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All you need to know about PM Modi’s sudden Pakistan visit

As well as the parliament building, India is also supplying three Russian-made Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan’s small air force, adding badly needed capacity to provide close air support to its hard-pressed security forces.

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US welcomes Modi-Sharif meeting in Pakistan

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan on Friday — a significant sign the icy relationship between the two neighbours is thawing,” it said. The Washington Post said Modi has “pressed the reset button on the blow-hot-blow-cold relationship” between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, paving the way for official dialogue to resume next month. The Chicago Tribune reported: “The previously unannounced visit is a potential sign of thawing relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.”

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Stung by Modi govt’s ‘cold attitude’, VHP says Ram temple to be made by dharmacharyas, masses

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Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, two trucks of stones had arrived in the temple city earlier this week, even as police said it was monitoring the situation

AFP
Apparently miffed with the “cold attitude” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the Ram Mandir issue, VHP leaders in Ayodhya said that the temple will be constructed by the ‘dharmacharyas’ (holy men) and masses.”We don’t take directions from Modi. Dharmacharyas use their own wisdom,” Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas, who actively campaigned for the construction of Ram Mandir said. Das said that although they were hopeful that the temple construction work would pick up after the return of a Hindu party government, the NDA-led Centre “did not take any interest” in VHP’s Ayodhya movement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have thus decided to move forward with our agenda without any help,” he said. Another senior VHP leader Triloki Nath Pandey, seconded Das’s opinion. Pandey, who was awarded a part of Babri Masjid land by Allahabad High Court, said that the VHP never expected any help from the Prime Minister for the temple construction.The temple would be constructed by Dharmacharyas and Hindu masses, he added. Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, two trucks of stones had arrived in the temple city earlier this week, even as police said it was monitoring the situation.

VHP begins ‘Ram shila pujan’ in Ayodhya

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A fresh load of stone meant for temple construction arrived in Ayodhya from Rajasthan on Sunday. RJB Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das began a Ram Shila Pujan (stone worship) programme on Monday, saying construction of the Ram Temple would begin soon.

The RamJanmabhoomi (RJB) Nyas (trust) has restarted the work of polishing stones meant for the proposed construction of a grand Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. However, the move is largely seen as an attempt by the saffron brigade to create the required momentum for the BJP in preparation for the crucial UP assembly election in 2017. This is what the oldest litigant of the dispute, Hashim Ansari (93), said on Monday.A fresh load of stone meant for temple construction arrived in Ayodhya from Rajasthan on Sunday. RJB Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das began a Ram Shila Pujan (stone worship) programme on Monday, saying construction of the Ram Temple would begin soon.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Ayodhya tangle locked in a legal dispute, now before the Supreme Court, work at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Ram Mandir Karyashala (workshop) in Ayodhya had been stopped about eight years ago. Political watchers say the timing of the VHP restarting the work seemed to be linked to the upcoming UP polls.”The time has come for the construction to begin. Work will begin soon with the blessings of Lord Ram,” Das said.However, the mukhya pujari (chief priest) at the makeshift Ram temple, Mahant Satyendra Das said there was no way the temple construction could begin since the matter was under litigation. “It seems that the VHP wants to demonstrate that the fervour of the temple movement has not slackened with the death of Ashok Singhal,” he said.A firebrand Hindutva leader who spearheaded the temple movement in the late 80s and 90s, Singhal passed away recently.At least 2 lakh cubic metres of stone would be needed for the proposed temple. Out of this, the VHP workshop at Ayodhya has already polished and readied about half. Sources in Ayodhya said the stone needed for the structure up to the first floor has already been polished. The latest supply is for the roof of the first floor, they added, saying more stone-laden trucks were on the way.Political animals have already started tucking into the issue. “The Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the UP is responsible for this development,” said BSP chief Mayawati, alleging that the BJP and SP were hand in glove in trying to vitiate the communal atmosphere.Ansari said, “This is all a part of petty politics. The temple issue is being stoked again for the UP election in 2017.”

VHP’s first lot of stones for Ram temple arrives in Ayodhya, police on alert

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“Now, the time has come for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Lot of stones arrived today in Ayodhya. And now the arrival of stones will continue. We have signals from Modi Government that Mandir construction would be done now,” he said.

Indian activists of Hindu Bajrang Dal, along with Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organizations, hold swords alongside a model of a Ram temple during a procession marking the 23rd anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, in Amritsar on December 6, 2015

AFP
Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple here, two trucks of stones arrived in the temple city here today, even as police said it was monitoring the situation.”Two trucks of stones have been unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property in Ayodhya, and ‘Shila Pujan’ (praying of the stones) has been performed by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma said.Meanwhile, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das told PTI that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be build “now”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now, the time has come for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Lot of stones arrived today in Ayodhya. And now the arrival of stones will continue. We have signals from Modi Government that Mandir construction would be done now,” he said.Reacting to the arrival of stones at VHP headquarters, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said that the police was monitoring the situation.”We are monitoring all the developments minutely. Stones have arrived and being kept in a private premises. Due to this development, if their was any breach in peace or communal harmony we will definitely take action,” he said.Asserting its resolve to build the Ram temple, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had in June announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of the temple here and had also asked the Muslim community not to pose any hindrance.”About 2.25 lakhs cubic ft of stones are required for the construction of the Ram temple and about 1.25 lakh cubic ft of stones are ready at the VHP’s headquarter in Ayodhya. The rest one lakh cubic ft stones would be collected nationwide from Hindu devotees,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who died last month in Gurgaon, had said.The announcement had met with a quick reaction from the administration, which had said that it would oppose the move as the matter was sub judice.Principal Secretary (Home) Devashish Panda had said that the Uttar Pradesh government would not allow arrival of stones in Ayodhya for Ram Mandir.”Since the matter is sub judice, the government will not allow starting of any new tradition regarding Ayodhya issue,” he had said.

VHP’s first lot of stones for Ram temple arrive, police on high alert

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Reacting to the arrival of stones at VHP headquarters, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said that the police was monitoring the situation

Indian activists of Hindu Bajrang Dal, along with Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organizations, hold swords alongside a model of a Ram temple during a procession marking the 23rd anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, in Amritsar on December 6, 2015

AFP
Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, two trucks of stones arrived in the temple city here today, even as police said it was monitoring the situation.”Two trucks of stones have been unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property in Ayodhya, and ‘Shila Pujan’ (praying of the stones) has been performed by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma said. Meanwhile, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das told PTI that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be build “now”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now, the time has come for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Lot of stones arrived today in Ayodhya. And now the arrival of stones will continue. We have signals from Modi Government that Mandir construction would be done now,” he said. Reacting to the arrival of stones at VHP headquarters, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said that the police was monitoring the situation.”We are monitoring all the developments minutely. Stones have arrived and being kept in a private premises. Due to this development, if their was any breach in peace or communal harmony we will definitely take action,” he said. Asserting its resolve to build the Ram temple, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had in June announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of the temple here and had also asked the Muslim community not to pose any hindrance.”About 2.25 lakhs cubic ft of stones are required for the construction of the Ram temple and about 1.25 lakh cubic ft of stones are ready at the VHP’s headquarter in Ayodhya. The rest one lakh cubic ft stones would be collected nationwide from Hindu devotees,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who died last month in Gurgaon, had said.The announcement had met with a quick reaction from the administration, which had said that it would oppose the move as the matter was sub judice. Principal Secretary (Home) Devashish Panda had said that the Uttar Pradesh government would not allow arrival of stones in Ayodhya for Ram Mandir. “Since the matter is sub judice, the government will not allow starting of any new tradition regarding Ayodhya issue,” he had said.

Objectionable tweet case: Gujarat HC exempts Teesta Setalvad from personal appearance

Apart from exempting Teesta from appearing in person, the HC also asked the police to inform her seven days in advance to appear before them whenever she is needed here for the purpose of investigation.

In a relief to activist Teesta Setalvad, the Gujarat High Court on Monday exempted her from personal appearance before police every month in connection with a case in which she is accused of posting objectionable pictures of Hindu deities on a popular social networking site. Justice JB Pardiwala passed the order while hearing Setalvad’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance. A lower court had imposed the condition of personal appearance on Teesta after an FIR was filed against her at Ghatlodia police station here in August last year.Apart from exempting Teesta from appearing in person, the HC also asked the police to inform her seven days in advance to appear before them whenever she is needed here for the purpose of investigation. The FIR was filed against Teesta by a VHP activist, Raju Patel, for allegedly putting objectionable pictures of Hindu god and goddess on Twitter. Ghatlodia police are investigating the case. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Teesta had later removed the objectionable posts following an outcry. She was booked under sections 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups, and 205(a) (committing a deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs) of IPC, besides various sections of IT Act. She was granted a pre-arrest bail by the city sessions court with a condition that she will have to appear before Ghatlodia police station on the fifth day of every month.Teesta then approached the HC in August seeking modification of the bail condition. Granting her an interim relief, the HC had in September allowed Teesta to appear at the police station on any day in the first week of every month instead of the fifth day. In the same case, she had filed a plea before the HC seeking setting aside of the case against her, which is pending.

After Mohan Bhagwat, now Praveen Togadia pitches for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya

“I am hopeful that the way the son of Gujarat, Sardar Patel, got Somnath temple built, in the same manner, the son of Gujarat Narendra Modi, who is firm on will power, will decide about the construction of a huge Ram temple,” Togadia said at a public meeting.

Praveen Togadia
File Photo

Days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, VHP leader Praveen Togadia on Sunday made a pitch for the construction of a Ram temple at Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.”I am hopeful that the way the son of Gujarat, Sardar Patel, got Somnath temple built, in the same manner, the son of Gujarat Narendra Modi, who is firm on will power, will decide about the construction of a huge Ram temple,” Togadia said at a public meeting. “If the need so arises, he (Modi) will enact a law in a joint session of Parliament,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Togadia said that a resolution for the construction of a Ram Temple was passed at BJP’s national executive at Palanpur in Himachal Pradesh in 1987. “This (construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya) has a mention in BJP’s manifesto as well,” he added.The VHP leader said he was “hopeful” that under the leadership of Modi, work on a Ram Temple will be completed. “For this, Hindus must be ready to support Modi,” he said.”On Shaurya Diwas (observed by Hindu outfits on Dec. 6), we take two resolutions; one: to build Ram Temple, and to establish Ram Raj,” he said. Defining ‘Ram Raj’, Togadia said “it means employment to 10 crore youths, education to scores of children, free health facility to poor Hindus and well-being of farmers”. Togadia said that VHP was providing education to children and free medical treatment to poor Hindus in a big way.On December 2 in Kolkata, RSS chief Bhagwat had expressed hope that the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be constructed in his lifetime.

BJP even fooling ‘Lord Ram’ in the name of Ram Mandir, says Rajiv Shukla

Shukla was reacting to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remark that the Ram Mandir would be a tribute to former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Ashok Singhal, who expired last week from health related complications.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was fooling people and Lord Ram by not taking the Ram Mandir issue forward.”The BJP is fooling the people in the name of Ram Mandir. One person says yes and then another then says no. Whenever they come to power they do not do anything. They are fooling even Lord Ram,” Shukla told ANI.Shukla was reacting to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remark that the Ram Mandir would be a tribute to former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Ashok Singhal, who expired last week from health related complications.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have to make serious attempts to accomplish the Ram Temple and that will be a true tribute to him. Ashokji’s spirit will guide us in this task,” Bhagwat had said at a condolence meeting for Singhal on Sunday.

Serious attempts must be made to accomplish Ram Temple, says RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

As glowing tributes were paid to Singhal, Bhagwat recalled Singhal’s last meeting with him earlier this month and said he wanted two things to be accomplished–construction of Ram temple at Ram Janambhoomi and propagation of Vedas.

Mohan Bhagwat

PTI
A condolence meeting for VHP patron Ashok Singhal in New Delhi on Sunday provided a forum for the Sangh Parivar to push for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying “serious attempts” should be made to accomplish the Hindutva leader’s dream in this regard.As glowing tributes were paid to Singhal, Bhagwat recalled Singhal’s last meeting with him earlier this month and said he wanted two things to be accomplished–construction of Ram temple at Ram Janambhoomi and propagation of Vedas. The same should be accomplished by working sincerely towards them, he said. “Ashokji during my meeting had shared his two resolves – of building the Ram Temple at Ram Janmabhoomi and spreading Vedic wisdom in the world. If we have to accomplish the resolve of Ashokji, we have to take a pledge today to make his resolve ours.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have to make serious attempts to accomplish the Ram temple and that will be a true tribute to him. Ashokji’s spirit will guide us in this task. We have to keep moving and working on the path shown by Ashokji and in the coming few years we hope to work towards accomplishing his dream of Ram Temple,” he said at a function to pay tributes to Singhal. The RSS supremo at the memorial service said Singhal is no more but his thoughts are with us and the task he undertook (of building the Ram Temple) yielded some results.Bhagwat said Singhal, who had become synonymous with the Ram Temple movement, was an orator par excellence, a true stalwart of Hindutva movement, a good classical singer and a guiding force for all. BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi also shared his over 60-year relationship with Singhal, saying he was committed to the spread of vedic wisdom and values in the world. He said Ram and Bharat are synonymous with each other and sought to remove misconceptions, asserting he never sought to divide people but was a unifying factor.”Ram is Bharat and Bharat is Ram and both are synonymous. If you want to develop Bharat, then Ram temple would also have to be set up. Ashokji was never communal or divisive and sought to unify people.”It is considered divisive these days to talk about Ram temple. We can confidently say that Bharat was a Vishwaguru and will be one…But, a confused country cannot move forward.To call it divisive is against our country’s tradition,”he said.Singhal was a spiritual and unifying person and due to his personality he brought leaders of all communities and sects together on one platform, he said. During the meeting, former VHP president Vishnu Hari Dalmia set the tone for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, saying it would be a true tribute to Singhal, who dedicated his entire life for Hindutva and spearheaded the Ram Janambhoomi movement. He called upon Bhagwat to press upon the government for early construction of the temple.VHP international working president Pravin Togadia called for passage of a law in Parliament for the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya on the lines of Somnath temple. “The Central government should pass an Act in Parliament to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya, It will be a fitting tribute to Ashok Singhal,” he said, adding that Singhal was committed for elimination of untouchability and caste bias.BJP President Amit Shah who specially flew back to Delhi for the condolence meeting after casting his vote in civic polls in Ahmedabad, said the demise of Ashok Singhal was an irreparable loss to the Sangh Parivar and nation. He was the architect as well as leader of the biggest mass movement of India post independence, he said.

Ashok Singhal: The man who shaped the concept of Hindu vote bank

In the passing away of Ashokji, the Hindu movement in the country has lost an iconic leader who shaped its destiny as its most vibrant and forceful proponent.

September 27, 1926​ – November 17, 2015Obituary Ashok Singhal, the man who literally set the Ganga on fire is no more. He inspired a generation of leaders, politically nurtured them and created a social engineering in the Hindu society that culminated in the creation of a political Hindu, which never was the case in Independent India.Throughout he remained controversial, but it never diminished his stature in the circle of his admirers or detractors, for he never sought anything for himself. He was a cult figure in every sense, born into a rich Singhal family of Allahabad, an engineer with gold medal (IIT-BHU), a poet, music director and singer, he could have chosen a fabulous life joining his family business. But he chose to become an RSS pracharak, a life of rigorous self renunciation. Ashokji, who was particularly close to Prof Rajendra Singh alias Rajju Bhaiyya, a man of similar eminence took up work of mass mobilisation of Hindus to eradicate casteism, fight religious conversions and modernise religion to make it an effective instrument of political change. He is the man who shaped the concept of Hindu vote bank. Without ever holding any political position or contesting elections, he held massive sway over many political destinies. Prime ministers and chief ministers from BJP to Congress to other parties respected and listened to his views.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Religious leaders from Revered Shankaracharyas, Swami Chinmayananda to Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravishankar listened to him because of his pious, saintly persona. When the VHP in Gujarat agitated against the Modi government drive to widen roads removing roadside temples encroaching public land, Ashokji supported the state government and doused the fire. Even controversial Digvijay Singh had no problem in receiving Ashokji with all ritualistic fanfare at his official residence when he was chief minister. During the NDA government at the Centre under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Ashokji was instrumental in controlling the VHP agitation for a grand temple in Ayodhya.In the passing away of Ashokji, the Hindu movement in the country has lost an iconic leader who shaped its destiny as its most vibrant and forceful proponent.He was inducted into VHP in the aftermath of the Meenakshipuram mass conversion in 1981. The VHP organised Virat Hindu Sammelans, along with Dr Karan Singh, all over the country to create an awareness of Hindu unity. This was followed by Hindu Dharma Sansad consisting of the Acharyas and religious leaders from all sects and creed of the Hindu fold modernising and codifying to define what essentially constituted the frontiers of Hindu belief. He followed it up with Ekatmata Yatra where sacred Ganga water was taken to every nook and corner of the country. The central government under Indira Gandhi had tacitly extended its support to the move. But Ashokji became synonymous with the Ramjanmabhumi movement and this made him a great Hindu icon in the 90s. Ashokji’s phenomenal popularity at that point made him more popular than even some of the tallest national political leaders. Ashokji was jailed immediately after the pulling down of the controversial Babri structure in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. The case is still going on.Ashokji played a major role in the installation of the NDA government in 1998, where he vigorously campaigned for the success of BJP candidates all over the country. His contribution in the BJP coming out victorious in the 2014 election is also well known.(The author is Member, BJP National Training team and publications)

VHP leader Ashok Singhal passes away at hospital in Gurgaon

Gurgaon: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal died here on Tuesday, doctors said. Singhal breathed his last at 2.20 p.m. at Medanta-The Medicity hospital, doctor Yatin Mehta told IANS.

File photo. Image courtesy: ReutersFile photo. Image courtesy: Reuters

File photo. Image courtesy: Reuters

Singhal was undergoing treatment in a Gurgaon hospital after he was admitted there in early hours of Saturday with complaints of acute breathlessness. He had been on a life support system.

89-year-old Singhal was admitted on 14 November to Medanta with complaints of acute breathlessness and was diagnosed with right lower Lobe Pneumonia. He had been on a ventilator from the evening of 14 November 14.

A number of BJP and VHP leaders had visited the ailing leader in the hospital.

Agencies

VHP leader Ashok Singhal on life support, condition serious

Singhal has been suffering from respiratory problems for over a month now. He was earlier admitted to Medanta on October 20 after his condition deteriorated in Allahabad and was flown in to the national capital in an air ambulance.

“He is presently in the intensive care unit under treatment of a group of specialists comprising of people from critical care, respiratory, cardiology, neurology and nephrology,” Doctor AK Dubey told the media here.

File Photo
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal who was admitted to the Medanta Hospital here has been put on life support system and his condition is serious. “He is presently in the intensive care unit under treatment of a group of specialists comprising of people from critical care, respiratory, cardiology, neurology and nephrology,” Doctor AK Dubey told the media here.Singhal has been suffering from respiratory problems for over a month now. He was earlier admitted to Medanta on October 20 after his condition deteriorated in Allahabad and was flown in to the national capital in an air ambulance.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Keeping in view Singhal’s bad health, the VHP has cancelled its 18-day Chaturved Swahakar Yajna that was slated to start at Delhi’s Birla Mandir from today , as well as its Diwali Milan programme.

Tipu Sultan row: Mysuru king’s descendent Anwar Ali Shah wants PM Modi to intervene

On Wednesday, well known playwright Girish Karnad received a death threat for demanding that Bengaluru”s Kempegowda International Airport to be renamed after Tipu Sultan.

Picture of Tipu Sultan

A descendant of 18th century Mysore king Tipu Sultan has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene to end the controversy surrounding the latter”s 265th birth anniversary.Anwar Ali Shah told ANI, “This controversy must end now. I appeal to our Prime Minister to intervene and sort out the issue. These protests are being done deliberately. The history of Tipu Sultan has been and is being distorted.”The clashes between a Muslim group and Hindutva activists took place earlier this week after the former organised a procession to mark a state government-sponsored Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Tipu Sultan row: After Girish Karnad, BJP MP Pratap Simha receives death threatThe Madikeri region of Karnataka is still said to be very tense, with local residents continuing to blame what they call “outsiders” for the clashes that have been taking place. There is a near curfew-like situation in the area.The police is out in full force to prevent any untoward incidents in the area as also in other parts of Karnataka, when the VHP is expected to organise protests over the death of one of its activists.On Wednesday, well known playwright Girish Karnad received a death threat for demanding that Bengaluru”s Kempegowda International Airport to be renamed after Tipu Sultan.Related Read: Tipu Sultan controversy: Girish Karnad gets death threat, told he will ‘face the same end as MM Kalburgi’While the ruling Congress Party in Karnataka has described Tipu Sultan as a true secularist, the hardliners in the BJP and its associate outfits such as the VHP, have criticised the ongoing celebrations as having the potential to divide society, and have warned well known personalities such as south Indian film star Rajinikanth not to accept a film offer on Tipu Sultan.The state unit of the BJP has stayed away from the Tipu Jayanti celebrations. Earlier this week, police had to resort to a baton charge to bring a near riot-like situation under control in Madikeri.Skirmishes between right-wing activists and security officials were also reported from many other parts of Karnataka. A VHP activist was also killed.Tipu Sultan, who is considered one of the early freedom fighters who took on the British, is not regarded highly by the people of Kodagu, a tribal community, who were part of a bloody rebellion against the Mysore ruler.Tipu Sultan was born on November 20, 1750 and died during the Battle of Srirangapatna on May 4, 1799. He was also known as the Tiger of Mysore, and was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. During his reign, he introduced a number of administrative innovations, including new coinage, a new luni-solar calendar, a new land revenue system which initiated the growth of Mysore silk industry. He wrote the military manual Fathul Mujahidin and was considered a pioneer in the use of rocket artillery.Throughout his adult life, Tipu Sultan was engaged in expansionist attacks against his neighbours. He remained an implacable enemy of the British East India Company, bringing them into renewed conflict with his attack on British-allied Travancore in 1789.In the Third Anglo-Mysore War, Tipu Sultan was forced into the humiliating Treaty of Srirangapatna, losing a number of previously conquered territories, including Malabar and Mangalore. He sent emissaries to foreign states, including the Ottoman Turkey, Afghanistan, and France, in an attempt to rally opposition to the British.During the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, the forces of the British East India Company, supported by the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad, defeated Tipu and he was killed on May 4, 1799 while defending his fort of Srirangapatna.

Tipu Sultan row: After Girish Karnad, BJP MP Pratap Simha receives death threat

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been protesting against the Congress government’s decision to honour Tipu Sultan.

BJP MP Pratap Simha

http://pratapsimha.com/
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Kodagu district in Mysuru, Pratap Simha filed a complaint on Thursday alleging that he has received a death threat for opposing the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan. Sinha had said earlier that the state government was spreading hatred by celebrating Tipu’s birth anniversary.The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been protesting against the Congress government’s decision to honour Tipu Sultan, who according to them was a tyrant who persecuted Hindus and Christians.Earlier, playwright Girish Karnad received a death threat for his campaign to rename Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport after 18th century Mysuru king Tipu Sultan. Karnad, who participated in the Congress-led Karnataka Government’s ‘Tipu Jayanti’ celebrations, was threatened that he would ‘meet the same end as murdered writer M M Kalburgi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bengaluru Police also confirmed that they had received a complaint against Karnad for ‘insulting Hindus and the Vokkaliga community (to which Kempegowda belonged to) and disrupting social harmony’.”I feel that if Tipu Sultan was a Hindu and not a Muslim he would have attained the position in Karnataka that Shivaji Maharaj enjoys in Maharashtra,” Karnad had said. He added that it would be apt if the Kempegowda Airport is renamed after Tipu Sultan instead of Kempegowda.Related Read: Tipu Sultan controversy: Girish Karnad gets death threat, told he will ‘face the same end as MM Kalburgi’He also said, “Kempegowda was never a freedom fighter. Still, the Bengaluru International airport has been named against him. Instead, it should have been named against Tipu Sultan.” Protests against the state-sponsored celebrations have led to violence in Karnataka where a VHP activist succumbed to his injuries.Following the controversy, Karnad issued a public apology: “If anybody has been hurt by my remarks, I apologise…. What will I gain by giving such comments?” The VHP has called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka on Friday. Related Read: Tipu Sultan row: BJP demands Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s resignation

Praveen Togadia condemns ‘brutal killing’ of VHP worker in Karnataka

All sangh parivar outfits, including the BJP, had declared a boycott of the celebrations holding that Tipu Sultan was a “fanatic” and not a “progressive and secular” ruler as described by the ruling Congress party in the state.

VHP President Praveen Togadia
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday described the death of a middle-aged man during clashes at a town in Karnataka as “brutal killing” and asked the Centre to “protect Hindus against such acts of religious intolerance”.”We condemn the brutal killing of a Hindu, staging a peaceful demonstration, by a mob,” VHP international working president Praveen Togadia said in a statement.Togadia was referring to the death of a 50-year-old man, said to be associated with the VHP, who succumbed to injuries sustained during a clash that broke out in Madikeri town during a demonstration against the celebration of the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All sangh parivar outfits, including the BJP, had declared a boycott of the celebrations holding that Tipu Sultan was a “fanatic” and not a “progressive and secular” ruler as described by the ruling Congress party in the state.At Madikeri, violence erupted when a group taking out “Tipu Sultan Jayanti” procession came face to face with a agitators protesting the celebrations. Both sides indulged in heavy stone-pelting before police intervention brought the situation under control.

Protest on Tipu Sultan Jayanti in Karnataka turns ugly: One VHP worker killed in clash

Protests against Tipu Sultan Jayanti took a violent turn on Tuesday after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist, DS Kuttappa, was allegedly murdered on Tuesday, during clashes that erupted in Madikeri, Karnataka.

According to police, the VHP  leader and a former state government employee, suffered head injuries in stone throwing and died on the spot.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

A local VHP leader died and several others, including policemen, were injured as violence erupted over the holding of the birth anniversary celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

A youth was also injured in firing by some unidentified persons near here, police said, adding that prohibitory orders have been clamped in the entire Kodagu district and additional reinforcements sent to the area to bring the situation under control.

Police used tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge as hundreds of people gathered here and clashes erupted between the opponents and supporters of the celebrations.

The violence flared up even as statewide celebrations are being held by the government for the first time to commemorate the birth anniversary of Tipu which, however, is being boycotted by BJP amidst opposition by several outfits who see him as a “religious bigot”.

According to an Indian Express report, “The clashes erupted after a Muslim group that was taking out a procession to mark the Karnataka government’s Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebration through Madikeri town came face to face with Hindutva activists protesting against the celebration of the birth anniversary in the middle of the town.”

BJP has accused CM Siddaramaiah of trying to appease the minorities with the celebrations and has also opposed the setting up of a university named after the ruler, reports The Times of India.

“We’ll hold protests across the state till 10 November,” VHP state secretary TAP Shenoy said in a statement, reported ABP News. “We are deploying Bajrang Dal cadres to educate people on how this government is spending the taxpayer’s money to honour a ruler who tormented Hindus.”

Meanwhile, Home Minister G Parameshwara said additional reinforcements were being rushed to Madikeri from Chamarajanagar and Mysuru districts and appealed to people to maintain peace.

BJP has announced a “total boycott” of the celebrations, saying that no public representative from their party at any level would participate in the official function. Further, the party’s state unit chief Prahlad Joshi said that Tipu was a “fanatic” and “anti-Kannada”. Several organisations and individuals, too, have opposed the state government’s move to celebrate ‘Tipu Sultan Jayanti’ on November 10.

Tipu was a ruler of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore and considered an implacable enemy of the British East India
Company. He was killed in May, 1799, while defending his fort of Srirangapatna against British forces.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has defended the government’s decision to commemorate his birth anniversary even as he slammed RSS and “other communal forces” for opposing it.

Mangaluru United Christian Association, too, has protested against the celebrations, alleging that Tipu was responsible for the destruction of many churches in the coastal region and also that Christians were harassed under his rule.

The VHP had earlier called for a bandh in the state on Tuesday, according to another report in The Times of India.

In September, reacting strongly to media reports that Rajinikanth may star in a biopic on Tipu Sultan, leaders of various parties BJP, Hindu Munnani, and the Hindu Makkal Katchi held a protest and warned the actor against accepting the offer.

(With PTI inputs)

VHP writes to LG to stop beef sale in Delhi hotels,restaurants

The letter jointly signed by Kshetriya Gau Raksha Pramukh Rashtra Prakash and VHP Delhi state joint Secretary Ram Pal Singh Yadav appealed to LG Najeeb Jung to stop sale of beef in Delhi forthwith.

Beef

Fuelling the beef debate further after the Kerala House controversy, Vishwa Hindu Parishad has written to Delhi Lt Governor demanding that alleged beef sale in hotel and restaurants in the national capital be checked immediately.The letter jointly signed by Kshetriya Gau Raksha Pramukh Rashtra Prakash and VHP Delhi state joint Secretary Ram Pal Singh Yadav appealed to LG Najeeb Jung to stop sale of beef in Delhi forthwith.VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal claimed information on beef sale in the national capital was pouring in since last many days and the Kerala House incident and sting telecast on some media channels has exposed such incidents that openly challenge law of the land and religious sentiments of Hindus.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”VHP appealed to LG to issue immediate necessary directions to the concerned licensing and other law enforcing authorities to ensure implementation of law of the land, nab the culprits and stop hurting religious sentiments of Hindus,” it said. A copy of the letter has also been sent to Union Home Ministry, Commissioner of Police, Mayors and Commissioners of Municipal Corporations of Delhi and hotels, restaurants and food joints of Delhi for implementation of the law.”We have categorically stated that ‘in case the sale or serving of beef do not stopped forthwith, we will have to launch an agitation to protect the law’,” Bansal said. Highlighting provisions of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, the letter said, “despite complete prohibition on sale, purchase, possession and consumption of beef in Delhi, various hotels, restaurants and food joints are selling beef”.”A little reference to any dictionary available clearly exposes the dubious arguments of those who are trying to mislead the masses that buffalo meat is also covered under the definition of beef,” the letter said.It comes close on the heels of the controversy over police entering the Kerala House here following a complaint that beef was being served in its canteen.

VHP writes to L-G Jung seeking check of beef sale in Delhi hotels, restaurants

New Delhi: Fuelling the beef debate further after the Kerala House controversy, Vishwa Hindu Parishad has written to Delhi Lt Governor demanding that alleged beef sale in hotel and restaurants in the national capital be checked immediately.

The letter jointly signed by Kshetriya Gau Raksha Pramukh Rashtra Prakash and VHP Delhi state joint Secretary Ram Pal Singh Yadav appealed to LG Najeeb Jung to stop sale of beef in Delhi forthwith.

VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal claimed information on beef sale in the national capital was pouring in since last many days and the Kerala House incident and sting telecast on some media channels has exposed such incidents that openly challenge law of the land and religious sentiments of Hindus.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

“VHP appealed to LG to issue immediate necessary directions to the concerned licensing and other law enforcing authorities to ensure implementation of law of the land, nab the culprits and stop hurting religious sentiments of Hindus,” it said.

A copy of the letter has also been sent to Union Home Ministry, Commissioner of Police, Mayors and Commissioners of Municipal Corporations of Delhi and hotels, restaurants and food joints of Delhi for implementation of the law.

“We have categorically stated that ‘in case the sale or serving of beef do not stopped forthwith, we will have to launch an agitation to protect the law’,” Bansal said.

Highlighting provisions of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, the letter said, “despite complete prohibition on sale, purchase, possession and consumption of beef in Delhi, various hotels, restaurants and food joints are selling beef”.

“A little reference to any dictionary available clearly exposes the dubious arguments of those who are trying to mislead the masses that buffalo meat is also covered under the definition of beef,” the letter said.

It comes close on the heels of the controversy over police entering the Kerala House in New Delhi following a complaint that beef was being served in its canteen.

PTI

VHP leader Pravin Togadia wants Modi govt to increase budget allocation for health

Known for his fiery speeches and hard-line stance on issues like cow slaughter, religious conversions and terrorism, Togadia refused to comment on any of the contentious issues.

VHP leader Pravin Togadia

VHP leader Pravin Togadia has urged the Centre to raise the country’s budget allocation for healthcare and claimed that a “poor country” like Bangladesh was spending more on this vital social sector than India.”There are nearly 40 crore people in the country whose monthly income is not more than Rs 1,000. For them access to private hospitals and diagnostic centres is obviously out of question.”The number of state-run health care centres is inadequate. The government ought to spend more on health. At present our budgetary allocation for health, percentage wise, is woefully inadequate. A poor country like Bangladesh is spending more on this vital social sector,” Togadia said in Allahabad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The VHP international working president was addressing a gathering of medical practitioners in the city late last night, where he introduced his initiative ‘India Health Line (IHL)’ which aims at making quality health care accessible “to the poorest of the poor”. Significantly, the Centre had slashed its budgetary allocation for health in the Union Budget for 2014-15 by more than 10%. Togadia, who is also a member of Indian Medical Association, said, “I would like that the demand for hiking the budgetary allocation for health should be raised by the IMA.””We need to rethink our concept of development. Attracting investments would be of no use if the same does not result in creation of adequate number of jobs. And a workforce which does not have access to basic health care will never be able to achieve the levels of productivity that may be expected,” Togadia, who arrived in the city on Saturday, said.Known for his fiery speeches and hard-line stance on issues like cow slaughter, religious conversions and terrorism, Togadia refused to comment on any of the contentious issues.”I want my two-day trip of the ancient city of Prayag to remain centred around IHL. There is an urgent need to spread awareness about the VHP’s social welfare initiatives,” he said.

Dadri lynching: Terrorists trying to activate sleeper cells in Uttar Pradesh to avenge killing, says report

Terror groups are trying to activate sleeper cells to launch bomb attacks in Uttar Pradesh and the likes of VHP leader Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia are prime targets

According to a report published in a leading daily, terrorist organisations may be trying to leverage the unfortunate Dadri lynching incident that has dominated national discourse for their own benefits. Terror groups are trying to activate sleeper cells to launch bomb attacks in Uttar Pradesh and the likes of VHP leader Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia are prime targets. This intercept has been shared by the Intelligence Bureau with UP Police. It has detailed list of possible targets.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the report, terrorists may take advantage of communally charged atmosphere in parts of the state to whip up frenzy and to commit a massive strike. The festival session is underway and hence the police is on high alert to prevent any untoward incidents. In Dadri, Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched by a mob for allegedly cooking beef in his house.Intelligence organisations got wind of this plot when they intercepted two men talking about sleeper cells in Uttar Pradesh detailing their modus operandi and possible targets which feature places like Kashi Vishwanath temple and Ramlala temple in Ayodhya. Two men have currently been detained who have disclosed plans of attacking several high profile targets.

No Garba for non-Hindus: VHP puts up banners saying dance events ‘only for Hindus’

Ahmedabad: With the Navratri festival starting on Tuesday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has started putting up banners at the entrances of select garba venues across the state, asking non-Hindus not to participate in the dance programmes as it is restricted “only for Hindus”.

According to Gujarat VHP leaders, the banners are being put up at over 100 garba venues across Gujarat, which are hosting commercial events during the nine-day festivity.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“We put up our first such banner at the entrance gate of Rajpath Club on S G Highway here today. Gradually, we will cover all other venues in the city, which are hosting garba events. VHP will put up such banners at around 100 such commercial venues across the state,” state VHP media coordinator Jay Shah said.

These posters carry a common text, which warns non-Hindus from entering the venue.

“Navratri is a sacred Hindu festival…People who don’t believe in idol-worshiping must stay away..This festival is for Hindus only,” the banner says.

Last week, general secretary of Gujarat VHP, Ranchhod Bharwad, had announced that his organisation would take all necessary steps to stop non-Hindus from entering the garba venues, including residential societies.

The right-wing Hindu organisation justified the ban claiming that such steps are necessary to stop incidents of “love jihad, in which a Muslim boys lures and marry Hindu girls”.

Apart from barring entry to non-Hindus, VHP is also advocating the extension of time for garba organised in residential societies. At present, the time limit set by city police is 12 am, which is applicable to all.

“We demand that residential societies should be kept aside while implementing this rule. Societies organise garba in their own private place and do not disturb others. Therefore, VHP leaders will meet the city Police Commissioner today to demand that the time should be extended till 4 am,” Shah said.

PTI

Gujarat: VHP puts up banners asking non-Hindus not to take part in garba

People who don’t believe in idol-worshiping must stay away, said VHP.

“This is in order to stop love jihad, in which a Muslim boys lures and marry Hindu girls,” he said.

With the Navratri festival starting on Tuesday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has started putting up banners at the entrances of select garba venues across the state, asking non-Hindus not to participate in the dance programmes as it is restricted “only for Hindus”.According to Gujarat VHP leaders, the banners are being put up at over 100 garba venues across Gujarat, which are hosting commercial events during the nine-day festivity. “We put up our first such banner at the entrance gate of Rajpath Club on SG Highway here today. Gradually, we will cover all other venues in the city, which are hosting garba events. VHP will put up such banners at around 100 such commercial venues across the state,” state VHP media coordinator Jay Shah said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These posters carry a common text, which warns non-Hindus from entering the venue. “Navratri is a sacred Hindu festival… People who don’t believe in idol-worshiping must stay away..This festival is for Hindus only,” the banner says. Last week, general secretary of Gujarat VHP, Ranchhod Bharwad, had announced that his organisation would take all necessary steps to stop non-Hindus from entering the garba venues, including residential societies. The right-wing Hindu organisation justified the ban claiming that such steps are necessary to stop incidents of “love jihad, in which a Muslim boys lures and marry Hindu girls”. Apart from barring entry to non-Hindus, VHP is also advocating the extension of time for garba organised in residential societies. At present, the time limit set by city police is 12 am, which is applicable to all. “We demand that residential societies should be kept aside while implementing this rule. Societies organise garba in their own private place and do not disturb others. Therefore, VHP leaders will meet the city Police Commissioner today to demand that the time should be extended till 4 am,” Shah said.

Cobrapost alleges BJP-VHP-RSS ‘nexus’ on Love Jihad

Saying that Muslims are the ones to incite communal hatred in Uttar Pradesh, Balyan spoke to a panchayat in the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, denying any case of rape. “I don’t consider anyone guilty. The day when they did it [rape], they did not have any enmity with anyone. I don’t consider anyone guilty,” said Balyan.

Investigative site Cobrapost on Monday blew the cover on how right wing groups joined forces to fabricate the concept of Love Jihad, with the complicity of the state administration and the police force, through a month-long sting operation conducted with the help of AAP leader Ashish Khetan’s Gulail.Speaking to several leaders with a hidden camera, the crew spoke to leaders from the BJP, the RSS and the VHP, many of whom admitted to harassing Hindu women in relationships with Muslim men. This includes BJP Lok Sabha MP from Muzaffarnagar and Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan, BJP MLA from Thana Bhawan Suresh Rana; BJP MP from Kairana Hukum Singh; BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som, BJP MLC from Mangalore Captain Ganesh Karnik and advocate Jagdish Shenava, VHP’s Mangalore district president, amongst others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Saying that Muslims are the ones to incite communal hatred in Uttar Pradesh, Balyan spoke to a panchayat in the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, denying any case of rape. “I don’t consider anyone guilty. The day when they did it [rape], they did not have any enmity with anyone. I don’t consider anyone guilty,” said Balyan.Speaking about a case of fabricated gangrape against three Muslim boys who went out with a girl, Suresh Rana admits on camera to forcing the girl to file a false complaint. “We charged them with rape, but it wasn’t rape, it was consensual. We slapped a rape case against them to teach them a lesson. The girl wasn’t ready to give a statement against them,” said Rana.Hukum Singh says that in a scenario where the girls refuse to lie, the strategy is to catapult the BJP to power and create an atmosphere. “The strategy is to let Modi come to power, then no Mohmmedan will dare look at any of Hindu girls let alone touching them,” says Singh. BJP district level leader Sanjay Agarwal’s said that physical coercion was routinely used. “We beat the girl if she does not listen,” said Agarwal.Those caught on camera said that most of these girls are forcibly ‘rescued’, even when none of them approach the government for rescuing. They also speak of how they filed cases, and mounted pressure on the state administration. The also speak of coercing the women through emotional blackmail and physical abuse. They also distributed inflammatory documents to the public, and ran counselling centres.

Dadri killing: It’s become ‘fashion’ for some people to abuse Hindus, says VHP

Rai made the statement on the sidelines of an event where a book on senior VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s life was released

Victim Akhlaq

Amid mounting criticism of right-wing outfits over Dadri lynching incident, VHP on Thursday hit back and said it has become ‘fashion’ for ‘some people’ to abuse Hindus or else they contract ‘diarrhoea’.”Several people have levelled allegations against Hindus and those working for the awakening of Hindus. My view is clear, some people contract diarrhoea if they don’t abuse Hindus. “Their diarrhoea gets treated when they abuse Hindus. I don’t object to such people. But it is fashionable for them to abuse (Hindus). There is no substance in it,” VHP general secretary Champat Rai said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: Dadri beef murder: Centre seeks report from Uttar Pradesh govtRai made the statement on the sidelines of an event where a book on senior VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s life was released. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were also present at the event.

Govt should acquire disputed Ayodhya site to build temple: VHP

They will hold a seminar in January in which deliberations will take over over rebuilding of temple, says VHP

Swami and VHP general secretary Champat Rai claimed that excavation reports have stated that a temple existed there.

Pushing for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Wednesday asked the Centre to acquire the disputed site, where Babri mosque was torn down by Hindutva activists in 1992, for this purpose. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy joined VHP patron Ashok Singhal in making the demand, saying the party’s manifesto for the 2014 elections had promised the temple’s construction and the Modi government should take steps in this regard. They, however, told a press conference that they would wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on the sensitive issue before deciding on further course of action. “The government for a public interest purpose can issue a notice to the Babri Masjid Muthwali (hereditary supervisor) for acquisition of the land and building of Babri Masjid and offer (to Muslims) another site to build a mosque, perhaps across the Saryu river,” they said in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is no obstacle in the construction of the Ram temple…. Government should take an initiative. BJP’s manifesto has also spoken about it,” Swamy said. To “spread awareness” among people, they will hold a seminar in January in which deliberations will take over over rebuilding of temple. Swami, president of Virat Hindustan Sangam, also shared a purported affidavit submitted by the then government before the apex court in 1994 in which it had stated that if existence of a temple was established, its action will be in “support of the wishes of Hindu community”.Swami and VHP general secretary Champat Rai claimed that excavation reports have stated that a temple existed there. Swami said he had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and made several suggestions for the construction of temple. “I have not received a reply. I will take it up again after Bihar Assembly polls,” he said. He had also asked party chief Amit Shah to convene a special session of National Council of BJP over the issue, he added.

Modi’s tears only drama? Why is it so tough to believe a strong personality can also break down?

There was nothing unusual in the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke down at the Facebook Town Hall in San Jose. After all, this is not the first time that the country’s strongest political leader bared his emotional side to an audience that came to appraise him.

What was unusual this time was the fact that his emotional response occurred on foreign soil before an audience that did not belong to his ideological family. Those who have been watching Modi’s political journey will testify that the prime minister is never casual in his political demeanour, and not easily given to weak moments. Yet he found himself susceptible to a ‘personal question’ about his 90-year-old mother, and dropped his guard.

Why did he do it? Ask his opponents back home.
Are there elements of melodrama in this spectacle? Ask cynics who look at Modi’s actions from the prism of a pre-conceived notion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mark Zuckerberg during the townhall. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mark Zuckerberg during the townhall. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia/Twitter

The Congress has already dismissed it as ‘drama’. But the fact of the matter, however, is that Modi’s moistened eyes are rarely if ever seen as a sign of vulnerability. On the contrary, his tender side, almost without exception, shines through from a position of strength.

Contrast Modi’s previous visit to United States of America with the ongoing tour that saw him meet a variety of top corporate honchos, IT czars and the top leadership of the world’s biggest economy. In his previous visit, there were clear instructions in the MEA — conveyed in unambiguous terms to US authorities — that Modi would be averse to any idea of patronising hospitality. He was on nine-day fast and had maintained body language that was distinctly stiff, if not outright cool at official functions.

There were reasons for Modi to be cautious, as he had been denied a US visa for over a decade on the allegations of his government’s (while he was Gujarat chief minister) complicity in anti-Muslim riots in the state.

Over the course of his nearly 18-month-long regime as prime minister, Modi has developed a personal chemistry with US President Barrack Obama and close connections with those who have been driving the world economy from the US. During his ongoing visit, Modi has seemed to be quite at ease whether in the corporate high-fliers, tech mandarins or media moguls. At the Facebook Town Hall, Modi chose to speak in Hindi to converse with the diverse audience, and was at his best talking about the relevance of social media when Mark Zuckerberg asked him a question about his mother.

Modi’s emotional outbursts always follow a pattern and come from the position of strength. And more often than not, after walking away with a victory — whether electoral, diplomatic, political or moral — this sees him walk away with his audience too.

Take for instance the days after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he broke down upon being described by BJP patriarch LK Advani as a leader who had done the BJP a “favour” by accepting its leadership in a meeting of BJP MPs in Parliament. Having gained the status of undisputed leader of the party, Modi broke down and emotionally contradicted Advani by describing the party as his “mother”.

Modi was conscious of the fact that he was consistently resisted by Advani before the elections, but his tears — while in no way stage-managed — came from his newly-acquired position of strength and he was able to effectively marginalised Advani at the function and win over the audience, without once having to resort to insults or brickbats against the party veteran.

Similarly, after his victory in 2007 Gujarat Assembly election, Modi publicly cried among his party workers at the BJP’s state party headquarters in Ahmedabad. Having won the election after a bitter contest in which he faced stiff opposition from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Modi reacted emotionally to the charge that he had become larger than the party.

In another instance, in 2003, when Modi (who had won the 2002 Gujarat Assembly election) attended an RSS conference, the general impression was that he would be pulled down or admonished. However, when he was asked about the Godhra riots that took place the previous year, Modi looked out into the audience and wept. The moved audience comprising RSS and VHP members also shed tears and praised the compassionate chief minister after the conference.

There is little doubt that the prime minister has his moments of vulnerability. But weakness? Certainly not, these moments come from a position of strength.

Now, Vishwa Hindu Parishad demands beef ban in Jharkhand

Ranchi: The Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP) on Sunday criticised Jharkhand’s BJP-led government for failing to strictly implement the law against cow slaughter and demanded ban on beef in the state.

The demand came a day after clashes between two communities here after a piece of beef was found in a temple situated in Doranda locality on Friday night. Two people sustained bullet injuries during the clashes.

Representational image. Image courtesy: AFPRepresentational image. Image courtesy: AFP

Representational image. Image courtesy: AFP

“We demand ban on beef in the state. When cow slaughter was banned in 2005, present Chief Minister Raghubar Das was a minister. Now, Das is taking no step to implement the law,” Pramod Mishra, VHP’s Jharkhand head, told IANS.

He said: “We will write a letter to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Governor and others to direct the state government to strictly follow the law against cow slaughter.”

“We also demand special task force and special court to arrest people involved in cow slaughter and conduct their trial in courts.”

Mishra said: “There is no mechanism to keep a watch on slaughter houses.”

IANS

VHP asks Centre to declassify Netaji files to clear air about his mysterious disappearance

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday appreciated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying files relating to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and demanded the Centre to follow suit by making public all files in its possession to end “myths” about his death.

File Photo

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday appreciated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying files relating to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and demanded the Centre to follow suit by making public all files in its possession to end “myths” about his death.”The decision of Mamta Banejree to declassify files on Netaji is a very good thing and it will remove the myths concerning his death,” Joint General Secretary of VHP Surendra Jain said.”It’s a right of people to know about Netaji and all the files on him should be brought in public domain by the Central Government and all other governments to clear the air about his mysterious disappearance and his death,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jain also welcomed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to Banke Bihari temple in Mathura, saying “that it is good that he went there. Anyone can go to a temple.” He, however, added that it is good if he went there to pay his obeisance but if he went to the temple for “electoral gains”, he will be “exposed” by the people.The VHP leader also condemned the moves to restrict religious and cultural activities of Hindus in the name of checking pollution.”I have reports that Delhi Government is working for regulating noise levels during Ramlila which will be fought tooth and nail by VHP,” he said.

VHP to expand its free health service programme to Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: After a number of northern states, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is set to expand its free health service programme to Kerala as part of plans to strengthen its base in the state.

The initiative, titled ‘India Health Line’ (IHL), envisaged to connect poor and deserving patients with specialist doctors and provide them free treatment, will be launched in the state after the civic body elections in November, VHP state President S J R Kumar said.

AFP imageAFP image

AFP image

VHP has already initiated talks with a number of specialist doctors in the state in this regard and formed a panel of 1,000 doctors who have shown interest in partnering with the initiative, he said.

The programme had already been launched in states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra and the outfit had plans to expand it throughout the country.

“Specialist health care is something which is still inaccessible for a larger section of people. Our objective is to identify the needy and deserving among them and connect them with doctors and provide them free health care,” Kumar told PTI.

He said the programme would be implemented in four-phases in all 14 districts of the state.

“We have a national toll free number for the programme and a call centre at Ahmedabad. Patients will be given this number and they can directly contact it,” he said.

“Our volunteers will get in touch with the patient, enquire about their health condition and fix an appointment with their nearest doctor, who is included in our panel,” he said.

The outfit also plans to appoint ‘health ambassadors’ in every district after giving them training in checkinganaemia, blood pressure, cholesterol and so on and conduct health camps in villages.

“We are also planning to ensure the distribution of generic medicines to the poor and needy and enter into tie-up with super speciality hospitals to help them get free consultation of speciality doctors in the coming phases of the programme,” he said.

Kumar said VHP had no political agenda behind this free health care initiative.

“VHP is not at all a political party. So we do not have any particular political agenda behind this scheme. It is one of our number of social service schemes implemented across the country,” the leader added.

PTI

RSS criticises Hamid Ansari for remarks on religion, calls him ‘communal Muslim leader’

The RSS has criticised Vice-President Hamid Ansari for his talk at the inauguration of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat Golden Jubilee.

In the latest issue of the Sangh’s mouthpiece Panchjanya, RSS-affiliated journalist Satish Pednekar has accused Ansari of speaking as a “communal Muslim leader”, according to a report in The Indian Express.

File photo of Hamid Ansari. ReutersFile photo of Hamid Ansari. Reuters

File photo of Hamid Ansari. Reuters

At the event, Ansari had said that had spoken about the problems Indian Muslims face and said that affirmative action was a pre-requisite for their development.

He had further said that studies bring forth sufficient evidence to substantiate the view that “inequality traps prevent the marginalised and work in favour of the dominant groups in society”.

Ansari’s remarks were criticised by the RSS with Pednekar saying that India has given Muslims several advantages such as the right to run minority educational institutions and Haj subsidy, continued the report.

The Indian Express quoted the article which said, “Did he (Ansari) want to convey that Muslims face a threat from the majority community? He perhaps hinted about riots. But they are mostly started by the minority community. When the majority community reacts to it, it is made the issue of Muslim safety.” 

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had criticised Ansari’s remarks as well alleging it was a “political” and “communal” statement which did not befit the dignity of his office. “With due respect to the Vice President’s chair, VHP condemns this rank communal statement. This is a political statement…. which does not befit the office of a Vice President,” VHP Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said.

This is not the first time that the vice-president has faced criticism from right-wing factions.

Back in June, he was conspicuous by his absence at the grand events organised to celebrate the first International Yoga Day and BJP general secretary and former RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav publicly questioned this on Twitter.

The tweets and ensuing speculation about his health on social media lead to Ansari clarifying his stand that he did not attend the function in Delhi as he was not invited. However, Madhav’s tweets snowballed into a controversy that lead both him and the government apologising to the vice-president. Madhav deleted his tweets and even met Ansari to clear the air.

Earlier this year, Ansari was criticised on social media for not saluting the national flag on Republic Day. As this Firstpost article pointed out, Rajnath Singh and  Sushma Swaraj didn’t salute the flag either, but their patriotism was not questioned. Nor were they called ‘Jihadi sympathiser”, “anti-India”, “traitor”on Twitter.  While Ansari’s office issued a clarification that it wasn’t part of protocol to salute, it didn’t take away the fact that there was a clear discrimination, possibly motivated by Ansari’s religion.

Ansari’s office has responded to these latest comments as yet.

(With agency inputs) 

Muslim community making it a campaign to increase its population, alleges VHP

New Delhi: Terming the census figures “scary” and “a matter of deep concern”, the Vishva Hindu Parishad today alleged that instead of cooperating with efforts of other communities to control the country’s population, Muslims are making it a “campaign” to increase their numbers.

This assertion came days after VHP Working President Pravin Togadia sought curbs against the minority community over its “population jihad”.

The ‘Kendriya Margdarshak Kandal’ (Central Mentors Group) of the Hindutva outfit described the fall in share of Hindus in the total population to below 80 per cent as “a matter of deep concern” and “an indication of an impending danger to the country’s unity and integrity”, a VHP statement said.

AFP imageAFP image

Representational image of VHP rally. AFP

“It is very clear that all communities in the country are making all efforts to control population but the Muslim community instead of cooperating is taking it up as a campaign to increasing its population which is worrisome… there is an increase of 24 per cent in the numbers of Muslims and only 7.5 per cent in Hindus… All states should form a national population policy,” it said.

The Group comprising numerous saints and priests met at Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra where the holy Kumbh fair is going on.

“In the meeting, saints expressed their sentiments about the scariness of the census figures and said the Hindu population falling below 80 per cent is a matter of deep concern,” the statement said.

The meet also called upon the Centre to introduce a law to ban cow slaughter.

The saints also asked Hindus to stamp out “abhorrent” practices such as discrimination against others, saying “we Hindus are one and no Hindu is untouchable”.

PTI

Muslim outfits hit back at VHP for criticising Vice President Hamid Ansari

Hitting back at Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) over its criticism of Vice President Hamid Ansari, leaders of some Muslim outfits on Wednesday said it only reflects its “communal mindset” and lack of respect for Indian Constitution.

Hamid Ansari

Hitting back at Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) over its criticism of Vice President Hamid Ansari, leaders of some Muslim outfits on Wednesday said it only reflects its “communal mindset” and lack of respect for Indian Constitution.The leaders defended Ansari over his remarks on the need for “affirmative action” to help the Muslim community, saying the statement was “very much” within the framework of Government policies.”The kind of people they are…the whole country knows how much they respect Indian Constitution and what are their feelings for minorities. Such a reaction from VHP is not unexpected, only reflects their communal mindset.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They do not have a large enough heart to accept Muslims as equal citizens. And, at the same time, they are also not respecting Constitutional post of the Vice President,” Mohammad Salim Engineer, secretary general, Jamaat-E-Islami Hind, reacted.President of Welfare Party of India, SQR Ilyas, echoed similar sentiments and termed VHP’s response as “uncalled for”. Ilyas insisted Ansari’s statements were within framework of the Constitution and Government’s policies.”He (Ansari) clearly said that ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ (campaign) should also include Muslims. Whoever is the President or Vice President…if he is invited to a Muslim organisation’s event where he says Muslims will also get benefit of Government policies, what is wrong in it? How does this suggest Ansari went against his Constitutional post?” Ilyas, also general secretary of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), asked.Speaking at the golden jubilee function of AIMMM – apex body of Muslim outfits – here on August 31, Ansari had noted identity and security, education and empowerment and fair share in decision making as the principal problems confronting India’s Muslims.He had stated the default in terms of exclusion and discrimination has to be corrected by state. The VHP, however, took strong objection to the remarks dubbing them as “communal” and said the statements did not befit dignity of Vice President’s office. It also insisted Ansari to either apologise or resign.The Hindutva outfit also said such a demand seeks to “push Muslims in dark alleys of dissatisfaction whose consequences will be dangerous”.

Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya trapped in lift, rescued

Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others got stuck in a lift of a building in Kachiguda area in Hyderabad on Sunday, following which they were rescued by police.

Bandaru Dattatreya

dna Research & Archives
Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others got stuck in a lift of a building in Kachiguda area in Hyderabad on Sunday, following which they were rescued by police.The incident occurred after the minister had entered the lift to reach the venue where he was scheduled to attend a book launch function by VHP, his close aide said.”He (Dattatreya), along with others, was in the lift for four minutes before he was brought out,” the aide said. Dattatreya could come out only after the police personnel forcibly opened the doors of the lift which got stuck between two floors due to power failure.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The incident caused jitters among officials. Meanwhile, Dattatreya held meeting with Telangana minister for Labour, N Narasimha Reddy and discussed issues related to the illegal workers staying in Gulf countries.

Bajrang Dal leader tweets welcoming MM Kalburgi’s death, says another academician next

Kalburgi had raised the hackles of some right-wing outfits like VHP and Bajrang Dal.

Bajrang Dal’s Bantwal co-convener Bhuvith Shetty tweeted welcoming the noted scholar’s death (File Photo)

PTI
After the news about author MM Kalburgi audacious murder reached Twitter, Bajrang Dal’s Bantwal co-convener Bhuvith Shetty tweeted welcoming the noted scholar’s death and even warned another academician of similar fate.Shetty posted the tweet: “Then it was UR Ananthamurthy and now MM Kalburgi. Mock Hinduism and die dogs (sic.) death. And dear KS Bhagwan you are next,”
Two men came on a two-wheeler and knocked at the door of Kalburgi’s house and as it was opened, two shots were fired at him on his forehead and chest, after which the assailants fled. (Read more about the murder) Kalburgi had raised the hackles of some right-wing outfits like VHP and Bajrang Dal when he had made certain remarks about idol worship by Hindus that were considered “derogatory” and “blasphemous” by them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Shetty, after receiving flak from Twitterati where many believed that the Bajrang Dal was taking responsibility for the incident, deleted the tweet and disabled his twitter handle @GarudaPurana. Denying that his organisation any role in the murder, he said to The Hindustan Times, “I vented my anger spontaneously but that doesn’t mean I or people from my organisation have killed Kalburgi. ” Regarding the threatening tweet to Bhagwan, he said that Bhagwan should be aware that he could be target for such killing.”That doesn’t mean that my organisation or I want to kill him,” he added.Bhagwan is retired professor from the Mysore University. He was known was his incisive criticism against Hindutva groups. He recently courted controversy after inviting VHP leader and pontiff Vishveshwara Thirtha Swami for a debate on Hindu scriptures. Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has said that it treated the Kalburgi’s murder ‘very seriously’ and culprits would be traced soon and meted out ‘strictest punishment’ according to law.As per police, a special team had been formed to investigate the matter and forensic and fingerprint experts have been called in.With agency inputs

BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, VHP press for uniform civil code, law to check rise in Muslim population

He has called the rise in Muslim’s a “dangerous trend’

File Photo
Terming the increase in Muslim’s share in India’s total population as a “dangerous trend”, firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath and VHP on Thursday batted for uniform civil code and law to check it as they claimed that the higher fertility rate in the minority community will cause a “dangerous demographic imbalance”.”The Census figures have sent out warning signals. Time has come that an effective law to control population be made and uniform civil code implemented to ensure national unity and integrity,” Adityanath said in a statement. He termed the decline in Hindu’s share, which has dipped to below 80 per cent of the total population, and rise in Muslim’s a “dangerous trend”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain called it “unprecedented and alarming case”, claiming such a trend will damage India’s identity, existence, culture and secular appeal in the world if not checked. Speaking to reporters, he demanded corrective measures to deal with it. Pressing for a common population policy, Jain also urged Muslims to adopt family planning.Though Muslim’s share in the population has increased, its growth rate showed a downward trend compared to the previous decade.

Urge Rajasthan HC to reconsider ban on Santhara: VHP

We will participate in their Jain’s agitation against Rajasthan High Court ruling on Santhara: VHP

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday came out in support of ‘santhara’, the Jain community’s centuries old ritual of voluntary fasting to death, and urged the Rajasthan High Court to reconsider it’s decision of banning the practice. “Santhara was/is never a suicide attempt by Jain-muni as it is meant to get ‘moksh’ (salvation) from exisiting life and ‘punarjanam’ (rebirth) and it is a 2500 year old ritual since Bhagwan Mahaveer,” state VHP President, Narpat Singh Shekhawat told a press conference here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We do respect the Rajasthan High Court’s verdict banning Santhara, but the decision was taken in absence of proper defence, evidences and justification by Jain Samaj, hence it should be reconsidered,” he said. “In Sanatan Dharma, a rebirth through Santhara is existed in ancient script and Jain religion”, Shekhawat said.When asked whether the VHP will openly support the Jain community’s ‘silent march’ in the state on August 24, he said, “Wherever VHP’s support is required we will do it. We will participate in their agitation”.Rajasthan High Court on August 10 has declared the practice of Santhara or Sullekhana as illegal and held that any person supporting it would be prosecuted for abetment of suicide.

Yakub Memon hanging: VHP says those who attended funeral ‘sympathisers’ of terrorist

VHP said the Muslim community can only progress if they follow the footsteps of Kalam, who was a “great patriot.”

Police at Yakub Memon’s funeral

PTI
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday urged the Muslim youth to follow the example of former President APJ Abdul Kalam and said those who attended the funeral of Yakub Memon were “sympathisers” and “followers” of a terrorist. “The Muslim youth should follow the example of President Kalam, who was true patriot and worked tirelessly for the country till his last breadth and not Asaduddin Owaisi, Azam Khan and Abu Asim Azmi,” Surendra Jain, Joint General Secretary of the VHP said.Speaking to reporters here, Jain said the Muslim community can only progress if they follow the footsteps of Kalam, who was a “great patriot.” Attacking those who attended Memon’s funeral, Jain said not all those who attended the ceremony were the relatives of 1993 Bombay blast accused. “Not all those who attended the funeral of Memon were relatives of Memon. Some 20,000 people were present and they are the ones who sympathised with the terrorist.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also lashed out at the “Gang of 40”, referring to those who signed the petition urging the President to commute Memon’s death penalty. “After Yakub’s hanging many wrote on social media saying ‘Mein Yakub Hoon’. This Gang of 40 and Owaisi, Azmi and Azam give strength to such sentiments,” Jain added.

Gujarat High Court to hear Naroda Patiya case charge sheet tomorrow

“We shall start (hearing details of the charge sheet) beginning from tomorrow,. It will show names of the accused in the charge sheet and there will be a concise history of the case,” a two-judge bench, comprising Justice Mohinder Pal and Justice RD Kothari, said.

Gujarat HC

File Photo
The Gujarat High Court said on Wednesday that it would begin hearing details of the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case charge sheet from tomorrow. “We shall start (hearing details of the charge sheet) beginning from tomorrow,. It will show names of the accused in the charge sheet and there will be a concise history of the case,” a two-judge bench, comprising Justice Mohinder Pal and Justice RD Kothari, said here.The Gujarat High Court has started conducting final hearing on appeals by convicts including a former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani and former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Babu Bajrangi in the Naroda Patiya riot case, in which as many as 97 people of the minority community were killed. When the FIR of the case was being read out in the court today, the High Court bench commented that the police had not named some of the accused in the riot case. “All it can be said is that the police was not ready to file FIR against some persons. It may not be the case that they (victims) have not given their names but it was not written in the FIR,” Justice Mohinder Pal of the bench said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Mohinder Pal’s comment came when defence counsel Nirupam Nanavati was reading the FIR which did not include the names of some of accused persons who are convicted in the case like Maya Kodnani. During the hearing of the case, Nirupam Nanavati, who appeared for Maya Kodnani, said that some victims had supported his client by filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court in 2003. “Most of the victims filed affidavits in support of the petitioner (Kodnani) and they have not named accused number 37 (Kodnani),” Nanavati submitted before the court.In this case, cross appeals have also been filed by survivors and the prosecution agency (Special Investigation Team) about the enhancement of the sentence or challenging the punishment awarded by the special trial court. In August 2012, a special trial court had convicted 31 people and awarded life terms to 30 people, including Maya Kodnani for killings and criminal conspiracy, while it had also awarded ‘imprisonment till death’ to former VHP leader Babu Bajrangi.Two convicts, including Kodnani and Kirpalsingh Chhabra, were granted bail in this case.The Naroda Patiya riot incident had taken place a day after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.

Curfew imposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri over Islamic State flag

Jammu: Curfew was declared in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri town and the Army held a flag march on when protests were held following reports that activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad had burnt flags of the Islamic State – the terror group that’s causing havoc in Iraq and Syria.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The protesters held that the flags bore Quranic verses and demanded that the persons responsible be arrested.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh has appealed for calm from both the communities. “There should be no communal tension. We appeal to both the communities to observe calm,” he told reporters in Jammu.

The situation is under control, District Magistrate Deepti Uppal has said.

Singh, however, has ruled out arrest of VHP activists. The IS flags, he said, were the symbols of a “terrorist outfit”. “Burning the symbol of terrorists and anti-national elements is the work of nationalism,” he added.

Clarifying that it had no intention to hurt religious sentiments, the VHP has asked the protesters to hold demonstrations against the Islamic State for placing holy inscriptions on its flag.

“We had burnt the IS flag. We did not know as to what was written on it in Persian,” said state VHP patron Ramakant Dubey.

PTI

VHP does it again: Party patron says India will be a Hindu nation by 2020, world by 2030

NEW DELHI: Calling the victory of the BJP- led alliance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as initiation of a “revolution” in the country, VHP patron Ashok Singhal on Saturday said by 2020, India would be a Hindu nation.

“I was at the Sai Baba Ashram where Sai Baba told me by 2020 the entire country will be Hindu and 2030 the entire world will be Hindu. I feel that revolution has started,” he said at a function here attended by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and other RSS functionaries.

VHP convenor Ashok Singhal.VHP convenor Ashok Singhal.

VHP convenor Ashok Singhal.

Hailing the coming to power of the Narendra Modi government, he said the victory has put an end to the 800 years of “slavery”.

“This is not a modest revolution. It will not remain confined to India but present a new ideology before the world,” he said.

He was speaking at a programme for release of a book on the life and work of former RSS chief K S Sudarshan, who died last year with speakers remembering him as someone who encouraged promotion of ‘swadeshi’ model for the country’s development.

Swaraj said Sudarshan had created a positive vibe around him due to which any worker could talk to him freely without fear and his “goodness” made him a “saint” amongst his peers.

“Sudarshanji created such an atmosphere around him that I could speak to him openly. I feel the goodness of a person is measured by the positive vibe that he creates around him. If there is a sense of fear, no worker can talk freely. If there is no sense of fear, a worker can speak freely. He created such an atmosphere,” she said.

PTI

VHP demands ‘Myanmar-like attack’ to bring PoK back into India

In the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the VHP today said government should not hold any talks with that country.

In the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the VHP today said government should not hold any talks with that country.”There should be no talks with Pakistan. Pakistan does not understand this language. Talks have no meaning for Pakistan. In Pakistan, the strings of power do not lie in the hands of Nawaz Sharif. Such a person who is only a puppet, there is no use talking to him. Keeping in view Pakistan”s character, Modi should use that language only to make them understand,” VHP joint general secretary Surender Jain said.He said one who believes in Pakistan”s statements does not know its true character and Pakistan has stated many things in the past too, but the result of all such statements have come in the form of Kargil or Chhattisingpora or other mass killings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is clear that Pakistan does not understand the language of talks. Pakistan should be taught a lesson. What has been done in Myanmar, there is need to carry out the same operation is replicated in Pakistan,” he said.The VHP favoured a Myanmar-like attack and asked Modi to help bring back Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir through it. It also termed as “unfortunate” and “disturbing” unfurling of IS flags in Kashmir and said all those behind it be dealt with sternly and tried for treason outside the state.On the threats of a Atom bomb attack made by Pakistan, he said it has stolen the atom bomb but “it is not easy to use that stolen atom bomb”.The VHP leader said while discussion were carried out on one hand, on the other they were carrying out firings along the border and killing innocents while also making false allegations of a drone.”The talks at Russia were good, but during the talks there were ceasefire violations too, killing innocent civilians. And these attacks along the border increased thereafter,” he said.On Modi”s proposed visit to Pakistan, Jain said, while he has accepted the invitation of visiting Pakistan “We want he should go to Pakistan not sitting in an aircraft, but sitting on a tank and teach Pakistan a lesson. That will be the solution with Pakistan.”

VHP’s Ashok Singhal demands nation-wide ban on cow slaughter

VHP international president Ashok Singhal has demanded a nation-wide ban on cow slaughter.

PTI
VHP international president Ashok Singhal has demanded a nation-wide ban on cow slaughter.Addressing a function at village Harevali near here, Singhal said that protection of cows is necessary for the nation’s progress and said that by banning cow slaughter India will become a “Hindu nation by 2020″.”There should be a complete ban on cow slaughter across the country and this should be done soonest. By doing so, India will become a Hindu nation by 2020,” he said.

Twitter reacts: Sadhvi Prachi ji, I had chicken this weekend, what calamity can I expect?

After BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj propounded his wisdom claiming in a statement in Haridwar that the Nepal earthquake was not caused by interactions of tectonic plates but by Rahul Gandhi‘s visit to Kedarnath, Sadhvi Prachi has followed suit, creating a furore on Twitter.

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj. IBNLiveBJP MP Sakshi Maharaj. IBNLive

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj. IBNLive

Their logic is as follows:  Rahul being a non-vegetarian and hence, impure, shouldn’t have visited the holy land of Kedarnath before purifying himself—that is taking a dip in the Ganges.

Rahul Gandhi eats beef, and goes to the holy shrine (Kedarnath) without purifying himself. The earthquake was bound to happen,” The Times of India reported Sakshi Maharaj as saying.

Also present at the conference was Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi.

Jumping the queue, she made a similar statement saying, “This ( earthquake) is due to the visit of Rahul Gandhi, who is a non-vegetarian. He did not take holy Ganga dip. He should have first purified himself. This disaster in Nepal and northern India is due to Rahul’s visit,” reports the Tribune.

Soon, ‘Sakshi Maharaj’ started trending on Twitter as people slammed the VHP leader

Naroda Patiya case: Convict Babu Bajrangi gets 3-month bail

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday granted temporary bail of three months to former VHP leader Babu Bajrangi, who is convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, on medical grounds.

Babu Bajrangi. ReutersBabu Bajrangi. Reuters

VHP leader Babu Bajrangi. Reuters

A division bench of Justices Ravi Tripathi and RD Kothari allowed the interim bail plea moved by Bajrangi’s wife seeking his release for 90 days for his eye treatment.

Bajrangi had moved the plea seeking temporary bail to undergo proper eye treatment. He had stated that he is turning blind gradually and that he needs to be out on bail for its treatment at a private hospital.

He is one of the 31 convicts in Naroda Patiya riot case of 2002 where 97 people of minority community were killed. Bajrangi was awarded ‘imprisonment till death’ by a special trial court in August 2012.

Bajarani had challenged his conviction before the High Court, but it had been stayed by the Supreme Court.

The former VHP leader was earlier granted temporary bail five times by the Gujarat High Court on various grounds.

Earlier, Bajrangi’s wife Meena Patel had written a letter to Gujarat Governor OP Kohli seeking mercy to release her husband as he was losing his vision.

Naroda Patiya is one of the nine cases probed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).

A Special SIT court had in August 2012 awarded life imprisonment to then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for the 2002 riots at Naroda Patiya.

PTI

Now, VHP seeks ban on Kamal Hassan starer Uttama Villain

Chennai: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has sought a ban on the upcoming Kamal Hassan Tamil flick “Uttama Villain”, claiming it would offend the religious sensibilities of Hindus.

In a petition filed with city police, VHP city organiser Satyamurthy said the incarnations of Lord Vishnu has been criticised in the movie.

Kamal Hassan in a file photo. AFPKamal Hassan in a file photo. AFP

Kamal Hassan in a file photo. AFP

In a song that begins as “Udirathin Kathai,” in Tamil folk style “Villupattu”, conversations between Vishnu devotee Prahalada and his father Hiranyakashipu has ‘disparaging’ remarks against Lord Vishnu, he said.

Hence the film should not be allowed to be screened, he said.

Directed by Ramesh Aravind, the movie is scheduled to hit the screens soon.

The police, however, declined to say anything on the petition’s scrutiny or if they propose to act on the plea.

PTI

Is Ramachandra Guha right in believing the Right lacks ‘intellectual’ heft?

Jaideep A Prabhu

In a recent article in Caravan Magazine, Indian historian Ramachandra Guha bemoans the absence of intellectuals on the Right of India’s political spectrum. He draws a distinction between ideologues, who are more interested in promoting their own beliefs, and intellectuals, who contribute to the growth of knowledge. While Guha does not define ‘intellectual,’ he gives several examples of those he considers intellectuals in the fields of history, political science, and economics. For him, methodological integrity plays a large role in separating ideologues from intellectuals. Another difference between intellectual and ideologue is audience – the former is more concerned about the reception of research among scholars while the latter is keener on swaying the public.

At first glance, it is not difficult to have some sympathy for Guha’s point of view. A closer analysis, however, reveals a set of assumptions that may not be fully justified.

Ramachandra Guha. Screengrab from YouTubeRamachandra Guha. Screengrab from YouTube

Ramachandra Guha. Screengrab from YouTube

First, Guha’s framework of the intellectual does not leave much room for the public intellectual — if the primary aim of scholarship is to talk to a small and academic community, then what role is there for them in the shaping of policy? If scholarship is meant to, among other things, provide fertile material for ideologues, then would it not be wiser to look past the talking heads put up by the Right? Additionally, Guha limits the conversation to the humanities, and that too to a very thin slice of it. Does this imply that the sciences do not produce intellectuals? In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to find spaces where technology and public policy do not intersect, this would be a bold assertion. If Guha’s point is merely that intelligence and intellectualism are two different qualities, then it is a rather obvious and boring observation.

Second, Guha does not specifically explain what it means to be an intellectual but takes the definition to be endoxa, that is, common wisdom based on observations over a period of time. This cleverly avoids a definitional quagmire but, in exchange, expects the reader to be receptive to Guha’s conception of the intellectual and the role of such figures in the public sphere. This might be too much to ask in India, a country that, even 70 years after independence, is still struggling with modernity and nationhood.

Guha’s intellectual is a product of the institution. This is not an entirely unreasonable position to take; after all, universities have become the epicentres of academic research in recent years, particularly in the humanities. Unfortunately, this view is also woefully incomplete. Not only does it not acknowledge intellectuals by praxis, it also ignores scholars who are not in the academic circuit. Where does Kannada author SL Bhyrappa, for example, fit in Guha’s schema? Does the polyglot poet R Ganesh have a place? There is no doubt that these thinkers and authors have influenced millions of Indians, albeit largely in vernacular languages rather than the preferred institutional language, English.

Bhyrappa, by the way, is institutionally credentialed; he holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and R Ganesh is a Doctor of Letters from Hampi University. Yet degrees hardly make an intellectual, though admittedly, it is not a bad rule of thumb. Nonetheless, it should also be kept in mind that such a narrow vision would exclude people like Yevgeny Yevtushenko or Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. Moreover, it would be foolish to cling to the idea of intellectuals-by-degree in an era where more and more scholars are complaining about the flawed peer review system or a mutual citation society.

It is interesting that Guha mentions only the disciplines of history, political science and economics. There is nothing particularly intellectual about these three areas – than, say, philosophy, classics and law. Presumably, Guha wants to whittle down the scope of discussion to how data or evidence is treated – in all the fields Guha mentions, there are archives, datasets, and databases upon which arguments must be based. It is here that Guha finds Right-wing scholarship lacking. Yet Guha fails to mention Lokesh Chandra, the current president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and just as visible and allegedly controversial as Yellapragada Sudershan Rao or Dinanath Batra. Awarded a doctorate by Utrecht, Chandra has hundreds of works to his credit in the institutional setting Guha prefers.

An ideologue might retort that Guha is stacking the deck, that historical data has been tainted by layers upon layers of Christian, racial, imperial, and Marxist interpretation. For the Right to work out of such a framework would be akin to expecting a Christian theologian to make an argument for his God using the works of Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens.  To this, one can easily demand that the Right develop their own primary-source-based scholarship than complain about research they do not agree with or like.

However, the lack of a strong, institutional Right narrative in India is in part due to the hostile environment in which it would have had to develop. With near-dictatorial control and the presence of the government in education, media, and broadcasting, there was little opportunity for Right-wing institutions or intellectuals to develop. What we see today, be it the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the rebirth of a journal like Swarajya, or the slowly growing fan base for free market economics, is but a nascent movement. We are yet to see what they make of themselves.

The tradition of education, or what education was like a thousand years ago in India, is not pertinent today. Suffice it to say that several scholars – of law, Sanskrit, history, religion, philosophy, music, and art – exist amongst the teeming millions. They usually have day jobs and pursue their other interests in their spare time. Some of the more gifted ones have been able to abandon traditional nine-to-five employment and embrace tutoring in their favourite subject. For those interested, it is not difficult to find such intellectuals but they are dispersed and not under institutional umbrellas. Which side of the political spectrum these scholars lean towards is difficult to declare because labels like Left or Right do not readily apply to the Indian political scene. However, several do maintain an admiration for the Hindu way of life and vote for the BJP.

An interesting example can be found in Guha’s hero, Kota Shivarama Karanth. Where would Guha place him on the Left-Right spectrum? Karanth is a most respected Kannada litterateur who has spoken out strongly in favour of Dalit rights (in Chomana Dudi, for example) and has opposed several infrastructural projects such as nuclear power plant at Kaiga and hydroelectric power at Bedti on environmental grounds. This ought to place him on the Left. However, Karanth has also opposed proselytisation and, in fact, has aligned with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on the issue of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. This would place him firmly on the Right. It is easier to find on the Right those who support Dalit rights and environmental causes than it is to find supporters for the Ram Mandir on the Left. Is Karanth not an intellectual or is the choice of Left/Right biased?

Despite the questionable assumptions of Guha’s article, any honest conservative will accept one frustration Guha has with the Right – institutions carry forward legacies and it is imperative for the Right to articulate its narrative clearly and intelligently. Whatever the past glories of India, her science, her education system, her values, or anything else, there is no turning back the clock and India’s Right must broadly conform to the modern state and its creeping bureaucratism. It is not that the Indian Right has no intellectuals but rather that it is time they stepped up to a different challenge and way of functioning.

Bombay HC dismisses PIL against politicians who speak on conversions

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking action against MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and VHP international working president Praveen Togadia for allegedly making comments about religious conversions.

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking action against MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and VHP international working president Praveen Togadia for allegedly making comments about religious conversions.A bench, headed by Justice V M Kanade, recently held that the petitioner had an alternative remedy to approach appropriate civil and criminal courts.”Hence, the High Court is not inclined to entertain this PIL,” the bench said in its order.The PIL, filed by social activist Hemant Patil, said that the comments made by these leaders allegedly tend to divide the people and such utterances were in violation of the Representation of the People Act. The PIL alleged that in their speeches, Togadia and Bhagwat have claimed that ancestors of all Indians were Hindus and urged Muslims to embrace Hinduism.”In order to counter the duo, Hyderabad-based President of All India MIM Asaduddin Owaisi, allegedly commented that every child is born a Muslim after which parents and society convert them to other religions,” it said.The petition prayed that politicians be restrained from making such comments allegedly aimed at dividing the people.

Nagpur to host RSS mega conclave starting tomorrow

Top RSS leaders and functionaries from across the country will go into a three-day brainstorming session here tomorrow where they may discuss, among other things, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir where BJP is in an uneasy alliance with PDP.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Top RSS leaders and functionaries from across the country will go into a three-day brainstorming session here tomorrow where they may discuss, among other things, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir where BJP is in an uneasy alliance with PDP.Meeting for the first time since the installation of the Modi government in Delhi, the `Pratnidhi Sabha’, Sangh’s highest decision-making body, is expected to deliberate on a variety of issues that may include BJP’s rocky relations with its alliance partner PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.The relations between BJP and PDP hit a turbulent patch recently following the release of Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam by the state government.The alliance had got off to a rocky start when Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, after taking the oath, credited elements in Pakistan, the Hurriyat and the militants for the peaceful Assembly polls in the restive state.Though RSS Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya insisted no resolution was slated to be adopted by the Pratinidhi Sabha on the J&K issue, sources in the organisation said it could come up for discussion.Also, the conclave is likely to discuss RSS’s role in shaping the policies of the Centre, particularly in the field of education.After its cadre played a vital role in ensuring a resounding victory for BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, RSS has been consistently engaging with the government over curriculum of the educational institutions, seen by the detractors as an attempt to further its pro-Hindutva cultural agenda.Briefing journalists ahead of the conclave here, Vaidya said one of the resolutions is on imparting education at primary school level in the mother-tongue.”One of the key resolutions to be adopted is on imparting education in primary schools in the mother-tongue of the pupils which the academics and eminent people say is the best. The craze of English is to the detriment of the students,” he said. In a bid to bring about a broader unity among the Hindus, Vaidya said, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had suggested entry of all castes to places of worship, sources of drinking water and cremation grounds.”Bhagwat had brought up the issue during his Vijaya Dashmi speech two years ago…he wanted people to rise above caste considerations and share the places of worship, drinking water sources and cremation grounds and the response has been very good,” he said.The RSS Prachar Pramukh said the meeting, to be attended by about 1,400 delegates who will also elect the new Sarkaryavah (general secretary), will deliberate on ways to expand the organisation.”In the last three years, we have launched a programme to expand the organisation. The daily shakhas, weekly meets and monthly mandalis organised by us saw an 18 per cent increase during this period. Three years ago, we had such congregations in 43,000 places which have grown to 55,000 now,” he said.”An atmosphere conducive to the expansion of the Sangh has been created. We conducted Sangh Parichay Varga (classes to introduce RSS ideology) at two places for journalists, including in Kolkata, and the results were positive,” he said.Vaidya said the delegates will vote to elect the general secretary, the post occupied by Suresh alias Bhaiyyaji Joshi.Speculation is rife that Joshi might be replaced by Dattatreya Hosbale, the joint general secretary, who is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Joshi’s second 3-year term is coming to an end but he is eligible for re-election.The name of the new general secretary will be announced either on March 14 evening or the next morning.”Important national issues will be discussed and necessary resolutions will be passed in the meeting,” a statement by RSS said earlier in the day.The top RSS decision-making body is also likely to take stock of BJP’s position on issues like Article 370 in J&K and the controversial Land Acquisition Bill which has been opposed by the RSS affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh.Replying to a question, Vaidya said discussion on the controversial ‘Ghar Vapsi’ programme of the right wing Hindu outfits like VHP and Bajrang Dal was not on the agenda.Prominent leaders and functionaries of the Sangh, its affiliates working in various fields and BJP will attend the meet.BJP president Amit Shah, party’s general secretary and a key RSS man Ram Madhav and VHP leader Praveen Togadia would be among those who would be present.

Hey Mumbai, no more beef fry: VHP stops supply of buffalo meat too

Were you among those placated by the fact that your supply of beef wouldn’t be hit because the Maharashtra government had not banned the slaughter of buffalo?

Well the VHP has ensured that you won’t be getting beef of any kind, bull or buffalo, any time soon because it has now managed to procure a ban on all slaughter in Mumbai’s Deonar abbatoir and other meat centres across the state.

While the Maharashtra legislation banned the slaughter of bulls and not that of buffaloes, the VHP went to the Bombay High court and received an order from Justice VM Kanade ordering the state to stop the killing of bulls and bullocks, according to a Reuters report. 

Representational image of an abattoir. Reuters imageRepresentational image of an abattoir. Reuters image

Representational image of an abattoir. Reuters image

The report also quoted Vyankatesh Abdeo, the all-India secretary of the VHP as saying that if they waited for the final order from the Maharashtra government “thousands of cattle would have been slaughtered.”

As a result of the order, abbatoirs across the state have put operations on hold, including the slaughter of buffaloes, as they await clarity on what to do next.

The general manager of the Deonar abbattoir in Mumbai from where Mumbai receives its supply of beef, told the Indian Express that they had stopped the slaughtering of bulls and buffaloes and they had officially implemented the ban.

While the slaughter of other animals hasn’t been stopped, there’s no beef coming out of the Deonar abbattoir at least until the state government gives clear orders on what is and isn’t to be done.

The state’s beef traders have appealed to the Bombay High Court challenging the order and could be heard today.

While smaller restaurants like Sarvi in Nagpada, that sell deliciously succulent beef kebabs, are already worried about their future, the ban on all slaughter will mean that even the high-end restaurants that serve beef will be soon running on empty unless there’s some relief coming from the Bombay High Court.

Muslims in India safer than anywhere else in the world: Yogi Adityanath

Hubballi: Firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said Muslims are safer in India than anywhere else in the world and the majority community is liberal by nature.

Yogi Adityanath said Muslims in India are safer than anywhere else in the world.

Yogi Adityanath said Muslims in India are safer than anywhere else in the world.

“Hindus are liberal in nature and therefore the country is also liberal, and Muslims are safer in India than anywhere else in the world,” he said at Virat ‘Hindu Samavesh’ in Hubballi.

Echoing RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on Mother Teresa, Adityanath said, “In the name of rendering service to the poor, resorting to religious conversions is wrong.”

Bhagwat had recently raked up a controversy by commenting that conversion to Christianity was the main objective behind Mother Teresa’s service to the poor.

Adityanath flayed the Congress government in Karnataka for banning senior VHP leader Pravin Togadia‘s entry into Bengaluru, describing it as a “wrong decision”.

Togadia was banned from entering the city from 5 to 11 February by Bengaluru police in view of the issue of maintaining law and order. He was scheduled to take part in a VHP convention ‘Hindu Viraat Samavesha’ at Bengaluru on 8 February.

Earlier, a huge ‘saffron’ procession preceded the virat ‘Hindu Samavesh’ amid tight police security.

PTI

Shutdown called by VHP to protest ban on Togadia disrupts normal life in Kandhamal

Bhubaneswar: The day-long shutdown called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to protest against the ban on the entry of its top leader Praveen Togadia hit normal life in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on Saturday, police said.

VHP chief Praveen Togadia was banned from entering Kandhamal on Friday. AFP

VHP chief Praveen Togadia was banned from entering Kandhamal on Friday. AFP

People and commercial vehicles stayed off the roads in most places including the district headquarter town of Phulbani. Shops, hotels and business establishments also downed shutters, district superintendent of police Kanwar Vishal Singh told IANS.

“Some shops are opened here and there. Although four wheelers stayed off the roads, bikes and two wheelers are operating as usual. Emergency services such as hospitals were operating normally. The shutdown has remained uneventful so far,” he said.

Togadia was scheduled to address a gathering of VHP supporters at Phulbani Saturday.

The VHP called the shutdown after authorities imposed a ban on Togadia’s entry into the district following apprehension that it might disturb the peace.

VHP leader Bhagaban Mohanty accused the local administration of double standards. “While it had allowed Christian missionaries to hold meetings in the region in the past, we do not understand why it restricted Togadia,” he said.

At least 38 people were killed and thousands had to flee their homes following widespread communal violence in the region in 2008 after the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Different Christian groups had moved the local and state administration seeking a ban on the proposed visit of Togadia, saying his fiery speeches might upset the fragile peace between communities.

IANS

SC ruling on reconversion: It’s a stamp of approval for ghar wapsi, says VHP

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SC ruling on reconversion: It’s a stamp of approval for ghar wapasi, claims VHP

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Private member bill on forced conversions introduced in Lok Sabha

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