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Two South Mumbai women seek medical help for excessive shopping

Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla, psychiatrist with Masina hospital, paints an alarming scene. “With online shopping, Oniomania can hit more people, says. “It is easy to buy things online now. Affected persons can end up with huge credit card bills.”

Somita PalInfoTracking a healthy resolution. But will it last till next year?

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Centre contradicting own stand on DDCA probe: AAP

Taking a jibe at BJP, AAP’s Delhi unit secretary Dilip Pandey said the saffron party had given Jaitley a clean chit merely on claims made by a “two-member committee of spokespersons”. “The committee, whose report which the BJP is citing was in public domain since November 17, did not have the mandate to name anyone. Its aim was to find out irregularities in the DDCA. The BJP should not claim Jaitley has been given a clean chit,” Pandey said.

PTI
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BJP gleeful over articles in Congress mouthpiece slamming Nehru, Sonia; says truth hidden has come out <!– /.block –>
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Good that Congress is reconciling with historical facts: Jitender Singh

The article published has been written and published by the party’s Mumbai unit and has caused a stir within the rank and file. It clearly blames Nehru for the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet and states that Nehru should have listened to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s views on international affairs.The article, which does not reveal the name of the writer, has been published in this month’s issue of ‘Congress Darshan’ Hindi edition as a tribute piece to mark Patel’s death anniversary on December 15.”Despite Patel getting the post of deputy prime minister and home minister, relations between the two leaders remained strained, and both had threatened to resign time and again,” the article says.

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Congress periodical criticises Nehru

A periodical published by India’s main opposition Congress party criticises the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, for his foreign policy moves.

JNU professor sacked for alleged sexual abuse of foreign student

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The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body.

Jawaharlal Nehru University
File Photo

JNU on Monday terminated services of an assistant professor after a varsity inquiry committee found him guilty in a case of alleged sexual harassment filed by a foreign scholar pursuing research under him. The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body. The complainant, a Bangladesh national, was pursuing research under the professor’s supervision in the varsity’s Department of Sociology.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A research scholar from Bangladesh working under supervision of the professor, had alleged that she was sexually abused by the professor. Subsequently, an inquiry was instituted by the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), the university watchdog for dealing with such issues,” official sources said.”In its enquiry, the GSCASH found him guilty and recommended action against him, following which the EC meet was called to take a call on the issue. The EC decided to terminate his services with immediate effect,” they added.Meanwhile, repeated calls and text messages to the professor for his comments on the issue went unanswered.The EC’s decision comes at a time, when JNU is under criticism over the maximum number of sexual abuse cases reported from all the higher education institutes in the country.Only last week, Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani had informed the Lok Sabha that 25 cases of sexual harassment were reported from JNU in 2013-2014, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) data.Last month, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal had also said that as much as 50 per cent of the 101 sexual harassment complaints filed in 16 educational institutions in the national capital since 2013 were from JNU.The varsity had recently notified its new sexual harassment policy which also includes a penalty provision for false complaints filed before the probe panel. GSCASH was instituted by the university in 1999 under the Vishaka guidelines of the Supreme Court. The panel has representatives from JNU Students Union (JNUSU), JNU Officers’ Association (JNUOA), hostel wardens, faculty and administrative staff.However, a group of JNU teachers had last month questioned the working of GSCASH, alleging that its “processes are perverted”.Demanding that JNU be a “gender-sensitive and gender-just” campus, a group of teachers has written an open letter to the varsity administration seeking its intervention to improve the functioning of GSCASH.The teachers had also alleged that the confidentiality with regard to complaints was being “blatantly violated”, leading to defaming the complainants and the putting their integrity on “public trial”. The committee had come out with a clarification saying that “it engages and encourages the community to file such cases in a confidential manner, without engaging unwanted attention and speculation at the same time”.

Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul in the dock today, literally

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The duo will be fourth in Nehru-Gandhi generation to appear before any court of law after Motilal, Jawaharlal and Indira

Congress top brass are tight-lipped. Party’s supreme leaders – president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul – are all set to appear before the Patiala House district court here in connection with the National Herald case on Saturday. But they are not willing to reveal their cards fully, on whether Rahul will be applying for bail or will prefer to go to jail. The case, filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, accuses the Gandhis and four others of forming a company with the intention of acquiring property belonging to the now defunct newspaper National Herald that was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru. The seventh entity summoned in the case is Young Indian, the company formed by them, in which the Gandhis own 76% shares.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Both the Gandhis have aggressively countered the allegations against them as political vendetta. It’s only after all efforts and appeals exhausted, Sonia and Rahul are appearing before the court. They will be the fourth-fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to appear before a court of law after Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Congress workers and MPs are all geared up for tomorrow’s showdown. Though the party has rubbished media reports that it would organise a ‘solidarity march’ to court on Saturday, all its MPs are staying back in the capital. Normally, MPs fly back to their constituencies during the weekend. Even a chief minister of a northeast state, who had arrived in the Capital on Thursday, was told to stay back, sources said. AICC general secretary and Congress MP Janardan Dwivedi, however, stated the Congress has no intentions to protest against judiciary and that’s why he has asked PCC chiefs not to come to the AICC headquarters. However, Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha say they have been asked to assemble at the party headquarters on 24, Akbar Road, by 1 pm. The court hearing on the case is scheduled at 3 pm. Party general secretary Digvijay Singh, said the party leadership will decide only Saturday morning if party MPs and office-bearers will march from AICC headquarters to Patiala House Court along with Sonia and Rahul. Tight security Under the aegis of the Special Protection Group, the Delhi police have been conducting thorough security checks inside and outside the court premises. The distance from 10, Janpath – Sonia Gandhi’s residence – to the court is a mere 3.3 kms – a journey that can be covered in under 10 minutes – though the route will see heavy police presence and almost 16 additional CCTV cameras. The setting of the courtroom drama is No.4, Judge Loveleen’s chambers – a room small enough to hold barely 10-15 people. According to confirmed sources, the venue or the courtroom will not change. “If there was a change, it would have been intimidated by now,” said a source on condition of anonymity. The room has seen security sweeps by various security apparatus for the last two days. To counter the anticipated media rush, passes were issued only to a few print media and agency reporters. “There was no hindrance during my time when we used to cover news. One could just walk into the court premises irrespective of who was standing trial,” veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar recalls as he reminisced his time as a reporter. Reacting to the news about the issue of passes to cover the trial, he quipped, “This is not definitely not like the emergency (imposed by Indira Gandhi), but such a tight control on the media definitely emphasises the politicising of the event. Courts are no more institutions; they have been reduced as a mere political tool.”

Government rejects demand for GST cap in Constitution; Jaitley invokes Nehru to remind Congress of responsibilities in Parliament

Arun Jaitley invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.

PTI
On a day when senior union ministers and Congress leaders met over a South Indian lunch, hopes further faded on the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Winter Session. This means the government’s timeline to implement the key reform measure from April 1, 2016 has gone haywire.As time runs out for GST with just seven sittings left of the Winter Session of Parliament and a washout in Rajya Sabha staring in government’s face, finance minister Arun Jaitley and parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu met Congress leader and deputy leader in Rajya Sabha– Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. However, the two sides seemed to have failed to find a way out of the Parliament logjam and deadlock over GST.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All eyes are now on December 19, when Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with five others appear before the metropolitan magistrate in Patiala House Court in the National Herald case. After that, just three days of the session would be left. But, the mood in the Congress is far from conciliatory as it alleges political vendetta and humiliation of its leaders. Party sources said the positive atmosphere in the beginning of the session, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, has been washed out, by the subsequent moves of the government.While officially it was said that Monday’s talks was “inconclusive”, they said there was no breakdown in communication, top sources in the Congress said there was a deadlock, as government has rejected one of their major demands of putting the tax cap in the Constitutional Amendment Bill. With the ball back in the Congress’s court, it is keeping the government on tenterhooks saying it would have to consult other leaders including the party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. But many believe it was just a ruse, as the GST was stuck in Rajya Sabha and not in Lok Sabha.Meanwhile, Congress’s RS Surjewala compared international fuel prices and retail prices to say “with this track record of government .how can we believe, they will profit their coffers by taxing people, without putting a constitutional cap on GST,” He said when the international oil prices have fallen to $36 per barrel and refinery price of petrol is only just Rs.23.70 per litre, it is sold at Rs.60.48 per litre (in Delhi). Modi government is earning a profit of Rs.36.71 for every litre of petrol and Rs.21.88 per litre in case of diesel. “How can we allow milking of consumers in the GST regime, the way they are being burdened by government heavy taxation on petroleum?” he asked. Jaitley ‘disappointed’Soon after the meeting, Jaitley wrote an article hitting out at the Congress and reflecting his disappointment with Opposition party’s approach in Parliament. Jaitley quoted Jawaharlal Nehru on the responsibility of being in Parliament and said “those who claim the legacy of Panditji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”He said the current was also threatened with a wash out. “The reasons for the wash out of the current Session keep changing by the hour. The nation is waiting for the Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we being fair to ourselves and this country?”Here is Jaitley’s post:

Talks between govt and Congress inconclusive, hopes of GST bill passing remains dim

Hopes of an agreement on the GST Bill appeared to fade despite talks between the government and the Congress on Monday even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session.

Arun Jaitley invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.
File Photo
PTI
Hopes of an agreement on the GST Bill appeared to fade despite talks between the government and the Congress on Monday even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session.The deadlock continued on the Constitution amendment bill to provide for a uniform Goods and Services Tax after inconclusive talks between Jaitley and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma with the party making it clear that the engagement cannot be restricted to only one issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With just seven days left from Tuesday for the winter session, Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu hosted a lunch for the Congress leaders along with Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia. Jaitley himself described the talks as a “non meeting”.Citing the absence of Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was not in Delhi, the Congress leaders sought another meeting, which was readily accepted by the government, which is to keen to break the logjam.”Today’s talks remain inconclusive. It is a work in progress. There was no structured discussion today,” Sharma said noting that it was the first such meeting after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.He insisted, “Engagement between Government and Opposition cannot be restricted to one issue. After not engaging Opposition for 18 months, Government is desperate to discuss with us just one bill. First they should not be over-obsessed with one bill as other important legislations are also pending.”Meanwhile, Jaitley on Monday apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session and attacked Congress over the disruption. He invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.”The last session of the Parliament did not function. The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour. The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.He quoted a paragraph from the speech in which Nehru had said, “Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country. All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history.”Taking a dig at Congress over frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “Those who claim the legacy of Pandit ji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”Sharma used the occassion to target Modi lamenting that the measure could not be passed for five long years during the UPA-II due to the opposition by the present Prime Minister, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister.”Indian economy has not gone into deep freeze” because of non-passage of the measure, Sharma who was Commerce and Industry Minister during UPA said charging the Modi government of “mismanaging the economy”.That despite the meeting with the Opposition, there was no let up in the confrontation between the two sides was clear with Jaitley remarking after the luncheon that the current session is also threatened with a washout.”The last session of Parliament did not function. The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour,” he said.

Parliament logjam: Arun Jaitley accuses Congress of tarnishing Nehru’s legacy

The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session and invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.”The last session of the Parliament did not function.The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour. “The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PT. NEHRU AND PARLIAMENT The last Session of the Parliament did not function. The current Session of the Parliament…
Posted by Arun Jaitley on Monday, 14 December 2015The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.He quoted a paragraph from the speech in which Nehru had said, “Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country.”All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history.” Taking a dig at Congress over frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “Those who claim the legacy of Pandit ji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”

Vande Mataram played instead of National Anthem in function attended by Pranab Mukherjee

It was played at the conclusion.

In a mix up, a function attended by President Pranab Mukherjee to celebrate 125th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru started with Vande Mataram instead of the National Anthem.The organisers– Bidhan Memorial Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru 125th Birth Anniversary Committee later apologised for not following the convention of playing the National Anthem at the beginning of the function. It was played at the conclusion.

Parliament should function through debate, not disruption: President Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

PTI
President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said Parliament should function through debate, dissent and decision and not disruption. “There are three D’s through which Parliament functions. These are debate, dissent and decision,” Mukherjee said while delivering the keynote address in memory of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Calcutta University Centenary Hall here.”I never heard of the fourth ‘D’, which is disruption… Parliamentary proceedings should not be disrupted by creating ruckus, there are several other places to do so,” he said. His comments gain significance in view of disruption of Parliamentary proceedings over some time on several issues.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking on India reaching an agreement with Japan on civil nuclear cooperation yesterday, the President said “I am very happy. “We have earlier signed civil nuclear cooperation agreement with countries like USA, Russia and others. I initiated the process in 2008 (during his tenure as external affairs minister),” he said.”It is necessary to switch to nuclear energy to save the environment from pollution as diesel or coal-based power plants emit pollutants. “As such in order to lessen pollution, we need alternative energy,” he said. Recalling the contribution and farsightedness of Nehru in intiating nuclear power in the country, the President said the first prime minister of the country had got Homi Bhabha to establish the Atomic Energy Commission way back in 1948.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s equations with Sheikh Abdullah, Hari Singh complicated J&K issue: Gujarat Governor

Speaking about Article 370, the Gujarat Governor said while some people say that it is no longer an issue as many central laws are applicable to the state, but added that its various aspects should also be examined.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a “tilt towards ” Sheikh Abduah and a “tilt against” Raja Hari Singh, which played a big role in “complicating” the Jammu and Kashmir issue, Gujarat Governor O P Kohli on Saturday claimed.Kohli said this at the launch of a book ‘Dr Syama Prasad Mookherjee aur Kashmir Samasya’ authored by his daughter, Ritu Kohli. “He tilted very much towards Sheikh Abdullah, while he tilted against Maharaja Hari Singh, which played a big role in complicating the Jammu and Kashmir episode,” he claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kohli added that there is need to place the right narration of events before the country, even as he lauded the role played by Syama Prasad Mookherjee. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh also said that major decisions were taken at that time because of Nehru’s personal inclinations and the “impact is being faced even today”.Kohli further claimed Congress, even after Independence, continued on its policies of “minority appeasement” or “softness towards Pakistan”, and the establishment of a national alternative to Congress, is one of aspects which needs an in-depth examination.Speaking about Article 370, the Gujarat Governor said while some people say that it is no longer an issue as many central laws are applicable to the state, but added that its various aspects should also be examined.Later when asked by reporters to comment on Kohli’s remarks, Deputy Chief Minister Singh said there are certain aspects related to the state’s history on which clarity is needed and some misconceptions are also present.Singh claimed that at the time when country became free from the British rule, all princely states were dealt with by Sardar Patel, while Nehru “only took care of Kashmir”, because of which “questions arise”.It is a big question, why we went to UN and internationalised the Kashmir issue, Singh asked.

President Pranab Mukherjee to address concluding function of Pandit Nehru birth anniversary

The celebrations, which started last year, witnessed several seminars on Nehru, sit and draw competition and cultural events participated by children

President Pranab Mukherjee will deliver a speech at the concluding function of 125th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru scheduled in the city on Sunday.Co-organised by the Bidhan Memorial Trust and now defunct “Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru 125th Birth Anniversary Celebration Preparatory Committee”, the concluding programme will also see the presence of West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at the Calcutta University Centenary Hall, Congress leader and Chairman of the Trust Somen Mitra today said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The celebrations, which started last year, witnessed several seminars on Nehru, sit and draw competition and cultural events participated by children.

15 things you need to know about the Father of Constitution BR Ambedkar

Some highlights from Ambedkar’s life .

December 6 is the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, best known for being the architect of the Indian constitution and for his struggle against untouchability in the Indian society. Ambedkar passed away in 1956, when he was 65 years old.Here are 9 facts you need to know about this great man, who made the Indian constitution possible. 1. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow ( currently in Madhya Pradesh). He belonged to the Mahar caste, considered as untouchable and dalit. A young Ambdekar faced blatant discrimination in school. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Ambedkar’s father served in the Indian army and his ancestors had worked with the East India Company.3. Ambedkar was a student par excellence. He had degrees in law and economics from iconic places like the Columbia University and the London School of Economics. 4. He was the first Union Minister of Law and Justice in the Nehru government. 5. Ambedkar wrote a short autobiography called Waiting For a Visa in 1935-36. It chronicled his experience with untouchability, including his struggles after he returned to India and started working in Baroda. 6. While working in Bombay at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, he faced hostility from colleagues for being from a lower caste. 7. Ambedkar strongly spoke out against Manusmriti for justifying caste discrimination and untouchability and even burnt its copies. 8. In 1936, Ambedkar formed Independent Labour Party, to give a voice to the downtrodden. 9. In 1942, he formed the Scheduled Castes Federation. However, his party had very limited electoral success.10. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the constitution drafting committee. 11. He resigned as the Union Law Minister when his Hindu Code Bill failed to pass in the Parliament. 12. Ambedkar was the man behind the setting up of the Finance Commission of India. His ideas were also used when the Reserve Bank of India was founded. 13. He was fervently against Article 370, which grants special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 14. He converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with his wife.15. He suffered from severe diabetes towards the end of his life.

VIDEO: Akshansh’s PhD: India man who didn’t let cerebral palsy win

Akshansh Gupta has not allowed cerebral palsy to stand in the way of his academic success

A moderate Modi: Is the BJP finally planning to switch off its election mode?

PTI
When Narendra Modi started speaking in the Parliament on the Constitution on Friday, most expected the PM, armed with razor sharp wit and sarcasm, to attack the opposition. The stage was set with other senior leaders from the government already having taken potshots at the opposition. But what happened next shocked many. Modi played the role of a perfect statesman, invoked Nehru, paid tributes to all the past Prime Ministers and spoke about cohesion in governance. The PM also gave an account of his foreign trips on the floor of the Parliament.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shorty after that Modi greeted Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for a session of ‘chai pe charcha’. According to reports, Sonia Gandhi did most of the talking and the PM and his ministers tried to assuage the Congress leadership about their doubts regarding the GST. On Sunday in his monthly radio program ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi spoke about ‘EK Bharath Shreshta Bharat’ to promote inclusiveness amidst concerns about growing intolerance.Just a month ago, Modi steadfastly refused to mention Nehru in his speech at the India-Africa forum summit even though the African leaders were gratuitous in paying tribute to India’s first PM in cementing the relationship. So what changed in the interim? One suspects BJP’s defeat in the Bihar elections is one of the major reasons behind this change in tactics. The air of invincibility that Modi enjoyed, even after the Delhi debacle, is now gone. The BJP can’t just win elections by having Modi turn up and whip up a mass frenzy. What it will need is strong groundwork and the ability to show tangible results on the ground. For that BJP needs the Parliament to function so that crucial bills like the GST pass. But the BJP is currently a hopeless minority in the Rajya Sabha. So it needs the Congress’ help to get crucial bills through. PM Modi’s outreach can be looked at that context, as a way to mend fences with Congress.The BJP can also afford to tone down its rhetoric for some time as it doesn’t stand to gain much in the upcoming series of polls except in Assam. So till mid-2017, when Uttar Pradesh goes to polls, BJP can afford to lie low and focus on governance and finally gett out of poll mode. But will the opposition allow them to settle down? Having the government firefight peripheral issues helps the opposition.But can the BJP crack down on its fringes who make unsavoury statements from time to time and derail the governance agenda? That remains one big question mark. Sadly for BJP, it is easier to cut down on rhetoric but much more difficult to tame inherent bigotry.

What is Constitution Day? Opposition asks govt

The Opposition, particularly the Congress and the Left, sought from the government’s as to what prompted it to declare November 26 as the Constitution Day when the constitution had come in force on January 26, 1950 that is celebrated as the Republic Day.

BJP government came under heavy opposition fire in Rajya Sabha during the debate on commitment to India’s constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Dr B R Ambedkar.The Ppposition, particularly the Congress and the Left, sought from the government’s as to what prompted it to declare November 26 as the Constitution Day when the constitution had come in force on January 26, 1950 that is celebrated as the Republic Day.Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPM’s Sitaram Yechury questioned the sanctity of gazette notification issued by the ministry for social justice and empowerment to commemorate November 26 as the Constitution Day by circumventing the rules as the matter falls within the ambit of home ministry and the temerity of the education ministry to issue a circular on November 10 asking schools to celebrate the day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to finance minister Arun Jaitley long speech in which sang peans of Dr Ambedkar and indirectly took jibe at Congress’s role of subverting democracy during emergency by subtly equating it with Hitler, leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused BJP of trying to appropriate the icons of India’s freedom struggle without having such a leader of its own and trying to “manufacture a clash” between famous personalities like Sardar Patel, Nehru, dr Ambedkar, Maulana Azad and Netaji on the lines of the British policy of divide and rule.”You can talk about German Constitution, its dictator … but you feel ashamed to talk about Jawaharlal Nehru. … You are not able to recognise the contribution of first Prime Minister …. This is called intolerance. It flows from the top and percolates down to the streets,” said Azad reading out from the objectives that Nehru wrote and forwarded it to drafting committee under the chairmanship of Ambedkar.Picking on Jaitley, Azad said it has become became clear that the discussion on Ambedkar and commitment towards the Constitution was actually a “shield to take aim at other targets.”Yechury was more ruthless in tearing apart the government as he described it as expert in inserting items or events in Indian politics.”You (BJP government) have found a way through event management to worm your way into the national movement…This (Constitution Day) is one such event,”said Yechury inviting sharp comments from BJP member Tarun Vijay.Questioning the relevance of newly coined Constitution Day, Yechury asked, “It was India Independence Act passed in the House of Commons by the then British PM Attlee that was in force during the interim period of two months from November 26, 1949 when the draft constitution was signed and January 26, 1950 when it came in force. What is the new thing that you are trying to project?” What’s its relevance?Questioning the relevance of newly coined Constitution Day, Sitaram Yechury asked, “It was India Independence Act passed in the House of Commons by the then British PM Attlee that was in force during the interim period of two months from November 26, 1949 when the draft constitution was signed and January 26, 1950 when it came in force. What is the new thing that you are trying to project?”

India first is only religion, Constitution only holy book: PM Modi

Prime Minister speaks in Lok Sabha during the second day of winter session on Friday

PTI
Skirting replying contentious issues raised by the Opposition during two-day special debate in the Lok Sabha on India’s Constitution to commemorate birth anniversary of its chief architect Dr B R Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected contention that his government was denying credit or was undermining the role of leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru.He sought to refute the Congress charge that all focus on Ambedkar was to undermine contributions of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and claim ownership over all achievements in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Winding up his 63-minute long speech with slogans on “Idea of India” as Satyamev Jayate, Sarva Dharma Bhavo, etc., Modi talked of “India first” as the government’s “Dharma” and the Constitution as the “Dharma Granth” (religious book) but he padded up his “Idea of India” with quotes from the Hindu religious scriptures. Modi started with a clarification that his government’s resolve to celebrate November 26 as the Constitution Day should not be seen as an attempt to undermine January 26.Breaking the charge of rare appearance in Parliament, for the first time, since he was elected, he sat through the full-day debate in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He, however, disappointed those, expected him to break silence on growing intolerance in the country, the issue raised by Opposition benches led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.He regretted that there is too much stress on the rights guaranteed under the Constitution but not an equal stress on “duty” and gave a call for raising a sense of duty to help the nation grow. He also vowed to work for empowerment of those who did not rise in life for want of opportunity and referred to importance of grievance redressal and justice in this regard.Referring to the single most gift of Ambedkar to workers in terms of an 8-hour work a day, Modi listed some of the steps his government took to help the labour class like raising the minimum pension to Rs 1,000 per month and their provident fund (EPF) account moving with them wherever they go.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan steadfast refused anybody seek clarifications after the PM finished as the last participant in the debate and yet Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge could put in record that Rs 1,000 pension was the UPA government’s decision and portability of the PF office to let the worker’s PF account move with him was also its decision, first such office opened in Haryana.He even referred to the resolution Nehru had moved on December 13, 1946 and seconded by Dr Rajendra Prasad on what should be objective of the Constitution. Sonia had referred to this resolution. The PM also repeated her reference to Ambedkar on the Constitution being good or bad depends on those who administer it.Modi said he was not saying it today but he had declared from the Red Fort in his Independence Day speech that the nation has advanced because of the efforts of all past PMs and governments and none can say that the previous governments did nothing. However, last August during his trip to the UAE, while addressing investors, he said: I have inherited great amount of difficulties due to the legacy of my predecessors (UPA). I cannot run away from them.”The Congress leaders said Modi was still silent on the charge of promoting intolerance but they will pin down the government in the coming days by forcing a separate discussion on the growing intolerance in the country.They were, however, quite happy at the resolution moved by the Speaker and adopted by the House as it gave credit to not only Ambedkar but also Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad and other founding fathers of Constitution for their pioneering and monumental role and contribution to give the Constitution to ourselves.

Sudheendra Kulkarni favours autonomy for Kashmir

Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.

A month after he faced ‘paint attack’ from Shiv Sena supporters in Mumbai at the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni embroiled in a fresh controversy on Friday.The chairman of the Observer Research Foundation supported former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s view on Kashmir and said that both India and Pakistan need to accept that the territories occupied by the two countries cannot be snatched away. Instead, the two countries should provide autonomy to the people of Kashmir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delivering a lecture at the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi, Kulkarni blamed Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel for partition of India. He went on to add that both India and Pakistan in their historical texts have ‘over glorified’ Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Kulkarni also went on to add that India should treat Pakistan as equal and not play a big brother role all the time.”Neither India can ever occupy the PoK and nor will Pakistan ever be able to get control over what is called in Pakistan as India occupied Kashmir. Kashmir should be given administrative autonomy,” he said.Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi’s foreign trips, Kulkarni also said that Modi should plan a Pakistan visit. “He has gone to every neighboring country except Pakistan. Prime Minister should visit Pakistan and resume dialogue,” he said.Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.”Mahamat Gandhi in 1944 accepted the legitimacy of demand for a separate nation in the Gandhi- Jinnah talk,” he said. Kulkarni also said that had Congress met Jinnah’s demand for safeguarding the rights of minority, tragedy pf partition could have been avoided. “Jinnah worked as ambassador or Hindi-Muslim unity, but later went on to demand partition. But today neither the Congress nor the BJP accepts this truth.” he added.The former BJP member blamed both Nehru and Patel for the partition of India. “Both Nehru and Patel went on to become enthusiastic supporter of Pakistan. They helped in shaping the two nation theory,” he said.

Sonia Gandhi attacks Modi govt, says those who had no role in drafting Constitution are now laying claims on it

“People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday targetted the government on issue of intolerance alleging that ideals and principles of the Constitution were under threat and being attacked deliberately.”People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.”They are now having a discussion on commitment to it.There cannot be a bigger joke than this,” she said, utilising the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the commitment to the Constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of B R Ambedkar to attack the BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Rajnath Singh attacks Congress on ‘Secularism’ issue, says the word most misused in politicsInsisting that whatever being witnessed over the past few months was “totally against the principles” of the Constitution, she recalled Ambedkar’s warning to hit out at the ruling dispensation, as she sought to highlight the contribution of the Congress in the drafting of the Constitution and in the freedom struggle.She said Ambedkar had observed that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad people, then the utlimate effect would only be bad.At a time when BJP is seeking to appropriate the legacy of Ambedkar, Gandhi also utilised Ambedkar’s praise of the Congress for its contribution in the drafting of the Constitution, indicating that the Congress could lay the rightful claim on the document.Gandhi said Ambedkar had said at that time “I was surprised when I was chosen as the chairman. There were more learned and better people than me in the Committee. It was the discipline of the Congress party that enabled the Drafting Committee to give full information about every Act in the Constitution”.The Congress chief also said it was the Congress party which had spotted the “unique talent and capability” of Ambedkar who had returned after higher studies in US, UK and Germany on political theory and economics and was passionately fighting for the cause of the scheduled castes and the oppressed.She said on the morning of 26 November 1949, when the Constitution was formally adopted, Dr Rajendra Prasad complimented Ambedkar by saying, there could not have been a better chief for the Drafting Committee.At a time when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy is under attack, the Congress President underlined that Nehru was among the four stalwarts that guided the Drafting Committee. The others being Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad and Maulana Azad.She said of the eight committees of the Drafting Committee, the chairman of these were either Nehru, Patel or Prasad. Azad was a prominent member of five of these committees.The history of the Constitution is very old and linked to the country’s freedom struggle and that it why it is interlinked with the Congress.She recalled that it was under Nehru, the Congress in its Karachi session in March 1931, had brought a resolution on fundamental rights and economic rights.When some BJP members sought to protest, she pointed out to them that what she is saying is history to which no one could have any objection.She noted that there was no doubt that the Constitution gave equal voice to the poor and secular values to the country, made democracy more representative and government more accountable.Hailing the greatness of the Constitution, she said that it happens very rarely in the world that a galaxy of stalwarts work in unison to produce a document of such magnitude.She said that the Constitution had proved to be flexible and had witessed more than 100 amendments in view of the changing circumstances.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi accuses BJP of pursuing ‘communal and divisive’ agenda

Sonia alleged that the “ideology at work” shuns the pursuit of secularism, tolerance, inclusion and equality.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Accusing the Government and its “masters” of “systematically working to dismantle” the legacy of Congress, Sonia Gandhi on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the ruling BJP over its alleged “communal and divisive” agenda. She said “blatantly partisan” appeals were being made by the ruling establishment to obtain votes and that policies aimed at favouring the “powerful” were being followed at the expense of the weak.Sonia alleged that the “ideology at work” shuns the pursuit of secularism, tolerance, inclusion and equality.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Spokespersons of its agenda make blatantly partisan appeals to obtain votes,” she said.Referring to the defeat of the NDA alliance in the Bihar polls, she said it was possible for the Congress to overcome the recent “obstacles” it faced through hard work and perseverance.”In recent times our party has faced some set-backs, but as the election in Bihar shows, if we persevere and work hard, we can overcome these obstacles. We should never forget that the Congress is much more than just a political party, it is a people’s movement,” she said.”Today, when we see the ruling establishment pursuing communal and divisive politics, when we see the ruling establishment following policies that favour the few and the powerful at the expense of the weak and the many…Indiraji’s life and values acquire even greater importance,” she said.The Congress chief was addressing a gathering of Youth Congress on the occassion of the 98th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. Sonia hailed the former Prime Minister as the “mother of millions” and as one who has left an “indelible impression” on history.”National unity and secularism were amongst the pillars of her beliefs. She was keenly mindful of the suffering and injustice faced by the weak and the marginalised…Even today in many parts of the country she is remembered as Maa (mother),” she said.”Today, the present government and its masters who exercise their control from behind the scenes, are systematically working to dismantle the legacy of the Congress, to rewrite our history, to negate all that Nehru, Indiraji and all our leaders have achieved. We will not allow them to succeed. Our party’s history is intimately linked with the history of our country,” she said. She stressed on the need to reach out to the masses by taking up their issues and working among them “not just in time of elections but at all times.””Perhaps, one way for the Youth Congress to do this is to make its own version of Indiraji’s 20 point programme and dedicatedly work towards fulfilling it,” she said.Sonia also recalled the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and BR Ambedkar in her speech. Ambedkar was the main architect of the Indian Constitution, she reminded the youth activists.

Modi is being ‘dictatorial’: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi hit out at PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday came under strident attack from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who accused him of being “dictatorial” and using the smokescreen of development to mask communal agenda.

Castigating the ruling dispesnation over a number of incidents like Dadri lynching and burning of Dalit children in Haryana amid the raging debate on intolerance, Sonia, Rahul and other top leaders tried to put the Modi dispensation on the mat.

Training her guns on the Prime Minister, the Congress president said,”Simply because someone holds a different view or disagrees, they cannot be branded a traitor. This is neither the way of our democracy nor a form of patriotism. It is a form of dictatorship.”

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

“Today, we are witnessing attempts by certain individuals and elements to whitewash their communal agenda in front of the world by hiding it behind the mask of development.”

“Development is used as a buzzword, again and again. It is ironic that they speak of development yet fail to learn from the legacy and lessons of the man synonymous with laying the foundation of India’s growth-Nehruji,” she said.

Attacking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said when he is abroad, he says India is tolerant and government wants to take all sections together but he says nothing of this sort when he is in India.

“The prime minister is silent when Dalit children are killed in Haryana or when someone is killed in the name of religion in Dadri,” he said.

Accusing Modi, BJP and RSS of practising unilateralism, Rahul said the prime minister does not take interest in Parliament and though the Opposition raises issues neither he nor his government bother to respond, which is in stark contrast to the respect shown by Nehru to his opponents.

Alleging that people were being viciously attacked for holding different beliefs in the “prevalent atmosphere of intolerance”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused Modi of promoting himself by harping on the issue of development.

An unusally aggressive former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Our Prime Minister talks of development. Wherever he goes, he tries to promote himself in the name of development.” He was was greeted with loud cheers.

The attack on Modi came at the concluding ceremony of the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which also saw repeated reference by party leaders to the poll victory of the grand alliance in Bihar.

In significant remarks, Rahul complimented party workers for the victory in Bihar saying “you in alliance with Nitish and Lalu have given a massive jolt to the ideology of BJP and RSS. We are going to do the same elswwhere in the country.”

The refrain of Sonia, Rahul as also of Manmohan Singh was that there is a conscious attempt by the NDA dispensation to undermine the legacy of Nehru.

Rahul said the Prime Minster’s approach is always that the Opposition does not understand anything. “They believe that they know everything and nobody else. Had it been so, there would have been achche din.”

He also said that the BJP, RSS and Modi believe in unilateralism in an arrangement in which all speak in one voice and there is no place for a divergent opinion.

Hailing the contribution of Nehru in strengthening the roots of democracy, he said those who want to put roadblocks in it could never be the rightful claimant of Indian democratic tradition.

PTI

PM Modi being ‘dictatorial’, say Sonia, Rahul Gandhi

Attacking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said when he is abroad, he says India is tolerant and government wants to take all sections together but he says nothing of this sort when he is in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday came under strident attack from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who accused him of being “dictatorial” and using the smokescreen of development to mask communal agenda. Castigating the ruling dispesnation over a number of incidents like Dadri lynching and burning of Dalit children in Haryana amid the raging debate on intolerance, Sonia, Rahul and other top leaders tried to put the Modi dispensation on the mat. Training her guns on the Prime Minister, the Congress president said,”Simply because someone holds a different view or disagrees they cannot be branded a traitor. This is neither the way of our democracy nor a form of patriotism. It is a form of dictatorship.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today, we are witnessing attempts by certain individuals and elements to whitewash their communal agenda in front of the world by hiding it behind the mask of development.” “Development is used as a buzzword, again and again. It is ironic that they speak of development yet fail to learn from the legacy and lessons of the man synonymous with laying the foundation of India’s growth-Nehruji,” she said. Attacking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said when he is abroad, he says India is tolerant and government wants to take all sections together but he says nothing of this sort when he is in India. “Prime Minister is silent when Dalit children are killed in Haryana or when someone is killed in the name of religion in Dadri,” he said. Accusing Modi, BJP and RSS of practising unilateralism, Rahul said the Prime Minister does not take interest in Parliament and though the Opposition raises issues neither he nor his government bother to respond, which is in stark contrast to the respect shown by Nehru to his opponents. Alleging that people were being viciously attacked for holding different beliefs in the “prevalent atmosphere of intolerance”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused Modi of promoting himself by harping on the issue of development.An unusally aggressive former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Hamare Pradhan Mantri Vikas Ki baat karte hain. Jahan Jaate hain vikas ke naam par apni dukandaari chamkaane ki baat karte hain (Our Prime Minister talks of development. Wherever he goes, he tries to promote himself in the name of development).” He was was greeted with loud cheers. The attack on Modi came at the concluding ceremony of the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which also saw repeated reference by party leaders to the poll victory of the grand alliance in Bihar.

On Nehru’s birthday, Sonia Gandhi mocks RSS for not participating in freedom struggle

‘These people never protested against the British. In fact when Gandhiji launched Quit India Movement, two organisations opposed it. One created Pakistan and the other (RSS) has the remote control of the Government in hand today,’ she added.

File Photo

In a veiled attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said that the right wing group had ‘stayed away’ from the freedom struggle and alleged that they had opposed the ‘Quit India Movement’. ‘Those who are trying to divide the nation are people who were hiding in their homes and stayed away from freedom struggle. Not only were these people hiding from freedom struggle in their homes, they were praising British rule,’ Sonia said in her address at the birth anniversary celebration of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’These people never protested against the British. In fact when Gandhiji launched Quit India Movement, two organisations opposed it. One created Pakistan and the other (RSS) has the remote control of the Government in hand today,’ she added. Lauding Nehru’s contribution in the freedom struggle, Sonia said that the former prime minister could have led a luxurious life, but chose to sacrifice it to fight for nation’s freedom. ‘When Nehru ji was born, the country was in slavery. If Nehru ji wanted, he could have spent a life of comfort, but he didn’t. He sacrificed his life to fight for independence,’ she said. ‘He instead chose a life where there was prison and there were atrocities by the British to be faced,’ she added. She said that those opposing secularism are against the principles propagated by father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. Several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paid tributes to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, on his 126th birth anniversary. The day is also celebrated as Children’s Day in the country, considering Nehru’s love towards children, who used to call him Chacha Nehru

Despite differences, no one can doubt Nehru’s intention: Rajnath Singh on Children’s Day

The Home Minister said due to the immense contributions of leaders like Nehru, India today has a vibrant Parliament, an efficient bureaucracy, independent judiciary and fearless press.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday paid glowing tributes to the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, saying despite ideological differences, no one can doubt his intention to work for the welfare of people and nation building. “There are many issues in which we have differences with Nehru. We have differences over his policies, but we can’t doubt his intention to work for the welfare of people and nation building,” he said at a function organised on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru. Singh, a veteran BJP leader, said he may not see Nehru, a Congressman, in the “political mirror” but could always see him in the “national mirror”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister said due to the immense contributions of leaders like Nehru, India today has a vibrant Parliament, an efficient bureaucracy, independent judiciary and fearless press. “It was because of the contributions of leaders like Nehru, India has become the largest democracy in the world, India is now celebrating the success of democracy,” he said. Singh said it was under the stewardship of Nehru that the country had set up large industries in Bhilai, Rourkela, top institutions like IITs and IIM and nuclear plants.”Even though Nehru had emphasised on industrialisation, he knew that agriculture was the key for the country. He had said ‘I am all for industry and I am all for steel plants. But agriculture is far more important than industry’,” he said quoting Nehru. The Home Minister said Nehru always took the initiative for proper education and guidance for children as he had realised that India would be a developed country only when its children are properly educated.Singh said Nehru was also one of the tallest world leaders of his time and under his bold leadership, the Non Aligned Movement was initiated. “Nehru’s policies on economy and science and technology were commendable. He only first launched the projects under the public-private partnership which are more relevant today,” he said.

Nation remembers Jawaharlal Nehru on 126th birth anniversary

Mukherjee, Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with top Congress leaders paid floral tributes to Nehru at his memorial ‘Shanti Van’ on the banks of Yamuna here.

File photo.

The nation on Saturday fondly remembered the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 126th birth anniversary with President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari leading the country in paying homage to him.Mukherjee, Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with top Congress leaders paid floral tributes to Nehru at his memorial ‘Shanti Van’ on the banks of Yamuna here.The NDA leaders, however, were conspicuous by their absence at the event.Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, senior party leaders Sheila Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Anand Sharma and Bhupinder Singh Hooda were among those who paid homage at the memorial.At the end of the ceremony, the dignitaries released tricolour balloons in the air amid playing of bands and patriotic songs by school children.Nehru was born to Motilal Nehru and Swaroop Rani on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day in India as he was fond of children.

PM in London: Modi cites Nehru, Manmohan Singh in address to British MPs

London: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cited his predecessors Jawaharlal Nehru and Manmohan Singh to highlight the connected histories of India and the UK during his historic address to British MPs.

PM Narendra Modi (left) with British PM David Cameron. PTIPM Narendra Modi (left) with British PM David Cameron. PTI

PM Narendra Modi (left) with British PM David Cameron. PTI

“So much of the modern history of India is linked to this building. So much history looms across our relationship,” Modi said.

“I will only say that many freedom fighters of India found their calling in the institutions of Britain. And, many makers of modern India, including several of my distinguished predecessors, from Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr Manmohan Singh, passed through their doors,” he said amid criticism from the opposition that Modi in his speeches ignored the legacy of Nehru and the Congress party in India’s progress.

Modi thanked Commons Speaker John Bercow for opening the doors of the Royal Court to him despite the Parliament is not in session.

“There are many things on which it is hard to tell anymore if they are British or Indian: The Jaguar or the Scotland Yard, for example. The Brooke Bond tea or my friend late Lord Ghulam Nun’s curry…. And, we love the Bhangra rap from London just as you like the English novel from India,” he said.

“On the way to this event, Prime Minister (David) Cameron and I paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi outside the Parliament. I was reminded of a question I was asked on a tour abroad. How is it that the statue of Gandhi stands outside the British Parliament?

“To that question, my answer is: The British are wise enough to recognise his greatness; Indians are generous enough to share him; we are both fortunate enough to have been touched by his life and mission; and, we are both smart enough to use the strengths of our connected histories to power the future of our relationship,” he said.

“At the heart of London, in the middle of Parliament Square, Bapu is immortalised. The 2 PMs (Modi and Cameron) pay homage to the Mahatma,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted as Modi for the first time saw the statue near the British Parliament and paid tributes to the Father of Nation.

PTI

PM Modi urged to engage rivals after Bihar drubbing | Reuters

NEW DELHIPrime Minister Narendra Modi will have to reverse course and engage with opposition leaders if he is to salvage his economic reform programme, senior aides said on Monday, after he suffered a humiliating Bihar defeat.

Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was hammered in Bihar by a regional alliance, even though the 65-year-old leader addressed more than 30 rallies across the poor eastern state of 104 million people.

The setback destroys any hopes Modi might have had of securing control of the Rajya Sabha in this five-year term, barely 18 months after he won India’s strongest national mandate in three decades.

“It’s going to make his life really difficult – he will struggle to form a majority in the upper house,” said Shilan Shah, an economist at Capital Economics. “The next step is to put aside some of the really polarising issues and form alliances.”

At a meeting after Sunday’s Bihar results, in which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “grand alliance” won 178 seats to 58 for the BJP and its allies, close aides urged Modi to reach out to opposition heavyweights he has until now shunned.

“There is a realisation that he will have to negotiate,” one senior adviser said, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

It remains to be seen whether Modi follows his aides’ advice. Since storming to power, he has made a point of trying to crush the ousted Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that leads it.

He has not met party president Sonia Gandhi, even though Congress successfully blocked legislation during the last parliamentary session and frustrated several of Modi’s key reforms. This is now likely to change, the adviser noted.

Signature policies, above all the biggest tax reform since independence in 1947, are at stake.

If Modi is to make headway, aides say he will have to wean himself off the company of friends from Gujarat, which he ran for over a decade, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu movement that is the BJP’s ideological parent and moulded him as a politician.

    “If they don’t manage to get that consensus, we won’t have sustained and stable reforms,” said M.R. Madhavan, president of PRS Legislative Research and a leading observer of parliamentary politics.

POLARISING CAMPAIGN

Also under critical scrutiny is the polarising campaign strategy of BJP president Amit Shah, who irked many by saying firecrackers would go off in Pakistan if the BJP lost in Bihar.

The jibe appeared to be intended to mobilise the party’s core Hindu support base against Muslim-majority Pakistan, India’s arch rival.

It was Shah, an old friend from Gujarat, who scripted the BJP’s Bihar strategy exclusively around Modi: the party did not put up a candidate for the post of chief minister.

“We should have projected a local face as our chief ministerial candidate,” one regional BJP leader told Reuters, adding that the party should have done a better job of pitching its message of development and steered clear of controversy.

Criticism has rained down on Modi and Shah for trying to turn Bihar into a referendum on the prime minister’s leadership, leaving him vulnerable to a strong campaign by Kumar and ally Lalu Prasad that addressed voter concerns in a state riven by complex divisions of caste and religion.

“The BJP will hopefully learn the lesson that communal politics does not yield returns in the long run. But it is not going to be easy,” political analyst Pratap Bhanu Mehta wrote in the Indian Express.

Two days before his party crashed to defeat, Modi hosted RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat for lunch at his residence.

One source familiar with their table talk said Bhagwat asked whether Modi wanted to carry on as a campaigning prime minister or instead focus single mindedly on running the country.

HYPE AND REALITY

As Modi prepares to visit Britain, where he is due on Friday to address a sellout crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium, the gulf that has opened between expectation and achievement has widened.

On his return, Modi will be reminded that acquiring 15.9 million Twitter followers is easier than getting reforms through parliament, which convenes for its winter session on Nov. 26.

One senior leader of the Congress party, which also made gains in Bihar, said the opposition would not drop its blockade unless the BJP renounced its divisive policies.

These include bans in BJP-ruled states on eating beef and the slaughter of cows that are sacred to many Hindus, but whose meat is eaten by minority Muslims and others in multi-faith India.

“We will forcefully raise … Prime Minister Modi’s silence over issues of beef eating and growing intolerance,” said the Congress leader, a former cabinet minister.

(Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar and Mayank Bhardwaj; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Rahul Gandhi’s language reflects Congress’s ‘intolerance’, says RSS

New Delhi: Condemning the use of language by Rahul Gandhi against it, RSS today said it exhibits the “undemocratic and intolerant mindset” of Congress and all well meaning forces should protest against it.

“The kind of language ‘not just defeating but smashing RSS’ by Rahul Gandhi exhibits the undemocratic and intolerant mindset of Congress. All democratic and well meaning forces should protest it.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. ReutersCongress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

“RSS condemns such undemocratic attitude, intemperate language and intolerant mind set of Congress party,” head of RSS’ communication cell Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement.

He said the Congress and the Nehru family have carried this “hatred and intolerance” since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s time and have not been able to arrest the growth of RSS or create a dent in its popularity.

“With all their political might Congress could not arrest the growth of RSS and dent its popularity. Now the support for RSS has increased multifold,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi had yesterday said that Congress will “not just defeat but smash the RSS”. He termed the poll verdict today in Bihar as a defeat of the “divisive agenda of Narendra Modi, BJP and RSS”.

PTI

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.
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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.

Nayantara Sahgal praises Rahul Gandhi, says he is showing ‘signs of great change’

Speaking on the sidelines of fourth Chandigarh Literature Festival, Sahgal, when asked to comment on what she thought about Rahul, said, “Like everybody else I thought (several years back), he did not want to be in politics. Many of us thought it would be better if he takes up something else.”

Noted writer and niece of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Nayantara Sahgal is impressed with the way Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has decided to play a “bigger role” and feels he is showing “signs of great change”.Speaking on the sidelines of fourth Chandigarh Literature Festival, Sahgal, when asked to comment on what she thought about Rahul, said, “Like everybody else I thought (several years back), he did not want to be in politics. Many of us thought it would be better if he takes up something else.”She, however, quickly added that now she has seen a great change in Rahul.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Recently, I watched him speak in the context of Bihar elections. He was very impressive, very thorough about his facts… Perhaps he has decided to throw in his weight fully now. Before that, he was doing it behind the scenes, trying to organise, democratise the Youth Congress. Now, may be he has decided to play a bigger role.”He is certainly showing signs of great change. I have noticed a change, which is very positive,” said Sahgal, who recently returned her ‘Sahitya Akademi’ Award over the Dadri lynching incident and growing inolerance.When asked did politics beckon her at any point in time, Sahgal, who said that in her early life, she has been deeply influenced by Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, replied, “Never”.She further said that she could have gotten into “politics at any time (as it ran in the family). On two occasions I was offered a seat in Parliament, but I have never wanted power and never wanted wealth. I have never had any hankering for these two things.”Yet, she said, “politics has served me as a very good material for my fiction (as a writer)”.

Congress plans big for Jawaharlal Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations

On the birth anniversary day on November 14, a rally is being organised by the party at a stadium here which will be addressed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Congress Seva Dal is also taking out a march on that day.
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dna Research & Archives
Congress is pulling out all the stops for celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru to highlight the legacy of the first Prime Minister of India which it feels is under assault.This week, the party is organising a conference on November 6 and 7 bringing together many writers and historians, including Left leaning, to discuss freedom, equality, democracy and secularism in today’s context. The theme of the conference is “No Peace Without Freedom; No Freedom without Peace: Securing Nehru’s Legacy and India’s Future: Agenda for Action”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Party leader Anand Sharma dismissed BJP criticism over inviting historians like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib for the conference. He insisted that they have been respected historians, whatever might be their ideology. “We have offered a platform.Everyone is invited. We do not believe in exclusion…” He said Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies has organised the two-day meet to develop an agenda for action for securing and strengthening the cornerstone values of the Indian republic laid down by Nehru in his Objectives Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (freedom, equality, democracy, secularism and justice — social, economic and political).Also read: Silencing the fringe? BJP strongly condemns Yogi Adityanath’s comments on SRKThere will be sessions on each of these objectives of the meet which would be inaugurated by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will deliver the Valedictory Address.On the birth anniversary day on November 14, a rally is being organised by the party at a stadium here which will be addressed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Congress Seva Dal is also taking out a march on that day. Two portals on Nehru- one in English and another in Hindi- will be launched on the day. A commemorative volume on the first Prime Minister is also being brought on the occasion.An evening of classical music has also been organised at the Nehru Park here in the evening in which some top artistes are going to participate. Hailing the contribution of Nehru, Sharma accused the RSS and the Sangh Parivar of not believing in Indian nationalism but in Western concept of nationalism, which believed in uniformity and other such ideas, which are against Indian nationalism. He said the remarks by BJP general Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya against Shah Rukh Khan needed to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

RSS mouthpiece claims that JNU is home to anti-national forces

Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the RSS organ has said “Jawahar Lal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi s social and economic agenda.”

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RSS mouthpiece “Panchjanya” has alleged that Jawaharlal University JNU is home to “a huge anti-national block which has the aim of disintegrating India.” Claiming that pro-Naxal students’ unions of JNU had openly celebrated the killing of 75 CRPF personnel in an ambush at Dantewada in 2010, the RSS organ, in its cover article, charged “JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities.”In 2010 when Naxals in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, killed 75 paramilitary personnel, pro-Naxal students unions of the University celebrated openly and hailed the act. And all this happened under the nose of the JNU administration.” Another article in it alleged “JNU is one such institute where nationalism is considered an offence. Presenting Indian culture in a distorted way is common. The removal of Army from Kashmir is supported here. They advocate various other anti-national activities here.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the RSS organ has said “Jawahar Lal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi s social and economic agenda.”The author of the article, while claiming that he studied in JNU, alleged “I often heard JNU professors discuss means and measures to undermine national unity and culture at events organized by anti-national organizations I then realized that JNU is home to a large chunk of anti-national groupings which have the singular aim of disintegrating India.” The RSS organ says JNU s tendency of relying on the state for resources (JNU is a central university funded by the government) “is nothing but capitalism masquerading as socialism and even Maoism.””These tendencies are inspired by two things bitterness for Hindus and an urge to break India. These things became possible due to two historical reasons. The first was the desire of Nehru and his successors to impose state-run model of economy on India and two, Nehru s proximity to the Soviet block. “But when the Soviety block disintegrated, a new political thought emerged in institutions like JNU which started changing their political slogan from class struggle to caste struggle,” the article says.

1962 India-China war: Jawaharlal Nehru’s words pinch our hearts, says Kiren Rijiju

Our PM Nehru had stated, “‘…my heart goes out to people of Assam’, which amounted to surrendering of our territories to the Chinese,” said Rijiju.

The Chinese went back on their own and declared a unilateral ceasefire, claimed Rijiju.

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Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s words in Parliament on the Chinese aggression in Ladakh and Arunachal had really pinched our hearts, and had demoralised our forces and the local people. “Participating in a debate in Parliament over the Chinese aggression, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said: “In those barren land and mountains of Ladakh and Arunachal, not even a blade of grass grows, why Parliament is wasting time,” said Rijiju, adding that it is a reality that China took over the entire western part of Arunachal Pradesh, which was a part of Assam in 1962. The Chinese had reached Assam in the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh, and the then prime minister Nehru had stated, “‘…my heart goes out to people of Assam’, which amounted to surrendering of our territories to the Chinese,” said Rijiju.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chinese went back on their own and declared a unilateral ceasefire, claimed Rijiju, adding: “This is a part of the history and we must come to term that if anything wrong has happened in history, we should accept it.”He said that he was not creating anything from his own figment of imagination, and he was only stating the facts, adding that the Congress, too, should not be intolerant about accepting something which is a fact. Arunachal people are the most patriotic. They remained solidly behind the nation despite so many Indian soldiers had lost their lives during the 1962 war. We continue to do that and I am proud of that,” said Rijiju, a Member of Parliament from the Arunachal West constituency.”If a former prime minister has made some kind of unsavoury, demoralising remarks, what is wrong in accepting that? My point is that history can’t be changed. At same time, factual, historical and all kind of incidents must be brought before the nation. Our next generation has the right to know about the correct historical stories and incidents,” he said. “First Prime Minister of India Pandit Nehru, for whom I have the greatest respect, had caused a great heartburn to the people of Arunachal Pradesh,” he added.

Jawaharlal Nehru let north-east down during 1962 China war: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday attacked country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of “letting people of north-east region down” during the 1962 Indo-China war, while accusing the Congress of “forgetting” the “true heroes” Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday attacked country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of “letting people of north-east region down” during the 1962 Indo-China war, while accusing the Congress of “forgetting” the “true heroes” Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.”After 1947, more than 565 princely states were brought together by Sardar Patel but he did not get credit; those who failed, unsuccessful, they kept on writing history,” the Minister of State for Home, hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, said at a function organised by the BJP on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel jayanti celebrations here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the Chinese seized his village during the war in 1962 and reached even up to Assam, while Nehru assured people of the region, then known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), that “we will save you” but later announced “surrender” to Chinese on All India Radio and “he (Nehru) said tata, bye, bye and left us”.Rijiju said patriotic people of the region, however, asserted at the time that India need not surrender and “we will not leave India and stood unitedly to remain with India”.”It’s a matter of regret that our Prime Minister left us (let us down). Patel united the country; the other Prime Minister (Nehru) left the country, surrendered the country”, the Minister said.”This is history”, he said alleging the Congress “kept the true history under wraps, kept praising itself and did not take the country in the right direction”.The Minister said most people were even kept in dark about October 31 being the birth anniversary of Patel by the Congress during its regime at the Centre. He termed it an “injustice” and a “big sin” against the “Iron Man of India”.Rijiju said many people are not able to digest the fact that the country now has a strong Prime Minister and government and they are engaged in unleashing “manufactured story” against the Centre claiming threat to secular fabric.

PM Modi flags off Run for Unity, hails Sardar Patel, takes dig at Nehru-Gandhi dynasty

Taking a dig at the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Modi stated that the one thing that stands out about Patel is that he inspires the thought that there is no family name or member linked to his legacy.

Narendra Modi speaking at Rajpath

ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ at Rajpath on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, India’s first home minister.Before flagging off the Run for Unity, the PM paid rich tributes to the ‘Iron Man’ of India. At a function attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, Modi also remembered former Indira Gandhi, who was killed by her Sikh guards on this day in 1984.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Sardar Patel’s heritage cannot be forgotten. He contributed immensely to India’s unity,” said the PM.”After the great Chanakya, it was Sardar Patel who strung India together with unity,” he added. Modi said that the government had decided to start the Ek Bharat, Sreshth Bharat initiative and it was the nation’s responsibility to make India a great nation, just as Patel had united the country. We have to walk arm-in-arm for this purpose, said Modi.Crediting Patel for the first Clean India initiative, Modi said he had started a ‘Swachata Abhiyaan’ that went on for 222 days, under the strict eye of Patel. Even Mahatma Gandhi had praised Patel for his initiative, Modi added. Taking a dig at the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Modi stated that the one thing that stands out about Patel is that he inspires the thought that there is no family name or member linked to his legacy.Expounding on the Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat initiative, Modi said it would be about states recognising and learning about another state’s culture and language. Giving an example, he said if Haryana pairs with Tamil Nadu, then school students from Haryana will be taught about Tamil culture and language, while Tamil Nadu students will learn about Haryana’s culture. Following the speech, the Run for Unity has begun. It was first started last year on October 31.Before the speech, PM Modi paid tribute to Vallabhbhai Patel, visiting his statue at Patel Chowk.(With inputs from ANI)

World praises Nehru-Indira, Modi govt heaps insult, says Assam CM Tarun Gogoi

Tarun Gogoi

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said the Narendra Modi government has relegated the rich legacy of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi to the backdrop, while African leaders heaped praises on them at the India Africa Forum Summit 2015.In a statement, Gogoi said the African leaders sang paeans on Nehru and Gandhi in front of Modi on Thursday fondly remembering their contribution in building India’s relations with their countries. Modi has “insulted” the legacy of Nehru and Indira through some recent “outrageous actions”, he asserted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The ‘myopic and partisan vision’ of Prime Minister Modi vis-a-vis relegating the contributions of the two great visionary leaders, who created the base of strong solidarity between African member states and India and laid the foundation of a modern India, stands totally exposed,” Gogoi, a Congress chief minister, claimed.”The two great visionary leaders created the base of strong solidarity between African member states and India on which the Modi government is treading upon today. “Instead of giving them the recognition they so richly deserve, it chooses to ignore them through some recent outrageous acts,” Gogoi alleged. “Prime Minister Modi’s actions in belittling the contributions of the two great leaders have only helped to demean his so-called stature of a visionary leader before the rest of the world,” he added.

Africa summit: Congress boycotts PM Narendra Modi’s dinner for Nehru sake

Congress sources said its leaders will boycott all the functions hosted by Prime Minister Modi for the visiting dignitaries, protesting his alleged ploy to erase the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the architect of India-Africa relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with South African President Jacob Zuma and wife Bongi Ngema at a dinner hosted in New Delhi on Wednesday

PTI
Taking its opposition to the NDA government to the next level, the Congress on Wednesday stayed away from the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the visiting African leaders, who are participating in the third edition of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). The party, however, will attend the official banquet being hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.Congress sources said its leaders will boycott all the functions hosted by Prime Minister Modi for the visiting dignitaries, protesting his alleged ploy to erase the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the architect of India-Africa relations. Congress leaders are angry that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who kick-started the summit by supervising the foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday, didn’t mention Nehru or any other Congress leader in her address. Among the dignitaries, it was left to foreign minister of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who on Tuesday remembered Nehru and called the late leader as one of the founders of South-South cooperation. Congress leaders believe that it was, in fact, the UPA government which started the IAFS in 2008.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders in two Houses of Parliament Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge were invited to the dinner. Sonia Gandhi did not have any invitation though the Congress has extremely close ties with African nations and some of the towering leaders treat Nehru as their idol.Congress sources say it was unfortunate that the names of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi who had made stellar contribution for African de-colonisation and for the ending of apartheid were not mentioned in any of official media releases. Also there is no mention about the “Africa Fund” set up by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 in the ministry of external affairs’.

68 years of Kashmir accession: What actually happened on 27 October, 1947?

It is difficult to imagine the cliffhanging drama that unfolded as Indian troops landed in Kashmir on 27 October 1947. The place was in limbo, the Maharaja having left Srinagar for Jammu in a long convoy at 2 am on the night of 25 October, a few hours after signing the accession.

At the Cabinet meeting on 26 October, Nehru insisted that the accession must have the people’s backing. So, Sheikh Adbullah sent in a quickly scribbled note on behalf of the National Conference. He was sitting in the next room, having brought his family down to Delhi.

A boy cycles past a wall damaged in alleged firing from the Pakistan side of the Kashmir border, at Mawa village, in Samba district, about 58 kilometers south of Jammu, on Saturday, 24 October, 2015. APA boy cycles past a wall damaged in alleged firing from the Pakistan side of the Kashmir border, at Mawa village, in Samba district, about 58 kilometers south of Jammu, on Saturday, 24 October, 2015. AP

A boy cycles past a wall damaged in alleged firing from the Pakistan side of the Kashmir border, at Mawa village, in Samba district, about 58 kilometers south of Jammu, on Saturday, 24 October, 2015. AP

At dusk, companies of the Sikh regiment were scrambled from their Gurgaon billet. On the morning of 27 October, Dakotas flew them to Srinagar. Anxious National Conference leaders were scanning the skies over Rangret airport, their hopes fading, by the time the first plane arrived at 10 am. The heroic Maqbool Sherwani had by then turned the marauding tribesmen towards Shadipura from Shalteng. Chancing upon him as he tried out his new motorcycle, those invaders from Pakistan had asked him for directions.

By afternoon, the tarmac was a broken mess; it had been built only for the Maharaja’s small private plane. By then, the badly-briefed soldiers had killed their first quarry, mistaking four ordinary Kashmiris for invaders while passing Barzula village a couple of kilometres before what was then the edge of the city.

The dramatic events of that day have left a legacy of divergent narratives. Those divergences are a major reason why many Kashmiris and the majority of Indians so often talk past each other. Each seems unreasonable to the other. That of course is a recipe for deadlock and increased resentment.

A common impression among many Kashmiris is that the army’s arrival on this day that year was a temporary measure, meant only to save Kashmiris from the tribesmen. That is one cause for the hartal call in Kashmir today.

In fact, when Maharaja Hari Singh first sought urgent military aid on 24 October, the cabinet had refused to send troops unless the Maharaja acceded, arguing that the Indian Army could only defend Indian territory. This was not Nehru’s idea, or Patel’s, but that of Governor-General Mountbatten (who chaired the Defence Committee of the Cabinet).

That brings one to another strongly held idea in many Kashmiri minds – that the accession itself was temporary. They conclude this by clubbing the accession with the promise of a plebiscite. Most Indians, on the other hand, separate the two. The accession was final, as were the accessions of the other 500 or so potentates.

The real differences are that this one was conditional (only for defence, external relations and communication), and this Maharaja did not follow up with an instrument of merger. That means that the state of Jammu and Kashmir continues to have a legal standing, and cannot be reconstituted into alternative states – as Andhra Pradesh recently was.

The boot is generally on the other foot when it comes to narratives regarding Article 370. Many Indians think this was a temporary provision until a final decision on the state’s future was taken by a separate constituent assembly of the state. Most Kashmiris insist that 370 is a permanent part of India’s constitution, the hinge upon which the state’s relationship with the Union is based.

That brings one to divergent perceptions about the constituent assembly. The state’s constitution clearly states that it is an integral part of India. Union Home Minister GB Pant used that term for the first time in Parliament in 1958, soon after the state’s constitution took effect on 26 January that year. Once the state’s constitution was in place, it (and the assemblies elected under its mandate) dictated how much control the Union would have.

Unfortunately, a demand for integration has been so often bandied about by RSS activists that many Indians now confuse it for just an RSS rant. Indeed, RSS activists tend to confuse it with Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerji’s ek nishan, ek vidhan, ek pradhan campaign of 1952-53.

Mookerji’s campaign was specifically against the New Delhi agreement of 1952, negotiated by committees headed by Maulana Azad on behalf of the Union and Sheikh Abdullah on behalf of the state. And that agreement was in the same bracket as Article 370. It was meant to determine this particularly prickly Centre-state relationship until the state’s constitution was ready.

Ironically, many of the Kashmiris who contest integration and insist that Article 370 is permanent and sacrosanct also hold fast to the state’s separate constitution. Generally, they neither question the rigged elections through which that assembly was constituted, nor the processes through which the proceedings were managed.

Actually, one can go round and round in circles arguing about each of the above points. Finally, all the divergences regarding the permanence or otherwise of what happened that fateful day and subsequently, boil down to a fundamental difference in perspective – whether one wants to interpret all that happened as meant to pave the way for Kashmir’s inclusion in India, or as meant to open doors that might lead to its independence.

(David Devadas, an expert on political and international affairs, is the author of In Search of a Future, the Story of Kashmir)

Rahul Gandhi’s leadership credentials will be challenged: Veteran Congress leader ML Fotedar

Rahul is a reluctant politician like his father Rajiv Gandhi and has his “limitations” as he has not been groomed for the job unlike his father whom Indira Gandhi herself groomed, says veteran Congress leader M L Fotedar in his yet to be released book “The Chinar Leaves”.

A close aide of former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi has come out in the open to question the leadership credentials of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and says it is only a matter of time when it will be challenged within the party along with that of his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.Rahul is a reluctant politician like his father Rajiv Gandhi and has his “limitations” as he has not been groomed for the job unlike his father whom Indira Gandhi herself groomed, says veteran Congress leader M L Fotedar in his yet to be released book “The Chinar Leaves”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fotedar, who rose to become a Union Minister, also makes critical remarks about Sonia saying despite her many virtues, political management is not one of them and her obsession to promote Rahul further created problems in the party.Amid a raging debate on when Rahul would take over the reins of Congress, Fotedar, in the HarperCollins publication, says Rahul had a “certain stubbornness” and his motivation to become a leader was “not very strong”.”Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is unacceptable to the people of this country and Sonia Gandhi has her best years behind her. The party has no one to provide direction. It refuses to learn.”It has made wrong choices while appointing opposition leaders in both Houses of Parliament. It has made wrong choices about how to deal with the challenges in the Assembly elections. In fact, there is nothing right which the party has done or is doing. It saddens me that the Nehru Indira legacy has reached a cul-de-sac,” he said.He goes on to add that “Since Soniaji still is the unchallenged leader of the party, it should be her responsibility to reinvent the party. Blaming Rahul in a way is shifting the blame from the Congress president to someone who has yet to display his leadership skills.”History is threatening to repeat itself. It is a matter of time before Soniaji’s and Rahul’s leadership is challenged from within the party. I will be observing closely how they stand up to this looming challenge, because Sonia is not Indira and Rahul is not Sanjay,” the Congress leader said.On Sonia, the former Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist said she will go down in history as the longest serving Congress president “even if not the most distinguished”.’Fitoor’ ignited passion iFotedar said when Sonia took over as the party chief in 1998, the party was on the verge of disintegration and she helped to rebuild it from a position where its seats had come down to about 116.The veteran Congressman, who is still a CWC member, said the supreme irony is that sixteen years later the party is again on the verge of collapse. “However, this time there is no saviour.”Fotedar’s book also highlights how in contrast to Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul does not possess that kind of experience as his formative years were marred by seclusion owing to security concerns.”Rahul needed more exposure and grinding to become ripe for the top job. Also, there was nobody to tutor or mentor Rahul. Sonia Gandhi is not Indira Gandhi and was herself dependent on so many people for what she should do,” he said, adding that many of those who advised her were as ignorant as her on many issues.”Rahul had a certain stubbornness and his motivation to become a leader was not very strong. People around Soniaji secretly did not wish him to succeed because they realized that if Rahul grew as a leader they would themselves become irrelevant.”The dilemma before Soniaji was that on the one hand she could not do without her coterie while on the other hand she had an overriding desire to see her son succeed in politics,” he said.Fotedar also says there were too many vested interests all around and Sonia was reluctant to accept her responsibility for the decline of the Congress in the war of perceptions.”Soniaji has many virtues but political management is not one of them. What she acquired over time she could not hold on to either because she lacked skills herself or those from whom she sought advice lacked them. The result was that the party started disintegrating.”Her obsession to promote Rahul further created problems, with those close to her and those close to Rahul working at cross purposes. By the time the 2012 Assembly elections took place, the writing was on the wall: the Congress was on its way out in the 2014 parliamentary elections, if it did not take corrective steps,” he said.Fotedar said sycophants around the Congress president tried to create a perception that the increase in the number of seats for the party in previous elections was on account of the active participation of Rahul Gandhi in campaigning and his appeal as a youth icon.”Soniaji allowed this perception to gain ground, thereby denying due credit to Dr Singh. It was abundantly clear that Soniaji had made up her mind to foist Rahul Gandhi on the party and the country and was waiting for the right time.”In my judgement Rahul Gandhi had not been groomed for the job and was totally reluctant to take on the responsibility,” the Congress elder said.Fotedar, who has been sidelined by the party ever since Rajiv Gandhi’s death after he was repeatedly ignored even for a Rajya Sabha berth, said in the book that he did not fit in with the new scheme of things of Sonia as she feared that he was not a sychophant and will not hesitate to tell the truth.”Maybe she had strong apprehensions that I would not approve Rahul’s candidacy for the prime minister’s post largely because of his limitations and mainly because Indiraji had clearly indicated that Priyanka was to be her political heir eventually,” he said.The Congress leader also hit out at his detractors saying he was never going to be part of Sonia’s preferred list of advisers, who, he said, were there due to her patronage rather than for their contributions to party.

Will return Sahitya award if Akademi doesn’t make a clear stand, says noted novelist Anita Desai

The 78-year-old author who received a Sahitya Award in 1978 for her novel “Fire on the Mountain” said she was born in an India that enshrined democracy, pluralism and the freedom of speech in its constitution.

Noted novelist Anita Desai has said she will return her Sahitya Award if the Akademi does not make it clear that it is not a government body but an independent one that exists to defend free speech and the right to question and dissent.Her comments came after at least 34 writers, over the past weeks, handed over their Sahitya Akademi awards in the aftermath of the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and Dadri lynching incident, among other issues.”If it is not able to declare and pursue such a policy, I will be obliged, in solidarity with my fellow writers, to renounce my membership of the Akademi and the award it gave me when I was a young writer in more hopeful times,” Desai said in a statement distributed by PEN International here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 78-year-old author who received a Sahitya Award in 1978 for her novel “Fire on the Mountain” said she was born in an India that enshrined democracy, pluralism and the freedom of speech in its constitution.”I do not recognise India of the present time where, under the banner of ‘Hindutva,’ intimidation and bigotry seek to silence writers, scholars and all who believe in secular and rational thought,” she said.The author said in an atmosphere where there is no security or support for those who voice dissent, criticism or rational thought, there can be no intellectual or artistic work of any worth.”It saddens me that the august body of the Sahitya Akademi has not been able to support and protect writers from the intimidation and violence, verbal and physical, watched publishers withdraw books, universities delete texts from syllabi, distort and manipulate history, and silently witnessed institutions like the National Book Trust, the Nehru Museum and Library, and the University of Nalanda replace distinguished scholars,” Desai said.”At this crucial moment I appeal to the Sahitya Akademi to make clear that it does not represent any government or its policies, but is an independent body that exists to defend free speech and the right to question and dissent, in short what the constitution of the country promised us,” she said.Desai, who was shortlisted three times for the Booker.Prize was in 2007, was elected as a Sahitya Akademi Fellow, one of the highest honour conferred by the literary body on a writer.Recently, writers from 150 countries expressed solidarity with Indian authors and artistes who returned their prestigious awards in protest against “rising intolerance” in the country and have asked the BJP government to provide better protection and safeguard free speech.The president of 1921 founded body PEN International, had earlier in a letter to the President, the Prime Minister and the Sahitya Akedemi, urged them to take “immediate steps” to protect the rights of everyone, including writers and artists.Desai is among many writers including noted writers Nayantar Seghal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Shashi Deshpande and Ganesh Devy who have spoken out against the rising intolerance in the country.

ABVP sweeps DUSU executive committee polls, bags 7 seats

The central panel of the DUSU members was elected in September when ABVP had bagged the four-crucial posts of president, vice-president, secretary and and joint secretary for second consecutive year.

After DUSU elections are held, the university holds polls for the unions’ executive committee.

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BJP-led Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today swept 7 out of 11 seats in the elections for 13th executive committee of Delhi University Student Union. The remaining four positions in the DUSU EC polls were bagged by Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI). “Vineet Bidhuri from PGDAV (Eve) College was elected as the Chief EC. Manish Barthwal from ARSD College, Tushar Yadav from Venkateshwara College, Monika Yadav from Moti Lal Nehru (Eve) College, Vishal Upadhyay from Moti Lal Nehru College, Deepak Rose from Shivaji College and Sanju Khari from Deshbandhu College were elected as Executive Council Members of DUSU,” officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central panel of the DUSU members was elected in September when ABVP had bagged the four-crucial posts of president, vice-president, secretary and and joint secretary for second consecutive year. After DUSU elections are held, the university holds polls for the unions’ executive committee. As per the DUSU Constitution, the committee should have 11 members and not less than two out of these members should be girls. AAP’s Student Wing CYSS, which contested its debut DUSU polls this year and failed to open the account, had not fielded any candidates for the EC elections.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s message still relevant, says Pranab Mukherjee

The President told journalists on board his special flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi last night, “certain messages and principles have relevance for a very very long time

Pranab Mukherjee

Jawaharlal Nehru’s message of peaceful coexistence has eternal relevance and is not “bound in a timeframe,” President Pranab Mukherjee said in remarks coming in the backdrop of questions being raised about the legacy of the country’s first Prime Minister.The President told journalists on board his special flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi last night, “certain messages and principles have relevance for a very very long time. Peaceful coexistence is one such message and it is not to be bound in a timeframe.” He was answering a question on the relevance of Nehru’s ideals, particularly peaceful coexistence, in today’s context.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He had underlined that principles of peaceful coexistence during his discussions with leaders of Jordan, Palestine and Israel during his six-day trip. Mukherjee was also asked about his remarks in Israel that religion should not be the basis of a state with a journalist pointing out that Israel and Pakistan were based on religion.He replied, “I said that religion cannot be the basis of a state. For instance in a large number of Arab countries, Islam is the religion. But on the basis of religion the Arab countries have not converged into one state.”Pakistan was created out of India on the basis of religion in 1947. A large chunk had come out of Pakistan and become an independent sovereign state within 25 years( Bangladesh),” he said, ading that this is the point he had made to Israeli parliamentarians.The President, who was in the region at the time of escalating tensions, was asked why he had not specifically commented on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He had been criticised in Israel for not denouncing “Palestinian terrorism”. He replied, “I know that different countries have different relations. It is not the job of another country to make any comment on that. This is international diplomacy and courtesy.”He pointed out that India had established full fledged diplomatic relations with Israel nearly 23 years ago but continued to maintain its “principled position” with regard to Palestine. The President said that in his discussions with Israeli and Palestinian leaders he had got a sense that both sides wanted to resolve the issues between them

Nehru government snooped on the birth of Netaji’s ‘love child’?

An intercepted letter, from ‘Communist spy’ ACN Nambiar to Bose’s nephew Amiya, shows it even gathered info on how Bose was extending his family tree in the West

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that his government will declassify all files pertaining to Subhas Chandra Bose – starting with Netaji’s 119th birth anniversary on January 23, next year – as he sees “no reason to strangle history”, deeply personal information about Bose is likely to come to light. Especially because the Nehru administration and the British government had snooped on many an aspect of Bose’s life, even after his alleged death and disappearance in 1945. Letters with National Archives, read in conjunction with declassified British intelligence files, show that Nehru administration even snooped on the birth of Bose’s love child.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Among the letters intercepted by the Nehru administration was one written by ACN Nambiar, a London-based journalist considered a ‘communist agent’ by the British and a friend of both Subhas Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. The letter was written to Bose’s nephew, Amiya Nath Bose, a resident of Calcutta (now Kolkata). An Intelligence Bureau memo (number 17262.CP.13) dated September 27, 1947 shows the letter was intercepted at the Elgin Road post office in Calcutta. The letter was detained and sent to Union Home ministry under Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The letter never reached Amiya Bose. The letter, dated August 18, 1947 and written from Zurich, Switzerland by Nambir reads, “I have received a note from a very prominent person in Indian public life, asking me for a verification of a report concerning the matter, apparently supplied by a person returning from Europe. Good deal of the information contained in the report is correct though certain things are likely to render themselves to misinterpretations.” The letter goes on to read, “Reports of the nature appeared also because of restlessness on part of a person to whom I had repeatedly suggested patience and need of greater care in dealing with the matter.” This intercepted letter was shared by the Nehru administration with the British government. The British generated their own intelligence on the matter since they had been deeply suspicious of Nambiar for his association with Soviet Union and Germany. A British Intelligence, MI5, did their background checks and generated their own report on the letter. The memo (No. 22/X.Br/45) dated October 6, 1947 marked ‘Secret’ and titled ‘SC Bose’s daughter’ indicates that the Nehru administration was even gathering information on how Bose was extending his family tree in the West. The British letter reads, “There can be little doubt that CAN Nambiar in his letter to Amiya Bose is referring to the existence of an illegitimate daughter born to Subhas Chandra Bose towards the end of 1942 by the latter’s companion and secretary Emily Schenkel. There were very few people who were aware that Bose had become the father of a child in Germany, but Nambiar was one of them. One may hazard the conjecture that the ‘very prominent person’ referred to by Nambiar is Pandit Nehru, who undoubtedly knows the main facts.” In effect, the British had drawn a conclusion, that Nehru had written to Nambiar seeking confirmation of information he had received about the birth of Bose’s daughter with an Austrian partner. The girl referred to by the British as an ‘illegitimate daughter’ was Anita Schenkel Plaff. Anita, 72, is a German economist and has seldom spoken about her father. But why did Nambiar, a Bose aide, contacted by Nehru to know about Bose’s daughter? In fact, the proximity of Nambiar to Bose was borne out by a telegram intercepted by the British. The telegram sent in April 1945 by Bose to Nambiar reads, “Indian legionaires must in no way fall into Anglo-American hands without a struggle. If possible, the legion is to play in Sovie-Russian hands as there is a possibility that they can be further employed, from Moscow, in India’s fight for freedom.” However, Nambiar was picked up by the British in 1945 after being suspected of being a Communist spy and interrogated for five weeks by an Indian security officer named Naurang Singh Bains. During the interrogation he said, “In September 1934, I had visited Mrs Nehru, hospitalised in Vienna, since Nehru had written to me to look after her. I also met Bose in Vienna, and came to know for the first time about his friendship with Emily Schenkel, the daughter of a Vienna postal inspector.”

A tale of two PMs: If Google is to be believed, Nehru used to look a lot like Modi

Har ghar Modi, ghar ghar Modi, they said.

They were not wrong. He’s on the poster outside your sidewall, the pamphlet inside your newspaper, on your television set, on your radio, on Twitter and Facebook. He even has an app of his own.

You can’t beat that, right?

Not the first Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Screenshot from Google

Not the first Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Screenshot from Google

Wrong. Google ‘India’s first prime minister’. The search engine will provide a small description of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, and the face of the Indian National Congress. The description is accompanied by a photo of none other than current prime minister Narendra Modi. Yes, PM Modi is now truly everywhere.

Since the BJP came into power, many schemes and landmarks named after Congress stalwarts were rechristened, rebranded and served to us with a BJP flavour. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), an urban development scheme, has been rebranded as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), after BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

But this latest instance, which in all likelihood has nothing to do with the PMO, is at a completely different level, and something for Google to quickly address. After all, this is not the first time Google has lost the plot when it comes to Modi. Earlier this year, images of the PM popped up on Google while searching for ‘top 10 criminals in India’, and Google had to apologise.

Between the extremes of what is being referred to as Big Brother-esque information propaganda and a Google fail, this incident can be filed as a classic case of ‘funny’.

Truly ‘Modi’fied.

Jawaharlal Nehru sought US help during 1962 Indo-China war, claims new book

India’s implementation of the Forward Policy served as a major provocation to China in September 1962,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official, wrote the book titled ‘JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War’.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had sought American assistance and wrote to the then US president John F Kennedy to provide India jet fighters to stem the Chinese tide of aggression during the 1962 Sino-India war, according to a new book.The main objective of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, to attack India in 1962 was to “humiliate” Nehru who was emerging as a leader of the third world, it said. “India’s implementation of the Forward Policy served as a major provocation to China in September 1962,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official, wrote the book titled ‘JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mao’s focus was on Nehru, but a defeat of India would also be a setback for two of Mao’s enemies: (Nikita) Khrushchev and Kennedy,” Riedel wrote. As India was losing its territory to China fast and suffering heavy casualty, Nehru in a letter to Kennedy in November 1962 said India needed “air transport and jet fighters to stem the Chinese tide of aggression.” “A lot more effort, both from us and from our friends will be required.”Nehru wrote another letter to Kennedy in quick succession, Riedel writes.This letter written by Nehru in a state of panicky was hand delivered by the then Indian Ambassador to the US B K Nehru to Kennedy on November 19. “Nehru was thus asking Kennedy to join the war against China by partnering in an air war to defeat the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army of China). It was a momentous request that the Indian Prime Minister was making. Just a decade after American forces had reached a cease-fire with the Chinese Community Forces in Korea, India was asking JFK to join a new war against Community China,” Riedel wrote in his book.Ahead of Nehru’s letter, the then US Ambassador to India Galbraith sent a telegram to the White House giving the President an advance notice that such a request was coming from Nehru. In the letter, Nehru asked for 12 squadrons of US air forces, Riedel told the Washington audience during the preview of the book at an event organised by the Brookings Institute a top American think-tank yesterday.”A minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all weather fighters are essential. We have no modern radar cover in the country. The United States Air Force personnel will have to man these fighters and radar installations while our personnel are being trained,” Nehru wrote in the letter, which has been quoted by Riedel in the book. In addition, Nehru also requested “two squadron of B-47 Bombers” to strike in Tibet, the author says quoting the letter.In the letter, Nehru assured Kennedy that these bombers would not be used against Pakistan, but only for “resistance against the Chinese”.The stakes were “not merely the survival of India”, Nehru told Kennedy “but the survival of free and independent Governments in the whole of this subcontinent or in Asia”.

Mumbai: Pak former FM Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri reaches venue for book launch

The book launch will go as scheduled despite the threats we’ve received from the Shiv Sena.

The Shiv Sena has described the launch of Kasuri’s book as an insult to martyred Indian soldiers (Wikimedia Commons)

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Pakistan’s former External Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has reached the venue for the launch of his book ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove’. The book launch will begin shortly.The event was said to take place at 5.30 pm at the Nehru Centre in Mumbai, despite the threats we’ve received from the Shiv Sena.Former BJP ideologue and ORF chief Sudheendra Kulkarni was attacked by the Shiv Sena, hours before the launch of a book of Kasuri in Mumbai.Following the attack, Kulkarni said he had no intention of scrapping the book launch.The Shiv Sena has described the launch of Kasuri’s book as an insult to martyred Indian soldiers, and warned of severe repercussions if the event is not cancelled.

Hindutva activist Himani Savarkar passes away at 68

Himani was associated with the rightist Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha — which was earlier led by Swatatryaveer Savarkar — and radical Abhinav Bharat, whose members have been nabbed by the police for their alleged involvement in the 2008 Malegaon blasts.
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dna Research & Archives
Radical Hindutva activist Himani Savarkar— Nathuram Godse’s niece — passed away in Pune on Sunday evening. Himani (68), who was admitted to the hospital for the last six months, was suffering from cancer and brain tumor. She will be cremated on Monday morning. Himani was the daughter of Nathuram’s brother Gopal, who had also served time in prison for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, and daughter-in-law of freedom fighter “Swatantryaveer” Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s younger brother Narayanrao (aka Balarao), whose son Ashok she was married to. Her maiden name was Asilata Godse.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Himani was associated with the rightist Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha — which was earlier led by Swatatryaveer Savarkar — and radical Abhinav Bharat, whose members have been nabbed by the police for their alleged involvement in the 2008 Malegaon blasts.A former architect, Himani stopped her practice to become the president of the Hindu Mahasabha and was scathing in her criticism of the “minority appeasement” policies of the Congress and pressed for India to be declared as a Hindu rashtra. She had unsuccessfully contested the 2004 assembly elections from the Kasba Peth constituency in Pune as a Hindu Mahasabha candidate and later in 2009 from the Kothrud constituency in the city.In an interview to dna earlier this year, Himani had justified moves to construct temples of her uncle Nathuram by Hindu right wing elements as one based on “personal choice,” and called for the re-writing of history as the present study of the discipline was loaded in favour of the Gandhi-Nehru family with little mention of other freedom fighters.She also called for images of other stalwarts of the freedom struggle like Lokmanya Tilak, Savarkar and Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, who had paid a much heavier price while fighting the British than the Mahatma and Jawaharlal Nehru.

‘Hindutva’ ideology ruining name of Hindus everywhere, says Nayantara Sahgal

Eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal, the niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who returned her ‘Sahitya Akademi’ Award over the Dadri lynching case, said on Wednesday that the rampant ‘Hindutva ideology’ was ruining the name of Hindus in the nation.

(File Photo, image by Ramesh Lalwani) Wikimedia Commons

Eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal, the niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who returned her ‘Sahitya Akademi’ Award over the Dadri lynching case, said on Wednesday that the rampant ‘Hindutva ideology’ was ruining the name of Hindus in the nation.”The prevailing situation of the country is very pathetic. The Hindutva ideology which is going on in the country right now is ruining the name of the Hindus and as a Hindu myself, I am very hurt,” Sahgal said.A day ago Sehgal returned the Sahitya Akademi award in protest against increasing intolerance towards right to dissent in the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on the “reign of terror”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sahgal, who received a Sahitya Akademi award in 1986 for her English novel ‘Rich Like Us (1985)’, said, “The ruling ideology today is a fascist ideology and that is what is worrying me now. We did not have a fascist government until now… I am doing whatever I believe in.”Citing various incidents of killings of writers and rationalists including M M Kalburgi and Govind Pansare, she alleged, “Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle are being marginalised, persecuted, or murdered.”Sahgal told PTI that “Modi is a politician who knows how to speak. He has given long speeches. On twitter and other social media he is vocal. He should be responsible for (what is happening) in the country.”The author further added that under Modi’s government, “India is going backwards. It is rejecting our great idea of cultural diversity and debate and it is narrowing down to an invention called Hindutva.”

Dadri lynching: Author Nayantara Sahgal questions PM Modi’s ‘silence’, returns Sahitya Akademi award

Rational step: Author of 18 books gives up the award in protest against dissent in the country

Nayantara Sehgal also criticised Sahitya Akademi office-bearers for remaining silent

Author and political commentator Nayantara Sahgal, 88, returned her Sahitya Akademi Award on Tuesday, protesting against muzzling of dissent in the country and silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the country’s highest literary body, at what she believed, the threat to the cultural diversity in the country.”In memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty, I am returning my Sahitya Akademi Award,” she said. A member of Nehru family, Sahgal was awarded prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986 for her political and historical fiction ‘Rick Like Us’, related to the fate of two upper-class females encompassing political corruption, emergency, colonialism and status of women. She the second of the three daughters born to Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva – whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle – are being marginalised, persecuted, or murdered,” she said in a written statement. She said in all these cases justice has dragged its feet and the Prime Minister has remained silent about this reign of terror. “We must assume he dare not alienate evil-doers who support his ideology,” she added.Author of 18 books, Sahgal has been critical of her cousin late prime minister Indira Gandhi for her authoritarian style of governance and imposition of emergency. Sahgal said she was at pains to learn that vice-president, Dr Hamid Ansari in a lecture recently had to remind us that India’s Constitution promises all Indians “liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.” In her letter to Akademi, she said the right to dissent is an integral part of this Constitutional guarantee. “He (Ansari) found it necessary to do so because India’s culture of diversity and debate is now under vicious assault,” she said.”Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva – whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle – are being marginalised, persecuted, or murdered,” she said.She also criticised Sahitya Akademi office bearer also for remaining silent. “It is a matter of sorrow that the Sahitya Akademi remains silent. The Akademis were set up as guardians of the creative imagination, and promoters of its finest products in art and literature, music and theatre,” she added. Earlier a Hindi writer, Uday Prakash, had also returned his Sahitya Akademi Award. “In memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty, I am returning my Sahitya Akademi Award,” she concluded.

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma gets pulled up by BJP, asked to calm down

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.Mahesh Sharma had made several contentious statements. He seemed on a warpath to cleanse Indian society of ‘western cultural pollution’, called APJ Abdul Kalam a nationalist and humanist ‘despite being a Muslim’, said a meat ban during Navaratri would be a political decision, and appeared to indicate that women should not go out at night as per the norms of Indian culture.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mahesh Sharma had tried to deny his statement on women, claiming that he had not suggested any restrictions on women and night-outs, stating that his daughter was a doctor and often worked late. “It is not my intention to differentiate between sons and daughters,” he told TV channels. On the Kalam controversy, Mahesh Sharma claimed, “One or half a line has been picked up. I was asked whether all roads names after Muslims were being changed and I said there is no such intention. If a road is being named after Dr Kalam, he was a Muslim, a nationalist and a humanitarian.” Sharma had also stated that the Bible and Quran were ‘specific to certain religions’ while the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana should be taught in schools. Though Sharma retracted some of his remarks and claimed others had been taken out of context, the BJP and RSS felt the minister had ‘exceeded his brief’ and given the impression that it was the official line of the establishment – says the daily. There was also concern – following an Opposition backlash – that Sharma’s belligerence meant the RSS was covertly running the government.BJP sources told the daily said it has been emphatically conveyed to Sharma that his comments are unnecessary, that he has exceeded his brief as culture minister and has been advised to stay out of adverse limelight. The minister also launched a public campaign against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to appoint the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 48 hours before demitting office. However, this is not seen as being controversial.

Despite Modi’s pitch, India’s permanent UNSC membership will only be possible in 2020-25

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did well to make a strong pitch for a permanent seat for India in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but he should know that at the global level, it is real power that matters. His pitch is fine, but he will reach his goal only by demonstrating real power. And in the 21st century, power boils down essentially to economic power. Mere population size is not good enough to ensure a seat at the high table (excluding powerless talk shops like the G-20 or G-8).

So here’s my prediction: India will get its permanent seat on the UNSC somewhere between 2020 and 2025 — the earlier date if we grow at rates above 8 percent on an average, and the latter date if we grow slower (which seems likely). So if Modi were to get a second term in 2019, he might well be there to celebrate India’s final arrival at the global power table.

It is, of course, true that the current permanent membership of the UNSC — the US, Russia, France, UK and China — represents the power structure as it existed at the end of the Second World War. In fact, power was actually divided up based on which side you were on, and not necessarily economic power. The Permanent Five of the UNSC were the victors in the war, and they initially included the puny Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China and excluded the Communist-overrun mainland China which had a superior claim to representing the nation. The defeated nations were specifically excluded from this power structure. India, then an un-free country, was excluded because Britain was its then ruler.

PM Modi during his UN speech. PTI

PM Modi during his UN speech. PTI

One myth about Jawaharlal Nehru throwing away India’s chance for a permanent seat needs to understood in its full nuance (read this paper here). It is being argued that Nehru declined the US’s offer to replace China with India on the UNSC in 1950, but the rejection was not entirely without reason. While Nehru clearly was a poor student of realpolitik — as was later demonstrated in how he lost the China War of 1962 — his policy should also be seen as an extension of his efforts to stay equidistant from the two superpowers in the emerging Cold War. Moreover, there was also his genuine belief that replacing China in the UNSC would have made it a permanent enemy of India.

That Nehru was wrong on both counts stands proven today by the continued underlying hostility of China towards Indian interests, but that would be hindsight. It would, however, not be fair to presume that he willingly compromised India’s interests on the altar of pure morality. The truth is India in the 1950s got feelers from both the US, and the then USSR for permanent membership of the UNSC, but we were simply not powerful enough to deserve the seat on the basis of genuine military or economic power. We had only moral clout, and it was not enough.

That is changing now, but not fast enough. In a post-Cold War world, which is rapidly slipping again into local hot wars, including proxy wars that were characteristic of the Cold War period, the power balance is changing again with China replacing Russia as the pole opposite the US.

In this new structure, if India has to stake a claim to permanent membership, it has to singlemindedly focus on economic growth, with concomitant military might.

As things stand today, India is a middling power economically, with a national GDP of around $2 trillion. All the current permanent members of the UNSC, barring Russia, are bigger than India economically, with the US at $17.4 trillion, China at $10.3 trillion, the UK at $2.9 trillion, and France at $2.8 trillion (all figures from the World Bank for 2014). After the breakup of the USSR, the rump Russian Federation has fallen below India at $1.8 trillion. It is the only one deserving of replacement right now, but that won’t happen for Russia is a nuclear power.

On the other hand, three big global players — Germany, Japan and Brazil — with economies bigger than India’s at $3.8 trillion, $4.6 trillion, and $2.3 trillion respectively, have an even better claim than India to be permanent members. Logically, Germany and Japan should have been in the UNSC even earlier, but they were the defeated powers in World War II. Later, when Germany and Japan rose again as peaceful nations, China’s opposition to Japan stymied their entry. India’s entry now will face a similar Chinese blackball as long as India remains an emerging power, struggling with a weak currency and a $2 trillion economy.

The unstated threshold for entry will thus be $4 to 5 trillion. Getting there will take India around 10 years at the current 7 to 8 percent potential annual growth rate, which is what looks feasible at this point of time, given internal quarrels over economic reforms. India will become a $3 trillion economy in five years, and a $4 to 4.5 trillion economy in 10. That means the world will be unable to deny an entry to us somewhere between 2020 and 2025.

The reason for this is simple: While it is technically possible for India’s enemies to keep us out now and even in the future (any one of the Permanent Five can keep us out by wielding the veto), when we are a $4-5 trillion economy, Germany and Japan are $5-6 trillion and Brazil around $3.5-4 trillion, the group can force a decision as it will collectively be bigger than the US or China right now in terms of economic clout. A $18-20 trillion bloc will get its way.

Just as a $10 trillion Chinese economy can create its own global lending bank to rival the World Bank, as a $4-5 trillion economy, India along with today’s midi powers will be in a position to demand its rights or threaten to create its own rival power structure. This is why China would like to slow us down by constantly getting Pakistan to trip us up. and Pakistani terrorism aimed at India has China’s tacit support for the same reason.

Funny as this may sound, the fact is India’s entry into the UNSC depends on overturning the results of the Second World War. It is only when the former Axis powers — Germany and Japan — grow to rival the current Big Two of the UNSC in terms of economic power that India can get permanent membership.

Netaji may have backed the wrong horses in the last global war, but history has a weird way of proving him right.

Make me a Union minister instead: Here’s why Subramanian Swamy will not be the next VC of JNU

The post of Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor is not one that Subramanian Swamy wishes to hold. He wants to remain in active politics and be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, if possible.

This is the fifth time he has declined a government post offered to him in the past year, but there is a difference this time round. The other posts were offered quietly, as is the norm with any top appointment, and Swamy quietly declined them. But this time since it involved JNU, a premier Left-oriented Central university, the “leak” of news that Swamy — a known proponent of Hindutva — was being considered as the next VC was bound to create a storm.

The offer, if it actually fructifies, couldn’t be more ironic. Swamy’s views on Jawaharlal Nehru are too well known. He does not consider Nehru a nationalist, and occasionally uses even stronger words to denounce Nehru and his legacy. One does not have to be an astrologer or a meteorologist to say that Swamy heading a university founded in Nehru’s name is a certain recipe for an onset of days full of hail and storm.

Subramanian Swamy. IBN Live.

Subramanian Swamy. IBN Live.

Swamy, it seems is enjoying the attention, and with a series of tweets, has kept the debate going: “Media is on fire that I have been offered the JNU VC post. No formal offer nor will there be if the Govt cannot meet my preconditions.” In another tweet he said, “PTs are overwhelmingly against my accepting JNU VC post. No question of my considering unless allowed to rusticate anti-national students.” In his latest tweet he said “I think JNU needs an Anti Narcotics Bureau campus branch office to raid dorms and arrest naxals, Jehadis and Elis. BSF camp also”.

Swamy said to Firstpost, “My mind is focused. I will be in politics. If they have to give me something then they could offer me a ministerial berth in the Union Cabinet.”

Swamy had earlier stated that in the days before the 2014 Parliamentary Election, he had been promised the finance minister’s job by someone at the top, but after the election, the same person told him that as a result of certain compulsions, he could no longer have the post. Then came an offer for the post of governor, which he refused because he didn’t want to go into ‘retirement mode’. This was followed by the offer of an ambassadorial post in the US or some Western country. A UN posting was also offered, after which the job of BRICS Bank chairman was also offered to him. He didn’t take that one either.

The post of JNU VC is the latest in the long list of offers, and he has once again said no. Sources close to him say that he suspects that some members of the BJP — a senior minister in particular — wants him to be pushed out of political horizon. Swamy on his part is in no mood to oblige them.

The leadership is not offering him what he actually wants for two reasons: First, who will tame his fiercely independent streak and tendency to speak his heart irrespective of the political consequences it might have? Second, Swamy is now 76, a year older than the RSS’ prescribed age for holding such posts. Yashwant Sinha had famously described 75-plus as “brain dead” in the party.

The JNU VC’s offer came to him through some well placed “well-wishers” and they cited various reasons why his services were required there, sources said. Those who made the offer to him said that they had suspected that he (Swamy) would say “no” to them, but they were still conveying the message.

Swamy in turn, told the “well wishers” that he wouldn’t accept the offer and if he did he would do it only if his conditions were met. Swamy was well aware that these were near-impossible conditions which could never be granted, so the offer was as good as dead. But the arguments made by Swamy apart from what he has tweeted, are interesting.

Sources said he told them if he takes over, he would expel hundreds of naxals and LTTE sympathisers from the campus, and take such other measures that would create an uproar in Parliament. To defend his actions, he would need to be in Parliament and thus would need to be made an MP. But if he becomes an MP, he can’t be a VC.

If he becomes a VC, a joint secretary from the HRD Ministry would often bother him with certain orders, and since he has been a Union minister it would be beneath his dignity to take orders from a joint secretary. So if at all, he had to become a VC, the government first needs to upgrade his position to Cabinet status.

And finally, if he has to be given the status of a Cabinet minister, why would he need to become a VC and not a minister in the Union government?

It’s safe to say the JNU VC offer is as good as dead.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to be next vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University?

It is learnt that HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to Swamy about the offer. However, there was no official communication from the Ministry.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

HRD Ministry is believed to have offered the post of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice chancellor to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, but he has put some conditions before accepting the coveted post.It is learnt that HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to Swamy about the offer. However, there was no official communication from the Ministry.It also remained unclear what riders the BJP leader has placed before the Ministry for accepting the offer.Interestingly, the development comes even before the Union Ministry is to finalise the search-cum-selection committee for selecting the new VC. The current VC S K Sopory is set to retire in January next year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the rules, a panel of names selected by the committee is sent to the President ( who is Visitor of the central varsities) by the HRD Ministry before the announcement of the new VC. The advertisements for inviting applications from the interested candidates for appointment of the new VC was given in August this year.

FTII row: Arundhati Roy says ‘situation way beyond facism’, claims nation under threat

As the impasse over FTII issue entered the 100th day, award winning writer Arundhati Roy today came out in support of the agitating students and said the nation was facing a “collective assault on its IQ” and the situation was way beyond fascism.

Arundhati Roy

AFP photo
As the impasse over FTII issue entered the 100th day, award winning writer Arundhati Roy today came out in support of the agitating students and said the nation was facing a “collective assault on its IQ” and the situation was way beyond fascism.Referring to the protesting students, Roy said,”These kids are the last people standing.””We are facing a collective assault on the IQ of this country and this is a part of dismantling our collective intelligence,” Roy told reporters at the protest venue in Jantar Mantar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talking about the FTII row, Roy said sometimes she heard that government is trying to find a solution which also gives them a face-saver. “The situation is quite serious,” she said.”When you will dismantle universities like this. When you will overhaul syllabus, when….non scholarly atmosphere will be created where anybody can do anything…. clean ICU’s with cow urine, then it is very dangerous,” she said.Earlier, while addressing the protesting students, Roy said that comments were being made that Ganesha indicates that plastic surgery was initiated in India, or cow urine to clean hospitals and that Culture minister is talking about things like “cultural pollution”.Institutions like FTII and Nehru Memorial are under attack, she added. “The situation is way beyond fascism,” Roy said.In an apparent dig at actor Gajendra Chauhan, who portrayed ‘Yudhidhthir’ in tele-serial Mahabharat and whose appointment as FTII chief triggered the protests, Roy said mythological characters are being chosen to head film schools.Speaking to students, who took out a protest march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar here, Roy said that she had been asked why she had come there.”I am saying that these kids are the last people standing. They are standing up because we are really suffering an assault on the collective IQ of this nation,” Roy said.Meanwhile, in a statement released in Pune, the FTII students said that in a show of solidarity, they were joined by students from Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Ambedkar University, IP University, School of Open Learning, organisations like Disha Students Organisation, New Socialist Initiative, AISA, SFI, KYS, IPTA, People’s Artists Association, Anhad and others in their march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.

Centre serious on mystery of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s disappearance: BJP

On a day when West Bengal government declassified 64 secret files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, BJP today said the Centre too is serious on the issue of the nationalist leader’s mysterious disappearance 70 years ago and asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to play politics over it.

Subhas Chandra Bose

Getty Images
On a day when West Bengal government declassified 64 secret files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, BJP today said the Centre too is serious on the issue of the nationalist leader’s mysterious disappearance 70 years ago and asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to play politics over it.”No other Prime Minister has been so pro-active as Narendra Modi on the issue. He has met the Bose family members and formed a committee to examine the whole complexity of the issue. We are confident that he will do whatever is required to be done on the matter,” BJP national spokesperson MJ Akbar told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We would urge the state government not to play politics on this issue. The files that the state have declassified may not have international implications. But the files that are with the Centre have implications on relations with foreign countries,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told the news agency.”Modi government is serious that the truth about Netaji’s disappearance should come out and that is why the Prime Minister has formed a committee,” he said.All India forward Bloc (AIFB), a party which was formed by Netaji himself, welcomed the declassification of files and demanded that the Centre follow suit and make public 135 files lying with it.”The argument of the Union government that if the files with it related to Netaji were released, the country’s relation with some foreign nations may be affected adversely has no logic,” AIFB general secretary Debabrata Biswas said.CPI(M) sniffed a hand in glove approach by TMC and BJP on the issue of declassification of files on Netaji. “The TMC and BJP are hand in gloves on this issue of declassification of files. BJP wants to bring down Nehru-Gandhi family. We too had our share of differences with Nehru. BJP is now trying to test the waters before taking the decision to declassify files that are lying with the Centre,” CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim said. “She (Mamata Banerjee) should understand the difference between the 64 files that the state government has declassified and the ones in the Centre’s custody. The basic difference is that the files held by the state mostly relate to snooping done by Congress governments on the Netaji’s family members in Kolkata whereas the Centre has to deal with four foreign countries.”The Centre has initiated the process by forming a committee in April 2015. Modi has met Netaji’s family members in Germany and India. Last week also the PMO asked them for a meeting. BJP has a long standing of fulfilling its promises…We do not need lessons from Mamata ji or anyone,” Siddharth Nath Singh said. Asked about the issue, BJP Spokesperson M J Akbar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would take a final call on the issue.

Postage controversy: Govt says Gandhi family can’t get all the honour

Do the Congress people want to see the country through only one lens?, he asked.

File Photo
A controversy erupted on Wednesday over the decision to discontinue postage stamps of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi with the government saying only one family can not get this honour, even as the Congress termed the move as “insult to the history” and demanded an apology. Defending the move, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said that an advisory committee has suggested to replace the picture of Indira Gandhi with that of Yoga on inland letters, but no final decision has been taken as yet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prasad said a decision has been taken on advice of the Philatelic Advisory Committee to issue definitive series of stamps in the honour of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, Shivaji, Maulana Azad, Bhagat Singh, JP Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Vivekananda and Maharana Pratap. “In the definitive stamp series, the focus was (so far) on one family… though other names were there. Mahatma Gandhi was there, Maulana Azad was there. Dr Ambedkar was there. Dr Bhabha was there,” he said.The Minister said the new series is “inclusive” and seeks to encapsule the contribution of all the leading lights of the freedom movement including Jawaharlal Nehru. Defending the decision to drop stamps on former Prime Ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi stamps, Prasad said the government believes that whoever has contributed in making of India, irrespective of the ideology, should be honoured and postage stamp is a symbol of that honour. “We feel that this right should not belong to only one family,” he added.Reacting sharply, Congress said the decision shows a “very narrow mindset” and demanded an apology from the government. “We condemn the approach and attitude of this Government towards Gandhis who have sacrificed a lot for the nation. It is an insult to history”, Congress party’s senior spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters here.Prasad, on his part said, “We have been most liberal and understanding in giving due recognition to people of different ideology and approaches. All of them (who figure in the new series) have contributed in a very significant way to make modern India. He further said four commemorative stamps have been issued so far in memory of Indira Gandhi, two in the name of Rajiv Gandhi and seven times on Nehru.”We need to ponder why so many commemorative stamps have been issued in memory of members of one family,” he added.On definitive series stamps, Prasad said till now Nehru has figured eight times and he is still there. The definitive stamps are being issued on Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi since 2008. “Congress party has been in power for so many years, but Maulana Azad has not figured in definitive stamp till date. I would like to ask Congress if Maulana Azad did not deserve to be included in definitive stamp…Dr Rajendra Prasad, Swami Vivekananda…Sardar Patel figured once in 2001 than disappeared,” Prasad said. “Congress party is making issue out of it, so we want to officially clarify. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi says ‘sabka saath sab ka vikas’ it means who all have contributed for the country, whatever their ideology was, we will honour all and not only one family,” he added.Postal stamps will be also be issued in Rabindranath Tagore, Mohd Rafi, Hemanta Kumar, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Rabindranath Tagore, and renowned artists, like Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt Ravi Shankar, M S Subbulakshmi. Stamps will also be issued in memory to freedom fighters like Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he said. “This shows the diversity of the country…Why Congress is worried. Have we removed Jawaharlal Nehru. Do the Congress people want to see the country through only one lens. We don’t want to see this. This is the fundamental difference. Congress should tell, was Sardar Patel not of Congress, was Maulana Azad not of Congress, Nehru is there. Dr B R Ambedkar is there. We have also added Yoga,” Prasad said.He said the government wants to depict the diversity of the country on postal stamps. He also added the decision is not caste in stone and would be reviewed periodically.

As you debate OROP, think about Lance Naik Goswami, the martyr who killed 10 insurgents in 11 days

By Bikram Vohra

Till yesterday I had no idea who Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami was. Then I read about the fact that this commando killed 10 insurgents in 11 days and then laid down his life when a bullet with his name on it found him.

He was killed in Kupwara district when Indian Special Forces in Kashmir exchanged heavy fire in the Hafruda forests.
And all I want to know is what is his family getting as compensation for his valour and how soon. Not that it’s any great solace to her right now, but just when will his widow, Bhavna, now in a Haldwani (UP) hospital out of shock, find the money flowing into her back account? That’s a question nobody is asking and nobody answering in all the heat and dust over the historic OROP declaration last Sunday.

For a moment when you want to critique your armed forces think of Lance Naik Goswami . Forget the furore over whether the Nehru Memorial Library and Museum is a dynastic monument.

Lance Naik Goswami.Lance Naik Goswami.

Lance Naik Goswami.

Ignore the 11-day riot over a high society murder.

Snub that union minister who nattered on for no reason at all.

Pay attention to the real Indian.

This is the sort of gallantry that makes it worthwhile to take that OROP deal and hand it on a silver platter to these glorious men and women of our armed forces. All 1.2 billion people should stand up and salute him…they make movies about people like this.

That’s your soldier. Guts and Glory.

How many of our men went out and scored 10 hits in that many days and then went out again?
Imagine the mayhem those 10 terrorists could have engineered if it wasn’t for this man. How many hundreds of lives have been saved by this incredible man?

So, as Mark Anthony said, who will do him reverence?

Where is our Defence Ministry and what are they offering as gratitude?

I have not seen any talk show lauding him. Nothing about his funeral. Give him the country’s highest award for valour now… once his commanding officer has confirmed the heroism there is no need to wait.

Lance Naik Goswami with his family.Lance Naik Goswami with his family.

Lance Naik Goswami with his family.

Announce the ex gratia payment and ensure the nation that Lance Naik Goswami is the man of the hour.

Look into the eyes of his widow Bhavna and Bhumika, their seven-year-old daughter (in the accompanying file picture with Lance Naik Goswami). And ask only one question:

When will his widow get her revised OROP pension? No more, no less.

Modi govt’s plans to revamp Nehru Museum, Congres labels move as ‘anti-national exercise’

Work of current government will be included as part of introducing components relating to modern India.

BJP are playing a diabolical game of rewriting and misappropriating our rich and proud heritage of struggle for Independence (File Photo)

PTI
The government will undertake a major overhaul of 39 institutions including the Gandhi Smriti and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library to introduce modern Indian component, including works of the Modi dispensation, a move termed as “diabolical” by Congress which it will oppose. The revamp, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said, will introduce a contemporary component in these entities to make them more purposeful. “We are planning to revamp 39 organisations including Gandhi Smriti, Lalit Kala Akademi and NMML under us to ensure their smooth functioning and make them more purposeful,” Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked what changes would be undertaken as part of the revamp, he said, “Apart from ensuring that these institutions carry on with the purpose they were established for, we will also present modern India”. On whether there will be inclusion of the work of current government as part of introducing components relating to modern India, he said,”obviously”, but did not give any details.Congress reacted sharply to the proposed plan for overhaul of important institutions like the Gandhi Smriti and Nehru Museum, calling it “diabolical” and accused the government of “subverting and diluting” their essential spirit and character. “Devoid of any legacy that comprises of the building of our nation, the RSS and the BJP are playing a diabolical game of rewriting and misappropriating our rich and proud heritage of struggle for Independence,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in a strongly worded statement.He noted that the NMML stands testimony to and symbolizes the country’s struggle against colonial rule as also India’s evolution as a sovereign, democratic and secular nation in the years following Independence. “Any attempt by the BJP, the RSS and Narendra Modi to diminish and downplay the legacy of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India and one of the greatest sons of the country, is not going to hold water with the people of our country,” he said.Sharma, however, trashed the Congress’ charge and said “There is no plan to undermine Nehru or his thoughts. For the Nehru Memorial, we have plans for renovating the building, auditorium and library. We also want to increase the footfall at this place. More research scholars should be able to use the facility.”Asked whether the names of these institutions will be changed as part of the revamp, he said,”No such proposal is under consideration”.Surjewala said the “lame alibi” behind the proposal for revamping these institutions to make them “contemporary and relevant” to present times was self-contradictory. “Museums are supposed to be about the past and history and not showcases for publicising the ruling dispensation,” he said.Noting that the Nehru Museum has emerged as a centre of excellence in showcasing India’s immediate history preceding Independence, he said attempts by “self-serving individuals and organisations to subvert its character are nothing but anti-national exercises”.”The Indian National Congress, as indeed the people of this country, will oppose such moves tooth and nail,” he said.

JNTUH 1st year R13 results released | Check jnturesults.in for regular and supply results [R13, R09, R07]

The examination board of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University has announced the results of B.Tech First Year Regular and Supply.

The examination board of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University has announced the results of B.Tech First Year Regular and Supply.The University had conducted the B.Tech 1st year exams to the regular as well as supplementary students in the month of May for all R13, R09 and R07 batches.Stuents can check their results at jnturesults.inStudents will need to Search for the First year results link and fill ill register number and personal information like date of birth.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students can take a printout of your results for future reference.Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (JNTU Hyderabad) is a university, focusing on engineering, located in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Founded in 1965 as the Nagarjuna Sagar Engineering College, it was established as a university in 1972 by The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Act, 1972, also combining colleges in Kakinada and Anantapur.

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