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PM Modi’s New Year’s Eve Speech at 7:30 PM | Live streaming and where to watch in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting media reports that the PM’s address to the nation at 7:30 PM on December 31, the BJP said that that the speech would go ahead as planned. The BJP Twitter handle tweeted: “Narendra Modi live address to the nation at 7:30 PM on Dec 31: Live streaming and where to watch in India.”Here’s how you can watch PM Modi’s address:Time: 7:30 PM IST on December 31, 2017Watch it on Facebook live on BJP’s pageWatch the live stream on YouTubeCheck it on the BJP websiteYou can also watch the speech on PM Modi’s website​The speech will also be broadcast on all TV channels including Zee News. ​DNA will add the links when the PM speaks. What we know so far? The BJP-led NDA Government, which has come under sharp criticism post the November 8 demonetization drive, will roll out a massive canvassing campaign beginning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on December 31.Sources said all Central Ministers have been asked to visit at least 10 places and hold rallies and mass contact event so as to convince the masses about the decision to demonetize high-value currency notes.As many as 10 towns visited by each minister will be mix of rural and urban places and more focus will be on poll-bound states as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and especially rural areas.In the wake of the realisation in the government that demonetization related problems will continue for some time, a detailed dossier on demonetization issue has been given to all Central Ministers explaining need of the drive to various milestones achieved along with its success stories.All mass media platforms from radio, TV to field publicity will be used.Sources disclosed that around 60-page documents have been distributed to all ministers by the Finance Ministry in which every aspect of demonetization has been described point by point.The Finance Minister in the document has described the need for initiating such a step, future action plan and impact on major policies.Prime Minister Modi had earlier urged the nation to give him 50 days post the demonetization decision to get things back on track. After demonetization, the government has taken a number of steps to ensure that no hardship is faced by tourists and the industry is not affected.Till date, the government has made several changes to the norms.The demonetization decision has also taken a toll on the common man, with reports of some dying while standing in queues to collect money.In between all this, Prime Minister Modi has continued to address the nation at various public gatherings and his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme.

Jaggi Vasudev on notebandi, nationalism and why he stands behind Narendra Modi

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is known for speaking his mind on a wide range of issues. In his new book Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy (Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd), he has redefined spirituality. He does not describe himself as the usual ‘guru’, which he once called a four letter word. Instead, he prefixes it with another four-letter word ‘sadh’ to complete his self-description. To talk to us, he walked into a central Delhi garden, kissed gently by the winter sun, in a turban that hides the colour of his hair and a cotton-candy beard that gives it away. Spirituality for him is not a straight jacket. He enjoys playing ball, flies choppers and wears jeans when not in loose cotton pants, and surprises you by calling spirituality a ‘technology’. Spirituality is neither detachment, self-abnegation nor being less worldly than anybody else. He engages with every contemporary issue and doesn’t hold back. Though not politically aligned with any party or leader, he discusses demonetisation and nationalism, the two hot-button issues of the day. With the disclaimer that he is not ‘nationalistic freak’, he says India needs to stand behind somebody who has taken a huge political risk (a reference to Narendra Modi and demonetisation), and that emotional commitment to a country is an essential ingredient for nation-building. Edited excerpts:

Your book revolves around your healing principle of ‘Inner Engineering’. Can you explain the concept?

This is not a teaching, preaching, philosophy, religion, this is a technology for wellbeing. Show me one person who doesn’t need a technology for wellbeing? In India, the book is leading across sections and doing even better than fiction and that is a statement from the people that it was needed. When it comes to other aspects of our life, we employ science and tech to make things work. When it comes to religion, we still have silly philosophies and ideologies. Why? This is a movement from religion to responsibility. Without turning inward, there is no way you will have yourself the way you want yourself to be. When you can approach medicine in a scientific manner, why can’t you approach inner-wellbeing in a logically correct and scientifically verifiable way, I ask?

The reason why somebody feels insecure and miserable is because they haven’t taken charge of their inward and out of insecurities and the bad experience of life, people may do many things in reaction.

Political developments across the globe in 2016 suggest that countries are closing their doors. Is there a way to go inwards into your culture and identity without pitting them against that of another?
Going inwards is not about culture, it is not about politics or the positions that we take in the world. Going inwards is because the source of your experience is within you. The reason why somebody feels insecure and miserable is because they haven’t taken charge of their inward and out of insecurities and the bad experience of life, people may do many things in reaction. Going inwards means you are in charge of how you experience your life, you can make it beautiful or ugly, blissful or miserable. Right now, because people haven’t turned inwards, there is much fear of suffering and anxiety, and anger against each other. We are trying to fix the reactions, when we should be fixing the source.

In the context of demonetisation, tell us if India is more critical of governmental decisions than before and do most believe that policies are designed to harm them?

We are critical of governmental decisions because we are used to governments that don’t take any decisions. Now when any decision is made, we think it is wrong. We’ve been a developing nation f70 years because we are simply unwilling to fix the fundamentals. There are certain serious problems in the country, do you want to take them head-on or do you want to pussyfoot around them forever? Demonetisation is a little bit of a confrontation with the problem that nearly 60 percent transactions are beneath the radar. How do you run a nation when a little over two per cent pay taxes? How does a nation’s administration function effectively without revenue? This is a system coming from a colonial era and the nomenclature still continues. Even today, district administrators are called collectors because in those days their job was to collect taxes. Earlier, whoever didn’t pay tax was a hero. We are still in that hangover. We can’t live in little nations of comfort and wellbeing, it’s time that we work for the wellbeing of the nation as a whole and for that some painful steps have to be taken. Right now, the issue is that if I have to start my own business, I have to build my own road, generate electricity, and manage sewage. This is not an excuse to not be in the tax net. Only if we pay, we can demand services. Democracy is not a spectator sport, we can participate through various instruments on a daily basis and demand results. If 30 percent of the population doesn’t come in the tax net in the next 10 years, we won’t have a developed nation. Nothing significant happens without some pain.

That said, do you think the present government is doing a good job?

The present government is doing a very good job by wielding a stick at those who are not being compliant with the nation’s goals. But the political game in a democratic country is nebulous. They will have to do a few populist things. When somebody takes a huge political risk to correct something, you have to stand with them. Once people have elected a government, all of us should simply support it. If you pull their leg, how will they function? I am not politically aligned with a party or a fan of any leader but believe in the wellbeing of a democratic nation. If you have any other commitment going against the nation’s growth, it is a crime. Those who are sitting in comfortable places are doing these things without understanding what we are denying to those who have barely eaten. You go to the remotest parts of Africa and you’ll find that the children are bouncy and healthy. Though there is experience and cultural strength in India, we are not doing well on the ground.

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Do we define nationalism too much? Why has it become necessary to prove that we are Indian?
Right now the big issue is that of playing the national anthem in theatres. Because you have popcorn in one hand and cola in the other, you can’t stand up. If there is no pride about the country, how do you build a country? Nationalism is not an ultimate goal, but an immediate need to move the people in one direction, otherwise everybody has their own caste, creed, religion, all kinds of things. We are talking about nuances of liberal freedom when half the people have not eaten. Right now, we’re in the basics, let’s understand this. I am not a nationalistic freak, my work is beyond national, racial and religious borders, and my idea of humanity is 7.3 billion people. But the nation is the largest mass of people and to bind it together and take it forward, national identity is important. Emotional commitment to the country is needed.

Is this the era of collective rage, clashing opinions and a lack of action?
The rage is limited to the media. There is a big sense of satisfaction and fulfilment among the poorest of poor in this country, because they feel that for the first time somebody has hit the rich. I only wish this digitisation process had started a year earlier, and 30 to 40 percent of the population had moved into a cashless economy. People are protesting all the time. There is more activism in the country than activity, we need activity. We have inherited this from a pre-independence era where we call for a bandh, shut down electricity, rasta roko, rail roko. Gandhi’s technology was fine when someone else was ruling us. How do we shut down our own nation? I am not for mad fanaticism at all but I am asking, how do you move people without getting them emotionally identified with the nation?

Not all mental ailments are because of pathological causes, but also happen because of social causes. In the West, one of the biggest problems is loneliness. In India, there is no room for loneliness because someone is always walking over you.

A recent Bollywood movie Dear Zindagi discussed the subject of mental health. Does everybody secretly like to believe they are depressed or that they need to be rescued? Is the youth ready or nation building, if they are self-absorbed?
In India, the self-absorbed youth is only a small segment coming from affluent families in urban centres. The rest of them are not like that. The population is largely community-oriented, so people are not depressed on the same scale as Europeans are. Not all mental ailments are because of pathological causes, but also happen because of social causes. In the West, one of the biggest problems is loneliness. In India, there is no room for loneliness because someone is always walking over you. This may look like an irritant at some point but it helps people stay mentally healthy. We are slowly withdrawing from that and moving toward a different mode, and there will be a price to pay.

Is spiritualism now a capitalism-driven material need, just like a bag or a pair of jeans?
There is substantial medical and scientific evidence to prove that only when you are in a pleasant state of experience, your body and brain works at its best. If you want to succeed in the world, it is only a question of harnessing your body and brain to the fullest. If you do this successfully, will you become unsuccessful in the world? Miserable people are not successful. The spiritual process is a self-realisation. You can use a phone better if you know more about it. The same thing applies to the brain, the greatest and most sophisticated gadget on the planet. Spirituality is not a disability, it is the greatest empowerment you can receive, your body, mind, thought, emotions and energy will function for you and not against you if you know the nature of your existence fully. It’s just like you can either open up the cosmos with a phone, or just use it in a rudimentary way to SMS your friend.

Is social media leading to a rise in depression because one has constant access to other people’s achievements? Are we in a state of constant denial?
Every gift given to you is becoming a problem because you are trying to extract happiness from the world. You need to understand that all human experience happens from within. If you’re seeking joy from Facebook, you’ll be miserable because you’ll see wrong faces. Every technology that comes to you has come to enhance your life and not take away your joy. You have to move from compulsiveness to consciousness. Your very mind is the source of your misery. People want the brain of an earthworm? Why? It took us years of evolution to get here. Those who are joyful in their own way, by their own nature, their genius will unfold. Right now, the fear of suffering has cramped you up, you are blaming Facebook, blaming the phone, blaming technology. This is because your own intelligence has turned against you. If the source of your existence is in your hands, you will choose pleasantness.

Over 18,000 children have committed suicide in 2015, if we don’t accept that we are doing something fundamentally wrong, we have not gotten life properly. The entire world looked toward Indian culture for guidance when it came to life.

Why do we have to lose our peace and then find ways to bring it back?
Our schooling system is a leftover from the British times. They designed it mainly to demand obedience. This was her majesty’s requirement. We should have seen what kind of schooling we need for a free India. We need free human beings with a free-ranging mind. A large segment of population has been in extreme poverty and it all became about how to get a job. So, nobody could be trained about anything that concerns life. Over 18,000 children have committed suicide in 2015, if we don’t accept that we are doing something fundamentally wrong, we have not gotten life properly. The entire world looked toward Indian culture for guidance when it came to life. We are not making use of anything we know and are reinventing India from a western perspective. If you say anything Indian, people say mad nationalism is happening. There are 120 weaves in this country, we were the greatest textile nation in the country. But we are killing it totally because our brains are still in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). At the same time, our Indianness shouldn’t be rigid, history shows us that we have been able to absorb anything that comes our way without resistance and still retained our culture. This is a nation that has explored the interiority of the human mechanism like none other, we have the USP for how a human being can be joyful. This is a methodology we can offer the entire world. First, at least a majority in India has to get this.

So, economic wellbeing isn’t enough for development?
Economic wellbeing alone will not translate into human wellbeing. For instance, in the export town of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, almost everybody earns two to three times more than those in neighbouring towns. Last year, on Diwali, Tamil Nadu sold 36 crore worth of alcohol and in this about 24 to 25 crore was from Tirupur. It is a town of merely 8 lakh people. Wherever economic wellbeing has happened, 40 per cent has become diabetic. This is why we’re talking about yoga nation.

Can spiritual leaders take a political stand?
If you can stand for an election, why can’t I? I won’t but that’s my choice. I have as much right as you have to stand for elections.

What kind of India do you envision for in 2017?
Right now, 60 percent of the population is undernourished, we are producing half and substandard human beings. The next thing is empowerment. We can educate people toward better agriculture, skill people in different ways; human beings must be empowered to do whatever they want. The next thing is ecology. This is a very serious problem that has gone unattended. Some studies show, on an average, all Indian rivers are depleting by 8 percent per year. This means, in 15-20 years, rivers will become seasonal. For instance, Kaveri doesn’t reach the ocean for two and a half months. What are we going to leave for our children? Barren land? Fly from Delhi to Chennai and every five minutes you will see large patches of brown. When sunlight continuously falls, bio-activity sinks deeper and deeper; what you think is soil today will become sand tomorrow. The per capita potable water you had in 1947, today you have 19 – 20 percent of it. In 2020, you’ll have only 7 seven percent of it. We need drastic ecological policy steps, which people will hate like they hate demonetisation.

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 10:09 IST

Indus Water treaty: Pakistan to approach India by December-end to resolve disagreements

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan will approach India by the end of this month to address its concerns on the Ratle and Kishanganga projects, a day after the World Bank paused the separate processes initiated by the two sides under the Indus Water Treaty to allow them to resolve their disagreements, according to a media report on Wednesday.”Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner would establish a telephonic contact with his Indian counterpart till the end of this month and ask him to address Islamabad’s concerns on the design of Ratle and Kishanganga projects,” The Nation said.Citing official sources, the paper said Pakistan will again approach World Bank in February “if India refuses to accept our demands for change in design of the projects or tries to use delaying tactics.”In September, the World Bank, which had mediated the Indus Water Treaty, had said it was approached by India and Pakistan and it is “responding in its limited, procedural role as set out in the treaty”.The bank said the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960, is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict.India had taken strong exception last month to the World Bank’s decision to set up a Court of Arbitration and appoint a Neutral Expert to go into Pakistan’s complaint against it over Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir.”We are announcing this pause to protect the Indus Waters Treaty and to help India and Pakistan consider alternative approaches to resolving conflicting interests under the Treaty and its application to two hydroelectric power plants,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said yesterday.”We have decided in principle to re-approach India, but will not compromise our position. We also fear India will not change the design of projects according to the treaty,” an official told the paper, seeking anonymity.Pakistan’s former law minister and Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Ahmer Bilal Soofi said the historic Indus Water Treaty was perpetual and cannot be terminated unilaterally.Speaking at a seminar on ‘Pakistan-India: Avoiding a Water War’ organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), Soofi said time had come that Pakistani engineers and lawyers need to sit together to interpret the Indus Water Treaty in a holistic manner.

Demonetiation effect: Income Tax employees union complains of “unbearable workload”

Demonetiation effect: Income Tax employees union complains of “unbearable workload”

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Hyderabad: The Income Tax Employees Federation and Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) on Tuesday urged the Centre to fill up the vacancies and take other steps to ease the workload in the wake of demonetisation.

There were almost 30-35 percent vacancies at assistant commissioner of income tax (ACIT) and deputy commissioner of income tax (DCIT) level and first supervisory position like joint commissioner of income tax (JCIT) and additional commissioner of income tax (Addl CIT), while at the staff level around 40 percent posts were vacant, it said in a release.

The employees were under “unbearable extra workload”, it added.

The issues of “faulty cadre structure”, promotions, recruitment, inadequate infrastructure including severe office space crunch and poor Internet and intranet connectivity should be dealt with, it said.

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 10:56 IST

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Eid-e-Milad 2016: Marking the birth of Prophet Mohammad, India and Pakistan celebrate

Eid-e-Milad 2016: Marking the birth of Prophet Mohammad, India and Pakistan celebrate

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to convey his wishes on Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi or Eid-e-Milad. He tweeted:

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and many Union Ministers also greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi and appealed to recall his message to work towards universal brotherhood, tolerance and well-being of all.

The Islamic festival is dedicated to Prophet Mohammad and his teachings. Eid-e-Milad is the birth anniversary of the Prophet and a day to remember the Islamic icon’s teachings, message. Processions will be carried out in full swing in Pakistan as well, especially in Rawalpindi with 1541 processions that will be carried to mark the birth of Prophet Mohammad.

The government in Pakistan has also declared a holiday — as many as 40 cinema houses and theatres will be closed as per the notification issued by the City District Government Lahore. All educational institutions and offices will also remain closed, according to Daily Times.

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 09:00 IST

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IND vs ENG | Dec 8th, 2016

ENG 182 6 47.3

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India proud to have a well read & knowledgeable President, says Modi as Pranab Mukherjee turns 81

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wishing President Pranab Mukherjee on his 81st birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the President always put India’s interest above everything and that the nation was proud to have such a well read and knowledgeable President.Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said that President Mukherjee’s tremendous experience and wisdom has benefitted the nation greatly.”Birthday wishes to Rashtrapati Ji. His tremendous experience & wisdom has benefitted the nation greatly. I pray for his long & healthy life. Pranab Da always puts India’s interest above everything. We are proud to have such a well read & knowledgeable President,” he said.Besides the President, the nation’s top brass including Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Kiren Rijiju and Piyush Goyal among others also wished the President.Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao also conveyed his greetings to the President, wishing him a happy, fruitful and long life.Prime Minister Modi has earlier rebuked the Opposition for holding the Parliament hostage and said that the proceeding in the House had “anguished” President Mukhejee, referring to the President’s recent criticism of the prolonged logjam in the national legislature over the currency ban.”Happenings in Parliament anguished our President, who has tremendous political experience,” PM Modi said in Deesa, where he inaugurated a Rs 350 crore cheese plant.An angry President Mukherjee on Thursday had said in a clear message to Parliamentarians, “For God’s sake, do your job. You are meant to transact business in Parliament. Disruption of Parliament is not acceptable at all.”

ICAI withdraws advisory asking members to not criticise demonetisation

Mumbai: Hours after the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) issued a gag order on its members, asking them not to criticise government policy on demonetisation, and instituted a probe against some of them for “professionial misconduct”, the advisory was withdrawn on Saturday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A top ICAI official, declining to be named, said there were some objections from members on the advisory issued on Friday by ICAI president M Devaraja Reddy, after which it was removed.

The advisory carried on its website said notices had been slapped on four chartered accountants for their “alleged acts of professional misconduct” following demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes. “The members are strictly advised not to indulge in any nefarious act to subvert the intentions of the government in any remote possible way,” it said.

It also sought to put a gag order on the CAs. “Members are also advised not to share/write any negative personal views by way of an article or interview on any platform regarding demonetisation,” it said.

On Saturday, a leading Mumbai RTI activist, Anil Galgali, who tweeted on the ethics behind the advisory’s aim to stop criticism of the move, was also blocked by the ICAI from its twitter handle.

“They don’t want to listen to any criticism. Probably, some politicians may have objected, as they are advised by their CAs on how to manage stashed illegal funds. Instead of heeding to fair criticism, ICAI resorts to crushing it,” an indignant Galgali said.

He wondered whether the so-called advisory would still be effective after its erasure from the ICAI site. On Friday, Reddy had said three CAs — whose identity had not been revealed — had been served notice under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, and Chartered Accountants (Procedure of Investigations of Professional and Other Misconduct and Conduct of Cases) Rules, 2007.

Apart from these three, two more were also in the process for initiating similar disciplinary action by the ICAI, Reddy said. In one case, the ICAI had sought information from the principal commissioner of the Income Tax Department in Pune.

In another case, the details had been solicited from the Income Tax Department in Ahmedabad, while the ICAI has sought information from a private television channel, News18 India, in a third case.

“It is a matter of grave concern and distress to our profession when certain news reports/video clippings have come in the public eye depicting certain CAs indulging in such acts of illegality which go against the efforts of the government in eradicating corruption and black money from business and commercial transactions,” Reddy said, in his sharp advisory to ICAI members.

Reddy urged CAs to work towards the best interest of the nation in keeping with true spirit of the principle of ICAI — ‘Partner in Nation Building’.

ICAI, a statutory body set up by an act of Parliament, has over 250,000 members as fellows or associates with more than half in full-time practice. The maximum number of members hails from western India while eastern India accounts for the lowest membership of ICAI.

First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 19:31 IST

India’s industrial output unexpectedly contracts in October | Reuters

India’s industrial output unexpectedly contracts in October | Reuters

Dec 9, 2016 17:44 IST

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NEW DELHI India’s industrial output INIP=ECI unexpectedly fell 1.9 percent in October from a year earlier, driven down by a contraction in manufacturing and mining sectors, government data showed on Friday.Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 1.0 percent growth in output compared with a 0.7 percent year-on-year rise in September.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Malini Menon)

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

First Published On : Dec 9, 2016 17:44 IST

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IND vs ENG | Dec 8th, 2016

IND 146 1 52.0

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AUS vs NZ | Dec 9th, 2016

NZ 147 10 36.1

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A yagna called demonetization: Omar Abdullah claims PM Modi using religion to deflect criticism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 8, as we completed 30 days since PM Modi had made a historic announcement that shook the nation about demonetization, he took to Twitter to thank the people of the nation for supporting demonetization. The Prime Minister took to his Twitter handle and said the government’s decision has several gains for farmers, traders, labourers. ‘I salute the people of India for wholeheartedly participating in this ongoing yagna ( against corruption, terrorism and black money.Together, we must ensure the India Defeats Black Money. This will empower the poor, neo-middle class, middle class & benefit future generations. The government’s decision has several gains for farmers, traders, labourers, who are the economic backbone of our nation,’ tweeted the Prime Minister. Urging the nation to bear the change with patience, the Prime Minister said that he warned of little inconvenience and that a little pain in present will reap gain in the future.‘I always said that the government’s measure will bring a degree of inconvenience but this short term pain will pave way for long term gains. No longer will the progress and prosperity of rural India be curtailed by corruption and black money. Our villages must get their due,’ he said.‘We also have a historic opportunity to embrace increased cashless payments & integrate latest technology in economic transactions. My young friends, you are agents of change who will make India corruption free and ensure more cashless transactions,’ he added.One person who seemed to take offence to PM Modi’s message and particular the usage of the word yagna was former J&K CM Omar Abdullah. He felt that the PM’s use of the word yagna had ‘very obvious religious overtones’. He wrote on Twitter: “Does the PM’s use of the word Yagna, which has very obvious religious overtones, aim to make it tougher for true believers to oppose? When all else fails fall back on the tried & tested religious card to stem the tide of criticism.”For the uninitiated, word yagna literally means ‘sacrifice, devotion, worship and offering’ and in Hinduism is often used to refer to a ritual done in front of a sacred fire. Earlier, Omar Abdullah had claimed that demonetization not only deprived people access to their money but now they are also being denied freedom of spending at places of their choice.”So not only do we not have the freedom to access our money, we are also being told where we can spend our earnings.”A relative of mine got his salary the other day which included a nice thick booklet of Rs 50 vouchers and a list of shops he can spend them at,” Omar said in a series of tweets.Reacting to reports that authorities have snapped mobile phone services in some parts of south Kashmir Anantnag district, the National Conference leader said the move has rendered the digital wallets of cashless economy useless.”In a cashless economy all the digital wallets are now useless. Tell me again how we are going to sell the utopian dream to people’” he asked.Opposition hits out at demonetization – again Targeting Prime Minister Modi on the issue of demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day dubbed the move of currency swap as ‘foolish’.Gandhi said the decision has been implemented without any consideration.Further attacking Prime Minister Modi, he said ‘If I am allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, I will show to all how Paytm means ‘Pay to Modi.’When asked about the disruption in Parliament, the Congress vice-president said the responsibility of running the House is with the government and the Speaker, not the opposition.With the opposition observing ‘Black Day’ to vent their ire over the existing problems post completion of one month of demonetisation, the government today cornered the Gandhi family, saying those questioning the ruling dispensation are the ones supporting the black money holders. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the opposition is not observing a Black Day, but they are voicing their support for black money holders. Taking a dig at the Congress, he added, “Gandhi ji gave call for Satyagrah to see that victory of truth prevails. What are so-called namesakes of Gandhis doing’” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, echoing similar sentiments, alleged that the opposition’s protest was aimed at garnering media space.With inputs from agencies

Uttar Pradesh: Ambedkar statue desecrated, angry mob blocks traffic

Uttar Pradesh: Ambedkar statue desecrated, angry mob blocks traffic

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Bhadohi (Uttar Pradesh): A statue of BR Ambedkar was found desecrated on Thursday in Dudwa Dharampuri locality in Sant Ravidas Nagar district, leading to tension in the area.

Some anti-social elements damaged the four feet tall statue of Ambedkar by throwing stones at it, said circle officer Paramhans Mishra.

Protesting against the incident, an angry mob blocked traffic on the main road for over an hour prompting the administration to deploy additional police force.

Senior administrative and police officials also rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control and pacified the protesters.

According to Patrika, officials installed a new statue which brought the situation under control and also assured the protestors of action against miscreants involved in desecrating the statue. A case has been registered against unidentified persons.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 15:12 IST

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RSS urges to implement ‘Uniform Civil Code for stronger, integrated India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS on Thursday said the nation should come out of the prison of identity politics to make the Uniform Civil Code a reality and people, irrespective of differences, should arrive at a consensus to make it a reality.Delivering a keynote address on ‘Uniform Civil Code: The Need of the Hour here, senior RSS leader Arun Kumar said that UCC is essential to make the nation stronger and a more ‘integrated, progressive and developed’ one.”To ensure freedom, equality and justice, about which our Constitution professes, uniform civil code should be ensured. But unfortunately, every time when this topic comes up for discussion, it becomes an issue of identity politics,” Kumar, Akhil Bharathiya Saha Samparka Pramukh of the outfit, said.”This issue of identity politics was cultivated by Britishers…and carried on by our politicians…every time when the discussions start, our politicians come to this identity politics. Basically, this issue has become a victim of identity politics,” he said.Pointing to the need to put an end to identity politics, Kumar said the menace has come to such an extent that if it goes on, “our society will never be one. It will be segregated to so many parts that we cannot remain as one.” “If we want to remain as an integrated nation, we should come out of this identity politics,” he said.Stating that debates on UCC should be taken out of the issues of minority and religion, he said priority should be given on the interest of the nation.”The important thing is that what is the interest of the nation…what is the interest of the society…and what is the interest of our values and ethos which we accepted and made as the basis of a progressive country,” he said.Kumar also urged people to be ‘proactive’ to address all these issues and make the uniform civil code a reality.He reminded that former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi had batted for uniform civil code once.In the Shah Bano case, Rajiv Gandhi had pitched for uniform civil code. But later he surrendered to appeasement politics, he alleged.Discussion on the topic should go on but this should not be ‘misquoted and miscarried’ any more, he added.The talk was organised by RSS’s district branch here.

Nagrota attack: CM Mehbooba Mufti condemns terror strikes on security forces

Nagrota attack: CM Mehbooba Mufti condemns terror strikes on security forces

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday condemned the terror attacks on security forces in Nagrota and Samba, saying such “dastardly” acts would not lower the resolve to fight terrorism.

“Condemn the terror attacks in Nagrota and Samba today. Such dastardly acts won’t lower our resolve to fight terrorism,” the chief minister was quoted as saying on the twitter handle of her party PDP. She expressed sympathies with the three army men who laid down their lives while fighting the militants.

“Pained at loss of three Army men in Nagrota attack. My heartfelt sympathies with the families of these brave officials,” she said.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 18:06 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 26th, 2016

IND 104 2 20.2

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 25th, 2016

PAK 230 10 92.1

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OPEC experts end meeting, no agreement on detail | Reuters

OPEC experts end meeting, no agreement on detail | Reuters

Nov 29, 2016 01:31 IST

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VIENNA OPEC experts ended their meeting on Monday without agreeing on concrete details of a planned reduction in oil output by individual countries that will be presented to an OPEC ministerial gathering on Nov. 30, an OPEC source told Reuters.

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler)

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

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 01:31 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 26th, 2016

ENG 78 4 38.0

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 25th, 2016

PAK 1 0 3.0

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At least seven shot on campus at Ohio State University – CNN | Reuters

At least seven shot on campus at Ohio State University – CNN | Reuters

Nov 28, 2016 21:32 IST

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At least seven people were injured at Ohio State University, CNN reported, after school officials reported an active shooter on campus on Monday.The seven injured were transported to the hospital, according to CNN. The suspected shooter was shot, local television station WBNS reported, citing law enforcement sources.Columbus police said on Twitter they were assisting university law enforcement. Representatives for the university did not immediately return calls.

WBNS showed images of more than a dozen police cars parked at an intersection at the school and a line of about 10 ambulances parked nearby.Ohio State student Wyatt Crosher told CNN he heard what sounded like gunfire and then emergency sirens.

Crosher said that he was staying in his dorm room near the scene of the reported shooting.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 21:32 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 26th, 2016

ENG 78 4 38.0

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 25th, 2016

PAK 1 0 3.0

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Supreme Court to hear plea to transfer Mohammad Shahabuddin to Delhi jail

Supreme Court to hear plea to transfer Mohammad Shahabuddin to Delhi jail

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a plea for transferring Mohammad Shahabuddin from Siwan district jail to Tihar Central Jail and his trial in Delhi, the apex court said on Monday.

The Supreme Court will also hear a plea for the handing over the cases of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) strongman to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said this while senior counsel Shekhar Naphade appearing for Shahabuddin opposed the plea.

Counsel contended that it would adversely affect the visitation rights of Shahabuddin’s relatives.

The bench said: “This is the situation which is the test case of our criminal in the context of witnesses protection and the concept of a fair trial.”

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 14:58 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 26th, 2016

ENG 37 1 18.5

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 25th, 2016

PAK 1 0 3.0

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Thyssenkrupp leaves open possibility of keeping steel majority | Reuters

Thyssenkrupp leaves open possibility of keeping steel majority | Reuters

Nov 24, 2016 19:46 IST

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FRANKFURT Thyssenkrupp executives left open the possibility on Thursday that the German industrial group could keep the majority in any new entity formed by a merger of its European steel operations with those of a competitor.”The most important thing for us is that by a consolidation and by the underlying plan we can address the issues of overcapacity,” Chief Finance Officer Guido Kerkhoff told analysts on a conference call.”We have never stated consolidation, non-consolidation or discussed percentages and we don’t do that today either.”

He added that an initial public offering of the business without a merger would offer no solution to the underlying overcapacity issue.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan)

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

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 19:46 IST

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AUS vs SA | Nov 24th, 2016

AUS 14 0 12.0

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Madhya Pradesh bypolls: Counting of votes ensues in Shahdol, Nepanagar

Madhya Pradesh bypolls: Counting of votes ensues in Shahdol, Nepanagar

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Bhopal: The counting of votes in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol parliamentary constituency and Nepanagar assembly constituency began amid tight security on Tuesday morning, an official said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Polls in Bhopal were held on 19 November.

Initially the postal ballots were being counted which would be followed by the votes recorded in the EVMs, said an official from the Chief Election Commissioner’s office.

The counting for the Shahdol seat was being carried out at four district headquarters, while the Nepanagar counting was at Burhanpur district headquarter.

For the Shahdol seat Congress’ Himadri Singh and BJP’s Gyan Singh were putting up a close fight. There are 17 candidates vying for this seat that fell vacant when BJP MP Dalpat Singh Paraste passed away in June.

Even the Nepanagar seat is being fought between BJP’s Manju Dadu and Congress’ Antar Singh. There are only four candidates from this seat.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 09:32 IST

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Demonetisation: Rahul Gandhi visits a third ATM to discuss problems faced by people

Demonetisation: Rahul Gandhi visits a third ATM to discuss problems faced by people

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday visited an ATM in the city and interacted with the people standing in the queue, the Indian National Congress (INC) tweeted.

“Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met people standing in queue early morning outside an ATM in Jahangirpuri area, Delhi,” said the tweet.

The information initially tweeted by the Youth wing of the Congress party was later retweeted by the INC.

During the interaction, Gandhi asked the people about the difficulties they faced after the demonetisation of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

This was Gandhi’s third ATM visit post the Centre’s demonetisation move on 8 November.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 11:15 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 17th, 2016

ENG 142 7 92.5

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Kanpur train accident: Rajnath Singh asks NDRF to help in rescue and relief measures

Kanpur train accident: Rajnath Singh asks NDRF to help in rescue and relief measures

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday took stock of the situation in the wake of the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express in Kanpur and asked the Director General of National Disaster Response Force to rush to the spot.

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFPFile photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

The Home Minister asked NDRF Chief OP Singh to provide all assistance to the Railway authorities and Uttar Pradesh government in relief and rescue operations.

The Home Minister also spoke to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu about the accident and took stock of the situation, official sources said.

Three NDRF teams have been rushed from Varanasi and Lucknow to the accident spot. There are 45 personnel in each team.

63 people were killed and over 150 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours of Sunday.

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 10:05 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 17th, 2016

IND 184 9 59.4

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 17th, 2016

NZ 108 2 31.3

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Pakistan military claims downing of Indian drone

Pakistan military claims downing of Indian drone

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Islamabad: The Pakistan Army on Saturday claimed to have shot down an Indian drone which it alleged had “intruded” into Pakistani territory across the heavily-guarded LoC.

“Indian quadcopter has been shot down by Pakistani troops at 1645 (hrs), fell in Pak territory & taken over by Pak troops,” army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted.

He claimed the drone had “intruded 60 metres into the Pakistan side of LoC” and its debris “fell near Agahi Post in Rakhchakri Sector”.

There have been a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along the LoC and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that have resulted in the death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 29 after the Uri terror attack.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 21:02 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 17th, 2016

IND 98 3 34.0

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 17th, 2016

PAK 129 7 66.0

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ZIM vs WI | Nov 19th, 2016

WI 257 8 50.0

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Assam: Rajnath Singh speaks to CM Sarbananda Sonowal after militant ambush in Tinsukia

Assam: Rajnath Singh speaks to CM Sarbananda Sonowal after militant ambush in Tinsukia

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the situation in the wake of ambush by militants in which three army personnel were killed and a few others injured.

During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Sonowal briefed the Union Home Minister about the militant attack, the situation arising of the incident and the steps taken to nab the culprits.

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFPFile photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

“I am deeply anguished by the death of army soldiers in an attack in Tinsukia and pray for speedy recovery of the injured. We are monitoring the situation,” Singh said.

Three jawans were killed and four others seriously injured in the ambush by a joint group of ULFA(I) and NSCN(K) militants at Pengeri in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday.

A group of about 15 militants attacked an army convoy early this morning and severely damaged two vehicles killing one jawan on the spot and seriously injuring six others, a defence spokesman told PTI.

Two of the injured succumbed to their injuries on way to the hospital, he said.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 13:33 IST

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IND vs ENG | Nov 17th, 2016

IND 7 0 4.3

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 17th, 2016

PAK 129 7 66.0

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ZIM vs WI | Nov 19th, 2016

ZIM 46 1 13.0

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Women should come out to work for nation building: Mohan Bhagwat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday called upon India’s women to come forward and contribute in rebuilding the nation and taking it to new heights.”The women force (Matri Shakti) apart from serving their families, should come out and work for the country and the society, which will lead to the nation to the new heights and rebuild the nation,” Bhagwat said while addressing a women conference here today. “Women should come forward and take part in the programmes for the welfare of the society. They should start from their homes to create mini-India and work for the society without getting distracted by anybody. They should start from their homes,” he said.”Till India’s ‘matra shakti’ (women power) turns active and comes forward, India will not be able to achieve its potential and pristine glory. Our matra shakti can act as a guiding force to the world,” said the RSS supremo.Because of the guidance of womenfolk, entire world is making progress and a country cannot be taken to new heights without the contribution from the women force, he said. “The society is composed of 50 per cent of the females and it is because of that the womenfolk are most important component in the progress of the society. There is no possibility of change of destiny of a country, society and family without the change of the destiny of the womenfolk,” Bhagwat said.He said that no comparison should be held between women and the men folk. “It should not be projected that men are superior or women are superior, but both working together for the welfare of the society are supreme”, he said. “It is important to educate womenfolk because a mother is the basic teacher to her children and women have taught and inculcated sense of sacrifice among the children and the society in the country,” he said.

India doesn’t need PM Modi’s tears, but solution to financial crunch: Sisodia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lambasting the Centre’s move of demonetisation to curb black money, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said the people of the nation don’t need Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emotion but a solution to the ongoing financial crisis.”The people now don’t need the Prime Minister’s tears but a solution. The solution is not about the long queues at the ATMs ‘it’s a huge problem. Business is suffering due to this. The farmers cannot cultivate now due to your policies you will be able to see the result after five to six months in the form of inflation,” Sisodia told ANI.Asserting that the nation has elected him to fight corruption and questioned if he should not do it, Prime Minister Modi turned emotional on Sunday and said that he left his home and family for the nation.The Prime Minister, who was speaking for the first time on demonetisation after announcing the decision on November 8, also used the occasion to hit back at those questioning his bold and effective step to combat corruption and menace of black money.Silencing his critics, the Prime Minister said in Goa that his decision was not a display of arrogance but aimed at fulfilling the commitments made to the nation.Earlier on November 8, Prime Minister Modi took a major step and announced demonetisation of Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said people holding notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.In a press release, the government reassured there is enough cash with the RBI and supply of cash to bank branches and ATMs are being stepped up gradually.

Watch | Demonitisation: PM Modi gets emotional, says I left my family and home for nation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday broke down while speaking about demonitisation after laying foundation stone of Mopa greenfield airport in Goa.”I was not born to sit on a chair of high office. Whatever I had, my family, my home…I left it for the nation,” said Modi as he got emotional.Stating that the demonetisation was a major step to fight black money and corruption, Modi said, “People had asked me to fight graft. The people have chosen a government and they expect so much from it. In 2014 so many people voted to free the nation from corruption.”The Prime Minister also took a dig at previous governments and said they neglected this (blackmoney) issue. “Did I hide anything? We took a key step to help honest citizen to defeat the menace of graft. We will take action against ‘benami’ property. This is major step to eradicate graft, black money,” he said.”If any money that was looted in India and has left Indian shores, it is our duty to find out about it,” Modi added.He also highlighted that for the first time Rs 67,000 crore black money deposited under amnesty scheme and total of Rs 1,25,000 crore has been deposited in government exchequer.The Prime Minister also said that if he commit any mistake, he is ready to face any punishment the country will give him. “I promise to deliver a corruption-free India. This suffering is for 50 days; After leanliness, not even a mosquito can fly. People in 2G scam have to stand in queue for Rs 4000.”

Ramdev backs demonetisation, says ‘nothing is bigger than the nation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the nation over the decision to scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee currency notes, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on Sunday urged the people to maintain patience while stating that nothing is bigger than the country.Justifying his assertion, Ramdev said black money, corruption, terrorism, Naxalism and most importantly fake currency has been attacked in one go by Prime Minister Modi post demonetisation of currency. “Huge inconvenience has been caused that can be lessened and the government is trying to do so but the people shouldn’t condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi” he said.”During war, our soldiers fight without eating food for seven to eight days. So, can’t we do the same for our nation? Many people are showing their opposition to the Prime Minister but nothing is bigger than the nation,” he added.Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi took a major step to check black money and announced demonetisation of 500 and 1000 currency notes.In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said the people possessing notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can deposit the same in their banks and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.With the people facing trouble post this announcement, the government later on Friday extended the existing exemptions on paying public utility bills till November 14.In a press release, the government reassured that there is enough cash with the RBI and supply of cash to bank branches and ATMs are being stepped up gradually.

How PM Modi announced the decision to invalidate Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking the nation by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight announced demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption. In his first televised address to the nation, Modi said people holding notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.In his 40-minute address, first in Hindi and later in English, the Prime Minister said the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 “will not be legal tender from midnight tonight” and these will be “just worthless piece of paper.” However, he said that all notes in lower denomination of Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Re 1 and all coins will continue to be valid. He also announced that new notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 will be introduced.ATM withdrawals will be restricted to Rs 2000 per day and withdrawals from bank accounts will be limited to Rs 10,000 a day and Rs 20,000 a week. Banks will remain closed tomorrow and ATMs will also not function tomorrow and day after, Modi said. He expressed confidence that the staff of banks and post offices will rise to the occasion to introduce the new order within the available time.He also expressed confidence that political parties, workers, social organisations and the media will go further than the government in making it a success. Besides depositing money in bank accounts, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes can also be exchanged with lower denomination currency notes at designated banks and post offices on production of valid government identity cards like PAN, Aadhaar and Election Card from November 10 to November 24 with a daily limit of Rs 4000.Those unable to deposit Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes till December 30 this year can do so in designated RBI offices till March 31 next year after filling a declaration form along with proof and reasons, the Prime Minister said.Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will be valid for transactions related to booking of air tickets, railway bookings, government bus ticket counters and hospitals till the midnight of November 11 and 12.”Banks will be closed tomorrow. It will cause some hardship to you….Let us ignore these hardships… In country’s history, there comes a moment when people will want to participate in the nation building and reconstruction. Very few such moments come in life,” Modi said. While making the announcement, the Prime Minister saidthe sweeping measures were aimed at curbing the “disease” of corruption and black money which have taken deep root.”There is a need for a decisive war against the menace of corruption, black money and terrorism… Corruption, black money and terrorism are festering wounds which make the country hollow from within,” he said, adding such activities hold back the nation’s progress.Describing illegal financial activities as the “biggest blot”, Modi said that despite several steps taken by his government over the last two-and-a-half years, India’s global ranking on corruption had moved only to 76th position from 100th earlier.”This shows the extent of the web of corruption in the country. The disease of corruption is the domain of some veted people who are flourishing. Some people have misused their positions and benefitted. On the other hand, honest people are suffering,” he said.He linked fake currency to terrorism and questioned how enemies of the countries are using such methods to harm India.”We have to get rid of this termite of corruption,” he said.

Arnab Goswami after Times Now: ‘Star’ anchor needs reinvention to beat audience fatigue

Do you recall the last time a news anchor leaving his job raising sound bytes, digital space reporting it and newspaper columns being devoted it? Times Now anchor’s leaving his job, a normal step that most employees take, has become a talking point for the nation. Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of Times Now, is a brand of his own and his absence will be reflected in the ‘low’ Television Rating Points (TRPs).

According to a report by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Goswami, commands nearly 76 percent of the English news viewership in the time band between  9 pm to 11 pm, when he hosts his show ‘Newshour’.

Goswami, an enfant terrible of Indian news media, elicits extreme reactions from viewers. They either love his style of journalism or dislike his in-your-face insults and jibes. However, his triumph is: No one can ignore the news anchor and his style of opinionated news.

Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18

Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18

How will Goswami’s change of employer or entrepreneurship affect him? Will Times Now, the channel suffer on account of his departure? Will he be able to recreate the magic with another channel?

The extreme reactions that Goswami provokes with his channel leaves a bank of mixed viewership, not surprising given his forceful arguments, his lack of a patience on the show and his defensiveness counted in sheer decibels. Brand specialists see him as a brand that evokes extreme reactions but these qualities have worked for him and the channel. Experts rule out chances of his persona being impacted because he leaves a familiar territory such as Times Now where he has worked for a decade.

The ‘Brand Arnab’

‘Brand Arnab’ is a bigger part of Newshour, says Harish Bijoor, Chief Executive Officer of brand and business strategy firm Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. He says many brands are ensconced in ‘Brand Arnab’ like the channel – Times Now, Newshour Live and Newshour. “However, the anchor is the biggest portfolio among them all. The program is associated with the anchor,” says Bijoor.

What has worked for Brand Arnab are a mix of factors. The change in society from Doordarshan days of yore is one of them. Some of DD anchors were brands too. For instance, Tejeshwar Singh was known for his baritone or Minu Talwar was known for his impeccable news-reading. Bijoor says that Arnab’s face with the boy-next-door image and an earnestness to get to the nitty gritties is what has endeared him to his audience. “At the end of the day, you want an anchor you can identify with and Arnab fits that bill. When a news anchor talks to his audience, he looks into the eyes of the audience and then the voice and tenor takes over. Arnab succeeded on all counts,” believes Bijoor.

Goswami is credited for making news hour less about news and more about opinions which is often explained in his now-famous catch phrase, “The Nation Wants To Know”. He verbally pummelled his way through discussions, swatted off the ones who had contradictory views and tried hard to be heard in the din that the Newshour program is. “That was the gap in news programs in India that Arnab filled and got the audience with him,” says Bijoor, adding that his absence on Newshour was reflected in low TRPs.

The loyalty that ‘Brand Arnab’ commands is reflective of his popularity, say experts. He fulfills the expectations from a brand such as loyalty, brand recall. “However what stands out is his commitment,” says Bijoor.

Would ‘Brand Arnab’ work in another setting with this same format? Both agree it would not, unless he reinvents himself. “Times Now and ‘Brand Arnab’ are the yin and yang that worked with each other and both will have to reinvent themselves as they leave this partnership.

The future

When stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma decided to leave channel Colours and move his show to Sony TV, the audience took time to accept the change,  says Bijoor. He says that this is a possibility as audience association with the anchor and the channel is as one entity.

The fact that he is being talked about is a victory in itself, says Alpana Parida, Managing Director, DY Works, a Mumbai-based brand strategy and brand design. Parida gives an example of RK Laxman and his pocket cartoons that were eagerly awaited by the his fans. “I know the reference is a bit stretched but Arnab focusses on the issues that affect people and is bold enough to ask questions till he gets the answers.”

She says Goswami is a bigger brand than the channel. “Arnab’s loyal audience will follow him. His news program is more about opinions and analysis of facts. But he scored over the other channels because he asked the uncomfortable questions to his guests that people wanted to know and were afraid to ask. He has been teased, many have taken potshots at him but the fact is he managed to catch the ‘pulse of the nation’, as he would term it. And he is right,” says Parida.

The channel and the anchor will be closely watched in the future to monitor how they fare without each other. “As long as there are people who want to know what is happening in the country and want people in power to be questioned relentlessly, there will be an audience for Arnab,” says Parida.

Will it still be ‘The Nation Wants To Know’ or a new coinage. The verdict will be soon out as Goswami makes his views felt from a different channel.

After ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ stir, MNS’ next target is traders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Emboldened by its successful campaign against Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, MNS now wants traders to “sacrifice” their business with Pakistan for the sake of the “nation” even as cotton exporters today observed that the Raj Thackeray-led outfit’s stand will affect the industry.The stir by MNS against release of the Karan Johar film for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan blew over on Saturday following mediation by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a tripartite meeting among Thackeray, Johar, and Producers’ Guild president Mukesh Bhatt at the CM’s residence.Exploiting the controversy to the hilt ahead of the Mumbai municipal corporation polls next year, Thackeray on Saturday asked the filmmakers who had worked with Pakistani actors to contribute Rs 5 crore as “prayaschit” (penance) money to the Army Welfare Fund. MNS spokesperson Shalini Thackeray on Sunday demanded that the traders should sacrifice business for the sake of nation.”Nation should be first. If jawans are sacrificing their lives (at border), why can’t traders sacrifice their trade? Money making should be the secondary priority in case of Pakistan,” she said.”Pakistan has already violated the clauses of MFN status given by India. Now, it’s high time that India isolate Pakistan, not only on cultural issues but on trade (front) as well. Banning the film (ADHM) was only to set an example that India has started to isolate Pak…next comes trade,” she told PTI.The senior leader said MNS will definitely play its role in ensuring that all kinds of trade with Pakistan are stopped.”However, the government will have to play a major role as far as trade is concerned,” she said.Meanwhile, concerned over rising tensions between the two countries after the Uri attack coupled with aggressive posturing by MNS, the cotton traders said they are afraid of losing business to the tune of Rs 5,500 crore with Pakistan. Maharashtra is a major contributor in cotton manufacturing states, followed by Gujarat.According to Sharadram Sejpal, spokesperson of Power Loom Association, India had placed an order to import 20,000 bales cotton from Pakistan in June as there was low production in the domestic market.”Generally, we export cotton to Pakistan. But June period was bad. At a time when we are expecting a record breaking production (of cotton), MNS’s stand against Pakistani actors has affected the cotton industry as well and powerloom industry will ultimately have to suffer,” Sejpal said. He demanded that the Raj Thackeray-led party should keep politics away from trade.Reacting to this, Shalini said, “Cotton associations should themselves come up and stop exporting to Pak, instead of them banning our imports.”According to Pradeep Jain, who operates a ginning mill in Jalgaon, Maharashtra will record a bumper production of cotton this year as monsoon has been very good.”We will produce around 1 crore cotton bales (1 bale equals to 170 kg) this year and if exports are stuck due to sentiments of patriotism after Uri attack by Pakistan, it will have a negative impact on the cotton industry, specifically on cotton growing farmers,” he said.Jain said that Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China are the major importers of Indian cotton.”Pakistan starts import of cotton from September every year. It consumes an average of 20 to 25 lakh bales whereas Bangladesh consumes 20 lakh bales from Indian cotton exporters,” Jain said. Out of the total cotton production, an average 65 lakh bales of cotton are exported from India alone.

Trump would 100 percent accept election result if it’s fair, son | Reuters

Trump would 100 percent accept election result if it’s fair, son | Reuters

Updated: Oct 23, 2016 21:08 IST

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By Ginger Gibson and Alana Wise
| WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will “100 percent” accept the results of the U.S. election if it is fair, his son Eric Trump said on Sunday.“I think what my father is saying is, ‘I want a fair election,’” Eric Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.” “If it’s a fair outcome, he will absolutely accept it. There’s no question about that.”With national opinion polls showing Clinton with an increasing lead over Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Donald Trump has repeatedly said the election is being “rigged” against him. He has not offered evidence and numerous studies have shown that the U.S. election system, which is decentralized and run by the states, is sound.At last week’s debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump challenged a cornerstone of American democracy by refusing to commit to honoring the result of the U.S. election.

“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” Trump said.In the aftermath of the debate, Trump said he would accept the election outcome “if I win.” Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, also was pressed on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” on whether Trump would accept the election results.

“The system is rigged, especially against the little guy,” said Conway without directly responding to the question. She spoke of any challenges to the election results as “hypothetical.”The efforts by members of Trump’s inner circle to downplay his remarks about the integrity of the election indicate he would come under significant pressure to accept the result if he were to lose.

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said that by asking Trump to agree to concede, the media was making an extraordinary request. He said Trump would only fight if the election were close and is not trying to dispute a fair election. “That’s not quite what he’s saying. What he’s saying is he wants to reserve all options and if there is ground for a recount I’ll reserve all options,” Priebus said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” Clinton and Trump will campaign on Sunday in the key swing states of Florida and North Carolina, where the latest polls show they are within only a few points of each other. (Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Alana Wise; Editing by Bill Trott)

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

PM Modi urges citizens to send their messages to jawans this Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heightened tension on the border, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a campaign through which people can send their Diwali greetings and messages to soldiers guarding the nation’s frontiers to boost their morale.People can send messages under the #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign on the Narendra Modi App, through MyGov.in, and also through All India Radio. Doordarshan shall also be mounting a programme to share people’s emotions with the Armed Forces.The Prime Minister, who is leading the campaign, said in a tweet, “I sent my #Sandesh2Soldiers. You could also do the same. Your wishes will certainly make our forces very happy.””This Diwali, let us remember our courageous armed forces who constantly protect our Nation. Jai Hind,” he said.”When 1.25 crore people stand with the soldiers, their power increases by 1.25 crore times,” the Prime Minister said.As part of the campaign, the Prime Minister has shared through social media, a special video, featuring his appeal to the people to send messages to the brave Armed Forces personnel.Within hours, the video has generated tremendous interest on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.The great respect and admiration that the nation has for our Armed Forces, will find expression this festive season, through the campaign being led by the Prime Minister, the PMO said in a release.A special module has been launched on the Narendra Modi App, which enables people to send greetings or their hand-written messages to the Armed Forces.The #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign is expected to generate increased interaction between the people and the Armed Forces.The campaign comes against the backdrop of the surgical strikes carried out by the Army on terror launch pads in PoK and the heightened border tension.Earlier this month, at an event in Bhopal, the Prime Minister had focused on the human element of the jawans. His appeal to people to applaud jawans when they meet them, has also created a buzz on social media.This is not the first time that Modi is focusing on the armed forces. He spent his last two Diwalis as the Prime Minister with the Army.

JeM chief Masood Azhar asks Pakistan to ‘open the path’ for terrorism against India

Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar has asked the Pakistani government “to open the path” for terrorism and jihadist groups so that they can escalate their operations against India.

The Indian Express reported that in an appeal published in the current issue of al-Qalam, the Jaish weekly magazine, Azhar had said that “a lack of decisive decision-making” could rob Pakistan of a “historic opportunity” to take control over Kashmir.

A file photo of Masood Azhar. Reuters

A file photo of Masood Azhar. Reuters

“If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016,” the report quoted Azhar as saying.

“Consider India before and after the jihad in Kashmir…You will see a dramatic difference. In the course of this journey, which I have been an eyewitness to, I have seen India reduced from a serpent to an earthworm,” Azhar further said in the appeal.

Azhar’s anti-India remarks come after a leading Pakistani daily on Wednesday asked the civilian and military establishment why action against Azhar and JuD’s Hafiz Saeed was “danger” to the country’s national security.

The strong editorial in The Nation, considered close to the government and military establishment, came as a prominent journalist, Cyril Almeida, of Dawn was banned from leaving Pakistan because of his front-page report on a rift between the military and the civilian government over the military’s covert support to militant groups like the Haqqani network, Taliban and the LeT.

The editorial titled ‘How to Lose Friends And Alienate People‘ said the government and the military instead of taking actions against Azhar and Saeed was lecturing the press.

Azhar and Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, roam freely in Pakistan and are belived to have the protection of the military.

The daily said in its editorial that it was a “disturbing day when civilian and military top leadership meet to lecture the media on how to do their job.”

“Apparently, a barrage of online abuse, and three official denials were not enough to assuage tempers riled after Mr Almeida’s exclusive story in Dawn, detailing an unusual exchange between the very same civilian and military top brass that yesterday issued forth a statement on the violation of ‘universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues’,” the editorial said.

“The report by Mr Almeida has been called ‘fabricated’, and ‘speculative reporting’. But the government and military top brass in yesterday’s meeting delivered no explanation for why government MNA’s are protesting the visible presence of banned outfits in Pakistan. Or why possible action against Masood Azhar, or Hafiz Saeed is a danger to ‘national security’. Or why Pakistan faces increasing isolation? We’re all ears.”

“Instead, how dare the government and military top brass lecture the press on how to do their job. How dare they treat a feted reporter like a criminal. And how dare they imply that they have either the right or the ability or the monopoly to declare what Pakistan’s ‘national interest’ is,” it said.

“And for Mr Almeida, nothing but solidarity. More power to you, and to your pen. The press stands with you,” it added.

With inputs from PTI

India urges United Nations to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as terrorist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday urged the United Nations that its expected to proscribe Masood Azhar as a terrorist. “We convey to United Nations that it is expected to proscribe Masood Azhar as a terrorist. It will send a dangerous message if fails to act,” said MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.”It is expected to proscribe Masood Azhar under the 1267 sanctions regime, on the basis of our submission, which will send a strong signal to all terror groups that international community will not pursue or tolerate selective approach to terrorism,” said Swarup.He further commented upon China extending hold on move to ban Azhar. “14 countries were on one side and one country on the other, so that led to this extension,” said Swarup.On Pakistan’s denial of surgical strikes having taken place, Swarup said that truth will come out no matter how hard it is concealed. “Truth comes out no matter how hard one tries to conceal it. Pakistan has once again self-implicated itself,” Swarup said. Commenting upon Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation status, he said, “Promoting prosperity with neighbours has been govt’s priority, but terror can’t be the product exported.”Swarup also added that the issue of blocking Brahmaputra tributary will be taken up with China by the govt.

Bihar liquor ban: Govt moves SC against Patna HC’s order; new policy also challenged

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after launching a new policy on liquor with harsher provisions, the Bihar government on Monday moved Supreme court against the Patna High Court order quashing the state government’s April 5 order on prohibition, describing it as ultra vires of Constitution.The unfazed state government took the step of approaching Supreme Court, after it came out with a new law banning liquor with more harsh provisions like the arrest of all adults in the event of recovery of the contraband in their house on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.The government notified the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 to ensure that the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) as well spiced and domestic liquor continued in the state.However, the new policy of the state government has also been challenged. ANI reported that the new liquor policy of the Bihar government was being challenged in the High Court by a former professor of Patna University who has filed an RTI.CM Nitish Kumar had on Sunday said that the new liquor law would be a real tribute to the Father of the Nation when the state is readying to observe the centenary celebration of Gandhiji’s Champaran Satyagraha against British rule from the state in early 2017. The new liquor law came into force in Bihar barely two days after the Patna High Court had on Friday quashed its April 5 notification.

Mehbooba Mufti asks Kashmiris to embrace Gandhi’s ahimsa philosophy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her state limping to normalcy after nearly two months of unrest, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Gandhi Jayanti said following the philosophy of peace and brotherhood will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by the people in the Valley.Paying tributes to Father of the Nation, she said his philosophy of non-violence, harmonious co-existence and mutual respect will always remain relevant, more so in today’s world marred by varied political and ethnic conflicts. She said over the years Jammu and Kashmir has suffered colossal losses in terms of precious human lives, economic dispossession, cultural disintegration and educational dis-empowerment because of the turmoil.Mehbooba said Kashmir’s true picture is that of communal harmony and religious tolerance.Noting that her government be given time and space to mitigate the sufferings of the people, the Chief Minister said, “We can pay greatest tribute to Gandhi Ji by adopting his philosophy of non-violence and mutual respect.” “Help me bring back peace and I will find a way for dialogue to resolve the issues,” Mehbooba said.She said contrary to the ideal situation of maximum resources being utilized for addressing issues like poverty alleviation and unemployment, they are getting diverted towards defence and security.”Peace and harmony are therefore need of the hour, especially in the South Asian Region where the people are still plagued by poverty and impoverishment,” she added.The Chief Minister said under the prevailing situation on this day we need to resolve to give peace a chance.She said, “Violence has not achieved anything but only brought miseries to the people in terms of development, economy, business, trade, tourism and education.” Recalling the turbulent period during the partition when Mahatma Gandhi “saw a ray of hope in Kashmir alone”, she said Kashmir’s age-old traditions of amity and brotherhood have survived several threats in the past and it would continue to uphold the virtues of a civilized society in the future also.She said public policy must go beyond symbolism of standing for Gandhian philosophy and focus on religious harmony, equality of all religious communities and acceptance of diversity “as the basis of our nationhood which were integral to Gandhi’s way of approaching collective identity”.”A hundred years ago, Gandhi began to move Indian society in the direction of a nationhood that was non-competitive, non-combative and non-exclusionary. Nowhere in the world was there a precedent for such nationhood,” she said.”It is time to rediscover India as a symbol of that inclusive nationhood which forms the central pillar of the country’s present,” she said. Mehbooba said the biggest challenge the world faces today is that of violence and chaos. “Be it a large country like America or a smaller ones like Bangladesh, no one considers itself at absolute peace.” She said, “We have forgotten values of peace and brothe -hood, which we need to revive and if there is any time when Gandhi Ji’s ideals and philosophy are most needed, it is now.” With regard to the special sanitation drive, the Chief Minister lauded the work of Srinagar Municipal Corporation under the prevailing situation in the Valley.Mufti said Gandhiji believed that cleanliness was next to godliness and this drive should help imbibe in us the habit of keeping our surroundings and cities clean.She said specific instructions have been given to the LAWDA authorities with respect to maintaining cleanliness of the Dal Lake. She said if we need to conserve the beauty of Srinagar city we need to conserve Dal Lake and stressed that no encroachments shall be allowed within the area and any such construction will be strictly dealt with. Mehbooba meets Guv, discusses security situationJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Governor N N Vohra and discussed the prevailing situation including the problems faced by the border area residents in the wake of surgical strikes carried out by Army along the Line of Control.”The Governor and the Chief Minister discussed the internal security situation and steps taken to deal with the problems faced by the residents of border villages consequent to the counter-terrorism operations recently carried out by the Army across the LoC,” an official spokesman said.He said they also discussed issues relating to the education sector and measures required to revive economic activities.

Gandhi Jayanti: For today’s youngsters, Mahatma is the man who got shot

Mahatma who? Welcome to 2 October.

Are parents and teachers not sending out messages from our history, or is it packaged so badly that heroes of our recent past have become cardboards, and unreal, in both dimension and relevance to the new generation?

Since I lecture a lot of young people on mass communication and corporate conduct, I thought I would conduct a kind of spot Q&A and check out their level of signposting.

Mahatma Gandhi. Getty Images.

Mahatma Gandhi. Getty Images.

It is a surprising thought, especially since several of these under-18s (and some young executives) had no idea who JFK was. They didn’t have a clue either on what a Walkman was, or, how, once upon a time, not so long ago, we had Television sets without remote controls.

I asked a bunch of NRI youngsters if they knew anything about Mahatma Gandhi. I did it over the week as a sort of exercise-in-curiosity. After all, it is 2 October and there are no NRIs where I live are singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

The answers are inscribed as honestly as I remember them. If the language is casual, it is not as disrespecting as the slang and ‘txt’ style that marks today’s expensive education.

I was told he was the dude who got shot, right, like John Lennon.

I was informed with great panache by another aspiring bank executive that he is the Father of the Nation because he told the Brits to get lost and he went to England in winter in a dhoti to meet Winston Churchill. This saga in awareness was further accentuated by the pithy remark that he said, ‘Hey Ram’ when he got shot.

A third member of this group said that Richard Attenborough made a cool film and Gandhi was a tough guy who wouldn’t get off the train in South Africa because he sat in a whites-only compartment and they wanted to boot him out.

He made his own clothes, said a young graduate, looking for a job, and sewed them himself.

Can you stitch? Naaaaaa, he replied, followed by giggles.

A young lady studying Mass Communication was not sure whether he died on 2 October or he was born on that day. But it was a ‘Jayanti’ day, she said, when she was invited to attend a classical dance festival at the Embassy. She couldn’t go because her friend was having a bridal shower.

One reasonably erudite man asked me if he wasn’t the person who stayed in jail like (Nelson) Mandela and used to write letters to his daughter. I told him that it was Nehru who did that. He said, yeah,right, but they were friends, so I am pretty close.

Pretty close, sir.

A young girl looked lovingly at her boyfriend and said, he is the person who promoted khadi.

I was hoping somebody would mention non-violence, the inspiration he gave to Mandela and Martin Luther King, among so many others.

It didn’t get on the stage.

Pretty close. Maybe we don’t need to know. Maybe our youngsters have more important stuff to Google, Facebook, and tweet. Or, may be, we have made Gandhi unreal on this pedestal that today’s 24×7 generation hasn’t got the capacity to figure it out as they whizz down the information highway.

I did not indict any of these people. Neither their parents nor their schools. Not even the authorities. We have all become derelict about the heroes of the past.

We trot out Gandhi on the right day and knock off a few ‘Bapu’ oriented rewrites from the library files. We have made him so inaccessible as a human being that we are in danger of losing him entirely. And why should we know him when Indian leaders don’t, and not even one in ten could, speak of him and his life with any authority.

I didn’t even say anything rude to the lady who said he was on a play when he was shot.

Prayer, play, Lincoln, Gandhi, same difference.

Gandhi Jayanti: Pranab Mukherjee, Narendra Modi lead tributes

New Delhi: The nation on Sunday remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his 147th birth anniversary, with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders paying floral tributes to him at his memorial in New Delhi.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior BJP leader L K Advani also paid tributes to the Father of the Nation.

“Gandhiji made this world a better place. His ideals, dedication to the poor & struggle against injustice inspire,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

Clad in a white kurta and pyjama, Modi, who arrived at 7:40 am, paid homage to the Mahatma by offering rose petals at his memorial and performing a ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation) around it.

Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Rao Inderjit Singh, and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad too joined in paying homage to the Father of the Nation.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who arrived along with his deputy Manish Sisodia, also paid tributes to the Mahatma on his birth anniversary.

Ambassadors of several countries and other dignitaries attended the function. A large number of school children had also gathered at the venue to pay homage.

An all-faith prayer meeting was held on the occasion.

dna Evening Must Reads: India has presented proof of Pak’s involvement in Uri attack, updates on Cauvery row; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Uri attack: India has given proof of Pakistan’s involvement to Abdul Basit, says MEAMEA Spokesperson, Vikas Swarup on Tuesday said that Foreign Secretary Jaishankar met with Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and presented him proof of cross-border origins of Uri attack. In a series of tweets, Swarup revealed the identities of the two guides who helped infiltration and also the identity of one of the slain Uri attackers. Read more.2. Cauvery row: SC orders Karnataka govt to release 6000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 3 days from todayThe Supreme Court has ordered Karnataka government to release 6000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for three days from Tuesday. Karnataka has said in its plea that its reservoirs are dry and it can only release water to Tamil Nadu by the end of the year. Read more.3. PM Modi to review ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan’; calls meeting on ThursdayAfter talking tough on Indus Waters Treaty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting to review Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. Read more.4. Will approach UN if India violates Indus Water Treaty: PakPakistan will approach the UN and the International Court of Justice if India suspends the 58-year-old Indus Waters Treaty, the country’s top diplomat Sartaj Aziz said on Tuesday, insisting the revocation of the treaty can be taken as an “act of war”. Read more. 5. If terrorism can be stopped by banning actors then they should do it: Varun DhawanMNS recently asked Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to leave India, failing which the shooting of their films would be stalled. Actor Varun Dhawan said that it is the government which should decide if terrorism can be stopped by such bans. Read more.

PM Modi to review ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan’; calls meeting on Thursday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After talking tough on Indus Waters Treaty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting to review Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan.PM Modi to hold meeting to review Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan on Thursday, reported PTI.The meeting will be attended by the officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and Commerce Ministry, along with other top officials.The review is being undertaken as India weighs options to give a befitting response to Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack that left 18 soldiers dead.A day ago, in a review meeting on Indus Treaty, Modi said that, “Blood and water cannot flow together.” Apart from deciding to exploit to the maximum the capacity of three of the rivers that are under Pakistan’s control – Indus, Chenab and Jhelum– in the areas of hydro power, irrigation and storage, the meeting also agreed to review the “unilateral suspension” of 1987 Tulbul navigation project. The project was suspended in 2007.Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six rivers – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries. Pakistan has been complaining about not receiving enough water and gone for international arbitration in a couple of cases.

Mann Ki Baat: Join Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on Gandhi Jayanti, urges PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the nation to devote their time to join the cleanliness drive under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ on Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2.Addressing the nation in the 24th edition of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, Prime Minister Modi said, “The citizen of India is becoming cautious about cleanliness. On October 2 this year, everyone can join cleanliness drive by devoting 2-4 hours for it.”He asserted that the people can use the number 1969 to know about progress of Swachh Bharat in their area and for requesting work in their specific areas.”I request everyone to join this cleanliness drive and send pictures and videos on ‘NarendraModiApp’,” he added.He further informed that Porbandar, Gujarat, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi will be Open Defecation-Free (ODF) on October 2, adding that Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala is also moving closer to eliminate open defecation system.Prime Minister Modi said that over 2.48 crores toilets had been built in the rural areas, adding 1.5 crores more toilets will be constructed in 2017.Building toilets in rural India is one of the prime objectives of Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. Its main aim is to make India “open defecation-free” by October 2019 by constructing 12 crore toilets in rural India. Over 1.09 crore toilets were built across the country in the first 11 months of 2015-16.

Nitish Kumar claims crime rate down after alcohol ban in Bihar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday claimed there has been a drastic decline in percentage of crimes in the last two months after complete prohibition was imposed in the state. “Heinous crimes have come down by 15 per cent in last two months,” he told a function in the temple town of Gaya.Likewise, cases of murder have come down by 32% in past two months in the wake of total prohibition since April 5, dacoity by 45 per cent, kidnapping for ransom by 76 per cent and road accidents by 32 per cent during the period, he said quoting police figures.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kumar said a research on prisoners has brought to light the fact that 41 per cent of crimes were committed by them under the influence of liquor. He said there has been a social revolution by declaring Bihar a dry state. People were apprehensive on the success of prohibition in Bihar, but today 70 days have passed and the new rule has been successfully implemented in the state, he said.Kumar, who was addressing a function of women self help groups, exhorted the women in particular to keep strict vigil on prohibition in future too. He said the prohibition order was a tribute to the Father of the Nation when the state was celebrating 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi launching Champaran satyagraha in Bihar.Latter, Kumar presided over a meeting of peoples’ representatives and took their suggestions for developmental works in the region.

India’s reputation surged not because of me, but because of 125 crore people of the country: PM Modi

Ecstatic at 7.9% of growth rate recorded in the last quarter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said there has been a surge in India’s reputation across the globe in recent times, adding this change is not because of him, but because of the 125 crore people living in the nation.Addressing the Indian diaspora here, Prime Minister Modi said, “You are never disconnected from India. People of India in Qatar are never away from India even for a minute .They are re-living India on the soil of Qatar.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”India’s image has been enhanced globally. There is tremendous enthusiasm towards India across the world. Today the whole world is attracted to India, is curious about India. Even you must have felt the change underway inIndia. The change in India has not happened due to Narendra Modi. It is due to the 125 crore people of India,” he added.Prime Minister Modi said at present, the global agencies are in agreement that India is the fastest growing economy in the world.”Our growth rate is high. 7.9% growth has been recorded in India at a time when the country is fighting drought and water shortage. The world economy too is not doing so well at this moment. Yet, despite this India is growing,” he said.The Prime Minister also said that his government his determined to eliminate corruption, which has troubled the nation for long.”We have introduced several schemes for combating corruption, for fiscal discipline and economic reforms.We have decided that the bug of corruption has to be eliminated from our nation. Some scams that come to the fore are so astonishing even to me, forget about the citizens,” he said.”When the leaders of other nations praise the achievements of our diaspora, my heart fills with pride and joy,” he added.

Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah cautions against division of society under garb of ultra-nationalism

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday cautioned against division of society on the basis of religion, saying those doing it under the garb of “ultra-nationalism” were actually doing disservice to the nation.”Fragmenting society in bits and pieces is against the idea of India and its most cherished composite ethos. Those doing it under the garb of ultra nationalism were doing a disservice to the nation,” he said while addressing party workers here. He expressed concern over the “arrogant posturing” of some elements under the mistaken belief of serving national interest and said this in fact harmed the spirit of togetherness and tranquillity. “Time has come when forces inimical to peace and unity are completely isolated,” he said. He emphasised the need for strengthening secular forces, especially in a diverse state like Jammu and Kashmir which has undergone a traumatic phase in the past.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The nation and the state cannot afford division between communities as they can prosper only when people of all faiths and regions get a fair deal and equal treatment in all spheres,” he said. The National Conference President asked the party cadres to work for forging amity between various segments of society and fight divisive tendencies.”The people, especially poor and down-trodden have all along been looking towards the party with a hope and the leadership should reach out to them in the hour of need,” he added.

Sorry BR Ambedkar, modern India has let Dalits down

On April 14, every political party in town, from the Shiv Sena to the BJP, made a huge show of putting BR Ambedkar’s photo on their posters to show their respect for a man who was a political outcast during his lifetime. They celebrate Ambedkar’s legacy as if they’re doing everything in their power to uphold his values. Even the PM went big. Modi visited Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, Ambedkar’s birthplace, and spoke about how Congress had let Ambedkar down as he launched the Gramodaya Se Bharatodaya Abhiyan (Development of the Nation through Development of the Village).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sad truth is that we’ve made little inroads as a nation against caste oppression, despite the lip-service that we continue to pay to this Dalit icon. Most of you reading this can’t imagine what caste oppression stands for because by the virtue of our privilege we’ve never experienced it. Our closest call with caste probably comes when people pick partners or fill up exam forms and lament how life is terrible for general students.While I’ve been one of those complaining about it, only in later life does one realise that a few engineering seats hardly make up for years of oppression, which continues in this day and age. The only reason we don’t’ see it is because the urban Indian has become insulated from the harsh reality that most people in our nation face.Real life isn’t like quantum mechanics and just because you didn’t observe the event doesn’t mean it didn’t occur. In fact, most people’s upbringing is such that we don’t even notice the oppression, as if a certain class of society doesn’t exist at all.The chase for a couple of engineering seats doesn’t begin to make up for the years of atrocities that we have heaped on our Dalit brethren simply by the virtue of their birth.Ambedkar’s journey against untouchability As a youngster, Ambedkar was segregated in school and not allowed to sit with the rest of the children. When they needed water, someone from a higher caste would pour it for them from a height so that they didn’t ‘contaminate’ the water by touching it. This was usually done by the school peon and they would have to forgo the element of life if the peon was absent. Ambedkar would later write about this calling it “No peon, no water”.If we think this is an incident that’s unthinkable in modern-day India, then we need to step out of our comfortable arm-chairs. Dalits, even today, continue to experience caste oppression that existed during Ambedkar’s time.In October 2015, a Dalit student was thrashed by his teacher for touching the mid-day meal plates by his teacher. His father was also thrashed when he came to pick up his son. In November 2015, around 100 children left a school in Kolar in Karnataka, refusing to eat the food dished out by a Dalit cook. The cook, Radhamma, broke down while talking to NDTV and said, “It has been like this since the day I joined in February 2014. The children would not drink the milk I gave them or eat the food I cooked. What can I tell the children? Their parents are telling them not to eat.”In February, at the height of the agitation against Rohith Vemula’s death, a Congress leader wrote to Sonia Gandhi about how he was thrown out of a party meet in Ghaziabad by the party’s district president Om Prakash Sharma. In his letter, he quoted Sharma as saying, “How come you are in this meeting? Your meeting is at 3 pm. This meeting is for big people. Small people like you have no role in this meeting.” Sharma allegedly added, “If people from a Dhobi caste will sit with us, what would be left of our status? We don’t need you here. Your place is under our feet.”In March, a 17-year-old Dalit girl in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district was raped and murdered by her PT teacher in college. Similarly, in April, three young boys from the Kanjar community were thrashed by a mob for stealing a motorcycle in Chittorgarh district.Despite 69 years of independence, the caste system remains strong in both rural or urban India. If you think urban India is free from the spectre of caste, all you have to do is look at the matrimonials in your daily newspaper. Of the 1.72 lakh crimes against SC/STs on trial in 2014, only 13% trials were completed. Reports suggest that crimes against Dalits have increased in 2014. The number of cases registered under the SC/ST atrocities act against Dalits in 2013 was 39,000 while the number rose to 47,000 in 2014.A survey by the NCAER, India’s oldest and largest independent non-profit economic policy research institute, found that one of every four Indian still practised some form of untouchability. Here are some findings from the survey:— 27% admitted to practising some form of untouchability— 52% Brahmins admitted to still practicing it.— State-wise, untouchability is most widespread in Madhya Pradesh (53%), Himachal Pradesh (50%), Chhattisgarh (48%), Rajasthan and Bihar (47%), UP (43%) and Uttarakhand (40%).— West Bengal proved to be the most progressive state with only 1% of the respondents claiming they practised untouchability.In his suicide note, Rohith Vemula had called his birth a fatal accident. He had written: “The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.”Rohith’s suicide note, more than anything, sums up how we continue to oppress. It’s sad that in 2016, this is still an issue. If the political parties really wish to show their support for our Dalit brethren, it’s time they started walking the talk.

Young voices from varsities lighting nation in dark times: Harsh Mandar

Hyderabad: Rights activist and former bureaucrat Harsh Mandar on Monday said the young voices for justice and equality being raised in universities are the sparks which should light the whole nation in these dark times.

Addressing students at University of Hyderabad, he said the young voices in this university, at Jawaharlal Nehru University and other campuses give a hope for the future.

JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid leads a protest demanding justice for Rohith Vemula outside Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTIJNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid leads a protest demanding justice for Rohith Vemula outside Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid leads a protest demanding justice for Rohith Vemula outside Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

He said young people showed how to join hands regardless of identity, birth gender, caste, class, religion and age and how to stand together unitedly to fight politics of injustice, of hatred and of division.

“Perhaps every generation in difficult times will generate its own young people who have vision, imagination and courage to speak truth and reflect on injustices,” said the former IAS officer.

Mandar managed to address students at shopping complex, the venue of student protests, despite the continued ban on entry of activists, leaders and media into the university.

CPI-M MPs from Kerala, activists Teesta Setalvad, Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav and others were stopped from entering the university during last few days.

Mandar was in the university at the invitation of Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication to deliver a talk and he also used the occasion to address the students demanding immediate ouster and arrest of Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao for his alleged role in the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

He said Rohith, through his words in the suicide note, stirred a battle that has grown and spread to many campuses.

“What is troubling establishment is not just young voices speaking truth but reminding us about our unequal and unjust world which we are not ready to accept,” he said.

The human rights activist said Rohith was thrown into such a despair that he had no option but to take his life while the young people in JNU were charged with crime against the nation and called for thousands of people to come out in the form of civil disobedience to challenge the notion who is for the nation and who is against it.

Stressing the need for people standing up in solidarity of victims of injustice, he pointed out that Rohith was described anti-national for raising the issue of Muzaffarnagar riot victims and also of Yakub Memon’s hanging. Kanhiya Kumar got into trouble for raising the issue of justice of Azal Guru’s hanging and of Kashmir.

He pointed out that JNU student Umar Khalid, though a Muslim, did not raise the issues of Muslims but spoke about the injustice being meted out to tribals.

“Many of us are challenged whether we are far the nation or against the nation. We need not to be defensive,” he said.

The former bureaucrat said whether JNU students shout offending slogans or not is not the central issue.

“Regardless of whether they raised slogan or not they should not be victimized. They must have freedom to raise questions even against their nation,” he added.

Terror suspect in ‘Kochi secret training camp case’ arrested by NIA

A 41-year-old fruit vendor, absconding since 2013, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency for alleged role in organising a secret training camp in Kochi’s Narath area by members of Popular Front of India (PFI).According to agency officials, the accused, identified as Abdul Jaleel, was arrested at 3.30 am on Thursday from his wife’s residence in Narath, Kannur. He is being brought to Kochi and will be produced before NIA Special Court. Along with Jaleel, 38-year-old Shihab was also arrested and is currently being questioned by agency sleuths.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the agency, accused PFI members, numbering 24, organised a terrorist camp at Narath and entered into criminal conspiracy to impart training to some youth for using explosives and weapons, with an intention to prepare them for terrorist activities, and to commit acts endangering the unity and integrity of the Nation. 24 people had been accused for their role out of which 21 were convicted last year. Jaleel however managed to remain absconding, according to the agency.According to the agency, Jaleel, a resident of Kannur’s Kizhakkedathu Vadakkepurayil area, was officiating chairman of Thanal foundation which owned the hall where a terrorist training camp was conducted by PFI members.The ownership certificate issued by secretary, Narath Grama Panchayath shows that owner of the above building is Thasneemudheen KP, Chairman, Thanal Foundation Trust. “It was revealed that the above person is the President of PFI, Kannur District Committee and upon service of a notice under sections 43 (F) of UA(P) Act to produce the records of the Trust, he claimed that he was not in possession of the records and that the same were handed over to the present Chairman, Jaleel, through one Mohamed Ajmal,” NIA had found during the probe.”Jaleel, who is presently looking after the affairs of the said Trust was also part of the conspiracy and wilfully facilitated the training in the building under his charge,” reads official documents related to the case.The material objects recovered by the NIA included two swords, a small axe, a nanchang, human target, five lathis, iron-rods, pipes and so on. A cd of Anthony Quinn starrer ‘Lion of the desert’, a film about Libyan tribal leader Omar Mukhtar’s war against Italy was also recovered from the training camp based out of the building.

One commits suicide, five critical after demanding cow be declared ‘Mother of Nation’

In a bizzare incident, six people of the ‘Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti’ in Rajkot were hospitalised after they attempted suicide over their demand that the cow be made the ‘Mother of the Nation.’ One of the six people was declared dead on Thursday.On Wednesday, they gave a memorandum to the Rajkot collector demanding to declare cow as the Mother of the Nation and gave 24 hours time. However, the demand was not taken into consideration and they have informed the authority of self-immolation in the collector office itself. Fortunately, none of them lost their lives and were admitted to hospital in time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They were demanding the gau (cow ) to be declared as the Rashtra Mata and today they also came to demand it and six of them have drunk poison sort of things and they have been arrested and shifted to the Rajkot hospital where couple of them are little serious,” said Police Inspector Kalpesh Chawda.On Wednesday, the activists went to demand the status of cow as the Mother of the Nation and few members from different cities decided to drink poison as part of the protest.The names of the victims are Kamlesh Rabari from Morbi, Amarbhai from Gondal, Raghuvir Singh Jadeja from Ahmedabad, Deepak Vaghela from Jasdana and Jayubha Jadeja from Khiri village. They all are under medical supervision and treatment. The police have put staff in the emergency ward to take stock of the situation.

Did Kanhaiya Kumar check his facts before making his speech? asks JNU professor

New Delhi: Makarand Paranjape, poet and professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, on Monday took on students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charge, asking him whether he checked his facts before delivering the much celebrated speech.

“Kanhaiya said in his celebrated speech Golwalkar met Mussolini. Did you check your facts? it was Moonje who met Mussolini.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

“I am not saying they were not impressed by the fascist, they were. They thought it is a very good idea to have an authoritarian system.

“Please let us agree on what is factual and what is not.

“Fascism stands for anti-democratic position and so does Stalinism,” Paranjape said, while addressing the students at JNU.

“I am proud to belong to a country where one so called judicial murder created such a huge ruckus.

“Do you know how many judicial murders were committed from 1920 to 1950s in Stalin’s USSR?

“Seven hundred and seventy nine ninety nine thousand five hundred and fifty three. Almost a million and how many people were executed for criminal and civil charges? Only 34000,” he added.

Paranjape was speaking at the Speak-in at the administration block, the 15th of the edition.

What, however, stand out was that his speech was interrupted first by sloganeering by Kanhaiya Kumar and was also booed by some students in the audience, unlike other speakers who took a pro-Left position on the issue of Nationalism debate and Paranjape was also made to face questions from audience, again led by Kumar.

Speaking amidst a gathering which was either neutral or pro-Left, Paranjape still took on Kumar’s citing “misrepresentation” during his speech after his release from jail post the interim-bail.

Speaking on the topic “Uncivil wars: Tagore, Gandhi, JNU and What’s left of the Nation?” Paranjape said: “When we (JNU) consider ourselves to be a democratic space we should also ask ourselves if this is entirely true.

“Isn’t it possible that this is a Left hegemonic space, where if you disagree you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are brow beaten, or … (at this point he was shouted before Shehla Rashid, JNUSU VP had to stand up to ask the students to maintain order) but I love JNU too.

“We don’t beat the people we disagree with,” he said.

Attacking the Left politics, the professor asked the audience as to why it is so difficult to accept the legitimacy of the Indian state.

Stating that the present discourse in JNU in particular and in the country in general has destroyed the middle ground, he said that only the extreme are left.

He said by ‘Left of the Nation’ in his topic he want to bring out what left ideology in India has been with respect to nationalism.

“My friend Kanhaiya said ours is the oldest organization and we have fought a lot for independence.

“I want to ask him what about the flip flop that happened by the communist party of India when they suddenly declared that the imperialist war was a people’s war.

“The Community party of India wrote to the British that they will not agitate when you are fighting, we will cooperate with you.

“When he said we fought for Independence of India, I want to know what the evidences.

“We have too many statements from everywhere here, can you show me a statement from North Korea, or even from China. China even today and it is ruled by the communist party of India though it is a capitalist state.

“I have made many Chinese intellectuals in a café, over a drink they will tell you how bad certain things are. But ask them to take out a morcha they can’t.

“So who is democratic and who is not we have to deeply deeply ask ourselves,” he said.

PTI

Did you check facts before making the speech: JNU professor Makarand Paranjape asks Kanhaiya Kumar

Makarand Paranjape, poet and professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday took on students union president Kanhaiya Kumar who is facing sedition charge, asking him whether he checked his facts before delivering the much celebrated speech.”Kanhaiya said in his celebrated speech Golwalkar met Mussolini. Did you check your facts, it was Moonje who met Mussolini. “I am not saying they were not impressed by the fascist, they were. They thought it is a very good idea to have an authoritarian system. “Please let us agree on what is factual and what is not. “Fascism stands for anti-democratic position and so does Stalinism,” Paranjape while addressing the students at JNU.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am proud to belong to a country where one so called judicial murder created such a huge ruckus.
ALSO READ Wowed by speeches of Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi or Kanhaiya Kumar? Think again”Do you know how many judicial murders were committed from 1920 to 1950s in Stalin s USSR. “Seven hundred and seventy nine ninety nine thousand five hundred and fifty three. Almost a million and how many people were executed for criminal and civil charges? Only 34000,” he added. Paranjape was speaking at the Speak-in at the administration block, the 15th of the edition.What, however, stand out was that his speech was interrupted first by sloganeering by Kanhaiya Kumar and was also booed by some students in the audience, unlike other speakers who took a pro-Left position on the issue of Nationalism debate and Paranjape was also made to face questions from audience, again led by Kumar. Speaking amidst a gathering which was either neutral or pro-Left, Paranjape still took on Kumar s citing “misrepresentation” during his speech after his release from jail post the interim-bail.
ALSO READ Modi has met his match in Kanhaiya Kumar: Nayantara SahgalSpeaking on the topic “Uncivil wars: Tagore, Gandhi, JNU and What s left of the Nation?” Paranjape said: “When we (JNU) consider ourselves to be a democratic space we should also ask ourselves if this is entirely true.”Isn t it possible that this is a Left hegemonic space, where if you disagree you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are brow beaten, or … (at this point he was shouted before Shehla Rashid, JNUSU VP had to stand up to ask the students to maintain order) but I love JNU too. “We don t beat the people we disagree with,” he said. Attacking the Left politics, the professor asked the audience as to why it is so difficult to accept the legitimacy of the Indian state. Stating that the present discourse in JNU in particular and in the country in general has destroyed the middle ground, he said that only the extreme are left.He said by ‘Left of the Nation’ in his topic he want to bring out what left ideology in India has been with respect to nationalism. “My friend Kanhaiya said ours is the oldest organization and we have fought a lot for independence. “I want to ask him what about the flip flop that happened by the communist party of India when they suddenly declared that the imperialist war was a people s war.”The Community party of India wrote to the British that they will not agitate when you are fighting, we will cooperate with you. “When he said we fought for Independence of India, I want to know what the evidences.”We have too many statements from everywhere here, can you show me a statement from North Korea, or even from China. China even today and it is ruled by the communist party of India though it is a capitalist state. “I have made many Chinese intellectuals in a caf , over a drink they will tell you how bad certain things are. But ask them to take out a morcha they can t. “So who is democratic and who is not we have to deeply deeply ask ourselves,” he said.

We must respect right of women to equal opportunities: President Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee has said it is the nation’s collective responsibility to create an ecosystem, which ensures safety, security and dignity of women in the society.”On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to the women of India and thank them for their contributions over the years in the building of our nation,” President Mukherjee said in his message on the eve of International Women’s Day.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President said that women have always been given the highest level of respect in our country. “Their protection and safety is a sacred duty of society as a whole. We must respect the right of women to equal opportunities and a dignified life. We have a collective responsibility to create an ecosystem that ensures the safety, security and dignity of women in society,” President Mukherjee said.”On International Women’s Day, let us redouble our efforts for achieving gender equity and empowerment of women. Let us strive to enable our women realise their full potential and participate meaningfully in all aspects of our country’s development,” he added.

India to witness partial solar eclipse in early hours on 9 March

A total solar eclipse will occur on 9 March, and will be visible in most parts of the country as a partial eclipse except the north-west and western parts of the country.

According to a report on The Times of India, the total eclipse phase will begin at 5.47 am local time and will go on till 9.08 am, with the partial phase ending at 10.05 am.

“Start of partial phase of the eclipse will take place just after sunrise from extreme north east India. As one moves towards the east of the country, the duration of the partial eclipse increases reaching upto a duration of about one hour and more in extreme north east India and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” read statement from the Ministry of Earth Science according to a report on News Nation.

Representational photo. Getty Images

Representational photo. Getty Images

The report further states that the obscuration of the Sun by the Moon at the time of its peak phase will vary across various parts of the country — 15 percent in Agartala, 24.5 percent in Bhubaneswar, 11 percent in Guwahati, 18.5 percent in Kolkata, 12 percent in Patna, 49 percent in Port Blair and 12 percent in Silchar.

“However, the greatest phase of the partial eclipse will not be seen from many places in India as the sunrise will take place after the time of occurrence of greatest phase at these places,” added the statement from the Ministry according to The Times of India.

The ministry however, cautioned the public against viewing the celestial event with the naked eye, which could potentially cause permanent damage of the eyes leading to blindness even when the Moon covers most part of the Sun.

“Safe technique to observe the solar eclipse is either by using proper filter like aluminized mylar, black polymer, welding glass of shade number 14 or by making projection of Sun’s image on a white board by telescope,” the Ministry cautioned in their statement according to The Times of India.

Siachen braveheart Hanamanthappa’s wife urges youth to shun ‘anti-national’ activities

Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa’s wife, Mahadevi, on Thursday urged the youth to refrain from indulging in ‘anti-national’ activities.Speaking at an event in Nagpur, Mahadevi said that she was saddened to hear about the recent ‘anti-national’ activities taking place in the nation, adding that youth must be prepared to sacrifice life for the nation.”My husband wanted to join the army. He also got selected in police but he joined army. I heard that anti-national activities are taking place in the country, I am saddened by it. We are born in Bharata and Bharata mata has given us place to live, we are misusing it. I urge youths to not do it. We must be ready to give our lives for the nation,” she said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also said that she would her daughter to the army to serve the nation.”I do not have a son. I will send my daughter for nations service. I will send her to army,” she said.Lance Naik Hanamanthappa breathed his last on February 11 at Army’s Research and Referral Hospital. He had slipped into a deeper state of coma and was extremely critical with worsening multiple organ dysfunctions. He was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented when was evacuated to the army’s base camp at the Siachen Glacier. He was flown to Delhi from Siachen on Tuesday morning in a special air ambulance and admitted to the hospital.Lance Naik Hanumanthappa was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under huge mass of snow for six days at Siachen Glacier.

Now Army veterans add to anti-JNU chorus; plan march against ‘anti-national’ sloganeering

New Delhi: A group of army veterans here will lead a protest march on Sunday against alleged anti-national activities in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which they charged was an “organised attempt” to “balkanize” India.

Addressing a press conference, Major General (Retd) Dhruv C Katoch said the rally has been organised by an “apolitical” group ‘People for Nation’ which has “just been” established.

ABVP, the student wing of RSS, has been actively promoting the event and has sent out invites to the media, which Katoch downplayed claiming political parties “across the spectrum” have been invited to the event.

JNU students at a protest march. Image courtesy: Tarique Anwar/FirstpostJNU students at a protest march. Image courtesy: Tarique Anwar/Firstpost

JNU students at a protest march. Image courtesy: Tarique Anwar/Firstpost

“We are completely for unfettered freedom of speech but there should not be debate on a few things. We will march against anti-national slogans raised during the event at the JNU campus. We simply want to initiate a counter-narrative through this,” Katoch said.

“This clearly is an organised attempt by disruptive forces, possibly with foreign funding, to attempt to balkanize India,” a statement released by the group said, adding such “anti-India” slogans have found resonance in other universities as well as the Kashmir Valley.

Air Marshall (Retd) P K Roy said “anti-national” slogans “demoralise” the soldiers guarding the country’s frontiers. “A few unguided people resort to such activities. As elders, it is our responsibility to guide them,” he said.

The veterans also urged families of martyrs to be present at the ‘March for unity to save the country’ that will begin at Raj Ghat at 10.30 am and culminate with a public meeting at Parliament Street here.

PTI

Progressives, please don’t lose sight of the bigger picture in the ‘National Flag at Central universities’ resolution

Ahead of Independence Day in 1997, Sahib Singh Verma-led Delhi Government had organised the “March of the Nation” from India Gate to Vijay Chowk. The event organised late in the evening to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence, got tremendous popular response. People of all hues landed there, with small Tricolours in their hands and patriotic songs playing in the background. It looked as though the whole nation was marching.

While walking on the majestic Rajpath, I sensed a sudden commotion. An elderly gentleman, as also a young man firmly holding the hand of his three or four-year-old daughter was standing on the grass and was arguing with some men. It just so happened that one of the flags — being held by this group — had been fixed upside down on the small plastic stick. The older man sounded very passionate and emotional — how can you hold our National Flag like this, he asked. It was a matter of our collective pride. All those who gathered around quietly listened to him and the person who held that particular flag said “sorry” and fixed it, with saffron on top.

The matter ended there.

The Indian flag. Getty Images

The Indian flag. Getty Images

We discussed the emotional outpourings of that old man for a while and walked towards the finish to watch a “grand show” that was to follow . That small incident left a lasting impression. It had also happened around the time industrialist Navin Jindal’s petition to allow any citizen to hoist the National Flag at any time during the year at private establishments was pending before the Supreme Court, and had sparked off huge public debates around the subject. Jindal won the legal battle and the Union (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) government brought out a revised Flag code in January 2002.

On Thursday, a  meeting held by Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani with 39 Central universities at scenic Surajkund — on the outskirts of Delhi — adopted a resolution that to instil nationalism and pride, all Central universities will henceforth mandatorily hoist the Tricolour of a specified size that would be visible from a distance. The flag will remain unfurled permanently. It was a resolution, which beyond the publication of news shouldn’t have sparked off a debate. But, it did — the intent, timing, minister’s credentials and the RSS connect on the National Flag was questioned through impassioned debate, in broadcast, print and digital media.

This was taken as a fresh flashpoint by the self styled progressives and liberals, unleashed by a “shameful, opportunistic and ill-intentioned” Narendra Modi government. The cover is convenient — they are not against the National Flag and its hoisting, but against government. But what’s the issue against the government in this matter? Is it because it has ordered the hoisting of the National Flag at a time when the nation — in the wake of the 9 February incident at JNU and subsequent events at the Press Club of India in Delhi, and Jadavpur University in Kolkata — is fiercely debating the national/anti-national debate? The timing of the order is thus suspect and evil-intentioned, they argue.

And yes, that argument against hoisting the National Flag at universities goes to a completely different level — why did the RSS headquarters in Nagpur fly a saffron flag, and not the National Flag for several years? How could this BJP government, with RSS as its ideological fountainhead issue a decree of any kind on the National Flag?

But the impassioned critics tend to forget three things:

First, the issue here is the Tricolour and not the Modi government.

Second, the issue here is a unanimous resolution adopted at a meeting of vice-chancellors of Central universities and not a unilateral decree of the HRD ministry. But their bias against Smriti Irani (granted she is no scholar like her recent predecessors like MM Pallam Raju, Kapil Sibal, Arjun Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi et al) is such that they tend to look at anything related to her as wrong.

Third, the issue here is about the unfurling of the Tricolour, instilling nationalism and pride not ideological sermons by the Modi government.

One must remember the man who fought for the individual’s right to hoist the National Flag Jindal later became a Congress MP and the government that revised the Flag code was led by Vajpayee with LK Advani as home minister. The revised Flag code was issued during the pendency of the matter in the apex court, but much before the final judicial verdict on the subject was given.

While Section 2 and Section 3 of the Flag Code 2002 do not specifically mention Central and state universities, they do talk about educational institutions and important government buildings:

The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges; sports camps, scout camps, etc) to inspire respect for the Flag… Subject to the provisions contained in Section I above, it shall be mandatory for all Governments and their organisations/ agencies to follow the provisions contained in this Part

The central park of New Delhi’s Connaught Place is attracting a lot more visitors and attention for the past two years. Over that period, the country’s biggest flag — a 60 feet by 90 feet Tricolour of made of polyester silk weighing 35 kg and hoisted on a 207-foot-tall steel pole — was hoisted there (now Jharkhand has this honour). One wonders how the debate would have progressed if the same decision — placing the biggest flag in the most visited public place — had been taken now.

JNU row: RSS calls Congress shameful for supporting ‘anti-national’ slogans

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar on Tuesday described as very shameful that the Congress Party is protecting people raising anti-national slogans. ‘Congress who fought for freedom is protecting people who are raising slogans of hail Pakistan. It is very shameful. JNU which served for many years has become a ground of anti-national environment,’ Kumar told ANI.Kumar also added that if someone oppose the hanging of these terrorist are opposing law, they are also defaming the followers of Islam. ‘If they cannot respect Islam then should not insult Islam. The nation wants people like Kalpana Chawla, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who are loyal to the nation and not people who talks against the nation. Ashfaq Ullah, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jhansi Rani and other freedom fighters have been insulted by these incidents. The Congress should have at least thought about those Congressmen who fought for the nation,’ he said. ‘Those who are passed out of JNU are condemning this incident. JNU should not be declared anti national. They should not be labeled as traitor,’ he added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party however targeted the Delhi Police for taking ‘high-handed’ action in the JNU row, alleging that the B.S. Bassi-led team initiated the probe without having ‘substantial evidence’ in the incident. Congress leader P.C. Chacko said that the police should act in a proportionate manner and should not conduct any proceedings without any clear cut evidence against JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar.The Congress leader also said that law of the land should be the basis.’If the police have any evidence that anyone can be charged under any provisions of law, they can do so,’ he said. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court will today hear the plea seeking a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the sedition case against JNU student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar. It has also sought a judicial inquiry in the entire case, soon after a group of men in lawyers’ robes were seen thrashing students and journalists in the nearby Patiala House court complex. The petition alleged that Delhi Police was not investigating the case properly and the matter should be transferred to the NIA. The bench yesterday posted the matter for hearing. It also observed that the Delhi Police was already conducting a probe and would take the case to its logical conclusion.

Amit Shah v/s Rahul Gandhi: Congress hits back with Godse jibe

Hitting back at BJP chief Amit Shah for attacking Rahul Gandhi over the JNU row, Congress said those once “externed by the Supreme Court over criminal charges” should not teach patriotism to the Congress, which has played a “stellar role” in freedom movement. Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters it is ironical that those who are “inheritors of the thought process of Nathuram Godse” are giving new definition of patriotism and love for the nation. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said it was “distressing and condemnable” that “those who helped British and sided with them” in the freedom movement and whose parent organisation RSS did not hoist the National flag at its headquarters in Nagpur were teaching nationalism to Congress.Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he alleged that those “whose quest for propagating personal leadership surpassed the interest of the Nation” and which led to the Kargil war first and then attacks in Dinanagar, Udhampur and finally Pathankot should not teach lessons of patriotism to the Congress party.
ALSO READ JNU Row: Delhi Police chief Bassi says Kanhaiya Kumar shouted anti-national slogansSurjewala also recalled the terror strike in Parliament and freeing dreaded terrorists like Masood Azhar in Kandahar during the Vajpayee regime.Hitting hard at Shah, he said those once “externed by the Supreme Court over criminal charges” should not teach patriotism and love for the nation to his party.
ALSO READ JNU Row: LeT chief Hafiz Saeed rubbishes Rajnath’s claimsAsserting that Congress had played a “stellar role” in the freedom movement with its leaders living and dying for the cause, he said it is also “great inheritor” of the ideology of Indira Gandhi who made supreme sacrifice for the nation.He alleged that there was a pattern to the row in JNU which showed a “concerted conspiracy” of the Modi government and its attitude of “intolerance”. He recalled the problems faced by students earlier at FTII, Ambedkar Periyar Centre and Hyderabad University where Rohith Vemulla committed suicide. Seeking to dismiss criticism on the Afzal Guru issue, he said the party believed that Indian Union, 67 years after Independence, is strong enough that “we will give fair treatment and a fair trial to worst of our enemies and if that was not our belief and if that was not part of our founding ethos, then Afzal Guru terrorist would not have been convicted up to the Supreme Court and punished through due process”.
ALSO READ JNU row: BJP and RSS want to control everyone’s views, says Rahul GandhiBesides, he said that if this was not true, then Ajmal Kasab would not have been given a fair trail. In a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi over the JNU row, Amit Shah today said he had “proved” that national interest had no place in his mind and asked if the Congress vice president had joined hands with separatist forces and wanted another division of India.Speaking on the raging controversy for the first time, Shah asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul a host of questions and demanded that he apologise for his stand on the JNU issue, saying support to anti-national forces in the name of the Left’s progressive ideology is not acceptable.Surjewala said that when a handful of people raised anti-India slogans on the JNU campus, Congress strongly condemned it and demanded that action should be taken against them. “But the truth is that Modi Government is suppressing the voice of democracy, the voice of freedom, the freedom of expression and voice of the young students and there is a pattern to it”, he said. He alleged that Shah and Modi are levelling “unjustified and unwarranted” allegations to divert attention of the people from core issues of governance and delivery as they have “failed on every single index of development and governance” He later dismissed as a slip of tongue his reference to Afzal Guru as ‘Afzal Guruji’ during the briefing. He said it should be taken null and void.His clarification came in the wake of the BJP President seeking to make it a major issue. Nitish Kumar hits outBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attacked the Centre on the arrest of JNU Students’ Union president on sedition charge saying it was “too much of a design” to impose the ideology of ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, on the nation. He claimed it was “like imposing Emergency” in the country. “It’s too much of a design to impose ideology of ABVP, which is the student wing of RSS in educational institutions,” Kumar told reporters after ‘Janata Ke Darbar Mein Mukhya Mantri’ programme. The senior JD(U) leader joined the Left parties and Congress in asking Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to show evidence of JNUSU president raising anti-India slogans to justify booking him on sedition charges and that Lashkar-e- Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed supported the JNU stir.Kumar said JNU has its own distinct culture where students practise varied ideologies. “The BJP-led NDA government is unnecessarily trying to change the identity of JNU by imposing its own brand of thinking,” he said. “For them the ideology of RSS is nationalism and those who do not believe in that, are anti-nationals,” he said. The Chief Minister said he had met JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who hails from Bihar’s Begusarai district, in the past and that he has a strong belief in the Left ideology, “but can’t be an anti-national.” Attacking the BJP, Kumar said “The saffron party should explain if attending ceremony on Nathuram Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi, by BJP leaders is example of nationalism?” “Or BJP general secretary Ram Madhav meeting an Independent MLA in Jammu and Kashmir (Engineer Rashid) who organised many events in memory of Afzal Guru, is a display of nationalism?” he asked. Kumar alleged the BJP was trying to impose its own ideology on the nation by “gagging ideological freedom of others” as the Union Government has failed on the economic front and has nothing to show to the country. “People who voted for BJP have seen their performance and will pack them out of power in the 2019 elections,” Kumar added.With inputs from agencies

Deployment of troops in Siachen based on security needs, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Dissmissing suggestions for withdrawal of troops from Siachen, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Sunday said these were not made after proper analysis and that military presence on the world’s highest battlefield was in consonance with the country’s security needs.Referring to the demand in some quarters for withdrawal of troops from Siachen in the wake of death of ten soldiers in an avalanche, he said, “I think because of that reason (the death of ten soldiers)…any other suggestion is not a proper analysis.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Decision about (deployment of troops in) Siachen is based on the security of the nation….they have to understand its importance, why we are maintaining it (security presence) in spite of hostile conditions…I think you will understand if you go to that place,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an international maritime conference here.Parrikar said there was “no loose end” which could have resulted in the death of the soldiers. “It was nature’s show of strength and we can’t help it,” he said.Ten army personnel, including an officer, were buried under snow on Wednesday after their post was hit by an avalanche.”I am disturbed with any loss, particularly of soldiers, who do it for the nation. Now this particular incident (death of ten soldiers) is absolutely painful to me personally,” he said.”You can yourself understand that the terrain, geography is such that we lost thousand soldiers to retain control over it though the loss of human lives on Siachen has come down in recent years due to improved facilities,” he said.

Attempt to glorify assassin of Mahatma Gandhi unfortunate: Digvijay Singh

“The whole world is following the path of non-violence shown by Mahatma Gandhi. But there is a section of people in the country who are trying to glorify his assassin, Nathuram Godse, which is unfortunate,” he said at an event. Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Saturday termed as “unfortunate” the alleged attempts to “glorify” Nathuram Godse when the world was following the path of non-violence shown by Mahatma Gandhi.”The whole world is following the path of non-violence shown by Mahatma Gandhi. But there is a section of people in the country who are trying to glorify his assassin, Nathuram Godse, which is unfortunate,” he said at an event.”These people are trying to disturb the communal harmony, the foundation of which was laid by Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru,” he said at an event organised by NGO Observer Peace Foundation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh’s remarks came in the backdrop of the BJP-led Goa government’s plan to release a book on Godse, which was earlier scheduled for today on the occasion of the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation but put off following protests by social organisations and political parties.Criticising the NDA government’s ambitious scheme to develop 100 smart cities, he said “till there are no smart villages, smart cities alone won’t help the development of the country.”

Goa: Release of Nathuram Godse book on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary kicks up row

Newly formed Goa Forward party has opposed the release of a book on Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse scheduled for Saturday on the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation.The book, titled ‘Nathuram Godse – The Story of an Assassin’ and written by Anup Ashok Sardesai, is scheduled for release tomorrow at the government-owned Ravindra Bhavan in Margao by BJP leader and the bhavan’s chairman Damodar Naik. “The use of government premises for such an unpatriotic cause should be stopped. We will hold ‘satyagraha’ in front of Ravindra Bhavan if the government allows the function to happen,” Goa Forward’s secretary Mohandas Lolienkar said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He claimed that their protest is being supported by various sections, including Independent legislator Vijai Sardesai. “The party workers will block all the entrances of the venue so that no one can attend the function,” Lolienkar said, adding that the protest “will be peaceful”. The party has submitted memorandum to South Goa District Collector requesting cancellation of the function. “Though the event appears to be innocuous, it is timed on January 30 which is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” Vijai Sardesai, the MLA from Fatorda, said.Dubbing the event as “veiled celebration of a murder”, he alleged that the book release is a deliberate design to disturb peace and harmony and to provoke and incite people by insulting the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, especially on the particular day. The Ravindra Bhavan authorities, however, denied the charges, and said they cannot stop the function. “The Ravindra Bhavan was booked through a normal procedure. Nothing was deliberate,” its chairman Damodar Naik said.Naik, however, said he might rethink on attending the function if there is any objection to it.

Media report says Pakistan rejected India’s request to quiz Masood Azhar

A Pakistani media report on Monday claimed that Pakistan has turned down India’s proposal to jointly interrogate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and other suspects of the Pathankot terror attack.Azhar is being held in “protective custody” after the Pathankot attack earlier this month, The Nation reported. Several other suspects have also been reportedly arrested and authorities have closed down a number of Jaish-e-Mohammad -run madarssas in different cities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Azhar has been quizzed by Pakistani investigators, officials were quoted as saying by the daily. The Jaish-e-Mohammad chief’s brother Mufti Abdul Rehman Rauf is also detained, the report said. India wanted to send its investigators to interrogate Azhar and his brother but Pakistan “politely refused”, the daily said.

Republic Day 2016: Here are 10 best WhatsApp messages to celebrate patriotism

India will celebrate its Republic Day on Tuesday which also marks the 66th Republic day of the country. This day assumes significance, as it observes the enforcement of the Constitution of India thus declaring India as a sovereign, democratic and also republic country. There is a national holiday declared on this day which every Indian celebrates by hoisting flag and remembering the works of our forefathers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, as tech-savvy as we are, we also like to share the joy of the occasion with our friends, family and relatives. To do so, there are some common text messages, forwards that are shared by Whatsapp or Facebook. Take a look at 10 of the best messages you can forward to your friends and family this Republic Day.1. The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles Happy Republic Day!!2. Freedom in Mind, Faith in Words, Pride in our Heart, Memories in our Souls. Let’s Salute the Nation on Happy Republic Day!3. Let’s celebrate and solute the noble cause, It’s our nation which is shining as it was,4. Watan hamara aisa koi na chhod paaye, Rishta hamara aisa koi na tod paaye, Dil ek hai ek jaan hai hamari, Hindustan hamara hai hum iski shaan hain. Happy Republic Day.5. Desh bahkton ke balidaan se, Swatnatra hue hain hum.. koi pucche kaun ho to Garv se kahenge bhartiya hain ham… Happy Republic Day6. Let us remember the golden heritage of our country and feel proud to be a part of India.Happy Republic Day7. Nahi sirf Jashn Manana, Nahi sirf Jhande Lehrana, Yeh Kaafi nahi hai watanparasti, Yadon ko nahi bhulana, Jo Qurbaan hue, Unke lafzon ko aage badhana, Khuda ke liye nahi .. Zindagi Watan k liye Nibhana.. Happy Republic Day…8. Reunite On This Republic Day To Celebrate the Victory of Our Freedom Fighters and Rejoice in the Sacrifices That Made It Possible On This Republic Day, Let Us Unite In the Chant Vande Mataram and Let the Glory of Our Land and the Spirit of India Live Forever9. Come Let Us Celebrate The Proud Moment Of The Republic Day And Remember The Selfless Sacrifice Of Many Indians Before Us. Let Us Unite Again To Remember The Glorious Moment Of Our Republic Day And Relive The Sacrifice Of Our Freedom Fighters Vande Mataram Happy Republic Day10. Today Is The Day When Everyone Or Old, Tall Or Short, Light Skin Or Dark Must Come Together To Show The Whole World That This Nation Is The Best Nation Under The Sun. Happy Republic DayRead: #dnaOfARepublic: This Republic Day be the change you want to see