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BJP, PDP leaders eat beef, pork together, claims National Conference MLA

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders eat beef and pork together, National Conference leader Akbar Lone claimed on Saturday.The National Conference MLA made this controversial statement while addressing a rally here.”BJP and PDP leaders are eating cow meat and pig meat together and are two faces of one coin,” Lone said.He added that the Muslim community and the people of Jammu and Kashmir should boycott them.Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs, while in the Muslim community, it is pork.In Jammu and Kashmir, a majority of BJP leaders is Hindu, and a majority of PDP leaders is Muslim. The BJP and the PDP are running coalition government in the state.This not first time Lone has made a controversial statement.Earlier, he had said that those who have joined hands with the (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) RSS and BJP, are not Muslims. The people of Kashmir should boycott the people who joined hands with the BJP, RSS.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Padmavati: Controversial film ‘cleared by Indian censor board’

The controversial period epic has sparked protests across India by Hindu and caste groups.

Remembering Mahamana, Pt Madan Mohan Malviya.

A revered figure of the Indian Freedom struggle, Madan Mohan Malviya is remembered for his numerous contribution in development of modern India. Yet among all the aspects of his majestic personality, it is for his seamless will to ‘serve the country’ that he is remembered most by followers. It was indeed a reflection of this spirit to serve the country that a staunch believer and founder of Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi, Malviya was not in favour of being cremated at the city. On being questioned for his reservation towards being cremated at Varanasi, a holy city being cremated where is considered a fortune among Hindu believers, Malviya answered “Cremated at Varanasi, a man is supposed to attain Moksha, freedom from cycle of death and reincarnation, but I aspire to take another birth to further serve the country”.This was level of his selfless dedication and servitude for the motherland, it is for the same that government of India bestowed on him with honour of Bharat Ratna and the public adored him with title of “Mahamana”. During his entire life, he contributed to establishment of several institutions in addition to Banaras Hindu University, that at time of its foundation in 1916 was the largest residential university at Asia. Among the other institutions to have bloomed under his patronage included Banaras Engineering College and Scouting at India. These institute over the years have further carried on his legacy and produced several gems to serve the country.However, this prized son of India was born in a humble family at a holy city of Prayag on December 25, 1861. His family did not had a political legacy but an academic background that reflected in his personality throughout his life. Even as a youth in colonial India, Malviya was drawn towards the independence movement, his idea for reconstruction of India was par beyond independence from British suppression. His vision was for a society free from bondages such as untouchability and caste divide. He also held immense concern for the environment and even as he paved way of development of institutes of science and engineering, he also initiated movement for safeguarding the holy river Ganga from pollution.As a grateful country remembers him on his 157th birth anniversary, the importance of his works is further reflected as nearly seven decades after Independence the Indian government has went assertive on Clean Ganga mission and Education is being emerged as a major tool for development of India’s huge population in a human resource for the country.

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‘Not Indian Vedic tradition’- Andhra Pradesh asks temples not to celebrate New Year

In a controversial decision, the Andhra Pradesh government has asked for a ban on upcoming New Year festivities on January 1 in all the temples across the state.There are currently around 15,000 major temples in the state. In a circular issued by the Andhra Pradesh Endowments Department through the Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust (HDPT), it has suggested the Hindu temples to not celebrate New Year on January 1 and spend lavishly for the same. Dr C Raghavacharyulu, the Secretary of HDPT, said: “India got independence 70 years ago. But we have been following the English calendar that was made a habit during the British rule. Wishing on 1st January and celebrating it as a festival is not Indian Vedic Tradition.” Even temples have been asked not to wish devotees Happy New Year on New Year’s eve. This decision comes close in heels to several right wing organisations raising questions over Christmas celebrations in schools across the country. However, in most states, government’s have assured that Christmas festivities would go on without a hitch. “It came to my notice from the Honorable Commissioner of Endowments that even Hindu temples are following the British tradition. They are wishing the devotees on 1st January and are spending lakhs of rupees on floral decorations. The Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not proper to spend money received as donation from devotees for western tradition. It should be spent only for Indian tradition,” Raghavacharyulu added. He also said the Ugadi festival, which is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra (lunar) in April, should be celebrated as per the Indian tradition. The notification has been issued on December 21st. According to reports, the notification has been sent to Commissioner and other top officials of the Endowments Department and they have been asked to ensure that temples comply with the order. The TDP government in Andhra Pradesh led by Chandra babu Naidu is part of ruling NDA in the centre. With ANI inputs

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One who idolises Tipu Sultan cannot support Hindus: BJP leader Vinay Katiyar

Responding to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s remark on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having ‘leased out’ Hinduism, the latter claimed that one who idolises Tipu Sultan cannot support Hindus.”Siddaramaiah is one who idolises Tipu Sultan, who caused a lot of harm to the Hindu community. It is natural that such a person will not support or think for the welfare of Hindus or Hinduism,” BJP MP Vinay Katiyar told.Earlier in the week, Adityanath during his visit to Karnataka had accused the Congress of attempting to convert the state, which is “the land of Lord Hanuman”, into “a land of Tipu Sultan worshippers”.Also readTipu Jayanti row: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah calls Amit Shah ‘ignorant tourist’To this, Siddaramaiah took to Twitter on Friday to question whether the BJP had “taken Hinduism on lease”.”Are only the BJP leaders Hindus? Are we not Hindus? Has the BJP taken Hinduism on a lease? My name is Siddaramaiah. Siddhu and Rama are in my name,” he said.Also readSiddaramaiah hits back at Amit Shah, says ‘Tipu Sultan was a freedom lover, patriot’In a series of tweets in Kannada, the Chief Minister also called for equal respect to be given to all religions, adding that this was a sign of ‘true Hindutva’.

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VHP in Meerut launches campaign telling Hindus to not sell homes to minorities

The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has launched a campaign that disallows people belonging to the minority community to buy property in Hindu-dominated areas.According to the VHP, if sold, then people may use these houses as a safe haven to conduct terrorist and anti-national activities.“We will also educate Hindus not to sell their houses to Muslims as their culture, and way of living does not match with us,” Sudarshan Maharaj, VHP Organizing Secretary, Meerut, told media.The campaign comes after Sanjay Rastogi, a Meerut-based businessman, from Maliwada in Meerut district, sold a portion of his house to a Muslim family. However, when the buyer Nauman Ahmed went for the possession, he was heckled by VHP activists and local residents and warned not to shift into the house.Locals also confronted Sanjay Rastogi for selling his property discreetly to a Muslim family without consulting and seeking consent from his neighbours.The matter went to the Kotwali police station where a compromise was reached. It asked Sanjay to return the money to Nauman within two months to close the matter.Meanwhile, a delegation of the members AIMIM met the SSP Manzil Saini and other senior police officials. They sought action against VHP and BJYM activists making a property deal into Hindu-Muslim and demand protection for the Muslim family to shift in the house.

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India Hindu group warns schools over Christmas celebrations

Hindu Jagran Manch sent letters to schools in Aligarh city, asking them not to celebrate Christmas.

3 years on, no third gender students in Delhi University’s regular classes

When the Delhi University (DU) decided to add the third gender category in its admission forms for undergraduate courses in 2015, the move was hailed by everyone, especially the transgender students. Three academic sessions down the line, however, not even a single student has enrolled in regular colleges under the category across the university.According to the University’s Department of Adult, Continuing Education, and Extension, no third-gender applicants have joined regular colleges in undergraduate courses as of now. The department had recently written to all colleges to seek related information.The university, however, witnessed a five-fold increase in the number of applications (83) received under the third-gender category, as compared to last year’s 15. “Every year, we receive applications from third gender students, but no one joins regular college. Most prefer DU’s School of Open Learning (SOL)” said Professor Rajesh, a faculty member at the Department.As per a recent research conducted by students on the issue, even if some third gender students study at regular colleges, they are not comfortable revealing their identity. “We came to know that some transgender students attend regular classes but they chose not to take admission under the third gender category,” said Aslam, a PhD scholar.When DNA contacted several third gender students pursuing education through distance learning, humiliation and hesitation emerged as the main reasons behind not opting for regular education. “It’s very difficult for us to attend regular classes. Neither students nor teachers are sensitive about our issues and problems,” said Rehana, 27, a transgender who recently completed her BA (programme) from SOL.Talking about her experience during the weekly SOL classes, she said: “I left attending classes there after facing lewd comments from students. Several other transgender students were also there, but none of them attended classes,” said Rehana, who is now planning to pursue masters from distance learning.Officials at the university, however, claimed that they have a “healthy” atmosphere for such students at their campuses. “We regularly organise interactive sessions to encourage more third gender students to join mainstream education. But more sensitisation is required. We need to take collective responsibility to bridge this gap,” said Anju Srivastava, principal of the Hindu College.Students, however, claimed that the university’s policy regarding name change was yet another hurdle for the third gender students. “I have been requesting the varsity to change my name in my marksheet and certificate for the last three years but to no avail. They say it needs to be changed in school,” said Akansha, a third-year BA (prog) student at SOL. “I became aware of my identity after I finished school,” she added.Recently, a transgender student had moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the DU and the CBSE over their policies on name change. According to the CBSE policy, her lawyer explained, a student has to change his/her name before the results are declared by the board.Experts, however, said an inclusive atmosphere was needed to bring these students to the mainstream right from the school level. “We need to bring attitudinal changes among these students and other stake holders from the very start. It can’t be done at graduation level,” said Professor Rajesh, who has also submitted a report on the issues of transgenders in education and employment to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.THE DISCOMFORTAs per a recent research conducted by students, even if some third gender students study at regular colleges, they are not comfortable revealing their identity. Officials claim that they have a “healthy” atmosphere at their campuses

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Gujarat Elections 2017- 47 newly elected MLAs have criminal cases, 25 from Congress: ADR

Of the 182 newly-elected Gujarat MLAs, 47 have declared criminal cases against them, while 141 are crorepatis, says a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).”Out of the 182 MLAs analysed, 47 (26 per cent) MLAs have declared criminal cases against them. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 57 (31 per cent) MLAs had declared criminal cases against them,” the report by ADR said today. Gujarat Election Watch and ADR have analysed the self- sworn affidavits of all 182 newly-elected MLAs in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections. Among MLAs with serious criminal cases, 33 have declared serious cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery etc. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 24 MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against them.ADR, which works for electoral and political reforms, said that among party wise MLAs with criminal cases, 18 out of 99 MLAs from BJP, 25 out of 77 MLAs from INC, one of the two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one MLA from NCP and two out of three independents have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits. Besides, 12 MLAs from BJP, 17 from INC, one from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one from NCP and two independents have declared serious criminal cases against them in their affidavits.Also readHow Yogi Adityanath delivered the Hindu votes for BJP in South Gujarat “Out of the 182 newly-elected MLAs, 141 (77 per cent) are crorepatis. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat 2012 assembly elections, 134 (74 per cent) MLAs were crorepatis,” the report said. Among partywise crorepati MLAs, 84 MLAs from BJP, 54 from INC, two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party and one MLA from NCP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore. The average assets per MLA in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections is Rs 8.46 crore, while the same was Rs 8.03 crore in 2012. The average assets per MLA for 99 BJP MLAs analysed is Rs 10.64 crore, 77 INC MLAs (5.85 crore), 2 Bhartiya Tribal Party MLAs (Rs 2.71 crore) and 3 Independents (Rs 53.86 lakh).Also readKey indices close at record high over BJP’s win in Gujarat, Himachal PradeshThe top three MLAs with high assets are Saurabh Yashvantbhai Dalal Patel of BJP with total assets of over Rs 123 crore, followed by Dhanjibhai Patel (Makson) also from BJP (over Rs 113 crore) and Chavda Jawaharbhai Pethaljibhai from INC (over Rs 103 crore), the report by ADR said. Three MLAs in Gujarat with lowest assets have their assets valued less than Rs 13 lakh led by independent Jigneshkumar Natvarlal Mevani with total assets of over Rs 10 lakh.The report said that 13 out of 182 MLAs have not declared their sources of income. The average assets of re-elected MLAs in 2017 is Rs 10.71 crore, while in 2012 it was Rs 7.41 crore, ADR added. “The growth in average assets of re-elected MLAs is Rs 3.30 crore ie by 45 per cent,” it said.On their education details, the report said that 96 MLAs have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 69 have declared having a qualification of graduate or above. There are seven MLAs who are just literates while there is one who is illiterate. As per the findings of the report, 21 MLAs have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 121 between 41 and 60 years. There are 40 MLAs who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years. Out of the 182 MLAs, 13 are women against 16 in 2012.

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When will attention be given to Hindu widows in UP? Samajwadi Party asks BJP

The Samajwadi Party today hit out at the Narendra Modi-led BJP goverment, claiming that it had special concern for the Muslim women and asked when the ruling party would address the problems face by Hindu widows.Speaking to reporters, SP national general secretary Ramashankar Vidyarthi also blamed the statements made by Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kapil Sibal for the Congress’ defeat in the Gujarat Assembly elections.”The BJP government has a special concern to address the interests of Muslim women, but it is unable to see the plight of Hindu widows,” he claimed.The condition of the Hindu widows is very bad and are kept away from various social programmes, he said.”When will any attention be given to the Hindu widows, and when steps will be taken to provide them equal rights,” he asked the prime minister.On the election results, the SP general secretary said, “The Congress lost the (Gujarat Assembly) elections due to the statements made by Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kapil Sibal. It was because of their remarks that the BJP resorted to communal polarisation and was able to register a victory.” He also said the SP would review its performance in the Assembly elections held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Congress candidate wins in PM Modi’s own Vadnagar

Congress nominee Asha Patel won from Unjha constituency, which covers Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar, by a margin of over 19,000 votes. Sitting BJP MLA Narayan Patel had previously defeated Asha by nearly 25,000 votes in 2012. While Patel polled 81,797 votes this time, her BJP rival got 62,268.The Congress rode on the Patidar wave. About 40 per cent Unjha’s population is from the Patidar community. One of the 14 men killed in the Patidar quota agitation two years ago, was from Unjha.Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the party’s star campaigner, had extensively campaigned in Unjha during his Navsarjan Yatra. On his visit to the region, Gandhi also prayed at the Umiya Mata temple, close to Vadnagar – where Modi was brought up. Weeks before the election process began in Gujarat where the BJP has been in power for the last 22 years, Modi inaugurated Umiya Dham Ashram in Haridwar for the pilgrims from the region visiting the Hindu holy city on the bank of the Ganges.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi’s soft ‘Hindu’ strategy a success

Gujarat elections saw a new avatar in the ‘janeu-dhari’ and ‘tilak’-sporting Rahul Gandhi, as he hopped temples to woo Hindu voters. During his unusual temple run, beginning with Dwarkadheesh temple, Rahul covered nearly two dozen temples across the state. His pilgrimages included the famed Somnath temple, which has been at the centre of political discord between Congress and BJP, as well as the Akshardham temple of the Swami Narayan sect that has worked as a bulwark for the BJP.He even visited a Navarati pandal in Chandi Bazar, Jamnagar. And when his Hindu branding was challenged, Rahul declared at Bahuchara ji temple, “Main Shiv ka bhakt hoon. Sachaai mein believe karta hoon. BJP jo bhi bole, main apni sachaai mein believe karta hun (I am devotee of Lord Shiva, and I believe in honesty. Whatever the BJP may say, I believe in my own honesty and truth).”By wearing Hinduism on his sleeve, Rahul perhaps forced even Prime Minister Narendra Modi to up his temple visits amid a punishing campaign schedule.To keep the BJP at bay on religious issues, Congress took every care to steer clear of its minority appeasement image. In none of Rahul’s rallies were there any Muslims on the dais, so much so that even Ahmed Patel was kept at a safe distance.Rahul’s temple visits also underscored the fact that the Congress now believes that it will have to reclaim its earlier ‘soft Hindu’ party image, and undo the damage inflicted by its anti-Hindu, pro-Muslim image.The future course of Indian politics might seen a more “Hindu” Rahul Gandhi. It would be interesting to know how Rahul, after tasting relative success in Gujarat, deal with the Ram Mandir issue.RAHUL’S NEW AVATARSome of Rahul’s pilgrimages included the Somnath temple, the Akshardham temple of the Swami Narayan sect, the Bahuchara ji temple and a Navarati pandal in Chandi Bazar, Jamnagar To keep the BJP at bay on religious issues, Congress took every care to steer clear of its minority appeasement policy. Rahul forced even PM Narendra Modi to up his temple visits

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A dialogue with JC: Hapless Cong prays for a miracle as BJP set to wrest power in Guj and Himachal

Will results of Exit Polls be proved right in Himachal and Gujarat?The Exit Poll results of Himachal are 100% right. BJP is getting absolute majority there…Dhumal will be the chief minister and Modi-Amit Shah will also be present there…there is a tried trend in Himachal …it’s 5-year term for Virbhadra, 5 year for Dhumal…now it’s Dhumal’s turn.Will Amit Shah’s forecast of 15-year rule of BJP stand true in Himachal or will Congress come back after 5 years?Amit Shah has declared in election rallies that this time Himachal is not voting for 5 years , it is voting for 15 years. But how far this forecast is going to be true, it can’t be ascertained…after 5 years Dhumal will be 78…I think he is playing last innings…I think both the leaders are in their last leg due to their age…new generation is coming. How the pair of J P Nadda in Delhi and Dhumal in Shimla work together? Will they become two different centres of power?Nadda was a contender of chief minister…But when his name was ruled out and name of Dhumal was announced then he withdrew himself and dedicated entire focus on elections but going forward it can’t be denied that Nadda and Dhumal will be two different power centres. One will be Delhi and other will be in Shimla. High Command will have its task cut out to maintain coordination between them. Eventually what is the political future of Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur and Virbhandra’s son Vikramaditya?As far as Anurag Thakur is concerned, he is an MP and close to Arun Jaitley. On the other hand, Vikramaditya is contesting election this time…his future is in time wrap.Will Gujarat again see the reemergence of Jodi No : Narendra-Modi-Amit Shah? Will there be absolute majority for BJP or will it be the single largest party?Jodi is Super Hit…as far as election results are concerned, I believe that BJP is getting 112 seats and Congress 70. These days public gives decisive mandate…in 2014 polls BJP had led in 162 constituencies out of 165 and in this elections, the polling percentage was 68% and if we look at it, the vote looks even more decisive. Whichever party wins, it will get 125-130 seats. But it is believed that BJP will form government will 105-107 seats.Who besides Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi emerged as the hero of poll campaign in Gujarat?If we look at heroes of Gujarat campaign then only three are there – Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi…in second category we may keep Yogi, Smriti Irani, Jaitley, Hardik Patel and his two partners.Was the agenda of Gujarat Pride and Hindu-Muslim related issues came again into picture during last days of electioneering? Was there once again polarisation of Gujarati voters?Narendra Modi smartly raised the issue of Gujarat Pride…The word Neech which Manishankar uttered, Modi encashed that sensibly. Modi also raised the issue of Hindu-Muslim when he said that Manmohan Singh was present in a meeting with people of Pakistan to stall BJP from forming government Gujarat. This people believed to some extent. In the last leg of elections, what would be the impact of negative campaign carried out by Modi and BJP against Congress?Negative campaign is the strategy of Modi. But this should not have happened. Maximum people believed that campaigning should not stoop down to this level. When permission for roadshow in Ahmedabad was turned down, Modi campaigned from Sea-Plane. Was it Modi’s poll branding exercise? It was a masterstroke of Narendra Modi…people of Gujarat was hooked to the Plane. It was 100% a branding exercise.In this situation of Gujarat election, what would be the scenario in 2019? Will Rahul be able to give straight fight to Modi? How much impact would Gujarat and Himachal result will have on the outcome of 2019 elections?The 2019 scenario is absolutely clear which is showing Modi on seat. A Times of India survey say that 79% people want to see Modi as prime minister while Rahul Gandhi has only 16% vote for PM.In the second leg, a day before the polling, Rahul has given interview to Gujarat’s regional channel, what would be the impact on this?It was a mastermind move on Congress part…there is anxiety in BJP. That interview of Rahul was a big challenge for media managers of BJP, it was a failure. Interview came into light of election commission, sent notice to the channel and talks about filing FIR against Rahul also came into being. Later Election Commission retreated following uproar over this issue. Is Election Commission favouring BJP in case of violation of Code of Conduct and how much the independence of EC getting affected?It can’t be said that EC is favouring BJP or not but that goes as an impression among people, questions have been raised on the sanctity of EC. BJP has suffered from this.What would be the national agenda of Narendra Modi after winning elections in Gujarat and Himachal? Will he focus on governance or remain in election mode till 2019 elections? Modi is a man of passion. He has his own style of working. Whether he wins elections or not, it doesn’t affect him because he feels whatever he is doing is right. Whether it’s demonetisation or GST. But in coming days, he will have an agenda of conducting assembly and parliamentary elections simultaneously. Second agenda would be to make GST successful, third would be to have a crack down on shell companies and fourth would be to eradicate corruption. What would be the agenda of Narendra Modi’s one man army – Amit Shah? Will he again come into electioneering mode after forming cabinets in Gujarat and Himachal?If BJP forms government in Gujarat then his entire focus would be on Karnataka and then he will concentrate on Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and MP. He is completely immersed making political strategy 24X7. What is the political fallout of entry of Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha? Has remote control of BJP in Rajya Sabha gone to Amit Shah? This is Modi’s strategy not to merely send Amit Shah to Rajya Sabha but to establish him there. With Shah in RS, BJP MPs will be present in full strengthen with aggression. Definitely, the remote control will be with Amit Shah.Do you see any difference in the personality of Rahul Gandhi pre and post Gujarat elections?There is a big difference in both the situations. Earlier people used to make fun of Rahul Gandhi…now two major personality traits have been visible during Gujarat elections. Now he doesn’t hesitate and speak the language of people. His image has also seen a turnaround. Whether he wins election or not, he has emerged as a leader.Who will be Ahmed Patel of Rahul Gandhi? Or will core group of 4-5 leaders keep taking trivial decisions? Ahmed Patel has been in force as an advisor for last 20-25 years…there is no alternate to him in Congress…I don’t feel there can be any Ahmed Patel in the life of Rahul Gandhi Jagdeeshji, if I ask you to summarise this analysis in one sentence, what would you say?BJP is forming government in both the states but in Gujarat possibility of a miracle can’t be ruled out.

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Rajasthan hacking: Taslima Nasreen writes ‘intolerance at peak, Muslims can be killed easily’

On Friday, exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen set the cats among the pigeons when she spoke out against defending killers of one’s religion. Ostensibly talking about Shambulal Regar, who had hacked Mohammed Afrazul to death and burnt the body on December 6 in Rajasthan. She had written on Twitter: “If you defend the killers who kill for your religion, you are not different from those who defend the killers who kill for their religion.”Afrazul had migrated to Rajsamand district in Rajasthan from West Bengal for work. Shambulal had roped in his 14-year-old nephew to film the killing. After the barbaric act, Shambulal posted videos of the killing with inflammatory and communal comments to defend the act.Also readRajasthan hacking: Rs 2.75 lakh deposited in Shambulal Regar’s wife’s account before being frozenThe comments come a day after Nasreen had written an article for The Print, comparing the act to those of ISIS-like extremists She wrote: “But I have seen how Shambhulal brutally murdered Afrazul in Rajasthan, courtesy his nephew’s video on the internet. The murder-video was broadcast on the internet, just like ISIS does. ISIS knows that in their strongholds in Syria, no police will come to arrest them. Shambhulal probably also thought that no one would punish him.” Also readRajasthan hacking: Bengal Congress accuses Mamata Banerjee of trying to reap political dividend She wrote: “The point of the video is that Muslims can be killed easily. They can be killed because they invaded India, destroyed temples and plundered villages, converted Hindus, took over a Hindu land and ruled over Hindus. And now, they have commenced ‘love jihad’.” She wrote that when she criticised the video, many defended Shambulal, similar ire she claims to have faced for condemning Gau Rakshaks (cow vigilantes). She added: “Intolerance is at its peak now. I have discussed irrational Hindu rituals and oppression of women earlier but never received such threats.”Taslima Nasreen’s strong words created stir on Twitter with many right-wing users strongly condemning her views.

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Indian carol singers arrested after ‘conversion’ complaint

The incident occurred in Madhya Pradesh state, which is known for its strict anti-conversion laws.

India cabinet backs bill to criminalise Islamic instant divorce

The bill proposes jail of up to three years for a Muslim man who indulges in “triple talaq”.

India ‘religious murder’ case: Donations for suspect blocked

The Hindu man is accused of hacking a Muslim to death in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Union minister Ramdas Athawale asks Dalits to renounce Hinduism, embrace Buddhism

Invoking Babasaheb Ambedkar, Union minister Ramdas Athawale today said he embraced Buddhism only after he was convinced that Dalits would not get justice in the Hindu religion and asked all members of the community to do so.”Only when Babasaheb Ambedkar was convinced that Dalits would not get justice in Hindu religion did he convert to Buddhism. Lakhs of Dalits converted as well,” Athawale, the minister of state for social justice and empowerment, said in a statement issued here.According to the statement, Ambedkar had given opportunity to staunch “Hindutvavadis” to make amends but that did not happen, and hence he converted.”All Dalits should give up Hinduism and embrace Buddhism to stop atrocities against them,” Athawale said.Athawale, the chief of the Republican Party of India (A), also slammed BSP chief Mayawati and said instead of issuing repeated threats, she should once and for all convert to Buddhism.Mayawati, addressing a rally at Nagpur on December 10, had attacked the BJP and the RSS, and said that Dalits, tribals, OBCs and minorities were facing castiest, religious and communal discrimination from the so-called custodians of the Hindu religion.Mayawati had warned the BJP and the RSS that if their attitude towards the backward sections of society didn’t change, she would embrace Buddhism with crores of others.

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India can’t be governed on basis of Hindi, Hindu & Hindustan, says Asaduddin Owaisi

President of All India Majlis-e- Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi today said that India cannot be governed on the basis of “Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan”.Owaisi, while citing a news report which claimed that a scuffle broke out between members of the BJP and BSP in Aligarh Municipal Corporation in Uttar Pradesh yesterday after a BSP corporator took oath in Urdu, tweeted that he himself has taken oath in Urdu three times earlier as an MP and will do so again in 2019.”As an MP I have taken oath in Urdu three times, so is that unconstitutional and will again take in Urdu in 2019 InshAllah. India cannot be governed on the basis of Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan,” the Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad said in a tweet.

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The rage and hatred behind a public murder

A video of a Hindu murdering a Muslim man in the name of “love jihad” has left most Indians stunned.

Geeta does not recognise Bihar couple who claim to be parents

Geeta, a speech impaired girl who returned to India in 2015 after spending several years in Pakistan where she had landed accidentally as a child, today didn’t recognise a Muslim couple from Bihar who had claimed that she was their long-lost daughter.The authorities will now go for DNA testing of the couple to determine if they are her parents.In-charge district collector Ruchika Chauhan said that Geeta used sign language to convey that it was not her family.She said, “Geeta conveyed that she worshipped Hindu deities- Lord Shankar and Hanuman- and does not belong to a Muslim family.”Chauhan said that the family comprising Mohammed Isa, his wife Julekha Khatoon and other family members were allowed to meet Geeta as part of the initiative to re-unite Geeta with her parents.The family is from Mirajpur village in Bihar’s Saran district and had claimed that Geeta is their long-lost daughter Rubeida who went missing when she went out to watch a marriage procession.Chauhan, however, said that DNA samples of Mohammad Isa and his wife Julekha Khatoon have been collected for verification.The family members, meanwhile, have not lost hope with Mohammad Isa’s son Himtaj telling reporters that Geeta failed to recognize his father possibly because she had stayed away from the family for a long time.On being asked that Geeta termed herself as a follower of Hindu faith, Himtaj said that it could be because of the cultural harmony in his native village.”There are many temples along with a mosque around our house and Hindus and Muslims celebrate each other’s festivals together. We visit Hindu families during the festival of Chhath,” he said.”There may be the memories of worshipping deities in Hindu temples in her subconscious mind,” Himtaj added.”We hope that the DNA examination will clear the situation,” Himtaj said.District collector Chauhan informed that the DNA verification process would be the same even if Geeta recognises anyone as her parent.The official said that a family from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, which had also claimed that Geeta was their daughter, did not turn up for a scheduled meeting today.Earlier Geeta had met a family from Sokha Kishku village of Jamtara district of Jharkhand but she did not recognise them either, said Chauhan.The DNA samples of the couple have also been sent for verification, she added.Geeta was found by Pakistan Rangers on the Samjhauta Express at the Lahore railway station when she was around seven years old. Karachi-based Edhi Foundation looked after her while she was in Pakistan.After returning to India in October 2015, Geeta has been living at an institution for hearing impaired children run by an NGO here.

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No boy will be ready to marry a girl who comes to mandap in jeans: MoS Satyapal Singh

Minister of State for Human Resource and Development Satyapal Singh on Sunday said at at a function in Gorakhpur that no one boy would marry a girl who comes to the mandap wearing jeans.He said, “No boy will be ready to marry a girl who comes to the mandap (wedding stage) in jeans.”The minister, sharing a stage with UP CM Yogi Adityanath at a function in Gorakhpur added, “Similarly, no saint will be revered if he gives up his traditional attire and wears jeans.”He was making those remarks in context of the appropriateness of attire in Indian culture and was addressing a group of students at the concluding ceremony of the foundation fay of the Maharana Pratap Siksha Parishad (MPSP), the academic arm of Gorakhnath Temple.The minister praised MPSP for preserving the values of Hindu culture and working in the field of education and health. The temple also runs hospitals, blood banks and Ayurvedic treatment centres.Also readGujarat Election 2017: Rahul Gandhi’s visits to temples a pretence, says Yogi AdityanathHe also released two books on the occasion, ‘Bhartiya Sanskriti’ and ‘Gorakshpeeth : Yoga Evam Sant Parampara’, both of which contain articles by the Chief Minister.Meanwhile, Adityanath told students that human beings were god’s most wonder creation and no one was useless.

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Rajasthan hacking: "We only know our father was a hero of the family, don’t know what love jihad is"

A daughter of the 48-year-old Muslim labourer Mohammad Afrazul from West Bengal who was hacked and burnt to death in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand, has termed her father as a hero of the family and said that she doesn’t know what love jihad means.Afrazul was killed by Shambu Lal Raigar who was seen in the videos ranting against “love jihad”, a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men, who they claim seek to propagate Islam.“Our father was always away, but used to call us everyday. We were sad that he was never home but we knew he was doing that to feed us,” Afrazul’s second daughter Rejina told Indian Express.Also readRajasthan hacking horror: Victim’s family haunted by his screams; say animals are treated betterStating that she doesn’t know what love-jihad is, she added, “All I know is that my father was a family man who worked hard for us.”According to report, Afrazul left home at the age of 14 and worked as daily wage labourer for three decades and educated his family members.Also readRajasthan murder is a criminal incident, not a case of love jihad: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi”He has always sacrificed just to keep the family running. He is the hero of the family,” said Afzarul’s elder brother Muhammed Tafazzul Hussain Khan.“There was no factory here then… there still isn’t. So the only way left for him and us was to leave the state,” says Tafazzul.Also readRajasthan murder: Woman denies she was ‘rescued’ by accusedAfrazul’s younger brother said that hard he was a hard-working man who ate less and saved for the family.In his videos, Shambu Lal Raigar had referred to a woman he called his “Hindu sister who he had tried to save from love jihad”. That woman, however, has denied any link, saying that she went to West Bengal with one Mohammed Bablu Sheikh, a resident of Malda, in 2010, but returned to Rajasthan in 2013 on her own.Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Director General of Police (DGP) said the prima facie reports cited the man seen in the video was not a ‘normal human being’, and a further investigation has been initiated in the matter.The Rajasthan government also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the victim, while the West Bengal government provided widow pension to the deceased’s wife and assured employment to the kin.

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Maharani Gayatri Devi’s grandkids are her legal heirs: Delhi High Court

Striking down an earlier judgment wherein the stepsons of Rajmata Gayatri Devi were declared entitled to a share of her property, the Delhi High Court (HC) has held the Queen’s two grandchildren as her legal heirs.Justice S Ravindra Bhat referred to an earlier judgment in a different case, where it was held that step-children could not be equated to children. The death of the maharani gave rise to a tiff over the property. Jagat Singh, the son of the late queen, died after executing a will, stating that Gayatri Devi be the owner of his property.According to an application filed by Gayatri Devi’s Devraj and Lalitya, currently residing in Bangkok, she died in 2009 with a will that declared that they would inherit all her properties. The grandchildren also filed a review petition, challenging a 2010 decision of the HC, which allowed two separate applications for impleadment as heirs of Gayatri Devi.While one plea was filed by Devraj and Lalitya, the other was moved by Gayatri Devi’s stepsons Prithvi Raj Singh and Jai Singh, who were born from Maharaj Sawai Man Singh’s other wife.Her grandchildren contended that only they were entitled to get her share as they were the children of late Jagat Singh, who was her predeceased son, and the only class-I legal heirs under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.They had also said that Prithvi Raj Singh and Jai Singh were the children of late Sawai Man Singh through another wife and could not be treated as Gayatri Devi’s heirs. Their submissions were countered by Prithvi Raj and Jai Singh, who relied upon the will of Jagat Singh, allegedly excluding his children from succession to his properties.It was submitted that though Devraj and Lalitya might, in the normal circumstances have been the heirs of Gayatri Devi as children of Jagat Singh, they have to be excluded as her successors because they were disinherited by their father.The court, however, set aside its October 19, 2010 order, allowed the review petition, and said: “Devraj and Lalitya Kumari are to be treated as legal representatives of late Gayatri Devi”. It also relied on a Supreme Court judgment, saying the verdict was decisive on the question that stepchildren cannot be equated to children.”… Therefore, the question of other individuals, claiming to succeed to Gayatri Devi’s will, cannot arise. For the foregoing reasons, it is held that the review petition has to succeed. It is allowed. The order dated October 19, 2010, is therefore, set aside. The present applicants — Devraj and Lalitya Kumari — are to be treated as legal representatives of late Gayatri Devi,” the bench stated.The SC, in September 2015, had upheld the verdict of the Delhi HC, allowing transfer of some shares of Gayatri Devi to Devraj and Lalitya Kumari.REVIEW PETITIONThe grandchildren also filed a review petition, challenging a 2010 decision of the HC, which allowed two separate applications for impleadment as heirs of Gayatri Devi.

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Gujarat elections 2017 | Cong should not have fallen into BJP’s Hindutva trap: Shankersinh Vaghela

Shankersinh Vaghela (77) once a potential chief ministerial candidate both in the BJP and then in the Congress is now waging a lonely, almost lost battle in the bi-polar political arena of Gujarat. DNA catches up with the ‘Bapu’ of Gujarat politics in Gandhinagar.Vaghela is unfazed with virtually no possibility of any of his 100 candidates winning a seat or tepid response in his public rallies, insisting no one should run away from doing an “experiment” He praised both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, saying some people with an influence on the Congress high command, forced him to quit.This time you, rather your candidates are in the fray for the first time without the backing of any major party. Do you feel the difference?The big difference is that having seen the functioning of both major national parties, I am now going for this new experiment. Sycophancy rules in the national parties in the name of the high command. While political parties are must in a democracy, there is no democracy in political parties. You saw leaders in both parties avoiding party workers when they faced anger after ticket distribution. What kind of candidates are you fielding that you have to seek protection against them? Then what will such elected representatives do to people?How do you see this election campaign going on in Gujarat. Have you seen such sharp election campaigns in the past.What election campaign? Where are the people’s issues. One is calling the other ‘chor’, the other is calling back the first ‘Mahchor’. So are the people expected to choose between ‘thag’ and ‘mahathag’.You quit Congress ahead of Assembly polls. Now there is a buzz that Rahul Gandhi is getting quite some traction in Gujarat and the election is a tight one. Rahul Gandhi has visited a number of temples. Your views?There was no need for Congress to fall into this Hidutva trap of BJP. If the discourse is between “Naram Hindu” (soft Hindutva) and “Garam Hindu” (hard core Hindutva), it is the latter which will have the last laugh. Congress should instead have focused on people’s issues, jobs, development. Congress has squandered an opportunity.But why did you leave Congress? Do you think your presence could have helped Congress and you would also have been a beneficiary?Yes, Congress would have come to power had my association with it continued. I told Rahul Gandhi that I will deliver 90 plus seats without any financial support for the party. He had agreed. But then some people in the party, who are in hand in glove with BJP , created some doubts. Congress leadership did not show the inclination to prevent me from deserting the party. Now they have lost the plot. In the second phase, the Congress has gone for chaotic seat distribution.A number of leaders who left the Congress castigated Rahul Gandhi. What are your views on him? Do you see Congress benefitting after his becoming party President or rather losing traction?He is a very good person. He is not crooked person like many in politics. He is an open man and the Congress will benefit after the command passes on to a single hand. Earlier, with two power centres, some people with vested interests used to have influence on decisions even after he had decided something. Now the crooked people will be out. Even in my case, he had agreed to hand over the decision to me in Gujarat. But then some people prevailed.What about Sonia Gandhi?She carried herself with utmost grace. She had married Rajiv Gandhi on a pre-condition that he will not join politics. But destiny had it otherwise. So she is here. But the thing is they are not controlling the party. One particular leader of Congress in every state is running the show. If you do not bow before him, you are out.Who are those people?We all know.Do you regret having left the Congress?There is no question of regretting when you take a decision after thinking about the pros and cons. A political party must come to power to serve the people. I saw lack of will in Congress to capture power. I was not there to sit in the Opposition. Even when I was with Jansangh, I used to impress upon the fact that we must come to power to serve people. When I was convinced that the manner in which it is operating, Congress will not come to power in the state, I left. Since I had RSS or Jansangh roots, it seems they could not trust me. Then what was the option?What impact do you see of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mewani on the polls. All three are backing Congress.They have created an atmosphere, a buzz. Congress will benefit due to this Patidar agitation. OBC and Dalits already supported the Congress. But Patidar impact will only be felt in four five pockets. BJP has a number of senior Patel leaders. They will retain their seats like Nitin Patel in Mehsan, Saurabh Patel in Botda, Jitu Bhagnani in Bhavnagar.Is Modi magic working for BJP?When one reaches a peak, a climbdown is the natural corollary. (Chadte sooraj ko dheere dheere dhalna hi hota hai). Modi reached his peak when he became Prime Minister in 2014.Who according to you is winning this election?BJP has been in power for 22 years. They have an edge, though their seats will come down from what they had got in 2012. Demonetisation and GST have shaken BJP in industrial hubs but Congress is not prepared enough to make a change.Is it a Rahul versus Modi battle.This is media creationYou have worked in both BJP and Congress in past. Which party would you like to go back? In which party, you are more comfortable.I have been comfortable in both parties. The difference between BJP and Congress is that while I was in the making of the former, the latter was made by some one else.I will not join any political party as such but will be available to work for any of them if people from BJP and Congress approach me. It will be issue based support. I am open to work with both.Your son also left Congress along with you. But neither your nor your son is contesting election this time. Where will he go?Ans-He was going to join BJP. I prevailed upon him not to do so. He will take his own call. He is a matured person.Anything you would like to suggest?Ans- The Election Commission should do something to ensure that people holding top posts like PM or CM do not misuse their official position in election. The exemption given to them should be curtailed. Besides political parties, lot needs to be done to correct ticket distribution process. A primary system like one prevailing in US should be followed here in ticket distribution in which party presidents and top leadership should have miniscule role.

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Mamata announces Rs 3 lakh and job for kin of labourer killed in Rajasthan, accused gets three-day police custody

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government would provide Rs 3 lakh and a job to the family of Mohammand Afrazul, a labourer from the state who was brutally killed in Rajasthan.Afrazul was hacked and burnt to death at Rajsamand in Rajasthan by a man who, raving against “love jihad”, also filmed the entire incident and uploaded it on social media.”As a small help to the bereaved family, our government has decided to provide Rs 3 lakh to the family and also a job to an eligible person of the victim’s family,” Banerjee said in a statement.She said that the labourer’s family was “totally helpless” and “other help from the government will also be provided.””I am sending our team of ministers and MPs to visit the family,” Banerjee said.Also readAfter labourer from Malda is murdered in Rajasthan, Mamata Banerjee condemns inhuman killingState Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Firad Hakim and Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary would visit Afrazul’s house in Malda district tomorrow, a senior state government official said.The ministers would be accompanied by Trinamool Congress MPs Saugata Ray, Sudip Bandyapadhyay and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, while Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, a senior TMC leader from Malda, would visit Afrazul’s home during the day.Also readMamata Banerjee says will protect Muslims, Dalits in stateThe chief minister yesterday condemned the killing describing it as “inhuman”.The accused Shambu Lal Raigar is seen in the video ranting against “love jihad”, a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men.Also readThose who butchered my father should suffer in the same manner: Rajasthan victim’s daughterAfrazul’s family members, who described him as the family’s sole earning member, yesterday demanded strict action against Raigar who was arrested.A court here today sent a man, who allegedly hacked and burnt to death a Muslim labourer from West Bengal in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district, to three days in police custody.Shambhu Lal Raigar was produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Rajsamand. The magistrate remanded him in three days police custody.The accused will be produced in the court on December 10 again, Station House Officer (SHO), Rajnagar, Ramsumer Meena said.Raigar had allegedly hacked and burnt Mohammand Afrazul and a video of the gruesome incident went viral on social media on Wednesday.He was arrested yesterday while his minor nephew who had allegedly made the video was detained. The boy was sent to a juvenile home by the court today, the SHO said.

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Government revises scheme, offers Rs 2.5 lakh to marry a Dalit

The Centre has announced a tweak in the eligibility criteria for recently-married inter-caste couples to avail a cash incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh under the ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage’ by removing the minimum cap of an annual income of Rs 5 lakh.The incentive, started in 2013, was intended to help in better inclusion and to encourage anyone who marries a Dalit individual. The scheme intended to “appreciate the socially bold step,” and to extend financial help to the couple to enable them to “settle down in the initial phase of their married life.”Along with the doing away of the minimum cap, the Centre also made it mandatory for the couples to submit details of their Aadhaar and their Aadhaar-linked joint bank account. The incentive, which the couples can avail in their very first year of their marriage, is given out on the basis of recommendation from an either legislator or a District Collector. Apart from that, to be eligible, the only those marriages solemnised under the Hindu Marriages Act are eligible.The move, critics said, was to woo Dalits as the BJP is set for a tough fight in the upcoming Gujarat elections. However, while the policy had a target of extending the benefits of the scheme to 500 couples in a year, in the last four years the scheme has not been extended to more than a fifth of that. In 2014-15, the scheme attracted only five couples, while in 2015-16, 72 couples had benefited from it, over 522 couples had applied.
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‘Dresses worn by Hindu girls embarrassing,’ says Bihar college principal banning jeans, mobile phones

In a bizarre incident, a Bihar college principal has introduced dress code in the college as the ‘dresses worn by Hindu girls are an embarrassment’ to the college.Shashi Sharma, Principal of Magadh Mahila College in Bihar, on Wednesday introduced a ban on dresses, jeans and Patiala suits on campus.”Was requested by girls to bring in dress code as there’s social disparity here. Muslim girls don’t wear jeans so they never objected. Dresses worn by Hindu girls were embarrassing,” Shashi Sharma said.The principal has also imposed restriction on mobile phone use. Any offender will have to pay a fine of Rs 1000. “There’s mobile-free zone where phones can be used, not in classrooms. Ours isn’t a modern college that it can take such modernity. We think traditionally & are miles away from modernity. It’ll take us 50 years to reach there,” the principal added.A student also expressed support for the administration’s decision saying the ban will remove differences among girls.”Ban on jeans is an old rule. Phones in classrooms were always prohibited. Girls never objected to dress code, in fact they requested for it in first place. Uniformity will remove differences among girls. Phones can be used in mobile free zones,” said Laila Qazmi, General Secretary of Magadh Mahila College.
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Centre offers Rs 2.5 lakh for every inter-caste marriage involving a Dalit

The government has removed the income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per annum for recently married inter-caste couples, where either the bride or the bridegroom is a Dalit, to become eligible for a financial incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh. The ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage’, which was started in 2013 to promote inter-caste marriages, was till now applicable only for couples with a total annual income of Rs 5 lakh or lower. The objective of the scheme is to “appreciate the socially bold step,” and to extend financial help to the couple to enable them to “settle down in the initial phase of their married life.”Also readOdisha doubles incentive to encourage inter-caste marriagesThe scheme targets at least 500 such marriages each year, though it has not crossed 100 in any year so far since its inception. Other eligibility criteria of the scheme is that the marriage should be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.Other pre-conditions are that it should be their first marriage and the proposal should be submitted within a year of marriage.According to a report by The Indian Express, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in a recent order to states, has directed that “the condition that the total income of the newly-wedded couple will not exceed Rs 5 lakh per annum” be scrapped , and there will be “no income limit for incentive under the scheme”.Also readRamdas Athawale blames inter-caste marriages for atrocities against Dalits; demands right to carry gunsThe ministry also made it mandatory for the couples to submit their Aadhaar numbers and details of their Aadhaar-linked joint bank account. Although the Centre has target of 500 couples a year, it has never been met since the scheme was started in 2013. Only five couples were given the incentive in 2014-15. In 2015-16, 522 applied under the scheme but only 72 applications were approved. Last year, only 45 of the 736 applications were approved.
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Centre stopped releasing minority funds for Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, speaking at an event organised by the Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department of the state government, said that the Centre did not want to release funds for minority welfare.”The Centre had stopped funding projects but they have especially done it for projects relating to development of minorities. Perhaps they don’t want me to work for the minority here. What they don’t understand that minority doesn’t comprise Muslims only. It has Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and others as well,” Mamata said.She said that those sitting in Delhi wont be able to dictate who she would talk to and what she would do. “You will sit in Delhi and tell me that I should talk to Ram and not Rahim or Felix or Satnam and you think I will listen to such instructions? Have you brought me up and fed me? We are proud of everyone here. I want to warn people of a handful who are going around with money to befriend you and to create a Hindu-Muslim divide resulting in a riot. Don’t pay heed to these people,” she said.Hitting out at the Centre she said that a country’s leader is such who would take everyone along with him irrespective of their religion. “Those who are trying to divide the country they are only leader for the love of the chair. I am a Hindu myself and Hinduism doesn’t ask to divide people on that basis of their religion. I will not allow that in Bengal as long as I am here. Those who want to divide the people are not Hindu themselves. They have a destructive attitude,” she added.Replying to the allegations levelled by BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo on Monday regarding the misappropriation of funds to the state by the Centre she said that it was part of the state’s money itself which the Centre was paying. “I have heard some persons saying that the Centre was giving so much money to Bengal. As if it was their ‘zamindari’. The Centre takes away Rs 40,000 crore in terms of different taxes and gives in return Rs 15000 to 20000 crore. If they stop taking taxes from us we would have been self-sufficient. We don’t need any alms from them,” Mamata lashed out.Referring to the alleged sexual assault on the four-year-old student of GD Birla Centre for Education she said for a few teachers the entire teacher community should not be blamed and taking a dig at Roopa Ganguly who visited the school on Monday said that outsiders should not take advantage of the situation. “Teachers are our pride, guardians and guides. For one or two individuals, the entire community should not be blamed. Offenders should be isolated,” she added.‘Don’t blame all’Referring to the alleged sexual assault on the four-year-old student of GD Birla Centre for Education she said for a few teachers the entire teacher community should not be blamed
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How the Babri mosque destruction shaped India

Mark Tully on how the events in Ayodhya 25 years ago challenged Indian secularism.

Hadiya case | Brinda Karat slams NIA for interrogating couples in inter-community marriages

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat has accused the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of being out on a “fishing expedition” in Kerala and interrogating couples in inter-caste or inter-community marriages.The party’s politburo member said instead of celebrating inter-caste and inter-community marriages as “symbols of India s open and liberal approach”, there was a campaign against them.”The NIA is on a fishing expedition having already interrogated 89 such couples in Kerala,” Karat said in the latest issue of party organ ‘People’s Democracy’, while referring to the Hadiya case.Also readKerala love jihad case: Hadiya was very happy after talking to her husband over phone, says college deanShe was critical of the central agency’s role in probing such marriages, referred to as “love jehad” by Hindutva forces.”An agency whose proclaimed mandate is to investigate offences related to terrorism has now expanded its mandate by order of the Supreme Court to unearth so-called conspiracies of Muslim men luring Hindu women into marriage and forcibly converting them with the aim of joining the Islamic State,” she said in the article.Also readWant to meet my husband, hope authorities will allow: Hadiya after reaching collegeThe underlying assumption, she said, was that Hindu women who married Muslims had “no minds of their own”.”Her (Hadiya’s) case reveals how deeply the current climate created by sectarian ideologies based on a narrow reading of religious identity has pushed back women’s rights to autonomy as equal citizens. From the government to the courts, to the strengthening of conservative and regressive thinking and practice, it’s all out there in Hadiya’s case,” Karat wrote.She also hailed Hadiya’s unequivocal stand in court.”It was the courage of her conviction that stood out. She wanted to be treated as a human being. She wanted her faith to be respected. She wanted to study. She wanted to be with her husband. And, most importantly, she wanted her freedom,” the former Member of Parliament said.Karat said she appreciated the Supreme Court “for not allowing itself to be converted into a khap panchayat” and charged the NIA counsel supported by the legal counsel of the Central government with portraying it as a case of “indoctrination and brainwashing in a conspiracy of ‘love jehad’ which they claimed rendered Hadiya incapacitated and invalidated her consent”.”The NIA wanted the court to study the documents it claimed it had as evidence before they heard Hadiya. For one and a half hours, this young woman stood in open court hearing arguments about herself, against herself and her chosen partner. It was shameful, humiliating and set an unfortunate precedent,” she said.The Left leader emphasised that Hadiya’s case brought into focus the right to practise and propagate the religion of one s choice under the Constitution.Karat expressed the hope that the apex court would “act in a way which strengthens women s rights unencumbered by subjective interpretations of tradition and communal readings of what constitutes national interest”.Hadiya had said in the apex court last week that she wanted to go with her husband, Shafin Jahan.The 24-year-old Kerala woman had converted to Islam, changing her name from Akhila to Hadiya, and married Jahan.The marriage was challenged by her parents in court.Jahan moved court after their marriage was annulled by the Kerala high court and against the high court court s order directing the NIA to probe the case.The Supreme Court last week allowed Hadiya, till now in the custody of her parents, to resume her studies at a homoeopathy college in Salem, Tamil Nadu.
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BJP the original pro-Hindutva party, why go for ‘clone’, Arun Jaitley taunts Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi may visit as many temples, but the BJP will remain the original pro-Hindutva party, this was the message conveyed to the Congress on Saturday, albeit in fewer words.It was Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who while addressing the media in Surat on Saturday, taunted the Congress vice-president. Without taking Gandhi’s name, Jaitley said, “BJP has always been seen as a pro-Hindutva party so if an original is available why one would prefer a clone?”The statement came days after a political controversy erupted over Gandhi’s ‘non-Hindu’ entry in famed Somnath Temple.Also readRahul Gandhi is a janeu-dhari Hindu, Somnath registry picture being circulated is fabricated: CongressThe Congress had to come out in defence of their leader. The party clarified that there was just one register where their leader had signed and that the viral photo is nothing but a malicious propaganda. The party in fact said that Rahul Gandhi was a ‘janeu-dhari Brahmin’.While the Somnath Temple row may have brought Gandhi’s religion into focus, Jaitley’s Saturday comments show that the BJP is still ahead in its game.Also readGujarat elections 2017: With Patels’ support, BJP feels safe in AnandUpbeat over the bumper mandate in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, the BJP is looking for a strong performance in PM Narendra Modi’s home state.Jaitley also said that “Gujarat is a very important region for BJP because we have been winning and serving here more than two decades.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Amit Shah: Who is Rahul Gandhi to question PM?Talking about the two decade rule, Jaitley said, “During 80s politics of social polarisation was rampant here. The region got rid of that under BJP government and we have been constantly trying to take it on the path to development.”“The 10 years of governance before (Narendra) Modi Ji’s government was the most corrupt government we have ever seen. It was a leaderless government. It was said that the then PM is a PM in office but not in power,” Jaitley said while slamming the Congress rule both in Gujarat and at the Centre.“Foreign Investments had completely stopped at a point in India. Today we have come up by 42 positions in the World ranking of Ease of doing business,” he added.“In 1990s the reforms were taken under compulsion but the government under PM Modi is undertaking the reforms by conviction,” Jaitley said.“While BJP has maintained its credibility, Congress is slowly becoming extinct,” he added.“The results haven’t been out yet and they have already started making excuses for their defeat,” Jaitley said on EVM tampering in Gujarat.
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Controversy, films, polls go hand in hand: Dr Praveen Bhai Togadia

The international Executive President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Dr Praveen Bhai Togadia, on Thursday favoured the banning of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film “Padmavati”. Togadia said that the Central Government should ban the movie with immediate effect while using its power.The VHP leader, who was in Jaipur on a two-day trip, said that some people in the name of artistic license are conspiring to defame the revered Hindu figures.Togadia said that the government should ban Padmavati film taking into account sentiments of the public, otherwise it can become a serious law and order situation.He also questioned the timing of the release of the film. “Jodha-Akbar film was released before elections and now Padmavati,” Togadia said.“Padmavati is our mother and our self-esteem and our pride,” he further added. He said that this is not just a matter of Rajputs. It concerns crores of Hindus. He said that no film producer can distort historic facts and present objectionable content in the name of freedom of expression.The central government should ban the movie using its power immediately.Death threats unacceptable: Nana PatekarMeanwhile, actor Nana Patekar said on Thursday that death threats to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actress Deepika Padukone in connection with ‘Padmavati’ film were unacceptable.“Why does controversy happen in his films? I feel this is not a big issue but death threats to Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are completely wrong and unacceptable. As of now, I don’t know how the characters are portrayed. I can react only after watching the film,” Patekar said while speaking to media after attending an event at National Defence Academy in Pune.
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ABVP leader offers Rs 1 lakh to chop off ‘Games of Ayodhya’ movie producer’s hands

A leader of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, today declared a bounty of Rs one lakh for chopping the hands of the director of the upcoming film “Games of Ayodhya”.The remarks come amidst a controversy over period drama “Padmavati”. Some people, including a political leader, had reportedly offered bounties against actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.ABVP leader Amit Goswami, during a press conference, announced the bounty of Rs one lakh for anyone who brings him the hands of the film’s director and producer Sunil Singh.Also readPadmavati row: Haryana BJP leader booked for Rs 10 crore bounty offer against Bhansali, Deepika”The film has presented a distorted history of the Babri Mosque demolition which has deeply hurt Hindu sentiments,” Goswami alleged.The ABVP leader alleged that the film wrongfully held senior BJP leaders responsible for the demolition.Also readPadmavati row | Rs 1 crore reward to anyone who burns Deepika Padukone alive: All-India Kshatriya MahasabhaGoswami warned that if the film was allowed to be released then people who watch it “will be responsible for their own lives and theatre owners will do so at their own risk”.The ABVP leader claimed that if he came across Singh he “would not hesitate to shoot him”.Singh is a former MLC from the Rashtriya Lok Dal and he belongs to Aligarh.Meanwhile, state secretary of the Hindu Jagran Manch Yuva Vahini, Sanju Bajaj, in a statement, said his organisation would protest against Singh.Earlier, Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu reportedly offered a Rs 10 crore bounty for beheading Padukone and Bhansali.He, however, resigned yesterday as the chief media coordinator of the state unit of the party after he was served a show cause notice, seeking explanation about his remarks.A resident of Meerut from the Kshatriya community had also announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of Bhansali and Padukone for “wrongfully portraying” queen Padmini.
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My family are Shiv bhakts, we believe religion is personal matter: Rahul Gandhi

A day after a major row erupted after his name allegedly figured in a register meant for non-Hindus entering Somnath Temple, a video of the Congress VP Rahul Gandhi has surfaced where he reiterates that he is a Shiv Bhakt, and doesn’t need a certificate from anyone.“My grandmother and my family are Shiv Bhakts. These things (religion) are normally kept private – we don’t speak about them. We believe that our religion is our personal matter. We don’t need to give a certificate about this from anyone,” Gandhi is heard telling a group of people in his first comment about his religion after the row.He was speaking at a closed door meeting in Amreli.Gandhi, who has been drawing BJP’s ire for his frequent temple visits during his poll related visits to the state in the past couple of months, also says in the video that he doesn’t want to trade or barter in the name of religion or use it for political purposes.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Row over Rahul Gandhi’s name in non-Hindus’ listThe Congress leader said that he had only signed the visitors book at the Somnath temple, and alleged that people associated with the BJP had put his name in the second list to create the controversy. A row had erupted after the entry surfaced with BJP accusing Gandhi of fooling people with temple visits when he was not a Hindu. The Congress had, however, clarified that he was not only a Hindu by birth, but a janeu dhari Hindu, i.e. a Brahmin.Earlier in the video, Gandhi describes Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as friends. “Sardar Patel ji and Nehru ji were friends. They were political differences, but not ideological. They were in jail together, but lies are being spread that they were enemies,” he says. The Congress leader also says in the video that he has several letters to prove that Sardar Patel was opposed to RSS, but here lies are being spread that he believed in RSS’s thinking.
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Gujarat elections 2017: Row over Rahul Gandhi’s name in non-Hindus’ list

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s name in a register meant for non-Hindus entering Somnath Temple, has led to a huge furore, with the BJP accusing him of fooling people with his temple visits, and the Congress reiterating that Gandhi is a Hindu.An image, which apparently shows Gandhi’s name along with that of senior leader Ahmed Patel, in a register meant for non-Hindus, went viral on social media on Wednesday afternoon. The entries were made in the name of one Manoj Tyagi, described as media coordinator for Rahul Gandhi. The temple, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlings in Hindu religion, allows non-Hindus to have a darshan of the Lord, but only after getting permission from the security office. In other words, people following faiths other than Hinduism have to declare their identity.The BJP, which has criticised Rahul Gandhi for his frequent temple visits in Gujarat, was quick to latch on to the controversy. “Finally Rahul Gandhi comes clean on his religion, signs visitor register in Somanth (as per rule) meant for non-Hindus. If he isn’t a Hindu by faith, let alone a practising one, then why has be been fooling people with these temple visits?” BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya wrote on Twitter.However, the Congress hit back at a “dejected BJP” for raising unnecessary controversies over Rahul Gandhi’s faith. “Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu since birth. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva. It was a fake entry, which has been made viral as a part of BJP’s conspiracy,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told media-persons in Ahmedabad.He said that the BJP has a problem with Rahul Gandhi visiting Somnath Temple to seek blessings, and accused the party of stooping to low-level politics.The Somnath Temple too clarified that the entry did not say anywhere that Rahul Gandhi was a non-Hindu.
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Rahul’s media coordinator wrote his name in non-Hindu registry: Somnath Temple Trust

Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Somnath temple today got mired in a controversy after his name was found written on the entry register meant for non-Hindus, with the Congress calling it “fake” and the BJP insisting the leader declare his religious faith before people.As the controversy raged, the temple management came out with a clarification. “As per our rules, names of non-Hindus have to be registered. His (Gandhi’s) name was registered by his media coordinator in our non-Hindu register.”I would like to say that no staff member of our trust was involved in what the media coordinator did,” managing trustee of Somnath Temple Trust P K Lehri said. Lehri also said in the visitor’s book, Gandhi wrote that the Somnath temple is an “inspiring” place.The Congress accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy against its leader and insisted Gandhi has declared himself as a ‘Shiv Bhakt’ (Lord Shiva devotee) and is a ‘janeu-dhari’ (sacred thread-wearing) Hindu.The BJP, however, dismissed the conspiracy charge as baseless, saying Gandhi’s aide who signed the register belongs to the Congress.The temple administration said Gandhi’s name was written in the shrine’s register for non-Hindus by his media coordinator and maintained none of its staff was involved in the entire episode.Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple but have to first get themselves registered at the shrine’s office.Gandhi, on campaign trail for the December Assembly polls, began his two-day visit to Gujarat after offering prayers at the famous temple in Gir-Somnath district. The temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, is around 400km from here.A purported photocopy of the page of the register for non-Hindus with names of Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel written on it went viral on social media soon after their visit to the shrine this afternoon.The signature against their names was that of the Congress party’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi.”This is fake. Tyagi was made to sign on a blank paper of the register for media entry and later the names of Rahul Gandhi and others were added in the register,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.”This is a conspiracy of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a trustee of the temple trust,” he said.Surjewala insisted Gandhi only signed the visitor’s register where he wrote that the place was “inspiring”.The Congress spokesperson said Gandhi, during his recent trips to Gujarat, declared he was a devotee of Lord Shiva.”You may want to know which religion Rahul Gandhi follows? I would like to tell you that he is a janeu-dhari Hindu,” said Surjewala.The BJP, however, demanded that Gandhi declare his religious faith before people.”He should make his faith clear to the people of this country after the controversy?” BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said.BJP national spokesman Sambit Patra rejected as “baseless” the Congress’ conspiracy charge, saying Manoj Tyagi was a Congressman.”Rahul, in his affidavit to the Election Commission, has shown different things and in the Somnath temple he is showing different things. He should come clean,” Patra said.”Rahul may belong to any religion, we do not have any problem. We respect him. But the people of the country will get confused with this controversy,” Patra said.
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Rahul Gandhi is a janeu-dhari Hindu, Somnath registry picture being circulated is fabricated: Congress

The Congress’ claim came after a row erupted over Rahul’s visit to Somnath Temple in Gujarat wherein his name was allegedly listed as a non-Hindu visitor in the visitor-book.Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, ‘Rahul Gandhi is janeu-dhari Hindu.’The controversy started when Congress party’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi entered names of Rahul Gandhi and Congress MP Ahmed Patel in the special register for non-Hindus visiting the temple.The image of Rahul’s entry as a non-Hindu started circulatingThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to grab this political opportunity at the time of assembly elections in Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi is a terrific actor, Rahul Gandhi hits backBJP’s Amit Malviya’s said Rahul Gandhi had finally come clean on his religion.”If he isn’t a Hindu by faith, let alone a practicing one, then why has he been fooling people with these temple visits’” he asked.Also readRahul Gandhi listed as non-Hindu in Somnath Temple register, Congress blames BJPThe Congress also issued clarification on Twitter.‘Clarification: There is only one visitor’s book at Somnath Temple that was signed by Congress VP Rahul Gandhi. Any other image being circulated is fabricated. Desperate times call for desperate measures’’ tweeted the Congress.Also readGujarat elections: Rahul demands, ’22 salon ka hisaab’, Modi rakes up Indira Gandhi’s Morbi visitThe Congress vice president has been addressing election rallies in the state and launching scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to demonetise 500- and 1000-rupee banknotes with an aim to weaken the black money or shadow economy in the country.On its first anniversary, the Congress and other opposition parties observed ‘black-day’ on its first anniversary.The GST, which was launched on July 1, is an indirect tax and is applicable throughout India. It replaced multiple cascading taxes levied by the central and state governments.Rahul has been terming the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax. Late Amjad Khan played the role of Gabbar Singh, a ruthless dacoit, in 1975 blockbuster Hindi film ‘Sholay’. Rahul says like Gabbar Singh, Modi government is stealing money from poor and downtrodden.Rahul Gandhi is eyeing to dethrone the ruling BJP in Gujarat. The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995.Gujarat has a total number of 182 assembly seats and the polling will be held in two phases. Voting in 89 constituencies of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region will be held in the first phase while the remaining 93 constituencies in central and northern regions will be held in the second phase. The votes will be counted on December 18.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi listed as non-Hindu in Somnath Temple register

On Wednesday, there was a lot of hue and cry when it emerged that Rahul Gandhi’s name had turned up in a register meant for non-Hindus at the Somnath temple. As a rule, any non-Hindu entering the premises have to mention their name in a register. So, when a picture went viral on social media showing Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel’s name in a list of that register, Twitter was up in arms, wondering if the Congress vice-president had declared he was a non-Hindu.BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya, tweeted, “Finally Rahul Gandhi comes clean on his religion, signs visitor register in Somnath (as per rule) meant for non-Hindus. If he isn’t a Hindu by faith, let alone a practising one, then why has he been fooling people with these temple visits’”.Also readGujarat elections: Rahul demands, ’22 salon ka hisaab’, Modi rakes up Indira Gandhi’s Morbi visitHe also tweeted: “Ambassador Meera Shankar, UPA’s representative in US, had referred to Sonia Gandhi as a Christian leader. The reference was soon deleted. Now Rahul Gandhi declares he is a non-Hindu but their election affidavits claim that they are Hindus. Gandhis lying about their faith.”Now the funny thing is, it would appear that Rahul Gandhi hadn’t written his own name. The words written are Rahul Gandhi ji, which would be a rather bizarre way to write one’s own name.Also readCongress unhappy with PM Modi going the extra mile for Ivanka TrumpZee Hindustan Channel Head and editor tweeted, “Jai Somnath! During @INCIndia Vice President @OfficeOfRG visit to Somnath Temple, his media coordinator Manoj Tyagi mentioned Rahul Gandhi name along with @ahmedpatel into the spl register maintained for Non-Hindus who are visiting the temple. Major goof up in the election season.”Also readCome,’Make in India’, ‘Invest in India’: PM Modi’s message at GES 2017Meanwhile, Congress’ media coordinator Manoj Tyagi issued a statement, “I entered just my name in the register to take media personnel inside the Somanth Temple. Neither Rahul Gandhi’s nor Ahmed Patel’s names were there in the register then. These would have been added later.”Rahul Gandhi had offered prayers at the Somnath Temple earlier this afternoon, PM Modi addressed a public rally at Prachi, about 25 km from the temple where he said: “Had Sardar Patel not been there, there would not have been this grand temple in Somnath. So there a people who visited the Somnath Temple recently Rahul Gandhi and Congress, I want to ask them: Do you know history’ Your family members, our first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was not happy with the idea of a temple being built there,’ he said.‘When Dr Rajendra Prasad was to come to inaugurate the Somnath Temple, Pandit Nehru expressed his displeasure on that,’ the prime minister added.We guess the Somnath Temple will continue to haunt the Nehru-Gandhi family in one form or another.
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I need freedom to talk to people I like, not free till now, says Hadiya

Kerala woman Hadiya, who is at the center of Kerala love-jihad case, has claimed that she is yet not free as her demand to meet her husband remains elusive. “I asked for freedom. I wanted to meet my husband Shafin Jahan but the fact is that I’m not free till now and that’s the truth”, ANI quoted Hadiya as saying on Wednesday. She said that she is not asking anything exceptional and these rights are being enjoyed by every Indian citizen.The 24-year-old Hindu woman who converted to marry a Muslim youth will continue to pursue her studies under her previous name Akhila Ashokan, as per the Supreme Court’s direction.The Principal of the Sivaraj Homeopathy Medical College said on Tuesday that he would allow Hadiya to “meet anyone” but with his permission.Hadiya was freed from her parent’s custody on the orders of the Supreme Court. Hadiya’s parents told the Supreme Court that she was brainwashed and forced to convert to Islam.

Hindu terror comment: BJP rakes up old Wikileaks cable to corner Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Gujarat polls less than two weeks away, the BJP today raked up the issue of an old US diplomatic cable which allegedly quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying that “Hindu terror is a bigger threat” in India than the Pakistan-based LeT, and sought his explanation.Addressing a press conference here, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the cable which was leaked by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and subsequently published in some newspapers in 2010. Prasad said Gandhi should be “ashamed of linking” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, when he spoke about “polarising figures in the BJP” during his purported conversation with a US diplomat.”In 2010, two years after the (26/11) Mumbai terror attack, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on India tour. At the lunch organised for then prime minister Manmohan Singh, US Ambassador Timothy Roemer was sitting next to Rahul Gandhi and asked the Congress leader what he thinks about the LeT,” Prasad said.
ALSO READ Ram Madhav slams Rahul Gandhi for his ‘hugplomacy’ remark about Hafiz Saeed’s release”In his response, Rahul told Roemer that forget LeT, it is the Hindu terror of this country which is a bigger threat. The US envoy Roemer sent this conversation as a cable to his country. Later, that cable was leaked and published by London-based The Guardian newspaper,” the minister said. Referring to the purported communication, Prasad said, the US envoy even wrote that the Congress General Secretary (Rahul Gandhi) was referring to the tensions created by some of the more polarising figures in the BJP such as Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.”This is the level of the Congress and Rahul. It was indeed shameful that he tried to link Modi with it. We demand an explanation from Rahul on this. He should be ashamed of himself as he thinks that LeT is less dangerous that Hindu saffron terror. And now, he is visiting temples in Gujarat,” the BJP leader said. Prasad’s diatribe came a day after the prime minister accused the Congress vice president of applauding the release of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, and asked why he hugged the Chinese ambassador during the Dokalam standoff.He also lashed out at the Congress over a joint statement issued by India and Pakistan in Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2009. Prasad alleged that Manmohan Singh had accepted his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s charge that India was interfering in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan region. “During the talks between both the PMs (in Sharm el- Sheikh), Pakistan had said that they are worried about Balochistan as India is interfering in it (the region).Surprisingly, Manmohan Singh accepted Pakistan’s worry about Balochistan, which was also mentioned in the joint statement,” the minister said. Prasad said the instance of Manmohan Singh “agreeing to Pakistan’s concerns on Balochistan”, at a time when the neighbouring country was spreading terror in Kashmir, amounted to “bigger compromise with national interests”. “On one side, Pakistan is spreading terror in PoK and Kashmir, while on the other side Indian PM (Singh) agrees to Pakistan’s concerns in Balochistan and that too just a few months after the 26/11 attack. There cannot be any bigger compromise with nation’s interests than this one,” he added.Commenting on former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s challenge to the Centre to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar before talking about unfurling it in PoK, Prasad said the tricolour is already flying high across the state. “Abdullah had also said that PoK should be given to Pakistan…Our tricolour is already flying high in the state and Pak-sponsored terrorism is losing its ground,” he said.Responding to a query, Prasad said repealing Article 370 of the Constitution that gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was indeed a part of the BJP’s election manifesto. He said the situation in Kashmir has been improving gradually during the last two years. When asked about the statement of Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap following withdrawal of NSG security to the RJD supremo that he will get the prime minister “skinned”, Prasad said, Rahul Gandhi should also speak on this as RJD is an ally of the Congress.

Padmavati: India’s Supreme Court rejects bid to block Bollywood epic

The controversial period epic has sparked protests across India by Hindu and caste groups.

SC refuses to entertain woman’s plea claiming to be Jayalalithaa’s daughter

Updated: Nov 27, 2017, 01:06 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition of a woman who claimed to be the daughter of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also refused to allow the plea of the woman to conduct DNA test for the purpose of proving her parentage.Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for the woman, had also sought cremation of Jayalalithaa as per Hindu rites since she was an Iyengar Brahmin.The court, however, said the petitioner is at liberty to approach the high court.

Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case: Hadiya to appear before Supreme Court, present her side of story

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Kerala-based woman Hadiya, who converted to Islam before marrying a Muslim man, will on Monday appear before the Supreme Court and present her side of the argument on her alleged forced conversion to Islam. On the last date of hearing, the Supreme Court had asked Hadiya’s father to produce her before it.On Sunday, Hadiya told reporters at Cochin Airport that she hadn’t been forcefully converted. “I have not been forcefully converted. I want to live with my husband Sheffin Jahan.” The 25-year-old is currently living with her parents who have alleged that her marriage to Muslim man was ‘forced’ The top court had on August 16 said it would speak to the woman in-camera before taking a final decision on the matter.It has later modified the order saying “We may further add that this court shall speak to her not in camera but in open court.”The apex court had earlier observed that the free consent of a major to marriage has to be ascertained amid an assertion by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent to marriage.The NIA had referred to “psychological kidnapping” and said that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent.It had also alleged that there was a “well-oiled machinery working in Kerala” indulging in indoctrination and radicalisation and 89 such cases have been reported.The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.Jahan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its August 16 order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman with him.He had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court had annulled his marriage, saying it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.

A dialogue with JC: Gujarat will be the barometer of changing mood of the nation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Q: Is the mood of the country really changing? Will Rahul Gandhi ever become alternative to Brand Narendra Modi?A: Not really… we can’t say this only on the basis of defeats in Gurdaspur and Chitrakoot…Yes the popularity graph of Modi has certainly dipped …crowd have thinned in election rallies but he is still the tallest leader in the country…as far as Rahul Gandhi becoming an alternative…it doesn’t look like he will become one till 2019…however, it is also the fact that politics is a game of possibilities…if Rahul is destined to become PM then it is possible…but it doesn’t look like happening in 2019. Q: Will all anti-BJP parties be able to form a coalition in Gujarat, the way they did in Bihar or will unity of opposition fall like pack of cards?A: The equation in Bihar was different. There all genuine and credible parties had joined hands…it’s altogether different in Gujarat….JDU is not in a position, NCP can’t bargain …there is straight fight between Congress and BJP. Q: Will BJP be able to realise its claims of winning 150 seats? Is anti-incumbency factor working there?A: Anti-incumbency factor is certainly working…BJP will perform well… but crossing the figure of 117 seats will be difficult… dream of 150 seats won’t be fulfilled.Q: Is Modi contesting election on the agenda of progress or are issues like Gujarati pride and Hindu-Muslim factor significant? A: Hardik Patel, demonetisation, GST are the factors…vote percentage will reduce…it will depend upon how much voting is done…BJP will not be able to cross vote share of 47%. Seven out of 10 people say that BJP will form the government…but politics is a game of possibilities…there are maximum chances that BJP forms the government. Modi has made progress an issue…official agenda is progress…unofficially Gujarati pride and Hindu-Muslim factors are also big issues…there is no guarantee that BJP will form government. Q: Will BJP again raise the issue of security of Hindu voters in this election? What will be the impact of video tape related to this issue?A: The achievement of BJP government is law and order…security of Hindu voters is the issue created by BJP…BJP has been encashing this issue… this time video has been run…in the video a girl is seen walking in front of mosque… no one knows, who has released this video… security of Hindu voters is being raised through this video.Q: After all why Rahul Gandhi is frequenting temples in Gujarat? is Congress adopting the agenda of soft Hindutva? A: Rahul is not able to understand what he should do… his advisers asked him to visit temples…in Shiva temple he said Shivji is my guide…Congress is trudging on soft Hindutva agenda.Q: Why Congress is not raising the issue of minorities and Gujarat riots? Is there any anger among Muslim voters on this issue? A: This is strategic move of Congress…not raising issues of Muslims…not picking up agenda of riots…last time the statement of Sonia Gandhi on ‘merchant of deaths’ cost Congress dearly…minorities want Modi’s defeat…there is unwritten understanding between Congress and minorities.Q: Will the issue of Vikas Pagal Ho Gaya hai (Progress has gone mad), which has gone viral on social media harm BJP or will it become yet another matter of joke among voters? A: This is just a joke…it’s strange that if time is not favourable even small things become big issues…this has made fun out of BJP’s agenda of progress…Modi has countered it with Yes I am Vikas…BJP has suffered a little bit from this.Q: Will Vijay Rupani remain contender for chief minister’s post from BJP or are there any dark horses in the field?A: It seems Vijay Rupani is the contender…there is no possibility of dark horse…he is close to Shah and Modi…he is also lucky for BJP… he is proving to be a good CM…he is attached to organisation…it is possible that Vijay becomes the next CM. However, Gujarat election is being fought on the faces of Modi-Shah…there is no need to announce any name. Q: What will be the role of Anandi Ben in this election? How much vulnerable is BJP from infighting and rebel candidates?A: Anandi Ben is a disciplined soldier…she is a staunch Modi supporter…Modi has always kept her side…Modi has always given her place on the stage…PM had tweeted in favour of Anandi Ben on her birthday…infighting prevails in every party…there have bee some cases in Godhra and Patan…those who have not been given tickets will not be able to cause any damage. Q: Will the Sex CD of Hardik Patel help the cause of BJP? What would be the impact of young voters of Gujarat?A: CD has damaged the image of Hardilk…one more CD has been created by editing…Youth have an open mind… one-third of population is youth…there is little damage to Hardik…how much BJP has gained, this we will come to know only when votes will be counted. Q: Will Hardik Patel, who keeps on changing his stand on the issue of reservation be able to stand by Congress till the end? How much stable is the alliance of Hardik and Rahul? A: This alliance is till elections…if a miracle happens and Congress forms the government then there could be disputes on many issues. Cabinet, reservation and court cases on Hardik would be the issues…alliance is temporary…this is a poll alliance. Q: How Rahul became more popular than Modi on social media? Whether it is any kind of management or expression of public anger?A: Whether it is managed by Congress or it is an expression of anger…difficult to say…Congress must have managed to an extent…social media can’t win elections…politics is a 24X7 job, it can’t be performed over tweet and retweet…elections cannot be contested on social media…whether Rahul can do it or not, only results will say. Q: How much the Jumla of ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ getting popular in electioneering in Gujarat? Is Rahul Gandhi really changing? A: Rahul has definitely changed…he doesn’t read out speech…there is consistency. Gabbar Singh Tax slogan has become a big rage…it is a popular Jumla of Rahul as a satire. Q: Is it the fact that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have donned the roles of CM and state party chief respectively in Gujarat? A: In Gujarat, the local leadership is not vast. That’s why it looks like that they have assume roles of chief minister and state party chief. Local team is giving good support. This is a satire. Q: Why Congress has made an issue of BJP’s campaign on ‘Pappu Rahul Gandhi’? Does the party really get benefited out of this?A: Congress has made it an issue without a ado. How do these words matter…Congress approached election commission…got the Pappu word removed…there was no need..how do words matter…public is sensible.Q: Are cloth merchants, jewellers and real estate businessmen of Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Surat still unhappy despite the GST relaxations given by Narendra Modi-Arun Jaitley-Amit Shah? A: There was anger among business community in Gujarat over demonetisation and GST…people have even said, “Hamari Bhool, kamal ka Phool”…there is no limit to appeasement if you go on doing…there has been some damage control after the relaxation…but how much, it can’t be said…or now appeasement after anger, how much is it translated into votes, is to be seen.Q: Why the road show of Yogi Adityanath flopped in Valsad? A: It was a big tragedy with Yogi. He is considered to be the third face…when he was doing roadshow no one was there…there was disappointment… why it happened…there are so many reasons…the management of show was not well. Yogi is not relevant for Gujarat or is it the erosion of craze for BJP..Q: What is the Rajasthan connection in Gujarat election?A: Rajasthan connection of Gujarat election is interesting…BJP in-charge of Gujarat is from Rajasthan…similarly in-charge of Congress, Ashok Gehlot is also from Rajasthan. In-charge of both the parties are from Rajasthan. Strategists are from Rajasthan.Q: What is the role of RSS in Gujarat? A: RSS is playing an active role in Gujarat…RSS is with Modi-Shah…it is a silver lining in dark clouds…RSS is known to deliver at the end. Q:Will Congress get a major boost in Gujarat elections if Rahul Gandhi is made the president? A: It is a big thing for Congress workers in Gujarat that Rahul Gandhi has dedicated himself to Gujarat elections…it will boost the morale of workers. Q: How do you look at Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi as party presidents? A: There is no comparison between Shah and Rahul…Shah has faced criminal case. Hence he knows every dirty trick of politics. Rahul can’t do all this. Shah has a better run rate…Rahul may have the strategy with him but there is no execution. There is no monitoring system with Rahul…Shah has got money and sources…Rahul doesn’t have. If Congress loses, the only weakness of the party will be that it created atmosphere but could not succeed in bringing voters to the booth. Q: What are the challenges before Rahul Gandhi as Congress president? A: The foremost challenge before Rahul Gandhi is three elections in 2018 (MP, Chhatisgarh and Karnataka) and 2019 Lok Sabha elections…second challenge is to take senior leaders in sync and third challenge would be to source money and resources. Q: Will there will be a transfer of political power after Rahul becomes the president or Sonia will have the remote control? A: After the annexation of Rahul Gandhi on December 5, it is to be seen in next few months whether political power is really transferred to Rahul… 80 per cent power will be transferred.. rest 20% senior leaders will be heard… ultimate remote will be in the hands of Sonia. Q: Will it be the end of Priyanka chapter in Congress after Rahul becomes the president?A: After the annexation of Rahul, Priyanka chapter will be closed for at least 2-3 years. There were many theories going on … the issue of leadership in the family has ended now…Rahul will only decide the policy and functioning of Congress. Q: On the issue of Rahul becoming the president of Congress, Yogi Adityanath has said that this will make BJP realise the dream of Congress free India in a much easier way? Do you also think so? A: BJP was not serious about the slogan of Congress free India. Yogi had said in a taunting way. Yogi himself is not serious. This is an impossible situation. This is a fantasy. This is just an imagination. Q: Why was there so much discussion in media over the luncheon of Rahul with Tejasvi?A: This is a world of social media. People tweeted about their lunch in Khan market…made it an issue…Rahul has returned the favour that Lalu family had done to Gandhi family. Lalu was the only one who sided with Sonia Gandhi on the issue of her being a foreign national. This was just a return of favour.Q: At the end, one question about Himachal Pradesh also. Is BJP forming government in Shimla? A: The story of Shimla is interesting…BJP will make government comfortably…history has it…Congress and BJP make governments alternatively…Once Congress…other time BJP…once Dhumal…other time Virbhadra. Shah made Nadda understand Dhumal has greater chance of winning. The rise of anti-incumbency factor is due to the achievement of Virbhadra. The government has spoken about giving jobs to 8 lakh people but was able to provide employment to only 75,000 people. Remaining 7.75 lakh people are left disgruntled. BJP will form the government there. It was viral on social media that Congress will get 38 seats…it doesn’t look like…but there can be miracle…if BJP loses then it can be concluded that the mood is changing in the country.

India Padmavati: Body found near fort linked to film protest

Protesting right-wing groups say the film Padmavati “insults” an iconic Hindu queen.

Love jihad case: Supreme Court refuses urgent hearing for in-camera proceedings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accord urgent hearing on a plea filed by the father of a Kerala-based woman, who converted to Islam before marrying a Muslim man, that interaction with the woman be conducted in- camera.A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that it will deal with this plea on November 27 itself when the woman would be brought before it for interaction.The counsel for Ashokan K M, the father of the woman, sought an urgent hearing on his plea saying that it would become infructuous if the earlier order mandating open court interaction is not modified.The apex court had on October 30 directed that the woman be produced before it on November 27 for an interaction in open court.Asokan referred to the communally sensitive nature of the case and sought in-camera interaction on some grounds including that radical elements could jeopardise the safety and privacy of his daughter and the family.The top court had on August 16 said it would speak to the woman in-camera before taking a final decision on the matter.It has later modified the order saying “We may further add that this court shall speak to her not in camera but in open court.”The apex court had earlier observed that the free consent of a major to marriage has to be ascertained amid an assertion by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent to marriage.The NIA had referred to “psychological kidnapping” and said that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent.It had also alleged that there was a “well-oiled machinery working in Kerala” indulging in indoctrination and radicalisation and 89 such cases have been reported.The NIA had claimed that this was a case in which the woman was indoctrinated and hence the court could invoke parental authority even if she was a major.The counsel for her father had earlier claimed that Shafin Jahan, the alleged husband of the woman, was a radicalised man and had links with persons who used to recruit for ISIS.The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.Jahan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its August 16 order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman with him.He had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court had annulled his marriage, saying it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.

Padmavati: Why a Bollywood epic is facing fierce protests

Hindu caste groups say the film depicts romantic scenes between a Hindu queen and a Muslim king.

Hindus’ hearts too ought to be big: Kamal Haasan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor Kamal Haasan has said that he would return the money he received as a donation for his about-to-be-launched political party since it would be illegal to receive funds at this stage.”I have started receiving letters and money from the public. But it will be illegal to receive funds. Moreover, I cannot keep it idle. Hence I am sending back to every individual separately,” he wrote in his latest column in Tamil weekly magazine.”Don’t think that I’m stepping back. I want to create proper infrastructure before accepting the money,” he added.”The moment people started sending the money itself, the political party had begun. But I need to create proper infrastructure so that even after me, this movement should continue. If I do not create such an infrastructure, troubles will crop up here too,” he wrote. He also said his fans have spent Rs 30 crore so far “for the welfare of people”.He also asked Hindus to be big-hearted and embrace the minorities. “Hindus are in a majority. They have the responsibility of an elder brother. When Hindus say we are big, their hearts too ought to be big. They should embrace others and correct them if they do wrong. We’ve given courts the responsibility to punish people. Let them do that.”Meanwhile, Madras High Court on Thursday heard a petition seeking an FIR against him for his Hindu terror remarks. Justice M Ramesh directed the public prosecutor to get instructions from the police authority concerned and adjourned the petition by a week. Petitioner G Devarajan, a resident of Perambur and registered advocate clerk in the high court, said a Tamil magazine published an article penned by Kamal Haasan in the first week of November branding Hindus as terrorists.As his last column whipped up a debate and also defamation suit as well as death threats, Kamal Haasan has once again clarified that he did not write “Hindu terror” but it was wrongly translated so. “This word (Hindu Terrorism) was used by Congress which is against the BJP. I only mentioned that extremism is spreading but did not use that English word. However, I stand by my statement. It is not a crime to file a case,” he wrote in his latest column.HINDU TERROR ROWA plea seeking direction to police to register an FIR against actor Haasan for his alleged comments on ‘Hindu terror’ in a Tamil magazine has been filed in the Madras High Court.
According to the petitioner, G Devarajan, Haasan, by making such statements, is trying to brand Hindus as terrorists.
“The actor should understand that no religion preaches violence but only peace. The actor with vested interests is trying to divide the Tamil comm-unity on basis of religion,” the petitioner said.

West Bengal govt gifts calves ahead of Panchayat polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyeing the panchayat election next year, Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has decided to distribute calves among the people of the state. Authorities, however, maintain that it would be done in order to boost milk production in the state.State Animal Resources Development Minister Swapan Debnath said the target was to distribute 2,000 female calves. “We will be identifying families first. The livestock should go to needy people who want to rear animals. Along with cows, they will also be given fodder and medicine. Once the beneficiaries are identified, they will be verified with the help of respective zila parishads,” Debnath told DNA. He, however, maintained that the move had nothing to do with the panchayat polls next year. “It is nothing new. It is an ongoing process. Just like we give out chicks and ducklings to make families self-reliant, it is an extension of the scheme which will help the needy families earn their livelihood,” he added.A committee would also be formed to ensure that the cows are not killed for meat. Political analysts said it was an attempt to counter BJP’s monopoly with cows and to send out a positive message to Hindu voters of the state.Asked about the distribution of cows ahead of panchayat elections Debnath said, “If we keep on thinking along that line, then there can be no developmental work done. Our government has led to an increase in milk production by 16 per cent. We want to take it even further.”Debnath also clarified that the project will not be confined to any particular district, but will be carried out across the state.Move and AimThe state will be distributing 2,000 female calves to the needy across the state. Authorities say the move is aimed at boosting milk production in the state.

Hindu Mahasabha inaugurates ‘temple’ of Nathuram Godse in Gwalior, Congress terms it as Mahatma Gandhi’s insult

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nathuram Gose, the man who killed Mahatma Gandhi on the cold morning of January 30, 1948, now has a ‘temple’ dedicated to him.Hindu Mahasabha installed a statue of Mahatma’s assassin in their Gwalior office on Wednesday.The officials of right wing organisation said that the Madhya Pradesh city was the last place Godse stayed before the January 30 assassination. According to News18 report, Jaiveer Bharadwaj, vice president of Hindu Mahasabha, said that Gwalior was Godse’s ‘karmabhoomi’ and that he bought the gun in the city itself.Calling it a freedom of expression, Hindu Mahasabha says that there’s democracy in the country and people have right to say what they want.Amid Vedic chants and prayers, the bust was installed to mark the 68th ‘anniversary’ of Godse’s execution.Madhya Pradesh Congress chief spokesperson KK Mishra said that party is planning to file a sedition case against those involved in the temple issue.The Congress has also slammed it and called it as insult of Mahatma Gandhi. According to an HT report, Gwalior mayor Vivek Shejwalkar said that in case a person wants to set up a shrine in his/her house or office, there’s no need of any permission.Earlier also Hindu Mahasabha has tried to put Godse in different light. Previously, they installed Godse statute in Meerut.

Cong jumps onto flick bandwagon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress has also come out openly against film Padmavati. PCC chief Sachin Pilot said that the Congress does not support any attempt to hurt sentiments of a community and state’s culture however he asked the state government to come clean on this issue.“It seems that the government has become merely a government of committees,” Pilot lamented. PCC general secretary Ajit Singh has also criticised Sanjay Leela Bhansali claiming that people like him can play with anyone’s honour and pride for sake of money. He said that since Hindu community is tolerant any film director shows anything. “If Bhansali has guts he should make film on other religion,” Ajit Singh challenged.Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also jumped into this raging controversy through Twitter.He took to Twitter and said education for women in Rajasthan was more important than a “goonghat”, as state’s female literacy rate was among the lowest in the country.“Agree totally. The #Padmavati controversy is an opportunity to focus on the conditions of Rajasthani women today & not just of queens six centuries ago.” Tharoor posted on Twitter.PROTESTS GALOREThe protests against Bhansali’s film have spread across the state. Members of Rajput community burnt Bhansali’s effigy and demonstrated at district collectorate in Hanumangarh. In Deedwana, Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena and other Hindu organisations took out a rally and funeral process of Bhansali’s effigy. A protest was organised in Jhalawar by Rajputana sangh and in Karauli Muslim Yuva committee also gave memorandum to district collector to ban the film.NO COMMITTEE IN THE ANVILVallabhgarh MLA Randhir Singh Bhinder gave a memorandum to Udaipur Collector on Monday. He informed the collector that the film will not be allowed to be released in any condition in the state. On the other hand, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has refused to make any committee on behalf of the state government regarding the film. Kataria said that this is the matter of the censor board. Several memorandums and letters are being sent to the censor board and the central government.

Punjab gangster confesses to murdering Hindu Sangharsh Sena leader on FB; says it was revenge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Punjab Police busted a terror-module behind the recent targeted killing in the state, a Punjab-based gangster wrote on Facebook that murder of Hindu Sangharsh Sena leader, Vipin Sharma be not be linked to religion, as it was a ‘revenge killing’.In a Facebook post, the gangster named Saraj Sandhu wrote that murder of Sharma who was shot dead by two persons in Amritsar in broad daylight on October 30 was committed by him. “He (Sharma) paid for his sins, as he was involved in the murder of a friend’s father. Anyone who has doubts can check the police investigation records exposing his involvement,” he wrote.He further highlighted that the murder should not be linked to any religion, as it was committed to avenge his friends’ father murder. “We not spare anyone who does wrong to our friends. The murder should not be linked to any religion,” he wrote.Vipin Sharma, President of Amritsar unit of Hindu Sangharsh Sena was shot dead by two unidentified youth when he had gone to the market on his motorcycle on October 30. The incident captured on a CCTV camera showed two men opening fire at unarmed Sharma. The face of one of the accused was visible in the footage, which bore resemblance to gangster Saraj Sandhu.Punjab Police had recently busted a terror module funded by ISI, which had allegedly confessed to the recent targeted killings, including murder of two RSS leaders and Pastor of a Church in Ludhiana. Five incidents of targeted killings took place between April 2016 and February 2017, while two took place in July and October 2017.“We have got certain leads about him (Sandhu) who was narrowed down after the CCTV footage and he would be arrested soon. We are yet to verify if the posts on the social networking site were made by him or someone else uploaded it,” said a senior Punjab Police official.It is not the first time that gangsters in Punjab have confessed to the killings on social media and glorified them with impunity. Out of the 52 gangsters operating in Punjab according to police, a number of them are active on social networking sites.

Narendra Modi, not LK Advani is hero of Somnath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP patriarch LK Advani turned 90 on Wednesday but the place from where he scripted BJP’s rise to power way back in 1990, with his historic Ram Rath Yatra that culminated in the demolition of the Babri mosque does not quite remember him anymore.For the residents of the holy temple town of Somnath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the hero, the ‘bahubali’. In popular memory, PM Modi is the deliverer of the Hindu community from the tyranny of invaders who robbed Somnath on several occasions.DNA found that none of those we talked to remembered Advani’s birthday, leave aside any celebrations.The older generation which had witnessed or participated in the Rath Yatra do consider him to be a hero of Hindutva, someone who raised BJP’s political game, but also deprecate him for having unduly tried to cling to power for way too long. He should have abdicated the throne for Modi, is the sentiment.”There is no comparison between Advani and Modi. I was a child when the Rath Yatra happened. Advani was at the helm. But now he must retire. Narendra bhai is a bahubali, Advani is just another neta. He did what he did, but Narendra bhai now represents us and our aspirations,” said Naranbhai Chauhan who runs a pan shop just outside the gates of the temple town.The newer generation does not even know who Advani is anymore. “I don’t know who he is. I have heard his name, but I am not sure what he did,” said first time voter Manoj Silwadia. Silwadia is a resident of Veraval town adjoining Somnath.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who Advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi. “Politicians have tried to make political use of temple towns in Gujarat but Narendra Modi has really done so much for Somnath. She he was the CM he used to cone more often. He has returned Hindus their pride after suffering for so long under invaders. Just how many times was Somnath looted?”ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTERESTWhile the BJP is all guns blazing to justify the logic of demonetisation, a public warning inside the Somnath temple says: All pilgrims are requested not to put in the donation box old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which are now outlawed. They will not be useful for the temple

DNA Exclusive- Hindus are getting radicalised facilitated by political rhetoric: Kamal Haasan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Q: You are a successful artist. How and when you decided to join politics?A: 35 years back, MGR asked me to join politics. Even Karunanidhi had asked me to join politics years back. But I didn’t entertain the idea much but things changed 10 years back. My family too was averse to the idea of me joining politics. My family felt that people become corrupt after joining politics. Even in the film industry, I ensured that I don’t touch black money. I even suffered financial loss because of it but never compromised. Q: Did anyone support you?A: My daughters supported me but were afraid whether I will stop being an artist but I said, how can that be possible? I said that I’m an artist and that cannot be changed. I told that artist doesn’t only mean becoming a protagonist in a film. Q: Is there any particular issue which made you finally take the call to join politics?A: I have been running a welfare movement for 39 years. The idea of converting fans clubs for politics is not new in Tamil Nadu. I disbanded the fan clubs and turned them into welfare associations. Even then politics was an impediment to social service. We rubbed many people including the government the wrong way. We had to keep ourselves in good books to do our job. MGR and Karunanidhi allowed us to do the job but it changed during Jaya. Q: Why?A: Jaya didn’t appreciate it. She didn’t like it. She was a powerful politician. It took me long time to understand that it was emanating from her as she disliked such voices and by the time I realized it Vishwaroopam was already in trouble. Q: So, you were toying with the idea?A: I had a great career going and I was thinking as to why I should rough it out. In 2011-12, I decided to take the plunge and without hesitation I planned to take on the government and it I believe that it was an act of politics. People say that I was silent when Jaya was present but I did sue the government. I did take on the government and went on to win the case against them. They again banned the film and we lost almost 60 crore by the time of release. But I still went ahead because I felt it was the right thing to do. Later my brother said, leave it, battle is won but I said it has just started. Q: You are launching an application which will act as a device for whistleblowers? Are you saying that government have successively failed on corruption?A: It is one part of the spectrum. It gives voice to people. It is a platform for dialogue. It will have broad spectrum utility. It is a longwinded process which I will explain in January. It is to get people together. It will have many versatile points of contacts.Q: The detractors would say that it can lead to civic vigilantism?A: It is about vigil. In real life vigilantism is a pedestrian dream to be put to practice. That is only done in films. It is about boldly talking to the government. It is within the parameters of law. Q: Election funding is the mother board of corruption. How will you resolve this issue of funding. You will also need funding?A: Why should the fund be black. It can be neat and clean money. Q: There is also inducement. Look at the politics of inducement in your state. Freebies before elections?A: They are paid 2000 rupees in cash apart from freebies as most of the freebies are broken and substandard. Lot of people would say prove it but it is a fact. My argument is that because you take 2000 rupees you lose the moral authority to question politicians. He can always look back at you and say what about Rs 2000 I gave you. In process 5 years of authority gets sold for 90 paisa per day. We need to restore people’s authority and they need to participate in it. Q: What is your vision for Tamil Nadu and where does the malaise lie?A: Unemployment is the major issue but only government is not to blame. People also need to understand. Everyone wants their children to be engineers and doctors. This mono (sic) culture needs to end. That’s the problem. Other areas should be explored. I think after satyagraha and khadi movement, skill set movement is very important. To make India strong, skill set movement has to be strong. I’m already working on it. I want to expand it further when I go into politics. Q: Past 40 years, Tamil politics has been divided into two poles. Is TN ready for a third party?A: It is not about space but it is about intent and productive plan for people.Q: Arvind Kejriwal met you lately. Did he ask you to join AAP?A: He was a gentleman. He gave me three options including the choice to join them. I made it very clear as to what my intent was. It was very touching. I’m already meeting other chief ministers to educate myself. He was only exploring the possibility. Our understanding was that our pursuit is the same and that is to build the nation and hence we are tied to a common ideology. Q: There is a debate on GST and demonetization taking place. What is your view on demonetization?A: The reason why I enthusiastically supported the idea was because I still feel that it is a workable idea. I don’t know how it was planned but I’m an enthusiast for the progress of the country. Like Satyamev Jayate is a beautiful idea. But how do you make satya win? It is not easy. There is difference between an idea and its execution.Q: Is politics losing its sense of equanimity? Artists are getting arrested over cartoons films like Mersal faced political outrage?A: Absolutely. I don’t want to make BJP a whipping boy. The ear for dialogue is non-existent. Leave alone politician, lower level bureaucrats and policemen get affected and angry when asked questions. People abused Gandhi after the partition but he continued the dialogue. His didn’t cancel his meetings. Worst form of criticism is assassination and that too happened to Mahatma Gandhi.Q. Culture, films and cinema are fused in Tamil Nadu. Does it make Tamil Nadu a unique state?A: It exists in other states but may be Tamil Nadu got the idea of using cinema as a propaganda tool from Germany. Germany proved to the world the power of propaganda and later US also did a similar thing to counter Hitler. Tamil Nadu is unique and a forerunner. Q: You had said that you are not an atheist but a rationalist. Please elaborate?A: It is a name given by aastiks (atheists). I have a mindset of being rational. It is not my primary focus. For me I have no religion or any God. Rational man would ask for certain proves. Atheism is a name I refuse. Rational is good enough. My larger purpose is not to say where is God. There are Gods whose stars are fading. May be a new God would come. Look at it historically. Where Zeus?Q: You have been talking about a middle path. Today politics is swinging between caste equations and Hindutva? Where do you locate yourself?A: Hindutva is different. Hinduism is an umbrella under which Saivism, Vaishvanism and other forms of worship were brought together by the British. Neither Tamil literature nor Vedas record Hinduism as a sect. It is a large umbrella. You have go to its finer points. My elder brother call himself an atheist. He doesn’t believe in the concept. I would say that show me God. That is why I’m a rationalist. He is an atheist as he doesn’t wish for a God. Q: National anthem is being played in cinema halls. Does its playing before films makes people more patriotic?A: It is like a commitment towards nation. It cannot be forced. In my times in 70s they played the anthem in theatres and I found people casual about it as they wanted to go home or catch a bus. Never take it there. Keep it for solemn occasions. Q: But current discourse has led to politicization of patriotism?A: You don’t have to remind people of it every time. I sing national anthem with my children. In, August it used to rain and I would go out in the rains with my children and sing national anthem. Q: Your recent remarks on Hindu terror generated lot of controversy. What were you trying to imply?A: It was a remark which was badly translated. I used words to describe extreme. I was talking about slow marshal and violent attitude creeping in the Hindu fold. We were a peaceful lot. I was being critical of it. Q: Are you saying that Hindus are being radicalized?A: Yes, and it is being facilitated by rhetoric. That’s what I was trying to criticise. To become a stronger country, we have to shun any form of violence. Q: The rhetoric has political acceptance?A: It is there because there is a belief that it is another way to establish Hindu hegemony. But there are other ways of showing superiority. Let us begin by showing a large heart and accommodate and let’s make it an inclusive society. I have nothing against the Hindu society. My elders believe in Sanatan Dharma. My daughters believe in God and I have to keep in mind that I don’t hurt them when I write something on the subject. Q; Many people said that you failed to criticise someone like Zakir Naik while you were addressing the issues related to Hinduism?A: I will criticise them also. They should not indulge in violence be it Christians or Muslims. No religion implies violence. All great books talk about love but we have become selective about them. Q: Did BJP ever approach you?A: No. But PM selected me as the ambassador of Swachh Bharat and I accepted it because I’m willing to do for any party who wants to contribute in nation building.Q: So, you are all set for a new chapter?A: I want to change the culture of politics. I’m not interested in taking anyone down. And people are ready too. New voters are coming of the age. I’m focused on that demography. They want change and I want to be part of it.

Kamal Hassan to tour TN to feel its pulse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor and filmmaker Kamal Haasan who turned 63 on Tuesday announced that he will tour Tamil Nadu to understand the problems that people face, before officially launching his party. He also said that he did not intend to hurt the Hindus and his remark on extremism was misinterpreted as Hindu terrorism by the media.”I intend to travel across the state and find out what problems people have. I also need to find myself. The dates will be announced later,” Kamal Haasan said announcing the launch of his app “Maiam Whistle” (Maiam in Tamil means centre), a digital platform where people will be able to complain and interact with him. He said he will go around the state as “citizen K”.”I am already here,” Haasan said when asked when he will make a debut in politics. He said he was “working on the structural part” of his new outfit.”People say I am going to launch a political party. I am waiting because I need a strong foundation. I am discussing with experts…I have started preliminary work. Don’t ask me when I will launch it and what will be its name. It is like asking a pregnant lady what is the name of the baby. It’s not the time for me to talk about this now,” the veteran actor said, noting that he would normally take six months to even to prepare for a film.Explaining why he was not in a position to give details of his political plans, Haasan said he was looking at larger goals and a longer time. “My dream is to create a good Tamil Nadu. You have to give me time to come up with a manifesto, a name. I am working on the structural part of it. I am in no hurry, there is no need to hurry, I need your support,” he said.Asked about the perceptions that he was anti-Hindu, Kamal said that he was only talking about Hindu extremism and not Hindu terrorism. “I am not starting a party to hurt Hindus. I come from a Hindu family and I do not want to lose the affection of my family first. But when there are mistakes, I will speak about it.”I am only talking reality when I speak of violence. All Hindus should understand and discuss. Nobody should indulge in such violence. It applies to Hindus and Muslims. When I say extreme, it doesn’t mean terror. But there is violence and no one can deny it,” he said.When asked about Hindutva elements attacking him, Kamal said: “I only spoke the truth. If punishment is meted out for that, I am ready to accept it.” He was apparently referring to threats to his life from some Hindutva organisations after his recent statement slamming Hindu extremism.The actor’s announcement for his impending party launch has evoked strong response from the ruling AIADMK, with which he had several run-ins in the recent past. Senior AIAMDK leader and Minister D Jayakumar said that his party would not be affected by Kamal’s proposed party. “AIADMK is like a Himalayan mountain. We will not be frightened by small hills,” he said, adding that AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa still lived in the hearts of people.Talking about the app, he said the name was derived from the Ashoka Chakra which is a virtuous cycle that has become a vicious circle. He wanted people to be whistleblowers. “Tomorrow, I may also get some political responsibility and the whistle should be blown against me too if I do something wrong,” he asserted.Asked how he would keep away tainted people and money from his organisation, Kamal said that he has taken a conscious decision of not admitting anyone with the record of taint in his organisation. He added that even in his film career, there has been no black money.

‘We feel safe under BJP rule’: Year after getting citizenship, Pak-Hindu woman joins BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A year after getting Indian citizenship, Pakistani-Hindu woman has joined Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as a party worker in Gujarat, ahead of the state assembly polls.Dimple Virandani had fled to Gujarat from Pakistan in 1990, and her 26-year-old struggle to obtained citizenship prompted her to join BJP.In 1999, Dimple got married to a Hindu man and shifted to Dubai along with her quest for Indian citizenship.She also said that her claim was rejected by the UPA regime citing fewer visits to India, despite seven years of marriage and visit to India once a year.The NDA alliance has been far more sympathetic to the cause of Hindu minorities that flee neighboring countries as compared to Congress-led UPA government, she told Times of India.”PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government in 2015 made key amendments which have helped Hindu minorities who have fled to India from neighbouring countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh that ended their decades long struggle to apply and get Indian citizenship with greater ease.” she told the daily.Stating that there are 10,000-odd Pakistani Hindu migrants in Ahmedabad itself, Dimple a resident of Memnagar said, “I do not mean to comment on religious lines but we feel safe in the rule of BJP.”Last month, as many as 431 Pakistani nationals, mostly Hindus, were granted long-term visas by the government, thus making them eligible for PAN and Aadhaar cards as well as allowing them to buy property.Under the latest policy of the Centre, those belonging to minority communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, namely –Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians– staying in India on long-term visas, are allowed to purchase a small dwelling unit sufficient to serve the needs of a family for self-use and suitable accommodation for carrying out self-employment.

Bhagwat Gaan: RSS in complete harmony with Raje

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The recent visit of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had more to do other than just nation building. It culminated with ‘rapport building’ with chief minister Vasundhara Raje. It is rumoured that Raje doesn’t gel well with RSS. Last time when Bhagwat visited Jaipur in September 2017, the air was rife that he (Bhagwat) was avoiding Raje. But this time he spent quality time with Raje puttng rest to all the speculations.His visit also hinted RSS’ trust in Raje while sending a message that the right wing organisation will back the chief minister in elections, scheduled next year.“This was first time that RSS had held Swar Govind Samaroh at such a large scale. This was aimed at not only galvanise the existing cadre but also expand its base which could volunteer its contribution to BJP in the next elections,” said a Swayamsevak.The recently found camaraderie between Raje and Bhagwat is seen as an offshoot of government’s order that has directed state colleges to take students on an educational tour of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed Gaurav Pratap Kendra in Udaipur. The Kendra is very close to Bhagwat’s heart as not only the foundation stone was laid by him in 2008 but also the inauguration was done by him in 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited this Kendra on his visit to Udaipur in August this year, making it even more important. The Rs 100 crore Kendra was conceived by RSS to develop a sense of patriotism, bravery, culture, values, duty as well as increase knowledge about tourism and history.Tagged as a living pilgrimage of history, education and ritual, the main attraction of the centre is a 57-foot metal statue of Maharana Pratap in a sitting posture besides a Bharat Mata mandir, Bharat Darshan Gaurav Dirgha and four art galleries with over 300 paintings.“The government’s order to organise trips for college students will help in popularising the ideology and concept of RSS. It will also help the Hindu outfit to ‘catch them young’ to infuse ‘raw power’ in the organisation,” said a political observer

Hindutva icon’s birthplace in neglect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While BJP might have ruled the poll-bound state of Gujarat since 1995, swearing by Hindutva, the birthplace of one the earliest proponents of the ideology lies in neglect.At Tankara village, people are upset that their longstanding demands of developing the birthplace of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and the one to give the clarion call of back to Vedas, have not been met.The village, a mix of castes where the Patidars dominate, is bang on the highway from Morbi to Rajkot but no signboard announces that this is a place where one of the greatest leaders of India came from.“Regimes come and regimes go. We had two primary demands from the government: to give us a railway station and to accord this place the status of a pilgrim centre. These can put the village on the tourism map of the state. But both have so far not been heeded,” said Acharya Ramdev, who is the principle of the Vedic gurukul established in the vicinity of the birthplace.The neglect of the house in which Swami was born is emerging as a reason that may bring people together in electoral action. “This place is not political. But when the BJP swears by Hindu nationalism, why not pay some attention to this monument. This is not just something that makes us proud, but also unites us,” lamented Kanubhai Patel of the village.Swami Dayananad Saraswati’s Satyarth Prakash is considered the first systematic critique of Islam and Christianity, especially proselytation by the two religions. Moreover, he is also credited with fashioning a more aggressive Hindu religion as it faced challenged in British Punjab, inventing for the first time a way to reconvert Hindus who had moved to the fold of other religions.

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