adequate funds were not being given to local bodies. Instead the AAP government was using Delhi’s resources for political purposes, she said, referring to its publicity budget of Rs 526 crore.

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CPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situations <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –> Sourav Ganguly elected in NCC executive council<!– /.block –>CPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situations<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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From Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal levelled allegations of corruption against union minister Arun Jaitley, after his office was raided. He claimed that when Jaitley was the president of DDCA in 2011, he “misused” his position. What followed was blame game over various aspects of the investigations, demand for resignation and filing of defamation case against Kejriwal.

Yesha Kotak

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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Red Carpet Report Card: From Sonam to Sonakshi, who fared how<!– /.block –>Discover the new you!<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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No more interviews for Class-III, IV jobs in govt from January 1: PM Modi

“I have not yet seen a psychologist who can assess a person in a two-minute interview,” Modi had said.

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Best of 2015: PE investments hit all-time high at Rs 1.39 lakh crore <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Review: 10 smartphone by Kult <!– /.block –>Best of 2015: PE investments hit all-time high at Rs 1.39 lakh crore<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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2015 Report Card: From Modi to Kejriwal, here are the big winners and losers of Indian politics

It’s a very hard to take a politician seriously, when you know that he uses the state’s police to search for his missing buffaloes. Known for his rather extreme views about various issues, Azam Khan cranked it to an insane level by trying to give a backhanded justification for Paris terror attack and also saying that he will raise the Dadri issue in United Nations. Ratings: 1/10

Arghya Roy Chowdhury

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Also ReadIndiaCow urine used only in 5 products, says PatanjaliIndiaEntry denied: US cites immigration assessment, India tell it to honour visasIndiaBJP rubbishes Mamata Banerjee govt’s claims on West Bengal’s growthIndiaPM Modi’s nod must for suspending IAS officers working with CentreIndiaAt Sivagiri mutt, Sonia Gandhi makes veiled attack on BJPIndiaOdd-even rule: CM Arvind Kejriwal warns volunteers against ‘misbehaving’ <!– /.block –>

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Download GATE 2016 admit cards/hall tickets at www.gate.iisc.ernet.in

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs at Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) jointly administer the conduct of GATE. The operations related to GATE in each of the 8 zones are managed by a zonal GATE Office at the IITs or IISc. The Organizing Institute (OI) is responsible for the end-to-end process and coordination amongst the administering Institutes. The Organizing Institute for GATE 2016 is Indian Institute of Science.

dna Web Team

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Grimmer details of Dadri lynching emerge, meat found from Mohamad Akhlaq’s home was goat’s

However police refused to comment whether or not Shivam had actually retrieved any mutton from the drain. While filing a charge sheet in Dadri lynching case, police had ruled out conspiracy angle into the murder. The move can prove it difficult for the victim’s counsel or prosecution to establish murder charges (302) against any specific person or persons as the chargesheet has not invoked conspiracy charges. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not any meat was recovered by the accused at all as it could put light on whether the entire incident was a pre-planned conspiracy.

Azaan Javaid

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‘Dilwale’ row: Bajrang Dal member arrested for abusive comments against female activist in Mangaluru

The Hindu states that Dinker has also written to the Home Minister to ensure that the law is upheld in Dakshina Kannada.

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Chargesheet rules out conspiracy angle in Dadri murder

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It names names 15 of the total 19 accused identified by Akhlaq’s daughter Shaista and his son Danish Saifi

Uttar Pradesh police, while filing a chargesheet in Dadri lynching case, ruled out conspiracy angle into the murder of Mohamamad Akhlaq who was beaten to death in Dadri’s Bisara village on September 28 by a mob that accused him of eating beef.The move can prove it difficult for the victim’s counsel or prosecution to establish murder charges (302) against any specific person or persons as the chargesheet has not invoked conspiracy charges giving more precedence to charges of rioting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chargesheet names 15 of the total 19 accused identified by Akhlaq’s daughter Shaista and his son Danish Saifi, who was also injured grievously in the attack allegedly led by Vishan Rana, the son of a local BJP leader Sanjay Rana.Initially 10 persons were named in the first information report (FIR) which also listed another 5-6 unknown suspects. The accused were booked under section 323, 304, 506, 307, 427 and 458 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 302 (murder), section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons and 149 (unlawful assembly) were added to the FIR later leaving out an the important 120 A section which could have established criminal conspiracy.On the night of the incident Vishal and his cousin Shivam Rana, had allegedly asked Hindu residents of Bisara to ‘gather near the electric transformer, as remains of a slaughtered calf had been discovered’. A mob gathered outside Akhlaq’s residence and attacked his family with iron rods and sticks. While Akhlaq succumbed to his injuries, his son Danish survived the attack after receiving medical treatment for more than two months.In a statement to the police, a copy of which is with dna, Vishal was quoted as, “Some people informed us that (Mohamad) Akhlaq, a Muslim, had slaughtered a cow which is considered as mother in Hindu religion. Our feelings were provoked and after that we entered deceased Akhlaq’s home and injured Danish by beating him. We beat up deceased Akhlaq and dragged him towards the transformer and left him there.””I know the people who provoked us to take the step. I don’t know them by their name but I can recognise their faces and can identify them if police takes us to them” the document reads further.When asked why the police has ruled out criminal conspiracy a senior police officer said, “We have taken cognisance of the FIR and the case diary which does not indicate that there was a criminal conspiracy. There is no main accused in the case. In a riot and no one can be sure of the exact role of the accused”. The statement means that Vishal and Shivam, who allegedly instigated the mob, are also not being considered as prime accused.Furthermore while it was believed that there were two juveniles involved in the murder, it has come to fore that one of the juvenile has turned out to be above 18. This was after verifying his school documents.Two more persons, Puneet and Bhim, were arrested on Wednesday while two others, identified by Danish continue to be absconding indicating a chance of a supplementary chargesheet in the case. A total of 19 people are accused in the case.

PM Modi bats for unity; says India is garden with many flowers

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Modi spoke to Russian news agency Itar-Taas before leaving for Moscow on a two-day official visit

Narendra Modi

Amid a debate on intolerance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India has an ancient tradition of “openness, respect for diversity of beliefs and cultures”.”India is one of the oldest civilisations in the world, which believes that the world is one family; and, that humanity is an integral part of Nature, not superior or distinct from it,” he told Russian news agency Itar-Taas before leaving for Moscow on a two-day official visit. “This has created an ancient tradition of openness, respect for diversity of beliefs and cultures, and a timeless tradition of living in harmony with nature,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been a raging controversy in India over incidents of intolerance ever since a man was lynched in Dadri on suspicions of having eaten beef. Noting that India is home to people from all major faiths of the world, 22 official languages and diverse cultures and ethnicity, the Prime Minister said, “Yet, there is a strong sense of unity across our diversity.””India is a garden with many flowers; and, a tapestry of many colours. And, when we are tested the most, we have spoken most strongly in one voice and as one people. Our Constitution both guarantees and nurtures the diversities of our country,” he said in response to a question on how he manages to support and develop ethnic cultures and traditions. Stating that India observes public holidays for important festivals of all major religions such as Holi, Diwali, Id, Christmas, Baisaki and Buddha Purnima, he said that these festivals remind people of the unity of mankind.”It gives people from different faiths in India to come together in celebration. It inculcates in our society a respect for tradition and culture,” he added.

Juvenile Justice Bill passed in Rajya Sabha; Nirbhaya’s parents welcome the Bill

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The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee.

Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim welcomed the passage of the long-pending Juvenile Justice Bill.
File Photo
PTI
Juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes as Parliament on Tuesday passed a much-expected bill in this regard against the backdrop of a juvenile convict being released in the gangrape-cum-murder case of December 2012.The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to the debate on the bill, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said the legislation was a “nuanced” one and was much needed to act as a “deterrent”. She said the incidents of heinous crimes by juveniles of the age of 16 years and above were on the rise and cited statistics to support her contention.Allaying concerns expressed by members about the implications of the proposed legislation, Gandhi said it was “not against children but rather provides for, protects, nurtures and keeps them safe.” While CPI(M) members led by Sitaram Yechury staged a walkout demanding that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee, most of the other parties including Congress welcomed the passing of the legislation.The bill was taken up against the backdrop of uproar over release of juvenile convict in the heinous gangrape-cum-murder of a 23-year-old girl on December 16, 2012. Parents of the victim have said that the convict could escape after spending three years in a correction home only because the law is weak.Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim today welcomed the passage of the long-pending Juvenile Justice Bill saying that it will deter juveniles from committing such crime against women even though they rued that their daughter has been denied justice.”Although we are satisfied that the amendments have been passed as these will help victims of heinous crime get justice, there is grief that our daughter Jyoti was denied justice. The juvenile convict who was the most brutal was set free despite our repeated pleas and demands,” said the mother Asha Devi outside Parliament.”This was a good thing that happened. Our efforts at least produced some results. By releasing the juvenile convict in this case, authorities had given out a wrong message but the new law will deter juveniles from committing heinous crimes against women,” said the father, Badri Singh Pandey.The parents watched the proceedings from the visitor’s gallery in Rajya Sabha throughout the day as lawmakers debated the bill.

I will conduct DDCA probe with a professional approach: Gopal Subramanium

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Subramanium said he would conduct the probe with a professional approach and charge Rs 1 for discharging his duties.

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Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium on Tuesday said he accepted Delhi Government’s request to head a Commission of Inquiry into affairs of DDCA as its purpose is “positive” and called Finance Minister Arun Jaitley a valued and distinguished colleague of his for almost 37 years.The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved setting up of the one member Commission of Inquiry under Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which was headed by Jaitley for around 13 years till 2013.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I would accept the assignment on the understanding that the purpose of the Commission is positive in content and the Government should be benefited to take forward Cricket to better and higher levels .”It is only fair that I must mention that Shri Arun Jaitly whose name has figured in the news has been a valued and distinguished colleague of mine for almost 37 years,” Subramanium said in a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He further said, “As I see that terms of reference are in relation to a larger public purpose, I would unhesitatingly accept the assignment.”Subramanium said he would conduct the probe with a professional approach and charge Rs 1 for discharging his duties.”I am a deeply interested cricket lover and wanted to be a full fledged cricket commentator on the Radio! “You may be assured of my professional approach to the terms of reference. I would , consistent with my standards in the past, charge Rs One for discharging my duties,” the noted lawyer said.The decision to form the Commission by Delhi government came amid AAP’s fierce attack on Jaitley over alleged irregularities in DDCA under his watch.Around a month back, an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged irregularities including financial bungling.The Delhi Government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Inquiries Act while mentioning about findings on DDCA’s alleged wrongdoings by various probe panels in the recent past including the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, yesterday had demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.

Delhi cabinet calls special assembly session to discuss DDCA; opposition cries political gimmick

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Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal tweeted.

Taking ahead its fight against finance minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi cabinet headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday decided to call a special session of Delhi Assembly on Tuesday to discuss alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and the CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat last week.The cabinet also approved setting up of a one member commission of inquiry under former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s 13-year tenure as its head. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat,” Kejriwal tweeted.Meanwhile, the leader of opposition at the Delhi assembly alleged that the special session has been called by the government to malign the central government and Jaitley and has been ignoring other problems of Delhi.”We will present a resolution in the House to approve setting up of the Commission of Inquiry,” said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.Following a CBI raid in Delhi secretariat, AAP has alleged that the CBI carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for DDCA’s file. The party has also demanded resignation of Jaitley from the Union cabinet.A month ago, an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged financial irregularities.The Delhi government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Enquiries Act.BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body on Monday demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.

Juvenile convict released: We will continue our fight, say Nirbhaya’s parents

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Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict on Sunday, she and her husband Badri Singh will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for rest of the four rapists who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.
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PTI
“We will take our battle for justice across India to awaken governments and law makers,” said a heartbroken Asha Devi, mother of the December 16 gangrape victim, after Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea against release of the juvenile convict in the case.Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict on Sunday, she and her husband Badri Singh will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for rest of the four rapists who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.”Despite our repeated pleas and demands for not setting the juvenile free, he has been released. We are dejected, shattered. But we will not stop and continue our fight to ensure that the other four rapists are hanged. We met with disappointment at every door, we are heart broken, but not crushed,” Devi told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court rejected the plea by Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal against release of the juvenile offender. Devi said both she and Singh had felt that the plea would be rejected and that their sufferings were being used by others to hog the limelight.”Supreme Court’s verdict was what we had expected. How many more rapes, how many more murders will have to take place for the government to change laws? Nothing in India has changed since December 16, 2012. All promises and statements made by our leaders and ministers have turned out to be shallow. Our suffering gives them their moment in limelight,” she said.The parents of the victim along with hundreds of youths and activists gathered at Jantar Mantar for the third consecutive day demanding death penalty for the convicts of the gangrape case.

PM did not direct CBI raid against Kejriwal’s officer: Nitin Gadkari

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He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not direct CBI to raid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday, asserting that they would have no qualms about accepting it if it was otherwise.”We are ‘dabang’ (bold) leaders. Modiji is also just like me. Had we done this, we would have definitely said so. I myself spoke to Modiji. He told me, for the last one year, I have not issued any direction to CBI in any case. I have only told CBI to do its own legal work,” Gadkari told Rajat Sharma on his ‘Aap ki Adalat’ show on India TV, according to a press release issued by the channel. He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI raided 14 places. It is ridiculous for Kejriwal to say that CBI had gone there in search of DDCA file. There is no DDCA case with CBI and it has nothing to do with DDCA. Like Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal also makes childish allegations. It seems ours has become a democracy of children,” he said. Gadkari also lashed out at Congress saying it is “subverting” democracy by stalling Parliament and resorting to “drama” to gain public sympathy and win elections so that Rahul Gandhi’s ambition of becoming a Prime Minister can be fulfilled.He also rejected charges against the government that CBI was acting against Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, P Chidambaram’s son and in the National Herald case at its behest out of vindictiveness, saying the agency was probing charges against BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan too. “I know Shivraj ji (MP chief minister) is innocent, but did we not order CBI inquiry into Vyapam scam? Has not Supreme Court expressed satisfaction over the progress of CBI probe? So how can you say that we are vindictive? “Actually Congress wants to garner people’s sympathy by raising such issues, so that it can win elections and Rahul Gandhi can become PM, but these are ‘mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (a pipedream). This is not going to happen,” he said.Describing the Dadri lynching incident as “unfortunate”, the Union Minister said it was wrong to blame the Prime Minister for anything happening under non-BJP governments. On why the PM did not comment on it, he said it is not necessary for PM to speak on every such incident as the Prime Minister has never did so even in the past and said, “you check history”.”The Prime Minister has his dignity. The PM occasionally reacts or does not react. But to infer that by not tweeting, he was supporting the incident, is it justified? When I spoke to the PM, he expressed his pain and sadness, and later he commented too.” Gadkari said if Congress continued to stall Parliament, he would request that its members are “throw out” of the House so that Parliament work could continue.”But if we do that, they will brand us as intolerant, conspiratorial, authoritarian and Hitlerite. If we act soft towards them, they take undue advantage…. They are having both ways. This is Congress drama,” he said.

No one can dictate what one should eat, says West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

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The TMC chief said she was shocked by the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s event in Maharastra following threats from Shiv Sena.
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dna Research & Archives
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said food and religion are matters of individual choice and no one can dictate what one should eat, and asserted that the “biggest” duty of governments is to protect the religious freedom and rights of minorities.”We are against the Dadri incident, we don’t support it. Who are you to dictate what should one eat…It’s a matter of my choice. If I have the right to eat fish, you have the right to eat meat as well. Whatever you eat, beef or chicken, is your individual choice,” Banerjee told a gathering of members of the Muslim community at Furfura Shariff in Kolkata.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Many minorities, Christians, tribals consume beef. It is their choice. Who are you to stop them! We are all citizens of this country. The Constitution has given us some basic rights. It’s a secular country,” she said.The Chief Minister made an all-out effort to reach out to minorities ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls and said, “The biggest duty is to protect you people…to preserve your religious rights and freedom. I believe that just like I have my own freedom of religion, you people too have your freedom of religion.”On Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan facing criticism over their comments on intolerance, she said, “All of a sudden if someone is asked to leave the country or banished from the country, this is not right. Sometime Shah Rukh Khan is being asked to leave the country, sometime Aamir is being asked to leave. They are being asked to go to Pakistan. Why will we leave this country, this is our country, too,” Banerjee said.”Just like I have the right to speech, you too have this right. Just like I have the right to visit temple, you too have the right to visit mosque, someone goes to gurdwara, someone to church. Everybody has his own right,” she said.The TMC chief said she was shocked by the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s event in Maharastra following threats from Shiv Sena.”An artist came to perform in Mumbai. He was stopped from performing. I was shocked. I urged him to come to Bengal and perform,” Banerjee said.

My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh and I am not ashamed to name her, says Nirbhaya’s mother

The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally sexually assaulted on the ill-fated night of December 16 three years ago, and died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage.

Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi addresses at a programme to observe the third anniversary of Nirbhaya gang-rape case as Nirbhaya Chetna Divas at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday.

PTI
In a brave homage to her daughter, the mother of the December 16 gangrape victim on Tuesday took her name in public, and said people who commit heinous crimes like rape should hang their heads in shame and not the victims or their families.The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally sexually assaulted on the ill-fated night of December 16 three years ago, and died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage. Among many, her spirit continued to live, and in tribute she was given the name ‘Nirbhaya’ or brave heart. But, today on the third anniversary of the infamous incident that shocked the entire world, the victim’s mother Asha Devi, in a display of extraordinary courage, took her daughter’s name in public.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh and I am not ashamed to name her. Those who commit heinous crimes like rape, their heads should hang in shame, not the victims or their families. You should take her name too,” she said at ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Diwas’ in New Delhi, a public event organised by women’s and citizens groups at the Jantar Mantar to mark the anniversary.The parents of the girl, Asha Devi and Badri Singh Pandey also demanded that juvenile convict, allegedly the most brutal” of the six offenders, and scheduled to be released on December 20, should not be released, citing he was a threat to the city.”On the third death anniversary of our death, we are seeing the release of the juvenile convict. Where is justice in that? I do not know whether he is 16 or 18. I only know that he has committed a brutal crime and there should be no age limit for punishment,” Asha said.She also put forth four demands from a public platform that the five accused including the juvenile convict should be sentenced to death, fast-track courts be set up in all the courts to offer speedy justice to sexual assault victims, amendments to the Juveniles Justice Act be passed and utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund for setting up high quality forensic labs in all states.Celebrities like Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee, and various women’s groups had gathered at the Jantar Mantar to pay homage to the girl and agreed that it was the certainty of justice which can bring about a change.The Jantar Mantar street after the incident had virtually turned into a public memorial for her, with people flocking in from all parts of the city to light up a candle or offer a prayer in her memory, with many moved to tears, recalling the brutality the young girl was subjected to. Today also, candle light vigils, prayer meetings and a series of other events marked three years of the heinous gangrape and death of the girl, that left the nation benumbed.

Floods over, time to listen to currency smugglers’ tales in Chennai

Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.

The deluge in Chennai had an unexpected victim — hawala racketeers and foreign currency smugglers. With flood waters receding and life limping back to normalcy, they are back again.Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.Sources said that the seizure is just the tip of the iceberg, and the actual amount could well be over Rs 100 crore from South alone. This is based on an over-the-envelope calculation that only a minuscule of the smuggled item/commodities are normally caught by the agency.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior DRI officials told dna that these bundles of greenbacks were stranded for a couple of weeks as the city went under water.DRI sleuths say that these money bags travelled all the way from Chennai by road. These consignments were on the way to Singapore and Dubai, but were seized at the Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports.”The smugglers apparently took a forced sabbatical owing to the floods. They became active again, though the consignments seized were small in value terms,” said a DRI official.”We believe organised gangs in southern states are behind this and are using various airports to deliver the consignments to Dubai and Singapore,” he adds.Chennai ranks on top in terms of seizure of gold. As per data available with DRI, 4,400 cases of gold smuggling were registered in the country during 2014-15. About 4,480 kg of the precious metal, worth about Rs 1,120 crore, were seized, of which over 25% were from Chennai alone.”Intelligence inputs suggest an increase in smuggling of foreign currency appears to be intrinsically linked with the funding of smuggling of gold in the country,” sources told dna.In 2014-15, foreign currency worth Rs 25.09 crore was seized in the country against Rs 14.49 crore in 2013-14.So far, DRI has booked four carriers. Two individuals travelling to Singapore, in Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines, were detained in Mumbai for carrying currencies worth over Rs 2 crore in cartons of rice.While one of them was detained in Delhi for carrying Rs 1 crore in US dollar, the other was caught in Bengaluru for carrying undeclared foreign currency worth Rs 1.5 crore.As per norms, a person coming to India from abroad can bring with him/her foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange, either in currency or bank note, is in excess of $10,000 (or its equivalent) or the value of currency alone exceeds $5,000, it should be declared to customs authorities.Data suggests that the US dollar accounted for 25% of the total currency-wise seizure in 2014-15. Interestingly, Saudi Riyal topped the list with 47% of the foreign currency seizure.

Even beef-eaters can be RSS members, says senior leader Manmohan Vaidya

The leader said this in Arunachal Pradesh.

dna Research & Archives
At a time when the question of eating beef has dominated the national discourse frequently, with many states going for stricter laws and the Dadri incident leading to the debate about intolerance, a senior RSS leader has made a sensational statement.According to The Telegraph, Manmohan Vaidya said that RSS doesn’t dictate food habits but eating beef is not traditional across the country. However, he stated that it is fairly common practice in Arunachal Pradesh. He said that beef eaters can also become part of RSS. According to the report, there are nearly 3000 RSS members in the state who consume beef. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vaidya also firmly rejected charges of growing intolerance in the country. He said people of certain ideologies are always intolerant to contrarian views. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi earlier said that those who beef can go to Pakistan. One is unsure whether he is aware that some RSS members are beef-eaters.

Kerala House beef row: Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi faces tough questions from MPs in Parliament

The Parliamentary panel, which met in New Delhi to discuss the issue of ‘communal and social harmony’, also asked Mehrishi about the number of communal incidents which have taken place in the recent past.

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi
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dna Research & Archives
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Tuesday faced some tough questions from Parliamentarians over a Delhi Police “raid” on Kerala House canteen for allegedly serving beef. The Home Secretary assured the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home that he would get back with a detailed statement.The Parliamentary panel, which met in New Delhi to discuss the issue of ‘communal and social harmony’, also asked Mehrishi about the number of communal incidents which have taken place in the recent past. He was also asked to explain how the government defines a ‘major’ or a ‘minor’ communal incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We asked the Home Secretary how the Delhi Police could take such a step like raiding the canteen of Kerala House over allegations that beef was being sold there. He assured the Committee to get back with a detailed statement,” a member present in the meeting told PTI. The Home Secretary was also quizzed about attacks on Dalits in various parts of the country. Members pointed out that while victims of communal riots are paid compensation, no such practice followed by the Centre for dalits.Controversy had erupted over Delhi police personnel entering Kerala House on October 26 following a complaint that cow meat was being served there. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal had condemned the “raid”. Though Kerala House said cow meat was never on its menu, it stopped serving even buffalo meat for a couple of days.Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi had claimed the canteen was not raided and that the police were merely taking “preventive measures” based on a PCR call. The incident had come close on the heels of lynching of a Muslim man at Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he and his family had eaten and store beef.Police had detained Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta for allegedly making a false complaint about beef being served at Kerala House.”Parliament did not run but the Standing Comtee (Committee) on Home Affairs had a purposive two-hour meeting. Should these be televised? Just asking,” panel member and TMC MP Derek O’Brien tweeted later.Last month, the top MHA official had faced criticism from MPs for his absence from the meeting of the committee.

Intolerance debate: Rahul Gandhi tells PM Modi not to learn wrong lessons from Pakistan

The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs.

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Government on the issue of intolerance telling it not to learn the “wrong lessons” from Pakistan and pleaded that it should listen to the people who have been “disturbed” over recent incidents. “People like Narayana Murthy, Raghuram Rajan and P M Bhargava are among the many protesting… They are disturbed like millions of other people. Respect them and try to understand what is disturbing them. Go and listen to them,” he said speaking on the debate of intolerance in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs. This was strongly contested by the BJP members. The Minister was not present in the House. “Our Prime Minister allowed this man to continue as Minister. Ambedkar spent his entire life ….and wrote the Constitution so that the two children are not burnt. The Prime Minister is unable to see this contradiction,” he said amid cries of ‘shame-shame’ from the Opposition benches. I request Government, please do not learn the wrong lessons from Pakistan. Be tolerant. Listen to your people, embrace your own people. Mahatma Gandhi gave voice to the people. Pakistan became a failure because their leaders crushed voices of their people…were intolerant. Let us not learn the wrong lessons,” he said.Gandhi regretted that the Prime Minister remained silent after the Dadri lynching incident despite the fact that the son of the person killed is an air force personnel. “The ultimate responsibility for his protection is with the Prime Minister who remained silent”, he remarked.

No one needs to prove his patriotism, says PM Modi in Rajya Sabha

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Constitution, Modi underlined the ‘mantra of ekta’, saying there can be “many excuses for disintegration” in a diverse country like India but ways should be explored to keep the country united.
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AFP photo
Amid the ‘intolerance’ debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said any incident of “atrocity” is a “blot” on the society as well as the nation whose “pain” should be felt by all and asserted that unity and harmony is the only way to take the country forward. He said no questions can be raised over patriotism of any of the 125 crore Indians and nobody needs to produce a “certificate of patriotism”, a statement that assumes significance as some people have make controversial remarks like asking dissenting people to ‘go to Pakistan’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Constitution, Modi underlined the ‘mantra of ekta’, saying there can be “many excuses for disintegration” in a diverse country like India but ways should be explored to keep the country united.He said, “If we have a guiding light today, then that is our constitution. The main reason behind celebrating our Constitution was to make our young people aware of our great leaders of the past. The country cannot forget Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s contributions to the nation. I am sure during meetings, there would have been pressure from all corners, different views, but still we got a perfect constitution.””Our constitution is a social document, it is not about only laws. Baba Saheb Ambedkar used to say that industrialization is very important for India,” he further added. PM Modi finally said, “No one needs to prove his patriotism, neither is there any reason to do so.”Also read: PM remains silent when rationalists get killed, Rahul Gandhi’s salvo at ModiAdopting a conciliatory approach towards the opposition at a time when some crucial bills are stuck in the House, he pitched for bipartisan approach to all issues and decried attempts to introduce partisanship or politics in any issue concerning the nation.In his 40-minute reply to the debate during which the government came under attack over ‘intolerance’, Modi said, “if there is any incident of atrocity against anybody, it is a blot on all of us, for the society as well as the nation. We should feel the pain and take this to ensure such things do not happen.”Though he did not specify any such incident, the statement may be seen a reference to the Dadri case where a Muslim man was lynched over beef-eating rumours.

Intolerance was displayed during Partition, Emergency and 84 riots: Rajnath Singh in LS

The Union Home Minister addressed the raging topic of intolerance in Lok Sabha today.
File Photo
PTI
Speaking in Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening, Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressed country’s raging topic — intolerance row. He said that the biggest victim of intolerance was Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.”Intolerance has been displayed only thrice — partition, during emergency and during 1984 riots. The biggest victim of intolerance has been PM Modi himself. I assure you that anyone trying to disturb the social fabric of the country will not be spared.”He further said that the Dadri reports that were submitted did not mention beef or communalism. “When we found out about Dadri we immediately asked UP Govt for a report, a report which had no mention of beef or communalism,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said, “Yes, we are intolerant. We are intolerant towards corruption, unclean surroundings, terrorism, violence against women and such issues.” On Tuesday, speaking in the Lok Sabha Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi slammed Union Minister VK Singh for his dog analogy. Rahul said that VK Singh after being sworn as an MP and holding the post of General of Indian Army compared Dalit children to dogs. Reacting to this, Rajnath Singh said, “You ask why PM is silent on VK Singh. Tell me something, every time something like this happened in the past did the then PM respond? VK Singh himself gave a clarification, said that his statement was twisted.”Rahul also spoke about various personalities speaking about intolerance and facing severe backlash. He also added that Arun Shourie faced flak for being critical of PM Modi. “I would like to tell you that Arun Dhourie, who is BJP man, was trolled on Twitter because he criticised Modi,” said Gandhi.He spoke about Dadri saying, “A Muslim man is killed in cold blood. The man ultimately responsible for his protection, the PM, remained silent.”

Ex J&K CM Omar Abdullah slams Narendra Modi over ‘growing intolerance’

People are concerned over the growing sense of communal polarisation and intolerance in the country. Incidents like those witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Udhampur here are blots on the social fabric of our country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come,” the NC leader said during a rally. He addressed two public meetings at Khari and Banihal areas of Ramban district.

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Growing “intolerance” in the country and the incidents in Udhampur and Dadri are blots on the social fabric of the country and will continue to hauntthe nation’s collective conscience for years to come, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said. Slamming the state government, the National Conference’s working president said several core issues have been sidelined by PDP post its alliance with BJP and this might lead to feeling of further alienation among people in the state.”People are concerned over the growing sense of communal polarisation and intolerance in the country. Incidents like those witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Udhampur here are blots on the social fabric of our country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come,” the NC leader said during a rally. He addressed two public meetings at Khari and Banihal areas of Ramban district.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the death of a truck conductor in a petrol bomb attack last month, he said that the murderous attack on the trucker in Udhampur by a frenzied, communal mob highlights the gravity of the situation the state is confronted with. Criticising the state government, Omar alleged that the PDP-BJP coalition’s policy of putting core political issues on the back burner did not auger well for the prospects of peace and stability within J&K as well as the South Asian region.He claimed that the spate in incidents of intolerance and communal confrontation in the country has created a sense of despondency and restlessness that could have far-reaching, adverse implications for the next generation.”PDP has acted as a ‘political courier’ that carried the alien ideology of intolerance and communal polarisation into J and K at the behest of those who have always harboured a dream to fragment and polarise the state,” he said. “Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a prolonged period of political unrest and turmoil. A state like ours cannot be starved of political engagement and initiatives to bring the disgruntled and disillusioned elements into the fold of our democratic processes and systems,” he said.Omar said the “continued failure” of PDP-BJP to articulate the need for political engagement with internal and external stakeholders is a threat to the fragile peace in J&K that has been earned after years of political persistence. “A lot of core political issues have been sidelined by the PDP post its alliance with the BJP and this risks further alienation and isolation in the state,” he claimed. Referring to the Rs 80,000 crore package recently announced for the state by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Omar said just numerics would not benefit people on the ground. “Packages alone would not help Jammu and Kashmir to emerge from the shadows of political uncertainty and unrest. It is very important that the political dimensions of the Kashmir issue are also addressed.”Economic packages need to be supplemented with political initiatives and measures. I spoke about this in the presence of a visiting Prime Minister and also articulated this in the Legislative Assembly,” he said.Targetting PDP, Omar said that during 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the state, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti campaigned against BJP and sought votes to stop its political march into the state.”But as soon as the election results were out, PDP leaders rushed to Nagpur and New Delhi to embrace top BJP and RSS leaders. Since the very incorporation of PDP, National Conference had highlighted their inherent political nexus with the BJP. Today, their political affiliation with the BJP and RSS is out in the open,” he alleged.Omar further claimed that his party had offered to provide unconditional outside support to PDP during the process of government formation but Sayeed had refused saying his party was looking for massive funding to the state which it will receive by aligning with BJP.He said that the Chief Minister’s office had been “trivialised” under Sayeed ,and that the existing atmosphere of “helplessness and political ineffectiveness” in the state could create an aversion towards a democratic system.Omar lashed out at the government over “developmental inertia” in the state especially the far-flung areas and for neglecting the aspirations of the state’s unemployed youth. “The perpetual delays in releasing timely wages to different categories of workers besides failure to provide financial assistance to categorized segments of the population has resulted in unimaginable miseries and an overall atmosphere of vulnerability and penury,” he said. “The promise of round-the-clock electricity has turned out to be another big, cruel joke,” he added.

40 artists, writers returned awards over ‘mishappenings’: Government

In response to a question on many renowned literary writers returning awards, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in his written response that “the return of the awards is stated to be in protest against the recent mishappenings against the writers, etc.”

Forty artists and writers have returned their awards to protest against “recent mishappenings against the writers” and the Sahitya Akademi has requested them to reconsider their decision, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.In response to a question on many renowned literary writers returning awards, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in his written response that “the return of the awards is stated to be in protest against the recent mishappenings against the writers, etc.” He said Sahitya Akademi had convened a special Executive Board meeting in which a resolution was passed “condemning the attack on and murder of any writer or artist and requesting the writers, who had returned the awards, to reconsider their decision.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the reply, 39 writers have returned their awards to the Sahitya Akademi while one artist has returned his award to the Lalit Kala Akademi. Several writers, poets and artists had recently returned their awards protesting against the Akademi’s silence on the murder of fellow writer and Sahitya Akademi board member M M Kalburgi as well as against the “communal” atmosphere in the backdrop of the Dadri lynching incident.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently hit out at those returning awards as “rabid anti-BJP elements” and had said some of them had gone to Varanasi to campaign against Narendra Modi in the last Lok Sabha elections.”Those returning awards are playing politics by other means. They are rabid anti-BJP elements,” Jaitley, who also holds charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, had told reporters to a question on the returning of awards by writers, poets and film-makers.

Don’t use ‘Pakistan taunt’ for those who feel unsafe in India, says Mehbooba Mufti

New Delhi: Amid the ‘intolerance’ debate, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, a constituent of ruling NDA, today lashed out at those saying “go to Pakistan.” She asserted,”the nation owns us and we own the nation”. At the same time, she emphasised that there is tolerance in India and compared to the situation to countries like Pakistan and Syria where Muslims are killed where “one cannot even open their mouth”.

Mehbooba Mufti. AFPMehbooba Mufti. AFP

Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

“To those who ask (Muslims) to go to Pakistan, I want to say that the nation owns us and we own the nation,” she said in the Lok Sabha while participating in the debate on the Constitution. Her comments assume significance over the attacks on actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for their opinion on intolerance.

Referring to actor Aamir Khan’s remark that his wife considered leaving India in the backdrop of intolerant incidents, which came in for severe criticism, Mehbooba said if one feels scared in a place, it does not mean that they want to leave the country. “Baar baar Pakistan ka tana dena nahin chahiye (Don’t taunt about Pakistan)… We belong to this country, this country owns us,” she said.

Mufti said there is tolerance in India and the scientists, authors and historians returning the awards in protest is the biggest proof of this. “Indian Muslims follow the real Islam. This is also because the Hindu majority (community) is very tolerant. Babasaheb must have taken tolerance from Hinduism. The way Hinduism has the tolerance, perhaps no one has it. The historians, authors and scienitists have been protesting and returning their awards. The way they came out in protest keeps the nation alive,” she added.

Referring to the Dadri incident where a Musim man was lynched over rumours of eating beef, she said that in incidents like this and also in the past communal violence like the ones in Meerut, Bhagalpur and Gujarat riots, it was the system that failed, but the people kept the spirit alive.

Lauding Ambedkar for his contribution in making the Constitution, she said unlike the present day politicians who think about next election, he thought about future generations while drafting the constitution.

PTI

PDP Leader Mehbooba Mufti lashes out at those saying, ‘go to Pakistan’

New Delhi: Amid the ‘intolerance’ debate, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, a constituent of ruling NDA, today lashed out at those saying “go to Pakistan.” She asserted,”the nation owns us and we own the nation”. At the same time, she emphasised that there is tolerance in India and compared to the situation to countries like Pakistan and Syria where Muslims are killed where “one cannot even open their mouth”.

Mehbooba Mufti. AFPMehbooba Mufti. AFP

Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

“To those who ask (Muslims) to go to Pakistan, I want to say that the nation owns us and we own the nation,” she said in the Lok Sabha while participating in the debate on the Constitution. Her comments assume significance over the attacks on actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for their opinion on intolerance.

Mufti said there is tolerance in India and the scientists, authors and historians returning the awards in protest is the biggest proof of this. “Indian Muslims follow the real Islam. This is also because the Hindu majority (community) is very tolerant. Babasaheb must have taken tolerance from Hinduism. The way Hinduism has the tolerance, perhaps no one has it. The historians, authors and scienitists have been protesting and returning their awards. The way they came out in protest keeps the nation alive,” she added.

Referring to the Dadri incident where a Musim man was lynched over rumours of eating beef, she said that in incidents like this and also in the past communal violence like the ones in Meerut, Bhagalpur and Gujarat riots, it was the system that failed, but the people kept the spirit alive.

Lauding Ambedkar for his contribution in making the Constitution, she said unlike the present day politicians who think about next election, he thought about future generations while drafting the constitution.

PTI

Some are misleading, some are misled, says Venkaiah Naidu on Aamir Khan’s ‘intolerance’ remarks

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “intolerance” issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “some people are misleading and some people are misled”.

File photo

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “intolerance” issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “some people are misleading and some people are misled”.”Who comes in which category, I do not want to say. Some are propagating wrong things some are coming under wrong propaganda. My suggestion is that the situation in India is better than any other country. There is more tolerance in India. People of India are tolerant. “Recently since our government came, communal clashes have come down. The killing of innocent people by Naxalites have come down. Incidents of atrocities have also come down,” he said in an oblique reference to the Bollywood superstar’s statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aamir Khan was at the centre of a raging debate a day after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months. Referring to Dadri lynching incident, the Union Minister said some “stray incidents” are blown out of proportion. “These are issues related to state. Now they are blaming the Centre because they could not digest the emergence of Narendra Modi as world leader. In order to defame Modi they are defaming the country, too.”M M Kalburgi (killing) incident happened in Karnataka, ruled by Congress. Instead of taking responsibility Congress made it political. Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by Congress-friendly Samajwadi Party. “I am not trying to blame them but if you try to play the blame game then you have to take back it because it will boomerang on you. Let us not vitiate the atmosphere. Try to understand the problem and try to address them,” Naidu said.He said as far as the government of India is concerned it has not done anything wrong. “There are no atrocities by the government. There is no restriction on anybody by the government, no force on anybody by the government. Modi government focuses on development. We are focusing our attention on development and these people are trying to distract from development. “BJP is a rising force in a different part of the country some of the political parties are seeing BJP is a potential state in some of these states,” he said.On the award wapasi issue, Naidu said he would like to remind that some of the people who returned the awards had in past issued public appeal to the people asking them to defeat Modi and not allow him to become Prime Minister. “Now after some time after some incidents here and there, they are trying to defame the government and they are becoming tools of the Congress party. This protest is against the mandate of the people. Otherwise issues are local and they need to be condemned and action has to be taken,” he said.

Some are misleading, some are misled: Venkaiah Naidu on Aamir Khan’s ‘intolerance’ remarks

Aamir Khan was at the centre of a raging debate a day after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months

Venkaiah Naidu

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “intolerance” issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “some people are misleading and some people are misled”.”Who comes in which category, I do not want to say. Some are propagating wrong things some are coming under wrong propaganda. My suggestion is that the situation in India is better than any other country. There is more tolerance in India. People of India are tolerant. “Recently since our government came, communal clashes have come down. The killing of innocent people by Naxalites have come down. Incidents of atrocities have also come down,” he said in an oblique reference to the Bollywood superstar’s statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aamir Khan was at the centre of a raging debate a day after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months. Referring to Dadri lynching incident, the Union Minister said some “stray incidents” are blown out of proportion. “These are issues related to state. Now they are blaming the Centre because they could not digest the emergence of Narendra Modi as world leader. In order to defame Modi they are defaming the country, too.”M M Kalburgi (killing) incident happened in Karnataka, ruled by Congress. Instead of taking responsibility Congress made it political. Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by Congress-friendly Samajwadi Party. “I am not trying to blame them but if you try to play the blame game then you have to take back it because it will boomerang on you. Let us not vitiate the atmosphere. Try to understand the problem and try to address them,” Naidu said.He said as far as the government of India is concerned it has not done anything wrong. “There are no atrocities by the government. There is no restriction on anybody by the government, no force on anybody by the government. Modi government focuses on development. We are focusing our attention on development and these people are trying to distract from development. “BJP is a rising force in a different part of the country some of the political parties are seeing BJP is a potential state in some of these states,” he said.On the award wapasi issue, Naidu said he would like to remind that some of the people who returned the awards had in past issued public appeal to the people asking them to defeat Modi and not allow him to become Prime Minister. “Now after some time after some incidents here and there, they are trying to defame the government and they are becoming tools of the Congress party. This protest is against the mandate of the people. Otherwise issues are local and they need to be condemned and action has to be taken,” he said.

#AwardsWapsi: BJP MP from Assam claims that Congress paid returnees Rs 10-15 lakh

Assam Chief Minister Tarun today hit back at BJP MP Rameswar Teli’s allegation that Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their prizes were paid heftily by the Congress, terming the claims as “baseless, unfortunate and disrespectful”.

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Assam Chief Minister Tarun today hit back at BJP MP Rameswar Teli’s allegation that Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their prizes were paid heftily by the Congress, terming the claims as “baseless, unfortunate and disrespectful”. In an official statement, Gogoi said, “Such an allegation is an insult to the fraternity of journalists and intelligentsia in our society.” Teli while making the claims at a press conference at Dibrugarh was apparently referring to senior journalist Homen Borgohain’s decision to return his Akademi award. Gogoi’s statement condemning the MP’s reference to Borghain said, “The person who has all along been serving society by being an honest journalist and whose integrity is beyond doubt, such a statement is a slur against his towering personality who himself is an institution in journalism.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Borgohain had returned his award in protest against growing intolerance in the country after the Dadri incident took place. Teli during his Dibrugarh press conference claimed that writers, artistes, historians and scientists, who returned their national prizes were “paid” by the Congress to do so. He alleged that those returning their national awards “were paid Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh each by the Congress”.

Sahitya Akademi’s dilemma: What to do with returned awards?

Give a thought: The body has asked the authors who have returned their awards to ‘reconsider the decision’

Not too long ago they were at the centre of a high decibel war of words between writers and the present ruling dispensation over rising incidence of “intolerance” and “hate crimes”. Today the Sahitya Akademi awards, the plaques that 13 of the awardees had sent back as a token of their protest, lie locked up in a steel cupboard inside the office of its secretary K Sreenivasarao.A standard government stationer file inside contains another 35 cheques that the authors had returned. These range in value from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5,000 depending on how far back the awards had been given and are kept pinned carefully with the angry letters, or print-outs of emails that their senders had prefixed them with. Issued in October, it’s already over a month into their three-month validity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The irony is that the Akademi has no idea what to do with them. “There is no provision in our constitution of taking back awards,” says Sreenivasarao. At its specially convened executive board meeting on October 23, the Akademi had asked those who had returned the awards “to reconsider their decisions”. “We have not heard from any one,” says Sreenivasarao.The controversy was sparked off on October 6 by author Nayantara Sahgal who referred to Mohammed Akhlaq’s lynching in Dadri and the murders of Kannada litterateur MM Kalburgi in September as her reasons for returning the award. Through October, writers all over the country returned their Akademi awards, even as teachers, scientists, artists, filmmakers, etc –the number by now has crossed 500 – came out in their support and made angry statements in the media.In all, 39 authors wrote to the Akademi to inform them that they were returning their awards – of these 35 have sent back their cheques and 13 their plaques. Most were sent by post or private courier, and show evidence of not-too-gentle handling. The copper sheet fixed on the plaque given to Malayalam writer Sarah Jacob who returned her award on October 10, for instance, has come loose.The Akademi’s executive board, its highest decision making collective, meets again on December 17, a scheduled one this time, and Sreenivasarao says the issue will be taken up again – among other decisions like this year’s Akademi award winners. But will the protesting authors take back their awards? Not in good shapeIn all, 39 authors wrote to the Akademi to inform them that they were returning their awards – of these 35 have sent back their cheques and 13 their plaques. Most were sent by post or private courier, and show evidence of not-too-gentle handling. The copper sheet fixed on the plaque given to Malayalam writer Sarah Jacob who returned her award on October 10, for instance, has come loose.

Duty of state governments to ban cow slaughter: Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti

Jyoti also alleged that the issue of alleged intolerance was raised as a pre-planned move to malign BJP ahead of Bihar polls.

Sadhvi Nirajan Jyoti

“There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow,” Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said while stressing that it was the “duty” of state governments to ban cow slaughter.Talking about cow slaughter and consumption of beef, Jyoti said, “Such things should not happen. If you are asking for respect from us, then you should also learn to respect us first.”In a democracy it is the duty of the state governments to ban cow slaughter. There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal is among the states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter.Jyoti also alleged that the issue of alleged intolerance was raised as a pre-planned move to malign BJP ahead of Bihar polls.”Intolerance is a issue that was created with political motive to malign us ahead of the Bihar poll. It was pre- planned and that is why you can’t see any protest after the results are out,” Jyoti said.Jyoti, who is Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, said that it was the neutral votes that made all the difference in the Bihar poll.”It is the 5-10 per cent neutral votes that made the difference in Bihar. After coming to power at the Centre, we have won several states. I give my best wishes to Nitish Kumarji,” Jyoti said.On writers returning their awards in protest against ‘intolerance’, she said, “I have immense respect for the writers, but awards should not have been returned.” “Awards are not just a token of honour. But it is an honour from the entire country. So if you are returning the award then you are dishonouring the country.”If it is due to an issue, then it was there earlier too during the Sikh riots and Bhagalpur riots. Politics should not have been brought into it. There has been politics regarding this thing (returning of awards),” she said.Jyoti said that the Dadri lynching was a case of law and order failure on the part of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.”This incident should not have happened. It is a law and order problem, which is a state subject. If the state had taken action, then such situation wouldn’t have happened.Instead of taking action, they are blaming us,” she said. Jyoti also slammed UP minister Azam Khan for his comments that Paris attacks were a reaction to the actions of the West in the Middle East.”This is shameful and that too coming from a person like Azam Khan. In a democracy everybody has the right to speak. But you should not talk so much that it brings down the prestige of the country before the world,” she said.”We have kept a close watch on people who speak in favour of Pakistan and ISIS. But there are many people in the minority community who are really good people and are working for the development of the nation. Those who commit the act of terror do not belong to any religion, caste or creed,” she said.

Intolerance debate to cast shadow over winter session?

File Photo
PTI
The Winter session of Parliament appears all set to begin on cold notes, with signs of government-opposition confrontation likely to surface in the first two days of special session on the Constitution and its architect BR Ambedkar. With the Opposition expected to raise the intolerance issue during the debate, government floor managers are preparing the BJP’s counter offensive.While the Opposition, united and emboldened after the Bihar election, is planning to corner the government on issues like Dadri and return of awards, the treasury side’s line of retaliation is likely to revolve around the theme that there was a “fabricated” campaign to defame the government. The ruling side was expected to argue that secularism had been misused and highlight how the Modi government had “strengthened” constitutional commitments, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major face off between government and opposition is likely to be witnessed in Rajya Sabha when CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s notice seeking a House resolution against intolerance comes up the following week. The notice, saying the “House strongly condemns the atmosphere of growing intolerance manifesting in violence and spread of communal polarisation in the country”, entails voting. If the government does not agree on a unanimous draft, the Opposition strategy will be to insist on voting, a demand which the ruling side is also unlikely to accept.”I have given a notice to move a special resolution. We want the House to condemn the growing intolerance,” Yechury told dna.The issue could polarise the House with the entire Opposition uniting against the government, which is in a minority in the Upper House.”We are ready for a debate on any issue. We want Parliament session to run smoothly and are hopeful that the Congress will play a constructive role,” said minister of state for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.While the government’s floor managers are identifying its team of speakers for the debate on Ambedkar, the Opposition is also gearing up to use the discussion to raise the intolerance issue.In Lok Sabha, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to intervene during the debate, party sources said. However, the party is scrambling for speakers to participate in the two-day debate on November 26 and 27. The government has planned a meeting with opposition parties on November 25, a day after the BJP parliamentary party and NDA hold their strategy sessions. A heavy legislative agenda of 35 bills is on the government’s agenda for the 28-day session. Of these, 14 legislations, including GST, real estate, prevention of corruption and negotiable instruments, are pending in Rajya Sabha. While five are pending in Lok Sabha, the government has listed 16 new bills.

Terrorism cannot be tackled only through talks, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar said that India has been suffering due to terrorism since long, but the Western countries were unable to accept it.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The problem of terrorism cannot be checked only through dialogue and the “pressure” of armed forces should be simultaneously exerted on terrorists to make them understand that everybody has the right to live, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in Bhopal on Sunday. “Terrorists should be given invitation to hold talks, but this alone will not resolve the problem as they don’t want to understand that others also have a right to live. Therefore, there is a necessity to keep pressure of armed forces on them,” Ravi Shankar told reporters at the Central Press Club here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a query, he said “narrow mindedness” was the reason behind terrorism. “It (terrorism) will not be able to survive if kids are educated on all religions,” he added. Ravi Shankar said that India has been suffering due to terrorism since long, but the Western countries were unable to accept it. “They used to say that it was a reaction to an action. But when Paris was attacked by terrorists, the entire Europe got shaken and all of them got united to fight against it. Only after the Paris attack they realised that India is badly affected by the menace,” he added.Against the backdrop of Opposition’s charge that “intolerance” is on the rise in the country, the spiritual guru said he did not find any atmosphere of intolerance. “There was no bridge between different communities and such problem normally occurs during polls only,” he said apparently referring to incidents of communal tension.On Dadri lynching, he said that nobody has the right to take away life and to take law into their hands. “The country has the necessary potential to become a world guru as it is very young, talented, has deep heritage and that diversity is honoured in the country,” the spiritual guru said.Ravi Shankar said a programme to mark completion of 35 years of the Art of Living will be organised in Delhi from March 11-13 in which delegates from 155 nations will take part. “Through this congregation, a Kumbh of sort, we will try to give the message against terrorism that world is a global village (‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam) and respect for all religions (‘Sarvadharma Sambhav’),” he added.

Assam Guv PB Acharya stokes controversy with alleged ‘divisive’ remarks

“Hindustan is for Hindus. There is nothing wrong with that. Hindus from different countries can stay here. They cannot be outsiders,” the Governor was quoted as saying by media.

Acharaya today said that what he meant was that all Indian-origin people, including Muslims, persecuted in any foreign lands were welcome in the country.

Image Courtesy: Twitter (ANI)
Assam Governor P B Acharya has stoked a controversy after he reportedly said that “Hindustan is for Hindus”, drawing sharp criticism from Congress which alleged that it was reflective of the divisive ideology of RSS and BJP which has led to incidents like Dadri lynching. Acharya’s attempt today to clarify the alleged remarks he made yesterday at a book launch function further stirred the row after he said that “Muslims in India are free to go anywhere”.”Hindustan is for Hindus. There is nothing wrong with that. Hindus from different countries can stay here. They cannot be outsiders,” the Governor was quoted as saying by media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As his reported remarks came under fire, Acharaya today said that what he meant was that all Indian-origin people, including Muslims, persecuted in any foreign lands were welcome in the country. “We should keep in our mind, only because a person is persecuted because of his religion in any country, if Indian Christian is persecuted in Pakistan, he has to come to India. Where else will he go? Indian Christian, Indian Buddhist, Indian Jain, Indian Hindu. “If a European Christian is persecuted or a European Hindu…if he is persecuted in Belgium, he cannot come to India…”Indian Muslims are free to go anywhere. They can stay here if they want to stay here, many have gone to Pakistan. If they want to go to Pakistan, Bangladesh, they are free to. If they are persecuted there, Taslima Nasreen (author) was persecuted there, she came here. If they come we’ll give them shelter. India is big-hearted,” he said.Congress today termed Acharya’s remarks as “unfortunate and shocking” as they came from a person holding a “constitutional post”. “It is clearly indicative of the way RSS and BJP functionaries think and continue to think even when they are in a constitutional post. Bondage or umbilical cords with parent remote organisations, be it RSS and BJP should be severed when you assume a Constitutional post,” he said. Singhvi said that the same ideology and philosophy has led to a culture of absolute divisiveness, intolerance, mutual enmity, trust deficit in the last 18 months and incidents like Dadri. “You have been hearing from MPs, MLAs, ministers and now from Governor,” he said.

Time to reinforce civilisational values that bind diversity of India, says President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee was speaking at the first ever International Conference of Indologists in New Delhi.

President Pranab Mukherjee
File Photo
PTI
Asserting that pluralism and multi-culturalism are at the very core of the Indian psyche, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday warned that “worst impulses of intolerance and hatred” are confronting the world and the time has come to reinforce civilisational values that bind together the country’s complex diversity.”We are today, witnessing events without precedent: when the world is struggling to deal with the worst impulses of intolerance and hatred that mankind has ever witnessed. At such a time, there can be no better recourse that to remind ourselves of the high values, written and unwritten samskaras (tradition), duties and the way of life that is the essence of India. This is the time to reinforce the civilisational values that bind together the complex diversity of modern-day India and promote them among our people and the world,” he said while inaugurating the first-ever International Conference of Indologists in New Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ever since the Dadri lynching, killing of two dalit children in Uttar Pradesh and unrelenting protest by intellectuals, scientists, film-makers and others over “rising intolerance”, Mukherjee has been appealing for tolerance and pluralism. He asked the scholars, who will be deliberating on various matters during the three-day conference, not to excessively dwell on ancient times or merely fill us with nostalgia about India’s grand past but “highlight the manner in which pluralism and multi-culturalism are at the very core of the Indian psyche”.”I am confident that your deliberations over the next three days will highlight the manner in which pluralism and multi-culturalism are at the very core of the Indian psyche. They will surely make an important contribution to our existing body of knowledge in the area of Indology,” the President told the gathering that included 22 leading Indologists from different parts of the world as also several Indian scholars.Mukherjee also gave away the first Distinguished Indologist Award to Prof Emeritus Heinrich Freiherr von Stietencron of Germany in recognition of his great work in Indology, which is study of India from the perspectives of history, culture, religious and languages, among others.The award, instituted by External Affairs Ministry and Indian Council for Cultural Relations, comprises USD 20,000 and a citation. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also present during the function.

President Mukherjee calls for tolerance, says unity in diversity is part of our cultural values

Vrindavan: Living with diversity and finding unity in diversity is practised in India over centuries and it is part of our civilisational values, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday against the backdrop of debate on ‘intolerance’ in the country.

“Living with diversity, finding unity in diversity is practised in India over centuries. That is why many people wonder how is it possible in India, in one system of administration, in one Constitution, in one way of legal jurisprudence and functioning.

File photo of Pranab Mukherjee. PTIFile photo of Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

Pranab Mukherjee. File photo: PTI

“Is it possible to accommodate, to absorb so much diversity. Many a time we are confronted with these questions,” he asked and answered himself that “the answer lies in our civilisational values.”

The President was speaking during a function to celebrate 500th year of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s advent in Vrindavan. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a revered monk and reformer in medieval India.

Mukherjee said that (civilisational values) is the reason why we live with 128 crores of people, the second largest population of the world, with almost all major religions.

Seven major religions are practised in India, more than 100 languages are spoken and over 1,600 dialects are used in India, he said.

“All three major ethnic groups Dravidians, Caucasians and Mongolites. They live in one piece of land. In whole of north eastern India you will find the concentration of Mongolite people. Whole south India, you will find Dravidian people and in North and North West, people belonging to Caucasians group. All these major ethnic groups live in one state.

“It had been possible because of our cultural values, civilisational values, which has taught us over centuries and which has descendant on us and we have nurtured it which is a part of life and therefore it is no cliche to us,” the President said.

Ever since the Dadri lynching and subsequent events, Mukherjee has been appealing for tolerance and pluralism. Citing teachings of various spiritual leaders and poets, he asked people to accept the message of great saints and “recharge our society, retransform ourselves with love and
harmony”.

He said India’s civilisation is 5,000 years old. “It has been contributed by many saints various sages but all converge into one vast ocean of humanity,” Mukherjee said.

Later, the President visited Sri Radha Raman Temple to pay obeisance.

PTI

Need for increased awareness against cow slaughtering: UP governor Ram Naik

Addressing the 5th convocation ceremony of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Veterinary university here, the Governor advised the students to follow the doctrine of Deen Dayal Upadyaya and work for the development of the country since the leader’s name was associated with the university.

When the support would grow, it would become more effective than law,” he told reporters here on being asked about the vexed issue of banning cow slaughter in the country.

There is a need for increased awareness, commitment and support for banning cow slaughter, when the support grows louder, it becomes more effective than law, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik said on Tuesday. “There is no need of separate law as the law already exists. There is need of increasing awareness, commitment and support for banning cow slaughtering. When the support would grow, it would become more effective than law,” he told reporters here on being asked about the vexed issue of banning cow slaughter in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the 5th convocation ceremony of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Veterinary university here, the Governor advised the students to follow the doctrine of Deen Dayal Upadyaya and work for the development of the country since the leader’s name was associated with the university. Naik also praised former Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Behari Vajpayi in making the country self-sufficient. “While Lal Bahadur Shatri gave ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ slogan, Atal Behari Vajpayee added ‘Jai Vigyan’ to this slogan after the country’s nuclear experiment,” he said.Former Vice Chancellor of the university M L Madan stressed on the need of promoting livestock. “Since ‘pashupalan’ (live stock) is the backbone of agriculture, states and Centre should give maximum funding for promoting and preserving it. By promoting livestock, 10 per cent contribution of agriculture in GDP may be ensured. “More contribution of agriculture in GDP means less poverty. Not only green revolution and white revolution depend upon livestock but it also opens the gate for more employment and eliminates malnutrition as well as poverty,” he said.He also felt the need of change in veterinary education with improvement in breeding of animals. The university gave out three PhD degrees, while 18 students received masters degrees and 67 received bachelor degrees.”Honorary degree was also conferred on K M L Pathak, DDG Animal Sciences ICAR and A K Srivastava, Vice Chancellor and Director NDRI Karnal. Six of the nine medal awardees were girls,” Prof A C. Varsaney, Vice Chancellor of the university said.

Government ready to discuss ‘intolerance’ issue in Parliament, assures Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu accused opposition of being intolerant towards people’s mandate.

Venkaiah Naidu

Government is ready to discuss any issue in Parliament including “intolerance”, if opposition shows “tolerance” and allows the House to function, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday,asserting that Bihar poll result should not be construed as a “verdict to obstruct Parliament”.”You can discuss intolerance, provided you are tolerant and allow Parliament to function. If you are tolerant and allow the Parliament to function, you can discuss intolerance and government has no problem in discussing any issue,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister told reporters here. Responding to a question on Opposition move to raise the “intolerance” issue during the Parliament session, he said, “Government has no problem at all in discussing any issue, every issue. Some people have already said as per the media that Parliament will not be allowed to function. The verdict in favour of a party in a state is not a verdict to obstruct the parliament.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”….we have to learn lessons…and make more progressive legislation and contribute to the growth of the country that is the message that has come. We have to understand in positive terms. I’m confident that at the end of the day people will discuss in Parliament…,” he added. Contending that India is today the most favourite destination for investment, Naidu said some opponents had launched a “disinformation campaign” for political reasons.He said “they are intolerant towards the mandate of the people. They are spreading disinformation campaign by exaggerating and blowing out of proportion certain incidents that happened in some parts of the country. That too in Congress ruled states and states ruled by their friends.” Naidu pointed out that rationalists M M Kalburgi was murdered in Congress ruled Karnataka, Narendra Dabholkar was killed during Congress rule in Maharashtra and Dadri incident happened under Samajwadi Party rule in Uttar Pradesh.”So blowing things out of proportion they are thinking they are hurting Modi, but they are hurting the interest of the country, they should understand that,” Naidu said. Refusing to comment on the Tipu Sultan Jayanti row in Karnataka, Naidu, also a member of Rajya Sabha representing the state, however, said bringing the city’s founder Kempegowda’s name into a controversy on the issue of naming Bangaluru international airport “is uncalled for”.He said there had been two views about Tipu Sultan as some people admire him and some condemn him. “Let the peaceful debate go on, why should government get into it? That’s my view as Union Minister.””I was not particularity able to understand what is the immediate reason for this celebration (Tipu Jayanti) suddenly,” he added.

No place for intolerance in India, committed to protecting every citizen’s freedom: PM Modi in UK

“India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it. Law takes strong action and will continue to do so. India is a vibrant democracy which under Constitution provides protection all citizens, their lives and thoughts. We are committed to it,” said the Prime Minister.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday faced questions on intolerance in India in recent months and 2002 riots in Gujarat, drawing an assurance from him that intolerance would not accepted in any part of India.At a media interaction here after talks with his British counterpart David Cameron, a BBC reporter referred to recent incidents of intolerance and asked why India was becoming an increasingly intolerance place.Modi replied that India is a land of Buddha and Gandhi and its culture does not accept anything that is against the basic social values.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it. Law takes strong action and will continue to do so. India is a vibrant democracy which under Constitution provides protection all citizens, their lives and thoughts. We are committed to it,” said the Prime Minister. A journalist from The Guardian newspaper later asked Cameron who was standing by Modi as to how comfortable he was feeling receiving Modi into the country given the fact that during his (Cameron’s) first tenure, Modi was not permitted to visit UK because of his record as Gujarat Chief Minister.The reporter also asked Modi about protests during the day on the streets of London saying he did not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world’s largest democracy given his record as Gujarat Chief Minister.Cameron said “I am pleased to welcome Modi. He comes here with an enoromous and historic mandate. As far as the other issue is concern, there were legal proceedings. Earlier today, he was received by the British government and I discussed with him how the two countries can work together.” On his part, Modi said about the “other issue” raised by the questioner, “I want to set the record straight.””In 2003 when I came here I got an enthusiastic reception then also. The UK had never barred me from coming here. There was no bar. It is a wrong perception. I want to set it right.”While the US administration had denied visa to Modi after the 2002 riots, the British Government was cold to him for long. But before the 2014 elections, the British High Commissioner visited Gandhi Nagar and met Modi, in a signal that London was warming up to him as media had already projected that Modi was on the rise.India has been rocked by controversy over incidents of intolerance ever since a man was lynched in Dadri on suspicions of having eaten beef.

Modi in UK: PM Modi faces questions on intolerance, Gujarat violence

Cameron who was standing by Modi as to how comfortable he was feeling receiving Modi into the country given the fact that during his (Cameron’s) first tenure, Modi was not permitted to visit UK because of his record as Gujarat Chief Minister.

File Photo of PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday faced questions on intolerance in India in recent months and 2002 riots in Gujarat, drawing an assurance from him that intolerance would not be accepted in any part of India. At a media interaction here after talks with his British counterpart David Cameron, a BBC reporter referred to recent incidents of intolerance and asked why India was becoming an increasingly intolerance place. Modi replied that India is a land of Buddha and Gandhi and its culture does not accept anything that is against the basic social values. “India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Law takes strong action and will continue to do so. India is a vibrant democracy which under Constitution provides protection all citizens, their lives and thoughts. We are committed to it,” said the Prime Minister.A journalist from The Guardian newspaper later asked Cameron who was standing by Modi as to how comfortable he was feeling receiving Modi into the country given the fact that during his (Cameron’s) first tenure, Modi was not permitted to visit UK because of his record as Gujarat Chief Minister. The reporter also asked Modi about protests during the day on the streets of London saying he did not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world’s largest democracy given his record as Gujarat Chief Minister.Cameron said “I am pleased to welcome Modi. He comes here with an enoromous and historic mandate. As far as the other issue is concern, there were legal proceedings. Earlier today, he was received by the British government and I discussed with him how the two countries can work together.” On his part, Modi said about the “other issue” raised by the questioner, “I want to set the record straight.” “In 2003 when I came here I got an enthusiastic reception then also. The UK had never barred me from coming here. There was no bar. It is a wrong perception. I want to set it right.”While the US administration had denied visa to Modi after the 2002 riots, the British Government was cold to him for long. But before the 2014 elections, the British High Commissioner visited Gandhi Nagar and met Modi, in a signal that London was warming up to him as media had already projected that Modi was on the rise.India has been rocked by controversy over incidents of intolerance ever since a man was lynched in Dadri on suspicions of having eaten beef.

Cows to firecrackers: How Pakistani media trolled PM Narendra Modi after humiliating Bihar poll defeat

The Dawn newspaper was particularly bitter in its take on Prime Minister Modi in the article.

Taking a jibe at Modi’s popularity, the Express Tribune wrote that the defeat put forth the ‘waning power of a leader, who until recently, had an unrivalled reputation as a vote winner’. (PTI)

File Photo
“Bihar voters put Modi out to pasture”, “Bihar steals Modi’s firecrackers”, “Modi’s BJP bites the dust in Bihar for its extremism” and “Waning popularity: Modi suffers defeat in crucial Bihar election” were some of the headlines appearing in Pakistani newspapers after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat in the recently held Bihar Assembly polls. BJP president Amit Shah’s ‘firecracker’ remark resounded in the neighbouring country across several papers.”If by mistake the BJP loses the polls, crackers will go off in Pakistan,” the party president had said while addressing a rally in Bihar’s East Champaran district last month.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Dawn newspaper was particularly bitter in its take on Prime Minister Modi in the article, “Bihar steals Modi’s firecrackers” saying that, “Modi’s cow politics was put out to pasture” after the BJP-led NDA ended with a paltry 58 seats in the assembly elections as opposed to the massive 178 seats secured by the ‘mahagathbandhan’ or ‘Grand Alliance’ of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav. In another article titled ‘Bihar voters put Modi out to pasture’, the Dawn, termed the Bihar election result as being against Modi’s cow politics.”A resounding verdict in Bihar against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cow politics at the expense of India’s traditional tolerance of food habits, put his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out to pasture on Sunday while setting the agenda for an opposition regrouping against his narrow nationalism,” the Dawn wrote.Taking a jibe at Modi’s popularity, the Express Tribune wrote that the defeat put forth the ‘waning power of a leader, who until recently, had an unrivalled reputation as a vote winner’.Another paper, The News International also brought Modi down a peg, using ‘extremism’ and ‘religious intolerance’ as synonyms for the BJP. “The extremism and religious intolerance that was on the rise after Narendra Modi came to power in India received a setback, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a thumping defeat in the Bihar state assembly elections,” it said. The daily also accused the BJP of failing to rein in Hindu hardliners during the election campaign despite Modi?s appeals for unity. The BJP?s failure to rein in their leaders from making inflammatory comments on the unfortunate Dadri lynching incident nor taking action on them, was an ominous indication for them in the Bihar polls. The Opposition then pounced on the BJP in regard to the incendiary remarks made by their own leaders and attacked the Prime Minister for not taking action on them.

Bihar elections 2015: Here are 11 reasons which could have led to BJP’s loss

Here are some points after talking to scores of BJP leaders and activists on ground.

The electoral match which was looking a close-call finally appeared a cakewalk for Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance. What went against NDA. Here are some points after talking to scores of BJP leaders and activists on ground. 1. Overlooking dedicated cadres in ticket distribution 2. Overemphasis on youth, that led insecurity amongst old workers, who have built party over the years 3. BJP workers didn’t go home to home unlike last Lok Sabha elections 4. Cadres from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and even from Jammu region and Andhra Pradesh were air-dashed, rendering local cadres ineffective. The strategy misfired. And it also augmented argument of Bihari v/s Bahri, when they roamed in villages asking for votes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> 5. While selecting village panchayat members and influential village men to tour Maharahstra and Gujarat ahead of elections to show them best practices and development, many others were ignored. Angry at being denied a free train ride and hospitality, they worked against party candidate. 6. In a hurry to fracture other parties, BJP encouraged defection from JD (U), and even gave defectors tickets, ignoring those vying for tickets. 7. Ignoring of women candidates. In Raghavnathpur—sitting MLA Usha Vidhyanath was denied ticket. Women voted in large numbers to Nitish. 8. Above all, was the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat statement to review reservation. Though, he may not have meant it, it was used to the hilt by Lalu Prasad Yadav. 9. Lynching of Ikhlaq Ahmed in Dadri created fear psychosis amongst minorities. They voted in large numbers, just to defeat NDA, ensured there is no division of their votes. 10. Dalits and Maha-Dalits lost confidence in Ramvilas Paswan and Jatin Ram Manjhi. 11. Absence of local face. Not projecting a chief minister, that gave liver to Nitish, Lalu combine to portray battle between Bihari and Bahri (outsider).

Not a writers’ protest, but fight between reason and unreason: Nayantara Sahgal

Sahgal, who recently returned her Sahitya Akademi award over the Dadri lynching incident and growing intolerance, also shared her encounters with Mahatama Gandhi who was introduced to her family by Nehru, and recalled his wit and humour when she, as a child, accompanied her mother to meet him.
File Photo
Image Credit: Wikicommons
Commenting on the recent trend, apparently set by her, of artists returning their state awards against “growing intolerance” in the country, eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal said on Saturday that it was not a writers’ protest against killing of writers for expressing themselves, but a “fight between reason and unreason”.Speaking at Chandigarh Literary Society’s ‘Literati’, the 88-year-old writer and niece of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru admonished the perceived political or motivated intent of writers in returning their awards.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This was not writers’ protesting against the killing of writers for expressing themselves, but a fight between reason and unreason,” a press release quoted her as saying. She said that the fight was for the weaker sections of the society who need to raise their voice and fight for injustice and keep India a truly democratic and secular nation.Noted writer Kiran Nagarkar expressed anguish over the “stifled freedom of expression” and wondered why the people who come to power through democratic process and large majority need to move around with high security. This, he said, was perhaps because of their own fears and insecurity.”We do not need a foreign hand to colonise our country, instead we have colonised our own people, especially the poor and the weaker sections of society, about whom we think only when we need a maid, a driver, or an errand boy to serve us,” he said. They are the “extras” in our lives whom we discard, he added.Sahgal, who recently returned her Sahitya Akademi award over the Dadri lynching incident and growing intolerance, also shared her encounters with Mahatama Gandhi who was introduced to her family by Nehru, and recalled his wit and humour when she, as a child, accompanied her mother to meet him.”I was asked to present a bouquet of flowers to Bapu (Mahatma) but as I reached there I cried and told my mom that I won’t give flowers to him as he is so ugly” she recalled.But Mahatma Gandhi jokingly remarked, “I hope she would remain as truthful in life too”. Poet Ashok Vajpei moderating a session on ‘Redrawing the Contours of Art’, remarked that social boundaries can be changed through art and it was for people to explore those opportunities.

Because it’s 2015: What Narendra Modi can learn from Canada PM Justin Trudeau

Canada PM’s answer assumes greater significance owing to current political discourse in India revolving around ‘growing intolerance’ and #AwardsWapsi.

Justin Trudeau

Reuters
Newly elected liberal Canadian PM Justin Trudeau unveiled his cabinet on Wednesday. It is a culturally diverse set of men and women, ticking all the check boxes with physically challenged group and religious minority also making a cut. An India- Canadian former military officer Harjit Sajjan is the new Defence Minister. But, the most striking part is that of equal representation of men and women in the cabinet. When a journalist asked why it is so, Trudeau who is the second youngest PM in Canadian history, replied with a simple yet powerful answer, “ Because it’s 2015”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In normal times, developments in Canada that too relating to government formation, would have very little relevance to the Indian context. But Canada PM’s answer assumes greater significance owing to the current political discourse in India revolving around ‘growing intolerance’ and #AwardsWapsi. While the left-liberal ecosystem has been in an overdrive to press home the point that India is far more intolerant a place post May 16, the right-wing led by PM Modi and Arun Jaitley has firmly rejected all the charges, killing any chances for a civil discourse. Jaitley has panned the long list of protesters accusing them of manufactured rebellion, a clever play on Noam Chomsky’s phrase Manufacturing Consent, claiming that it was Narendra Modi who had been facing the brunt of intolerance. Even PM Narendra Modi slammed the Congress asking them to introspect about the 1984 riots.To be fair, both of them have made legitimate points. Congress, is no great champion of secularism and toleration of dissenting view points as Pratap Bhanu Mehta has so eloquently explained in this column . And, some of the people protesting against Modi government are guided by confirmation bias and deep sense of resentment at a right-wing government getting power in the centre. Yet, the grouse expressed by them and many with no card-carrying affiliation shows that the government is ill-advised to completely ignore the growing stream of protest as one giant ‘commie- Nehru- Gandhi conspiracy’.Yes, as of now most of the outrage is based on anecdotal evidence, but when the likes of Yogi Adityanath and Sanjeev Baliyan make blatantly communal statements, the societal fissures which are very real even in today’s India just get a little more indented. PM himself has not really helped the cause by his thinly-veiled speech attacking Nitish Kumar for pandering to minorities as a last ditch effort to win in Bihar. That, and repeated reference of ruling party’s members asking anyone dissenting to go to Pakistan, along with bringing up the beef issues again and again, is honestly jarring in this modern day and age. Incidents such as Dadri are not a one-off and has happened in the past, but an active effort should be made that these become cases of distinct aberration than norm.That begs the question, isn’t this time for a clean break, so that we can move ahead in Indian politics, because it’s 2015. Obviously every party in the past has been guilty of errors of omission and commission, but simply finger-pointing at each other will lead us to an infinite loop of shame and bigotry. It is hard to understand what stops the PM from publicly rebuking those making inflammatory statements or having a chai ke charcha with dissenters, to know their problems to find out a middle path. Even today, there are reports that references made by Urdu writers are being replaced from text-books in Rajasthan.Why should it be an either-or thing and not an inclusive agenda? If the government feels some parts of history has been ignored it can be taught, without compromising the existing syllabus. If government realises some particular section of people has been short-changed, they can be compensated without inviting the chagrin of others. But for that, gaining trust is important and civil dialogue shorn of rhetoric can start the process gradually. For every politically motivated people on either side seeking to wedge more gap for their benefits, there are far more who would want to evolve the discussion to an elevated-mature level leaving behind petty agendas. It is the job of the political class to actively reach out to them.Tokenism, if not empty photo-op helps too since politics is all about perception. It is foolhardy to think that there will be no gender bias in Canadian society now that half of the cabinet comprises of women. Or racial imbalance will completely disappear with a Sikh Defence Minister. But what progressive selection of cabinet ministers indicates is intent to bridge the inequalities, to work for a better tomorrow. A Muslim being appointed a minister apart from the usual minority affairs ministry helps too. Does the world’s 9th most powerful man, Narendra Modi, have the political willpower to walk the talk, to reach out to the most oppressed sections of the society, to make a clean break from the past to get rid of the time warp and endless round of whataboutery? He should do it because it’s 2015.

Here’s why PM Modi should not ignore Arun Shourie’s ‘sour-grapes’ jihad

By Gouri Chatterjee

I am no Narendra Modi fan-girl, but even I can find it in me to sympathise with his predicament. Who was it, he must have wondered, with Karan Thapar on Monday evening? He looked like Arun Shourie, talked like Arun Shourie, waved his hands like Arun Shourie, but sounded just like Irfan Habib. Yes, Irfan Habib, that “rabid, anti-BJP” lefty, yet eminent, historian who had said, the day before, at a seminar protesting rising intolerance in the country, that there was “not much difference between the Islamic State (IS) and the RSS as far as intellect goes”.

But there was Shourie, a minister in the first NDA government, author of books glorifying Hinduism, lambasting Islam, denigrating Dalit leader BR Ambedkar, ridiculing ‘pseudo-seculars’, vilifying these very same “lefty” historians as “frauds” and many more, one of the few intellectuals the right-wing could claim as its own, patting the seething writers and other members of civil society on the back as the nation’s “conscience-keepers” while accusing the prime minister of actively engendering a climate of hate by communalising the Bihar campaign and keeping quiet over incidents like the Dadri lynching for electoral gains.

Arun Shourie. Reuters

Arun Shourie. Reuters

Of course, his language was far more colourful than dry academics’. On being told the BJP believes the prime minister doesn’t have to react to everything, he retorted, “The prime minister is not a section officer of the homoeopathy department; he is not head of a department. He is the prime minister. He has to show the country the moral path. He has to set moral standards.” While the left liberals are not quite rushing to claim him as one of their own, they couldn’t have put it any better.

Of course, this was not the first time the honourable Mr Shourie had taken potshots at NDA mark-II. His comment, late last month, that the Modi government was nothing more than “Congress plus a cow” will forever remain one of the most quotable quotes in our political annals.

Predictably enough, the BJP has dismissed his diatribe as the ravings of someone who is not even a member of the party as he had not renewed his membership and were caused by “the pain of not being in government” or in any key position. The rumours had been there from day one: Shourie had fancied himself as the finance minister — after all, he was the first national leader to openly back Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial ambitions — but Modi chose the other Arun, with whom he is really, really close; his soulmate in fact. Shourie was, one hears, offered a sprawling governor’s mansion but, an energetic 74-year-old, he was not ready to be put out to pasture so soon.

Whatever, this Arun jihad against the Modi regime cannot be ideological. He has no reservations about the Hindutva plank — the “spontaneous” demolition of the Babri masjid had “corrected a historical wrong” he had opined in December 1992 — and is an enthusiastic proponent of the RSS’ call for a rethink on the reservation issue. And had touted Modi’s bid at prime ministership at a Brics forum with these words: “What India wants is not divisive but decisive leadership and Modi has certainly demonstrated that.”

Modi will not miss a step at his advocate’s volte face. He didn’t when LK Advani blurted out, in June, that he didn’t “have the confidence that Emergency cannot happen again”, because “at the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger; a commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking”.

He was equally phlegmatic when another party elder, Murli Manohar Joshi, ridiculed Modi’s plans of developing Varanasi on the lines of Japan’s old capital Kyoto and scoffed at the prime minister’s dream project of running bullet trains in this country.

True, these are tired old men, miffed at being forced out of the limelight, hankering for the loaves and fishes of power. He can ignore them. Anyway, NaMo prefers to plow a lonely furrow. He has his self-belief, an unshakeable conviction in his own ideas, his “God-given mission”, and his handpicked loyalists to aid him. He has his brute majority, he will brook no interference.

He has no interest in the parliamentary process, in the give and take of making deals to get legislations passed, in handing out patronage today for a future quid pro quo, in building caucuses, in keeping track of the vanities and vulnerabilities of members that he can play on when needed, in spending evenings massaging parliamentarians’ egos — in short, in politics itself. But then, his great appeal was his authoritarian style, that he could be his own man. He was elected on the promise that he would be himself, he is keeping his promise.

Yet, with the growing crescendo of criticism both within and without, some vocal, many watching from the sidelines in silence, maybe a change in tactics is called for. Otherwise, many of his dreams, his pet projects, his vision of India zipping ahead like a bullet train will go the way of the Land Bill, discarded mid-way.

He could, if he likes, follow the maxim laid down by Don Corleone, the Godfather, for his son: “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” Frenemies too. Or, he could pay attention to a fellow Gujarati — Mahatma Gandhi — who said: “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

Sonia Gandhi meets President Mukherjee ahead of march against intolerance tomorrow

Gandhi was with the President for about half-an-hour during which they are understood to have discussed the current political situation.

Sonia Gandhi

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee ahead of the proposed march by party leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday to request him to invoke his constitutional powers to stem the “atmosphere of intolerance”.Gandhi was with the President for about half-an-hour during which they are understood to have discussed the current political situation. Congress sources, however, described it as a courtesy call. The Gandhis and other party leaders will march from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan to plead with the President that as head of the nation, he should ensure an end to “the atmosphere of intolerance, intemperate behaviour, violence and communal polarisation”, Congress sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of the Congress Working Committee, AICC General Secretaries and office-bearers and party MPs will be part of the delegation meeting the President, who has repeatedly sought to underline the need to preserve India’s core values of diversity, tolerance, and plurality. The move by the main opposition party came in the backdrop of protests by artistes, writers and scientists over alleged “rising intolerance” reflected in the Dadri lynching, beef row and other such incidents.BJP and Congress today locked horns over the issue of intolerance in the society, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the Congress president had no moral right to lecture the NDA on tolerance and it should “hang its head in shame” for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots where thousands were massacred. Congress hit back, contending like in 2002 post-Godhra violence, Modi has “forgotten Rajdharma” in 2015 too as he was an “endorser of intolerance by his studied silence” over acts of hate and violence.

Calling PM Modi victim of intolerance will give him fullest justification for being vengeful: Arun Shourie

Referring to Sharma’s controversial comments on former President Abdul Kalam being a nationalist despite being a Muslim, he said allotting him the house in which Kalam lived was like “spitting in the face of people”.

“PM Modi has to set moral standards,” he said.

File Photo
Former Union Minister Arun Shourie on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of deliberately maintaining silence on incidents like Dadri lynching while his ministerial and party colleagues kept the issue “alive” merely to win Bihar elections. He also agreed with the suggestion that Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were pitting one community against another in Bihar and cited a Pakistani analyst to say that while the neighbouring country was trying to get out of the pit, India was slowly going down its way.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former BJP insider attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s defence of Modi that he was the worst victim of intolerance since 2002, saying this was the worst defence he had heard and Modi “in his mind will get the fullest justification for being vengeful”. Coming out in support of writers, authors and artistes returning their awards against the “climate of intolerance”, he told Karan Thapar on India Today channel that they are “conscience-keepers” of the country and their motives cannot be questioned.Praising scientists like PM Bhargava and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, who have expressed concern over these incidents, Shourie questioned how these people can be called rabid, a term used by Jaitley. These people have contributed immensely to the country and those who attacked them have not read a book in the last 20 years. “Those who cannot write two paragraphs are sitting in judgement over writers.” Rejecting BJP leaders’ oft-repeated statements that the Prime Minister cannot be expected to speak on any and every issue, Shourie said he was exactly doing that and not speaking on issues he should. “Prime Minister is not a section officer of the homoeopathy department. He is not head of a department. He is the Prime Minister. He has to show the country the moral path. He has to set moral standards,” he said. Shourie referred to Modi’s tweets on issues like Union Minister Mahesh Sharma’s birthday soon after Dadri lynching James Cameron’s birthday, the stampede in Mecca and the blast in Ankara. “But he kept silent on the Dadri incident and incidents like killing of two Dalit children (in Haryana) while his men. He is keeping silent while his party colleagues and ministers are keeping the issue alive,” he said, asserting that Modi’s silence was more deliberate than ignoring them. Asked if Modi’s silence was political, he said “I think so”. “You can’t have it both ways. You are a very strong leader but cannot control your members.”Referring to Sharma’s controversial comments on former President Abdul Kalam being a nationalist despite being a Muslim, he said allotting him the house in which Kalam lived was like “spitting in the face of people”. “This is really symbolic.” To a question, he said it was all intended to win Bihar elections at any cost. Modi does not realise the consequences of his silence and this fire will not only burn him but the whole country, he said, adding these issues will strain the social fabric of the country.With his speeches in Bihar in which he accused grand alliance leaders of plotting to steal the quota for OBCs, SCs and STs and hand it over to Muslims, Modi had lowered himself to the level of Lalu Prasad while Nitish Kumar looked like a statesman, Shourie said. He also rejected Shah’s statement that crackers will be burst in Pakistan if BJP loses in Bihar and said in fact things were different now. In this context he quoted a Pakistani analyst to say crackers were already being burst there as Modi was the best thing to have happened to it.Referring to the killing of a Kashmiri truck driver in the Jammu region on suspicion of cow smuggling, Shourie said unnecessarily such incidents gave a handle to secessionists.

Authors urge Sahitya Akademi to reinvent itself

“This is an urgent matter at this moment of spiralling hatred and intolerance,” a group of 41 writers said a statement to the Akademi President

The writers have also asked the literary body to “reinvent” itself.

Wikimedia Commons
Writers including those who had returned their Sahitya Akademi awards on Sunday wrote to the National Academy of Letters urging it to build on the resolution passed during its recent emergency meet and respond in a “strong, humane and robust” manner to situations. “This is an urgent matter at this moment of spiralling hatred and intolerance,” a group of 41 writers said a statement to the Akademi President, and also asked the literary body to “reinvent” itself.At least 36 writers including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, had one after another returned their state awards in protest against the Akademi’s “muted response” to killings of writers and rationalists, besides on incidents such as the Dadri lynching and blackening of Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face in Mumbai. Five writers had also stepped down from the literary body’s official positions. Yielding to the writers’ unrelenting protests, the Akademi had on October 23 strongly condemned the killings of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others and supported the right to freedom of speech of every writer in the country, while urging litterateurs to take back the awards that they have returned.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that the resolution could have come earlier, the writers said, “but now that it has come, we urge you to build on this resolution to rethink how the Akademi can truly support its constituency of all writers in India and, by extension, the people of the country.” “As writers, we strongly feel that the Akademi can play a real and positive role by being independent and autonomous; and by responding to the situations in a strong, humane and robust manner,” it said.The authors, who have written the letter include Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Ganesh Devy, Githa Hariharan, Gurbachan Singh Bhullar, K Satchidanandan, Keki Daruwalla, Krishn Sobti, Kum Veerabhadrappa, Sara Joseph, Shashi Deshpande and Waryam Sandhu, among others.Commenting on the Akademi’s appeal to writers to “take back” their awards and postions in the literary body, the writers said, “Whatever each writer decides, may we jointly appeal, in turn, that the Akademi reinvent itself to connect with the India we writers, our readers, and our fellow citizens live in.”

President Pranab Mukherjee calls for preserving multiplicity within country

Referring to the growing “intolerance in the country” President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday once again called for “preserving the multiplicity and pluralistic character of the country” and said India has thrived due to its “power of assimilation and tolerance.”The President, who had already spoken against growing intolerance, was speaking at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here.“Our country has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance. Our pluralistic character has stood the test of time. Our ancient civilisation has over the centuries accommodated our diversities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Multiplicity is our collective strength which must be preserved at all costs. It finds reflection in the various provisions of our Constitution,” Mukherjee said.After the Dadri lynching and subsequent incidents, the President had questioned whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane in the country.He said the judiciary, which is one of the three important pillars of our democracy, is the final interpreter of the Constitution and laws. It must help maintain social order by swiftly and effectively dealing with those on the wrong side of the law.“As an upholder of the Rule of Law and enforcer of the right to liberty, the role of the Judiciary is sacrosanct. The faith and confidence people have in the Judiciary must be always maintained,” he said.Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the independence of judiciary should not be compromised. He also urged judiciary for quick disposal of cases for speedy justice.Chief Justice of India H L Dattu, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung also attended the function.Asking the judiciary to “reinvent itself through introspection and self-correction system of judges’ appointment, Mukherjee said the process must operate on “well-established and transparent principles to select the best” and no one can meddle with it “.He was referring to the Supreme Court’s recent verdict on National Judicial Appointments Commission.“The appointment process must conform to the highest standards of probity. Whichever system of appointment we follow, it must operate on well-established and transparent principles to select the best. No one can meddle in the process,” he said.Prez for speedy justicePresident Mukherjee said that there was the need for quick justice delivery system which should be “accessible” and “affordable” to all. “Delay in administering justice is as good as denial.”There are over 60,000 court cases pending in the Apex Court, another over 40 lakh pending in the High Courts, and over 2.6 crore in the district and subordinate courts. The phenomenon of high pendency must change through multi-dimensional effort.”Courts must have enough resources to boost their infrastructure. Vacancies in judicial positions must be filled up on priority. Having said that, expeditious selection must be no ground for sacrifice on quality,” he said.

RSS slams writers’ protest, says it is no ‘punching bag’

It is indeed a political, desperate, frustrated act of these people to keep their shop running: RSS

“Their desperate act shows that they want to be in the news, otherwise people will forget them,” he said.

The RSS on Friday hit back at those who have returned their awards, saying it was a “politically motivated” move by a “handful of pseudo-secularists” who were using the Sangh as a ‘punching bag’ out of frustration. “A handful of people returning awards are losing ground… It is indeed a political, desperate, frustrated act of these people to keep their shop running…They feel they can make RSS the punching bag in the name of intolerance. “The RSS is not a punching bag for any of these so-called liberal, pseudo-secular, intolerant people,” RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said. The Sangh questioned why these writers, filmmakers and scientists did not speak up in the past when the Godhra train burning incident occurred or when Kashmiri Pandits were targeted in the Valley.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It accused them of political conspiracy to create an atmosphere that religious intolerance had increased after the formation of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, and added “the reality is just the opposite”. “Because some people could not stomach the change in the country, the change for the better, the change towards nationalism, the change towards the pride of India, change towards better life and development. “These things they cannot stomach, because their ideological shops are being closed. They are frustrated, their desperate act shows that they want to be in the news, otherwise people will forget them,” he said. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader said the so-called intelligentsia are finding themselves misfit and are desperately trying to be in the news through such “politically motivated acts”. Hosabale said the “intolerance” of such kinds has been there for the last 60 years, but such people preferred to remain quiet. “I want to ask, when hundreds of people in the Kashmir Valley were being killed, what happened to these people…Why it did not happen when kar-sewaks were burnt alive. Then these people did not raise their voice,” he said. Hosabale said Dadri incident and attack on the litterateur in Karnataka took place in non-BJP ruled states and asked why they were trying to blame the Narendra Modi government instead of raising questions to governments in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.Stressing that RSS had always condemned such incidents, Hosabale said the developments show “intolerance” on the part of the handful of people who linked such incidents to BJP and RSS. Asked about scientist P M Bhargav returning his Padma Bhusan, Hosabale asked, “If he is a scientist why not take part in a scientific debate? What scientific issue he has debated upon? What he has to do with politics? Why didn’t he and his ilk return awards during the phase of intolerance in the past?””RSS is not a punching bag that anyone could level any allegation,” he said, adding, the Sangh had been popular for its patriotism and a handful of litterateurs and filmmakers cannot damage its image as the people knew and understood everything.Writers, filmmakers and scientists have joined a growing protest against “climate of intolerance” in the country with many giving away their awards after the lynching of a Muslim man over rumour of eating beef in Dadri and killing of rationalist and Kannada writer M M Kalburgi. The RSS leader claimed that people are supporting the RSS and its people were coming to power in every state, which they are unable to digest.Hosabale is here to attend the executive body meeting of the RSS which was inaugurated by Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat.As the RSS hit back at a “handful” of people returning awards as part of spiralling protests against the Modi government over the “climate of intolerance”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took a dim view of this trend and urged them to help the government with “constructive criticism”. Echoing Fadnavis’ view, Mumbai-born music maestro Zubin Mehta said he failed to understand why artists, writers filmmakers and scientists were returning their state awards and suggested those protesting against the government should engage in a dialogue with it.CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury demanded that the Modi government listen to what the “eminent minds” have to say. A statement by a group of 250 academics including professors from leading institutions like Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madras Institute of Development Studies, IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta, expressed “shock” at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “late response” to the incidents of intolerance. “We as social scientists, scholars, teachers and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others and wish to register our strong protest,” it said.

Kolkata: Beef party to protest intolerance turns out to be a damp squib

While the samity had sent out invites for the gathering to many, cutting across party lines, few turned up.

Left-leaning body Bhasha Chetna Samity’s decision to hold a ‘beef party’ in the heart of the city ended in a whimper on Friday. The organisation’s secretary, Emmanuel Haque, former mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, poet Subodh Sarkar besides others, gathered in front of Statesman House on Chowringhee and raised slogans against the recent controversy over the consumption of beef. While the samity had sent out invites for the gathering to many, cutting across party lines, few turned up. The ‘beef party’, which started around 2pm had to be wind up within half an hour with low turnout. People, who had gathered at the venue consumed beef in public and registered their protest against a variety of issues ranging from the killing of a Muslim man in Dadri and Dalit children in Haryana, the murder of Kalburgi to the recent raid at Kerala House. They even treated the locals gathered with beef delicacies for free. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Our organisation is a platform for free thinkers. The RSS and other Hindu-nationalist parties are trying to create pressure by preventing people from consuming beef. They have even gone to the extent of imposing a ban on sale and consumption of beef in several parts of the country. Our nation comprises people belonging to several religions and all of them should be respected. No government or a political party can impose a ban on what people would eat,” said Haque.

President Pranab Mukherjee at India-Africa summit: Diversity is our lifeblood, we value peace

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has reiterated the importance of diversity, saying it is “our lifeblood” and ensures that “we value co-existence, dialogue, mutual understanding and peace”.

Mukherjee made the remarks on Thursday night at a banquet he hosted for leaders of the 54 African nations who arrived in New Delhi for the Third India-Africa Forum Summit. The president hailed the drive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the summit.

President Pranab Mukherjee. PTIPresident Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

India and Africa understand each other and for both “diversity is our lifeblood” as it “enriches us and makes us even stronger. It ensures that we value co-existence, dialogue, mutual understanding and peace”, President Mukherjee said.

“These are perspectives on the human development that India and Africa share, these are perspectives that we can together contribute to the rest of the world for handling conflicts and crises”, he added.

The remarks came against the backdrop of some recent incidents like Dadri lynching in Uttar Pradesh, beef controversy and burning of a Dalit family in Haryana, which had communal and casteist overtones.

Mukherjee said the difficult decades of colonial rule and cruel oppression, economic deprivation and racial discrimination may be behind us but the challenges are far from gone. They have changed.

“We have still to overcome poverty and disease, terrorism and drug trafficking, lack of education and training,” he said.

He said both India and Africa have stood together in days of struggle and “we will stand together in this challenging dawn of development. India is ready to share its democratic experience, its agricultural expertise, its capacity building potential, its healthcare institutions, its peacekeepers with our partners from Africa”.

“Once again we are determined that our struggle will be based on principles – the principles of equality and partnership, of mutual benefit, of human dignity. For India and Africa, guided by the vision of Mahatma Gandhi who belonged to both, that is the only path,” he said.

Referring to terrorism, Mukherjee said India and Africa should fight it together as it “knows no boundaries or borders and has no ideology except that of wanton destruction”.

He also spoke about extending cooperation in the field of agriculture between India and African countries.

The president said India is committing to assist Africa in charting its own course through infrastructure development, institution building and technical and vocational skill development.

“India’s development partnership with Africa complements the various priorities set out in the Agenda 2063 vision document adopted by the African Union,” he added.

Complimenting Prime Minister Modi for the summit, the president said it is the prime minister’s drive which has “brought us together for this event”.

Going down memory lane, Mukherjee recalled the days before India had its “green revolution”.

“We were not self-sufficient in food. In those days, we literally lived from ‘ship to mouth’. Though India today is self-sufficient in food production, the land available for agriculture is continuously decreasing due to rising population,” he said.

Noting that Africa is blessed with large areas of fertile, cultivable land, Mukherjee recalled the words of first president of Ghana, Kwameh Nkrumah. who had pointed out that “the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly half the population of the whole world”.

Agricultural growth is not only important in addressing Africa’s quest for food security but it also remains a key component of Africa’s overall development.

Mukherjee told the African delegates that he hopes they “would have discussed collaboration in the areas of increasing productivity, smart agriculture, environment-friendly farm mechanization, promotion of gene pool and better seeds, and other modern agricultural concepts”.

IANS

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah says no one can stop him from eating beef

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He recalled the Kerala House incident where the police entered the premises after hearing rumours about beef being circulated. He also called the Dadri incident inhumane and said that right-wing organisations like the Bajarang Dal, Sri Ram Sene, Vishwa Hindu Parishat were showing growing levels of intolerance under the BJP regime.

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On Thursday, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah added more fuel to the fire by saying that no one could stop him from eating beef. At the Karnataka Youth Congress General Body meeting, he ridiculed the government’s anti-beef policy and was quoted saying: “Till date I have never eaten cow meat. But if it suits my palette and if I want to eat beef, I will eat it. Nobody can stop me.”He recalled the Kerala House incident where the police entered the premises after hearing rumours about beef being circulated. He also called the Dadri incident inhumane and said that right-wing organisations like the Bajarang Dal, Sri Ram Sene, Vishwa Hindu Parishat were showing growing levels of intolerance under the BJP regime. (Read: Is cow slaughter becoming the Hindutva equivalent of drawing the Prophet?)<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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BeefChief Minister SiddaramaiahKarnataka

Rajnath Singh rubbishes writers, scientists protests as political conspiracy

Singh asked how can someone can blame the central government if some incidents have taken place in a state, like the lynching of a Muslim man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday came down on writers and some prominent persons returning their Padma and Sahitya Akademi awards terming it as a political conspiracy and wondered what these people were doing when there were communal riots during Congress rule. He questioned how can anyone say now that intolerance has been increasing as no big communal clash or tension has taken place anywhere in the country after the Narendra Modi government came to power. “Congress government was in power in India for a long time. In several states, communal riots had taken place then. 4000-5000 people have died even in a single state. No one gave their resignations at that time. Why is it happening now is beyond our understanding,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister said he could say with certainty that this (returning of awards) is happening because of political reasons. “If someone wants to protest, there are many ways to do it. If someone is given an honour which is a symbol of national pride, putting that on the line for protesting is something I fail to understand. As far as I can understand, it’s happening for political reasons,” he said. Singh asked how can someone can blame the central government if some incidents have taken place in a state, like the lynching of a Muslim man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. “Can’t people understand that law and order is a state subject? We cannot interfere even if we want to without the state’s permission. Somewhere there is a deep conspiracy which cannot be ruled out,” he told India Today TV.Historians today joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against “climate of intolerance” over which top scientist P M Bhargava said he will return his Padma Bhushan award, alleging Modi government was trying to make India into a “Hindu religious autocracy”.

Protest against Modi govt spreads like wildfire: 53 historians criticise ‘highly vitiated atmosphere’

“What the regime seems to want is a kind of legislated history, a manufactured image of the past, glorifying certain aspects of it and denigrating others, without any regard for chronology, sources or methods of enquiry that are the building blocks of the edifice of history,” the statement said.

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After writers, artists, filmmakers and scientists, over 50 historians today came out strongly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not making any reassuring statement following concerns over “highly vitiated atmosphere” prevailing in the country. A total of 53 historians including leading names like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, KN Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee have in a joint statement released by Sahmat raised their serious concerns over recent developments. “Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. Arguments are met not with counter arguments but with bullets,” the statement said referring to the Dadri lynching incident and the recent ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni during a book launch function in Mumbai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
“When writer after writer is returning their award of recognition in protest, no comment is made about the conditions that caused the protest; instead the ministers call it a paper revolution and advise the writers to stop writing.This is as good as saying that intellectuals will be silenced if they protest,” it said.This was particularly worrying for historians who have already experienced attempts to ban their books and expunge statements of history despite the fact that they were supported by sources and the interpretation is transparent, they said. “What the regime seems to want is a kind of legislated history, a manufactured image of the past, glorifying certain aspects of it and denigrating others, without any regard for chronology, sources or methods of enquiry that are the building blocks of the edifice of history,” the statement said.The historians expressed concern over the silence of the Prime Minister on the issue. “And when it is hoped that the Head of Government will make a statement about improving the prevailing conditions, he chooses to speak only about general poverty; and it takes the Head of the State to make the required reassuring statement, not once but twice.” The statement urged the state to ensure an atmosphere that is “conducive to free and fearless expression, security for all sections of society and the safe-guarding of the values and traditions of plurality that India had always cherished in the past.””It is easy to trample them down, but it is important to remember that it will take too long and will be beyond the capacity of those who are currently at the helm of affairs, to rebuild it once it is destroyed,” the statement said.At least 36 writers including leading names like Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash and K Veerabhadrappa had returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, and five writers stepped down from official positions of the literary body, protesting against its “silence” over “rising intolerance”.The Akademi had yielded to the unrelenting protests by calling an emergency meet and issued a strong condemnation of the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others while urging litterateurs to take back awards. Yesterday, agitating students from FTII unilaterally withdrew their 139-day-old strike but vowed to continue protests as ten eminent filmmakers returned their National Awards voicing solidarity with them and against growing intolerance in the country.Scientists including three Padma Bhushan recipients Ashoke Sen, PM Bhargava and P Balram announced their decision to return their awards. This move comes after two sets of scientists over the past two days petitioned the President urging him to initiate “suitable actions”.

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