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Identify heroes of 1857, assist their kin, BJP MP tells Centre

In yet another attempt to change the popular perception of Indian history to suit the right wing, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Sharad Tripathi has claimed that freedom fighters from the anti-colonial uprising of 1857 were not well-known to the people, and has urged the Centre to identify them and extend benefits to their families.Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have long asserted that the uprising of 1857 — dubbed as the First War of Independence by none other than Sangh ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar — has not been given the pride of place in Indian history, and that the history has been dominated by Gandhi and Nehru under the ‘Congress-Left hegemony’.Balmukund Pandey, organising secretary of RSS’ history rewriting project Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), had earlier told DNA that it was conducting a research to find the national heroes who were missing from Indian history books. Several martyrs from 1857, such as Tantia Tope and Jhalkari Bai, figured in this list.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raked up the issue at a Meerut rally in 2014 accusing the Congress of having ‘insulted’ martyrs by forgetting them.Tripathi too had earlier this year demanded in Parliament that a martyr’s gate be built in Delhi to honour freedom fighters who laid down their lives between 1857 and 1947.A list containing the names of such freedom fighters should be released by the government, he said adding that, so far there was no such authentic record. “While the names of Indian soldiers who fought the World War-II were inscribed by the British on India Gate, there is no such commemoration for the Indians who died for the country’s freedom from 1857 to 1947,” he said.In a similar push, RSS and BJP had in 2008 organised events to commemorate 150 years of 1857.More recently, RSS-affiliated historian Satish Chandra Mittal, associated with ABISY, had said in a seminar this year: “Instead of calling it a revolt, we should rather say it was a fight to protect the Indian culture.”Ironically, Savarkar had considered the Hindus-Muslims unity during the uprising as the cornerstone of Indian nationalism in his book ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ first published in 1909.”I believe that India’s fight for Independence began in 1857 led to the freedom in 1947. The government should do a study and recognise such heroes as martyrs. Their family members should be given benefits,” he said.

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‘Good business’ means children go to school

A business approach to improving schools in India will mean investment is directly linked to pupil achievement.

Delhi HC dismisses plea for ‘shaheed’ status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking that freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru be given the status of martyr, saying it cannot issue such a direction.”The plea is dismissed. We cannot issue such a direction,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.The petitioner failed to reply to the court’s query on whether there is any law under which the court has the power to issue any such direction.The plea filed by advocate Birender Sangwan sought grant of ‘shaheed’ (martyr) status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru who were hanged by the Britishers in 1931.”The grant of shaheed status is very much essential for a martyr and it is the legal right of a martyr to have such a status declared to them, thus it is an expression of gratitude towards them,” the plea said.Bhagat Singh and Rajguru had in 1928 fatally shot a British junior police officer, John Saunders at Lahore in present day Pakistan, mistaking him for a British police superintendent.A special tribunal was constituted by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, which had sentenced the duo along with Sukhdev to death by hanging at Lahore Jail.

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Mumbai: BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar raises Asiatic Society Central Library building roof leakage issue

The roof leakage of Asiatic Library would be done away with permanently since state Government has decided to seal the issue forever.BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar had raised the issue of water leakage leading to damage of hundreds of books in Central Library Asiatic Society. While raising the issue through a starred question Bhatkhalkar asked whether there would be any action against the contractor who undertook maintenance work of the roof last year after leakage. He also demanded blacklisting the contractor for repeated leakage of the roof. PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil informed the House that there was leakage five years ago and the repair work was carried out then. He informed that last year there was roof leakage but since any repair contract can not be guaranteed for more than five years, it was not possible to take action against the contractor. Ashish Shelar pointed out that the Asiatic Library is a construction of British Era and the lowest step of the Library is at sea level and the British construction ensured that water should not enter from below during high tide and heavy rains. Shelar criticised Government saying, “British ensured that water would not come in from steps and that is the reason our Government is allowing the water inside the library from the roof.”Bhatkhalkar asked how was it possible to have leakage again this year if the contractor had repaired it last year. He also questioned as to who was responsible for faulty tender which did not ensured maintenance after repair. Chandrakant Patil informed that he would take action against the contractor and hold a meeting soon after the winter session to sort out all the issues pertaining to repair and maintenance of Asiatic library for ever.

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Alpha to Bravo

The joint exercises between the Indian and the British Armies, third in the series, culminated on Thursday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges near Bikaner.Meanwhile, heli-borne exercises were also conducted while methods of insertions were also taught followed by actual practice for the intended target. As the days progressed officers of both the armies started focusing on specific counterterrorism operations with lectures and demonstrations by UK contingent on search and destroy mission while cordon and search demonstration by Indian contingent. Interestingly the contingents were shown handling of venomous snakes during jungle survival training.In his closing remarks, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh of the Indian Army conveyed that in the current flattened world and the ever-changing militancy environment, such joint endeavors are the need of the day to find a solution to this global menace and such exercise are a small but concrete step in the right direction.The closing ceremony was attended by observers and senior military dignitaries from both the Armies. Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner in India and Major General Robert Harry Talbot Rice from the United Kingdom and Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding STRIKE 1 and Major General Rupinder Singh, General Officer Commanding Cockerel Division from Indian Army were present.

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Robbers target Indian homes in UK for gold

Police say ten of millions of pounds worth of jewellery have been stolen from South Asian homes.

J&K’s National Conference to go solo in 2021 assembly elections

Ending speculations, main opposition National Conference on Tuesday announced to go solo in the next assembly elections and promised to bring legislation in the assembly for Regional Autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.”We won’t have alliance with any party. A stable, strong and people friendly government is the answer to problems facing Jammu and Kashmir”, said Dr Farooq Abdullah, former J&K chief minister and president of National Conference while addressing the workers rally at Udhampur in Jammu division.Reigniting the debate on the autonomy, Abdullah promised to bring legislation in the assembly to restore the regional autonomy in the state. “Immediately after forming the government, National Conference will bring legislation in the first assembly session with regards to regional autonomy. This will empower every segment of the society and every region and sub-region politically and economically”, he said.National Conference government of Farooq Abdullah had passed the autonomy resolution in the Legislative Assembly on June 26, 2000, but it was summarily rejected by the then NDA government lead by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Under the autonomy resolution, Jammu and Kashmir shall enjoy complete autonomy on all issues except defence, foreign policy, currency and communication, which will lie with the centre.National Conference and Congress had stitched a post-poll alliance in 2008 which however crumbled before the 2014 elections. However, both parties had to bite the dust in 2014 elections with PDP and BJP sweeping the polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The next assembly elections are due in 2021″Party was confident of a massive mandate on its own, given support of the people at ground zero”, Abdullah said. Lambasting the BJP for what he called dividing the nation on religion, Farooq said this dispensation has negated the vision of freedom fighters who gave sacrifices to free India from the shackles of British. “At that point of time, the freedom stalwarts did not think in terms of Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs but their paramount mission was to seek freedom for India, the abode of all faiths”, he saidThe National Conference President also referred to the circumstances leading to safe passage of terrorists at Kandhar during the tenure of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. “The situation has now taken such a turn that India’s pleas in the United Nations over declaration of Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist is being vetoed by China”, he said.

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When Indira Gandhi sought Osho’s secy’s help to persuade Rajiv to enter politics

After Sanjay Gandhi s death in a plane crash, his mother Indira Gandhi wanted her other son Rajiv to give up being a professional pilot and enter politics and sought the help of Osho’s secretary Laxmi to persuade him, claims a new book.Indira Gandhi, India’s fourth prime minister, was interested in spiritual life like her father Jawaharlal Nehru, says poet-artist Rashid Maxwell in The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi, and the World in Crisis .”From an early age, she had been touched by the words and the being of Osho. She was, however, first and foremost an ambitious politician so she never actually came to his ashram even when she was in Poona because Osho was already a controversial figure by then,” the book says.Until 1977 when Indira Gandhi was temporarily deposed from power, Laxmi was given a ‘green pass’, an entitlement to visit the Congress leader in her home or office at any time, it says.Also readRajiv Gandhi assassination: Convict’s mom appeals to Centre, Sonia GandhiIn 1980, when Indira Gandhi was again prime minister, her son and heir Sanjay died in a plane crash.When Laxmi visited her, Indira Gandhi entreated her to go and talk with Rajiv Gandhi.”She wanted Laxmi’s help to persuade Rajiv to give up being a professional pilot and enter politics. Laxmi went to his room and spoke with him for a long time concerning the contribution he might make to the country’s progress in the 20th century,” Maxwell writes in the book, published by Simon & Schuster.Rajiv Gandhi was reluctant but he subsequently entered politics, he adds.He became the prime minister following his mother s assassination in 1984.”The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi, and the World in Crisis” is a biography of Laxmi, a woman who blazed a path for herself and others in the presence of the mystic Osho.Growing up in British India and apparently rendered powerless in a domineering world, Laxmi went on to become Osho’s first disciple and secretary.The book also describes the ups and downs in Laxmi’s life – how she was at the helm of the massive international movement that grew around Osho in the 1970s and 80s to how she was ostracised and later banished and had to wander in the wastelands of America in isolation.

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At Patna University’s special exhibition, check out original Laila-Majnu manuscript, rare coins

If you are a history lover and living in Patna, you must not miss out the Patna University exhibition that starts today.From letters written by the First President of India to handwritten manuscript of ‘Laila-Majnu’, from antique coins of the Mughal era and gazettes of the British period to several rare scripts will be on display at Patna University’s Central Library for visitors.The exhibition, which is a part of the university’s centenary year celebration, will be inaugurated by Bihar Governor-cum-Chancellor of Universities Satya Pal Malik. “This is the first occasion when the rare manuscripts will be put on display for the public. People can walk through the history of the last few centuries,” said a senior official of the Patna University.Among the displays include a 17th century illustrated manuscript of “Laila-Majnu”, handwritten in Persian by Mullara Abdur Rahman Ghani, documents on the history of Magadh and Bihar as well as versions of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata dating back to the 13th century, Malti Madhawan and Saroj Kalika (14th century), Rishala Sifat Jaruriya and Tolinama (15th century), Jahangirnama and Vrihat Jatak (16th century), Kavya Kamdhenu by Mop Dev (17th century) and Shukla Yajurveda (18th century).The letters of Dr Rajendra Prasad, the First President of India, date between 1950 and 1951, and are responses and greetings to the principals and students of the colleges of Patna University (PU). There are manuscripts written on “Bhjojpatra”, leather, copper leaves and palm leaves etc, besides some rare coins dating between 12th and 15th centuries.The PU official said that while several of these manuscripts were present in the central library, some of them have been collected from different departments and paintings made by students of College of Arts and Crafts will also be put on display. The students and general public can visit the exhibition between 9am and 7pm till December 15.

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Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British govt should apologise for Amritsar tragedy, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan

The British government should apologise for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Wednesday, calling it a tragedy one “must never forget”.Khan, who arrived in Amritsar on Tuesday, paid a rich tribute to those who died in Jallianwala Bagh incident.”It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh. Our thoughts are with all those who died.”It is time for the British government to finally apologise. The tragedy in 1919 on the eve of Vaisakhi is one we must never forget,” Khan wrote in the visitors’ book at the Jallianwala Bagh here.The massacre took place on April 13, 1919 when British troops commanded by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, opened fire at a crowd of unarmed people, on the harvest festival of Baisakhi.A large number of people died in the incident.The former British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his 2013 visit to Jallianwala Bagh, also condemned the tragedy and described it as a “deeply shameful incident” in British history. However, he stopped short of making any official apology.Wrapping up his first official tour to India, the London Mayor, earlier today, also paid obeisance at the holy shrine of Golden Temple.During his visit, he participated in langar at the Golden Temple complex and showed keen interest in knowing how the food is prepared.Khan was also presented with a Siropa (robe of honour) by officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).”It has been a privilege for me to be in Amritsar for the last 24 hours. The Golden Temple is a spiritual home for tens of thousands of Londoners of the Sikh faith and millions of Sikhs around the world come to Amritsar to pay their respects to worship,” he said while talking to the reporters.Also, sharing the same sentiments on the visitors’ book of the Golden Temple, he wrote: ” The warmth, hospitality , spirituality are a lesson to us all. Thank you for providing me with memories that will stay with me forever”.On Tuesday evening, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hosted a dinner for the London Mayor in Amritsar.Khan, who was on a three-city tour to India, visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar to strengthen the UK’s capital trade ties with India.
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Babies’ brains damaged by pollution, Unicef says

Toxic air is putting the brain development of millions of infants under one at risk, Unicef says.

SKAT stuns all with aerial stunts

The audience was thrilled to see the amazing aerial acrobatics of the Aerobatics Team of the Air Force, Suryakiran (SKAT) during air Show held at Jodhpur Air Force Station on Tuesday morning. Regardless of the bad weather, fearless pilots of the Air Force demonstrated the flying skills and harmony by showing a formation of the fighter aircraft from Rafael to the Tejas.After the entry of the new British Aircraft Hawk Mk 132 in Surya Kiran, there was a full dress rehearsal for the first time in Rajasthan. Under the leadership of Suryakiran team group captain Ajit Kulkarni, 9 aircraft showed about 21 formations in the air. The shark fighter showed a spectacular artwork from Hawk with various maneuvers. It is the one of the world’s best team to showcase the best aerobatics. After this, it was started once again in 2015 with six Hawk Train Jets. The more the risk, the more sense of joyGroup Capt Ajit Kulkarni believes that It’s very risky to show the thriller acrobats in the air but there is also a different feeling of happiness and joy in doing this. He believes that they perform the thriller acrobatics due to mutual understanding and concentration. Displaying one form after another is no less than a challenge and risk.The weather was bad in Jodhpur on Tuesday. It seemed that the performance of Suryakiran team would be postponed but despite the bad weather, this team showed the feat. At the same time, the speed of the wind was too fast, but this is part of our training.He told that the skill of performing such tricks in the sky is very difficult to achieve. Pilots, who have experience of flying fighter jets for six to seven years, have to face many challenges to join this team.
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Saving India’s photo studios in the digital age

A project wants to preserve the legacy of old photo studios by making digital prints

In India, London Mayor Sadiq Khan says UK govt’s visa norms a ‘big mistake’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan today said he was “lobbying” with the British government to change its stringent visa norms, which he termed as a “big mistake”.Khan arrived in the country’s commercial capital as part of his first official tour to three Indian cities, others being Delhi and Amritsar, to strengthen the UK capital’s trade ties.”I am a big critic of the British government over the change in the Visa policy. I think they have made a big mistake, as on one hand the British government is asking Indian businesses to trade there and on the other hand they have made it more hard (to enter the country),” Khan said during his interaction with reporters.Recently, the Theresa May government changed its visa policy for non-EU (European Union) nationals to curb its soaring immigration figures. The policy which came into effect in November will affect a large number of Indians, especially IT professionals.”I want to assure you that I am lobbying with my government to change its immigration stance, because I want talented Indians to come to London and not go to Canada, Australia or the US. London is open to people, talent and partnership,” the London Mayor said.Also readUK visas set to get more expensive from today; Indians, nationals outside EU to be affectedIndia last month flagged its serious concerns to Britain over its stringent visa norms and hike in threshold limit of annual pay of working professionals to get the travel documents.Khan said the change in UK’s current position on immigration is needed in the interest of the UK capital.Also readNew UK visa norms to impact Indian IT professionals”One of the reasons why London is the greatest city in the world is its ability to catch talent. (A total of) 40 per cent of Londoners are from outside the UK. IT’s in the interest of London to change its stance on immigration and I’m optimistic that it will change in near future,” he said.The visiting Mayor also underlined the need to forge strong cultural ties with India, particularly with Mumbai.”I believe that culture is the DNA of any city. I’m meeting (Maharashtra) Chief Minister tomorrow and hoping to announce a lot of things in relation to culture as well as a joint venture on issues like ecology and climate change,” he said.Hailing Bollywood, Khan said they wanted to learn how the industry can churn out so many movies in a year.”One thing that we are doing in Mumbai is learning how you mange to make so many films in Bollywood..what is that you are doing? Indian films’ post-production work is excellent.Hollywood filmmakers come here to do their post production work. So, one of the announcements we are making tomorrow will be of the UK and India making films together, which will be a good example,” he said.Khan said students will benefit a lot as professionals after they get education in the top universities in London.”There are more international students in London than any other city in the world. Four of the world’s top 30 universities are in London. Due to the change in the visa policy, some Indian students chose to go to Canada or Australia.”However, I want to tell Indian students that our universities are brilliant. When you come to London, apart from fantastic quality of education you get, you also get the experience and the contacts you make…This will stand you in good head when you return to (your) country as executive, investor, teacher or entrepreneur,” he said.
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RBI fixed reference rate for US$ at Rs 64.43 and Euro at Rs 76.48

On the global front, the US dollar dropped sharply to reports that Michael Flynn, Donald Trump s former national security adviser who was charged earlier on Friday with lying to the FBI, was prepared to testify that the president directed him to make contact with Russian officials.The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, was a tad higher at 92.81 against 92.79 previously.Elsewhere, the common currency Euro staged a good run against the US dollar on the back of stronger-than-expected Eurozone data and the improvement in risk appetite.British Pound, however, slipped from a two-month high against the dollar, getting only a temporary boost from better-than-expected UK manufacturing data, as investors fretted about Britain reaching a deal with the European Union over the Irish border.In cross-currency trade, the rupee remained sluggish against the British pound and settled at 86.65 per pound from 86.13.The local currency, however, recovered against the Euro to finish at 76.33 as compared to 76.73 and also rebounded against the Japanese Yen to close at 57.39 per 100 yens from 58.03 last weekend.In the forward market, a premium for dollar showed a mixed trend owing to lack of market-moving factors.The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable for April moved down to 114-116 paise from 117-119 paise, while the far-forward contract maturing in October 2018 held steady at 256-258 paise last Friday.
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India, UK armies begins Ajeya Warrior ’17

Ajeya Warrior 2017 — the two-week-long joint training exercise between the Indian and the British Army — began on Friday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Bikaner district of Rajasthan.Conducted in the backdrop of UN mandate of anti-terrorism, the joint exercise started with a sombre, impressive opening ceremony. It started with an address by Lt Colonel Sangram Yadav and Major David Granfield. They gave a brief of the events that would comprise the two-week exercise scheduled to be held from December 1 to 14.According to sources, both India and UK are facing the scourge of terrorism and have joined hands to participate in this combined military exercise. The exercise will see the two forces carrying out multiple tactical maneuvers jointly to hone their skills. They will understand each others’ concept of anti terrorist operations and imbibe the adaptable aspects. The troops will jointly patrol and lay ambush in a simulated terrorist infested environment.The training contingent comprises one company each from the Indian Army and the British Army. Approximately 120 personnel each from the 20th Battalion of The Rajputana Rifles from the Indian Army and The Royal Anglian Regiment of the British Army.Both the forces have vast experience in the field of anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism. While Indian troops bring on table their experiences in Sri Lanka and Jammu and Kashmir, the 1st Battalion of Royal Anglian Regiment boasts of vast experience operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha, said, “The exercise will be conducted in multiple modes to achieve complete integration. It also aims to enhance inter-operability while sharing skills and experiences.”Ajey Warrior 2017 is the third joint biannual Indo-UK war exercise. The first exercise was conducted in Belgaum Karnataka in 2013. The second exercise was in 2015 in UK.
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Chennai Six: Britons jailed in India win appeal

The six former British soldiers were jailed on weapons charges in 2013.

Body with ‘Padmavati ka virodh’ message found hanging in Jaipur’s Nahargarh fort

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing row and threats to actors over Bollywood movie Padmavati, a body was found hanging in Jaipur’s Nahargarh fort with a message ‘Padmavati ka virodh’.’Padmavati’ has been facing the wrath of various Rajput groups and political leaders, who have accused Bhansali of distorting history.A message ‘we don’t burn effigies, we hang people’ was found written near the body.However, Karni Sena which has demanded a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film denied their involvement in the incident.”This could be a suicide. This is not our way of protest. We condemn this,” Karni Sena President Mahipal Singh Makrana told CNN NEWS-18.On Thursday, Karni Sena had threatened to burn theatres in the UK after the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) cleared Padmavati for the UK audience.“I myself wanted to go there to protest but the Indian government has confiscated my passport, so I will ask the Rajput community there to protest,” Sukhdev Singh, a leader of Karni Sena told a news channel.Meanwhile, a functionary at Viacom 18, however, said there was no plan to release the film globally without it being cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).As the film was supposed to release on December 1, there are over 50 countries where this process (of certification) is on, he said.The lavishly mounted film, starring Deepika Padukone in the title role, and Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is a joint production by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions.Many groups have been protesting amid rumours that there was a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padmini and Allauddin Khilji. However, Bhansali said in an appeal that there was no dream sequence and it was all a rumour.Several politicians have already demanded a ban on the movie, while Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have already refused to allow a release of the movie in the state.

Sonepur cattle fair fast losing its sheen, reduced to a cultural carnival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once famous as Asia’s largest cattle fair, Bihar’s “Sonepur Mela” is losing its sheen with colourful events turning it into a cultural carnival.The fair, which was inaugurated by deputy CM of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi on November 2, is put up at the confluence of River Ganga and River Gandak in Saran district, around 40 kilometres from the state capital.The various folklore associated with the fair claim that animals were traded here from the times of Chandragupt Maurya and through the Mughal era. It is believed that Veer Kunwar Singh also visited the centuries old fair to strengthen his cavalry and infantry to fight against the British.Elephants, horses, cows, buffaloes, goats and birds were once a major attraction at the fair, but the scenes have changed now. The regular visitors to the fair claim the number of cattle traders has reduced considerably, and handloom and handicraft stalls along with government kiosks now dominate the fairground.The reason for almost emply “Gai Bazaar”, many believe, is the increased fear of cow vigilantes across the nation. Similar views were echoed by RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav, who said, “Fewer animals have been brought to the fair as cattle traders are hesitant of attack by Gau Rakshaks en route. Earlier people were afraid of lions, now they are afraid of cows.”The ban on trading of elephants and birds has added to the lacklustre. “Till the turn of the century, elephants from across the country were traded at the fair. However, for the last few years, they were only put on exhibition and now even that is on verge of extinction,” says Harkhu Rai, who visited the fair to buy milch animals.The focus of the fair has now shifted on entertainment events such as theatre and cultural evenings along with spreading awareness and promotion of government’s policies and products. The Government of Bihar too is aware of the changes and a senior official of the state tourism department said, “With so many legislation related to animal trade coming up in the country, it is difficult to preserve its essence of being Asia’s largest cattle fair. Perhaps, renovating it as a cultural centre in the coming years will be more practical.”The fair, which is visited by many foreign tourists, will conclude on December 2.

Delhi High Court directs Tihar to take action in violence case against ISIS suspects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has directed the Tihar jail authorities to take appropriate action on a plea that alleged violence against some suspected ISIS operatives and other inmates in the high security cell of the prison.District and Sessions Judge Poonam A Bamba issued directions while disposing the plea filed by three persons, namely Suhail Ahmed, Mohd Obaidullah Khan and Imran, who have allegedly recruited and financed people to join the terror outfit ISIS.The application filed by advocate M S Khan on behalf of the accused claimed that on the night of November 21, the jail staff beat up the inmates of the high-risk ward without any provocation.The lawyer said that 26 inmates were injured but were not being provided medical treatment.”The violence in jail against the inmates by the jail staff is on the rise and every day the inmates are complaining of the same,” the plea had said.The application also contended that”whenever such incidents happen, the jail authorities come up with a plea that CCTVs were not working and this has become their habit” and sought direction to the jail superintendent to file a response in this regard along with the CCTV footage.In the recent past, several instances of inhumane treatment and violence have been reported from Tihar jail.On November 20, the Delhi High Court had taken cognisance of the media reports where a foreign court had struck down India’s extradition request stating that there would human right violation at Tihar due to the conditions.In another matter, 27-year-old Shamiun Rahman, a British national of Bangladeshi origin arrested for allegedly recruiting Rohingya youth for Al-Qaeda to carry out terror activities, had moved a Delhi court alleging sexual harassment inside the jail.

Padmavati | Please stop release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie outside India, says plea in Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on November 28 a fresh plea seeking to stop the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ outside India on December 1.This comes as the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on Wednesday cleared the movie for release in the UK on December 1. The plea filed by advocate ML Sharma alleges that the makers of “Padmavati” misrepresented facts before the court with regard to Censor Board’s approval on releasing songs and the promo and sought directions stop the release of the controversial film outside India. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would hear the plea on Tuesday. “We will take it up on Tuesday. You (advocate) file a writ petition,” the bench told Sharma who mentioned his fresh plea for an urgent hearing.Sharma alleged that grave damage will be done to social harmony if the movie is allowed to be released outside India.He also sought criminal prosecution of the makers of “Padmavati” for allegedly misrepresenting facts that the songs and promos were cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).Earlier, the top court had dismissed Sharma’s plea seeking to delete certain alleged objectionable scenes from the movie.The bench had observed that the CBFC had not yet given certificate to the movie and the apex court could not “injunct” a statutory body from doing its duty.“Padmavati” has been facing protests by various Rajput groups and political leaders, who have accused director Bhansali of distorting history.They allege that there is a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padmini and Allauddin Khilji in the film.The film was scheduled to arrive in cinema halls on December 1, but Viacom 18, the company that has produced the film, postponed the release till further notice.(With PTI inputs)

‘Padmavati’ row: British Censor Board clears Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film for UK audience

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In India there have been protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversy-ridden ‘Padmavati’, but the movie has been cleared for a scheduled release in the UK. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has cleared the movie for release on December 1. The BBFC has given the film a 12A rating and was passed without any cuts. The 12A rating mandates that the film cannot be viewed by a child under the age of 12 unless accompanied by an adult.The British Censor Board has listed the film on its official website, stating, “‘Padmavati’ (12A) moderate violence, injury detail.”It also mentioned that “all known versions of this work passed uncut”.On the other hand in India, the producers of the controversy- ridden film Padmavati will take a call on its release only after the censor board’s go-ahead, a source said today.The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role of Rani Padmavati, with Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The film was earlier scheduled to release on December 1.But media reports have claimed that the film is now pushed for next year in India and the promotions have been put on hold. The source from the production house, however, revealed that no concrete decision has been reached yet.On Sunday, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind “Padmavati”, had announced that it was voluntarily deferring the release of the film, earlier scheduled on December 1, out of “respect and regard for the law of the land” and the Central Board of Film Certification.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January.Bhansali, through a video statement, has sought to clear the air surrounding the film, saying he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity” in the film.

2 Indian-origin trainee pilots killed in UK mid-air crash

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An 18-year-old Indian-origin trainee pilot and his compatriot instructor were among four persons killed in a mid-air collision between a light aircraft and a helicopter in south-east England, police confirmed on Wednesday.Savaan Mundae, aeronautics student from Buckinghamshire New University who was training to be a commercial pilot, died with his instructor Jaspal Bahra in the Cessna 152 on November 17.Both Mundae and 27-year-old Bahra were British citizens.The two others killed in the crash in a field in Buckinghamshire was another British flight trainer, 74-year- old Michael Green and his 32-year-old Vietnamese trainee pilot Thanh Nguyen, who were in the helicopter on a training session.”The air accident is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB). Our thoughts remain with the families of those involved in the accident. Our family liaison officers continue to offer support the victim’s families,” Thames Valley Police said in a statement following formal identification of the victims.Both aircraft came from Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield, near High Wycombe, which offers flight training.They crashed shortly after take off in woodlands in Upper Winchendon in the village of Waddesdon.”These amazing people lost their lives but they both died doing what they love and what they believe in… I fly with these guys and being a pilot is what I’ve wanted to do since I was very young, but it’s hit me hard,” Benjamin Hant, who studied air transport with commercial pilot training along with Mundae, said in a social media tribute.Air accident experts are still investigating the cause behind the collision.Both aircraft disintegrated on impact and plummeted to the ground.The wreckage from both aircraft have now been taken to the AAIB headquarters in Hampshire while it continues its investigation.The location of the crash was on Waddesdon private estate, owned by the Rothschild banking family.

Demonetization turned people into beggars, says Shiv Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at BJP leaders who called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘God’s gift to India’, ally Shiv Sena on Tuesday said citizens were god but the government had turned them into beggars after demonetisation.Many people termed British rule “divine dispensation’ during the colonial era, the Sena recalled in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.But the British rule was not god’s gift as it only looted the people, it said.”They survived here for 150 years using divide and rule methods. Those who feel the current regime is divine dispensation should stop insulting god. Citizens are god and they have become beggars because of the demonetisation decision,” it said.The Sena also accused the Modi government of lavishing money on advertisements to claim credit for a host of issues and asked why it was silent on pests attacking the cotton crop in Vidarbha.In a sarcastic comment on the bullet train, the Shiv Sena said the project was a “gift” of the Modi government and asked why it did not take credit when three women labourers were run over by a train while crossing the tracks between Malad and Goregaon stations in Mumbai three days ago.”Thriving on some success achieved by sheer luck, will the Modi and Devendra Fadnavis governments take responsibility for the loss of traditional jobs in Vidarbha, bamboo growers losing jobs…?”If a jobless youth from Vidarbha joins Naxalites, who will take the responsibility, the ruling party’s ally wanted to know.Referring to Miss India Manushi Chhillar being crowned Miss World, the Sena wondered why no one had come forward to seek credit for her achievement.

UK Foreign Secy Boris Johsnon says supporting India part of strategy after pulling out of ICJ race

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UK government today said the withdrawal of its candidate from the race for the last seat of the world court was part of its foreign policy objective to support India in the United Nations.India’s Dalveer Bhandari was today re-elected to the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama at the UN.Addressing Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson dismissed the idea that the defeat of the British candidate, Christopher Greenwood, was a “failure of British democracy”.”I congratulate the Indian judge on his election. It is a fine thing that another common law judge has joined the International Court of Justice,” he said.When asked what it symbolises for British diplomacy, he added: “It has been the long-standing objective of UK foreign policy to support India in the United Nations”.India’s nominee Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.The defeat of Greenwood at the world court has been widely seen as a sign of the UK’s diminishing global stature and it was no surprise that the issue was raised in the Commons as Johnson and his Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) team addressed questions from British MPs on a range of foreign policy affairs.Labour MP Lillian Greenwood also raised the issue of human rights in Kashmir, asking the FCO what steps had been taken by the UK government to engage with India and Pakistan on the issue.”The situation in Kashmir remains tragic, as it has for many decades. But we maintain that it is an issue to be resolved between the governments of India and Pakistan… we continue to monitor situation very carefully,” said Foreign Office minister Rory Stewart.Earlier, Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it decided to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.”The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” he said. “If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said.Rycroft said that the UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, “in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally”.Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.

What will Scindia say: Amid row over ‘Padmavati’, Smriti Irani takes jibe at Tharoor for ‘Maharaja’ comment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Smriti Irani on Friday took a jibe at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his reported ‘maharaja’ comments amidst a row over period drama ‘Padmavati’Tharoor had reportedly said the “so called valourous maharajas” had scurried to accommodate themselves when the British “trampled” over their honour and were now after a filmmaker, claiming that prestige was at stake.Reacting to Tharoor’s remarks, Irani tweeted, “Did all the Maharajs (kings) kneel in front of the British? What will Jyotiraditya Scindia, Diggi Raja (Digvijaya Singh) and Amarinder Singh say on Shashi Tharoor’s comments?”Congress leaders –Scindia, Digvijay Singh, and Amarinder Singh–hail from royal families.However, Tharoor had taken to Twitter to say, “I’m dismayed that some BJP supporters are claiming I attacked Rajput honour…I spoke about the Maharajahs who made their accommodations w/the (with the) British. I have never made a communal comment in my life.”As for specific concerns of the Rajput community, he said people’s sentiments must be respected in the interest of India’s diversity and harmony.”Rajput valour is part of our history and is not in question. BJP and its censors should take these concerns into account,” Tharoor said.Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’ is witnessing protests with some groups alleging that it allegedly tampered with historical facts.

What do Scindia, Digvijaya and Amarinder think? Smriti Irani targets Shashi Tharoor for saying so-called ‘rajas kneeled before British rules’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Smriti Irani, on Friday took a jibe at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his comments on kings amidst the row over film ‘Padmavati’. She targeted Tharoor for his observation about ongoing protest by the descendents of Rajput rulers over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’.Tharoor had reportedly said that the so-called ‘maharajas’, (kings) who have been after a filmmaker (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) by claiming that their honour is at stake, actually ran away when the British crushed their self-respect and honour.Commenting on Tharoor’s observation, Irani tweeted: ‘Did all the Maharajs (kings) kneel in front of the British’ What will Jyotiraditya Scindia, Diggi Raja (Digvijaya Singh) and Amarinder Singh say on Shashi Tharoor’s comments?’The Congress party leaders, Scindia, Digvijay Singh and Amarinder Singh hail from the royal families.However, when the issue snowballed, Tharoor took to Twitter to clarify his comments. ‘I am dismayed that some BJP supporters are claiming I attacked Rajput honour’.I spoke about the Maharajahs who made their accommodations w/the (with the) British. I have never made a communal comment in my life.’He further added that Rajput valour is not questionable.‘As for specific concerns of the Rajput community, people’s sentiments must be respected in the interests of India’s diversity & harmony. Rajput valour is part of our history & is not in question. BJP &its censors should take these concerns into account,’ Tharoor tweeted.Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’ is in the eye of the storm over the portrayal of Rajput queen Padmavati. The period drama, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts

Google celebrates Cornelia Sorabji’s 151st birth anniversary: 10 things you should know of India’s first woman advocate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Google on Wednesday paid tribute to India’s first female advocate Cornelia Sorabji on her 151st birth anniversary. Apart from this, Sorabji was also the first woman to graduate from the then Bombay University (now University of Mumbai).Here are 10 things you must know about her- She was one of nine children of Reverend Sorabji Karsedji, a missionary and his wife, Francina Ford,who had been adopted and raised by a British couple- Her father was a missionary and Sorabji claims that he was a key figure in convincing Bombay University to admit women to their degree programs- She enrolled in Deccan College, where she reportedly topped, but was not given a scholarship. She then took up a temporary position as a professor of English at a men’s college in Gujarat.- She was the first woman to graduate from Bombay University- She was funded by several individuals, including Florence Nightingale to complete her education. She took the Bachelor of Civil Laws exam at Oxford, becoming the first woman to do so- She returned to India and fought for the rights of widows who weren’t allowed to communicate with the outside world- She was not allowed to defend the women, as the legal system in British India at the time forbade her from doing so. She was formally recognised as a barrister after the law changed in 1923.- In the next 20 years of service, it is estimated that Sorabji helped over 600 women and orphans fight legal battles, sometimes at no charge.- Sorabji retired from the high court in 1929, and settled in London, visiting India during the winters.- She died in 1954

Torture claims over Scottish activist held in India

Jagtar Singh Johal has been held for 10 days but has not been charged with any crime.

Tipu Jayanti: With 70,000 security men on roads, Karnataka celebrates anniversary of ‘Tiger of Mysore’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bringing the state under a thick security blanket, “Tipu Jayanti” celebrations were held amid protests across Karnataka on Friday to mark the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th-century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan.With a sharply divided opinion over Tipu’s legacy and rising political temperature, opposition BJP, several Hindu organisations and individuals opposed the Karnataka government celebrating Tipu Jayanti through statewide protests.As over 54,000 police personnel and platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), bolstered by the Rapid Action Force (RAF), kept a hawk-eyed vigil, functions were held at the district headquarters, where in-charge ministers and others hailed the legacy of Tipu.There were reports of stones being hurled at a state transport bus and over 100 people, including local BJP MLA Appachu Ranjan, being detained in Kodagu district, where widespread protests and violence had marred the Tipu Jayanti celebrations two years ago, when a local VHP leader died and several others, including policemen, were injured.Kodagu district observed a shutdown in response to a bandh called by the BJP and certain Hindutva outfits.Prohibitory orders are in place in the district till on Saturday morning.Tipu was a ruler of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore and considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company.He was killed in May, 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna against the British forces.But, Tipu Sultan is a sensitive issue in Kodagu district as Kodavas (Coorgis), a martial race, believe that thousands of their men and women were seized and held captive during his occupation and subjected to torture, death and forcible conversion to Islam.Kodagu-based writer of historical books C P Beliappa had called the erstwhile ruler of Mysore a “treacherous tyrant”.However, the scale of such suppression is disputed by several historians, who see Tipu as a secular and modern ruler who took on the might of the British.With a sharp polarisation over Tipu Jayanti celebrations, the Karnataka government had made massive security arrangements across the state, deploying over 54,000 police personnel, 20,000 home guards and 212 platoons of the KSRP.The state security personnel were bolstered by the deployment of 15 platoons of the RAF across the state.In Bengaluru alone, 11,000 policemen were deployed, officials said.Prohibitory orders have also been clamped at certain places in Belagavi and Chitradurga districts.In Mangaluru, BJP district minority morcha president Franklin Monteiro, who tried to break the security cordon and barge into the premises where the celebrations were organised, was placed under arrest.Tipu is seen in a negative light in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district, where the Christians believe he had unleashed atrocities and forced conversion to Islam on their community.Even as BJP MLAs and MPs stayed away from the event, with some even writing to the respective district administrations not to mention their names in the invitations for it, party MLA from Vijayanagara constituency in Ballari district Anand Singh joined the celebrations.Recently, Union minister Anantkumar Hegde had kicked up a row after he requested the Karnataka government not to include his name in the list of invitees for the Tipu Jayanti event.Tipu Jayanti has become so controversial that recent remarks made by President Ram Nath Kovind during his address to a joint session of the Karnataka legislature on the then Mysore ruler had sparked a war of words between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in the state.The president had hailed Tipu, saying he died a heroic death fighting the British.The BJP sees Tipu as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”, while some Kannada outfits call him anti-Kannada, citing that he had promoted Persian at the cost of the local language.However, the scale of such suppression is disputed by several historians, who see Tipu as a secular and modern ruler who took on the might of the British.With a sharp polarisation over Tipu Jayanti celebrations, the Karnataka government had made massive security arrangements across the state, deploying over 54,000 police personnel, 20,000 home guards and 212 platoons of the KSRP.The state security personnel were bolstered by the deployment of 15 platoons of the RAF across the state.In Bengaluru alone, 11,000 policemen were deployed, officials said.Prohibitory orders have also been clamped at certain places in Belagavi and Chitradurga districts.In Mangaluru, BJP district minority morcha president Franklin Monteiro, who tried to break the security cordon and barge into the premises where the celebrations were organised, was placed under arrest.Tipu is seen in a negative light in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district, where the Christians believe he had unleashed atrocities and forced conversion to Islam on their community.Even as BJP MLAs and MPs stayed away from the event, with some even writing to the respective district administrations not to mention their names in the invitations for it, party MLA from Vijayanagara constituency in Ballari district Anand Singh joined the celebrations.Recently, Union minister Anantkumar Hegde had kicked up a row after he requested the Karnataka government not to include his name in the list of invitees for the Tipu Jayanti event.Tipu Jayanti has become so controversial that recent remarks made by President Ram Nath Kovind during his address to a joint session of the Karnataka legislature on the then Mysore ruler had sparked a war of words between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in the state.The president had hailed Tipu, saying he died a heroic death fighting the British.The BJP sees Tipu as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”, while some Kannada outfits call him anti-Kannada, citing that he had promoted Persian at the cost of the local language.

Hubli: Over 150 BJP workers protesting against Tipu Jayanti celebration detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka police on Friday arrested over 150 BJP workers protesting against Tipu Jayanti celebration in HubliAuthorities have also beefed up security in the region.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday opposed the Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti in the state on November 10.The Congress government views Tipu Sultan as a patriot, who fought against the British. However, the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) views are completely different from those of the state government, who regard Tipu Sultan as a tyrant monarch for being biased against Hindus.After witnessing major clash in 2015 in the state over the celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti, the Karnataka government last year decided to make the event an annual affair.

Prince Charles backs new education bond for India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heavy smog that enveloped the national Capital, Britain’s Prince Charles, accompanied by his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived here on Wednesday on a two-day visit to India at the final leg of their 10-day-long four-nation tour that also took them to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. When their plane touched the technical area of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) at 1:30 pm, cameramen had to use flash lights to capture the moment due to the smog. Interestingly, among others issues, climate change was also one of the agenda for the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said climate change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), economic cooperation, and other bilateral issues came up for discussion. Among other engagements, Charles also launched a development bond for India to provide education to marginalised children. The British Asian Trust’s $10-million Education Development Impact Bond, was founded by the Prince of Wales to improve literacy level for over 2,00,000 primary school students from marginalised communities in Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan.The Education Development Impact Bond has been developed by the trust alongside UBS Optimus Foundation with the aim to provide funding to four local not-for-profit delivery partners over four years, delivering a range of operational models including teacher training, direct school management, and supplementary programmes.Ahead of talks with Modi, the royal couple also attended UK-India Year of Culture function hosted by the British Council at the lawns of UK envoy’s official residence. They also attended an event run by the charity Elephant Family marked by dozens of large, brightly-painted elephant sculptures.The organisation was started by Camilla’s environmentalist and adventurer brother, Mark Shand, who devoted his life to preserving India’s dwindling Asian elephant population. He died tragically in 2014 in an freak accident in New York after which the royal couple decided to carry on his work. According to Vikram Goyal, Elephant Family Patron, India is home to the largest population of Asian elephants. “The event was organised to highlight that survival was becoming harder for the animals as their habitate dwindles, forcing them to clash with locals,” he said.Clarence House, the official Twitter handle of the Prince and the Duchess tweeted, “An assembled ‘Elephant Parade’ greet Their Royal Highnesses in the garden of the British High Commissioner’s Residence.””The elephant family sculptures will be taken to Mumbai to raise awareness of the charity’s mission to help protect Asian elephants,” it said in another tweet.The UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID) will contribute technical assistance and insights to the project as part of a wider partnership. “The DfID is exploring new and innovative ways to finance programmes which will transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. We are proud to support the British Asian Trust as they develop their Development Impact Bond, which will provide access to quality education for hundreds of thousands of children,” said DfID minister Priti Patel.

Bihar: Two men arrested for misbehaving and attempting to loot British couple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two men were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly misbehaving and attempting to loot a British couple in Bihar.The alleged incident took place while they were camping on river Ganga’s bank in Pandarak.”The two men came with weapons and sticks, misbehaved and tried to loot us,” said a British national Matthew.He said that they somehow crossed the river and sought help from police.The police arrested the two men within two hours. “A speedy trial will be done and it will be seen that such incidents do not recur,” said Patna SSP.

Army Chief pushes for Bharat Ratna for Field Marshal General K M Cariappa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today pitched for conferring the country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on independent India’s first army chief, Field Marshal General K M Cariappa.”The time has also come to recommend Field Marshal Cariappa for the award of Bharat Ratna. If others can get it, I see no reason why he should not, a deserving personality for the same. We will shortly address the issue on priority,” he said.Gen Rawat’s comments came in response to a request by Col K C Subbayya from The Field Marshal Cariappa General Thimayya (FMCGT) forum about recommending the Bharat Ratna to Cariappa, who hails from Kodagu district in Karnataka.Rawat unveiled the statues of Cariappa and General K S Thimayya, also a former Army chief who hailed from Kodagu district in Karnataka, at a function at the Cauvery College at Gonikoppal, Kodagu district.Terming Kodagu (formerly Coorg) as a ‘land of warriors’, Rawat said he is proud, privileged and humbled for having got the opportunity to unveil the memorial in memory of Field Marshal Cariappa and General K S Thimayya.Kodagu continues to serve the nation with a large number of officers and men serving the Army, he said and voiced hope that “there will be more Chiefs in the future who will rise from this great land”.Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army and was conferred the rank of Field Marshal on April 28, 1986.He was also a recipient of the prestigious order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in the Burma campaign against the Japanese during the Second World War.Cariappa also led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pak War of 1947.He held the five-star rank of field marshal, the highest honour in the Indian Army, which Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is the only other officer to have held.Cariappa, whose military career spanned over three decades, retired from the Army in 1953 and later served as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956.He died in Bengaluru in 1993 at the age of 94.

Nazi in a sari

Savitri Devi, a devotee of Aryanism, once seemed destined to fade into obscurity. Not any more.

Such a simple man: Rex Tillerson bowled over by Mahatma Gandhi’s aura and simplicity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During his brief visit, Tillerson was given a tour of the room at the Birla House where Gandhi had spent his last 144 days.Dressed in a grey suit, the US Secretary of State later paid tribute to Gandhi at the Martyr’s Column, a monument erected at the spot in the lawns of the sprawling House, where he was killed on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse, when he was taking a stroll there.The House was converted into a memorial after his assassination. A museum, an art gallery, a library and bookstore are housed in its well-kept white bungalow.A state of Mahatma sculpted by noted artist Ram Sutar welcomes visitors near the main entrance, in its premises which includes a manicured lawn at the back and a giant world peace gong in the front of the building.Dipanker Shri Gyan, director of the memorial accompanied Tillerson during his visit.”The US Secretary of State spent about 10 minutes at the memorial. He first visited the room in which Gandhiji had stayed before his assassination and was struck by its aura,” he said.”His immediate reaction after seeing the room was — ‘Such a simple man.’ Gandhiji’s life, indeed was simple and inspiring, two rare qualities,” Gyan told PTI.Tillerson then while walking to the Martyr’s Column, stopped mid-way to enquire about the stone-made footsteps, which were covered with rose petals.”He asked me about the footsteps, and I told him they symbolised the last steps taken by the Mahatma before he was shot dead. Tillerson then remarked — ‘Gandhi was one of the ten global leaders who changed the world.’ He then paid homage to him at the Martyr’s Column,” Gyan said.The US Secretary of State also circumabulated the column as a mark of respect.Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy here MaryKay Carlson and various other senior officials of the American mission were also present at the memorial.Tillerson was to visit the Gandhi memorial around 11 AM.His visit was, however, delayed a bit owing to his busy schedule, and he finally arrived around 11:20 AM.A senior official at the Embassy, initially told the press there that “The US Secretary of State would not be able to make it, as he has another meeting to attend.” However, within minutes, the official communicated to the journalists and cameramen, from both domestic and foreign media houses, that he was coming.The list of visitors to the memorial located on Tees January Marg, includes the who’s who of the world.Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton had visited it in April last year.The royal couple had spent about 45 minutes there. They also saw the exhibits and came to know that Gandhi had learned to wear a tie and play violin during his stay in London as a student.Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India was related to the British royal family. Gandhi and Mountbatten were known to have shared bonhomie and the last Viceroy even attended his funeral.Gandhi had stayed at Birla House several times from 1939- 1948, according to a plaque installed on a wall of the memorial.

The serene Avalanche

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Snow-capped peaks, landslides and loss of lives come to mind when you think of an avalanche. But ‘Avalanche’, the recently popularised eco-tourism site in the Nilgiris, is a vibrant reserve forest.Opened five years ago in 2012, entry to Avalanche is restricted because of ‘Maoists’, claim foresters. From Ooty to Avalanche check post, it’s a 25-kilometre scenic drive that takes you past villages, the famous Good Shepherd School, slope after slope of tea plantations, rows of trees, dipping valleys and the lovely Emerald Lake with open, blue skies.As private vehicles are not allowed beyond the check post, you have to park outside the forest department’s office and buy tickets for the tour. You can choose between a 26-seater bus or eight-seater jeep safari, both at Rs 150 per head. As you make your way inside, dense thickets stand tall alongside shrub-laden grasslands; just the kind of place you see in a National Geographic documentary, home to spectacular wildlife. And it is. We’re told it has over 2,000 birds. Lucky ones can spot tigers, panthers, gaur, sambar and sloth bear among others. But with an average of 100 tourists visiting per day during the week and 300 on weekends, the probability dwindles.The first stop is past the kaccha roads to a point from where you can view the sholas. Our driver tells us it’s appeal lies in the cauliflower-like appearance of the shola trees. Indeed, from a distance you feel like you’re seeing broccoli covered hills. Their ecological importance lies in the fact that they are evergreen, keep the water cycle alive and support a number of endemic plant and animal species.Completely deserted, except for us, the forest is so silent, you can hear the nearby waterfall even before you see it, bringing out the selfie-devils in us. A few kilometres ahead, we stop at Bhavani Amman temple. It is captivatingto watch the river Bhavani, Tamil Nadu’s second largest river and a major tributary of the Cauvery, gush down over large, smoothened rocks from its birth point Thalai Bhavani.Before revealing the final and main attraction – Lakkidi Lake – the safari gives you enough time to savour the fascinating landscape. If one slope is covered with barren trees, the next is dense with conifers and the one after has patches of delicate, flowering catci…Loosely called Avalanche Lake, Lakkidi, which forms the backwaters of the Upper Bhavani Dam, is a shimmering blue vision when the sun is high, surrounded by moss-covered slopes on one side, conifers on the other and lush hills meeting the sky far ahead. The water is as pure as it looks. This lake is just one of those gifts of nature that you can’t take your eyes off.But why is such a lush, sultry location called ‘Avalanche’ ? A forest officer has more answers than the internet that I surfed in vain. Apparently, around the time of the British rule, when the area was covered with snow from December to February, it had seen an avalanche. The forest officer informs us, “now it only snows in December, and not as much as it would have in the 1800s.” Is it open to tourists in winter as well? “We keep it closed on Mondays for maintenance and sometimes in June or July because when it rains too much, trees fall and block the road. Otherwise, it’s open all year round. Frankly, in the past three years, we haven’t received much rain.”Around the lake, he tells me, it’s so windy that placards fly away. Soon the forest department will install a new digital information screen to give curious travellers more insight – I’m hoping into Avalanche’s topography, wildlife and biodiversity. Many environmentalists, he says, are pushing the government to close Avalanche to the public. While only time will tell how that pans out, the forester wants the government to limit the number of visitors to 100 a day, as recommended by some, so that “we can control the crowd and maintain the place”. One hopes so too. It would be a terrible loss to have such a lovely place undergo the kind of degradation that most of our tourist-frequented sites do.Plan your tripThe tour starts at Avalanche check post and covers the cauliflower or shola forest view, Thalai Bhavani and Lakkidi lakeJeep Tour with 8 people: Rs 1,200Bus tour with 26 people: Rs150/per head Closed on Mondays for maintenance

Partition 70 years on: When tribal warriors invaded Kashmir

Witnesses tell the BBC how men with sticks and axes started one of the world’s longest conflicts.

Pollution linked to one in six deaths

Pollution has been linked to nine million deaths each year worldwide, according to a report in The Lancet.

Marred by time and apathy, British-era park lies forgotten

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Away from the hustle-bustle of Lutyens’ Delhi exists a space that once witnessed King George V being commemorated as the Emperor of India. Coronation Park near the Nirankari Sarovar on Burari Road in north Delhi is the site where Delhi Durbars were held in 1877, 1903, and 1911. After independence, it was converted to coronation memorial, when statues of former British Kings were moved from various locations in the city to here.Coronation Park was also considered for the building site for the Viceroy House, but due to its proximity to the Yamuna flood-prone area, Raisina Hill was chosen, where the Rashtrapati Bhawan stands today.Today, as one walks into the park, which still has the Obelisk constructed to commemorate King George V, who presided at the location as Emperor of India in December, 1911, one can see graffiti on the heritage walls. It is at this spot that the decision of shifting the Capital from Calcutta to Delhi was made. But now, several plinths created for the statues stand vacant and the five with statues do not have anything written under them.”This is a park from the British Era but we call it the Tagore park. The statue opposite the Obelisk looks like Tagore with a big beard,” says Manish Maurya, 19, a Delhi University student. “How would we know who these people were? There is nothing written under them. We come here to relax. We have no idea who these people were,” he adds.The entire park is littered with garbage, broken dustbins, and broken barbed wire, while people have defaced the walls by witing and drawing on them. The spot is mostly frequented by couples, who come here to get away from the prying eyes of their families. The park still has all the grandeur of the past but the royal magic has been marred by neglect for years.Over the years, the park did see some restoration and conservation work by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). First in 2005, INTACH and the Government of India restored the park. Then again in 2015, when the park underwent its second round of restoration, some marbles were placed, walls were painted, gardens were tended to, and lights were put up, but it already looks in a bad shape today.The park’s condition also raises the question that why is Delhi so keen on parting with its British roots — first the roads were renamed, and now this beautiful British-era park lies neglected.FLOOD-PRONECoronation Park was also considered for the building site for the Viceroy House, but due to its proximity to the Yamuna flood-prone area, Raisina Hill was chosen, where the Rashtrapati Bhawan stands today.

Mughalsarai Railway station renamed after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay: Why this matters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh government renamed the iconic Mughalsarai Railway Station after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay on Saturday.In a bid to revive the legacy of RSS ideologue, Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has not just renamed the fourth busiest railway station in India, but has taken away the historic legacy of the place.The small town near Varanasi has been the point connecting east India to northern parts. There was a time back in 19th century, when the Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri was used by the Indian Subcontinent and Mughalsarai being located along Sadak-e-Azam made it an important corridor.But it was only in 1883 when the British came here that the town was renamed as Mughalsarai.They began laying down railway lines and soon Patna-Mughalsarai division, Mughalsarai-Allahabad division, Mughalsarai-Varanasi-Rae Bareli and the Mughalsarai-Gaya division came into existence.For 134 years, the town and the station has been called Mughalsarai. So why would the Yogi government decide the rename it? Well, there is a strong connection between Mughalsarai station and the RSS ideologue.Deen Dayala Upadhyay had died under mysterious circumstances while travelling in a train at Mughalsarai station on February 11, 1968.In August the UP government had sent the proposal that was accepted by the Centre.Politicians have been renaming places, cities in line with their ideologies. From Bombay to Mumbai, from Madras to Chennai, from Elphinstone to Prabhadevi, there are many such examples.While Mughalsarai has seen many names such as Oven Nagar to Mangalpur, but renaming the railway station with Asia’s largest railway marshaling yard will change the way future generations see the place.

Amit Shah to launch ‘yatra’ as BJP eyes opposition space in Kerala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a curtain-raiser for the high-profile and star-studded “Janraksha Yatra” to be flagged off by party president Amit Shah in Kerala on Tuesday against the alleged killing of right-wing cadre by CPM activists, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar launched a scathing attack on the Pinarayi Vijayan government on Monday.High on the symbolism of October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the minister drew a parallel between Gandhi’s movement against the British Raj and the saffron outfit’s efforts in Kerala.”Just as Mahatma Gandhi led a democratic movement against the British Raj in the Freedom Movement, the BJP is launching a democratic movement to oppose the bloody and murderous politics of the CPM in the Kerala. In democracy, democratic protest is the way to go,” he said.Javadekar accused the left government in Kerala of having unleashed “bloody politics” in which “murder and violence is used as a political tool”. “The new name of CPM is Communist Party of Maoists as they are behaving just as Naxals.””Eighty four people have so far been killed in Kerala in the last 15 years by the CPM regimes whenever they have come to power. The chief minister’s district, Kannur, is a minefield of such political murders because since he has taken over power this time, already 14 political activists have been killed in extremely brutal ways,” he said.Javadekar accused the left government of shielding the miscreants and murderers. “These criminals are deliberately patronised by the state government. They are let off and given bails on the weakest of alibis. Killing spree is the name of the game,” he added.But there will be triumph of democracy, he said, to underline the democratic nature of BJP’s latest campaign. “We are protesting in a democratic way. We are launching this yatra to raise awareness among the people against this violence and murder.”Party chief Amit Shah would be launching the yatra on October 3, Javdekar said, as he would also lead the campaign on October 5 and 17, the last day of the campaign. “All party functionaries, leaders and ministers, such as Smriti Irani, Anant Kumar, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Giriraj Singh, will be leading the yatra.” On October 3, Shah would lead the yatra from Payyanur to Pilathara; on October 5, he shall lead from Mambram to Thalassery; while on the last day he would lead the processions to state capital Thiruvananthapuram.”The yatra would be made by activists on foot as well as vehicles, while public rallies and meetings will be organised all along the route,”the minister said.

Remembering Lal Bahadur Shastri, the quiet PM, who crossed Ganga to attend school

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lal Bahadur Shastri’s birth anniversary coincides with Gandhi Jayanti and sadly we all forget to mention this man’s commendable contribution towards the growth of our nation. The second Prime Minister of India Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on 2nd October 1901. He had filled a large vacuum in the history of Indian Politics after the demise of first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru. Shastri took birth at Mughalsarai, a small railway town near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He lost his father at an early age and his mother along with her three children went to settle down at her father’s place. Despite the bad financial conditions of the family Lal Bahadur Shastri evolved as a remarkable name in the country’s freedom struggle. Shashtri from a very young age was interested in the country’s freedom struggle from the foreign invaders. Greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Shastri was called upon to join the non-cooperation movement at an early age of 16. Lal Bahadur Shastri immediately gave up on his studies to serve the nation. His mother did not like the idea of quitting his studies, but there was no looking back for Shahstri ji. Lal Bahadur Shastri joined one of the national institutions set up in defiance of British Rule in India, Kashi Vidya Peeth in Varanasi. He not only resurrected the nation’s broken confidence after the defeat against China in 1962 but also aggressively worked on the Green Revolution and White revolution. Turning India from a food deficit nation to food surplus nation. Five lesser known facts about Shri Lal Bhadur Shastri: 1. Shastri at the age of 12 opposed the caste-system in India and gave up his surname. He was given the title ‘Shastri’ by the Kashi Vidya Peeth in Varanasi after he completed his graduation. Shastri means ‘scholar’ and was degree that marked his scholarly success.2. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first one to use jets of water instead of lathi charge to disperse crowd as the Minister of Police in Uttar Pradesh.3. India won the India-Pakistan war in 1965 under the leadership of Lal Bahadur Shahstri. He lead the country and took the decision for army to take a bold action.4. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be awarded the India’s Highest Civilian Award, Bharat Ratna. 5. After signing the Tashkent Declaration on 11th January, 1996 he took his last breath. According to the reports he died of a cardiac arrest but the cause of his death still remains a great mystery as many controversies were involved. Even today the real reason of his death remains a mystery.

Don’t teach us nationalism; Kerala has lived freedom movement, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan to Mohan Bhagwat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday tore into Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his allegation on the state government for supporting anti-national elements and said Keralites don’t need advice on nationalism from the RSS.In a Facebook post, Vijayan said that Bhagwat’s allegations on the state government are challenging for the Keralites.He said Kerala is a land of many great men who contributed dedicatedly in the Indian national movement.”There is a memorable partnership of Kerala and Keralites in the freedom movement. The RSS, having tradition of turning back from the freedom struggle and embracing the British empire, does not need to teach Keralites what is patriotism,” he said.Terming Kerala as a land of secularism, Vijayan said it is the Leftist mindset that promotes secularism in the state.He alleged that all the moves to implement communal agenda of the RSS in the state have failed and now the Sangh is trying to defame Kerala through these comments.”The RSS chief should first clarify what does he mean by saying that the state government is helping anti-nationals for narrow political interests,” asked Vijayan.Further stressing on the same, Vijayan said Kerala will always fight against communalism and violence. He added that the Left Democratic Front government will take action against anyone who tries to disrupt the lives of the people.Earlier on Saturday, Bhagwat said that the governments of West Bengal and Kerala are “on the side of jihadi elements that are perpetrating the violence” there.”Jihadi elements are doing violence in Kerala and Bengal, and while people are resisting, the state governments are supporting these anti-national forces by not fulfilling their duty; they (state governments) are on their side” said Bhagwat in an address on the anniversary of the RSS’s formation.

Chandrababu Naidu ‘unimpressed’ with UK architect’s design for new capital Amaravati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seemed not impressed with the set of designs prepared by world-renowned architectural firm Foster+ Partners for the new state capital atAmaravati .This could further delay the construction of the new Capital as the fresh designs are unlikely to be finalised before November.Non-approval of the designs by the chief minister has cast a shadow on the the state government’s scheduled foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Legislature Complex on September 30. On July 12, the CM gave his “final nod” to the designs prepared for the Government City in Amaravati. On that day he asked Foster+Partners to “interchange” designs of the High Court and the Legislature complex and accordingly the British firm came out with fresh designs yesterday.The designs presented by the firm seem to have junked now. Naidu, along with ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, P Narayana and Ganta Srinivasa Rao and senior officials, today inspected the designs and appeared not impressed. Though he was happy with the waterfront and the layout, he said the facade could “look much better”. “Some elements of the design are good but the facade has not come out well. There is a mixed reaction from the public, so take more time and come out with fantastic designs,” the CM told the Fosters’ team.”Take the top 10 buildings of the world as an inspiration and come out with designs better than them,” he said. The CM has once again asked Fosters to consult Baahubali director S S Rajamouli for “inputs” on the designs for two iconic structures (Legislature complex and High Court) and major government buildings like the state Secretariat. The award-winning British architects had designed some of the world’s iconic structures like the 50 UN Plaza, Singapore Supreme Court, Imperial War Museum (UK), Century Tower (Japan), the Ireo City (Gurugram), Cyber Port (China), Bloomberg headquarters (UK), The Index (UAE), International Airport (Kuwait).A press release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said Rajamouli could soon be “made to fly to London”, headquarters of Fosters, for delivering his advise. Naidu will visit London on October 25 to inspect the designs. “He will invest enough time, and he intends to lock the final plans by then,” the release added.

ED files supplementary charge sheet in VVIP chopper scam

Updated: Sep 13, 2017, 07:14 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today chargesheeted a woman director of two Dubai-based firms and the companies in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers money laundering case.In the supplementary charge sheet filed before Additional Sessions Judge Arvind Kumar, the ED named Shivani Saxena as an “active” director of Dubai-based M/S UHY Saxena and M/S Matrix Holdings. Both the companies have also been chargesheeted by the agency in the charge sheet under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

Justice after 86 years? Pak lawyer battles to prove Bhagat Singh’s innocence in Lahore court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eighty-six years after revolutionary Bhagat Singh was hanged for the murder of a British police officer, a Pakistani lawyer is fighting to prove the legendary Indian freedom fighter’s innocence in a Lahore court.Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi filed a fresh petition yesterday in the Lahore High Court for the early hearing of his case to prove Singh’s innocence.The division bench of the Lahore High Court had in February last year asked the chief justice of Pakistan to constitute a larger bench to hear the petition by Qureshi, who runs the Lahore-based Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation. But no action has been taken yet.In the petition, Qureshi had said Singh was a freedom fighter and fought for independence of undivided India. Many Pakistanis, especially in the Punjabi-speaking Lahore area, consider Singh a hero.Qureshi told PTI that Singh is respected even today in the subcontinent not only by Indians but also by Pakistanis.Even the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had twice paid tribute to him, he added.”It is a matter of national importance.” His petition wants the court set aside the sentence of Singh by exercising principles of review and order the government to honour him with a state award.Singh was hanged by British rulers on March 23, 1931 at the age of 23 in Lahore, after being tried under charges for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government. The case was filed against Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for allegedly killing British police officer John P Saunders.Qureshi said he hopes the case will be heard this month.He said he has also written to the federal government for erecting a statue of Singh at Shadman Chowk in central Lahore where he was hanged along with Sukhdev and Rajguru.”I have written to the government for building a statue of Singh but has not yet got any response from it in this regard,” he added.He said Singh was initially jailed for life but later awarded death sentence in another “fabricated case”.In 2014, Lahore police searched through records of the Anarkali police station on the court’s order and managed to find the First Information Report on Saunders’ killing in 1928. A copy of the FIR was provided to Qureshi on the court s order.Written in Urdu, the FIR was registered with the Anarkali police station on December 17, 1928 at 4.30 pm against two ‘unknown gunmen’. The case was registered under sections 302, 1201 and 109 of Indian Penal Code. Singh’s name was not mentioned in the FIR even though he was eventually handed down the death sentence for the murder.Qureshi said special judges of the tribunal handling Singh’s case awarded death sentence to him without hearing the 450 witnesses in the case. Singh’s lawyers were not given the opportunity to cross-examine them.”I will establish Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Saunders case,” he said.

Odisha: Will beat up corrupt officials in CMO, claims Congress chief whip

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress chief whip in Odisha assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati today threatened to beat up corrupt officials in CMO involved in the percentage commission(PC) practice.”The third floor (CMO at the state secretariat) is the origin of all kinds of corruption. So the officials there should be taken to task first. As an MLA I will soon enter that floor and launch the anti-PC drive from there. I will beat them (officials) severely,” Bahinipati said in the assembly during zero hour.The Congress lawmaker also said that he was not afraid of being arrested for beating up corrupt officials.The issue of percentage commission was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress who accused the state government of not being sincere in stopping corruption though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had given a call for it.Citing an instance, Mishra claimed that an engineer in Bolangir district was transferred under pressure from Rajya Sabha BJD MP A U Singhdeo. “Another engineer, against whom a vigilance case had been pending, was posted in Bolangir as per recommendation of Singhdeo. This shows how a corrupt official is being protected,” Mishra said.BJPLP leader K V Singhdeo also supported Mishra on the issue of posting of a “corrupt” engineer at Bolangir. He also came down heavily on the government over the controversial statement of Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout who had recently said that complete eradication of the ?PC? culture was not possible.Singhdeo said “During the 17 years of the BJD rule, there has been cost escalation of many flyover projects. In many cases, the cost escalation exceeded the original estimation cost. This indicates corrupt priactice,” the BJP leader said.Rout in his reply referred to Singhdeo’s criticism of him and said he had said that complete eradication of corruption is not possible because of human character.”The corruption by babus continues since the British Rule. We may reduce corruption, but not eradicate it completely.”He said the chief minister’s anti-corruption drive has created panic among the corrupt officials in blocks and panchayat levels. “Many people have been taken to task (in rural housing irregularities cases). There has been a huge impact across the state.”Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said that the government has no intention of shielding any corrupt element and those who have been caught in corruption cases have been sent to jails.

PM Modi wraps up Myanmar trip with visit to Bahadur Shah’s grave, temple and pagoda sightings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wrapped up his Myanmar trip with visits to the ‘mazar’ of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and the 2,500-year-old Shwedagon pagoda, besides performing puja at the Kalibari Temple here.Modi, on the last day of his three-day first bilateral visit to this Buddhist-majority country, visited the pagoda, considered to be the pinnacle of Myanmar’s cultural heritage. He also planted a Bodhi tree sapling at the pagoda complex, signifying common cultural heritage. “Delighted to visit Myanmar’s cultural landmark, the Shwedagon Pagoda,” prime minister Modi tweeted. The 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics.Located west of the Royal Lake in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is considered to be the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the Myanmarese people. Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond. Modi also visited the Bogyoke Aung San Museum where he was accompanied by Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. “I thank Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the special gesture of showing me around the Bogyoke Aung San Museum. Paid tributes to General Aung San,” Modi said.
ALSO READ Full text of PM Modi’s speech at joint press meet with Aung San Suu Kyi in MyanmarHe also visited the grave of Bahadur Shah Zafar and paid floral tributes. The prime minister also tweeted a picture of himself at the Mughal ruler’s grave. Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was also a prolific Urdu poet and calligrapher, died at the age of 87 in then Rangoon, where he was exiled to by the British after the revolt of 1857. Modi also paid his respects at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum and performed ‘puja’ at the Kalibari Temple.”Performed Puja at Yangon’s Kalibari Temple. Feeling extremely blessed,” Modi tweeted along with a picture of himself at the temple.
ALSO READ Rohingya issue: Unreasonable to expect quick solution to Myanmar’s ‘biggest challenge’: Aung San Suu KyiYesterday, Modi had visited the famous early 12th-century Ananda Temple in Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan. The temple is being renovated with India’s assistance after it was damaged in a tremor last year. In the afternoon, Modi left for home after concluding his visit during which he held wide-ranging talks with Suu Kyi. After Modi-Suu Kyi talks, 11 agreements were signed between the two sides in areas like maritime security, strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar, health and information technology. Modi arrived here on the second leg of his two-nation trip after his visit to the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen where he attended the 9th BRICS Summit.

Brit national sent to 14-day custody for sexually assaulting blind minors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A British national was sent to 14-day judicial custody in a case of alleged sexual assault on three visually-impaired minor inmates of the National Association for the Blind (NAB) in south Delhi.Additional Sessions Judge Ruby Alka Gupta sent the 54- year-old accused, Murray Denis Ward, to jail after Delhi Police said his further custodial interrogation was not required.The police said Ward had been associated with NAB as a regular donor for almost nine years and was a frequent visitor to the institute.He was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching three NAB inmates on September 2, police said.Ward, a native of Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom, had been working with Sterlite Technology Limited in Gurugram till April.He had suffered a paralytic attack in February and has been under treatment since then. He was staying alone here while his family is in the UK. Police suspect that he is a paedophile.

Ganesh Visarjan: At least 12 including on-duty officer dead in Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Ganesh idol immersion processions in Maharashtra were on Tuesday marred by the death of at least twelve people in parts of the state, even as devotees in the state thronged in large numbers to bid adieu to the popular elephant-headed God.Three persons drowned during Ganesh idol immersion in the Shivnai lake near Bidkin in Aurangabad district, police said. Officials from state police headquarters here said that apart from the three deaths in Aurangabad, four people lost their lives in Pune, two in Jalgaon and one each in Nashik and Beed districts. However, exact details about their deaths are not immediately known. On Tuesday, while conducting bandobast at Lalbaug, an Assistant Sub Inspector from Mumbai Police department suffered a stroke. He was rushed to JJ hospital but was declared dead before admission.Satish Sable was posted at Local Arms Unit 1 but for bandobast duty on the last day of Ganeshotsav was posted near Lalbaug. Sabale suddenly collapsed when his colleagues rushed him to JJ hospital. “He was declared dead before admission. His family members revealed that he had health issues earlier too.” ,said a colleague from Mumbai police. Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) confirmed the incident.In Mumbai, the idol at the official residence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was immersed in an artificial pond.In Nashik, minister Girish Mahajan joined the lezim players during the immersion procession, while Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire tapped a foot in the Ganesh visarjan procession in Aurangabad city. Lezim is a folk dance from the state, named after a musical instrument with jingling cymbals. In Aurangabad, the Sansthan Ganpati idol was showered with petals from a drone. In Mumbai, among the early starters for the immersion were the Ganesh Galli Mandal and Lalbaughcha Raja, which attracted lakhs of devotees during the Ganesh festival, that began on August 25 and concludes on ‘Anant Chaturdashi’ today.Several devotees performed Koli dance, a traditional dance of the fishermen, at the Lalbaughcha Raja pandal in central Mumbai before the ‘visarjan’ (immersion) procession began. The immersion marks the end of the Ganesh festival, which was popularised by ‘Lokmanya’ Bal Gangadhar Tilak to bring the people together to create a feeling of patriotism and fight the British Raj. Over 7,600 Ganesh idols installed at public places and more than one lakh idols in homes will be immersed today. By 3 pm, around 80 public idols and 3,600 ‘gharguti’ (home) idols were immersed, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.The smaller idols were immersed first, and will be followed by the big ones like Lalbaugcha Raja, which will be immersed in the Arabian Sea at Girgaum Chowpatty in south Mumbai. The BMC, police, Coast Guard and Navy have made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth and safe immersion of the idols. The prime locations for immersion are Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu beach, Powai lake, Dadar Chowpatty, Madh jetty and Marve in Malad.The BMC has appealed the devotees to inform the civic authorities as and when they need any assistance or if they are stung by jelly fish or sting ray. Police have beefed up security and companies of the State Reserve Police Force are also being deployed. Cranes, watchtowers, drones, CCTVs and floodlights have been arranged to keep a watch on every movement of the revellers and devotees, a police official earlier said. With inputs from PTI and Imran Fazal

Teacher’s Day 2017: From Rahul Gandhi to PM Modi, 11 politicians re-imagined as teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s Teacher’s Day and hence we thought of casting our beloved politicians as teachers, based on their acumen and expertise. In any case, politicians are always too keen to give lectures and long speeches, so most would take to teaching like fish to water. English:Who else but Mr Shashi ‘Erudite With Perfect Diction’ Tharoor than to teach the language. It won’t be a farrago of misinterpretation to say that the Congress MP will fit the bill effortlessly. When expanding our vocabulary or getting hounded down by a certain anchor, Tharoor can teach us about ills of British Raj, speaking in a tongue more eloquent than the Queen. Mathematics:The nominees are many. From zero loss Kapil Sibal to Subramanian Awamy courting abstract numbers about scams, the list is long. But the ideal maths teacher has to be Arun Jatiley. If demonetization is a religion, Jaitley is the first follower. He can defend any formula and prove a hypothesis, no matter if the equation holds up or not. Physics:The man who once taught us about escape velocity of Jupiter, and will be speaking about Artificial Intelligence in USA is the natural candidate to be a Physics teacher. Rahul Gandhi knows a thing about disintegrating parties, err atoms, just ask Congress. Geography:You can either learn from books or venture out and see everything first-hand to give your Mann Ki Baat to students. There’s no person better to teach geography than our globe-trotting PM. Expect students to get A+ in map pointing. History:The ideal history teacher is someone who is wise, worldly and seen history unfolding in front of him/her. It’s best if the person was also part of creating history. Veteran LK Advani is the perfect candidate for the job. Whether Jinnah is secular or not, is likely to be a separate chapter. Economics:This man has the pedigree, the required expertise and even got his demonetization maths correct. Manmohan Singh is our ideal Eco teacher, except one hitch. He can’t be trusted to keep his class under control. Unruly students skipping class, while Singh explains how NDA tweaked the GDP calculation method, is likely to be an everyday sight. Chemistry:An engineer by training, Arvind Kejriwal can teach a high-school Chemistry class with ease. He will also get to use his favourite catchphrase Sab Mile Hue hain ji when he talks about chemical equations and compounds. Biology:A trained surgeon, Sambit Patra is our pick for Biology teacher. However, with his penchant for going off topic and repeating the same thing over and over again, finishing the rather tedious Bio syllabus on time remains doubtful. Political ScienceTMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee, a trained lawyer will breeze through Political Science class. By the end of the course, students will be fully briefed about why India is secular, how Centre is violating the spirit of Constitution by giving diktats about issues which are state subjects and all other shorojantro (conspiracy) the big, bad Delhi Empire is hatching. Computer:No other choice, than our Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. Surprised? Well you wouldn’t be if u know COMPUTER is anagram for Caring Of My Pet Under Tremendous Effort (And) Responsibility. The man is responsible for handling the Rajya Sabha, so surely, he can take Computer classes easily without breaking a sweat. Expect him to boot the computer class with ease without any debugging issue. Physical Education:This will be a split choice (pun intended) between Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Kiren Rijiju, two people who have given us fitness goals. The boys and girls can pick up some marksmanship skills from Rathore too, which can come handy at times. Baba Ramdev can chip in as the guest lecturer on Guru Purnima.

PM Modi’s $87 billion river-linking plan to end deadly floods and droughts set to take off

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After years of foot-dragging India will begin work in around a month on an $87 billion scheme to connect some of the country’s biggest rivers, government sources say, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi bets on the ambitious project to end deadly floods and droughts.The mammoth plan entails linking nearly 60 rivers, including the mighty Ganges, which the government hopes will cut farmers’ dependence on fickle monsoon rains by bringing millions of hectares of cultivatable land under irrigation.In recent weeks, some parts of India and neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal have been hit by the worst monsoon floods in years, following two years of poor rainfall.Modi has personally pushed through clearances for the first phase of the project – which would also generate thousands of megawatts of electricity – the sources say, despite opposition from environmentalists, tiger lovers and a former royal family.That will involve a construction of a dam on the Ken river, also known as the Karnavati, in north-central India and a 22-km (14-mile) canal connecting it to the shallow Betwa.Both rivers flow through vast swathes of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states, ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the prime minister hopes the Ken-Betwa scheme will set a template for other proposed river interlinking projects, one of the sources said.”We have got clearances in record time, with the last round of clearances coming in only this year,” Sanjeev Balyan, the junior water resources minister, told Reuters. “The Ken-Betwa interlinking tops the priority list of the government.”Government officials say diverting water from bounteous rivers such as the Ganges, Godavari and Mahanadi to sparse waterways by building a clutch of dams and a network of canals is the only solution to floods and droughts.But some experts say India would be better off investing in water conservation and better farm practices. Environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts have also warned of ecological damage.BJP STATES FIRSTThe 425-km (265-mile) Ken flows through a tiger reserve nestled in a verdant valley. The government plans to clear out 6.5 percent of the forest reserve to build the dam, relocating nearly 2,000 families from 10 remote villages.Around half a dozen clearances, including on environmental and forest protection, have been obtained for the scheme to link the Ken and Betwa, according to two sources and documents seen by Reuters.Modi’s cabinet is likely to give its final go-ahead for the project within a couple of weeks, sources say, after which he will flag off construction at the site about 805 km (500 miles) from New Delhi, currently marked only by rows of red concrete slabs placed on the ground.The government is also finishing up paperwork on projects in western India linking the Par-Tapi with the Narmada and the Daman Ganga with the Pinjal. The projects involve Modi’s home state of Gujarat and neighbouring Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai, both also ruled by the BJP.The river-linking projects was first proposed in 2002 by the last BJP-led government. Work stalled because state governments sparred over water sharing contracts and clearances got stuck in India’s notoriously ponderous bureaucracy.This time, officials hope starting with projects that are all in BJP-ruled states will smooth negotiations.Modi’s government is touting the linking of rivers as a panacea to the floods and droughts that plague India every year, killing hundreds of poor people and withering crops.Large areas of eastern and north-eastern India are reeling under floods in which hundreds have died, while torrential rain also brought the commercial capital Mumbai to a standstill this week. The southern state of Tamil Nadu, in contrast, recently rationed drinking water due to drought.Not everyone is convinced the projects should be the priority, however.”Theoretically we can’t find fault with the plan,” said Ashok Gulati, a farm economist who has advised governments. “But spending billions of dollars in a country which wastes more water than it produces, it makes more sense to first focus on water conservation.”India, which has 18 percent of the world’s population but only 4 percent of the usable water resources, perversely gives incentives to produce and export thirsty crops such as rice and sugar cane.TIGERS, VULTURES AND CANYONSThe proposed 77-metre high (250-ft), 2-km long dam on the Ken River will submerge 9,000 hectares of mostly forest land. A big portion will come from the Panna Tiger Reserve, near the UNESCO world heritage site of Khajuraho Temple in Madhya Pradesh.The forest reserve, a major tourist attraction, is home to 30-35 tigers and nearly 500 vultures.”Building a dam in a reserve forest is an invitation to a grave environmental disaster,” said Shyamendra Singh, the scion of the Maharajas who ruled a princely state near Panna during the British colonial era. “It will lead to floods in the forest and drought in the downstream.”Authorities say they have planned for the safety of tigers and vultures.People in Daudhan village, not very far from the Gangau dam built by the British in 1915, are ambivalent. With no access to electricity and other basic services, they want more information on what they will get in return for being displaced.”We never got to see electricity in our village,” said village elder Munna Yadav, gesticulating towards the Ken flowing a few metres from his thatched cottage. “If our children get to move out of this area and if the dam benefits everyone, we’ll not oppose it.”

Delhi Archives begins digitisation of Mughal era records

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiites will soon be able to see what ‘farmans’ and ‘sanads’ given by Mughal rulers looked like or who acquired the land in prime Lutyen’s Delhi at the very beginning. All this, and more will be now part of the Delhi government’s latest project under which four crore archival pages will be digitised and microfilmed in a period of 30 months.The Delhi Archives has a rich collection of records from year 1803 to 1990 and other major record series such as the trial of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, and photos of freedom fighters, old heritage buildings and archaeological sites of the city. Inaugurating the project on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “The Delhi Archives has nearly 10 crore pages of archival records. It is a unique project of the government in particular, and the first of its kind in Asia, under which a large number of archival records will be digitised and microfilmed.” he claimed, adding the project will incur a cost of Rs 25.40 crore.”The main objective is to encourage appreciation of archival heritage among the general public, and the main thrust is on facilitating the public in accessing the archival records with a click of a mouse,” said Sisodia. According to the government, the other major record series kept at the Delhi Archives include, “farmans and sanads of Mughal ruler Shah Alam; records of the First War of Independence, 1857; land acquisition records for the Lutyens’ Zone; infrastructure development record of British era such as establishment and expansion of railway, establishment of electricity and telephone departments, growth of education”.The archives also boast of power packed repository of major heritage buildings in the capital like the Legislative Assembly, Metcalfe House, Ludlow Castle, and Commissioner’s Office.Several maps and plans of Delhi, gazette of governments of India, Punjab and Delhi, records of freedom fighters of Delhi, CID and waqf board records, maintenance of internal security records, conviction records of Central Jail, Tihar, and property registration records for the period 1870-1990 are also shelved at the Delhi Archives.Other treasures of the Archives include 300 400 years old manuscripts on Ayurveda, medicine and religion, the government said.FOR THE RECORDDelhi Archives is a repository of non-current records of the government of Delhi and comes under its department of art and culture. Established in 1972, it preserves archives and makes them accessible to scholars, public at large and government officials for research and reference purposes.

What is Section 144? All you want to know about the prohibitory order used after Dera violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As mob run amok in satellite town of Panchkula, India watched one of the worst violent clashes in recent times.The mob rampage that was sparked after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case has so far claimed 30 lives.With the authorities grappling with the situation, Section 144 has been imposed in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida as a preventive measure.So, in case you are confused and wondering what’s happening in Delhi and the adjoining areas, don’t worry. Here’s all you need to know about difference between Section 144 and curfew:What’s Section 144?The Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits any assembly of five or more people in an area where it has been imposed.According to the law, every member of such “unlawful assembly” can be booked for “engaging in rioting”. The maximum punishment for such act is three years.Moreover, obstructing police from breaking up an unlawful assembly is a punishable offence as well.The history of this Section goes back to British Raj. Section 144 was used for the first time in 1861 by the British Raj, and thereafter became an important tool to stop all nationalist protests during the India’s Independence Struggle.However, the use of the section in Independent India remains controversial as very little has changed.Does Section 144 means curfew?Well, no, the Section is generally prohibitory in nature. It restricts from public gathering, but doesn’t bar it all together.A curfew, on the other hand, orders people to stay indoors for a specific period of time. So, the authorities can impose curfew for certain period of time. The element of time if very important. However, the authorities can also extend the curfew if the need be.Most importantly, you need a prior approval from the local police in case you want to move out during curfew.So, now you know that the administration has just issued a prohibitory order (Section 144) in and around Delhi. But thankfully, there is no curfew in the national capital.

Netaji’s associate dies at 102

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Colonel Amar Bahadur Singh, a close associate of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, died at his ancestral village here following prolonged illness. He was 102. Singh, a widower, breathed his last at his ancestral village Sirsa under Baheri area yesterday, his family members said. He is survived by a son. Singh, who joined the British Indian Army in 1933, had served the Azad Hind Fauj after coming in contact with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, they said. His last rites were performed in the presence of eminent personalities last evening. Several dignitaries including Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, and union ministers Maneka Gandhi and Santosh Gangwar have expressed grief over his demise.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India can face China, Pak but threat is from within: Farooq

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India can face China and Pakistan but the threat is from within the country as somebody is determined to spoil everything by dividing the people, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said today. The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, while addressing a gathering of opposition leaders hosted by rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav here, recited poetry and couplets to target the BJP in a veiled manner but took no names. “India can face China and Pakistan but unfortunately today the threat is from inside, not from outside,” he said. “Andar koi chor baitha hua hai jo hamara beda garak kar raha hai. Voh humaein bant raha hai (There is someone inside who is determined to spoil everything. He is dividing us),” Abdullah added. “Earlier, we fought against the British but today we have to fight with our own people,” he added at the ‘Sanjhi Virasat Bachao’ (save our composite culture) programme. Talking about Kashmiris, Abdullah said some people were trying to question their nationality. “Who are they to ask us about our nationality? We Kashmiris chose India over Pakistan during partition because India guarantees equality. And I say it with pride that I am an Indian Muslim,” said Abdullah, who has also served as a union minister. Expressing pain and grief over situation in Kashmir, he said, “Voh hum se kehte hain hum vafadar nahin, par afsos ki baat hai voh dildaar nahin (they say we are not loyal but sadly they are not large hearted).” Abdullah said the people of Kashmir will stop complaining the day they are treated with a large heart. “They are talking about unity but are they creating the atmosphere for it? They talk a lot but lack in action,” he said in an apparent attack on the rival BJP. His comments came two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Kashmiris in his Independence Day speech, saying their problems cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses but by embracing all Kashmiris. Abdullah said his party workers, who were holding the national flag, were killed in 1990s but “today they tell us we are not Indians… There is no doubt that I am a Muslim and I say it with pride that I am an Indian Muslim.” He said last year, an all-party delegation came to Kashmir to evaluate the situation there and also gave its report but nothing had been done on that.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Citizens of all religions, ethnicity proud Indians’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Justice of India, Jagdish Singh Khehar, at an Independence Day function at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, asserted that every citizen of India is equal and whatever be the religion or ethnicity, should be proud of being an Indian.”Whether it is Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Muslims or Jains, everybody should be proud of his own religion to be an Indian. Everybody should be proud of his own ethnicity. Proud of being an Indian and that is what the Constitution is all about,” he said.The event became a nostalgic affair for CJI Khehar, as he reminisced about how his great grandfather was forced to shift to Kenya to avoid being arrested in Lahore for his suspected role in fomenting a student uprising against the British rule. “The CJI was not a citizen of this country to start with. But when he became the citizen of this country, he was equal to everybody else and had equal opportunities. This is what citizenship or Independence of this great country means,” he said.The CJI’s statement assumes significance coming as it is within days of previous Vice President Hamid Ansari’s assertion that Muslims were feeling insecure in the country.”You might be thinking how I reached Kenya and became a Kenyan national? My great grandfather was Dr Wazir Chand, a medical doctor in Lahore. In his spare time, he was honorary doctor of student boarders in the DAV institutions in Lahore. He was suspected of involvement in the freedom movement, for motivating college students to join the uprising against the British. To avoid his arrest and from being incarcerated in the Andamans, he fled to Kenya,” CJI Khehar recalled.However, while the CJI’s great grandfather escaped to Kenya, his grandmother, Sulakshna, was brought up in Jalandhar under the care of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. The family remained in Kenya, but after Independence Dr Wazir Chand returned to India. While still in school, CJI Khehar gave up his Kenyan nationality, deciding to acquire Indian nationality.”After being a citizen, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. You are no less or more than anyone else,” CJI Khehar said. He pointed out that the country has a Dalit leader who spent his childhood in a mud hut, a Vice-President who is an agriculturist, and a Prime Minister who was once a tea vendor.In his address, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present, suggested that the country’s greatest achievement was its secular fabric. “I hold a very firm view that India is not secular because the Constitution says so. The word ‘secularism’ was added to the Preamble only during Emergency. India is secular because India’s heritage is secular. That flows from the great Rig Veda. Truth is one, wise men interpret it in different manners,” he said.

Modi urges India to reject violence in name of religion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged India on Tuesday to reject religious violence, after a series of attacks against minorities sparked debate about whether a surge of Hindu nationalism is undermining the country’s secular ideals. In a speech from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, Modi also listed his government’s achievements, including a fight against corruption. The speech was light on foreign policy, making no mention of arch-rival Pakistan or of China. India has for nearly two months stationed hundreds of troops along its northern border with China because of a territorial dispute. Modi has spoken out against attacks by right-wing Hindus, many of whom back his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), against minority Muslims and lower-caste Hindus accused of killing cows, considered holy by the majority Hindus. But the setting of his denunciation of violence on Tuesday was significant. “We will not tolerate violence in the name of faith,” Modi said before a teeming crowd at the fort and a huge television audience. Modi made much of the progress India has made since independence from British rule in 1947. But he also expressed pain over the death of at least 60 children in a state-run hospital last week amid shortages of supplies – a reminder much remains to be done on India’s journey to development. ‘AURA OF PROGRESS’ Since coming to power in 2014, Modi has found it difficult to balance the competing demands of groups from his nationalist Hindu power base and those Indians striving to build a modern, secular country befitting its growing economic influence. Manoj Joshi, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation think-tank said Modi was playing “good cop, bad cop” by condemning communal violence but doing little to rein in elements of his ruling party. “There is an obvious gap between slogan and implementation. It’s a deliberate gap and it’s just for the record,” he said. Modi also spoke at length about delivering a “new India” by 2022, underlining his confidence of winning the next general election, due by 2019. Strong growth and economic reforms have bolstered Modi’s popularity and helped his party sweep state elections in recent years, leaving the opposition severely weakened. Still, to keep up with the demands of India’s 1.3 billion people, the government needs to create millions more jobs a year, which it is struggling to do. “A certain level of triumphalism … brought Modi to power,” analyst Ajai Shukla told NDTV. “Now he realises people are expecting answers. He felt the need to convey an aura of progress.” Modi was conciliatory towards the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir, where violent protests against Indian rule have erupted over the past year, saying neither “name-calling nor bullets” would be enough to pacify the region. What was needed, he said, were “hugs” for Kashmiris. Kashmir has been divided between Pakistan and India, and a source of conflict between them, since their creation upon the partition of British-ruled India in 1947.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘The bodies were lying on the roads like leaves’: My partition story

Iftkahr made a death-defying journey 70 years ago – and now he’s told his son the story.

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