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Separatist leader Asiya Andrabi takes on RSS, opposes new year celebrations in Gulmarg

“On one hand our youth are laying down their lives for Islam and on the other hand these shameless programmes are being held. We should not play a part in these plans of the RSS otherwise on the day of judgement the martyrs will question us before Allah and we will not be able to face the Prophet,” she said.

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‘What’s use of talks, if Pakistan artists not allowed to perform?’ asks Sitaram Yechury

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DDCA scam: RSS unhappy with way BJP dealt with Kirti Azad vs Arun Jaitley row

The RSS is not happy with the way the BJP government handled the DDCA row where Kirti Azad targeted Arun Jaitley, says an India Today report. Citing sources, the report says that RSS is unhappy with Azad’s suspension over the matter and believes the government should not have dealt with the issue in such a haste.According to the source, RSS has said that the move to suspend Kirti Azad was a big political mistake on the part of BJP as the issue will give impetus to the Aam Aadmi Party which is gunning against the Centre and Jaitley over the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kirti Azad who was supposed to meet BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha will not meet them but instead will write to BJP President Amit Shah about the issue

DDCA row: Kirti Azad threatens to make ‘more revelations’, push party veterans to weigh in on Jaitley

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RSS’s Muslim body to launch education trust

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According to the Rajinder Sachar committee report, the share of Muslims in government services is just 4.4%.

Only 2.2% of Maharashtra Muslims complete education till graduation.

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The RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) is planning to push the cause of education among Muslims by launching a trust to undertake educational and social activities. The trust will start educational institutions and ensure that Muslim students benefit from scholarships. The ‘Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Memorial Trust,’ will be named after freedom fighter and revolutionary Ashfaque Ullah Khan, who was sentenced to death with his close friend Pandit Ramprasad Bismil by the British in the 1925 Kakori conspiracy case. Like Bismil, who is known for his patriotic poem “Sarfaroshi ki Tammanna Ab Hamare Dil Mein Hai,” Khan too was an Urdu poet, and prominent member of the Hindustan Republican Association.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The MRM is the only niche organisation in the Sangh Parivar for Muslims. “We will ensure that minority community students get scholarships, launch computer training and e-learning centres and start schools… and even management and architecture colleges,” the trust’s president Latif Magdum told dna. The trust will be formally inaugurated in Pune on December 21 by senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar, who is the MRM’s chief patron, and the trust’s chief advisor. Ashfaq Ullah Khan, who shares his name with that of revolutionary poet-grandfather is also scheduled to attend along with former vice-chancellors SN Navalgundkar and SN Pathan. “Only MRM members can be members of the general body,” said Magdum, who has been associated with Pune’s Azam Campus as the secretary for around 30 decades. Magdum, a senior MRM functionary, was among those, who were invited for the swearing in of Narendra Modi as the prime minister last year. The trust will have Chhattisgarh Wakf Board chairman Muhammed Salim Ashrafi as the vice-president, Dr Tahir Hussain as the secretary, Abbas Ali Bohra as the treasurer, Dr Zakir Hussain and Jharkhand minority commission chairman Shahid Akhtar as joint secretaries. “As part of our social activities we will seek to bring the community into the national mainstream and organise programmes like Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations and commemorate 1857’s great war of Independence… and help those who are needy,” said Magdum, adding that the trust would start educational institutions with minority status. The trust also plans to construct a memorial of the revolutionary after whom it is named, in Delhi and state capitals, he added. In a bid to deepen its outreach among Muslims the MRM was established in 2002 at the behest of then RSS chief KS Sudarshan. It was initially called “Rashtravadi Muslim Andolan-Ek Nayi Raah” and re-christened the MRM in 2005. Muslims form around 10.6% of Maharashtra’s 11.23 crore population. However, only 2.2% of the community has completed education till graduation and the proportion is at a lower 1.4% for women. According to the Rajinder Sachar committee report, the share of Muslims in government services is just 4.4%. The community also suffers from regressive social practices like oral, triple talaq and low literacy and work participation of women. In September 2014, the body had held its first programme in Mumbai where Kumar, who was questioned by the CBI in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts at Hyderabad, addressed participants while making a strong pitch against cow slaughter and on the common ancestry between Hindus and Muslims.

RSS’ work cannot be understood from outside: Mohan Bhagwat

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said it was impossible for the outsiders to “understand” the organisation’s work.

File Photo
PTI
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said it was impossible for the outsiders to “understand” the organisation’s work.Speaking at a function to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the late Tryambak Patrikar, popularly known as ‘Patrikar master’, in Nagpur, Bhagwat said, “Work of RSS is a continuous process and no one can understand it from outside. For understanding its functioning, listening to lectures or reading resolutions is not enough.””Continuous efforts with selfless service and character building are our characteristics,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rather than only celebrating the birth or death anniversaries of great personalities, one must follow in their footsteps, Bhagwat added. Recalling his association with Patrikar, a veteran Sangh leader, Bhagwat said it was Patrikar who introduced him to the RSS.

Mohan Bhagwat changes stand, says RSS not in favour of scrapping reservations

Bhagwat, however, stressed on the need to end the discrimination and reject traditions that were redundant.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
Arijit Sen
dna
Making a complete U-turn from his previous statement that the quota system needed a review, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has said reservation should continue in the country as long as there was social discrimination and asserted that the Sangh was not in favour of scrapping it. “RSS is of the firm opinion that there is no question of scrapping the reservation system. Reservation in the country should continue as long as social discrimination prevails in the Indian society,” Bhagwat said while delivering a lecture on ‘social assimilation’ in Nagpur on Wednesday evening.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Incidentally, Bhagwat’s earlier remarks on seeking review of the reservation policy just before the Bihar Assembly polls had stirred a controversy, with many seeing it as one of the main reasons for BJP’s debacle in the state elections.On ‘social assimilation’, the RSS chief said the beginning should be from self and extended to the immediate family, extended family and the society. “This should be done by respecting the diversity in the society, but following the values and philosophy behind the spirit of Hinduism,” he said.Related Read: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat pitches for review of reservation policyElaborating the concept of ‘social harmony and integrity’, Bhagwat said, “No religion, sect, social reformer or saint supported discrimination between human beings. Equality has been the essence at the origin of every sect, which was later divided into castes and sects by us. Discrimination also was born out of behaviour of the people.”Bhagwat, however, stressed on the need to end the discrimination and reject traditions that were redundant.”In the name of tradition, this discrimination should not be allowed to continue further. The feelings of those who have suffered for thousands of years, must be understood. Some sections of the society tolerated the discrimination and injustice for a long period,” he opined.”Now, we should also learn to understand and tolerate for some years and bring about the desired change by our own behaviour. Traditions should be tested on modern scientific parameters, and those which fail the tests must be rejected,” he further said.Unfortunately, these traditions have not been tested for thousands of years and are being followed blindly, because of which the values have deteriorated, Bhagwat said.He also spoke about the thoughts of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on social discrimination and equality and appealed to the people to study it in depth and understand his teachings.

Reservation needed as long as social discrimination exists: Mohan Bhagwat

The Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh chief’s remarks on quota in a recent interview had drawn criticism and the grand alliance of parties led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had used his remarks to rally around the backward castes.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who had recently come in for criticism for his reported suggestion for a review of the reservation policy, on Wednesday batted for quota saying it is needed as long as social discrimination remains in society.The RSS Twitter handle tweeted Bhagwat as saying:The Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh chief’s remarks on quota in a recent interview had drawn criticism and the grand alliance of parties led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had used his remarks to rally around the backward castes.Quoting Bhagwat as saying at an event today, an RSS spokesperson said he observed that only when discrimination is completely removed from the society then reservation can be stopped but it has to be conveyed by those who have been the victims of social discrimination.After its massive defeat in Bihar, some Bihar BJP leaders had said that Bhagwat’s remarks were used by rival parties to polarise the poor sections of the society in their favour. However, RSS had clarified that Bhagwat was quoted out of context and the Hindutva organisation is in support of reservation.

Pro-ISIS slogan at Rajasthan rally: BJP hits out at Congress

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress had uttered no word on the controversy although he expected the opposition party to make “maximum noise” as it had been raising the issue of intolerance.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

The BJP on Monday charged Congress workers with participating in a rally where protesters allegedly shouted pro-ISIS slogans in Rajasthan and sought to corner the party saying that the “champions of secularism” were silent over the issue.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress had uttered no word on the controversy although he expected the opposition party to make “maximum noise” as it had been raising the issue of intolerance. “Slogans against RSS and in support of ISIS were made. But these political champions of secularism spoke no word.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They were silent. We thought they would demand sedition charges against people involved in this… “In fact, some were seen protecting the Congress leaders involved in this rally,” Naqvi alleged. “If by mistake, somebody associated with the BJP had made such comments, then they (opposition parties) would have raised a hue and cry today. This is a very dangerous and destructive mentality. And supporting such people directly or indirectly is more dangerous still,” he told a press conference.Four persons were arrested for allegedly shouting pro-ISIS slogans at a rally in Rajasthan’s Tonk district, which was held in protest against the reported “derogatory remarks” against Islam by a right-wing activist.

Assam: Barpeta Satra temple head refutes Rahul Gandhi’s claims of being stopped by RSS

The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

PTI
A controversy broke out over Rahul Gandhi’s charge on Monday that he was stopped from entering a Vaishanvite monastery in Barpeta by RSS workers during his recent visit to Assam, an allegation denied by the temple chief.As the claim by the Congress Vice President triggered a political slugfest, the BJP alleged it was “fabricated”, saying RSS does not run temples and without naming anyone said “wrong messages” are being spread to “mislead” people. Rahul claimed that what happened to him at the temple during his visit to Assam last week was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When I went to Assam I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people there stopped me from entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates,” Rahul told reporters outside Parliament.”They made the women there stand in front of me and told me that I cannot enter the temple,” he said, and asked, “Who are they to stop me?”Rahul, who was in Barpeta last Friday, said he visited the monastery later in the evening when the suspected RSS workers had left the place. The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.Even as Barpeta Satra Bura Satriya (head) Bakhista Deba Sarma termed the allegation as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stuck to his stand.”There is no RSS agent in the Satra. It is a religious place and only religious activities are undertaken here. Where does politics come into the Satra”?,” Sarma said while speaking to reporters in Barpeta.”The women here are simple people and they come twice a day for participating in the community prayers in the Satra. They were only waiting at the Satra gate to see Rahul Gandhi. They do not know anything about politics,” Sarma said.”Connecting a centre of religion and culture like the Satra with politics by Gogoi who is the chief minister is most unfortunate. In future, politics and the Satra should not be interlinked,” he said.Gogoi maintained that the Satra had told him that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the monastery.”The Satra head had told me that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the Satra. The RSS instigated it. Never heard anyone being prevented from entering the Satra before. I ask them even today why they prevented (Rahul from entering). Everyone has the right to enter. If RSS is not there, then why not question them why we were not allowed in,” the chief minister told reporters in Guwahati.”There were 40 to 50 women preventing our entry.” BJP termed as “fabricated” Rahul’s charge alleging he had become a “lying machine” and was resorting to such non-issues to disrupt Parliament.”Earlier somebody (Selja) claimed that she was stopped from entering a temple in Dwarka and she was exposed in Parliament. What Gandhi says is fabricated and a lie,” BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.Another BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu without naming anyone said “spreading” wrong messages and to mislead people has become the habit. “Do RSS run the temples?,” he asked.

Rahul Gandhi takes on PM Modi, airs a laundry list of grievances about BJP’s politics

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RSS used women to stop me from entering Assam temple: Rahul Gandhi

“When I went to Assam I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people they stopped me entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates.

Rahul Gandhi on Monday claimed that he was stopped from entering a temple in Barpeta by RSS workers during his recent visit to Assam, saying this was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.A furious Congress Vice President, who said he wanted to raise three issues, also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being not invited to an event to be attended by him in Kollam on Tuesday, saying he has “insulted” the people of the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul was interacting with reporters while taking part in a protest by the Congress outside Parliament House over the law and order situation in the state.”When I went to Assam I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people they stopped me entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates.””They made the woman there stand in front of me and told me that I cannot enter into the temple,” he said, and asked, “Who are they to stop me?,” Rahul said.Rahul, who was in Berpeta last Friday, said he visited the temple later in the evening when the RSS workers had left the place.Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday alleged that BJP and RSS had conspired to not allow Rahul to enter Barpeta Satra during his visit to the state.On the Chandy issue, Rahul alleged the Prime Minister has insulted the people of Kerala, claiming he has “stopped our chief minister” from going to a function.”Chief Minister of Kerala represents the people of Kerala. Chief Minister of Kerala is the voice of the people of Kerala and the Prime Minister had insulted that voice. This is simply not acceptable to us,” he said.A controversy had erupted last week over the decision of SNDP, an organisation of backward Ezhava community, to exclude Chandy from attending the unveiling of former Chief Minister R Sankar’s statue by the prime minister in Kollam on Tuesday.Chandy in a press note had stated that he was “deeply saddened” over him being kept away from the function following a request of Vellappally Natesan, organiser of the event.Referring to issues relating to Punjab, Rahul alleged that innocent people have been butchered in the state.”You are all aware what has happened in Punjab. Innocent people have been butchered. This is completely out of order, out of line,” he said. The Akali Dal-BJP combine is in power in Punjab.The Congress Vice President concluded by saying that the BJP has to change its style of functioning.”Whatever has happened is not acceptable to people of Kerala, not acceptable to people of Punjab, not acceptable to people of Assam,” Rahul said.Chandy had said that though he should have been present at the function being attended by the prime minister and also because Sankar was a former chief minister and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief, he was forced to take the decision to stay away, following the organisers’ request.

BJP under pressure from RSS to block GST Bill: Congress

Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax.

Randeep Surjewala

Hitting out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for claiming that the grand old party was trying to paralyse the nation by blocking the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the Congress on Saturday said that the former’s assertion was ‘preposterous’ and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not wanting to pass the Bill due to the pressure by the RSS.”The Finance Minister’s assertion on the GST is preposterous and we reject it with the contempt it deserves. Jaitley would remember that it was Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh who has pointed out three constructive suggestions to make the GST Bill effective,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax. “We have been saying to keep the tax bracket at 18 percent with a constitutional cap. Why should the GST rate not be same across the states” .Why goods manufacturing states should be permitted extra tax? And if there is a dispute between an individual and a state, then why should the state be the judge and not have a third party judicial mechanism instead”, Surjewala said.Asserting pressure by the RSS as the real reason behind the BJP not wanting to pass the landmark Bill, he added that RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat had warned ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister’ to not pass the bill. “The RSS has warned the BJP to not pass the GST Bill since they have opposed the Bill in the past, so Jaitley wants to shift the blame on the Congress while dichotomy and differences lie within BJP and RSS,” Surjewala added. Earlier, Former union minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram told ANI that the Congress Party was very keen to see the GST Bill being passed in Parliament, but only after every ‘flawed’ element in it is removed, or at least addressed in manner that satisfies all parties. Chidambaram also dismissed suggestions that Congress is deliberately using the National Herald case to block passage of GST Bill.”GST issue is not linked to Herald case. I have made it clear that National Herald case has got nothing to do with what is happening in Parliament. Why on a particular day the Parliament is not working or is working, I cannot say. But I am clear that it is not because of the National Herald case. Because there are various other issues that are raised from time to time, for example, for a couple of days, it was the Dalit issue and Retired General V K Singh’s comment on the Dalits. We are waiting for the government to revert on our proposals over the bill. I remain hopeful that GCT will be passed. No one is keener to have GST passed than me,” Chidambaram said.

RSS members organise film fest in Indore on socio-cultural issues

At a time when Bollywood joined the intolerance debate, some people associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are organising a film festival revolving around the themes of family ethos, socio-cultural issues and nationalism.The “Chitrabharati Film Festival” for documentary, animation, short and campus films (made by students) is being organised in Indore from February 26 to 28, in what is the first such exercise.”In an attempt to create awareness in society on issues like socio-cultural issues, moral values, family ethos and environment we thought we could provide a good platform to young directors working on these issues,”said RSS’ Praveen Kabra, Prant Prachar Pramukh, Malwa region, who is the director of the Film Festival.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, when asked about the intolerance issue on which comments of Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan had sparked off a row, he said “we would like to stay away from this controversy. Our focus is on family system and cultural issues.” The RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor, had been critical of film-makers and others returning awards in protest against “growing intolerance”.Though he said the list of films to be screened at the festival was yet to be finalised, these would be selected from among those made in 2013 and 2014. The University of Indore Devi Ahilya Vishvavidyala was the co-organiser of the festival.The organisers are trying to rope in Bollywood personalities like Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav and Raghubir Yadav to attend the festival. Besides the competetive section, there will be an open forum with film-makers during the festival.Kabra said he and some of his associates involved in organising the festival were not from the RSS had planned on holding the festival last year but due to some preoccupation had to put it off. “Indore is a business hub and is now becoming an education hub. We wanted to encourage film-making here to make it a centre for film production,” he said. Ahead of the festival, a one-day workshop titled “Appreciation of Film” is being held on January 16 on various aspects of film production. However, the festival would be confined to short and documentary films and not include feature films.

Ahead of Assembly polls, Dilip Ghosh appointed West Bengal BJP chief

Ghosh has been an old RSS hand and was a state BJP general secretary after joining the party some time back.

Ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls next year, BJP on Friday announced the appointment of Dilip Ghosh as its new state president, replacing Rahul Sinha, whose term had ended.Ghosh has been an old RSS hand and was a state BJP general secretary after joining the party some time back. Sinha, whose term ended in September, has been made a national secretary, a BJP statement said. His appointment puts an end to months of speculation as the party mulled whether to let Sinha continue till the polls or replace him as demanded by many West Bengal leaders, who had argued that BJP was steadily losing its support after putting up a strong show in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and needed a leadership change.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state is likely to go to polls in April next year. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left block, besides Congress and BJP, are the main parties in the fray. BJP had fetched close to 17 per cent votes, its highest, in Lok Sabha elections in the state and the party had then hoped to consolidate its gains to emerge as a major challenger to the TMC. However, its dismal showing in subsequent local elections have made things more difficult for it, political watchers believe.

RSS not ISI organisation, but a band of patriots: Nitin Gadkari

Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, Nitin Gadkari said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
File Photo
PTI
RSS is no ISI but a band of patriots, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said as he hit out at the Congress for “behaving like a fish without water after being out of power”. Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, the former BJP chief said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.”I am a complete RSS worker. I have done struggle…I left studies .. went to jail for nation’s cause, PM has been pracharak of RSS….We are patriots… Is it a violation of Constitution or criminal procedure code if someone is of RSS,” Gadkari fumed after Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar accused BJP of doing divisive politics in the country at the instance of RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”RSS koi ISI organisation hai kya? (Is RSS an organisation like ISI?)…We take pride in it. Congress is behaving like a fish without water after being out of power,” the senior BJP leader said.Both Gadkari and Ashwani were speaking at the programme ‘Agenda Aaj Tak: Vikas ka Express Way’ here. Gadkari said the opposition was all out trying to portray the PM as a “villain” to fulfil their political aspirations. He said the Congress insulted the entire judicial system of the nation when its vice-president alleged that the court order in the National Herald case was due to pressure from PM.Asking to define the rationale behind stalling Parliament over National Herald case, Gadkari said the court decision was independent and politics should not stoop to such a level where PM is being dragged into the controversy.”Indulge in politics within the limits of decency…Allow Parliament to run,” he said, adding that the NDA government at the Centre was working for all sections of the society without any discrimination.”But the opposition is instilling fear among Muslims, minorities and Dalits to pursue its policy of appeasement. BJP has been targeted for incidents like Dadri and killing of a writer in Karnataka despite the fact that it is not in power in those states. Since we came to power we have not taken a single decision which was against any community or religion. PM Modi is working to make life better of all Indians and I urge all political parties to cooperate with us in pursing policies of progress and development,” he said.

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

The leader said this in Arunachal Pradesh.

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

BJP aiming to create law and order problem, impose President’s rule: CM Tarun Gogoi

Gogoi said RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena and other Hindutva elements were working under the guidance of a senior BJP leader to create law and order problem in the state so that grounds could be cleared for imposition of the President’s Rule.

Coming down heavily on BJP’s ‘Dispur Gherao’ protest, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday said it was aimed at creating law and order problem so that President’s Rule could be imposed in the state. “BJP’s Dispur Gherao protest today was just to cover up Modi government’s failure in fulfilling the promises… BJP is trying to create a law and order problem in the state at any cost and wants to impose President’s Rule here,” Gogoi told a press conference here. “BJP is trying to foment communal clashes and we have got intelligence inputs about this and attempts are being made to put beef inside temples. They are trying this in sensitive places like Silchar and Dhubri… They are also encouraging extremists, including both insurgents and jehadis, in Assam,” he alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gogoi said RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena and other Hindutva elements were working under the guidance of a senior BJP leader to create law and order problem in the state so that grounds could be cleared for imposition of the President’s Rule. The BJP, he said, does not want to contest the forthcoming Assembly polls as “they know that if the Congress government remains, it will do more good work in the remaining few months”.The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has failed on its promises such as bringing back black money, controlling inflation, deporting illegal immigrants, job creation and not constructing big dams among others, he added. “There is no match in their words and deeds. Digital India, Make in India — these are just to divert the attention from main issues,” Gogoi said. The BJP’s state unit today organised a march to Dispur to protest against the alleged corrupt rule of the Congress government.Many BJP leaders and supporters have been detained after it turned violent and police fired rubber bullets in the air, lobbed tear gas shells and used water cannons to control the mob.

Rajya Sabha sees adjourments on VK Singh’s remarks in Dalits, Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on Ram temple

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Azam Khan hits out at Imam Syed Bukhari, calls him an ‘RSS agent’

Rampur (UP): Controversial UP minister Azam Khan renewed his attack on Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari alleging he was hand-in-glove with Hindu outfits which were “silent” on his son’s marriage to a Hindu though they were vociferously raising the issue of “love jihad”.

His comments have come a day after Bukhari said in Kanpur that “cows were being openly slaughtered” in Rampur, Azam’s Assembly constituency, and no one was raising voices against it due to the fear of the SP minister.

Bukhari claimed that the ruling Samajwadi Party will have to face a drubbing in the 2017 Assembly elections if its controversial leader Azam is not removed.

Azam told reporters, “Why they are keeping mum when Shahi Imam’s son solemnised marriage with a Hindu girl while it were these brigades which shouted furiously against love jihad?”

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

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

The senior Samajwadi Party leader alleged that the Hindu outfits are hand-in-glove with the Shahi Imam.

“Since they knew that son of the Shahi Imam would be crowned Shahi Imam in future, they maintained silence issuing clear indication that Imam happens to be a member of their own saffron family,” Azam said.

He said that had it been someone else, the outfits would have protested.

“Had someone else committed that act, unimaginable situation might have emerged. But, since a person who had garnered votes for BJP by occupying a comfortable seat in ‘Shine India’ bus there were no dissenting voices because Imam was a part and parcel of their agenda,” he said.

Azam also expressed hope the like in the Imam’s case, the saffron outfits will not protest against any inter-religious marriage in the future.

“In future, if such solemnisations are repeated those should be treated as acceptable with happy gestures,” he said.

Two days ago, Azam had described Bukhari as an RSS agent in Mainpuri.

“If my son had married a Hindu girl, there would have been a storm in politics. But when Bukhari’s son marries a Hindu girl, the RSS remains silent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bukhari claimed that the ruling SP will have to face a drubbing in the upcoming polls, if Azam is not removed.

Bukhari in a letter to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said that if Khan is not removed, then he will protest against the party in the next elections.

Speaking at a private function in Kanpur, Bukhari noted that people belonging to all religions can live happily in Uttar Pradesh, only when Khan is removed from office.

The Shahi Imam, who had often locked horns with Khan, a state cabinet minister, said that the latter was responsible for the poor state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh.

PTI

SP leader Azam Khan attacks Imam Bukhari, calls him an RSS agent

In a tit for tat, Bukhari called Khan a ‘blot on the community’ and demanded his dismissal from the UP state cabinet.

Azam Khan

Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan has kicked up a new controversy by claiming that Shahi Imam Bukhari is actually an RSS agent.According to a report in an English daily, addressing mediapersons at his home on Friday, Khan said, “Had my son married a Hindu girl, it would have created a political storm, but RSS was silent when Bukhari’s son married a Hindu girl. RSS could not see a love jihad in this wedding.”Khan then said that Bukhari was working at the behest of RSS, and was misleading the Muslim community. Khan asked Bukhari to pay attention to religious activities and not meddle in UP politics.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing mediapersons at his home on Friday, Khan said, “Had my son married a Hindu girl, it would have created a political storm, but RSS was silent when Bukhari’s son married a Hindu girl. RSS could not see a love jihad in this wedding.”In a tit for tat, Bukhari called Khan a ‘blot on the community’ and demanded his dismissal from the state cabinet, says the English daily. Bukhari then wrote to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, alleging that Muslims had no say in the UP government only because of Azam Khan.”Resentment among Muslims against Azam and the SP government is growing every day. Muslims have already expressed their anger against the SP government by voting against them during the recently-concluded panchayat elections,” said Bukhari. He further claimed that leaders like Azam Khan were fanning the flames of Hindu-Muslim disunity in the country.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi urges President Mukherjee to replace Governor Acharya

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged President Pranab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention for replacement of Acting state Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya who has allegedly “converted his office into an annex of BJP office”.

In a letter to the President on Saturday, Gogoi alleged the continuance of Acharya as in-charge governor of Assam would cause immense difficulty in functioning of Parliamentary democracy and create fissures in the state’s secular ethos.

“We had welcomed Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya to our State as we presumed that being a high Constitutional functionary, he would conduct himself fairly, cautiously and circumspectly,” he said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTIAssam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI

“However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, the Governor of Assam through his actions has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor,” the chief minister asserted.

Gogoi alleged that Acharya has been “making no distinction between his constitutional functioning as Governor of a State and his political and ideological instincts which are evidently linked to the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”.

He said, “Acharya made a shocking public statement that ‘Hindustan is for Hindus’ on 21 November. Such a statement, which was condemned by almost all sections of society, “reflect the unacceptably divisive and communal mindset of an incumbent holding a high Constitutional post” and “is in flagrant violation of the secular tenets of the Constitution”, the chief minister said.

Acharya unilaterally altered a panel belonging to the unrepresented communities as nominated members submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Areas and recommended by the Council of Ministers and replaced four of the six names with nominees of his own choice, Gogoi alleged.

“Aggrieved by this act of the Governor, the BTC filed a writ petition in the Guwahati High Court and the latter kept the notification issued by the State Government in abeyance,” he said.

Gogoi said the governor in his capacity as chancellor of Assam Agricultural University constituted a three-member committee to probe allegations against its vice-chancellor.

“The institution of the enquiry was challenged in the Guwahati High Court which then suspended the operation of the notification constituting the enquiry committee,” he added.

The chief minister also brought to the notice of the president the nomination of 10 members to the Court of Dibrugarh University by Acharya in his capacity as chancellor of the university.

“Contrary to statutory norms of the university the governor of Assam nominated four members to the Court of Dibrugarh University who hardly have any academic distinction other than being office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or its sister organizations”, Gogoi alleged.

“The governor ignored deserving persons from Assam with brilliant educational background and sound social reputation and instead nominated people from other States by virtue of their affiliation with the RSS,” he said.

In the letter, Gogoi also mentioned about a meeting Acharya had with a delegation of the BJP leaders at Raj Bhawan on 21 September.

“It is clear from video footage of the meeting aired on local TV channels that during the discussions, the governor was advising on BJP’s political strategy like a senior BJP executive rather than acting like a Constitutional functionary. While the Governor may certainly interact with a delegation of a political party, it is shocking that the high office of governor has been converted to an annex of the BJP office,” Gogoi alleged.

“These incidents have been a big disappointment to me. Throughout my tenure as chief minister, Assam during the past 14 years, I have had the privilege of interacting with outstanding wise individuals who have enhanced the respect and prestige of the institution of governor and have
functioned not only as the Constitutional head of our State but also a mentor to the State Government,” he said.

PTI

Former top cop SM Mushrif claims RSS is ‘India’s number 1 terrorist organisation’

“The RSS is India’s number one terrorist organisation, there is no doubt on this,” said Mushrif, referring to the 2007 Mecca Masjid bombing in Hyderabad, the 2006 and 2008 Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra and the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings among others.

File Photo

Former Maharashtra inspector general of police SM Mushrif on Thursday described the activists of RSS as ‘India’s number one terrorist organisation’. Mushrif was quoted saying at an event in Kolkata: “RSS activists have been chargesheeted in at least 13 cases of terror acts in which RDX has been used. If organisations like Bajrang Dal are taken into the account, then the number of such cases goes up to 17.” “The RSS is India’s number one terrorist organisation, there is no doubt on this,” said Mushrif, referring to the 2007 Mecca Masjid bombing in Hyderabad, the 2006 and 2008 Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra and the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also added that the RSS as a terror organisation had nothing to do with political power. “The RSS as a terror organisation has nothing to do with political power. It is immaterial which party is in power. It is the system that is working, it’s the Brahminical system. And when I say Brahminical, it doesn’t mean the Brahmin, it’s the mentality, the attitude to dominate and oppress,” he said.However, Mushrif was not in agreement with the view that intolerance was rising in recent times. “Intolerance has been going on for a long time. There have been many severe bigger incidents earlier, I don’t understand why it is being highlighted now,” he asked.He also reiterated his claim that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) masterminded the killing of Hemant Karkare, who was probing the involement of Hindu radicals during the the Mumbai terror attack in 2008. He said: “There is clinching evidence about the IB’s involvement but all efforts to establish that have been defeated. Our efforts to call for an independent probe have always been defeated. Unless there is a massive public movement, this will never be established,” said Mushrif, who made the sensational claims in his book “Who Killed Karkare”.

Both sides of the are argument flawed: Why the great secularism debate is a waste of time

The great secularism debate begins all over again. Rest assured, it will take us nowhere. There will be plenty of theoretical drivel from both sides of the secular divide justifying respective positions. And as usual there won’t be a point of convergence. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress president set the ball rolling on day one of the winter session; Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take it forward on Friday. The end result is not expected to be dramatic.

There have been two competing narratives of secularism in the country since the days of Independence, one which goes by the generic description of Nehuruvian secularism, and the other is that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Both narratives dig into history for sustenance and both link themselves to the wider issue of nationhood. The difference is one looks at the symmetries in our history, the other at asymmetries. One stresses the assimilative, adaptive and syncretic traits in it, while the other digs out the several conflicts, fault lines and entrenched grievances the other narrative tries to gloss over.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Given the fundamental contradiction in approach, an agreement is impossible. That makes the renewed debate waste of time. The real issue in India is not a singular theoretical description of secularism, but the way it’s actually practiced or sought to be practiced on the ground and its impact on people. That is where political secularism – the way parties look at the subject and go about it — kicks in. Irrespective of how India was or has been through centuries, it’s political considerations that have driven secularism in the country. And it needs elaboration.

The brand of secularism followed by the so called secular parties in the country has been hypocritical at the best and devious at the worst. They have been accused of appeasing the Muslims at the cost of the majority. It’s factually wrong. If it was truly the case, it would reflect in the living standards and other social parameters of the community. The Sachar report offered a stark reminder where they actually stand after six decades. The fact is such parties have only exploited the sense of insecurity among the Muslims and done little to mainstreaming them.

That the Congress – the biggest champion of secularism – has lost the Muslim constituency entirely over the decades is instructive in this context. It’s not clear yet what makes it, and other similar parties, squeamish about criticising Muslim organisations involved in terrorist activities and vocal when Hindu organisation get involved in acts of vandalism. If they are perceived to be anti-Hindu now, it’s a situation of their own making. This secularism is not of the Nehruvian variety by a long stretch.

On the other hand, the brand of secularism the RSS-BJP emphasises on is equally pernicious, if less hypocritical, for the simple reason that there’s too much hate and anger in it. It operates through foot soldiers who give it a completely negative colour through their illiberal, coercive and fundamentally anti-intellectual approach to everything. With excessive accent on Hindutva and the past it appears inherently exclusive and loaded with majoritarian tendencies. Worse, it is yet to develop a precise line of thinking to win over new converts. It would be still be acceptable with its imperfections if it didn’t evoke fear, not only in minorities but also in liberal Hindus.

Both versions of secularism being presented to us are full of flaws. And given the contentious nature of the subject and the political games involved we can hardly expect a meeting point coming out of any debate — remember we are talking of two entirely different readings of history. So why waste time over it?

Panthnirpekshya vs Dharmanirpekshya: Is Rajnath Singh giving new twist to the ‘secular’ debate?

For long, the official Hindi translation of the Indian Constitution and its preamble as published by the Union Law Ministry, which can be taken as an authoritative official document, have been using the word ‘Panthnirpekshya’ instead of ‘Dharmanirpekshya’ for the English word ‘secular’.

It is only in common usage, written and oral, the word ‘Dharmanirpkeshya’ is used as the Hindi translation for the word ‘secular’ as enshrined in the preamble of Indian Constitution after the 42nd constitutional amendment in 1976 by the then Indira Gandhi government during Emergency.

Rajnath Singh in a file photo. ReutersRajnath Singh in a file photo. Reuters

Rajnath Singh in a file photo. Reuters

When Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke extensively on the subject Panthnirpekshya versus Dharmanirpekhshya and also why BR Ambedkar, chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee, did not deem it fit to insert the word secular and socialist in the original preamble of Constitution, many thought he was giving an entirely new dimension to the raging debate on secularism.

There is no doubt that Singh has ignited the debate on the topic and the state’s supposed role. His remarks were not innocent. He was making a purposeful statement, dwelling at length on something which already has been in use in all official documents and transaction of business but not so much in public conversation and speech. It is in this context that Rajnath Singh’s remark that Ambedkar despite all the criticism chose to stay in India and not leave the country can be taken to be a dig at Aamir Khan.

He was speaking on the floor of Parliament, which was commemorating the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, widely believed to be the principal architect of the Indian Constitution, on Constitution Day (Constitution was adopted on 26 November in 1949). He very well knew that his repeated remarks to 42nd Constitutional amendment and what Ambedkar must have considered for non-usage of the term secular and socialist in the original constitution would be contested by the Opposition benches, particularly by the Congress and the Left. After all, Modi government and the BJP are attacked by its political rivals and liberals for allegedly hurting the very ethos of Constitution. The current “intolerance” debate too is broadly based on the same theme.

The Home minister was articulating what has been a long held belief of the RSS-BJP and some others on the issue of secularism and on `Panthnirpekshya versus Dharmanirpekshya’. “Indian society is inherently secular and therefore Ambedkar didn’t thought it appropriate to have it written in Constitution,” and so has been the term socialist. “The word secular has been massively misused”, he said and cited how minorities like “Parsis have been given maximum respect in India, so are the Jews. It is only in India that all 72 Firke (sects) of Islam could be found and nowhere else in the world”.

In Right wing philosophy `Panthnirpekshya’ means that the state as such is a-religious but not opposed to religious beliefs prevalent within its boundaries and has equal respect for all religions and sects. `Dharmanirpekshaya’ by contrast to them means that the state is opposed to religion or is even anti-religion.

Also `Dharma’ has wider connotations than religion. Dharma is about way of life, personal, professional conduct, inter-personnel relationship, family societal values and so on. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpeyee’s usage of `Rajdharma’, Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and various other leaders frequent usage of `coalition dharma’, usage of words like putra dharma, putri dharma, samaj dharma etc. `Pantha’ means for religion or sect, hence the usage of Panthanirpkeshya. While making his argument, Singh said a Sanskrit slogan on Dharma was inscribed just above Speaker’s chair in the House, should that be removed because Indian Constitution embodies word secular.

There is an argument that the term secular is borrowed from the West where it had come in vogue due to conflict between the Church and the State. RSS thinker Rakesh Sinha says “in the word Panthnirpekshya there is no feeling of otherness. There is a sense of belonging and oneness. Every sect and philosophy is considered legitimate. It has a positive connotation In contrast to that in Dharmanirkeshya or some would say secularism there is a sense of otherness and it thus gets a negative connotation. It is due to the colonised mind that we have accepted religion and dharma as the same. They are different. The core of the problem in this debate lay in adoption of western terminology and concepts without taking Indian context into consideration.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had different ideas and she the special debate on Ambedkar’s 125th anniversary to target the Modi government, BJP and RSS, albeit without directly naming them. “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….aaj khushi ka din hai dukh ka bhi din hai (today is a happy day but is also a sad day). Constitutional values are under threat.”

She asserted that “whatever was being witnessed over the past few months was against the fundamental principles” of the Constitution”, recalling Ambedkar’s warning that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad then the ultimate effect would only be bad.”

The treasury benches countered that constitutional values were actually attacked by none other than one of the tallest Congress leaders, Indira Gandhi during Emergency.

Defamation case against Rahul Gandhi: Interim stay to continue

The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to continue interim stay of criminal proceedings against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case lodged against him for remarks allegedly holding RSS responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to continue interim stay of criminal proceedings against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case lodged against him for remarks allegedly holding RSS responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant also asked the respondent, RSS activist Rajesh Kunte, to file his response within four weeks.During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Gandhi did not agree to the suggestion of the bench that he can settle the defamation case by regretting his alleged statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court had on May 7 stayed the proceedings against Rahul, pending before a magisterial court in Bhiwandi in Thane district of Maharashtra.It was alleged by Kunte, secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, that Rahul told an election rally at Sonale on March 6 that “RSS people killed Gandhiji”.He said the Congress leader had sought to tarnish the reputation of the Sangh through his speech.Following the complaint, the magistrate’s court had initiated proceedings and issued notice to Rahul directing him to appear before it.The Congress leader then approached the High Court seeking exemption from appearance and quashing of the complaint.Rahul’s lawyers had argued that complaint was motivated and malafide and deserved to be quashed.The prosecution had opposed the petition and argued that Rahul can plead his case and lead evidence during trial before the magistrate.The High Court had dismissed the petition and refused to grant stay on its order. It had allowed the Congress leader time to appeal against its order in the Supreme Court.

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

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

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

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

VHP leader Ashok Singhal, man behind Babri razing, dies aged 89

Gurgaon: VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who was one of the key architects of the mass campaign that led to the razing of the Babri mosque in 1992, died in Gurgoan on Tuesday. He was 89.

In an acknowledgement of his stature in the Hindutva movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Singhal’s death at a hospital here “a deep personal loss” and described him as “an institution in himself”.

Singhal, whose aggressive championing of a Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya helped the BJP to scale new heights, breathed his last at Medanta-The Medicity, doctor Yatin Mehta told IANS.

“He passed away at 2.20 despite our best efforts,” the doctor said.

Ashok Singhal. AFP

Ashok Singhal. AFP

Singhal was admitted to the hospital on 13 November with heart and kidney problems. He was also suffering from breathlessness. He will be cremated in Gurgaon on Wednesday afternoon.

The VHP leader was earlier admitted to the hospital for a fortnight from 20 October.

A passionate votary of Hindutva, the Agra-born Singhal, son of a government official, joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1942.

He worked mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana before the RSS deputed him to one of its then lesser known affiliates, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), in 1980.

Singhal became its working president in 1984, the year the VHP organised a “Dharam Sansad” (Religious Parliament) which sowed the seeds for the emotive campaign to destroy the 16th century Babri mosque – that Hindutva votaries said was built at the site where Lord Rama was born.

1984 was also the year when the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged just two seats in the Lok Sabha after prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

Singhal’s aggressive promotion of the anti-Babri movement made him one of the best known faces nationally, and gave oxygen to the BJP to raise its Lok Sabha tally to 89 in 1989.

Even as the BJP, under LK Advani’s leadership, came out openly in support of the Ram Mandir movement, Singhal led a massive crowd during the first assault on the Babri Masjid on 30 October, 1990.

That bid was beaten back by security forces. But the unrelenting VHP eventually brought down the Babri Masjid in just six hours on 6 December, 1992, triggering one of the worst outbreaks of Hindu-Muslim violence.

Unlike most BJP leaders who distanced themselves from the Babri razing, Singhal remained proud of the destruction – and vowed to end, one day, the secular character of the country that he said must be a “Hindu Rashtra”.

Critics dubbed him a Hindu fundamentalist and India’s Ayatollah Khomeini. But Singhal – who held a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the Banaras Hindu University Institute of Technology – made it clear that issues related to Hindu faith cannot be decided by the judiciary.

At home both in English and Hindi, Singhal was widely respected for his mastery over ancient Hindu scriptures. He was at ease in the company of Hindu ascetics and was a strong votary of the movement to build a grand Rama temple on the ruins of the Babri mosque.

He was deeply unhappy over BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s refusal to embrace Hindutva ideology after becoming the prime minister. The VHP leader beamed when Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014.

On Tuesday, after Singhal’s death, Modi said he was “an inspiration for generations”.

“I was always fortunate to receive Ashokji’s blessings and guidance. My condolences to his family and countless supporters,” Modi tweeted.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said Singhal brought about “Hindu unity” and “a great change in Hindu mentality”. The MP added: “It will be a true tribute to Singhal if (Rama) mandir is built (in Ayodhya).”

VHP spokesman Surendra Jain told IANS: “Singhalji was a great visionary. We will take forward his vision for fulfil his dreams.”

IANS

‘Intolerance’ protests ended for intellectuals after Bihar polls: RSS

Hitting out at the scholars, Indresh said that their protest has “disappeared” with the outcome of Bihar elections.

Kumar also questioned the intellectuals as to why they did not return their awards after the ‘Nirbhaya’ gangrape incident or during the Jammu and Kashmir strife.

File Photo
Claiming that the move by the authors and artists to return awards were “politically- motivated” and timed for Bihar elections, a senior RSS leader today termed such people as “intellectual terrorists”. “A section of intellectuals was running a movement of returning awards over intolerance in the country which ended with the Bihar polls,” alleged Indresh Kumar, member of RSS’s national executive, during a symposium here. Incidentally, the JD(U)-led Grand Alliance in Bihar trounced the BJP-led NDA in the high-stakes Assembly polls, where the Modi-Shah-fronted alliance received a drubbing getting just over 50 seats while the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad- led alliance clinched 178 seats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting out at the scholars, Indresh said that their protest has “disappeared” with the outcome of Bihar elections. Terming the artistes who returned their awards over “intolerance” as “intellectual terrorists”, Kumar, in a sarcastic tone said, the “atmosphere of intolerance” ended for the intellectual with the conclusion of Bihar polls, and tolerance restored in the country, as they were “toeing the lines” of their political masters.Kumar also questioned the intellectuals as to why they did not return their awards after the ‘Nirbhaya’ gangrape incident or during the Jammu and Kashmir strife or during the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Condemning the recent incidents of sacrilege of Sikh holy book in Punjab, Kumar said the culprits must be nabbed.He also appealed to those “spreading violence” to join the mainstream, saying violence is not the solution to any problem.

Why do Naxals never attack churches in Chhattisgarh, asks RSS leader Indresh Kumar

“Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked.

Indresh Kumar of RSS

Calling churches and Christians to play an “active role” in eradicating Left wing extremism, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Monday wondered why Naxals have ‘never targeted’ the minority community in Chhattisgarh.”Development can be achieved (only) through peace and brotherhood and not through violence. I have raised a few questions keeping in view Chhattisgarh which has been suffering from the menace of Naxalism with a high degree.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked, while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) here, to discuss Left wing insurgency prevailing in south Chhattisgarh.Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, the RSS leader said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.”…People from media, society and government provide information regarding illegal activities being carried out in the region. Have churches ever tipped off media or government about such kind of violent and illegal activities in the region?” he asked.However, Indresh clarified that he was not questionning integrity of churches.”My intention is not to criticise churches. I know they are committed to India and their people believe in serving the nation, but I want their active role in eradicating Naxalism, therefore I have put forth these issues.”They should decide whether Naxal movement has brought life or death to the region, educated people or snatched away literacy from them, ensured better health or ruined health facilities, triggered development or stalled growth,” he said.Indresh also appealed to the ultras to quit the path of violence and contribute in building a new Chhattisgarh.”The movement of fear should get transformed into a movement for development. It should become a movement for humanity rather than a movement of violence,” Indresh added.

Why Naxals never attack churches in Chhattisgarh, asks RSS leader

Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, RSS leader Indresh Kumar said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.
Representational Image
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Calling churches and Christians to play an “active role” in eradicating Left wing extremism, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Sunday wondered why Naxals have “never targeted” the minority community in Chhattisgarh.”Development can be achieved (only) through peace and brotherhood and not through violence. I have raised a few questions keeping in view Chhattisgarh which has been suffering from the menace of Naxalism with a high degree. Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked, while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) here, to discuss Left wing insurgency prevailing in south Chhattisgarh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, the RSS leader said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.”…People from media, society and government provide information regarding illegal activities being carried out in the region. Have churches ever tipped off media or government about such kind of violent and illegal activities in the region?” he asked.However, Indresh clarified that he was not questioning integrity of churches.”My intention is not to criticise churches. I know they are committed to India and their people believe in serving the nation, but I want their active role in eradicating Naxalism, therefore I have put forth these issues. They should decide whether Naxal movement has brought life or death to the region, educated people or snatched away literacy from them, ensured better health or ruined health facilities, triggered development or stalled growth,” he said.Indresh also appealed to the ultras to quit the path of violence and contribute in building a new Chhattisgarh.”The movement of fear should get transformed into a movement for development. It should become a movement for humanity rather than a movement of violence,” Indresh added.

Congress vows to protect Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy

Union home minister Rajnath Singh, LK Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi during Nehru’s birth anniversary celebration
BB Yadav
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The Congress party on Saturday attacked the NDA government raising the issue of prevailing ‘intolerance and secularism’ in the country.Addressing a packed auditorium of Congress workers at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium during the concluding ceremony of the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi targeted the prime minister “for having failed to ensure freedom of expression to academicians, intellectuals and artists”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Intellectuals are returning their awards and they are being asked to go to Pakistan. But this government has failed to protect them,” Sonia said. She also reminded the BJP government that Nehru was the founder of the Sahitya Akademi and also served as its first chairman. She went on to say that several historical, cultural and scientific councils were established in India during Nehru’s time. Reminding the government that India is a secular democracy whose foundation was laid by Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia said, “Democracy means everybody has the right to think, speak his/her mind and practise his own religion. While we keep on repeating democracy, we fail to realise that it means respecting the common man,” she added.Taking a jibe at Prime Minister’s Modi speech in London, Rahul said, “In England, prime minister says we are a tolerant country and we take everybody along. Why can’t he say this in Parliament? Why does Modi escape from taking questions raised by the opposition in the House,” he said. Reminding the gathering about the Nehru era, Rahul, “When Atal Bihari Vajpayee would stand up to speak as a member of the opposition party in Nehru’s Parliament, Nehru would give him a patient hearing. For he wanted every voice to be heard.” The Congress president also targeted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and called it ‘a remote control’ of the current government. Sonia alleged that it is the same RSS that had sided with the British when Mahatma Gandhi had called for the Quit India Movement. “This RSS had then asked its followers to boycott the movement. It is a part of history which this government cannot change. Today the same RSS is going ahead with certifying the ‘caretakers of nationalism’,” she said.Sonia Gandhi also said that the government has pitched a very shallow development plank for the country. “For this government, development means only taking along a handful of corporates and ignoring the rights of the farmers and the labourers,” she said. Sonia also said that those who are opposing the secular forces, are opposing not only the ideas of Nehru, but also Mahatma Gandhi and other great leaders. Remembering Nehru for laying the foundation of a secular India which ensured participation of every religion, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the BJP government has created a divide in the society.The Congress high command asked party workers to work together to ensure that the legacy of Nehru is preserved with dignity. “We pledge today that we will not allow the legacy of Nehru and Gandhi to get destroyed and scattered,” said Sonia. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh in his address asked the party workers to travel throughout the country promoting Nehru’s legacy. “Nehru was the patron of secularism and the founder of new India. We need to take the history and contribution of Nehru to the world,” he said.

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.

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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

Intolerance remark: Congress accuses PM Narendra Modi of ‘doublespeak’

For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it.” Sharma said

“It is PM Modi’s characteristic style and an exercise in hypocrisy and double speak,” Sharma said (PTI)

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Congress on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying his remark that intolerance will not be accepted in any part of the country is “doublespeak” as he is a tacit “endorser” and nothing prevented him from taking action against hotheads within BJP. “It is important to remind the Prime Minister that he has neither condemned, nor acted upon number of incidents which involve his party colleagues, his ministers, the leaders of BJP and the RSS,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a question at a press interaction in London, Modi had said, “India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it.” Sharma said since Modi has not taken any action, the only inference or conclusion that can be drawn is that he is very much a tacit “endorser”. “It is his characteristic style and an exercise in hypocrisy and double speak,” Sharma said while accusing Prime Minister of being intolerant to criticism itself. He said there cannot be a greater contradiction between what the government does and what the Prime Minister has said.If Prime Minister is serious about what he said abroad, then “What prevents the Prime Minister to ensure the removal of the guilty ministers who have made communal statements? What has prevented Shri Narendra Modi to demand the removal of BJP office bearers and RSS leaders who are indicted, stand exposed and who are complicit in what has been happening in the country?” Sharma, a former Union Minister, said.The Congress leader said while Modi has been claiming that he has restored the country’s credibility, India’s views were listened to with respect even before he took over as PM.

FDI decision ‘very unfortunate’, says RSS affiliate BMS; threatens to take to street in protest

New Delhi – The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh has strongly opposed the government’s decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and defence sectors, and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the review of the decisions.

It said the government should talk to all stakeholders and discuss with them whether FDI has helped them or the country.

Representational image. AgenciesRepresentational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

The BMS will wait for the government’s decision to initiate discussion on the FDI and review it failing which the Sangh will protest by taking to the street.

The BMS, in separate letters to the PM and and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has also demanded a white paper on the inflow and outflow of the FDI in the country.

BMS General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay told PTI that allowing FDI in retail will “finish” the local retail sector leading to large-scale unemployment, affecting the poor.

“We are concerned about the retail sector, which is certainly going to suffer the most. We want the government to seriously consider this issue,” Upadayay told CNN-IBN in a separate interview.

“It is very unfortunate that the government has come up with a FDI and we are against it in totality. The proposal of FDI is not well researched as the government is thinking that FDI will help India to regain from its financial crises,” he told the TV channel.

He said the FDI that has come into the country so far has flowed out and is thus not helping the country.

“Nobody is talking about Foreign Direct Outflow (FDO). It means whatever investment is coming that is going out again. The volume of direct flow is higher than the investment. We want the government to bring a white paper to all the investments done in FDI till now. Also the general public should be informed about the FDO details as well,” he was quoted as saying in a report in IBNLive.com.

On allowing FDI in Defence sector, he said it was not good for the country.

With inputs from PTI

How to get rich, find love and stay on top in Indian politics

Moving away from narrow Hindu nationalism will benefit the prime minister, writes Justin Rowlatt.

Bihar elections 2015: Jitan Ram Manjhi pins blame on Mohan Bhagwat for debacle

“People got wrong impression from the message from such comments as Lalu ji and Nitish ji have an expertise in making a non-issue an issue,” he added.

Bhagwat said that the policy of reservation should be reviewed in an interview with the RSS mouthpiece.

Peeved over humiliating defeat in Bihar Assembly polls, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday said the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remark on reservation came at wrong time. “We are yet to discuss the cause of defeat in the Bihar polls, but in a broader view we find that the extreme backwards, the backwards and the Muslim community have voted for the Grand Alliance. Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on reservations were not wrong, but election was not the right time to make them,” Manjhi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”People got wrong impression from the message from such comments as Lalu ji and Nitish ji have an expertise in making a non-issue an issue,” he added. Manjhi also said that RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav met the people of the backward community and convinced them that if the NDA came to power they would be denied their reservation. “Similarly the beef remark on who eats the cow meat and who doesn?t, and statements like ‘crackers will burst in Pakistan’ were unnecessary and untimely,” he added. Many commentators and political analysts believe that the aggressive campaign rhetoric of the party as well as RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat?s recent comments on reservation damaged the party?s chances in Bihar.Bhagwat said that the policy of reservation should be reviewed in an interview with the RSS mouthpiece, Organiser and Panchjanya. “We believe, form a committee of people genuinely concerned in the interest of the whole nation and committed for social equality, including some representatives from the society, they should decide which categories require reservation and for how long,” Bhagwat had said. “The non-political committee like autonomous commissions should be the implementing authority; political authorities should supervise them for honesty and integrity,” he also added.

Bihar debacle: PM Modi to meet top BJP leaders; Amit Shah meets RSS chief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday attend a meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board to discuss the impact of the party’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday attend a meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board to discuss the impact of the party’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections.The meeting of the party’s top-decision making group of 12 leaders will be chaired by party president Amit Shah. Other members of the group include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari.Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, a day after the party crashed to a humiliating defeat in the Bihar assembly elections which had prompted a section of the party to blame Bhagwat’s quota comments as one of the reasons for the loss.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the meeting, Shah is believed to have discussed Bihar results among other things.Party sources added that it was customary for top leaders to meet the RSS chief whenever he spends time in the national capital but the meeting has assumed significance due to Bihar results.The RSS chief’s suggestion for a review of reservation was seized by the grand alliance leaders who used it to rally backward castes, alleging that BJP planned to weaken it.After the loss, a few party leaders including veteran MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav has said it was a major reason for their defeat.The mahagathbandhan won 178 seats in Bihar, a commanding two-third majority in the 243-member assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies had to settle for a mere 58 seats.Various opposition leaders have dubbed the BJP’s drubbing as a rebuke to the aggressive campaigning by the Prime Minister.

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

Bihar Elections 2015: Will launch nation-wide stir against Modi, says Lalu Yadav

On his nation-wide stir, Prasad said he will take together farmers, labourers and the deprived sections “to uproot the communal Modi government”. “They have been chased out of Bihar.”

File photo.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday delcared Nitish Kumar will continue as Bihar Chief Minister despite his party emerging as the table topper, while he will launch a nation-wide stir against the “communal” Narendra Modi government.Exultant after the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance appeared on course to a resounding victory, a jubilant Prasad claimed continuance of the Modi government will “break the nation into pieces”.Accompanied by a smiling Kumar, his foe-turned-ally, Prasad said, “We will continue with our fight. There will be such a long-term impact of Bihar results on the national politics that you cannot imagine. The Modi government, the RSS government will be demolished. I will also go to Varanasi (Modi’s constituency) with lantern (RJD’s election symbol)”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as RJD emerged as the single largest party, having won nine seats and leading in another 71, Prasad said it was a victory of the grand alliance and not of one party.”If anyone wants to sow the seeds of division among us, we won’t let that happen. We are not going to be divided for the next ten lives,” he said in his inimitable style amid loud cheers from workers and supporters.On his nation-wide stir, Prasad said he will take together farmers, labourers and the deprived sections “to uproot the communal Modi government”. “They have been chased out of Bihar.”The grand alliance government will work for the fast development of Bihar and put it on the national map in economic progress, he said.

Bihar Elections 2015: After historic mandate, Lalu confirms Nitish Kumar to continue as Chief Minister

The grand alliance on Sunday scored a landslide victory with a two-third majority to give Nitish Kumar a third term in power after decimating the BJP-led alliance in the high-stakes assembly elections in Bihar.

Image Courtesy: ANI

The grand alliance on Sunday scored a landslide victory with a two-third majority to give Nitish Kumar a third term in power after decimating the BJP-led alliance in the high-stakes assembly elections in Bihar.Thanking citizens of Bihar for giving a verdict in favour of the Mahagatbandan, Lalu Yadav said, “We both express our gratitude to people of Bihar for giving us such a great victory. In Nitish Kumarji’s leadership Bihar will move on a development path.”He further added, “Nitish ji will continue as the CM, we both will together take Bihar on path of development.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lalu also said that he will tour the country and create a people’s movement against Modi government.Meanwhile, as the grand alliance surged ahead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had put up an aggressive campaign addressing over 30 rallies, called up Kumar to congratulate him on the poll victory.Immediately thereafter, Kumar tweeted, “Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me…thank you Modiji.”Conceding defeat, BJP chief Amit Shah congratulated Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad on their massive victory and said his party respected the people’s mandate.”Our good wishes to the new government to take Bihar on the path of development,” he said.”We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar… I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections,” the BJP chief tweeted.Terming the Bihar poll outcome as a defeat of “divisive agenda of BJP and RSS”, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tone down his “arrogance” or people will “throw him out”.The Congress leader also asked Modi to stop his frequent foreign tours and instead go to meet farmers, labourers and youth whom he promised jobs. Gandhi said the grand alliance’s triumph was “a victory of unity over divisiveness, humility over arrogance and love over hate”.”The truth is this victory is not against NDA but against the ideology of BJP, RSS and Modi. This is a message against putting Hindus against Muslims and making them fight to win elections.Meanwhile, sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha termed the grand alliance’s victory as “victory of democracy” and took a swipe at the top party brass, saying the issue of “Bihari versus Bahri” has been settled once and for all.”Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people’s mandate. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them.It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu’s absence) has been settled once and for all,” he said in tweets.

Bihar results defeat of ‘divisive agenda of BJP, RSS’, says Rahul Gandhi

The Congress leader also asked Modi to stop his frequent foreign tours and instead go to meet farmers, labourers and youth whom he promised jobs.

Congress VP Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Terming the Bihar poll outcome as a defeat of “divisive agenda of BJP and RSS”, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tone down his “arrogance” or people will “throw him out”.The Congress leader also asked Modi to stop his frequent foreign tours and instead go to meet farmers, labourers and youth whom he promised jobs. Gandhi said the grand alliance’s triumph was “a victory of unity over divisiveness, humility over arrogance and love over hate”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The truth is this victory is not against NDA but against the ideology of BJP, RSS and Modi. This is a message against putting Hindus against Muslims and making them fight to win elections.”His vehicle is not starting. He should start it and press the accelerator. If you do not do it, people of India will open the door and throw you out as they have done in Bihar,” he said of Modi, adding as a Prime Minister it does not behove his stature to “pit one community against the other”.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become arrogant. He should work on toning it down as it will benefit him and the country.”Modi should stop campaigning and start working. He should also stop foreign tours and instead go and meet farmers, labourers and youth whom he promised jobs,” he told reporters. The Congress vice president said this message is echoing in the entire country and it was time for Modi to pay heed.Related Read: Bihar Elections 2015: Mahagatbandhan gets two-third majority, BJP stumbles to defeat

Bihar Elections 2015: CPI hails ‘decisive mandate’, calls it defeat for Modi and BJP

The party claimed that the results reflected “people’s opinion of Modi” and also hit out at BJP’s ideological mentor, RSS.

CPI leader D Raja

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Hailing the decisive mandate in Bihar, CPI on Sunday termed it a “defeat for BJP and Narendra Modi” and a rejection of “communal politics” even as it stated that the performance of Left parties in the Assembly polls was a “matter of concern”.The party claimed that the results reflected “people’s opinion of Modi” and also hit out at BJP’s ideological mentor, RSS, saying that its “communal and divisive” politics stands rejected by Bihar electors.”It is a very decisive mandate. It is a defeat for BJP, it is a defeat for Modi. Never before has it happened that a prime minister campaigned like a local leader in a state election, addressing so many rallies. “It will be taken as people’s opinion about Modi also…it is a rejection of RSS’s communal politics. Because, during the campaign, (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat came to the centre-stage of politics, speaking on all political issues,” said CPI national secretary D Raja.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Bihar mandate ‘personal defeat’ for Modi, says MIM chief Asaduddin OwaisiHe further asserted that “people rejected the divisive, sectarian and fascist politics of RSS”.Meanwhile, responding to the dismal showing by Left parties in Bihar polls, Raja said they will have to “rework” their strategy to strengthen themselves in the Hindi region. Trends available for 239 out of a total of 243 seats in Bihar Assembly hinted at a poor performance by the Left with CPI not in the lead on any of them.Related Read: Bihar Elections 2015: Rahul Gandhi the ‘architect’ of victorious alliance, claims Congress

Delhi Church attacks were hyped beyond proportion with a motive: RSS-backed think tank

Amid the raging debate over rising intolerance and a spate of award wapasi, an RSS-backed think tank has come out with a publication debunking the story of Christian persecution in India. It concludes that the alleged attacks on churches in the national capital were hyped beyond proportion and the attack of leaders of the Christian community on the Modi government over this was without any basis.

An RSS-based think tank has said that the Delhi church attacks were hyped. AFP

An RSS-based think tank has said that the Delhi church attacks were hyped. AFP

Premeditated reaction of the church authorities on the alleged attacks in Delhi and the low profile maintained by them after the investigations, the publication says, raises questions on the ethics and integrity of the Catholic Church in targeting Hindu organisations. It adds that even before the police reports came out, anti-India propaganda was spread by the Indian and foreign media. It finds it of significance that the occurrence of these incidents as a chain of incidents came close to the Delhi assembly elections.

The 48-page booklet, Big Lies, with a subtitle ‘Investigation exposes vilification campaign of Christian persecution in India’, is prepared by the India Policy Foundation. It was presented at the recent RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal meet.

It quotes the statement of a number of senior Catholic clerics to substantiate its point. Delhi Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, for instance, is quoted as saying after the declaration of the Delhi assembly election results in February 2015 – “in a statement released by Vatican Radio” – that people of Delhi voted against BJP and its attempts to polarise voters in name of religion. “The result of these elections is a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He should think seriously about his behaviour,” he is quoted.

It makes a detailed narration, citing police investigation and some statements by Christian priests, about alleged attacks on St Sebastian’s church at Dilshad Garden, Church of Our Lady at Vikaspuri, Blessed St Alphonsa’s Church at Vasant Kunj, Cyro Malabar Church at Jasola, Church of Resurrection Rohini, Child Auxilium Convent school at Vasant Vihar and Believer’s Church at Hisar in Haryana and concludes that these incidents had no direct or indirect linkage any Hindu organisation.

The report goes at length talking about earlier incidents like Jhabua rape case, rape of a septuagenarian nun at Ranahgat, blasts in Karnataka churches and so on, which were initially blamed at Hindutava elements but investigations revealed something else.

The timing of the publication of `Big Lies’ is interesting as it coincides with writers and filmmakers with liberal, Left and Congress leaning returning their awards and blaming the Modi government and Hindutava outfits for intolerance. All this happens around the time the Bihar election is in progress. Perhaps the booklet wants to send a message across to the Sangh Parivar workers at large that they need not be defensive on the `intolerance’ issue.

Rakesh Sinha, director of India Policy Foundation, says: “Intellectuals of the country are predominantly neo-colonialists. They pursue, propagate and campaign for selective secularism. This report is an eye-opener. It also shows how many columnists, reporters and editors are always waiting to use incidents to attack majoritarianism which does not exit either in theory or in practice in cotemporary India.”

RSS, BJP leaders hold meet; discuss Bihar polls, Nepal

In the meeting which continued till late in the evening, top leaders discussed the Bihar polls and how BJP has fared.

The meeting was held at the residence of party chief Amit Shah.

File Photo
The Bihar assembly elections and the emerging situation in Nepal were the issues discussed between top BJP and RSS leaders at a meeting here today that was held at the residence of party chief Amit Shah. According to sources, BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ramlal was among those who attended the meeting besides RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, who is also a pointsman for BJP. In the meeting which continued till late in the evening, top leaders discussed the Bihar polls and how BJP has fared.Later, in another meeting, the top BJP and RSS leaders discussed the Nepal situation during which the latter expressed concerns over reports that the neighbouring country was moving closer to China. “Discussions were held to overcome the current scenario,” the sources said. Among those present in the meeting were RSS regional pracharak Prem Kumar, Nepal’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’s national pracharak Ved Prakash and joint pracharak Rewat Kumar. BJP’s Nepal cell head Ajit Kumar also attended it. Though there was no official word on the meeting, the sources said that it went on till late in the night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar assembly poll results will be out on Sunday. Exit polls are predicting a close fight while both NDA and grand alliance have claimed victory in the state.

RSS for persuasion to control population, quotes Quran to drive home their message

The RSS also said that it is an favour of the current reservation policy but stressed that it should not be based on religion as it will be against the spirit of Constitution

RSS-Marchers

As a religion-based Census showed growth of Muslims was faster than Hindus, RSS on Friday said it will adopt a policy of persuasion through education to control population and quoted the ‘Quran’ to claim it favours small families for those who can’t afford to raise big ones.The RSS also said that it is an favour of the current reservation policy but stressed that it should not be based on religion as it will be against the spirit of Constitution. RSS said the issue of population control needs to be made religion-neutral and its affiliates will persuade communities including Muslims to strive for smaller families. “We want persuasion through education. Our members of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch have made studies and found quotations from the Quran, where it has been stated that if you are unable to rear your family, its size should be kept small and should be limited to what you can raise.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We feel it is a sage advice. It is a correct advice. This is the correct advice for every section of society. There is no other policy other than persuasion and we don’t want to repeat the Emergency days when things were done by force. Persuasion is the right way to do it,” RSS’s Delhi unit joint chief Alok Kumar told reporters. On the issue of reservation, he said, its aim was to lift such communities and sections that were under-privileged.”We are in favour of the current reservation. But we don’t consider reservation should be religion based and not consider it as per the Constitution,” he said.He said population policy should be religion-neutral, but steps need to be taken to check the imbalances. “I agree that population policy should remain religion-neutral. But where it has not been accepted, we feel persuasion efforts should be increased there. I want to re-emphasise that we have not raised any questions on the religion-neutral policy,” he said. “We feel there is a need to make all sections, especially the low-earning ones, understand that small family is for their good,” he said, adding that the Sangh will work on this and hoped the government will agree to its demands in taking effective steps to control population and remove imbalances.On Minorities, he said the views of RSS are very clear as it feels that all citizens of the country enjoy equal fundamental rights. He said during the three-day meet at Ranchi recently, RSS called for control on population and remove the imbalances created due to increase in population of certain sections.”Sangh is urging the governments to stop infiltration from borders, governments are working and society should be aware,” he said. He felt that infiltrators who cannot be pushed back immediately, their voting rights should be revoked so that they do not become votebanks.

Returning awards to protest was started by Tagore: Sitaram Yechury

“Has there been any apology from either the RSS or the BJP for the 2002 communal genocide in Gujarat,” he asked.

“RSS has to answer why it did not join the national struggle for freedom?” he asked

Taking a swipe at BJP for alleging that the Left was behind the return of awards by scholars and others over “growing intolerance,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Thursday thanked Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu for bracketing the Left with stalwarts like Rabindranath Tagore who had started such a form of protest. Responding to Naidu’s charges the ongoing protests were a joint campaign by Congress and Left-leaning intellectuals, he said “the return of State awards as a form of protest is nothing new. During the course of the freedom struggle this has happened on many an occasion.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Recollect that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest against the atrocities of the British colonial rule in India. … We are thankful to Shri Venkaiah Naidu Garu for bracketing the most exalted and enlightened Indian minds with the CPI(M).”In the same vein, Yechury said “when it comes to saying that in the past why did ‘so and so’ not protest and why protests are taking place now, the RSS has to answer why it did not join the national struggle for freedom? “Even Nanaji Deshmukh, a respected RSS leader, has asked in his book why the RSS had not participated in the freedom movement as an organisation? Yechury said the British Home record, on the basis of intelligence reports telegraphed to London by the Bombay Police department, had noted that the Sangh has “scrupulously” remained within the law. “Has the RSS ever answered why they cooperated with the British during the course of the freedom struggle,” he asked, adding that Sardar Patel ordered the ban on the RSS saying “the cult of violence spearheaded by the Sangh” that had claimed many lives including that of Mahatma Gandhi.Yechury said “till date the RSS has not retracted or apologised for their Guru Madhav Sadhashiv Golwalkar’s observation that we should learn from the methods used by Hitlerite fascism and that India should ‘learn and profit’ from this.” “Has there been any apology from either the RSS or the BJP for the 2002 communal genocide in Gujarat,” he asked. The CPI(M) General Secretary said the hallmark of the current intolerance was the violent attacks that are being unleashed all across the country. Yechury said while the issue was being raised in Parliament from the first session since Narendra Modi government took office, “till date, forget any action, no assurance (to check such assaults) has been forthcoming from the Prime Minister.”

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

By Gouri Chatterjee

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

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

Arun Shourie. Reuters

Arun Shourie. Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wikileaks clarifies on fake India Twitter handle, imposters run rumour-mongering website

The Wikileaks4India account seems to be mostly devoted to spreading rumours. It seems to be promoting something called ‘Operation Cow’, for example.

The Wikileaks4India logo on Twitter

Image Courtesy: Twitter
There seems to be no dearth of people willing to spread rumours these days.Wikileaks, the organisation founded by Julian Assange and known for publishing secret classified information from international governments, has clarified that @Wikileaks4India is not an official India handle of the organisation.In a tweet, the official Wikileaks account said that Wikileaks4India account is using its name without authorisation to ‘stir up tensions between Hindus and Muslims’The Wikileaks4India account seems to be mostly devoted to spreading rumours. It seems to be promoting something called ‘Operation Cow’, for example:The link directs you to a website called Wikileaks4India.com, which has published a number of questionable articles. It’s ‘Operation Cow’ seems to be centered on a press conference on cow slaughter, which it held in Noida in conjunction with ‘Sun Star’ newspaper. It claims that activists of one ‘Hindu Sangathan’ barged into the press conference and created mayhem, before being taken away by police.The website, which is in Hindi, makes several more startling claims – about film actors, cricketers, the RSS and so on. For example, it claims that Yuvraj Singh is about to get married soon – possibly in Diwali! It conducts an ‘investigation’ into actresses Sonali Bendre and Twinkle Khanna’s ‘dubious activities’, and has a piece proclaiming that a Muslim youth was killed for supporting RSS.There is also an article claiming that PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are unhappy with a certain minister in the Union government.Incredibly, the website is divided into sections like Investigations, ‘Docuots/ Leaks”, Interviews and so on. While the other two sections devote themselves to topics of national interest like the love interest of Yuvraj Singh, conspiracy theories about RSS and so on, the Interviews section really takes the cake. For example, it is claimed that actress and producer Divya Khosla Kumar gave an interview to Wikileaks4India, in which she spoke about participating in UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s cycling campaign.Needless to say, no such interview can be found on the internet otherwise, and nor does Kumar seem to have said anything about it. In conclusion, the twitter handle and the website seem to be the work of certain people who could do well to find a real job. Given that they use the name ‘Wikileaks’ without permission, the salacious content and unverifiable claims though, Wikileaks4India can easily run into trouble with the law.

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.

Worry about female foeticide, not population ‘imbalance’: Muslim cleric on RSS resolution

The RSS passed a resolution on this contentious issue at its three-day national executive in Ranchi.

Muslim cleric Imam Umer Iliyasi on Sunday drew attention towards the rising cases of female foeticide and downplayed the RSS resolution

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Muslim cleric Imam Umer Iliyasi on Sunday drew attention towards the rising cases of female foeticide and downplayed the RSS resolution asking the government to reformulate the population policy to check demographic imbalance. “Instead of worrying about the increase or decrease of population of the country, we must worry about female foeticide. The balance of the country’s population is being disturbed because of this. If you look at Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, you will notice that our balance has been disturbed in a way that the women population has gone down and male population has increased,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As far as the demographic balance is concerned, it is the work of God to maintain the balance. It cannot be handled by man. An example of the interference by man in maintaining balance can be seen in China where they started a 100 years policy and now the result is in front of all. They are now requesting people to give birth to more and more number of children,” he added. The RSS on Saturday sought a review of the population policy to counter ‘severe demographic changes’ in India, flagging what it considers a high rate of growth among Muslims in the country.The RSS passed a resolution on this contentious issue at its three-day national executive in Ranchi. The RSS and its affiliated organisations have been citing the last census figures to claim that Hindus are facing the threat of being swamped by Muslims, though the minority community accounts for only 14.2% of the country’s population while their population is growing at a slower rate.

Law and order state subject, Centre can’t be blamed: Former PM HD Deve Gowda

Gowda was asked who was responsible for incidents such as Dadri lynching and murder of writer M M Kalburgi

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Saturday suggested that the central government was not responsible for the “growing intolerance” in the country, saying law and order is a state subject.He, however, said the beef-eating controversy is a creation of the RSS and some parliamentarians linked to the sangh are to be blamed. “What the Indian government can do? I am sorry, law and order is a state subject. As a former Prime Minister myself, how can I jump to a conclusion that the central government is responsible (for the growing intolerance). I have some knowledge of administration. I don’t want to speak more on this issue,” he told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gowda was asked who was responsible for incidents such as Dadri lynching and murder of writer M M Kalburgi. “Beef-eating row is a creation of RSS. This issue has been created by some of the sitting members of the Lok Sabha. These are internal problems of their own party. RSS is the mother of all these political wings. BJP is the political wing of the RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP,” he said.Responding to a query on the outcome of Bihar polls, he said it’s a battle between the sitting Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, and it’s difficult for him to say how people would respond to Modi’s talk on development and Nitish Kumar’s administrative performance. It maybe difficult for BJP and the NDA to tarnish Kumar’s image since nobody can question his performance as the Chief Minister for the last nine years, Gowda said.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s quota comments show it really doesn’t care much for BJP’s interests

There are two ways to look at the RSS’s rather bizarre turns and twists over the issue of reservation. It is either seriously handicapped by the lack of sense of timing or it is too indifferent about the political prospects of the BJP.

Take a look at the timing first. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat calls for a review of the reservation system when the BJP is thick into a critical election in Bihar, a state highly sensitive in matters of caste. Political opponents, so far defensive, latch on to it and virtually turn the election on its head. JD(U) boss Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Yadav rake it up in rally after election rally, leaving BJP strategists struggling for a response. The denial from Bhagwat – he spoke about it in the Dussehra rally – and the RSS – it tried to explain that the chief actually didn’t mean what he said — comes in small, insignificant tranches, hardly affecting the new campaign narrative that has already settled in.

The BJP tried to dissociate itself from the remark. Senior leaders came out and declared that the RSS chief’s views are not the BJP’s views. Yet, given the symbiotic relationship between the two organization, it hardly finds any takers. Desperate to change the discourse, the BJP’s mascot and star campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to resort to a lie, rather a half-truth. He claimed that the the Nitish-Lalu-Rahul Mahagathbandhan is trying to ensure a separate quota for the minorities (read Muslims) at the cost of the backward castes. It’s not known yet whether it has had any impact, but the fact he had to fall back on something like this makes it amply clear that Bhagwat’s remark has hurt the party badly.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFPRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFP

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFP

Now, three phases already gone and the fate of the parties nearly sealed, the RSS decides to make amends. “Concept of reservations is an article of faith for us, we are not against it,” it says. Clearly, it comes too late in the day. The damage is already done.

Coming to the other point, do the RSS and the organizations loosely affiliated to it really give a damn about the BJP? The recent developments involving fringe Hindutva outfits make the answer obvious. One has to be blind and deaf to the reality to deny that the killing of rationalists, the unsavoury incidents involving beef, the messages increasingly conveyed through threat and coercive means and the general brazen disregard of the law by the fringe groups have created an atmosphere of panic in the country. Filmmakers, writers, artists and scientists maybe overreacting by either returning awards or writing appeals, but it’s hard to deny that the intolerant, regressive forces have become bolder in recent time.

Who’ll bear the brunt of all this finally? The BJP, of course, since it has to go back to people for votes at the end of its tenure, not the RSS or the fringe. The latter have already managed to alienate a lot of cross-section goodwill that the Narendra Modi-led government had in the beginning. They have completely overshadowed all the good work of the government this far and started denting its image. If they are allowed to proceed unchecked they might end up causing the defeat of the BJP in the next general election.

Curiously, neither the party nor its apologists in the intellectual circles seemed to have grasped the long-term import of the current developments. If the party loses the Bihar polls, the political opposition to it will be far stronger than it was before. It will cash in on the several social conflicts the fringes have opened up so far. Both would pretend to believe that the reactions happening in different pockets is the handiwork of people opposed to Modi.

The approach is amazing indeed! Why link Modi to the vandals all the time? Does it do his image any good? Does he even appreciate it? Going by his response to intolerant activities, the answer is no. If only his so-called supporters or bhakts realised it. From the way the latter has been behaving, it’s obvious that they have no sense of responsibility towards the government or Modi.

That leaves us with the big question: does the Right believe it’s far more important than the party or government? If that’s not the case, then the RSS should be more mindful of the BJP’s interests.

Bhagwat’s quota comments show that RSS really doesn’t care much for BJP’s interests

There are two ways to look at the RSS’s rather bizarre turns and twists over the issue of reservation. It is either seriously handicapped by the lack of sense of timing or it is too indifferent about the political prospects of the BJP.

Take a look at the timing first. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat calls for a review of the reservation system when the BJP is thick into a critical election in Bihar, a state highly sensitive in matters of caste. Political opponents, so far defensive, latch on to it and virtually turn the election on its head. JD(U) boss Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Yadav rake it up in rally after election rally, leaving BJP strategists struggling for a response. The denial from Bhagwat – he spoke about it in the Dussehra rally – and the RSS – it tried to explain that the chief actually didn’t mean what he said — comes in small, insignificant tranches, hardly affecting the new campaign narrative that has already settled in.

The BJP tried to dissociate itself from the remark. Senior leaders came out and declared that the RSS chief’s views are not the BJP’s views. Yet, given the symbiotic relationship between the two organization, it hardly finds any takers. Desperate to change the discourse, the BJP’s mascot and star campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to resort to a lie, rather a half-truth. He claimed that the the Nitish-Lalu-Rahul Mahagathbandhan is trying to ensure a separate quota for the minorities (read Muslims) at the cost of the backward castes. It’s not known yet whether it has had any impact, but the fact he had to fall back on something like this makes it amply clear that Bhagwat’s remark has hurt the party badly.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFPRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFP

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. AFP

Now, three phases already gone and the fate of the parties nearly sealed, the RSS decides to make amends. “Concept of reservations is an article of faith for us, we are not against it,” it says. Clearly, it comes too late in the day. The damage is already done.

Coming to the other point, do the RSS and the organizations loosely affiliated to it really give a damn about the BJP? The recent developments involving fringe Hindutva outfits make the answer obvious. One has to be blind and deaf to the reality to deny that the killing of rationalists, the unsavoury incidents involving beef, the messages increasingly conveyed through threat and coercive means and the general brazen disregard of the law by the fringe groups have created an atmosphere of panic in the country. Filmmakers, writers, artists and scientists maybe overreacting by either returning awards or writing appeals, but it’s hard to deny that the intolerant, regressive forces have become bolder in recent time.

Who’ll bear the brunt of all this finally? The BJP, of course, since it has to go back to people for votes at the end of its tenure, not the RSS or the fringe. The latter have already managed to alienate a lot of cross-section goodwill that the Narendra Modi-led government had in the beginning. They have completely overshadowed all the good work of the government this far and started denting its image. If they are allowed to proceed unchecked they might end up causing the defeat of the BJP in the next general election.

Curiously, neither the party nor its apologists in the intellectual circles seemed to have grasped the long-term import of the current developments. If the party loses the Bihar polls, the political opposition to it will be far stronger than it was before. It will cash in on the several social conflicts the fringes have opened up so far. Both would pretend to believe that the reactions happening in different pockets is the handiwork of people opposed to Modi.

The approach is amazing indeed! Why link Modi to the vandals all the time? Does it do his image any good? Does he even appreciate it? Going by his response to intolerant activities, the answer is no. If only his so-called supporters or bhakts realised it. From the way the latter has been behaving, it’s obvious that they have no sense of responsibility towards the government or Modi.

That leaves us with the big question: does the Right believe it’s far more important than the party or government? If that’s not the case, then the RSS should be more mindful of the BJP’s interests.

RSS likely to pass resolution on population ‘imbalance’

The recent census showed that the Muslim community had registered a moderate 0.8 per cent growth to touch 17.22 crore in the 10 year period between 2001 and 2011, up from 13.8 crore, while Hindus population showed a decline by 0.7 per cent at 96.63 crore during the period.

“There would be extensive deliberations on the subject during the meeting and a resolution in this context may be taken up,” he said.

With the recent census figures recording the Muslim population count at over 17 crores, the three-day RSS executive beginning tomorrow is expected to adopt a resolution calling for a check in the “imbalance” of population growth. Addressing the media on the eve of the meet, RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the recent census which had just come showed an imbalance in the growth of population. “There would be extensive deliberations on the subject during the meeting and a resolution in this context may be taken up,” he said. Entire top brass of the RSS, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat, will attend the meet. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The recent census showed that the Muslim community had registered a moderate 0.8 per cent growth to touch 17.22 crore in the 10 year period between 2001 and 2011, up from 13.8 crore, while Hindus population showed a decline by 0.7 per cent at 96.63 crore during the period.In his Vijya Dashmi address last week, Bhagwat had said that facts and figures of the last two census reports and the imbalances that had come to notice as a result were being widely discussed. “Our present and future is getting impacted by it. We need to rise above vote bank politics to formulate a holistic approach, equally applicable to all citizens, towards the population policy. “Such a population policy be enforced by our governments or laws alone. Considerable efforts are required to tune society’s psyche to the same. It would be prudent to think about it during policy-making exercise,” he had said.Vaidya also sought a countrywide debate over the Upamanyu Hazarika Commission’s report that illegal migration from Bangladesh is threatening to reduce the indigenous population of Assam to a minority by the year 2047. “Recently, the Hazarika Commission report has given a startling information about changing demographic situation in Assam and Bengal. If the trend continues then population of Indians would be reduced and foreigners would be increased,” he said.

Illegal Bangladeshi migrants: RSS fears rise of ‘foreign’ population, seeks debate on Hazarika Commission report

The RSS would extensively delve upon “imbalance of population growth” during its three-day Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal Baithak (executive committee meeting) beginning here tomorrow and a resolution might be taken in this context, Vaidya said.

“If the trend continues then population of Indians would be reduced and foreigners would be increased,” RSS’ Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said at a press conference. (PTI)

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The RSS on Thursday sought a countrywide debate over the Upamanyu Hazarika Commission’s report that illegal migration from Bangladesh is threatening to reduce the indigenous population of Assam to a minority by the year 2047. “Recently, the Hazarika Commission report has given a startling information about changing demographic situation in Assam and Bengal. If the trend continues then population of Indians would be reduced and foreigners would be increased,” RSS’ Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said at a press conference here. There should be a country-wide debate in this regard, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The RSS would extensively delve upon “imbalance of population growth” during its three-day Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal Baithak (executive committee meeting) beginning here tomorrow and a resolution might be taken in this context, Vaidya said. RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat is in Ranchi to attend the meeting.The one-man Hazarika commission, set up by Supreme Court on India-Bangladesh boundary, had submitted its report with a recommendation that the apex court order a high-powered enquiry into issues concerning illegal migration from Bangladesh which is threatening to reduce the indigenous population of Assam to a minority by 2047. The Supreme Court has directed the Central and Assam governments to respond to the recommendations for hearing on November 5.

Maharashtra CM Fadnavis hits back at Shiv Sena, says lessons on nationalism not needed

Addressing couple of election rally in Kalyan where Shiv Sena and BJP are contesting the municipal elections separately, he said, “We are from RSS school.. do not tell us nationalism”.
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dna Research & Archives
In an apparent swipe at Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the BJP leaders and workers do not need lessons on nationalism as they had been brought up with RSS values.Addressing couple of election rally in Kalyan where Shiv Sena and BJP are contesting the municipal elections separately, he said, “We are from RSS school.. do not tell us nationalism”.”You are teaching loyalty. There is no need to give us lessons of nationalism. Our birth itself is from nationalism, By disrupting a couple of meetings one does not become nationalist,” he said in a veiled attack on Shiv Sena.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP and Shiv Sena, ruling alliance partners in Maharashtra, are at loggerheads with each other over several issues including cultural and sports ties with Pakistan.”It was due to the greedy attitude of the rulers, we could not provide basic civic amenities. They have no face to show on the basis of development. They (Sena) cannot show any work done by them,” Fadnavis.”Cities of Kalyan and Dombivili have suffered due to non-performance of the Sena (Shiv Sena). Give power to BJP in the corporation and I assure you best of development of the city. You give me power, I will covert this into a smart city and I promise,” he added.Voting for Kalyan-Dombivili civic polls in Thane district will take place on November 1.

Modi government tells scientific research organisations to find their own sources of funding

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ‘Chintan Shibir’ which unveiled the new policy was that representatives from Vigyan Bharati, an organisation affiliated to the RSS, were part of the meeting.

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan

The Modi government has apparently told organisations involved in scientific research to start ‘self-financing’ projects send in monthly updates and ensure that research stays in sync with the Central government’s ‘social and economic objectives.’According to a report in the Hindu, the cash-strapped Ministry of Science and Technology, led by Harsh Vardhan, has asked the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to generate half of its funds and start sending report cards to the Centre. The report cards should describe how “each of the laboratory (is) focusing its resources on developing specific lines of inventions which would contribute to the social and economic objectives of the Narendra Modi government for the poor and the common man.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision was taken at the two-day ‘Chintan Shibhir’ in June in Dehradun. Here, all CSIR labs resolved to turn research projects into ‘for-profit’ ventures over the next two years, says the Hindu.According to the ‘Dehradun Declaration’, all laboratories signed up to develop a revenue model in a ‘business like manner’ with cost-benefit analysis.The research institutions will have to submit their short-term and long-term projects(between 1 and 3 years) to the Modi government.Funding for the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) — both under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the government — have not been affected, said a CSIR scientist to the Hindu.But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ‘Chintan Shibir’ was that representatives from Vigyan Bharati, an organisation affiliated to the RSS, were part of the meeting. “While DAE institutions are spared for the moment, institutes under the CSIR are badly hit by the government’s budget slash. Under the Dehradun Declaration, research institutions have been asked to raise part of their money for research through external funded projects and grants. While senior and established researchers can manage to secure grants, young researchers are having a tough time. This will affect the quality of research,” a senior scientist at CSIR told the Hindu.The report adds that CSIR labs are now required to show how their research contributes to ‘society outreach’. Apart from submitting report cards of their work, the organisation must now show what part of their work ‘gives back to society’.All this sparks fears of a fresh thrust on ‘indigenous science’. Of late, RSS as well as some BJP ministers have called for a revival of ancient Indian science. Home Minister Rajnath Singh in September even went so far as to say that India’s ‘dhoti wearing pandits’ had better knowledge of space science than America’s NASA scientists. At a student function in a Delhi college, Singh said, “USA’s NASA can make the prediction that after a month, solar and lunar eclipse will happen at this time… the media says America has such advanced technology, it is predicted one and-a-half years, two years ago. I can say with confidence that if you go to the dhoti-wearing pandit in the neighbourhood, he will pull out the ‘panchang’ and tell you when the lunar and solar eclipses happened 100 years ago and when they will happen 100 years later.”Moreover, apart from funds cut, the number of CSIR fellowships have also been reduced. The 2015 notification for Senior Research Fellowships (SRFs) granted by CSIR has not been issued so far. Last year fewer people have been granted SRFs.But Science and Technology is not the only ministry to experience budget cuts. The Health Ministry has also pulled the plug on 18 donor-funded projects and 14 operational research projects financed by the National AIDS Control Organisation, in March this year. Thus, funds for HIV/AIDS research have been significantly cut down.Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan told the Hindu that research in India needed to be commercialised, underplaying concerns. “The technology transfer is not happening and there is no harm in relying on industry to scale up or take forward the research projects under way. If the labs make more money, the research will be better utilised. We are not giving targets to research institutions. We just want them to be better coordinated and have more accountability,” he said.It is however, difficult to see how this could impact PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in a positive way.

Supreme Court tells Modi govt to scrap reservations from institutes of higher education

The apex court also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to refrain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservations.

Supreme Court

PTI
The Supreme Court on Tuesday called for the end of the reservation system in all institutions of higher education, regretting that ‘some privilege remains unchanged’ 68 years after Independence. It urged the Modi government to take steps to remove reservations in ‘national interest’.According to Indian Express, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant noted that despite several reminders to the central and state governments to make merit the primary criteria for admissions into super-specialty courses, the reality is that reservation is given preference over merit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The fond hope has remained in the sphere of hope… The said privilege remains unchanged, as if (it is) to compete with eternity,” the bench remarked. The court said it agreed with two of its own judgements from 1988. The two cases refer to reservations in super-speciality medical courses, wherein the Supreme Court had stated that ‘there should really be no reservation’. The rationale given was that improving higher education was in the general interest of the country, and quality of medical services needed to be good.“We hope and trust that the Government of India and the state governments shall seriously consider this aspect of the matter without delay and appropriate guidelines shall be evolved…” these judgments had stated.The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it was ‘inclined’ to convey the same message it did 27 years ago, according to Indian Express. “Therefore, we echo the same feeling and reiterate the aspirations of others so that authorities can objectively assess and approach the situation so that the national interest can become paramount,” the court said. The apex court also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to refrain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservations, since it would defeat the very purpose of imparting the best possible training to selected meritorious candidates.These observations were made by the Supreme Court while delivering judgement on a slew of petitions which had challenged an eligibility criteria for admissions into certain super-specialty medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The bench said it could not interfere with the admission process in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since a Presidential Order had been created and the constitutionality of the order not challenged.Recently, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had caused a controversy by opining that the reservation system in the country needed to be reexamined, sparking protests from across the political spectrum. Even the BJP had disagreed with Bhagwat and stated that there were no plans to scrap reservations.Read: RSS Mohan Bhagwat pitches for review of reservation policy, Amit Shah thinks otherwise

Samajwadi Party’s criticism ‘purely political’: UP Guv Ram Naik

Yadav said Naik’s statement was against the spirit of the Constitution and wryly suggested he be made a Union Minister so that he can fulfill his “communal agenda”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Monday described as “purely political” his criticism by Samajwadi Party and said it was below his dignity to respond to it.”It’s purely a political statement made by him. And it is below my dignity to respond to political statements,” Naik said after SP National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav today dubbed him as “an RSS worker”, miffed at his remarks over the law and order situation in the state.Yadav said Naik’s statement was against the spirit of the Constitution and wryly suggested he be made a Union Minister so that he can fulfill his “communal agenda”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naik had on Sunday said that incidents of communal disturbances in Uttar Pradesh are due to “very poor” law and order situation in the state..Also read: Samajwadi Party hits out at UP Governor Ram Naik, dubs him ‘RSS worker’

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