<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A is Apple, Android, AI: And other state-of-the-art techB is for Brexit: A decision Britain may regretC is for Clinton: Her emails and her shimmyD is for Demonetization: The idea for a cashless economyE is for EU: That claims it has a migrant crisisF is for Fight: The war against terrorism, particularly ISISG is for Gandhis: India’s self-proclaimed first familyH is for Hombres: The good, the bad, and the uglyI is for ISIS: a group that’s anything but rationalJ is for Jingoism: If you don’t believe it, you’re anti-national K is for Kim, Kanye, Kyle and the other celebrities L is for Live streaming: so you’re a part of big storiesM is for Michelle: the Obama who is loved moreN is for Note: The phone that lost Samsung crores and croresO is for Orange: In the United States, it’s the New BlackP is for Potter: The Cursed Child (was it good or did it face flak?)Q is for Questions: For which answers we have noneR is for Russia: Because everyone assumes Putin’s scumS is for Stars: Many left us in 2016 and are now shining brightT is for Trump: Did America play its cards right?U is for Ugly: What we feel about 2016 dailyV is for Virat: Or as fans say, Kohli, Kohli, Kohli!W is for War: It gets murkier, will there be a WW III?X is for X-travagent wedding: Money spent by Janardhan ReddyY is for Yolo: the mantra employed to surviveZ is for Zika: A virus that had a 2016 thrive
Since the past many years, I have been associated with many charitable organisations. And yes, wherever I go, I carry my identity of being gay with me. Because it is not two different people, my gay identity is a part of me. I am an animal welfare crusader, a women’s rights activist, a child rights activist, also a men’s rights activist and sometimes an environmentalist. I christened the term “equal rights activist” for myself when I found it really hard to confine myself to one category especially when journalists asked me ‘what do I call you’. I am not writing this to bask in the glory of my achievements alone. Of course, I am not modest about my achievements for myself and people and animals I love. This post is not about me, it is about the secret santas with rainbow caps who little by little change the world for all.
A photo posted by Harish Iyer (@iyerharish) on Dec 23, 2016 at 10:22pm PST
Let me introduce you to some who don’t wait for Christmas to play Santa but are Santa all the way.
Santa Robin Chaurasiya:
Robin Chaurasiya is a lesbian who was a part of the US military Air Force, until she refused to stay quiet about her sexuality. I believe we bring our whole selves to work. Gay is not detachable. It is not that you can leave your gay back home while you carry your mind and body to work. She was thrown out of the military, and US’s loss is India’s gain. This indore girl, came back to India to set up Kranti, a non profit for empowerment of girls in the redlight area of Mumbai, Kamathipura.
“I don’t think there is any reason for these girls to limit their dreams. They should never stop dreaming, and they should never stop believing in their dreams. And the onus is on us, as a society, to ensure that they achieve those dreams,” says Chaurasiya.
She is someone who walks the talk. Her girls have got more stamps on their passport than many others amongst us. Some are learning psychology, some are learning drums… and all have learnt to become truer and truer to their real selves with every passing day.
Santa Dhruv Ambegaonkar:
A doctor by profession, Dhruv is your sassy young gay boy from Santacruz. He is not your average Doctor. He has piercings in possibly every visible part of his body. He is trendy in his clothes and is attractive enough that people will fall ill just to go to him for an injection.
That said, there is another side to him that not many know of. He, along with his family, fosters children until they get adopted.
“My family has been fostering newborn children who have been abandoned or put up for adoption by their mothers until they are adopted by a new family. We have 2 children with us currently. A 2-month-old boy and a 6 week old girl. Both are the cutest and so funny. It is a tough job, because it’s impossible not to get attached to the kids. I still miss the kids who have left us. It’s a heartache which never goes away. Because you know they are living happily with a new family and with no idea of who you are and how much you loved them,” says Ambegaonkar.
A photo posted by Dhruv (@ambezing) on Feb 13, 2016 at 7:17am PST
Santa Anand Pendharkar:
Anand Pendharkar used to operate with an alias at one time. I still remember, we had also planned to date. Somehow, we ended up becoming good friends instead. Anand is an environmentalist and he runs an organisation called Sprouts.
“Gender and sexuality though a personal attribute are a part and parcel of a person. There are many misconceptions that people hold about LGBT people and there is a dire need of positive role models for youth, in every sector, irrespective of the adult’s sexual orientation and identity. I have always been honest and disciplined about my nature conservation work and I mentor youth to be skilled conservation leaders. Nature is a great educator and also one with great sexual diversity. So once they learn about all the gender variations and sexual patterns of creatures, then human sexuality falls easily within that spectrum of diversity. Deep Education is the key to making the young, accepting and inclusive humans,” says Pendharkar.
Read about him here.
Yaariyan is the youth group of the Humsafar Trust. This year, they decided to visit an old age home in Anand Niketan, Lower Parel. I chatted up with my bisexual friend Koninika Roy from Yaariyan.
“Yaariyan decided that while we do a lot of work for our community, as an influential youth group we wanted to give to a cause because we felt like giving. As responsible young adults and LGBTQ we felt the need to say that while we care about our issues, we also care about our communities. This time we felt we would spread our love by spending a day with the wonderful people at the old age home. The response was so great that we want to do this every year,” says Roy.
Santa Namma Pride Bangalore and Queer Azaadi Mumbai:
This year, Queer Azaadi Mumbai, the LGBTIQ collective that organises the Queer Pride Parade of Mumbai, donated money to the Chief Minister’s drought relief fund. In Bengaluru, the Namma Pride march was organised. which took extra efforts to ensure that the pride is accessible for disabled persons. Thank you Bengaluru for leading the way. We will try and follow the good practice in Mumbai.
Santa Gaysi Family
Gaysifamily organises the super-awesome spoken word event called Dirty Talk. Dirty talk has always highlighted other social issues. We started with child sexual abuse, then acid attack survivors, then recently a de drug addiction group. In between, we also saw an innovative campaign called #KissOfLove where they pledged to send ½ a kilo of rice for every kiss shared to a woman rights and rehabilitation NGO called Urja. The founder, Sakshi recently donated money for the treatment of a dog.
Agreed. Such is the vibrant LGBTIQ community. We are all about our cause… but also all beyond it.
First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 20:06 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expelled Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) parliamentarian Sasikala Pushpa has said it would be wrong to nominate Sasikala Natarajan as the general secretary since she was expelled by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa for conspiring against her.”It would too wrong to nominate Sasikala Natarjan as the general secretary of the party. Because nowhere madam (Jayalalithaa) has mentioned her name. She has not even given her a councillor or an MLA seat. It shows that political life is not fit for her. She was earlier expelled by Amma for conspiring against her and trying to kill her,” Pushpa told ANI.By citing a by-law of the AIADMK, Pushpa said, “There is a rule in Class-30 sub clause-5 that a person being a primary member for five consecutive years can contest the elections. However, if this is implied, then, Sasikala is not fit to be the general secretary.”Pushpa demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Jayalalithaa “since the time she was admitted into the hospital, there was no transparency about the status of her health.””What happened to Jayalalithaa is something everybody is questioning. Even the cadres feel the same,” she added.Sasikala said she has filed a case in the Madras High Court stating that the election of general secretary of the AAIDMK be done in a democratic manner.The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Thursday said Sasikala Natarajan, the confidante of Jayalalithaa, will be the party’s next general secretary. “It is clear that Chinnamma (Sasikala) will be the next general secretary of the party,” said AIADMK spokesperson C Ponnaiyan.
The Income Tax Department may not tax, penalise or even frown at much of the hoarded money that is coming out — the small change — the coins of Re 1, Rs 2, 5, and 10. They are being taken out of that corner drawer or the kid’s piggybank after replenishing it with a crisp Rs 2,000 bank note.
“Look, how nice it looks. Pink and not a crease or an ink spot. Now, there is more room for coins,” is usually the explanation given to the suspicious child. After a pause, comes the qualifier: “Later”. Heaven knows when that “later” would arrive.
It was both scarce and plentiful. Even at the counter of the supermarket, which does 12 hours of brisk business, you proffered a note, including the denominated notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, and the cashier would say, “Change, sir?”
You insist and they would bring out the coins and give you the change. Like you and every other shopkeeper, they too hoarded, because of two reasons. The shopkeepers bought them at a commission, Rs 15 for every Rs 100 from moneychangers who include beggars. You did not carry them around because they weighed down your pocket.
Now they are back in respect.
The other day, my bank gave me Rs 1,000 in coins, as many as 100 of the shiny Rs 10 in a nicely sealed plastic bag. The wife grabbed it as anything other than Rs 2,000 bank note was welcome. Because, between Rs 100 and the Rs 2,000 currency notes, there isn’t any currency-stifling transactions.
There was a time you liked crisp bank notes, but seldom got any, be it from the bank where a cheque was encashed or across the counter from a shop or a superstore. You settled for whatever was provided, even the most battered notes.
There was also preference for higher denomination notes of Rs 100 and 500, and even Rs 1,000. Since Rs 10 fetched very little, it did not count for much and a Rs 50 note was just alright. So was the denomination of Rs 20. The idea was not to physically fatten the wallet.
Wallets have to be fat by virtue of its value, not grammage. When we spend for thinner, lighter mobile phones, never mind its length and breadth, but consider the thinness a desired quality, thick wallets are passé.
Who wanted the coins! It lasted a journey back home to rest in a small pile, and if you had a grandchild, into his or her piggybank. Even beggars frowned at the Re 1, Rs 2, and didn’t mind the Rs 5 coins, and the Rs 10 isn’t as much in circulation. Even the beggar suffers the weight of inflation and the ignominy of having to stretch a palm.
The coins were after all chillar. It has its demeaning nuance.
Post-denomination, most of us came close to stretching our palms after waiting in the queue without instigating a riot for the cash crunch. If the banks didn’t readily part with your money to you, how would a neighbour?
The days of the small loan are over. At least in the short term. It is for the Reserve Bank of India to determine what that ‘short term’ means. You have lost control of your money, so why not let the central bank decide on the timeline? Anyhow, you have the other time on mind – the time you would need to spend in a queue outside an ATM which disgorges only the Rs 2,000 note.
Disgorge is not mot juste here. It only reluctantly tosses out one.
The curious aspect of queues outside ATMs is where the machine is stocked with Rs 100 notes. The attempt is to draw Rs 1,900 and Rs 2,000. That big-daddy bank note is money you cannot use much. It is a limited attempt at gaming the system.
First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 14:28 IST
New Delhi: Concerned about the over 1.5 lakh fatalities every year in road mishaps, the Supreme Court said it may direct closure of liquour shops on national and state highways across the country, besides removal of signages indicating their location.
The apex court, while reserving verdict on a batch of pleas seeking a direction to amend excise laws to ensure that no liquor is sold alongside highways, came down heavily on the Punjab government for seeking relaxation and permitting liquor shops near highways if they are “elevated” ones and the vend are under or near it.
“Look at the number of licences you (Punjab) have given. Because the liquor lobby is so powerful, everyone is happy. The excise department is happy, the excise minister is happy and the state government is also happy that they are making money. If a person dies due to this, you give Rs one or 1.5 lakh. That is it. You should take a stand which is helpful for the society,” the bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur said.
Reminding the state government of its constitutional obligation to prohibit liquor sale, the bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, said, “You are speaking the langauge of liquor vendors. Is this your endeavour to seek prohibition? Nearly 1.5 lakh people die every year. We are asking you to do something for the general public.”
The bench also expressed its unhappiness over alleged inaction by various states in removing liquor shops alongside roads which give rise to drunken driving and consequential fatalities. It said that revenue generation cannot be a “valid reason” for a state or a Union territory to give licence for liquor shops on highways and the authorities should adopt a positive attitude to remove the menace.
The court also rapped the Centre for not doing anything concrete leading it to “step in”. “The government of India is now saying that the liquor shops (on the national and state highways) should be removed. For the last 10 years, nothing has happened and that is why we have stepped in,” the bench said.
Earlier, the court had sought the response from the Centre, states and Union territories on the pleas seeking a direction to amend excise laws to ensure that no liquor is sold alongside highways.
First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 21:00 IST
Banks and customers may be staring at a nightmarish week ahead as demand for cash is expected to see a sudden spike with customers queuing up to withdraw their salaries to settle monthly bills.
The informal sector staff, especially domestic helps, newspaper vendors, milk seller and the like, are likely to be impacted the most as these segments of population are yet to go digital fully despite the government push.
Though the increase in demand is a usual occurrence at the beginning of every month, this time it is going to be different as this is the first salary withdrawal after the demonetisation-induced cash crunch started affecting the normal life of many in the country.
To be sure, the authorities are assuring everything is being taken care of. They insist that there is enough cash available with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and banks. But the ground situation belies such assurances. The truth is there is no cash with either the banks or at the ATMs.
What has aggravated the problem is the short supply of Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes. While banks are willing to give away Rs 2,000 notes and ATMs are loaded with these high denomination notes, customers are not willing to take these. The demand is for smaller denominations, which is in short supply.
A report in The Times of India cites a banking official as saying that the smaller denomination notes now available are not even adequate to meet even one percent of the demand.
And the demand for cash is indeed going to be high. The fact is despite the government’s push towards a cashless economy, very few people in the informal sector have adapted to digital payments. For instance, payments to the maid in the beginning of the month has to be made in cash. Like maids, many others like the milkman, newspaper man, etc., have not come online yet. Rather, it cannot happen overnight no matter how much ever the government forces them to go cashless.
“I have to a lot of payments to be made in cash around 30 November. And in my personal experience at banks, they have not been able to meet my demand for cash,” an economist at a domestic brokerage said.
Interestingly, there is not even data available on how much is the usual withdrawals during the beginning of the month.
“The only way to arrive at a ballpark figure is by looking at the salary bill of the government and drawing a monthly figure from that. Of this figure, around 70 percent is usually withdrawals as 30 percent is the savings rate. But that only gives us the figure for public sector employees,” says Madan Sabnavis of Care Ratings.
What is adding to the confusion is the lack of regular updates either from the government or the Reserve Bank of India on the evolving situation. Because of this, even after 22 days of the demonetisation announcement, the general public remains clueless what exactly is the current situation.
Prime minister Narendra Modi and his supporters have been harping on many things – from ending terrorism to moving to a cashless economy. But, on the ground, the common man knows only one thing – that the cash crunch is biting. And in the next few days, expect the situation to only get worse.
First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 10:14 IST
Mumbai: In a bid to woo bank deposits, the RBI has said people depositing money other than the old currency will now be allowed to take out that amount on top of the stipulated Rs 24,000 weekly limit.
The Reserve Bank of India notification on Monday night is aimed at encouraging people to deposit money in their bank accounts.
“It has been reported that certain depositors are hesitating to deposit their money into bank accounts in view of the current limits on cash withdrawals from accounts,” the RBI said.
“As it is impeding active circulation of currency notes, it has been decided to allow withdrawals of deposits made in current legal tender notes on or after 29 November beyond the current limits,” it said.
Preferably, available higher denominations bank notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 will be issued for such withdrawals, it added.
“Because of the current withdrawal limits, people may be holding on to cash in new Rs 500 and 2,000 or Rs 100 notes,” a RBI official told IANS.
“People are not depositing because they fear that if they do so, they will not be able to withdraw it,” the official added.
If a person deposits Rs 10,000, of which Rs 6,000 may be in old currency and Rs 4,000 in new notes or other legal tender, he can withdraw Rs 4,000 any time in addition to the Rs 24,000 weekly limit, the RBI said.
This will stand true for any amount of large deposits in legal tender made from Tuesday, the official said.
“This will be very useful for traders who receive cash in large amounts in new notes and may not be depositing it in view of withdrawal limits,” the official added.
First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 14:27 IST
Bookmychotu is the quintessential example of Indian ingenuity. The same ingenuity that has the underground working on how to leap over the firewalls built as part of the assault on black money.
First off, anyone who gets insulted by the word ‘chotu’ is being silly. It is not demeaning and just about every family has one person called ‘chotu’. It is just an expression of affection and there is nothing rude or nasty about it. To object to its use in the website offering you replacements on the grounds of this word is absurd. I am only sorry I didn’t think of something like this… it is a money spinner.
It just means youngster and it is fair to say that most of the people who can surrogate you in the queues at banks and ATMs are young people. You will not see octogenarians opting for the job of standing in the cold.
Some suggestions have been made that the portal is illegal and the offer should be stopped because it is dealing with proxies in money matters and has to be banned and it underscores laziness.
How is it any lazier than online shopping…it simply takes the hassle out of things.
As for being illegal, why? Where is it written that you cannot stand in for another and wait the several hours on payment and then call the actual bank account holder as you approach the teller?
Not only is a very good way of percolating money from the well off to the relatively poor but it increases efficiency.
Young people without jobs are waiting anyway. Waiting for a call to a flurry of CVs, that like Father Mckenzie’s sermon never get heard or read, waiting for someone to mend the broken promises that litter their winding road of unemployment, just waiting because waiting is the core of hope.
So, if someone is paying them to wait, it is a kind of a job and at least they are getting a wage to shuffle along.
If I had no job and the postman never knocked and I was just standing at a street corner doing nothing and feeling the world was a conspiracy and someone came along and said, I will give you Rs 100 per hour to stand in the queue and call me when you are about to get to the teller, I’d load up my phone with music take a cold drink and a bite to eat and join that queue so fast it would make your head spin.
And this is so organised. Those who cannot spend hours in line are now productive. Those who were doing nothing are at least making money.
And if indeed the customer does not come on time the honour system kicks in and you allow the person behind you to get his money and you keep saying ‘pass’ till your man arrives.
The people who thought this up are entrepreneurs in the extreme., Imagine, in all the noise and confusion and the heat and dust they sat around a table and said, “Hmm…, why don’t we offer a service and make money?”
Because that is all it is… a service and a convenience and a heck of a good way to make everyone happy.
If you can get your pizza delivered why not this?
First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 15:22 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva on Sunday said the Narendra Modi government could easily ensure passage of women’s reservation bill, but it was not being brought to the Lok Sabha because the male politicians feared losing their seats.”The bill…has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and the present government has an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha. It can be passed instantly, but they are not bringing it to the Lok Sabha,” she said.”Since the bill has been passed in the Rajya Sabha, it does not get lapsed as Rajya Sabha is a permanent house. All parties are committed. So you have people who are committed to give you the support. Why are they not bringing it? Because, they are afraid that it will be passed and they don’t want to give up their seats,” she said during a discussion at the Tata Literature Live festival here.The former Rajasthan Governor also said that discrimination against women has been sanctified by religious practises and traditions.”It makes it even more difficult to break them when family laws, inheritance laws are made against women because women have not been made part of decision-making. These are laws made by men for the protection of men and women have no say,” she said.”The basic issue is impact of poverty on the lives of women….governments have just taken women, particularly poor and rural women for granted because they are not organised and they don’t have trade unions or powerful lobbies behind them,” the former Union Minister said.Alva further said the women are always looked upon as production machines, and health policies focus on lactating women and those who are about to give birth, but not those who are older and suffer from menopause trauma, or the teenage pregnancies.”These issues are not considered important. Women, once they have passed the child-bearing period, have no consequence. Women are never admitted to hospitals. Focus on issues related to womens’ health has been missing and there have been not enough voices to raise these issues,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK said on Saturday it would form a ‘human chain’ on November 24 protesting against the Centre’s “haste” in implementing demonetization and the state government for “not taking any action” in addressing people’s grievances.”Because of the haste in implementing the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, and the sudden decision made (by Prime Minister Narendra Modi) on November 8, there is no end to the difficulties being faced by the people,” DMK Chief M Karunanidhi said. The poor and common people were standing in queues for long hours to exchange the now defunct notes while traders were facing loss of business, he said.”Prime Minister Modi has not replied to all the parties debating the issue in Parliament to solve people’s problems. While other state Chief Ministers are strongly condemning the move, the state government has not taken any action,” he said in a statement. Therefore, to “condemn Central and state governments,” and press the Centre to make suitable announcement to mitigate people’s problems, DMK will hold state-wide human chain protest on November 24 between 4-5 pm, he said.The respective district secretaries of the party will lead the protests, Karunanidhi said, and urged people, traders and workers to join the protest.
Behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s dramatic announcement demonitising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in one stroke to battle the menace of black money, there is one low-profile unassuming individual who motivated the PM to take such a bold step — Anil Bokil founder of Maharashtra based NGO, Arthkranti Pratisthtan.
Unlike the many mavericks on the streets who outrageously demonstrate their ‘patriotism’, the Aurangabad-based mechanical engineer and chartered accountant Bokil has always been a silent crusader looking for ways and methods to protect India’s bleeding economy from the evils of black money.
Thinking ahead of his times, Bokil was always aware of the harm that physical money would cause in the long run and realised how crucial it was for the country to go digital on money matters.
“We are more into physical transaction involving cash (compared to other countries). Because of the physical exchange of cash we do not have any records of the cash transactions between two individuals who have entered into an exchange of money…We should encourage bank transactions or electronic payment modes,” he had apparently told ETV Marathi in 2009 itself.
According to a report on India.com, Bokil met PM Modi in 2013 where he was given less than 10 minutes to present his strategy to the PM on how black money that was profusely circulating in the country could be tackled.
The Prime Minister was apparently so engrossed with the proposed idea that he spent over two hours, far more than his schedule actually allotted to the CA and ended up discussing the methods to fight the problem. One of such method was the immediate stop on the circulation of high denomination currency notes.
A Facebook page that is maintained by his organisation Arthkranti Pratisthtan (Trust) said that “the plight of unemployed workers in industrial zone during Industrial recession in 1996” when he was associated with a cluster of engineering workshops in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad MIDC actually motivated him to enter into the terrain of the economy and economics.
He soon realised that it was paramount India becomes self-sustainable and a corruption free money zone was essential for it.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A global network of the coal industry, the World Coal Association (WCA) promotes the industry’s relevance to economies and engages countries for sustainable use of the fossil fuel. On the sidelines of its conference in Delhi, WCA’s chief executive Benjamin Sporton spoke to DNA regarding prominence of coal in India’s present and future energy plans and Paris deal. Excerpts from the interview.Your report had mentioned last year that India’s coal consumption is only going to increase. But in the wake of Paris ratification, do you think your assessment will differ?
India, along with 18 other countries actually identified a role for high-efficiency low emission (HELE) coal fired power generation as part of its climate commitments that it made in the lead up to Paris, in their INDC’s. These countries said we are going to use coal, therefore we are going to focus on the role for HELE and help reduce emissions. Quite to the contrary of saying that because of Paris agreement, coal does not have a role to play, I think it makes it clear that it does and that modern, low-emission coal technologies have an important role to play as a part of the Paris agreement.In terms of HELE, in your assessment, do you think Indian companies have moved on that technology on a pace that is ideal. Because not many companies are equipped with super-critical technology.Most of the power plants use the older sub-critical technology. When we look at the power plants planned in the future about half of them will use HELE technology, and the other half will be sub-critical technology. But I know that the government is quite clear in its view that no new power plant should be built unless it is using the high-efficiency technology. So, I think, the clear pathway is to move towards this technology in India and elsewhere in the world. In places like India, they probably need support to make that happen and there is a role of the international community to come in and help with the financing.The world has to come forward and help India to use clean coal technology, how will that pan out? We have already seen that WTO ruled against India in the solar energy case.We should be looking for international mechanism to help India to use coal in the most efficient way possible. One of the things that the World Coal Association has talked about is an idea for a platform to accelerate coal efficiency. The idea is we help the countries with regulatory systems, finance to deploy new technology. I think for those countries that have identified a role for having technology in the climate plan that they submitted in the lead up to Paris, there is a very good argument that we are moving towards CoP 22 in Marrakech.How does WCA come into the picture here?WCA put out this idea last year to accelerate coal efficiency and we ran a workshop in Indonesia. It brought together technology providers, financiers and others to look at a roadmap for a more efficient coal technology and I will like to do a similar thing next year in India. We have been in preliminary talks with Essar, Adani, NTPC, all power generators. We talked to investors too, to get a better picture of how new technologies can be deployed.As far extraction is concerned, obsolete methods are still being used. As an industry body, how will you engage companies here to stop unsafe practices?For WCA members, safety is the number one priority, it is the first thing CEOs and members think about while starting work. A lot of good practices can be shared from our member companies to learn about safety. We have got the two largest Chinese companies as WCA members, and over the last decade we have seen there has been incredible improvement in mine safety in China.
New Delhi: Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat Bhagat, who has often been the target of social media trolls, feels Twitter has become a “graveyard of bullies”.
Hitting out at Twitterati who gang up against celebrities, he says their actions stem from a “mob-like mentality”.
“It has become a graveyard of bullies. Trolls have made Twitter negative to a point where celebrities have stopped talking much on the platform,” Bhagat told PTI.
According to him, celebrities are increasingly shifting to other social platforms like Instagram to avoid the “negativity”, predicting that Twitter’s end is round the corner.
“I think Twitter is going to suffer and in five years it will close down like Orkut and Myspace. Because, people are moving to platforms like Instagram.”
“Only writers and media persons are there. All actors and other celebrities are gone. They are on Instagram now!” says the writer, who has close to 9 million followers on Twitter.
Bhagat, however, continues to be active on the platform to promote his books and use it for his “publicity”.
“When my book is out, I deliberately go there. I know the medium is like a minefield and it has only become negative. When people are using my name to write negatively about me and get a few laughs and attention, then I will also use it for my publicity,” he says.
Besides announcing the release of the trailer of his latest book One Indian Girl, Bhagat has also been using Twitter to promote the film adaptations of his books, the latest being, Half Girlfriend starring Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor.
His latest “publicity” stunt on the platform was asking his readers to post picture of their copy of One Indian Girl in a beautiful backdrop, the best of which he would retweet.
The author was trolled with pictures of the book on a weighing balance with a pile of old newspapers and in the hands of an Islamic State militant about to execute a hostage by making him read the book among others.
Talking about his tweets on the Uri attack and subsequently on the surgical strikes, the 42-year-old author feels that social media is a space that must be used for free speech.
“Writers are supposed to say what they feel is right. Sometimes it could be pro, sometimes anti-government. Writers who say I am only going to take an anti-government position are stupid. When my government does corruption I will speak against it but when they are retaliating on a terrorist attack I will support them,” he says.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a promotional video for his new book One Indian Girl, author Chetan Bhagat confessed getting waxed to understand the pain his protagonist Radhika Mehta felt. Bhagat has been flooding social media to promote his ninth novel set to release on October 1 which has been written in female first person. Last month, he got heavily mocked for his phrased promotional stunt “Chetan Bhagat is back! This time as a girl”In an interview on his blog, the novelist said, ‘I often found women mysterious, particularly in the way they think. I felt it would be interesting to get in their head. I wrote on feminism because it isn’t an equal world for women, and most men (and even several women) don’t even realize it. As a writer, I want to highlight issues in society that affect a lot of people. Feminism affects us all.’Recently, he released a video in which he talked about his painful waxing experience, further telling girls that they have his respect. “Obviously, it’s not easy to figure out girls as a man, so some really unusual things I had to do. One of those things was waxing and all I have to say is – girls, lot of respect! Because when I got it done, it was really really painful. And to think that girls do this regularly, maybe, like every month, was quite an experience for me,” said Chetan. However, he faced a backlash from many women who rebuked him for setting ‘waxing’ as benchmark to ‘get into a woman’s head’.
Indian photographer Ronny Sen is awarded the second annual Getty Images Instagram grant for his work on a coal town in India where underground fires have burned for more than 100 years.
Do you know what chicks in poultry farm go through? The upper part of their beaks get cut off so that they don’t harm other chicks. Although it’s a routine business, it’s not as trivial as clipping your nails. Now, why would they hurt other chicks? Because, overcrowding, forced-lighting and unnatural feeding causes a great deal of stress to the factory chickens. These otherwise peaceful birds start attacking and hurting each other. To ensure that losses through such acts of “cannibalism” (as the industry calls it) are minimised, the poultry farmer routinely cuts off the chicken’s beak. This practice is called ‘debeaking’.
How did debeaking start?
It began in 1940 when an American farmer in San Diego discovered that if he burned away the upper part of the beaks of his chickens with a blowtorch, they won’t be able to pick and pull each other’s feathers. He was quick to share his invention and his neighbours modified the blowtorch into a soldering iron. A few years later, a local company began to manufacture the “Debeaker” – a machine that sliced off the tips of birds’ beaks with a hot blade. This machine, with a few modifications, is what each factory farmer still uses today, whether in America, Europe or India.
Broiler chickens require only one debeaking because they are killed before their beaks grow back. Most egg producers cut their birds’ beaks twice: once when they are a week old and then again when the birds are between 12-20 weeks of age. To save money, the debeaking procedure is carried out as quickly as possible. Experts recommend that the optimum value for money is 15 birds a minute. Because of this haste and monotony of the work, the beaks of many birds are sloppily cut. Also, the labourers employed in a poultry farm are illiterate, coarse and insensitive, as most of the butchers. Do they care where the knife cuts too deep or too close? This is what happens, according to the description given by a journal for the poultry industry:
An excessively hot blade causes blisters in the mouth. A cold or dull blade may cause the development of a fleshy bulb-like growth at the end of the mandible… Burned or severed tongues result in worthless hens.
Can you imagine having your upper lip cut off? And that too, not fully but left dangling by some sloppy cutter? Or your palate blistered, or your tongue cut off? Even as I write this piece, hundreds of fluffy little chicks have had already gone through this ghastly and painful mutilation. Sometimes this operation, even when it is done properly, causes several other problems. In an article, “Mechanical Failures Plague Cage Dwellers”, taken from a farm news journal, a farmer writes: “Sometimes the irregular growth of beaks on debeaked birds makes it difficult or impossible for them to drink where a normal bird would have no trouble.” Think of drinking without an upper lip. Or even worse, that the remaining skin joins together so tightly that you cannot drink at all.
Of course, the poultry industry insists that debeaking is painless and that it is comparable to trimming one’s fingernails. This is completely untrue. Twenty-five years ago, the British Parliament appointed the Brambell Committee to investigate animal welfare in factory farms. This is part of what the Brambell Committee said on debeaking:
“Irrespective of whether the operation is performed competently, we are convinced that it causes considerable pain, lasting for much longer than the second or so that the operation takes to perform. It has been frequently represented to us that the operation is similar to the clipping of fingernails of humans. There is no physiological basis for this assertion. The hot knife used in debeaking cuts through a complex of a horn, bone and sensitive tissue causing severe pain.”
In some factory farms, the birds are not only debeaked, their toes are clipped too, using the same hot knife machine. This operation is said to keep the birds “quieter” because of the extreme pain that moving would cause them after debeaking. Imagine your toes cut off without anaesthesia.
Are you appalled by this operation? It is just one of a series of mechanical operations and injections that the bird goes through. If you don’t believe me, write to the factory whose names are on the egg carton that you buy or on the neatly-wrapped chicken body under the cellophane, and ask them whether they debeak their birds. Or ask your state animal husbandry department inspectors. The answer will be yes. The only thing you can do then is to stop being the consumer and therefore the co-perpetrator of this senseless cruelty.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday stepped up his attack on BJP over the issue of ‘migration’ of Hindus from Kairana, saying it was raising such “baseless” matters to “vitiate” the atmosphere in the poll-bound state.Yadav’s attack came even as senior BJP leader and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said “Kairana migration” will not be a main issue for the party in the Assembly polls in UP due next year and that it will fight on the development plank.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The BJP raises baseless issues like Kairana since they have nothing to show in terms of development during their two years in power. They know if they debated on development, the SP government would lead, hence they resort to raise issues like Kairana to vitiate the UP atmosphere,” Yadav said while addressing a gathering in Lakhimpur Kheri.
ALSO READ Kairana ‘exodus’: 190 Muslims too migrated, to get a better lifestyle”The issue raised by BJP was found baseless on verification as some of the people there migrated 10 to 15 years back for employment or financial matter while others migrated on other issues and some were found dead,” he said.Naidu said the BJP will contest the assembly polls on the plank of development.”Kairana migration would not be a main issue in UP polls. It is a law and order problem. The party would contest the election on the development plank,” the Union Urban Development Minister said in Muzaffarnagar last evening.BJP MP Yogi Adityanath said the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana was a result of pseudo-secularism and appeasement policies pursued by different governments in UP.”Because of this, the population of Hindus which was once 68 per cent has come down to 8 per cent (in Kairana),” he alleged while addressing a Ram Katha programme in Basti.Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, a senior BJP leader, claimed that some Muslim families besides those of Hindus have moved out of Kairana area due to law and order problem.”First of all, I have not visited Kairana. Secondly, you all must have seen that there is law order issue in the state. It is better to look at it from that angle. As per my information, it is not only Hindus, there has been some migration of Muslims also,” he told reporters in New Delhi.Balyan, BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Muzaffarnagar, claimed that the “migration problem” was not only restricted to Kairana area in the state, adding that it was wrong to paint the whole issue with a “communal” brush.”It is a law and order issue and the problem should not be connected with communalism,” he said.He said that his comments were based on the information provided by a BJP team that had gone to assess the situation in Kairana last week.”I have spoken with them (the team) and also to an MP from that place. They say migration was happening mainly due to law and order issue,” he said.
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Thursday tore into the young Patidar reservation leaders, asserting that they only sought cushy careers and never bothered for government jobs at the base level—and that their agitation was aimed to tarnish the state’s image.
She was speaking after a group of Patel quota supporters disrupted her speech during a function as part of the “shala praveshotsav” (campaign for school admissions) in Viramgam taluka town, over 60 km from Ahmedabad.
The Chief Minister had hardly spoken and stopped for a good ten minutes looking at the group of some 25 women shouting slogans in favour of the demand for quota to the Patidars (Patels).
Her face red with anger, Anandiben continued after the police had whisked away the demonstrators: “Nobody wants to work hard and everyone wants everything ready. We had advertised for 8,000 vacancies for police constables and do you know how many from these so-called higher castes (who want reservations) applied for it?”
She asked again, speaking in Gujarati: “Do you know how many ‘savarnas’ (high castes) applied for 8,000 constable vacancies?” After a small pause, she asserted: “Only 150. How many? Only 150. Why, why only these many (you had wanted quota)? Because everybody straightaway wants to be the SP (superintendent of police), nobody wants to start as constables and work hard. You start at the lowest level, then become PSI, PI before getting close to the SP’s post.”
Anandiben has seldom spoken so aggressively in defence of her government’s stance against giving quota to Patels in government jobs and educational institutions.
The Chief Minister said: “The maximum government vacancies arise at the grassroots level of the state administration in the villages and towns for lower posts like assistants and clerks. You would want a space (quota) there but are not interested in applying for it because everybody wants to be a babu directly, nothing at the junior level.”
Still livid, Anandiben continued: “These boys of 20-25 years (quota reservation agitation spearhead Hardik Patel is 23 years old) are doing nothing but bringing a bad name for Gujarat by all this needless, mindless agitation. You are making all these demands today because you have not seen the Gujarat of 20 to 25 years ago.”
“It was the painstaking efforts of Narendrabhai (Modi) who put an end to the era of continuous riots in the state, no curfew, and brought Gujarat on the road to development. You have not seen the struggle, that’s why you are doing all this, tarnishing the reputation of the state.”
Without referring to the quota agitations, she said: “It’s been eight months (of the quota agitation). Everything is peaceful now, an important government event to encourage school admissions is going on and they want to disrupt it.”
Continuing her tirade, Anandiben, a former school principal, asked, “You know how much effort it takes to bring the girl child here to enroll for school admission? They don’t come just like that, an entire battery of teachers and government staff you see here have to toil for it.” She added, taunting the quota agitators: “But you won’t see these teachers. You don’t want to see them because you want to become principals straightaway.”
On Tuesday, 60 school kids were taken to hospital in Sherewada village in Kundagol taluk, Karnataka, after they fell ill.A report in The New Indian Express states that the Government Higher Primary School students ate castor beans from a plant that was growing in the school premises. The children then drank the milk which is distributed in the government school. However, the 60 school children soon started to vomit and some had diarrhoea as well. Because some were dehydrated, they felt drowsy as well. The villagers decided to take about 45 of them to the Karnataka Institute of Medical Science Hospital, adds the report. Three of them are reportedly in serious condition and in the ICU.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Castor beans are reportedly toxic because they contain ricin, the report says. KIMS Director Dr DD Bant has been quoted by the daily as saying that all the students were treated immediately. “They are all recovering. Children admitted in the ICU are also out of danger now. All the children would be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday morning after an overnight observation,” he added. The children are to be discharged on Wednesday morning and have been on intravenous fluids and ORS.
New Delhi: Terming the delay in clearance to the ambitious Ken-Betwa river-linking project by some independent environmentalists a “national crime”, Union Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday threatened to go on hunger strike if work on it gets further prolonged.
Work on the project, first effort of connecting two inter-state rivers—Ken in Madhya Pradesh and Betwwa in UP— to quench parched pocket of Bundelkhand(UP), was expected to take off from December last year, however, has been delayed for want of wildlife clearances.
“I consider causing delay to the project as national crime. I am not saying it’s a treason, but it indeed is a national crime. Because you are denying livelihood for 70 lakh people,” Bharti told reporters in New Delhi.
The Union Minister said it agitates her that “those sitting in air condition chambers” in Delhi are objecting to the project even as those, who are going to be affected by it are welcoming it as it will benefit 70 lakh people.
Calling herself “the biggest environmentalist”, Bharti asked how can her intentions be doubted when she pitches for initiating work on the project and accused environmentalists of an expert committee under Ministry of Environment and Forest, who are looking into the issue of clearance for the project.
Bharti hastened to add that she has “no difference with the Environment Ministry or its Minister Prakash Javadekar” but with private environmentalists, who are members in the committee.
“If the project is delayed further at the next expert committee meeting, I will personally go on hunger strike. It is a matter of 70 lakh people. We will not sit before the Environment Minister as he is with us,” Bharti said, voicing her frustration over the delay.
She also accused the environmentalists of forcing people of the region to live in miserable conditions.
When news of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s death began to spread, social media in Chennai was also buzzing with photos of the legendary boxer. On a closer look of one such image, the renowned boxer was being greeted by former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. Because in January 1980, the boxer visited the city for an exhibition match. According to a report in The Hindu, 36 years ago the boxer had visited Chennai for an exhibition bout organised by the Tamil Nadu State Amateur Boxing Association and Apeejay. The exhibition match saw Muhammad Ali taking on former heavy weight champion Jimmy Ellis.The report even quoted Muhammed Ali, who was accompanied by his then wife, saying, “When I saw thousands turning up to the airport to meet me and greet me, it sent my spirits soaring and I am overwhelmed at the attention bestowed on me. In this short visit, a bond has sprung up between us, and I shall treasure this all my life.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The match is believed to have attracted a crowd from far and wide. Chennai was splashed with pictures of the boxer. The tickets were all priced at Rs. 100, 70, 50, 20, and 10. The historic Connemara Hotel at Mount Road played host to the boxer.The Hindu reports that at a press conference a reporter questioned his weakness on the left hooks. Ali asked the reporter to join him on the podium and said, “Son, in my 49 fights I have knocked out 32 of my opponents and I haven’t suffered much punishment. You see my face? Do you see any scars or disfigurements? It looks nice and clean isn’t it? That’s it, that is why I am the greatest.”
Students awaiting Odisha 12th Class Result 2016 for Commerce and Arts stream will be able to breathe easy. Because the Council of Higher Secondary Education has announced Odisha Board Results 2016.Odisha 12th Class Result 2016 for Commerce and Arts stream will be able to breathe easy. Because the Council of Higher Secondary Education has announced Odisha Board Results 2016.Here’s how to check your Odisha Higher Secondary Result1. Visit the official websites of CHSE: orissaresults.nic.in and chseodisha.nic.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Fill in the required information like your name and roll number3. Click on the ‘Submit’ button4. The results will appear on your screenAll the best
We have the highest number of slaves in the world. No one gives a toss.
Over 18 million Indians are bonded labourers and either work for free or for a pittance or they are exploited. Big deal.
A nation is unmoved by the fact that it has won the gold medal for slavery in the latest Global Survey Index.
The media carries it as an also-ran item; of no great consequence. The fact that these chained Indians would fill 400 cricket stadiums cuts no ice. Who gives a damn?
Who even wants to read further? Sure, it is sad, but what can one do? True, seeing as how you may be a slave owner under the law and not even realise it.
You have children doing your housework? You use office staff for personal errands? Your driver’s wife works for free in your kitchen because you got him a job and he has to be eternally grateful? The cook’s school-going son has to wash your car, because, hey, he lives with his dad in the back of your house. Cannot say no. And when you have a party on a Saturday night, is the whole lot co-opted to serve the master? Does the dhobi do all your laundry, Mr Minister and have to pay for the soap because even that you don’t give. I hope you are reading this.
Welcome to the club all you urban slave owners. Go get your whip.
The rural exploitation? That is another story; a saga in itself.
Where are the NGOs? Silent. A smattering of coverage here and there is all that this survey gets, eliciting feeble responses. Not even the foul-mouthed trolls feel energised to express an opinion. You would think that something as grotesque as this would resonate harshly against the nation’s conscience.
Nothing. Bigger fish to fry than bonded labour, than families selling girls into prostitution, than paying interest for the past twenty years on a Rs 1,000 loan, than working at fields and homes for nothing, because a roof over their heads and emotional blackmail is the weapon that is held over their heads.
I know of a senior bureaucrat in Delhi who lives in a government house and has given the servant’s quarters to a family. They all work for him for free. Cook, clean, wash, sweep and not a penny. I want to name and shame him.
The head of this wretchedly defeated family, crammed into a room, told me that if I did say anything to anyone he would deny it.
I asked him how common this was as a practice, where the government quarters were exchanged for the enslavement of everyone living there. He laughed. And then laughed some more. With a dry, mirthless, shake of the head. Then he looked at me with contempt and asked, where does it not happen?
Think of it. These are our lawmakers, senior bureaucrats and politicians, snuffling at the public and lecturing the nation while thinking nothing about using manpower, childpower and womanpower, because these people are powerless.
And why does it flourish with such disdain for the freedoms we supposedly cherish. Because the majority of the privileged do it, they see it as an entitlement. They do not even think it is wrong to protect and preserve serfdom.
Out of 167 nations examined in the exploitation stakes, we account for 40 percent of slaves in the world and we also lead in the abuse of children, besides being strong contenders for the victory podium in human trafficking, having made it to the finals. The scorching shame of it leaves us unaffected and unmoved. Try making it a subject of conversation at a party. Everyone will walk away.
If the editor of Firstpost decides to put this up it will scarcely reach the ‘trending’ column. More likely it will die away with three comments.
One comment for every six million slaves. Unlike the 3,500 responses to Tanmay Bhatt.
Sure, we have more important things to discuss.
My suggestion: Unchain bonded labour in those big, white bungalows and those government colonies. Those servants quarters are not yours to give.
Not in Delhi, not in any of the cities and towns and villages of our nation.
Kolkata: A massive fire broke out at a factory in Tollygunge area in southern part of the city on Thursday evening, officials said.
UPDATE: Fire at a rubber factory in South Kolkata,12 fire tenders at the spot pic.twitter.com/I9eb0ilJl2
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 26, 2016
12 fire tenders were working in tandem to douse the fire which broke at a factory located on Sultan Alam Road in the Charu Market area of Tollygunge at around 5 pm, they said.
“The cause of the fire is not yet known, but large amount of plastic substances and adhesive stacked inside the factory is helping the blaze,” a senior officer of the fire department said.
“Because it is a very congested residential area we are trying our best so that the fire does not spread to the adjacent buildings,” he said.
The presence of Charu Market beside the factory was also a matter of concern for the fire department officials, he added.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi kicked up a row with his remarks over Prime Minister Narendra Modi, evoking sharp reaction from an audience, which asked him to take back his words and apologise. Organisers of the India TV conclave “Samvaad”, to mark the two years of completion of Modi government, tried to pacify the agitated audience who shouted down the Congress leader as words of ‘shame shame’ rent the air. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It all started with Alvi asking HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who was also present, on what action was being initiated on Modi coming out as “most stupid Prime Minister” in Google search. This was offensive to by the audience. Responding to the remarks, Irani said, “In Congress, those who throw stones and spits at Narendra Modi will be blue-eyed. The poison against Narendra Modi has crossed the limits that people forget that he is country’s Prime Minister.” “When Rashid bhai uses such words for the country’s Prime Minister, what kind of words does he use for a woman minister by saying that ‘it is heard that you are very close to Modi ji’. We have to live with this poison everyday and then you say why does Smriti Irani get angry,” she said.Lashing out at the Congress, she said, “There is a cabal who have festered this democracy for too long. They have lived off the scraps of the dynasty and they have done this irrespective of the damage they do to institutions. Because their whole survival was never dependent on their talent, but it was dependent on their proximity.”Irani said by the example put forth by Alvi, neither Modi nor his supporters would be hurt, but the Congress leader has only Alvi lowered his own image by doing so. Earlier BJP leader and former JD-U MP Sabir Ali said it reflected the mindset of Congress, who were unable to digest their defeat and that their regime and influence were gone. “I expect him to take back his words. I feel such language can be used only by people with such mindset who have a regret that their regime and influence have gone. Those who feel that being influential is their right can use such words,” he said.Lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi said Google provided information the way it was put forth before the search engine. “It is like an algorithm. Google always follows the pattern of your search. It is not a gospel, it is a pattern. It is an algorithm and should be read like that,” he said.
Students who appeared for UP Board 10th Results 2016 earlier this year can stop worrying. Because Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UPMSP) will declare the UP Board 10th Class Results 2016 very soon.The exams for UP Board 10th Class Results 2016 were conducted from 18th February 2016 to 09th March 2016.Here’s how students can check UP Board 10th Results 20161. Go to official website of UP board via upresults.nic.in, upmsp.nic.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Click on UP Board High School (Class X) Results 20163. Click on the Result link4. Enter relevant details such as roll number etc5. Download your mark sheet and take a print outAbout the BoardThe UP Board, also known as Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad, was established in 1921 in Allahabad. It was founded for the promotion and development of Secondary Education in Uttar Pradesh and started conducting examinations in 1923.The primary functions of the board are to recommend the syllabus, propose rules and specify courses of instruction and textbooks, teaching by correspondence courses, recognition of high school and intermediate education of schools in Uttar Pradesh.
Students awaiting UP Board 12th Results 2016 better keep their admit cards handy today. Because Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UPMSP) will announce the UP Board Class 12th Results 2016 in some time.For exams conducted for UP Board Intermediate Results 2016, 30,43,057 candidates appeared. This is a jump of over 1 lakh students compared to yer 2015.The examination for UP Class 12th Board Results 2016 was held from February 18-March 21, 2016.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here’s how you can check UP Board Inter Results 2016:1. Go to official website of UP board via upresults.nic.in, upmsp.nic.in2. Click on UP Board Intermediate (Class XII) Results 20163. Click on the Result link4. Enter relevant details such as roll number etc5. Download your mark sheet and take a print outAbout the BoardThe UP Board, also known as Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad, was established in 1921 in Allahabad. It was founded for the promotion and development of Secondary Education in Uttar Pradesh and started conducting examinations in 1923.The primary functions of the board are to recommend the syllabus, propose rules and specify courses of instruction and textbooks, teaching by correspondence courses, recognition of high school and intermediate education of schools in Uttar Pradesh.At present, there are 9121 secondary schools recognised by the UP Board of High School and Intermediate Education.
There are several challenges to the freedom of the media in India, including threats of violence from vested interests and pressure from political parties, experts have said. They have called for greater involvement of civil society in cases pertaining to journalists. The World Press Freedom Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, and is an occasion to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world. It is observed on the anniversary of Declaration of Windhoek — a statement of free press principles put together by newspaper journalists in Africa during a Unesco seminar held in the Namibian city in 1991.
Sevanti Ninan, Editor, The Hoot, a website which undertakes research pertaining to the media to strengthen its independence, said there has been a decline in press freedom in the last few years.
“The greater vulnerability is for journalists in districts and small towns. One reason for this that many of them are now using RTI to investigate local scams and they pose a threat to the powerful in government and in politics,” Ninan told IANS.
She cited instances of death of three journalists covering investigative stories over the last year and said there should be a law guaranteeing press freedom, which is different from free speech.
She said committees comprising journalists and civil society members should be kept informed of police action against journalists.
Ninan said the media community in India has been remiss in protecting its counterparts in the regional press. “There is no pressure group at the national level which maintains pressure on the central and state governments in cases regarding journalists. The Editors Guild and other bodies are not really proactive in this regard. The Press Council publishes reports, but they have no impact,” she said.
Ninan said that it states like Chhattisgarh, where the state is battling Maoists, journalists who try to report on incidents involving the ultras were becoming victims of state oppression.
“There have been four arrests of journalists in Chhattisgarh since July 2015,” Ninan said.
Defamation and lawsuits
Ninan said the other issue is defamation. “The state government of Tamil Nadu is very active in filing defamation cases against journalists. There have been several already this year,” she said.
Ninan said threats to editorial independence “come from proprietors and advertisers among others” while physical threats come from a variety of sources including the state police.
Senior journalist and political commentator S Nihal Singh said the political atmosphere was not very conducive to freedom of press.
“There are the usual suspects in terms of the bureaucracy being overzealous on occasions. That is one danger and the other is that the whole climate is not really conducive to press freedom. Because, if you narrow down the national ideal to things like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and other things in a similar vein, you are constricting the room for free opinion,” he said.
Nihal Singh said “There is a greater amount of self-censorship in India today than before the BJP came to power.”
“In the current instance, it is not so much what you do but what you imply. So in overall terms I think, the outlook is not so bright,” he said.
Nihal Singh also said that media was not writing as forthrightly as it normally does or it can do. “Because if you feel these are vindictive characters in power, you would want to be on the safe side. (There is) that impulse,” he said, adding that journalists themselves have “to pull up their socks because there is no substitute for journalists standing up.”
Senior journalist and political commentator Kuldip Nayar said the terms of employment of journalists have changed and this “does not allow journalists to be free”. The “sword of the contract system hangs over the head of journalists,” he said.
Nayar said there were attempts to politicise the news and evils such as “paid news” had cropped up. He said journalists should make use of tools of such as RTI and face the challenges boldly.
AS Narang, who taught political science at IGNOU, said civil society should be more vocal in taking up cases of journalists who face any form of state pressure.
Oligarchs, Press freedom index
A leading journalism advocacy group says media freedom experienced a sharp decline around the world over the past year, citing increasing government restrictions in places like Turkey, Poland, Tajikistan, and Egypt.
In its 2016 World Press Freedom Index released on 20 April, Reporters Without Borders said that there had been a “deep and disturbing” decline in freedom of information in many places around the world. The organisation, also known as Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), said independent media was also increasingly at risk from “religious ideologies” as well as “large-scale propaganda machines”. “Throughout the world, ‘oligarchs’ are buying up media outlets and are exercising pressure that compounds the pressure already coming from governments,” the Paris-based group said.
The media in India continues to be under stress as the country figures low at 133 out of 180 nations in the latest press freedom index, an international watchdog said on Wednesday, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “indifferent” to threats against scribes.
The damning report also painted a sad picture of the world media freedom that has suffered a “deep and disturbing decline” due to pressure from “governments, ideologies and private-sector interests”.
About India, the 2016 report said that journalists and bloggers are attacked and “anathematised by various religious groups that are quick to take offence”, referring to growing right wing extremism in the country. “At the same time, it is hard for journalists to cover regions such as Kashmir that are regarded as sensitive by the government.” The report alleged that “Modi seems indifferent to these threats and problems, and there is no mechanism for protecting journalists”. “Instead, in a desire to increase control of media coverage, Modi envisages opening a journalism university run by former propaganda ministry officials,” the report said.
with inputs from IANS
This piece is a response to an article by Bikram Vohra titled ‘Jet did the right thing by deplaning Kanhaiya and assailant: Here’s why‘
First, read it.
Sunday morning TV channels and various publications, including Firstpost, reported that the JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar alleged that a man on a Jet Airways flight tried to strangle him. Everyone who carried the piece were very careful to use the word ‘alleged’. It was imperative because the strangulation, which was alleged, was not confirmed in those words. Jet Airways released this one line statement after the news broke: “Some guests on board this morning’s flight Jet Airways fight 9W 618 Mumbai to Pune have been off loaded at Mumbai airport in the interest of operational safety.”
This was the only confirmed statement media houses received, after Kanhaiya alleged the ‘strangulation’. The Jet Airways statement did not mention names, it did not mention strangle or strangulation. What we know for sure is that two people were deplaned because they posed a threat to the flight’s operational safety. Except for these facts, everything else is hearsay. Even what Kanhaiya Kumar claims.
But clearly we do not know enough. Because here’s this piece that will tell you that Kanhaiya Kumar was ‘strangled’ because he made “enemies”. Because that’s the treatment you get when “you go around having vituperative outbursts on the mike and being petty in that the comments on the IPL and linking it to the drought were pointless since the courts have already issued marching orders.” Who cares about facts? This is how it is. If it is a person we do not agree with, strangulated or not, he should be deplaned. Because the Montreal Convention tells us so. Ok, I might get accused of getting personal here.
Let me rephrase.
It takes a strong feeling of complete displeasure to overlook an alleged situation and make it a real one and then blame the alleged victim for the problem. It is probable that Kanhaiya might have blown the thing out of proportion, but we still do not know that. The only information, believable information, is that two people were deplaned. But off late there’s this overwhelming need for people to take a side and prove that the side they are on is right. Pun unintended.
Kanhaiya Kumar catapulted to popularity after a video surfaced in which he was shown shouting anti-national slogans — it later turned out to be a doctored video. Rest is history.
He was in prison for 21 days. He was beaten up by goons dressed as lawyers in the Patiala House court premises in New Delhi. There were sedition charges. His supporters were arrested after a dramatic chase (and all of this is very un-alleged). But the JNUSU president emerged fearless and even more determined to take on a government he was not happy with. What is the harm in that? Let’s say this boy does actually want to join Indian politics. So what? Aren’t we taught our entire lives to speak our mind? Yet, when there’s an example of a PhD scholar from a so-called ‘left-leaning’ college standing up and fighting for what he and his fellow mates believe in, there are skirmishes. There is mud-slinging. There is politics of sorts. And that’s when Kanhaiya, from a student who speaks his mind, becomes a Kanhaiya, someone who speaks the language of a Congress or a Left Front. Wait for a while, soon Kanhaiya will be blamed for being pro-BJP!
According to the author, Kanhaiya should “stop whining” because he has “become mean, cheap and tacky and your speeches are now demagoguery at its worst best. And when all you do is underscore problems and offer not a scintilla of solution then you have great nuisance value but that is it.” And precisely for this reason he has created the situation he is in.
So, today if I have a problem with a political leader with heavy clout and crazy mass following in the country, it’s totally justifiable for someone to “strangle” me and then deplane me because of a Convention. And if I try to talk about it, I will be told that I deserved it. There’s a word for such extreme reactions and it starts with I.
The author of the aforementioned article is not at fault here, the problem is with the thinking. The attitude that every voice that says a different thing has to be muffled into something which soothes your senses and suits your sensibility. Otherwise, you belong in Pakistan. You cannot be an Indian.
I agree on one point with this author. “No pilot in this day and age is going to tolerate an on-board physical scuffle.” True. But it becomes a big deal because the person involved is Kanhaiya Kumar and guess what, we did not make him a celebrity, the haters did. They hated him so much that he is everywhere now and they don’t know what to do with the sheer magnitude. So when this author says:
“…Do not flatter yourself.
You were not singled out, dude, cool it…”
I am sure Kanhaiya is feeling super cool right now. Seeing journalists slugging it out for or against him. But he too would be a fool to do that. It is not about him. It is what he represents.
Humans are morally responsible for treating animals with love, care and affection, a Delhi court has observed while pulling up an animal welfare centre linked to Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for not properly treating injured oxen lodged there.Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra observed that animal welfare institutions are expected to not only ensure good health of animals but also provide congenial and affable environment for them.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”With population explosion, the habitat of animals has shrunk. Because of loss of vegetation and habitat, dependence of animals on humans have increased. Humans are not only statutorily but also morally responsible to treat the animals with love, care and affection.”The animal care institutions are specialised agencies dealing with the welfare of animals. From these institutions not only the good health of animals is expected but congenial and affable environment is expected,” the magistrate said.The court, while referring to the report submitted by the animal care centre regarding the status of injured oxen which were seized by the Delhi Police, said, “unfortunately the report shows the opposite picture.””In the present case despite being lodged in Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Center for more than six months, the remaining animals are still suffering from injuries and weakness,” it said, while directing the centre to shift the oxen to another ‘goshala’ (cow care centre) for better care.The court had earlier expressed displeasure over the facilities and ordered for shifting the animals to some other institution through an order of April 12. According to the police, it seized 12 oxen which were being carried in a truck in an inhuman condition last year and a case was lodged under Delhi Agricultural Cattle Prevention Act, section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle etc) of IPC and under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
A ban has been imposed with immediate effect on the use of animals in tests for manufacturing soaps and detergents, an animal rights body said on Monday.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India, claimed to have received a circular, through an RTI, issued by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), under the Environment Ministry in this regard.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Through a Right to Information (RTI) request, PETA India has received a circular recently issued by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) to manufacturers and industry associations that prohibits the use of animals in tests of soaps and detergents, effective immediately,” it claimed.The circular, PETA said, is the “final” step in the process initiated by it in 2014, when the animal rights group had successfully worked with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to remove tests on animals from the testing standards for household products such as soaps, detergents and other surface active agents an effort supported by now Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and other MPs.”Consumers will be delighted to know the production of soaps and detergents manufactured in India will not involve harming rabbits, mice or guinea pigs. However, household products manufactured abroad can still be tested on animals. We continue to urge consumers only buy from those companies listed as cruelty-free on PETA’s website,” said Dipti Kapoor, PETA India research associate.PETA said more than 2,000 companies around the world have banned all testing on animals in favour of effective, modern non-animal methods, but many still choose to subject animals to painful tests in which substances are “dripped into their eyes, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats”.”Before PETA India succeeded in ending household-product tests on animals in India, one mandatory test under BIS requirements called for harsh chemicals to be rubbed onto the sensitive skin of guinea pigs. Because of the vast physiological differences between humans and the animals used in these tests, the results are often misleading,” it claimed.
An association representing the tobacco farmers and merchants in Gujarat on Friday demanded rollback of the 85 per cent warning rule for tobacco products, claiming it will affect the livelihood of lakhs of farmers and small retailers in the state.Gujarat Tobacco Merchants Association, which claims to also represent 4.5 lakh tobacco farmers in the state, appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. It demanded scrapping of the Union Health Ministry’s notification which makes 85 per cent pictorial warning on both sides of tobacco product packages mandatory from April 1.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After the notification was issued, most of the manufacturers of tobacco products have stopped purchasing tobacco as a part of their protest. This is adversely affecting 4.5 lakh farmers and 1.5 lakh small retailers,” said president of the association, Bhikhubhai Patel.Tobacco is cultivated over 1,50,000 hectares in Gujarat, with annual production of 360 million kg, worth Rs 3,000 crore, he said.”Because of industry closure, the entire produce is lying unsold. It is stocked in the open, as there are no storage facilities. As monsoon is expected to arrive soon, farmers fear that entire crop may get damaged if not sold soon,” said Patel, himself a tobacco farmer.”Apart from 4.5 lakh farmers, 1.5 lakh small retailers are also on the verge of losing livelihood,” he said.”Beedis and chewing tobacco are native to India, and global formula of warning should not be applied to them, as there is no scientific data to back claims of success of such policy in these products,” stated Patel.”To find out an amicable solution, our association has decided to send an email to the PM,” he said. PTI PJT PD KRK RGSRE04152049NNNNPTI
Amid media reports claiming three Madrassa students were beaten for allegedly not chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said giving the slogan is “not a fashion, but passion” and stressed nationalism is in the DNA of country’s Muslims.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016″I was watching (news) on television, someone said ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and he was beaten. See, understand one thing. ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ is not a fashion, but a passion. “This is not a compulsion, but passion. Because of this (the controversies) real issues go on back burner, while such issues dominate,” the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Naqvi rued.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He maintained that there is no doubt that Muslims in the country are patriotic and said nationalism is in the DNA of the community. “Nationalism is in the DNA of Muslims of this country. No matter how many DNA tests you conduct, you will find only nationalism in them,” Naqvi added. While addressing valedictory session of National Conference of Chairpersons and CEOs of state waqf boards here, Naqvi urged the boards to work towards “wiping out” perception that some of them were being “controlled” by mafias and also assured the state authorities that Centre will fund their activities of empowering the communities.In a statement issued later, Naqvi said patriotism is the “first duty” of every religion and that there no need for distributing certificates of nationalism and secularism. “Nationalism is in the DNA of every true Indian. But it is a matter of concern if there is any baseless debate on patriotism and nationalism and if some people are raising questions even on the issue of nationalism,” he said.The Minister said members of Waqf boards to clear confusion among people that some of the boards are controlled by mafias and for this, he suggested, the members to work by getting out of their offices. He stated that there are 31 state waqf boards and 4,27,000 registered waqf properties across the country besides other non-registered properties.”There is a misconception about waqf boards that these are under controls of mafias. There are some waqf boards on which mafias have direct or indirect control. There is only way to wipe out this conception, we can’t wipe it out sitting in office,” he said. He also advised state board members to seek help of Central Waqf Council members in this regard.
Raising concerns over a “increasing tendency” of people to take offence, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday criticised successive governments which instead of safeguarding freedom of expression, tend to appease those threatening it. Tharoor, who was delivering the foundation day lecture of the Sahitya Akademi, also wondered if he would have got away with publishing a work like his 1989 book ‘The Great Indian Novel’ — in which he “takes liberties” with nationalist heroes and satirises Mahabharat itself — in the present day. “I wonder if that book was published today whether I would get away with it. I think it would be far more difficult to get away with it,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think it would be ridiculous for someone to try and ban it now when it has been around for 26 years. But a new book with something similar could well run afoul of the moral policing we are seeing increasingly in our society,” he said.In a lighter vein, Tharoor added that politicians in those days either did not read, or genuinely had a broader mind and a willingness to accept the liberty being taken with the “so-called sacrosanct heroes of mythology and history.” “The tendency of people to claim to be offended has grown dramatically. Certainly it is much worse than when I wrote ‘The Great Indian Novel’ where I took liberties both with the nationalist heroes and with the Mahabharat itself,” he said.The Congress leader said it was important to stand up and fight for freedom of expression even though it was not easy to do so with politicians preferring to appease those who threaten peace and break down law and order.”Very often those who threaten to disrupt the peace, to break down law and order, the politicians tend to run to appease them, rather then say that they will defend the right to freedom of expression of the writer and will instead act against those who threaten that freedom.”The instinct of politicians and many state governments has been to go off and curb the book or the work of art in order to preserve the peace. And I think this is a lack of courage of successive governments that I personally rather deplore,” the former Union minister said.During the lecture on “Anxiety of Audience: The dilemma of Indian writing in English”, Tharoor also spoke on the role of English literature in acting as a link to reach out to a linguistically diverse audience. “The English language fundamentally affects the content of each book. But it does not determine the audience of the writer. Because as long as the translations exist, language is a vehicle not a destination,” he said.
Gunning for the Congress-Left alliance in the upcoming Assembly election in West Bengal, Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked grass roots workers of the two parties whether they would support the “unprincipled” tie-up.”I would like to ask the grass roots level workers of Congress and CPI(M) whether they will support this unprincipled alliance. They have to decide,” Banerjee told an election meeting in this Congress stronghold. Banerjee said her party would contest on its own and the “people are with us. We were with the people, we are with the people and we will be with the people.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, she said, “I am happy that instead of playing hide and seek, Congress and CPI(M) have tied up. This is nothing new. The Congress has worked with the CPI(M) in the state Assembly”. Hammering the Congress, she said, “We have unmasked them. Because of this mask that they wore, we had broken away to form the Trinamool Congress. We were the first to show that the Congress was sold out to CPI(M).”
ALSO READ West Bengal Elections: CPI(M) not for separate party symbols in ‘friendly fights’Banerjee said that in the 2011 Assembly elections her party workers had worked tirelessly in favour of Congress candidates, but Congress had put up independent candidates to defeat TMC candidates. Sounding confident, she said that not only would the Trinamool Congress return to power after the coming election, they would win all elections till 2022. “From the hills to the sea, we have worked and that is why people of the state are happy. But our rivals are busy finding faults with us. They are scared to fight us politically,” Banerjee said.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday attacked Rahul Gandhi accusing him of creating an impression that there is “dictatorship” like situation in the country.Dismissing the Congress Vice President’s charges against the NDA government as not having “a head or a tail”, he said “it’s not even worth responding to…rather, it is not even a charge.” Javadekar said Rahul is talking about the oppressed class and the poor but his party did nothing for them while it was in power for last 10 years. “Rahul Gandhi is going everywhere and wants to impress that there is dictatorship like situation in the country, which is not the case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If anytime the country had witnessed dictatorship, it had been brought by Congress during the Emergency between 1975-77. So, it is their legacy and not our working style,” Javadekar said. The Minister claimed the Narendra Modi government is open to every citizen and was following the model of inclusive growth. “The Modi government belongs to farmers, youth, poor and the oppressed class and it is working for the uplift of these sections and they are liking it. But, those who did not even think about these sections for 10 years are now concerned about them.”Because of this, they raise questions that does not have head and tail. It’s not even worth responding to…rather, it is not even a charge,” Javadekar said. Asked about JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar campaigning for Left parties in Assembly poll-bound West Bengal and Kerala, Javadekar said “everyone has a right” to do that.
Editor’s Note:On Thursday night, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar — who was out on bail after 21 days in prison — returned to the JNU campus and addressed his fellow students and a selection of the media on a variety of issues. Firstpost has translated Kanhaiya’s speech for your perusal. Discrepancies in specific cases of the text are unintentional.
What Kanhaiya said:
First of all, to everyone at JNU, whether they are students, whether they are employees, whether they are teachers, whether they are the security, whether its the shopkeeper or the workers working in the shops, I give my revolutionary salute.
Friends, from this stage, on behalf of all the students, as the president of JNUSU, to the people across the country, through the media channels present here, I would like to thank them, I want to salute them.
Friends, I would like to thank them from across the world, whether they are academicians, whether they are the students who stood with JNU… (inaudible).
Everyone, whether they people from media, whether they are people from the civil society, whether they are political, whether they are non-political people, to everyone who are standing in the fight to save JNU, who are standing to fight for justice for Rohith Vemula, I offer my Lal Salaam to them. And, and I would like to especially to thank this country’s big figures who sit in Parliament to decide on what is right and what is wrong, thanks to them, thanks to their police and those channels of the media, I would like to thank them.
There is a saying, we have a saying, ‘badman hue to kya hua, naam nahai hua’. Atleast , in their attempt to defame JNU, they gave us the prime time slot. There is no hated for anyone, especially against the ABVP, there is no hated. Ask why? That’s because the ABVP we have in our campus, is more *inaudiable* compared to the ABVP out there.
And I would like to say, all those who consider themselves political masterminds – what happened to the candidate of ABVP during the last presidential debate, just watch that video, and the most intellectual person of the ABVP in the country, the one who is JNU’s ABVP, we decimated him, so what will happen to you in rest of the country, you can guess.
That’s why, we have no hard feelings towards ABVP, because we are actually democratic people. We believe in the real constitution. That’s why we see ABVP as an opposition rather than an adversary.
Oh my friend, I wont witch hunt after you, because even those who are hunted needs to be deserving to be hunted. And I feel the events that have unfolded… for the first time, I swear, it is not like that saying goes, ‘born in the mansoon….. (10:40)
I’m telling you the truth… what JNU has shown… the way JNU stood in this country to point out what is right and what is wrong… I would like to salute JNU. And, the funny thing is this is spontaneous. And I am saying this because they planned everything, we did everything spontaneously.
We believe in this country’s constitution, in this country’s law and in this country’s judiciary. We also believe in that change is the only truth. And there will be change, we stand in favor of change, and this change will happen.
I believe in my constitution, we believe in all the values of this constitution, what is said in the preamble — socialism, secularism, equality — we stand with them. I was just asking a question.
I would like to say that I wont give a speech today, I will only tell you my experience. Because, first I use to study more, and go up against the system less. This time, I studied less and went up against the system more.
That’s why I will say, people research too much in JNU… (inaudible)
The first thing is the process of the law, I don’t want to say anything on that. I have only said one thing, and people of this entire country who really for the love the constitution, who wants to make Babasaheb’s dreams come true, they must have understood the signs.
The things that are sub judicious, I don’t want to say anything on that.
The Prime Minister has tweeted. He has said, ‘Satyamev Jayate’. I too say, Prime Minister ji, I have a strong conflict with you, but because ‘Satyamev Jayate’ belongs to the country, to the constitution and not just to you, I too say ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
And the truth will prevail, and in this fight, and everyone who’s involved, I would like to say one thing and share my experience. And that one thing is, don’t think that sedition have been used over the students like a political tool.
Understand it like this, and I have often said this in my speeches, we come from villages, I think by now you are also familiar with my family. So on the railway station there, which is called ‘tasion’, there is held a game of magic. The magician will show you the magic, will sell a ring, the ring of wishes. And whatever wishes anyone has, the ring will fulfill them, the magician says.
This country also has some policy makers, they say that the black money will come back, ‘Har-Har Modi’, ‘The prices will come down, they are too high’, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. All the false promises are today in people’s consciousness.
Although, we Indians forget quickly, but this time the events were so big that it is becoming difficult (for the government) to make people forget them.
So the attempt is this…. that the false promises must be forgotten. And this is done by the people who are making the false promises.
And how to forget them? Lets shut the fellowship of all the research fellows of the country. What will people do? They will say, ‘Give us fellowship, give us fellowship’. Then they will say, ‘Alright, what Rs 5,000-8,000 was given, will continue.’ Meaning, they get rid of the promises of increasing them. Who will bring it up? JNU.
So when you are being abused, don’t worry. You are eating what you have earned.
In this country, when you speak against the anti-people government, so does their cyber cell do?
It will send you doctored videos. It will send you abuses. And it will count how many condoms you have in your dustbin.
But this is a very serious time. That is why, during this serious time we need to think something seriously.
The attack on JNU is a organised attack, do understand. And this is a organised attack because they want to delegitimise the Occupy UGC movement. This is a organised attack because they want to end the fight that is being fought for justice of Rohith Vemula.
You are running the issue of JNU on the prime time because, respected ex-RSS, you want to make the people to forget that the current Prime Minister had promises to put 15 lakh in their accounts. But I want to say one thing to you, if it is not easy to get admission in JNU, it is also not easy to forget the people from JNU.
If you think you’ll make them forget… we want to remind you again and again — whenever the government have performed persecution, JNU has raised its voice, and we will repeat it. We will remind you that you cannot dilute our struggle.
What am I saying? On one side there are soldiers dying on the borders of the country. I would like to salute those who are lousing their lives on the border.
I have a question. I have learnt one thing in the jail, that when the battle is of ideology, one should not give publicity to anyone. That’s why I won’t take the name of that leader. One of the BJP’s minister said in Parliament, that soldiers are dying on the border. I would like to ask, is that your brother? Or in this country where millions of farmers who are committing suicides, who grow food for us, for the youth, what do you have to say for them? This is the question I would like to ask.
I would like to ask the question that the farmer who work in a fields… my father… my brother also goes to the army and dies there. So don’st raise a pseudo debate in the country.
Those who die for the country, also die inside in the country.
My question is, standing there in the Parliament, who are you playing the politics against? Those who are dying, who will take their responsibility? The people who are fighting are not responsible, those who are instigating fights are responsible.
Who is responsible for the battle? Who is making people fight? Why my father is dying? And hoe my brother is dying? We want to ask the once who make the prime time (shows).
The problems we have in our country… is it wrong to ask for freedom from those problems? What they say is, ‘Who are you asking freedom from?’
You only tell, has India enslaved anyone? No. So, obviously, we are not asking for freedom from India. Not from India my brothers, we are asking for freedom in India. There is a difference between ‘from’ and ‘in’.
We are not asking freedom from the English, people of this country has fought for that.
Now I’ll come to my experience.
The police asked me, ‘What is this ‘Lal Salam, Lal Salam’ that you do?’ I would like to say to them, this was not a part of the investigation. Police used to take me sometimes to eat food, sometimes to have a medical, and we from JNU…. *inaudible* so how could I have stayed without talking?
So I started talking to them. And when I talked, that man (policeman) too turned out to be like me.
In this country, who works for the police? Someone who’s father is a farmer, or a laborer or belonging to a weaker section, only those work for the police.
I too come from one of the backward state of the country, Bihar. I too come from a poor family. I too come from a farmer’s family. And in the police, only people from the poor family work. I am talking about constable and head constable. I don’t have much interaction with the IPS office.
So I had a chat with the police officer, and whatever experience I will tell you was part of that conversation.
He asked me what is this ‘Lal Salam, Lal Salam’? I said, Lal means revolution, Salam means salute to the revolution. He said he didn’t get it.
I said ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. He said he knew that. I said Kranti in Urdu is called Inquilab. He said this slogan is also used by ABVP. So I told him, ‘Now you get it? That is the pseudo Inkalb, this is the real one.
Then he said we get everything for so cheap in life. I said, let me tell you one thing, you know why it didn’t happen with you, that the condition you are in (he used to do a 18 hour duty)? I asked him if he got payed for the extra hours? He said no, ‘Where do I get it from?’ I said, this this is what is called corruption.
They get 110 bucks for their uniform. ‘Now you tell me, you wont even get a pair of undergarments for it.’ This is what he said. So I said this is exactly what we want freedom from. From corruption.
And in the meanwhile, a moment started in Haryana. And you know, most of the people in the Delhi police come from Haryana. I salute them because they are hard working people. So I said, ‘This reservation?’ He said, this caste system is too bad. So I said this caste system is what we want freedom from.
He said there seems to be nothing wrong with this. Nothing seems to be anti-national.
So I said, ‘Now you tell me, who has the most power I the system?’. He said, ‘My baton’.
I said correct, but can you use it on your own will? He said no. I asked, ‘Who has all the power then?’ He said the one who is giving out false statements on Twitter.
I said what we want is freedom from this Sanghi who is putting out these false statements on Twitter.
‘To tell you the truth my friend, I fells like you and I are standing together’, he said. I said there is one problem with that.
I am not saying this to all the media people, because all the media people do not get paid from there, only some get paid from there.
And while working in the media, reporting from Parliament, they are looking to get inside that Parliament only. So they have only created this atmosphere… that when I talk one-to-one with you, they say ‘look at this braking news’.
‘To tell you the truth my friends, I felt like when you would come… since your name was in the FIR….’ the policeman said. I said before the FIR, my name had already come up in a ABVP paper.
The ABVP already mentioned the name as that of the accused, it was noted in the FIR later.
‘I thought when you would come, I would beat you up real bad.’ the policeman said. ‘But after talking to you, I feel like that I should go and beat them up.’
He has touched on a various serious matters. And I would like to draw attention to this through the media to everyone in the nation. The policeman, who like me, belongs to a normal family, who like me, wanted to do a PhD, but he didn’t get into the JNU.
Who like me, after understanding the workings of this country, wanted to fight for it, wanted to know the difference between the educated and the literate… today is working for the police.
This is where JNU stands. This is why you want to suppress the voice of the JNU so underprivileged man cannot do a PhD. Because the education that is being sold… he won’t have lakhs of rupees to pay for that education, and he wont be able to do a PhD. That is why you want to shut JNU.
You want to shut all the voices that can unite. Weather one’s standing on the border, weather giving his life on a farm, or struggling for freedom at JNU, you don’t want those voices to meet.
I would like to say to you that Babasaheb said that political democracy won’t do, we will have to establish a social democracy. That is way we keep talking about the constitution. And Lenin said, democracy is indisposable to socialism. That is why we talk about democracy. That is why we talk about the freedom of expression. That is why we talk about equality. That is why we talk about socialism. A son of peon and the son of an President should be able to study in the same school.
Today, they want to suppress the society, but what a coincidence, according to science, the more you suppress, the more pressure there will be. But they don’t want to have to do anything with science. Because, studying science is one thing, being a scientist is quite different.
So the people who think scientifically in this country, if you establish a conversation with them, then the freedom we are asking for in this country, from poverty and hunger, from exploitation and atrocity, and the rights of Dalits, women and backward, that freedom we will have. And that freedom, through this constitution, through this Parliament and this judicial system, we will make sure of it in this country, that is our dream.
This was the dream of Babasaheb, this is the dream of friend Rohith. See, you killed on Rohith, the revolution that you wanted to suppress, see how it has grown.
There is one more thing, I would like to tell you through me experiences in the jail. That we people from JNU, and this is my only criticism, and if you feel this as self-criticism, please consider this, that we people of JNU talk in a civilized manner, but we use a very heavy terminology.
The common person of the country does not get it. Its not their fault, they are honest and intelligent people. But you don’t bring things to their level. And what do they get then? All they get is ‘forward quickly, your wishes will come true’… *inaudible*.
This mindset of selling that has been created in the country, we need to establish debate with it. And I would like to say it with my experience at the prison, I got two bowls in there, one was colored blue, other was colored red.
On seeing the bowls, I kept thinking, that I don’t believe in destiny, and I don’t know god, but something good is about to happen in this country… that the blue and the red bowl are together in a single plate. I saw the plate as India, the blue bowl as… *inaudible*.
And I thought, if this unity is established in this country… I’m telling you the truth, we don’t want the one who sells… the one promises justice for everyone, we will make a government with them.
‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, we will establish.
There is a saying, ‘Jab tak jail main chana rahega, aanaj aata rahega’.
Although its very late for JNU… it’s been a while since JNU students have been sent to prison, because after a long time… let me tell you something.
Today the respected prime Minister’s (have to say (respected), otherwise (the video) might be doctored and sedition charges might be put again. So the respected Prime Minister was saying… he was talking about Stalin and Khrushchev, and I felt like entering into the television and grab him by his suit and say, ‘Modiji, please talk a little about Hitler too.’
Leave Hitler, talk about Mussolini whose black hat you wear. To whom your master Golwalkar went to meet… gave a lecture on how to be an Indian from Germany.
So talking of Hitler, Khrushchev, the Prime Minister, there was also a talk of policy… He talks ‘Mann ki Baat’ but doesn’t listen to it.
It is a personal thing, I talked to my mother after some three months. Whenever I used to stay in JNU, I never called home. After going to jail, I realized one should talk regularly. You took keep talking to your families.
So I said to my mother, you played Modi very nicely. She said she didn’t play him, ‘they are the ones who play. To laugh and make others laugh is their job, we just speak of our pain. The ones who understand, they cry, those who don’t, they laugh’.
She said, ‘it is my pain. That is why I said Modi ji is also someone’s son. My son was trapped with sedition charges, you talk of Mann ki Baat, sometime talk of Maa ki Baat too’.
I had no words to say to her, because, what is happening in this country, there is a very dangerous precedence to it.
That is why I am not talking about a party. That is why I am not talking a media channel. That is why I am not just talking about soldiers. I am talking of the whole country.
How will a country be like which won’t have a people in it?
Just think about that… anyone who is standing with JNU, they need to be saluted again and again, because they understand the issue.
What kind of people come to JNU? Here, 60 percent are girls. I can say it with confidence, despite all the shortcomings, JNU is the only institute, that executes reservations. And where it is not applied, we fight for it to be applied.
People come here… I have never said this to you, and you would not even realise it, that my family runs on 3000 rupees. Can I do a PhD at any of the big universities? And the way JNU and the people who are standing for it is being attacked…
I have no sympathies with any political parties, because I have my own ideologies, but the people who are standing up, they are also being called anti-national.
Sitaram Yechury is also being dragged with me in sedition. Rahul Gandhi is also dragged with me, Kejriwal was pulled in too. And the people from media, who are speaking out for JNU, they are nor really speaking for JNU, but pointing out what is right and what is wrong. They are being abused. They are threatened with their lives. What kind of a nationalism is this?
Some constables asked me in the prison, ‘Did you really raise those slogans?’ I said I did, but can you differ or the rationality is lost?
I’ts just been two years of the government. There are three more years to go, one cannot loose rationality so quick. Because 69 per cent of the population has voted against that mindset. Only 31 percent voted… and many of them were caught up in false promises. Some you fooled with ‘Har-Har’, they are now bothered by arhar.
Don’t understand this as a permanent victory for yourself. This is true, if you tell a lie 100 times, it becomes a truth. But this happens with lies, not with truth. If you call the sun moon for a 100 times, will it change into moon? It will stay a sun even if you say it a 1,000 times. You can only make a lie into a lie. You can never covert a truth into a lie.
And this conspiracy of yours, that you bring out of Lok Sabha to distract people… to divert people from the genuine questions… to trap them… this is the new agenda.
The Occupy UGC was going on, then Rohith passed away, then voices were raised for him, and in this time they started saying, ‘see this anti-national events unfolding’. ‘The den of anti nationals’, they started this.
But this wont last for long, so they are prepared for the next thing — ‘We will built the Ram Temple’.
Let me tell you something that happened today while talking to an officer before leaving the prison. He asked ‘Do you believe in religion?’ I said I don’t know religion. First let me know it, then I will believe.
He said, ‘You must have been born in a family?’ I said by chance I was born in a Hindu family. So he asked if I knew anything? I said as far as I know, god created this universe, and there is god in every particle, ‘What do you say?’ He said it was correct.
So I said some people want to create something for the god, what do you say about that?
They are still trying… people should be diverted so no reasonable questions are raised in this country.
Today, you are standing here, sitting here, do you feel like you have been attacked? This is really a big attack. But this attack did not happened today. I want to remind you that in the mouthpiece of RSS, a story was ran on JNU. Swamiji commented on JNU.
I believe in democracy, and if my ABVP friends are listening, this is my humble request to them, just bring Swamiji once for a face-to-face debate. If, with reason, he can establish that JNU must be closed for four months, then I will agree with him. But if not, I will request him, like he did before, he should leave the country again.
And let me tell you something — maybe you were in the campus so you couldn’t see those things — how planned it was. From day one it was planned. They didn’t even use their minds… and it is not the fault of ABVP here but one on the outside, that they didn’t even change the posters. The same format is used by Hindu Kanti, the same is used by ABVP, one with the same content and design… it means every plan is conceived in Nagpur.
This is not a spontaneous program my friend. The big thing is the voice of struggle in this country. The big question is that the people raising their voices in JNU, whether its Umar or Ashutosh, or anyone from you… to take your voice and supress it, to delegitimatise JNU, to suppress this struggle… We want to say to them, you won’t be able to suppress the struggle, the more you suppress, the more we will rise.
This is a long fight. Without stopping, without bending, without breathing, we have to carry this fight forward. And inside this campus, the dividing power in this nation… whether its the people from ABVP, whether its the RSS or the BJP people outside, who want to drag the country to the brink of disaster… we will stand united against them.
JNU will stand up. History will stand up.
The fight which Vemula stared, and the fight you have started, the fight that is started by progressive, peace loving people… we will fight and we will win, that is out belief.
And with these dreams, once again, I would like to thank you all.
Continue this fight, I appeal to you. I will end my talk.
Union minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday emphasised on the importance of knowing facts especially for journalists and politicians, saying that people can’t indefinitely live under the impression that they know most of the things. He was speaking at the launch of India-2016, a book which contains wide ranging details from achievements of the government, its policies, programmes and other aspects related to development.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think the kind of detail that India 2016 carries is a must read for everyone particularly for journalists and politicians. It is very necessary. Because while we are in ignorance of large number of facts which are contained here, we can’t indefinitely live under the impression that we know most of the things. Because once we go through the book, you would realise how much we don’t know,” he said.Jaitley, who holds Finance and Information and Broadcasting portfolios, said he feels the book would be of great use to Parliamentarians as well as students, including those preparing for competitive exams who are are a natural constituency.Jaitley also launched the e-version of India 2016 in Hindi and English. The e-version would be cheaper than the hard copy and would help in saving paper, he said. The e-version of India 2016 will also be available on e-commerce platforms.Jaitley said the digitised version of collected works of Gandhiji had also been released some time back. The money received by the sale of these publications will go to the Consolidated Fund of India, the minister added.
NSG on Thursday said there were two heavily armed terrorists hiding inside the Pathankot IAF base, apart from the four killed, even as it refuted reports about confusion in command, saying it takes “complete control” of the situation when deployed for counter-terror operations anywhere in the country.”According to us, there were four plus two (terrorists). But, it is for the investigating agency…it is for the NIA to investigate and come up with factual details,” NSG Director General R C Tayal told reporters on the sidelines of an international seminar on the menace of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) being held in New Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that terrorists “came over” from Pakistan, the National Security Guard chief asserted that his strike teams had been fired upon from inside an airmen barrack which they were about to enter.The January 2 attack on the forward air force base, which houses fighter jet planes and attack helicopters, had left seven security personnel dead. Security forces had recovered four bodies of terrorists and there has been speculation since about the possibility of some others getting killed and ‘melting up’ in a building which was blown up by NSG using heavy explosives.Tayal said he had “basis” for this assertion.”NSG teams reached the airmen barrack. The commandos knocked but the door was closed from inside…We put some wall radar and got indication that someone is inside. A grenade was lobbed from inside in which five commandos got injuries and one got serious injuries. According to us, weapons were with them (two terrorists) as we were getting firing from inside. Besides weapons, they were carrying large quantity of explosives too,” he said when asked about the forces’ logic to arrive at a definite number of two more terrorists being holed up.The DG, however, said none of his ‘black cat’ commandos saw the hiding terrorists as continuous firing was taking place.”Only thing we got to know was when we went to place the ‘wall through radar’ we heard a voice inside saying that NSG has come. The radar gives indication if there is any movement inside. It does not indicate exactly if there is a human being, but it indicates movement,” he said.Tayal also refuted allegations of lack of coordination among agencies like Indian Air Force, Army, Punjab police and the NSG which were on ground to combat the attack, asserting the elite force was in full command.”Let me clarify, the NSG standard operating procedure is very clear. It is that if NSG is deployed at a place where terrorist incident takes place, it is NSG that controls the situation. There is no confusion about it. There was absolutely no confusion about the chain of command. All the agencies were working with a good synergy. The central government can deploy NSG suo motu or on request of the state government but the fact remains that once NSG is deployed to control a situation, the NSG is given complete control over that situation and not the whole area,” he said.The NSG DG said they received pistol fire from inside the airmen barrack and as they were wanting to clear the building after evacuating some IAF security men present there, they found there was something “suspicious” on the ground floor.Officials supervising the operation said there were as many as 57 explosions in that building and that indicates there was heavy ammunition present in the complex which is just meant for housing IAF personnel. The radar showed, an official said, that people present inside had stacked up ‘charpoys’ and almirahs against the gate in order to prevent any entry. Tayal said while they were “not sure” on the exact number of terrorists who had sneaked into the IAF base, there were some indications that showed that they entered the campus by cutting concertina wires placed for periphery security.”But, whether four or six entered or two came separately, that is for the investigators to find,” he said.Tayal said the aim of the terrorists was to blow up IAF aircraft, radars and other vital assets.”In this case, I am more or less certain that the target was not to kill people but the aim was to destroy assets (of IAF). Had they (terrorists) intended to kill people, then the whole day was with them and more than 10,000 people stay in the base. So, the target was very clear. Go to the assets and destroy the assets,” he said.These, he said, were not very far off from the place where they were hiding.”I will call it an excellent operation. Why? Because terrorists came out at 0245 hours (on January 2) from their hideout (inside the IAF base) and they were encountered at 0250 hours…the entire surprise was on our side. So, it was an excellent decision to pre-deploy NSG at the IAF base. It was a timely and excellent decision and it saved the day. Fact remains that this is perhaps the first terrorist incident where NSG was sent in advance. NSG is best suited for these kind of operations as it was an area inhabited by people and was built-up. NSG is trained for these type of operations only. NSG was best suited for Pathankot operation and it was excellent decision on the part of the government to deploy NSG even before they (terrorists) could strike,” he said.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday alleged that BJP’s “vindictive attitude” was behind the Governor’s grant of sanction for prosecuting him in the Adarsh scam case.”The grant of sanction for prosecution and the CBI’s decision to move the application has been done at the behest of the BJP,” he said. His reactions came after Governor C Vidyasagar Rao today gave sanction to CBI to prosecute the Congress leader in the Adarsh scam case, days after the BJP-led government in the state recommended action against him. Chavan sought to know how could the opinion of a new Governor change with a new government in power in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The (Justice Patil) committee’s report is absolutely clear that there was no reservation for land for any Army personnel and the land belonged to the state government. This is just a vindictive attitude of the BJP,” Chavan told PTI. “Once the Governor has taken a conscious stand after consulting the highest legal authority in the country, and then issued orders saying he cannot sanction prosecution, if the Governor changes and the government changes, does it mean that the opinion also changes?” he questioned.CBI had alleged that Chavan suggested inclusion of civilian members in Adarsh Housing Society, meant for war veterans and widows of defence personnel, to secure flats for his relatives in the plush complex situated at Colaba in south Mumbai. In December 2013, the then Governor K Sankaranarayanan had refused sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan in the Adarsh housing scam, leaving the agency with no choice but to close the case against him.Chavan alleged that the BJP was putting “political pressure” on the CBI to take action against him at the behest of some members of the party. “Is BJP MP Kirit Somaiya a part of the government that it endorses his application and the entire process starts? You can see the political interference of the BJP functionaries in the whole process. Why was this issue raked up for the second time? Because of BJP functionaries and their political vendetta behind the issue,” he said.”The grant of sanction for prosecution and the CBI’s decision to move the application in the first place is on the insistence and pressure from the BJP,” the Lok Sabha MP from Nanded said.
A businessman from Visakhapatanam sent Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal a sum of Rs 364, why? Because he wants Kejriwal to buy a pair of formal shoes for himself.Embarrassed by how Kejriwal chose to wear sandals with socks during a banquet at Rashtrapati Bhawan which was hosted in honour of French President Francois Hollande, Sumit Agrawal said that Kejriwal needed to buy formal, closed shoes.Agrawal further said that Kejriwal’s decision to wear the particular footwear was not justified as he was representing the country and not “staging a dharna at an Aam Aadmi Party rally at Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The businessman sent the money to Delhi CM through a demand draft and also wrote an open letter saying, “Kejriwal was at the President’s dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, not a friend’s birthday party in a restaurant in Hauz Khas. While dressing as per one’s convenience is a question of personal liberty, some places are above personal preferences…You’re a grown man. Please act according to the situation & dress for the occasion.”Agrawal also suspects that Kejriwal’s choice of footwear might have been a publicity stunt. Nonetheless, he said that he had taken a lot of efforts to collect the money. He wrote in his letter, “Sir, I know that this is a very small amount, but it is the result of the effort of an entire Sunday afternoon of hard work. I had initiated the collection with an initial contribution of Rs 49.”Read the full text of the letter here.
Hours after lyricist Prasoon Joshi criticized Sunny Leone’s past profession – porn star, the actress said she will have too google Joshi’s name to figure out who he is before she comments on what he said.
“I don’t know who Prasoon Joshi is. I will google him and then I will comment,” Leone said while on a visit to Lawman’s store in Mumbai, reports The Indian Express. Tweets on the Leone’s latest quote are doing the rounds ahead of sex comedy Mastizaade’s release on 29 January.
Before Sunny Leone forayed into Bollywood, she was popular as an Indo-Canadian porn star.
“I don’t support Sunny Leone’s past profession and I don’t even want the youth to get inspired by that,” Joshi said.
“I would like to say that you can have a comment on someone’s professional choice. Because it is not necessary that every profession has to be a good one and if it is not a good profession, it should be criticised. I would like to say this. Sometimes we start praising a profession to the skies. It is important that the profession which is connected to our lives should do great work for the society. It should do something positive for the society.” he added.
Joshi’s comments came after Aamir Khan told a media person during the event that he would love to work with her. “I hope she wants to work with me,” Khan joked.
Earlier last week, Bhupendra Chaubey had asked Leone if Aamir Khan would work with her. She had said, “Probably not.” To which Aamir had tweeted at her saying he would love to work with her.
Chaubey’s interview, where he had repeatedly interrogated Leone about her past, had faced major backlash on social media.