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PM Modi facing threat to life after demonetisation: Ramdev

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lauding government’s decision to demonetize high value bank notes, yoga guru Ramdev today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing threat to his life from drug mafia, terrorists and other economic offenders in the wake of this “historic” move.Ramdev also urged people to cooperate with the government and bear the pain for a few days and said the whole exercise would ultimately improve the country’s economy.”By demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes, Modi has dealt a severe blow to corruption, black money, terrorism and fake currency business…Fake notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations were being printed in Pakistan and circulated in India. Phasing out these notes has destroyed the terrorists. “Due to this move, Modi is now facing threat to life from drug mafia, terrorists and also from those committing economic offences,” Ramdev told reporters on his arrival at the city airport.He was here to attend 50th birthday celebrations of religious leader Shasht Peethadhishwar Goswami 108 Shree Dwarkeshlalji Maharaj. Replying to a query, he said that even the business of his company, Patanjali Ayurved, has been hit following demonetization. “But people should cooperate with the Centre in this endeavour to clean up the system,” he said. “Some people are blaming the government as they are facing difficulties because of the sudden move. But it is going to improve the country’s overall economic condition. It will raise the growth rate of the economy, control inflation and bring down the prices of essential commodities, which will ultimately make people’s lives better,” he said.”Instead of blaming, I urge people to cooperate with the government in this endeavour to clean up the system. When there is a war, soldiers face many hardships and starve for weeks. Cannot we, for the welfare of the nation, endure these hardships for a few days?” he asked. He also welcomed the decision to ban the cooperative banks from exchanging or depositing the now-defunct high denomination currency. “But the black money hoarders will devise some new strategy to stash their illegal wealth,” he said.On a query about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanding a roll back of demonetization, the yoga guru said, “Her (Mamata’s) revolt will not get support from the people of the country. People will rebel against her and other political parties that are against the demonetization move.”

Digvijay Singh gets bail in 2012 case of derogatory remarks against Baba Ramdev

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vaishali district court on Wednesday granted bail to Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh in a four-year-old case of making alleged derogatory remarks against yoga guru Ramdev. Chief Judicial Magistrate 14 of Fast Track Court in Vaishali Sanjay Kumar granted bail to Singh in the case filed in 2012.BJP district leader Ajit Kumar, dealing in Ramdev’s ‘Patanjali’ products, had registered the complaint against Singh for making alleged derogatory remarks against the yoga guru. The Congress General Secretary was present in the court on Wednesday.After hearing both sides, the court granted bail to Singh on condition of two sureties of Rs 5,000 each.Emerging out of the court, the Congress leader made a scathing attack on the yoga guru accusing him of being a man of “criminal mentality”. He told reporters that the CBI was conducting probe against him in several cases.

Baba Ramdev claims he was once denied US visa for not having bank account, bachelor status

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who heads the Rs 4,500-crore Patanjali Group, was once denied a visa to the United States citing his bachelor status and not having a bank account. But later it invited him and gave him a 10-year visa when he was to address the United Nations, which is headquartered in New York, the Yoga guru revealed on Saturday.Speaking at the Global Investor Summit in Indore, Ramdev recounted how he was first denied a visa and later offered a visa.”When for the first time I applied for a US visa, I was denied. I asked for reasons, they said Babaji you don’t have a bank account, which I still don’t have, and you are unmarried. There could be some issues there, they said, but I insisted there is no possibility of any of that. Yet they denied me a visa,” Ramdev said. He, however, did not indicate the year in which he had applied for the visa.”But when they had to call me for the UN programme, they on their own gave me a 10-year visa,” he said. “This is a separate matter”.Ramdev, who shared the dais with several industrialists, including Anil Ambani and Gopichand Hinduja as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, said spiritual leaders are anyway global citizens.”I was asked by Finance Minister in what capacity was I here as. I am here as a global citizen,” he remarked. His Patanjali group is reported to be considering investing Rs 500-crore in setting up a food processing unit at Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh.Patanjali Ayurveda is considered among the fastest- growing consumer products brand with products ranging from kitchen staples, nutrition, cosmetics to personal care products.

Chanting of ‘Om’ doesn’t change anyone’s religion: Baba Ramdev

Amid opposition from certain religious communities over chanting of ‘Om’ and performance of ‘surya namaskar’ during yoga events, Ramdev on Sunday said these practices do not change anyone’s religion and are “secular, universal and spiritual” in nature.He said at a yoga camp in Dubai on Saturday, which was attended by Hindus and Muslims, besides members of the royal family, he had given the gathering an option to chant ‘Om’ or ‘Amin’ and that they had preferred chanting ‘Om’ over ‘Amin’. They “experienced a divine” feeling, he said at a yoga event at Rajpath, organsied by the Ministry of Ayush and attended by a large number of people, including Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Babul Supriyo and BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi, Manoj Tiwari and Vijay Goel.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ramdev, who runs an FMCG empire, said that in next three years, Patanjali will conduct animal to human trials of ayurvedic medicines and clinical trials in yoga. For this his organisation will invest Rs 500 crore. Additional Rs 500 crore will be invested on research pertaining to cow, he added.”I went to Dubai and I made people there to chant ‘Om’ and perform ‘surya namaskar’. While performing ‘surya namaskar’, I also kept some Muslims along with me and told them that if their religion changes (for doing it), then don’t do ‘surya namaskar’. No one’s religion changed. Yoga is not a religious practice, but a secular and universal practice. I said while performing yoga you can also say ‘Amin’ and ‘Om’, but many people and majority of Muslims said ‘Om’ instead of ‘Amin’… They said they got mental peace by chanting ‘Om’,” Ramdev said.Ramdev claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi too conveyed his wishes for the mega event at Rajpath. He said if people perform yoga and encourage others to do so, India will again become a country of “rishis” and become a country “dreamt by Ram and Krishna” and by Swami Vivekanand and Dayanand Saraswati.”We don’t want to make India any religious country. India is not a religious country. It is a spiritual country. We want to make India a spiritual country and world a spiritual place. This is our dream,” he said.

Saying Om is not a matter of dispute: Ramdev’s associate Acharya Balkrishna

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s close associate Acharya Balkrishna has said chanting Om should not be taken negatively as it creates positive energy and is not the name of a God or Goddess. “Chanting Om is not a matter of dispute. It creates positive waves and energy and those who oppose it should understand this concept,” Balkrishna said here last evening. He said everyone should chant Om for the peace of mind and to gain positive energy. Balkrishna said special yoga camps will be organised across the country on June 21 on World Yoga Day where participants will be given information about the benfits yoga and pranayam. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also visited a gaushala (cowshed) in the city.

After bonhomie with Lalu Prasad, Ramdev meets Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav

Yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday met ruling Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav here days after meeting RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
ALSO READ Lalu models for Ramdev’s Patanjali cream, says people are jealous of yoga guru’s success Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was also present during the meeting, SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said, adding that the Yoga guru lauded the work undertaken by the state government. He appreciated certain welfare and development schemes being undertaken in the state, Chaudhary claimed, describing the meeting as a courtesy call. Ramdev was in the state capital to meet Sahara chief Subrata Roy, who lost his mother recently.

Lalu models for Ramdev’s Patanjali cream, says people are jealous of yoga guru’s success

An unlikely bonhomie was seen between yoga guru Ramdev and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday morning. While Ramdev demonstrated Patanjali brand gold cream by dabbing it on Lalu’s face, the former Bihar CM lavishly praised the yoga guru’s products. Lalu had invited Ramdev for a yoga session, according to reports but it became a promotion for Patanjali products. Ramdev tweeted that he gifted Patanjali products to Lalu Prasad Yadav. He rubbed gold cream on Yadav’s forehead and claimed that skin glows like gold after using the product. Lalu on his part endorsed Patanjali soaps and was quoted saying by NDTV: “In normal soaps, there is excess soda, but not Ramdev’s soap. It will keep the skin healthy”. He also said that the soaps had milk from his cows!<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lalu added that he is a permanent brand ambassador of Patanjali. He also accused people of hatching a conspiracy against Ramdev as they were jealous of the yoga guru. Lalu and Ramdev haven’t enjoyed the best of the relationships in the past and last year the former Bihar CM took a jibe saying, “Ramdev said he will do yogasan in Ramlila Maidan. When the police came, he did kudasan” . Ramdev is widely perceived to be close to BJP, and Lalu is known to be a staunch opponent of the saffron party. But despite their ideological differences, it seems like Lalu is clearly bowled over by Patanjali products. Patanjali Ayurved reported a turnover of Rs 5000 crore in the last fiscal. It is planning to invest Rs 1150 crore in this financial year to set up six processing unit. and aims to double its turnover this year.

CISF cover to Ramdev’s foodpark based on threat perception: Kiren Rijiju

CISF cover to the food park of Ramdev and other private institutions have been provided on the basis of threat perception and not as a “favour” extended to anyone, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said today.Ramdev’s food park in Haridwar has the “smallest deployment” of CISF personnel, he said during Question Hour in Lok Sabha. Replying to supplementaries, the minister insisted that the cover by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was not extended as a “favour” to anyone. A laid down procedure is followed, including inputs from the Intelligence Bureau, before extending the central paramilitary cover to private establishments, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rijiju also rejected suggestions that due to lack of manpower, certain ‘hyper-sensitive’ and ‘sensitive’ airports have not been extended CISF cover. He said the due procedure is followed before giving such establishments central cover. Other central armed police forces like CRPF also protect installations like airports and the Srinagar airport was one such instance.Rijiju said the government has considered the recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee and steps have been taken about security cover to important installations.The minister said while the current sanctioned strength of the CISF was 1.45 lakh, a Cabinet note has been moved to increasing the ceiling to 2 lakh personnel. Besides, there are certain number of reserved battalions which are used based on requirement.When pointed out that besides CISF, some private agencies were also involved in handling cargo security, he said efforts are on to streamline the security system at airport cargo terminals where CISF is the lead agency and any loophole will be plugged. In his written response, he said at present no decision has been taken to withdraw CISF security from private establishments.CISF cover to private organisations was extended after the CISF Act was amended in 2009 following the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes. “Security to public and private institutions is provided based on the threat perception and internal security requirements. If CISF is deployed at private institutions, the cost of deployment is normally borne by the institution concerned,” Rijiju said in his written response.In 2014-15, the CISF cover was provided to Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd at Mundra and Tata Steel at Kalinganagar in Odisha and in 2015-16 to Patanjali food and herbal park, Haridwar. The cover was extended based on “threat perception, as assessed by the agencies.”

Bharat mata ki Jai row: Ramdev clarifies ‘beheading’ comment

Yoga guru Ramdev on Tuesday appeared to be backtracking from his controversial remark that if not for the law, he would have “beheaded” people for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, saying he was merely responding to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement that he won’t raise the slogan even if a knife is put to his throat.Addressing a press conference here, Ramdev said insulting religions like Islam or Christianity would be as “idiotic” as Owaisi’s remark. “I believe in non-violence, coexistence and oneness. It would be wrong to say that behead me but I won’t respect the Quran or the Bible. I take pride in my religion but that does not give me the licence to insult other faiths. That would be as idiotic as Owaisi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He says at the drop of a hat that behead me but I won’t say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’. So I responded in rustic language that I would have done so but I believe in the Constitution. No one needs to be scared of me…’Woh toh baat ki baat thi’. If someone wants to say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ then let him, what’s the point in protesting against it,” Ramdev said.The yoga guru said JNU and NIT Srinagar incidents are “offshoots” of a crisis of ideology, principles and policy in the country. Asked about Amitabh Bachchan’s name surfacing among the Indians listed in Panama Papers, Ramdev said the Bollywood megastar appeared to be a “good person” but he needs to come up-front and say that he is ready for a probe into the matter. Answering a range of questions, Ramdev also said he does not have any role in the political turmoil in Uttarakhand.On the black money issue, on which he had been vocal in the past, Ramdev said he has left the issue to “Modi ji” to handle. “I have my full focus on Yoga,” he said. Ramdev also praised the anti-pollution measure ‘odd-even’ enforced by the AAP government and the liquor ban imposed by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, saying other political parties should follow suit.

Baba Ramdev’s food park gets 24X7 CISF cover

Paramilitary force CISF has started providing full-time security cover to yoga guru Ramdev’s food park in Haridwar and deployed close to three dozen armed commandos at the facility. Officials said a contingent of 34 commandos, under the charge of an Assistant Commandant-rank officer, took charge at the facility on March 22 following Union Home Ministry’s order for 24X7 security deployment early this year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such security cover has so far been extended by the Centre to only a handful of private entities such as Infosys. Senior officials said Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Private Limited has provided the logistics, including barracks for accommodating the personnel as part of the “fully paid” deployment. Officials had earlier said expenditure on security deployment at the multi-acre food park was estimated at around Rs 40 lakh per annum and all logistical facilities like barracks, armoury and vehicles will be provided for by the “client”.A contingent of the Central Industrial Security Force had been deployed at the facility in the middle of last year for “temporary” security duty after protests erupted there and, early this year, the Home Ministry ordered “permanent” deployment of the force in view of potential security threats to it. Full-time CISF cover is accorded by the central government very sparingly to the private sector and it is eighth such deployment. The paramilitary was first mandated for such task in the private sector in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
ALSO READ Complaint against Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali product filed in Rajasthan courtRamdev, a yoga exponent who has set up a business empire worth thousands of crores of rupees in personal care and food products sector, is himself a ‘Z’ category protectee of central paramilitary forces.The sophisticated weapons-toting CISF commando squad has been deployed on a ‘quick reaction team’ pattern which entails stationing them at vantage positions in the facility. The teams react like they would in the wake of any terrorist attack or sabotage. The routine entry to and exit from the facility will be regulated by the staff and private security hired by Patanjali.
ALSO READ Patanjali to invest Rs 1,000 crore in 2016; focus on expansion, e-commerce, exports: Ramdev BabaA security and intelligence audit had earlier found that the food park faced threat as it was visited by tourists, both foreign and domestic, and was vulnerable from the point of view of local law and order disturbances as witnessed in June last year.CISF was tasked to secure private sector entities after the government brought an amendment to the Act post 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The other seven concerns in the private sector guarded by the CISF are Electronics City Bengaluru, Infosys campuses in Bengaluru, Mysore and Pune, Reliance Refinery and Petrochemicals in Jamnagar, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd project executed by the Tata group in Mundra and the Tata Steel project based in Odisha’s Kalinganagar.

From Sri Sri to Baba Ramdev: Does Hinduism ‘produce’ more godmen than other faiths?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on Hinduism, godmen and the judiciary

It may sound surprising. Christianity produced only one saint in India — Mother Teresa — during the past three decades. But look at Hinduism. Over the past two decades Hindus have managed to ‘create’ more than a handful of them.

Take some of the prominent names: Dhirendra Bhramachari, Asaram Bapu, Ma Anandamayi, Baba Ramdev, Baba Ram Rahim Insaan, Putuparthi Sai Baba, and of course the man who is much in the news — Sri Sri Ravishankar. So what is that makes Hindus create more godmen than other religions?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Image from ReutersSri Sri Ravi Shankar. Image from Reuters

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Image from Reuters

There could be two reasons. First, the absence of a single organisation, or holy book that is the final word for the Hindus. The Hindus have over 300 gods, and more than a dozen holy books.

What is even more interesting is that many of the holy books themselves have more than one version, with different stories and story endings. So there are several versions of the Ramayana; there are ‘apocryphal’ Upanishads, there are several versions of stories in the Mahabharata. The list could go on. Thus, each Hindu is actually free to choose the stories he likes, and the interpretations that agree with him. That could explain why there are so many sects and sub-sects in Hinduism.

Thus, notwithstanding the shrill cries of the people who understand Hinduism least, there is no official version of Hinduism, and no accepted ultimate god.

But there is an even more pernicious reason for Hinduism spawning so many more godmen than other religions. It is the sheer inability of the existing godmen from the Hindu mainstream to market themselves. Thus the Shankaracharyas get fewer eyeballs than a Baba Ramdev. In fact, these holy men get almost no grant of land or other benefits from the government that the newly emerged godmen get.

Compare this with the tracts of land that governments have ‘given’ away to a Baba Ramdev (Maharashtra has agreed to give him some 200 acres in this state). Look at the land holdings of an Ma Amritamayi. One does not get to hear much of the lands that Swami Dhirendra Bhramachari had converted into a major ashram during the days when he was ‘powerful’. Ditto with the grants that a Sri Sri Ravishankar enjoys — whether it is permission to use wetlands along the Yamuna, or it is the use of armymen to work on a missionary basis (with no payment) on his site.

Is it because the mainstream holy men of Hinduism lack the skills or the willingness to promote their views? No, the real reason is that all the collections that the main temples get each day, the money is controlled by the government – both state and central. The governments have done their best to ensure that India’s biggest temples are not allowed the flexibility or liberty to spend the money the way they want to.

For instance, one temple might want to set up homes for the elderly. Another temple trust may want to set up meditation halls. A third may decide to focus on medicare.

For instance, the Nirankari sect has a mission in the suburbs of Mumbai, where it offers its devotees medical (pathological) tests at nominal costs. A blood test costs Rs 10. An X-ray costs Rs 25. It comes, therefore, as no surprise that more ‘followers’ visit the “pravachans” of the Nirankari sect than they do the bigger temples. There is convenience (near their place of residence), and there is relevance (their health care needs are met). And there is a new community that is being formed, which is what draws people together, and worship the visionary.

Each of these methods would make the temple a lot more relevant to the communities they serve and relate to. In fact, the priests of Tirupati, Sabarimalai, Vaishnodevi, Shirdi and a host of other temples would be delighted to increase their relevance to the community. But they cannot, because the community leaders are not allowed to decide how the funds should be used. It is normally a government appointee who enjoys these powers.

The result: mainstream religious heads get marginalised. And in the resultant vacuum, politicians prop up other ‘godmen’ and allow them the freedom to use their devotees’ contributions the way they want. Politicians have a vested interest in doing this. The godmen attract followers. And the followers are persuaded to vote for a particular party. Thus politically propped up godmen grow in stature and in collections (in percentage terms) than mainstream holy men (who refuse to call themselves godmen).

This is sad. Remember, a politician who props up ‘godmen’ has a five-year vision — how to create votebanks for the next election. If a godman fails in achieving this objective, you can be certain that a new godman will be created.

If a politician has a five-year horizon, the bureaucrat is only marginally better. He looks to a sinecure of around 20 years, by when he will be eased out, or will pass his time on earth.

This is in sharp contrast to genuine community leaders — who have a vision of 200-300 years for the community they serve. That, in many ways, explains why you will not find a single Sikh beggar on the streets (ditto with the Parsis).

True such leaders make mistakes. But communities have an auto-correct facility, which allows them to redress grievances, and ensure that the flock stays together. The best of community leaders – call them holy men or any other name – try to focus on community development programmes. This could be education (most crucial of all), community welfare or even community health.

It is worth remembering that the Tirumalai Trusts, which control the cluster of temples that comprise the Tirupati holy shrines once ran some of the best educational institutions in India.

However, ever since the government took control of the temple trust, the educational standards that these institutions used to cherish began to crumble and the colleges and schools have lost much of their reputation.

Against this fading glory, you have the newly arisen godmen who become the favoured few. Till, of course, the political dispensation changes.

Can this be stopped? Of course. Even the Supreme Court is against the government trying to control temple trusts.

Next: Part II — The Supreme Court attempts to rescue temples

Ramdev Baba booked by Hyderabad police after ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ remark

Hyderabad: Yoga guru Ramdev Baba, who had said that he would have beheaded lakhs of people for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogan, was booked by the Hyderabad police on Wednesday.

A case was registered on a complaint by Mohd Bin Omer, a medical college student and an activist of city-based Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahadat under section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC on Wednesday, a senior police officer said.

Ramdev Baba. File photo. APRamdev Baba. File photo. AP

Ramdev Baba. File photo. AP

Omer said in the complaint that he had seen a video clip on YouTube where Ramdev threatens members of a particular community, Assistant Commissioner of Police M Srinivasa Rao said.

“We are investigating the matter further,” Rao said.

Ramdev had recently said he respects the law of the land and the Constitution, otherwise he would have “beheaded” lakhs of people for refusing to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Hyderabad-based MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier said he would not say the slogan.

From Baba Ramdev to Mulayam Singh Yadav: Shankaracharya Swaroopanand comments on rape are not novel

Activists on Monday termed the remarks by Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati’s  on the lifting of ban on women’s entry in Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra as “outrageous and appalling”. They demanded his apology, failing which they have threatened to stage protests.

The religious leader had said, “the entry of women into the famous Shingnapur shrine which is devoted to Lord Shani will drive more rapes”.

“This is a really ridiculous and appalling statement coming from a religious head of an institution that is followed by so many Hindus. Rape is criminalised in India and comparing it to worship is not acceptable.

Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. IBNLiveShankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. IBNLive

Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. IBNLive

“He should be taken to task for this. It is not expected from a man of his age and stature. He should apologise to the women of the country,” said womens’ rights activist Ranjana Kumari said.

CPM leader Brinda Karat said that the seer’s comment “is far removed from reality.”

“Will the Shankaracharya answer that all these years women were not allowed into the temple, so was there absolutely no problem that women faced… So all these years women were not there but many women faced so many problems and so the thinking itself is far removed from reality, from India’s Constitution, from people of India’s experience, that just has to be rejected with contempt it deserves,” she said.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) member Kavita Srivastav demanded an apology from the Shankaracharya and threatened to launch a protest against him.

“What else can be more outrageous than this statement…He is silent on the rapes committed by men and the negligence of police towards such cases and he is silent on the protection being given to rapists also. I think Shankaracharya should take back his words and apologise. Otherwise our Mahila Andolan will give a befitting reply to him,” she said.

Shankaracharya’s comment came three days after the ban on the entry of women into the inner sanctum of the famous Shani shrine was revoked by the temple authorities.

But this is not the first time such (ridiculous) pronouncements have been uttered by public figures.

Baba Ramdev (Yoga guru)

In 2014, yoga guru Baba Ramdev blamed content of electronic media and education system for encouraging rapists to commit such crimes.

His comments came after a 25-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a radio cab driver in north Delhi’s Sarai Rohilla.

According to the yoga guru, the three reasons which contribute to rape were obscenity in electronic media, education system and disregarding values and laws.

Before that, in March 2013, Ramdev said that the Centre’s decision to reduce the age for consensual sex from 18 to 16 years would affect the social order and increase rape cases in the country.

“If this decision (to lower age of consensual sex) is taken, rape cases will increase,” he said. Ramdev alleged that the Bill aimed to benefit a “particular religion” and “break the Hindu society”.

Jitender Chhatar (Khap Panchayat leader, Haryana’s Jind district)

In 2012, Jitender Chhatar, a resident of Jind’s Chhatar village and khap panchayat leader made the following comments.

“To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts. You also know the impact of chowmein, which is a spicy food, on our body. Hence, our elders also advised to consume light and nutritious food,” Chhatar said.

The comments came a week after Sube Singh, a Khap leader, advocated lowering of age of marriage for girls from 18 years to 16 years on the grounds that young girls are vulnerable to rapes and should be married off earlier.

Asaram Bapu (Self-styled Godman)

In January 2013, Asaram Bapu, the self-styled godman, made some rather witless observations about the Delhi gangrape case by claiming that the 23-year-old woman, who died due to the severe injuries, was as guilty as those responsible for the barbaric sexual assault on her.

“Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim daughter is as guilty as her rapists… She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop… This could have saved her dignity and life.”

“Can you clap with one hand? I don’t think so,” he added.

Karnataka MLAs’ Panel

In July 2014, a report tabled in the Karnataka Assembly by the state’s Women and Child Development Department said, “There were several instances where mobile phones were used to lure girls to remote places and rape them. Mobile phones are debasing the educational atmosphere in schools and colleges.”

Ironically, the report itself came amid statements made by politicians blaming women’s style of dressing as the root cause of the crime.

Atul Kumar Anjan (CPI leader)

In September 2015, a senior leader of Communist Party of India (CPI) Atul Anjan, said that Sunny Leone’s condom advertisements will lead to a rise in the number of rapes in India.

Sunny Leone naam ki ek aurat hai. Duniya ki sabse nangi filmon ki woh heroine rahi hai (There is a woman called Sunny Leone. She has been the heroine in nude films),” said Anjan.

Agar condom ke is tarah ke prachaar desh ke television aur akhbaaron mein chale, toh rape ki ghatnaaein badhengi (If such condom ads are shown on the country’s television sets and in newspapers, then the number of rape incidents will increase).”

Anjan also said that he had never watched a single porn film in his life. But when he did watch porn for the first time, “do minute dekhne ke baad ulti hoti hai (After watching two minutes, I feel like vomiting).”

An yes, of course, there is a video of the speech.

Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati (Puri shankaracharya)

In January 2013, Sankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati said that western influence was one of the main reasons behind the rise in incidents of rape in the country.

“Such horrific incidents (Delhi gang rape) don’t happen all of a sudden. They happen when the thin line of culture and values are crossed in the name of civilization and development,” he said.

He said Western influences like films, club culture and drugs were destroying the age old values and principles of India.

“Earlier sisters and brothers roamed freely but nothing used to happen. There has been decline in human values, emotions … Our culture and civilization teaches us to respect women, who are our sisters and mothers,” he added.

Mohan Bhagwat (RSS chief)

In January 2013, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that rapes took place because of Westernisation, and are not a matter of concern in rural India where traditional values were upheld.

“Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won’t happen in ‘Bharat’ or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes,” he said.

“Where ‘Bharat’ becomes ‘India’ with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen. The actual Indian values and culture should be established at every stratum of society where women are treated as ‘mother’,” he added.

Ramsewak Paikra (Chhattisgarh Home Minister, BJP)

In June 2014, talking to news channels, Ramsevak Paikra, responsible for law and order in Chhattisgarh state, said that rapes happen “accidentally”.

“Such incidents (rapes) do not happen deliberately. These kind of incidents happen accidentally,” he said.

He was responding to questions about the rise in incidents of rape.

Om Prakash Chautala (Former Chief Minister of Haryana)

In October 2010, Om Prakash Chautala, the former Chief Minister of Haryana, said that girls should be married early to prevent rapes.

“We should learn from the past… specially in Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that’s the reason khap has taken such a decision and I support it,” he said backing Haryana khap for saying that girls should be married early to prevent rapes.

Mulayam Singh Yadav (Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh)

In April 2014, Mulayam Singh Yadav said there was a need to change the anti-rape laws as “boys commit mistakes” for which they should not be hanged.

Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys. They commit mistakes),” he said at an election rally in Moradabad.

Citing the recent example of a court sentencing three men found guilty of gang-raping two women in the abandoned Shakti Mills in Mumbai last year, he said there was a need to change the new rape law which provides for death sentence to repeat rape offenders.

“Efforts will be made to change such a law, so that those misusing it are punished. Those filing false reports will also be taken to task,” he said.

Yadav said boys and girls fall in love but due to differences they fall apart later on. “When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped,” he said, stressing the need for changes in the anti-rape law.

A year later, in April 2015, Yadav struck again.

Yadav said that while one person commits rape, four are named in the complaint even though rape by four persons is not “practically” possible.

“One commits rape and then four more are named. Kabhi aisa ho sakta hai kya? Aisa practical hi nahin hai. (Can such a thing happen? It is impractical),” Mulayam said at a programme in Lucknow.

Abu Azmi (Samajwadi Party president)

In April 2014, Samajwadi Party president Abu Azmi said that women should also be punished in rape cases.

“If a woman is caught (in a rape case), then both she and the boy should be punished. In India, there is death penalty for rape, but when there’s consensual sex outside marriage, there’s no death penalty against women,” he said in an interview.

With inputs from agencies.

‘Freedom of speech doesn’t apply to Ramdev?’: Amit Shah defends yoga guru on ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ row

The row over the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai‘, which was sparked off when Asaduddin Owaisi dramatically refused to say it, has escalated quite dramatically over the past couple of weeks.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Sunday said he respects the law of the land and the Constitution, otherwise he would have “beheaded” lakhs of people for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai‘.

A file photo of Amit Shah. ReutersA file photo of Amit Shah. Reuters

A file photo of Amit Shah. Reuters

Many, including Congerss and AAP, had slammed Ramdev over his comments, but now the yoga guru seems to have found support and that too from none other than BJP president Amit Shah.

“Baba Ramdev is not a member of the BJP. However, I want to know from those who talk of free speech, does it not apply to Baba Ramdev?” Shah asked in an interview to a private TV channel, reports The Hindu.

This statement came after Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu appeared to disapprove of the remarks made by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Ramdev on those refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ and said they are views not authorised by the government through any order.

Ramdev had earlier said at a Sadbhavna (compassion) rally, “Koi aadmi topi pehan kar ke khada ho jaata hai, bolta Bharat Mata ki Jai nahi bolunga, chahe meri gardan kaat do. Arey is desh mein kanoon hai, nahi toh teri ek ki kya, hum toh lakhon ki gardan kaat sakte hain. (Someone wearing a cap stands up and says that he won’t chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai even if someone kills him. There is a law in this country, otherwise I would’ve beheaded lakhs of people.)”

With inputs from PTI

Bharat Mata slogan row: Haryana Minister Anil Vij supports Ramdev’s ‘cut off heads’ remark

Outspoken Haryana Minister Anil Vij on Monday supported Yoga Guru Ramdev over his controversial remarks that he would have “beheaded” people for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ if there was no law to stop him. “Baba Ramdev ne jo Hindustan ka jan manas hain us jan manas ki bhavna ko vyakt kiya hai (Baba Ramdev has reflected the feelings of the public of the country),” Vij said here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Yeh to hamari sabyata hai, kanoon hai desh ka ki unko bardasht kiya jata hai. Agar doosre deshon main aisa log kare toh koyee bi unhe bardasht nahein karega (It is our culture, the country’s law that such people are being tolerated. If this had happened in any other country, they would not be tolerated),” said Vij, the state’s Health Minister. Ramdev’s remarks came at a function at Rohtak in Haryana yesterday against the backdrop of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s recent remarks that he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ even if a knife is put to his throat. Vij, the five-time BJP MLA from Ambala Cantt who is known for his outspoken nature and for his comments on any and every issue connected with state or outside, said no one should have any problem in chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.He also said that if one calls himself an Indian, lives and eats food of this soil, then he sees no wrong why one cannot chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.

Bharat Mata ki Jai row update: Everybody has an opinion and Baba Ramdev is ready to cut heads

When it comes to the idea of India — everyone has an opinion and opinions come in binaries. National/Anti national. Patriotic/Seditious. Beef eating pariah/Pious bhakt. As the row over the phrase — Bharat Mata ki Jai — escalates, Baba Ramdev, the bearded yogi, who teaches the country how to breathe, has contributed a line of sanskari noodles (not the chow mein that makes men rape women), has something to say too.

A file photo of Baba Ramdev. PTIA file photo of Baba Ramdev. PTI

A file photo of Baba Ramdev. PTI

On Sunday, Ramdev said that if there wasn’t a law that forbid decapitation, then he would have beheaded lakhs.

Ramdev, who was speaking at a Sadbhavna (compassion) rally, ironically said, “Koi aadmi topi pehan kar ke khada ho jaata hai, bolta Bharat Mata ki Jai nahi bolunga, chahe meri gardan kaat do. Arey is desh mein kanoon hai, nahi toh teri ek ki kya, hum toh lakhon ki gardan kaat sakte hain. (If someone wears a cap (referring to the skull cap worn by Muslims, especially Asaduddin Owaisi) stands up and says that he won’t chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai even if someone kills him. There is a law in this country, so I won’t kill, but I can behead lakhs of people.)”

According to The Indian Express, Ramdev said that a religion that doesn’t respect “maatrubhoomi (motherland)” is not in the interest of the nation at all.

Earlier, in March, Ramdev had said the law should be amended to make it mandatory for everyone to chant the slogan, his reasoning? — “Even though it is not written in the Constitution that one should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai‘, there should be no problem in chanting it… Therefore, an amendment should be made in the law so that everyone says it.”

Ramdev’s comments are the latest rhetoric in a growing pool of loud opinion. The issue took centre-stage when AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that he would never chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Since then, a good number of politicians and public figures have aired their opinion about the phrase.

Here’s a look.

Venkaiah Naidu

The senior BJP leader said that there was nothing wrong with worshipping the mother on 28 March. “During the freedom movement, ‘Vande Mataram’ united all Indians. It means ‘Mata‘ (mother), salutation to you. What ‘Mata‘? not Christian ‘Mata‘, Hindu ‘Mata‘, ‘Muslim ‘Mata‘, forward ‘Mata‘, backward ‘Mata‘. ‘Mata‘ is ‘Mata‘. What is the objection in that. Why, (it is said that) there is worship in that. Which religion said not to worship mother. Let me know. I am trying to know. I am ready for a debate,” he said.

Omar Abdullah

“I look forward to seeing all the members of the PDP-BJP alliance say this (Bharat Mata ki Jai) as soon as they take their oath tomorrow,” said the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister.

Darul Uloom Deoband

The Islamic seminary issued an edict asking Muslims to refrain from raising the slogan as it is equivivalent of “idol worship”.

“We received thousands of queries on the issue so Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a ‘fatwa’ saying ‘Bharat mata ki Jai‘ is not in consonance with Islam and we will not say it. But we love our country immensely and we can raise slogans like ‘Hindustan Zindabad‘ and ‘Madre Vatan‘,” said Ashram Usmani, public relations officer of the seminary.

Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister on 3 April said, “There is still a dispute over saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ and those opposing to say it, should not have any right to stay here. Those living here should say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘.”

Ram Naik

UP Governor Ram Naik said, “If there is no Bharat Mata ki Jai in India, how will the world acknowledge it?”

Salman Khurshid

“It gives us pride when we sing national anthem, to see our flag, to say ‘Vande Matram‘… Some people don’t want to do it, it’s their choice,” Khurshid said after addressing a conference on Freedom of Speech and Expression in Universities.

Kailash Vijayvargiya

General Secretary, BJP, Vijayvargiya said that those who don’t wish to chant the slogan “have no right to stay in India. They should go to some other country.”

Javed Akhtar

Akhtar in his retirement speech from Rajya Sabha took a dig at Owaisi and said, “The Constitution even does not ask him to wear sherwani (dress) and topi (cap)… I don’t care to know whether saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ is my duty or not but it is my right.”

In talks with Ramdev for Patanjali food park in Nagpur, says Fadnavis

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is holding talks with yoga guru Ramdev for providing him land to set up a food park of Patanjali Yogpeeth at Mihan in Nagpur.

Yoga guru Ramdev. PTI

Yoga guru Ramdev. PTI

Answering a supplementary query raised by a member during Question Hour, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis lauded the work done by Ramdev for helping farmers.

“There has not been any land allotted to Patanjali in Mihan as yet. But, we are in talks with them. They have a highly successful food park at Haridwar, which is a Rs 5,000 crore business, which helps farmers directly,” Fadnavis said.

He said Ramdev’s company has shown intention of setting up the Food Park at Mihan and Patanjali would be given land if all technicalities are worked out.

Fadnavis also told the House his government has sent notices to 30 entities in the past 17 months who have taken land but have not started their industrial units yet.

Out of which land of eight has been taken back, he said.

He said the government plans to dedicate 500 acre space to develop Agro Processing Industries at Mihan and special incentives will be provided for the purpose.

The multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Mihan (Nagpur) is the biggest development project currently underway in Nagpur in terms of investments.

Congress’ Manikrao Thakre then said that for Agro Processing units to come up, the government will have to offer competitive electricity rates and better facilities to industries, compared to neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

In his response, Fadnavis said the electricity rates in SEZ are already lower than adjoining states and that Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule is working on a proposal to provide cheap power to industries in Vidarbha, Marathwada, North Maharashtra, and backward parts of Western Maharashtra.

“The state cabinet will soon give a nod to this proposal,” the CM said, adding that in the Agro Processing zone, his government will develop training centres and undertake extension activities to promote sustainable Agro Industries.

Uttarakhand crisis: Congress charges Baba Ramdev with a role in rebellion by party MLAs

The political crisis in Uttarakhand took a new turn with the Congress dragging Ramdev into the picture accusing him of “hatching” a plot jointly with BJP leadership to topple the state government but the yoga guru refuted the charge on Thursday.Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress President Kishore Upadhyay created a flutter in political circles on Wednesday by alleging that the yoga guru and BJP chief Amit Shah had hatched a conspiracy together to dislodge the state government and the rebellion against Harish Rawat by the party’s MLAs was a result of this.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Claiming that he had enough evidence to substantiate his charge, Upadhyay said, “Ramdev was in touch with Congress rebels and is one of the key persons besides the BJP President involved in hatching a conspiracy against the ruling party.”He (Ramdev) worked like a BJP agent to foment a rebellion against the state government and topple it.” Upadhyay claimed that Ramdev was in touch with the nine rebel Congress MLAs before March 18 when the crisis erupted in the state Assembly during a vote on the appropriation bill on the state’s annual budget.However, taking cognizance of newspaper reports in this regard, Ramdev said he was unnecessarily being dragged into the ongoing political turmoil in the state despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it.”I read in the newspapers that Ramdev and Amit Shah together conspired to topple the state government. Not even in my dream did I have a talk with any Congress MLA or party worker. Whatever we do, we do it openly. If we have to make or break something we do it openly we don t do anything with a hidden agenda behind the curtains,” Ramdev told reporters in Haridwar when asked to comment on the charges levelled against him.”We have no role to play in this matter. Political parties are responsible for political incidents,” he said.Reacting to this, Pradesh Congress chief spokesman Mathuradutt Joshi said no amount of clarification on part of the yoga guru can absolve him of his role in the political crisis in Uttarakhand.”The yoga guru runs a business empire worth nearly Rs 2000 crore in Uttarakhand and there are a number of cases under investigation against his trust. He has many scores to settle with the state government. The involvement of Ramdev and the top BJP leadership in the ongoing rebellion is direct,” Joshi claimed.

Amend the law to make everyone say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ban cow slaughter: Ramdev

Vadodara: A country-wide ban on cow slaughter is necessary to prevent sectarian clashes and foster communal harmony, yoga guru Ramdev said on Wednesday while also suggesting that the law should be amended to make everyone chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Ramdev. AFP

Ramdev. AFP

In the wake of the row kicked up by AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi with the remark that he would not say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, Ramdev said the Centre should bring an amendment to promote the chanting of the slogan.

“Even though it is not written in the Constitution that one should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, there should be no problem in chanting it… Therefore, an amendment should be made in the law so that everyone says it,” he said.

Talking to reporters at the city airport here before leaving for a religious function nearby, the yoga guru said, “It is my humble appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce a total ban on cow slaughter across the country. I am hopeful to get a positive response from the PM.

“I believe that a country-wide ban would bring harmony between various communities and reduce communal clashes.”

He claimed there was no cow slaughter in India till the 18th century and “even Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had imposed a total ban on this activity”.

“Uttar Pradesh, which is a highly-sensitive state, has imposed a ban on cow slaughter too,” he said.

Ramdev also slammed Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor for comparing JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, with freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

“This is an insult to the martyrs who laid down their lives fighting for the freedom of our country,” he said.

PTI

Amend law to make everyone say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’: Baba Ramdev

A country-wide ban on cow slaughter is necessary to prevent sectarian clashes and foster communal harmony, yoga guru Ramdev said on Wednesday while also suggesting that the law should be amended to make everyone chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.In the wake of the row kicked up by AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi with the remark that he would not say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, Ramdev said the Centre should bring an amendment to promote the chanting of the slogan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Even though it is not written in the Constitution that one should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, there should be no problem in chanting it… Therefore, an amendment should be made in the law so that everyone says it,” he said.Talking to reporters at the city airport here before leaving for a religious function nearby, the yoga guru said, “It is my humble appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce a total ban on cow slaughter across the country. I am hopeful to get a positive response from the PM.”I believe that a country-wide ban would bring harmony between various communities and reduce communal clashes.” He claimed there was no cow slaughter in India till the 18th century and “even Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had imposed a total ban on this activity”.”Uttar Pradesh, which is a highly-sensitive state, has imposed a ban on cow slaughter too,” he said.Ramdev also slammed Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor for comparing JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, with freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.”This is an insult to the martyrs who laid down their lives fighting for the freedom of our country,” he said.

JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid receives yet another hate letter

JNU Students Union Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora who had earlier received a hate letter for opposing Ramdev’s visit to the university has now received a similar communication over her agitation against imposing of sedition charge on few students.Shehla who is leading a movement against arrest of student union president Kanhaiya Kumar over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru, is planning to approach the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to complain against the hate letter. The letter received from an anonymous sender at JNUSU office is full of abuses and targets Shehla as an “anti-national” for supporting those accused of sedition. The communication also mentions political leaders Sitaram Yechury and Rahul Gandhi in the same “category” for having visited the campus to express solidarity with students.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is the second time I have received such a blasphemous letter which is an insult of mine not only as a JNU student but also as a women. Last time I had approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) over the same and have not heard from them about my complaint for over a month,” Shehla said. “I will now approach Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) about the letter. This is the best thing the right-wing opponents can come up with,” she added.Shehla had last month approached NCW saying she had opposed the invite to Yoga Guru Ramdev to be a keynote speaker in an academic conference at JNU and in return, she had received a letter “hurling abuses” at her.Jawaharlal Nehru University is caught in a row over an event on the campus to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.The varsity’s students union president Kanhaiya Kumar is in judicial custody in a sedition case in connection with the February 9 event. Two other students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya are in police custody in the same case.

The irony of the Kanhaiya Kumar saga: JNU has no space for dissent and it was the Left that made it so

By Devesh Kumar

Towards the end of 2015, an invitation was extended to Baba Ramdev to deliver the keynote address at the 22nd International Congress of Vedanta, being organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies. The Centre, in its wisdom, thought that the Yoga Guru had the right credentials to address the gathering. But a section of students thought otherwise. A campaign was launched to stall his appearance at the meet, on the ground that he represented “a regressive ideology,” and harboured “extreme hatred, bias and prejudice against various minorities – religious, gender, and also against girl-child.” They came up with an even more specious argument to thwart Baba Ramdev‘s arrival: that his views on Indian Indian science were “not academically driven.”

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The stop-Baba Ramdev campaign was spearheaded by none other than Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNUSU president who has today emerged as the symbol of freedom of speech and expression. The truth is that the ideology that Kumar represents doesn’t have room for contra-opinion and dissent, and JNU, unfortunately, has become a fertile breeding ground for such thinking. Since its inception in 1969, JNU had little space for free and frank speech. The Left-backed student organisations ensured that.

Former deputy prime minister LK Advani got a taste of the Left’s disdain and contempt for free speech way back in 1996, when he was invited to release a book published by Prof. Vasant Gadre of the Centre for Spanish Studies. As soon as the student leaders belonging to the Left and radical Left got wind of the programme, they raised a brouhaha, asserting that Advani could not be allowed to enter the campus as he represented a “communal organisation and fascist ideology.” Faced with sustained protests from these sections, the organisers had no option but to shift their function to a different venue outside the campus.

Over the years, “communal organisation and fascist ideology” has become the perfect ruse to throttle the growth of alternative viewpoints in the
university. Students gravitating towards a nationalist ideology have been kept under watch, and even intimidated. Several students were forced to
remain closet supporters of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for fear of inviting the wrath and fury of their
Left-inclined teachers. This was particularly true of centres such as the Centre for Historical Studies (CHS), Centre for Economic Studies and
Planning (CESP) and the Centre for Study of Regional Development (CSRD). Those who dared to come out in the open with their ‘inconvenient’
ideological predilections found their grades ruined and careers destroyed.

In the iconic 1992 blockbuster Scent of a Woman, Frank Slade, a retired US Army Colonel, laments the fall in the standards of a preparatory school in New England. “Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here,” he says. It had fallen several years back in JNU. The Leftists and their ideology facilitated the process. And if they are crying foul today, it is because an alternative ideology is threatening their free run and altering the course of the narrative.

Devesh Kumar is a former journalist and an alumni of Jawaharlal Nehru University

Nitin Gadkari says no to casinos; wants Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar to enter tourism

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday cleared that casinos are not welcome in the country while he pitched that organisations doing “good work” like Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali group and Sri Sri Ravishankar’s ‘Art ofLiving’ should create facilities at the over 1,300 islands, which are to be opened up for tourism across the country.”We oppose things like casinos, and I will not give permissions for that. People will also not tolerate such things,” Gadkari said at an industry event here.Stating that “Art of Living (of Sri Sri Ravishankar) and Ramdev Baba (of Patanjali group) are doing good work,” Gadkari asked them to start ayurvedic spas to give massages and ayurvedic treatment at these islands being opened up.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union shipping minister said apart from ayurveda and traditional wellness activities, “entertainment facilities are also welcome on the islands but definitely not casinos”.The functioning of the casinos has been a contentious issue in the country and only the BJP-ruled Goa, the UT of Daman and Sikkim have functional places of gambling.As per the Constitution, gambling and allowing casinos are a state subject.Referring to a conference held earlier to leverage on the tourism potential offered by the islands and lighthouses, Gadkari said the government has decided to open up 1,300 islands and 280 lighthouses.He said there is a good demand for activities like yoga and traditional Indian wellness programmes from foreigners and apart from the foreign exchange (forex) it will also help in generating employment.

VP of JNU Students Union alleges receiving ‘hate letter’ for opposing Ramdev visit

JNU Students Union’s vice president has approached the National Commission for Women (NCW), alleging that she received a “hate letter” for opposing the varsity’s invitation to Yoga guru Ramdev for an event.In her letter to the NCW chief, Shehla Rashid Shora said she had opposed the invite to Ramdev to be a keynote speaker in an academic conference at JNU and in return, she had to face “abusive” comments on Twitter which she “chose to ignore”. “And now I have received an anonymous letter, hurling abuses at me for opposing the visit. I seek your intervention in this regard,” she said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am the only female among members of JNUSU. My fellow office-bearers do not have to face comments on their body, sexuality and parentage. But, I have to…only because I am a woman,” she alleged. Shora, a candidate of left-backed All India Students Union, was the first Kashmiri women to contest and win the students union polls at JNU.She had led a campaign against the invitation extended to Ramdev for ’22nd International Congress of Vedanta’ in December last, terming it as a “silent right-wing onslaught” on the university. While the varsity had refused to withdraw the invitation, Ramdev skipped the visit citing shortage of time.Meanwhile, women activist Kavita Krishnan denounced the “hate letter” saying “atrocious sexist and communal abuse for writing to JNU against allowing Ramdev to deliver a keynote address at an academic function on science…such abuse really exposes the cowardly politics of some goons”. NCW officials were not available for comment on the issue.