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PM Modi meets Atal Bihari Vajpayee on b’day, sends x-mas wishes to citizens

Keeping up with the tradition of December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the day by wishing countrymen ‘Merry Christmas’, remembering Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya on his 156th birth anniversary, as well as praying for the good health of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 93rd birthday.PM Modi visited Vajpayee at his residence in Lutyen’s Delhi where he held interactions with his family.”Birthday greetings to our beloved Atalji. His phenomenal as well as visionary leadership made India more developed and further raised our prestige at the world stage. I pray for his good health,” Modi tweeted.A few days ago, Modi had recalled Vajpayee while taking stock of party’s electoral wins at BJP MPs parliamentary meet.Modi had said how Vajpayee congratulated him in person on party’s performance in 1998 Lok Sabha election in Gujarat when he barely had joined the BJP from RSS and was not widely known in the party.President Ram Nath Kovind also joined the PM in wishing Vajpayee. “Birthday wishes to our much-loved and respected former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” he tweeted.Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu also conveyed his ‘heartfelt greetings’ and wished Vajpayee on his birthday. “Convey my heartfelt greetings to Bharat Ratna, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, on his birthday, today,” he tweeted.PM Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were among those who visited Vajpayee’s residence at Krishna Menon Marg in Delhi to wish him on his birthday. BJP workers in Kanpur performed a havan on Monday morning and prayed for Vajpayee’s good health and long life.Since 2014, Vajpayee’s birthday has been celebrated by the Government as ‘Good Governance Day’.In his Christmas greeting, the PM asked the countrymen to “remember the noble teachings of Lord Christ”. He also paid tributes to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on his 156th Jayanti and recalled his ‘strong and unforgettable’ impact on India’s history.His efforts to further education and a spirit of patriotism will always be remembered, PM Modi said.RemembrancePM Modi also paid tributes to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on his 156th Jayanti and recalled his ‘strong and unforgettable’ impact on India’s history. In his Christmas greeting, the PM asked the countrymen to “remember the noble teachings of Lord Christ”.

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Goa unit of Shiv Sena writes to PM on Mahadeyi, dubs Parrikar as ‘Bad Santa Claus’

The Shiv Sena in Goa has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking his intervention to stop Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from taking the step of allowing Karnataka to divert the waters of the Mahadeyi river.In the letter, the party’s Goa spokesperson Rakhi Prabhudesai Naik has termed the move by Parrikar on Christmas as that of being a “Bad Santa Claus” who is snatching the future of our children, which is river Mahadeyi.”Santa Claus distributes gifts to bring smiles on the faces of children but our Parrikar, who is a “bad Santa Claus”, has instead snatched the future of our children by agreeing to divert the water of River Mahadeyi,” the letter states. Naik in the letter said that the party wanted to express to the PM its displeasure over Parrikar’s behaviour.”This is the festival to give joy to people. Birth of Lord Jesus Christ symbolises hope, but Parrikar s action of agreeing to give Mahadeyi river water to Karnataka has resulted in the state losing its hope for a better future,” said Naik. The spokesperson in the letter stated that “the river is a gift for us from nature and our forefathers have worshipped and preserved it. It is our duty to pass it on to our future generation, and not to use it for our petty political gains.”Also readGoa CM Manohar Parrikar announces free medical facilities for outstation patientsThe letter went on to request the office of the PM to act like a “real Santa Claus” by impressing upon “Bad Santa Claus” to take back his decision to allow Karnataka to divert the Mahadeyi river water. “You would spread a message of hope, love and peace, if you do so on the occasion of Christmas,” the letter told the PM. The Sena’s letter is in response to the letter written by Parrikar recently to BJP’s Karnataka president BS Yeddyurappa softening the former’s stand on the water sharing issue.

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India celebrates Christmas with much fanfare

Midnight masses and carols in praise of Lord Jesus marked Christmas on Monday as the country got into a festive mood with people thronging markets donning Santa Claus caps and gospel bands enthralling the merry-makers.Worshippers across the country gathered in churches and cathedrals decorated with twinkling lights for the midnight service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.Persons dressed up as Santa Claus cheered the revellers at several places such as malls, markets and parks.Christmas trees, bells, gifts and cakes were flooded in the markets where several people wearing Santa Claus’ signature cap could be seen enjoying the festive spirit.Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished people on Christmas, saying, “We remember the noble teachings of Lord Christ”.”Merry Christmas to all fellow citizens, especially our Christian brothers and sisters. May the festival bring happiness to our families and our shared society,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on his official Twitter handle.Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also wished all citizens on Christmas.”It reaffirms our faith in the values of compassion and forgiveness taught by Lord Jesus Christ for the enlightenment of humanity. May this bring peace, harmony and happiness,” a post on the Twitter handle of the Vice President said.Christmas was celebrated with full fervour in the national capital as thousands gathered in churches and decked up cathedrals.As the bells tolled, people thronged the churches — including the Cathedral Church of The Redemption and Sacred Heart Cathedral.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Merry Christmas” and celebrated the festival by attending several Christmas programmes in the capital.The neighbourhoods of churches reverberated with traditional Christmas carols, with gospel bands enthralling the merry-makers with songs such as ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’.In Kerala, which has a sizeable Christian population, special prayers, midnight masses and low key festivities on Monday marked Christmas as the state witnessed massive devastation and loss of life due to cyclone Ockhi last month.Senior bishops and priests led special masses and gave out Christmas messages at cathedrals and churches across the state.In his Christmas message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to observe the day standing along with those who suffered in the cyclone.In Goa, which has around 27% Christian population, the peal of the midnight bells in churches and the carols in praise of Lord Jesus ushered in the Christmas festivities.The capital city Panaji was lit up and the markets gleamed with Christmas trees, bells, gifts, cakes and bebinca (a traditional Goan dessert), as tourists flocked to celebrate the festival in the coastal state.Cribs, decorated in beautiful ways and displaying the birth of Lord Jesus, were seen at several houses in the state.A larger-than-life crib installed in front of Mary Immaculate Conception Church in Panaji was a major attraction with thousands of tourists visiting the place since midnight.The streets of Panaji and Margao, the two main cities of Goa, were packed with vehicles till the wee hours as people participated in the traditional dance parties after the prayer service.The celebrations that commenced on Monday will now continue in the beach state till the New Year.Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao, in his message, appealed to the people to spread the message of peace, love and harmony.Christmas was also celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour in Tamil Nadu, with believers thronging churches, including the famous Santhome Basilica Church here, for special prayers and mass.In Chennai, senior bishops and priests conducted special masses at churches and read out the Christmas message at churches across the city.A large number of people thronged the Annai Velankanni church at Besant Nagar in the city, offered prayers and exchanged greetings.Faithful from all over the country gathered in large numbers at Shrine Basilica of our Lady of Health in Vailankanni and also New Jerusalem Church at Tarangambadi, the oldest protestant church in Asia, and offered prayers.Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders of political parties extended their greetings to the people.The festival mood was also visible in Mumbai. A 65-feet, or as tall as a seven-storey building, pine conifer at a society in Worli attracted visitors, for its tag of being India’s tallest fully decorated Christmas tree.The tree, located at a garden in Adarsh Nagar society in South Mumbai’s Worli area, has been decorated with over 10,000 lights, bells, images of reindeer and snowmen, and a waving Santa Claus.Kolkata celebrated Christmas by holding midnight masses and carols that continued through the day.A man dressed as Santa takes selfie at St. Pauls Cathedral during Christmas celebrations in Kolkata, on Monday. In an unpleasant incident, a church was vandalised on Christmas day by two unidentified drunken youths in Tura town of Meghalaya.The incident was caught in CCTV camera of the Baptist Church at Hawakana area of the town and it had also gone viral on social media with people condemning the incident which took place hours after the midnight service.In Uttar Pradesh, police kept a strict vigil across the state to ensure Christmas festivities passed off peacefully in the wake of the Hindu Jagran Manch warning against celebrating the festival. Christmas celebrations at a mall in Vaishali, Ghaziabad on Monday. All SPs were put on maximum alert in the districts after the Manch, an RSS-affiliate, recently issued a circular threatening all Aligarh schools against celebrating Christmas saying, they would be doing it “at their own risk”.

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Christmas 2017: Jingle all the way this Xmas as we bring you the best list of greetings to send your loved ones!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashesSnowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashesSilver-white winters that melt into springsThese are a few of my favourite things!It’s that time of the year you flaunt your new dress, munch your best-liked muffin and spend time with your family and close friends and relax and only think about the favourite things and moment you want to treasure all your life.Santa Claus, X-mas tree, Christmas carol and jingle all the way….it’s time to get ready for the much awaited fun-filled time of the year. Christmas is celebrated on December 25 every year which marks the birthday of Jesus Christ. With Christmas just around the corner and as the year comes to an end, we know you all have been busy planning Christmas dinners and gifts. It is that time of the year where you spend time with your family and close friends. But did you think about the Christmas messages you have to send to the ones who lives far away? Don’t worry, we got you covered!DNA brings you the top 10 list of messages and greetings you need to send anyone and everyone on Christmas. 1. May the spirit of Christmas fill your heart and home with joy, love and peace. Wish you and your family a merry Christmas!2. May your world be filled with full of joy and warmth on this holy season and in the upcoming year. Merry-wala-Christmas to you and your family!3. Count your blessings, sing your Christmas carols, open your gifts, and make a wish under the Christmas tree. Merry X-mas!!4. Joy to the World, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King…repeat the sounding joy! Merry Christmas to you and your family!5. Sending you the blessings of the season and wishing you a joyous, fun-filled Christmas!6. May Jesus Christ fulfill all your wishes and aspirations. May he bless you with tide and prosperity in life. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.7. Good tidings we bring to you and your kins…Ohh bring us some figgy pudding! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!8. May this Christmas be a piece of cake with chocolate pie and mango pudding!9. “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder10.May your stars shine brighter and feel winter days warmer! Merry Christmas to you!

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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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Delhi High Court dismisses plea on Bhagat Singh

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

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Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Havan’ for Vijay Rupani’s victory to continue till end of counting

After top politicians and candidates in the fray in Gujarat polls ended their temple run, their supporters have started to pray to the almighty for their victory.Supporters of BJP candidate in Rajkot West and CM Vijay Rupani started a Havan on Sunday morning, that shall continue till the counting of votes end on Monday, for his victory.Rupani is pitched against Congress candidate Indranil Rajguru. BJP supporters want the party to win more than 150 seats in Gujarat. The counting of votes in Gujarat will begin at 8 am on Monday.The Havan in Rajkot has been organised by the Baniya community, to which Rupani belongs. The community’s Madhuram Club has invited other people to join the Havan to please the almighty for victory of Rupani.Co-ordinator of the Club, Milan Kothari, said, “We have been praying to Lord Ganesha and Shiva through this Havan. We wish that our leader Vijay Rupani should win this polls with huge margin against Congress candidate. We are sure that our leader is going to win but we also hope that he wins with great margin that breaks all the records.””Besides Rupani, we also expect that BJP should win in Gujarat with more than 150 seats under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. We are confident that God will shower his blessings on people who have pure heart and wish to serve the people of Gujarat and India,” Kothari added.The fight between the CM and one of the wealthiest leader this polls is neck to neck as Patel agitation and anti- incumbency can tilt the balance.

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US science channel says ‘Ram Setu’ man-made; BJP’s stance reaffirmed: RS Prasad

"Those who filed the affidavit should explain now. The research has supported what the BJP has been claiming all along…The setu is part of our cultural heritage," Prasad told reporters here. In a promo for its upcoming show, the channel quotes an archaeologist that the rocks on top of sand pre-date the sand. "This is what the BJP has been saying all along," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said here. ”

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JNU VC urges Centre to install Army tank on campus as ‘symbol of patriotism’
Former ISRO chief UR Rao, man behind India’s 1st satellite Aryabhatta, passes away
US biologists discover three new toad species

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Wednesday 13 December 2017 15:49 ISTMust readUttar Pradesh: French tourists molested, thrashed in Mirzapur, eight accused nabbed Karnataka: Protest in Kumta turns violent over death of activist Paresh Mesta <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–> The claim made in a new show of a US science channel that the ‘Ram Setu’ is man-made and not natural has reaffirmed the stand of the BJP on the issue, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.He also hit out at the previous UPA government for filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court questioning the belief that the land bridge was built by Lord Ram to reach then Lanka to rescue his wife Sita, as depicted in the epic Ramayana.”Those who filed the affidavit should explain now. The research has supported what the BJP has been claiming all along…The setu is part of our cultural heritage,” Prasad told reporters here. In a promo for its upcoming show, the channel quotes an archaeologist that the rocks on top of sand pre-date the sand. “This is what the BJP has been saying all along,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said here.

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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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Gujarat Election 2017: Rahul Gandhi’s visits to temples a pretence, says Yogi Adityanath

Dubbing Rahul Gandhi’s visits to temples as a mere “pretence”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the Congress vice president to make his party’s stand clear on the Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute.He also alleged that the Congress was adopting double standards on the Ayodhya issue as it “does not want it to get resolved in a peaceful manner”.”I appeal to Rahul Gandhi to please clear the Congress’ stand on the issue as he is soon to become the party president,” Adityanath said here last night while campaigning for BJP candidate Jitendra Sukhadia at Gorva locality in Sayajigunj Assembly constituency.His remarks come in the wake of senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal’s submission in the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya dispute case, that the matter be heard after July 2019, after the next Lok Sabha polls.Taking a dig at Gandhi over his visits to temples, the UP chief minister said he does not even know how to sit properly in a temple.He said under the UPA government, an affidavit had been filed in the Supreme Court over the Ram Setu case, which said that Lord Ram and Lord Krishna were imaginary.”If they are imaginary, then what is Rahul Gandhi doing in temples? His visits to temples is just a pretence,” he said.Accusing the Congress of trying to divide the people of Gujarat on communal lines, he urged the voters to defeat the party in the state elections.”Its defeat will coincide with Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as the party president. It will initiate the process of fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’,” he said.The development of Gujarat started after Modi became the chief minister of the state in 2001. He eliminated corruption from the system and concentrated only on the development of Gujarat, which has become a role model for the country, he said.”If Congress returns to power in Gujarat, the pace of development will take take a hit,” he said.According to him, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been following the Gujarat model of development.Adityanath claimed that infiltration from Pakistan stopped after Modi became the prime minister.He said, US President Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign, had said that if he gets elected, he would follow the example of Narendra Modi, “which shows that Modi has emerged as a global leader”.

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Babri Masjid demolition day: Centre issues advisory, VHP to ‘celebrate’ in Ayodhya

Ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Centre has asked all states to remain cautious and ensure that there was peace and no incident of communal tension anywhere in the country.In a communication to the states and union territories, the Union home ministry urged them to deploy adequate security forces at sensitive places and maintain extra vigil so that attempts to disturb peace could be foiled, a ministry official said today. The 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition could lead to demonstrations, protests and dharna by “both communities”, the ministry said, without naming them.So precautionary measures have to be taken and utmost vigil and alertness maintained to ensure peace and communal harmony, the home ministry said in the advisory sent recently. The demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, was followed by riots in which hundreds of people were killed. Home ministry officials said most of the state governments were expected to deploy additional forces in sensitive places, religious sites, markets, bus terminals and railway stations so that law and order could be maintained. On a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) call, entire Ayodhya will be decorated with ‘diyas’ on Wednesday to celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary of the Babri Mosque demolition. The VHP Spokesperson Sharad Sharma told DNA that grand celebrations are in store to mark the silver jubilee anniversary of Babri Mosque demolition. “All homes and temples in Ayodhya would be decorated with diyas and a torch procession would be taken out on Wednesday to celebrate the occasion,” said Sharma.The VHP has also organized Surya Sankalp Sabha at the Karsewakpuram to take a pledge for the construction of grand Ram temple at the disputed site. “Prominent sadhus and saints associated with the Ram temple movement will administer an oath to people to renew their pledge for the construction of the Ram temple at the earliest,” said the VHP Spokesperson. Sharma said that a unanimous decision was taken at the Dharm Sansad in Udipi (Karnataka) to construct Ram temple at the earliest. The Dharam Sansad had also made it clear that no mosque would be allowed near the temple, he added.“Our preparations are in full swing and we are only awaiting the Supreme Court final verdict to begin the construction of the Ram temple, clamed he. A booklet, containing matter related to Lord Ram birthplace, will also be released on the occasion. The same would be distributed across the country. Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had recreated Treta Yuga on the eve of Diwali by decorating Saryu ghats with 1.80 lakh diyas. The feat got a place in the Guinness Books of World Records. With PTI inputs
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Ayurveda is holistic medical system for healthy living: President Kovind

Ayurveda is a holistic medical system for healthy living and it takes an integrated approach to physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects of the human body, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday. Presenting the Ramnarayan Sharma National Ayurved Award for the years 2008 to 2014 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said the idea of a healthy body being connected to a healthy mind or vice-versa is a powerful one. “Ayurveda is a holistic medical system for healthy living. It takes an integrated approach to the physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects of the human body, and their inter-linkages,” Kovind said. The president said ayurveda and yoga are based on exploration of the relationship between the mind and the body. “We should motivate future generations to focus on both aspects of human personality mental and physical,” he said.According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan press release, Kovind said India’s forests, mountains and villages are its main source of medicinal plants and herbs. “Ninety per cent of the country’s medicinal plants and herbs are obtained from forests. More than 5,000 types of herbs are found in our forests. There is a need to preserve and protect this priceless resource. People should be sensitive to the protection of medicinal plants and herbs,” he said at the function attended by ayurveda specialists.The president said modern lifestyle-related diseases are affecting people rapidly and the world is looking to alternative medicines from India, and here ayurveda can play an important role. Kovind said specialists have a huge responsibility in establishing ayurveda as a powerful medium for the prevention, treatment and management of such diseases. The Ramnarayan Sharma National Ayurved Award was instituted by the Ramnarayan Vaidya Ayurved Research Trust in 1982. It honours an eminent Ayurvedic scholar every year. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a silver idol of Lord Dhanwantari and a citation, the release said.
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Those who issue fatwas against nationalists should see effort we undertook to get Father Tom back: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing the importance of healthcare in Gujarat said that healthcare facilities affected the poor adversely and they wanted to change that. He also spoke about those who issued ‘fatwas’ against nationalists saying that it was the government’s nationalism that made them get Father Tom and Father Prem back.×”Lack of healthcare facilities affects the poor adversely. We want to change that and that is why we made stents cheaper,” Modi said in Ahmedabad on Sunday.×Priority is to improve health infrastructure and boost innovation in the sector, he added. Modi also had a word of praise for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.”Have you seen how active Sushma Swaraj ji is? Guided by humanitarian values, she is serving so many people in need- they can be in any part of the world but she helps them,” Modi said.Also readPM Modi praises Maha Congress leader for exposing ‘rigged internal poll’, says it’s part of party’s cultureOur nurses were stranded in West Asia. When these nurses, who are doing such humanitarian work, are stranded how can anyone sleep in peace? Every effort was undertaken to bring them back home, Modi added.Speaking about the efforts taken by the Central government to bring back father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed after being kept in captivity by ISIS for 18 months in strife-torn Yemen, Modi said those who are releasing Fatwas against ‘nationalists’ should see the effort we undertook to get Father Tom back.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Modi to be back for two days today, Rahul Gandhi on 5thHe said: “Those who are releasing Fatwas against ‘nationalists’ should see the effort we undertook to get Father Tom back. Father Tom was guided by his love for Lord Christ & was working. We got Father Tom back. We also got back Father Prem, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan. It is our ‘nationalism’ that made us get Father Tom and Father Prem back. When Judith D’Souza was kidnapped, we once again did whatever we could to bring this daughter of India back.”
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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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Yogi Adityanath


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Rahul Gandhi will help BJP to make make India Congress-free, taunts CM Yogi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Congress readies for long-awaited anointment of Rahul Gandhi as its chief, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath taunted India’s Grand Old Party with ‘it helps us’ jibe.Speaking to mediapersons in Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath said the Congress has always promoted dynasty rule and nepotism. “There is nothing new. What else would you expect from a party which has always promoted dynasty rule and nepotism. Except for the members of the Nehru-Gandhi, there is no place or others in Congress,” he reacted when asked about Gandhi becoming Congress President replacing his ailing mother Sonia Gandhi.“I would like him (Rahul) to take over as soon as possible. It will help BJP campaign further to make the country Congress-free sooner than expected after he takes over as the Congress President,” said the Chief Minister.“Will any Congress leader dare to contest against Rahul? When they have to follow the dynasty rule then I don’t know why the Congress party was doing the drama of presidential elections and beating the drum about following the democratic process for his elevation as Congress President,” quipped the CM Yogi.He pointed that few other parties like the Samajwadi Party and the BSP to follow the suit. Akhilesh Yadav replaced Mulayam Singh Yadav while BSP has nominated his brother Anand Kuar as heir apparent.On Mulayam’s statement that Lord Ram is popular only in North India whereas Lord Krishna is more popular from North to South, Yogi Adityanath said “Mulayam should read and study Dr Ram Manohar Lohia ideology properly or else he would not have been making such ridiculous comments on Gods.”Renewing his attack on filmmaker of controversial movie Padmavati, the Chief Minister said that “Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be punished for distorting historical facts and demeaning character of Rani Padmavati who chose to perform ‘Jauhar’ to save her honour and modesty.“We will not allow anyone to hurt people’s sentiments. If people are protesting all over the country then the filmmaker should understand and respect their sentiments. We have already lodged our protest with the Information and broadcasting ministry and the CBFC in this regard,” pointed he.The movie has already been banned in Uttar Pradesh even after Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali agreeing to defer the release date. The film was to be released on December 1.The dputy Chief Minister Keshav PrasadMaurya, who also holds the entertain tax ministry has already announced that “the state government will not allow the movie to be released in Uttar Pradesh unless the controversial scenes and portions are removed from the film.Yogi Adityanath excuded confidence that BJP will win majority seats in local bodies going to polls. “Unlike previous regimes, our aim is to strengthen local bodies to act as self governments in their respective areas without looking for any help from the state government,” he promised.

Telangana woman stopped from entering Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 31-year-old woman today made a vain attempt to enter the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple here, where female devotees in the 10-50 age group are not permitted.The woman, a resident of West Godavari district in Telangana, was picked up from ‘sannidhanam’, the temple complex, police sources told PTI.She was questioned and her statement recorded, they said.According to the tradition of the temple, the entry of women in the 10-50 age group is restricted in the hillock shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, considered the ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ or the perennial celibate.The woman, Parvathy, was not carrying the traditional “irumudi”, a small bundle containing coconut, ghee, turmeric and sandal paste which is offered to the deity. And, she took a different path to reach the ‘sannidhanam’, the police said.Normally, devotees climb the ‘pathinettam padi’, the sacred 18 steps leading to the temple complex.The woman, who was accompanied by her husband, two children and 11 other people from her village, told police that she was unaware of the restrictions with regard to women of the banned age group at the shrine.On suspicion, police checked her identity card which showed she was only 31 years old.The entry of women is strictly monitored by police at Pampa before they begin to trek Sabarimala to reach the shrine.Temple sources were clueless on how the woman managed to reach near the shrine defying the police monitoring and stringent checks.Marking the beginning of the pilgrimage season, the Sabarimala temple opened on November 15 for the three-month annual ‘Mandalam-Makaravilakku’ festival.Thousands of people across the country are visiting the hillock shrine every day to catch a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa and offer prayers.The ban on the issue of entry of women in the age group has been challenged in the Supreme Court, which had on October 13 referred it to a constitution bench.’Bhumata Brigade’ leader and woman activist Trupti Desai had said she would enter Sabarimala defying restrictions on the entry of women of the banned age group.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar being used as a pawn by BJP to polarise Hindu votebank: SP leader Ramashankar Vidyarthi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, working to find an amicable solution to the Ram Temple dispute, was being used as a “pawn” by the BJP to polarise the Hindu vote bank, a senior SP leader said today.With the Supreme Court set to begin hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya from December 5, Ravi Shankar has offered to mediate in the issue.”Ravi Shankar is a pawn of the BJP, which has realised that people have come to know the reality of its jugglery on development. They have tried to rake up the Ram Temple issue by pushing the spiritual guru in the front to polarise the Hindu vote bank,” Samajwadi Party national general secretary Ramashankar Vidyarthi said.If the Ram Temple had to be constructed through a court’s decision or through mutual consensus, why did the BJP take out the ‘Rath Yatra’ and why was it made an election issue, Vidyarthi asked.”The BJP has its government today both in the state and at the Centre. Who can stop them for getting the Ram Temple constructed in Ayodhya?”The spiritual leader’s offer for mediating in the dispute has received a tepid and sceptical response from key protagonists on both sides, with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) voicing reservations about his role.A day before visiting Ayodhya, Ravi Shankar met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier this week but said he had no proposal yet to discuss with the stakeholders.In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77-acre area at Ayodhya among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram Lalla.The Supreme Court will hear the case on December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.

When media fell for a fake Mysore Pak story on National Press Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On November 16, the day the Press Council of India (PCI) started functioning as a moral watchdog whose object was preserving ‘freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press’.And yet on National Press Day, several media organisations fell for a fake story about Mysore Pak, a tale so obviously bogus it wouldn’t pass muster in the average Indian uncle’s Whatsapp group.It all started in 2015 when Twitter thread aficionado Anand Ranganathan tweeted a document allegedly quoting Lord Macaulay in British Parliament telling his fellow legislators how the Mysore Pak was indeed Tamilian. The story goes, he claimed was that the famed sweetmeat’s recipe was stolen by a courtier of Mysore Palace who ran all the way to Mysore from Madras with it, dying upon reaching the destination, like a south Indian Pheidippides . Inspired by the Bengali-Odia showdown over the rasgulla, Ranganathan started a poll asking who invented the Mysore Pak – Kannadigas or Tamilians? While the tweets led the usual good-natured online jousting which has kept Twitter alive, a host of mainstream media organisations including The Times of India, India Today, Marathi newspaper LokSatta, Kannada News Channel Public TV news, Vijay Karnataka, Swatantra Varta and others, started reporting the story as fact! Interestingly, the template Ranganathan used to spread the fake story of Mysore Pak is based on another older anecdote about something Macaulay allegedly said in the British parliament in 1835, about breaking India’s ancient education system, which would be replaced by an English system which would help destroy the ‘self-esteem’ of the natives.The quote is historically inaccurate, more so since Macaulay was in India in 1835 and even his Minute on Education (which would be followed by an act to replace Sanskrit and Persian education with English) delivered in Calcutta has none of the quotes mentioned.Despite the outlandish claims made by Ranganathan’s Macaulay, several mainstream media fell for it hook, line and sinker.While from a consequence perspective, the news doesn’t have far-reaching ramifications and lies in the UNESCO declared ‘Indian national anthem best in the world’, it does raise the question – why are we so gullible?How can we ask our audience to trust us when we don’t exhibit even the minimal amount of fact-checking or logical thinking before putting up a story and calling it news? The age-old practice of checking something from two unconnected sources was lost a long time ago, and we all have month-end traffic targets, but that doesn’t mean we believe that the British parliamentarians were so jobless that they would discuss the origin of a sweetmeat in a faraway land! Former Press Council of India chairman, ex-Supreme Court judge and blogging enthusiast Markandey Katju had famously said that ‘90% of Indians’ are idiots and based on the way mainstream organisations fell for a bogus quote, it’s hard to argue that our fraternity doesn’t fall in that 90%.As Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, perhaps the most vilified man on social media and victim of a thousand fake news stories, put it all those years ago: “If there is no responsibility and no obligation attached to it, freedom gradually whithers away. This is true of a nation’s freedom and it applies as much to the Press as to any other group, organisation or individual.”

Rahul Gandhi shouldn’t visit religious places only during elections: BJP

Updated: Nov 13, 2017, 03:09 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National General Secretary, Bhupender Yadav on Monday took a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in wake of him visiting shrines and temples in poll-bound states and said that offering prayers is a part of Indian culture but it must come naturally to a person and not only during elections.Speaking at a press conference, Yadav said “Star campaigner of Congress Rahul Gandhi is visiting temples and offering prayers which is good as it is a part of Indian culture. However, this must come naturally to a person and not only during elections”.On November 11, Rahul began his campaign for Assembly polls in north Gujarat with a visit to the famous Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. He offered prayers to Lord Swaminarayan at the temple and began his three-day tour which will cover six districts.Assembly election here will be held in two phases on December 9 and December 14.

Cafe owners up in arms against ‘draconian’ hookah ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Restaurant owners in the National Capital Region (NCR) are up in arms against the Delhi government’s move of imposing a blanket ban on serving hookahs. Calling the decision draconian, they rued that instead of suggesting measures and taking a prudent stance, the government is browbeating them into following its diktats.Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, on Tuesday, had directed all the municipal corporations and the police to cancel licenses of outlets that served hookahs. Arguing that it was a health hazard worse than cigarettes, the minister had deplored the civic body and the police for letting hookah bars flourish with impunity. He also said the health department found “high quantity” of nicotine in hookahs during surprise raids conducted at these places.Restaurateurs, however, denied the allegations, saying the government wanted them to run in losses instead of resolving the matter. Talking to DNA, Umang Tewari, owner of Vault Cafe, said: “As responsible businessmen, we have always followed the government rules. We only serve herbal hookahs that are not harmful to health in any way.”Kanishk Tuteja, owner of Nukkad Cafe & Bar, said the ban was unfair. He reasoned that they went through a lot of stringent checks and inspections while setting up their business and no one objected at the time. ” We aren’t serving anything illegal. The government should probably suggest some more guidelines, instead of banning it completely,” he added.Priyank Sukhija, owner of the Lord of the Drinks, minced no words while expressing his view on the “draconian” regulation. “I think we should make peace with the fact that in our business, something or the other will keep getting banned. This has become a regular feature now. I just feel that instead of banning hookahs, there are better solutions for having a healthy environment.”

Defeat false paid campaign by resorting to the truth; don’t disrespect PM office: Rahul tells Congress’ IT cell in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday while addressing a Congress meeting in Ambaji in north Gujarat told district and taluka-level leaders to defeat false and paid campaigns by showing people the truth.”Britain was a super power in past century. It had a very strong army. It had all the resources to its disposal. But they were defeated by Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and the Congress party using the truth. Similarly, BJP is using paid agencies to influence the masses. You just follow the truth. BJP will be defeated, I assure you,” Gandhi told a gathering of close to 1,500 volunteers of IT Cell, responsible for the party’s social media campaign in Gujarat.According to volunteers present at the meeting, a team of over 100 members have been formed in all the talukas of Gujarat. It is this team, that is responsible for the ‘Vikas Gandi Thayo Chhe’ (development has gone crazy) and ‘Mara hara chhetri gaya’ (They fooled us) campaign that has gone viral on social media in Gujarat.Replying to a question by a volunteer that why have you not reacted to the malicious campaign by BJP damaging your image, Gandhi said that, “My reality will not change by propaganda. It is like Lord Shiva (who drank poison for the welfare of masses).”He called upon the volunteers to stay away from damaging the honour of the post of Prime Minister. “We will bring out their falsehood. They have been disturbed by our campaign. But we will maintain the dignity of the post of Prime Minister,” said Gandhi.GPCC President Bharat sinh Solanki said that while Congress IT Cell cannot match BJP’s expenses on taking professional agencies in social and traditional media and so they have to match by hard work, imagination and efficiency.

Delhi: Driver misses turn due to smog, car falls in Yamuna river; 2 killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two people were killed and their three friends injured after their car plunged into the Yamuna River allegedly after the driver could not see a turn due to smog and darkness in north Delhi’s Timarpur area, the police said.The accident took place around 2 am when they were returning after a party at Shyam Ghat in the Yamuna Khadar area.Deepak Jangir, who was driving the car, and Kishan Yadav, who was sitting beside him, were killed, the police said, adding that their friends Deepak, Anand and Akash escaped with minor injuries.They were all in their 20s and it is suspected that they had consumed alcohol.The car’s front was completely submerged, leaving no room for Jangir and Yadav to escape. Their friends, who were in the back seat, managed to come out, they said.They informed the police and claimed that Deepak Jangir could not see the road ahead and ended up driving into the river, the police said.Deepak Jangir and Yadav were taken to a hospital where they were declared brought dead, they said.The police said that yesterday, Deepak Jangir and Yadav along with the others had come to Deepak’s house, but as his landlord had issues with him consuming alcohol, they went to Shyam Ghat.Yadav’s aunt is a constable with the Delhi Police and he was staying with her family. He belonged to Rajasthan and was preparing for competitive exams.Jangir also belonged to Rajasthan and was staying with a family member posted with the Delhi Police. He owned the car and used to also rent it out as a taxi.Deepak, who belongs to Haryana and was staying in Wazirabad, and the two others also came to Delhi to prepare for competitive exams.

Ayodhya settlement draft to be ready by December 6: UP Shia Central Waqf Board

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board on Tuesday said it would prepare a draft proposal for a peaceful settlement of the Ayodhya dispute by December 6, the day the Babri Mosque was demolished in 1992.Board Chairman Wasim Rizvi, who has made public his opinion that a Ram temple should be built at the site, said he would visit Ayodhya this month to meet seers and mahants.”I have already discussed terms and conditions with many of them and some petitioners for the draft proposal for an agreement to settle the dispute mutually,” Rizvi told PTI.”By December 6, I hope we will be able to prepare our draft proposal for a mutual agreement,” he said.Rizvi last month met Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bangalore and apprised him of the Board’s stand on a Ram temple at the site.The Board does not want a mosque constructed at the site.Instead, it should be constructed elsewhere in a Muslim- populated area, he has said.In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77-acre area between the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram Lalla.Rizvi, however, was of the view that partition of the disputed land in Ayodhya would not be a “practical idea” and would not be “peaceful and long lasting”.He did not divulge the contents of the draft he was preparing but said he would convene a meeting of the Waqf Board to get consent of the members before moving ahead on it and making it public.The Shia Central Waqf Board has impleaded itself as a party in the Ayodhya case by submitting a 30-page affidavit to the Supreme Court on August 8 this year. It has staked claim to the Babri mosque, maintaining that it was a Shia mosque.Rizvi, who claims to be authorised by the Board to move ahead on the issue, said the number of mosques in Ayodhya was sufficient for the Muslims residing there and there was no need for a new mosque.He said that those demanding construction of a mosque at Lord Ram’s birthplace, or near it, only wanted to prolong the dispute.”The demolished mosque belonged to the Shia Waqf and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has no right to decide on it. Only the Shia board has the right to decide,” Rizvi has said earlier.About his meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, he said he had conveyed his intentions to him, adding that the initiative for the out-of-court settlement would strengthen Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.In a bid to resolve Ayodhya issue, Ravi Shankar reportedly met Nirmohi Akhara leaders and Muslim law board members recently.Though the AIMPLB is not a party in the case, it wields considerable influence as the apex Islamic body on religious and personal matters.AIMPLB member and Convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) Zafaryab Jilani has denied that any of its authorised representatives met the Art of Living founder for an out-of-court settlement.”The Ayodhya dispute cannot be settled through arbitration. We will never withdraw our claim to the land in Ayodhya where once the Babri mosque stood and was demolished on December 6, 1992,” Jilani has said.

Kamal Hassan controversy: Those talking of Hindu terrorism are ‘anti-nationals’, says Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday branded individuals talking about intolerance and Hindu terrorism as ‘anti-nationals’, in an oblique reference to actor Kamal Hassan’s comments. He said that they are surviving on hand-out of foreigners who coined these words. “Those who market their intellectual wisdom for making money talk about intolerance in the country and those who talk about Hindu terrorism are surviving on hand-out of foreigners. They are anti-nationals and people of this country will never forgive them,” he said while participating in a debate in Lucknow on Sunday.“Sanatan dharm is the only religion in India. Rest are followers of different cults and beliefs. There is nothing called secularism in the country. It is the biggest lie in Independent India. Everyone has a right to follow their own cult or religion but above them is the nation and one cannot betray nation by raising their heads in the name of intolerance and Hindu terrorism,” said Yogi Adityanth.“Hinduism is a culture and way of living. This Hindu country has given shelter to Muslims, Zoroastrians, Christians, Jews and so many others. India has given tolerance to the world and we respect all religions. But it does not mean we will allow anyone to call Hindus terrorists,” he said in an obvious reference to ongoing controversy over Kamal Hassan’s statement.He said that one cannot impose their religious practices on others. “A Brahmin would remain a Brahmin even if he does not wear vermilion and ponytail,” he pointed.The Chief Minister said that Hinduism teaches religious tolerance but it does not mean that we will remain mute spectator to attack by others demolishing our religious beliefs. “Lord Ram and Lord Krishna did not want war but they took up weapons to kill demons. We are not cowards and we will also give befitting replies to such demons. Politics and religion are synonym to each other,” he pointed.“These days people talk about saffron colour. Can they change the colour of sun rays and fire? Art and culture are the soul of development. My government has started this with recreating Treta Yuga Diwali in Ayodhya. Uttar Pradesh will soon emerge as the most progressive state in the country,” declared Adityanath. Earlier, speaking at a VHP Function, the Chief Minister reiterated that anyone committing crime against cows will be punished and go to jail. “Our government is committed to cow protection. We will take stringent measures to protect cows,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi’s to campaign for the third time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit Gujarat for the first time after the poll date announcement by the Election Commission.This will be his third visit during the poll season. This time he will travel south Gujarat. In his last two trips, he had received a good response in some pockets of Saurashtra and central Gujarat.Rahul had kicked off the election campaign by his Samvad Karyrakrum in Ahmedabad on September 04. On September 24, after praying at Lord Dwarkdhish, he toured some districts of Saurashatra. The highlight of his these two trips his visit to many temples.On his third trip, he will start from Jambusar in Bharuch on November 1 with an address at the Yuva Rojgar and Khedut Adhikar Rally. He will visit Amod, Dayadra, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Zankhvav, Valiya, Mandvi, Vyara. AT Vyara, he will address a core committee meeting.On November 2, he will start his day by addressing gatherings at Dolvan, Unai, Vansda, Dharampur, Nanapondha and Vapi. He will conclude his tour on November 3 after public rallies at Pardi, Valsad, Bilimora, Gandevi, Navsari, Surat.

Darul Uloom Deoband ‘throws out’ Salman Khurshid from Islam for worshipping Lord Ram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a dozen Muslim women in Varanasi, Darul Uloom Deoband has ‘ousted’ former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid from Islam for worshipping Lord Ram.Action against Salman Khurshid, the former External Affairs and Law minister, was initiated after his photographs and video performing Aarti of Lord Ram during Kalki Festival in Sambhal got viral on the social media.Taking suo motu notice of the video and photographs on social media, Darul Iftaa, debarred the senior Congress leader from Islam with immediate effect.“His act is against the basic tenets of Islam which does not allow any devout Muslim to worship anyone other than Allah. Moreover, idol worship is strictly banned in Islam” said a statement in Urdu from Deoband’s Ulema Mufti Tariq Kashmi.“His (Salman Khurship) act violates Islamic laws and, therefore, he is being ousted from the Islam with immediate effect. He is no longer a Muslim and should repent (Tauba) before Allah for his un-Islamic act and read Kalma only then he will be allowed to embrace Islam again as per Islamic laws,” said the Ulema.The Deoband Mufti advised and warned Muslims in general to stay away from such ‘un-Islamic’ acts or be ready to face the consequences. “Any Muslim worshipping anyone other than Allah will have no place in Islam,” warned the Ulema.Reacting to the ‘ouster’, Salman Khurshid tweeted that respect for a compatriot’s religion wasn’t denial of one’s own. Earlier, Darul Uloom deoband had ousted about a dozen Muslim women in Varanasi when they worshipped and performed Aarti on Lord Ram on Diwali. Following the ouster, the Chairperson of the Muslim Women Foundation, Varanasi Nazneen had demanded to ban Darul Uloom Deoband for spreading communal hatred in the society and issuing anti-Islamic fatwas.

Uttar Pradesh: No eggs, non-vegetarian food and alcohol at Vrindavan and Barsana, says CM Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday declared Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh as new pilgrimage spots in the state and in the process, also banned consumption of alcohol, eggs and non-vegetarian food there.The birth place of Lord Krishna’s childhood friend Radha, Barsana is famous for its ‘Lathmaar Holi’ and temples depicting childhood memories of both Lord Krishna and Radha. Vrindavan, 11 km away from Mathura, is famous for having over 5,000 temples.The minister for religiosu endowment Lakshmi Narain Chowdhary said that the Central government has already sanctioned Rs 350 crore for setting up a sewage treatment and laying a sewage line in the two temple towns. “After urban local bodies polls, work on making a rope-way would begin in Barsana,” said he.He said that the state government is committed to develop and beautify all religious spots in Uttar Pradesh to make them as favourite tourist destinations. “Plans are afoot to renovate old temples in Vrindavan and Barsana and upgrade its local body to a municipal corporation,” he added.

City residents celebrate Chhath Puja in an eco-friendly way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the sun set on Thursday, Nalin Pandey and his family offered the Aragh (an offering), an essential part of Chhath puja, at their building premises in Nerul. For the last two years, the family avoided venturing out to water bodies due to the dirt and overcrowding.”We have a water fountain on the premises which has been particularly made in a way that the sunrise can be witnessed from there. Every year, we clean up the place and offer Aragh. Earlier we would go to a lake in Nerul but for past two years, we have been doing it here. Lakes are usually not clean and it is too crowded. Also, there is a risk of accidents happening. In the fountain, the water is not deeper than three feet,” said Pandey, who is the chairman and managing director of a shipping company.Pandey, who is also joint secretary of Bihar Foundation, organises Chhath puja at various places. The puja is observed mainly by people from Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of UP.”Every morning people pray to the sun. On the third and fourth day of the puja, we offer Aragh to the Sun God. This prayer is also to Chhath Devi, the daughter of Lord Bramha, and the wife of Lord Surya (sun). She is an assigned boon for kids,” said Manoj Singh Rajput of Bihar Foundation.On the third day, people offer five different kind of fruits on a winnow to the Sun God. “In villages where there was clean water, people would take that water and offer it to the Sun God, which is the main offering to the Sun God. Out here, most people take water sprinkled with Gangajal in a copper pot,” said Rajput.”Over a period of time, in the city, many people have been coming to natural water bodies. We co-ordinate with the administration and clean up the place where the puja is done,” said Abhay Kumar, who offers Aragh from Banganga in Malabar HillThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.On the third and fourth day, people offer prayers to the Sun God standing in water. It is done during the sunset on the third day and during sunrise on the fourth.THE RITUALSThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.
Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.

Dozen youngsters held for chanting Shiva Chalisa on Taj Mahal premises

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the backdrop of controversy over comments about the Taj Mahal, a dozen youngsters were reportedly detained for chanting the Shiva Chalisa on the premises of the monument.The youngsters claimed that Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva a temple, and were taken away by CISF personnel, reported Hindustan Times.The youngsters belonged to Rashtra Swabhimaan Dal (RSD) and Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) and were released after submitting a written apology.
ALSO READ Taj Mahal controversy a ploy by BJP to divert away from key issues: Kanhaiya KumarDeepak Sharma, a 30-year-old who led the group, justified the move saying: “It was basically ‘Tejomalaya’, a Shiva a temple, which was demolished by Mughal rulers to make the Taj Mahal.”He went on to add: “We did nothing wrong but apologised in writing because we were told by CISF officials that recital of ‘Shiva Chalisa’ was in violation of the Supreme Court orders. We respect the Supreme Court and had no intention to hurt religious feeling of any sect.”
ALSO READ Taj Mahal was a temple of Lord Shiva, destroyed by Shah Jahan: BJP MP Vinay KatiyarSharma said they had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court to find out why Hindus couldn’t ‘recite Shiva Chalisa’ at the Taj, which was owned by the central government’.This isn’t the first time someone has claimed that Taj Mahal built on an erstwhile Shiva a temple.
ALSO READ Damage control? CM Yogi plans Taj Mahal visit, says ‘it was built by blood and sweat of Indian labourers’In 2014, former BJP UP chief Laxmikant Bajpai had claimed that the Taj Mahal was part of an ancient Shiva a Temple after SP leader Azam Khan had asked for it to be handed over to the Waqf board. He had said: “Azam’s dream to offer namaz five times at Taj will never be fulfilled.”Another senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar had claimed that the Taj Mahal was a Lord Shiva a temple called ‘Tejo Mahal’ which was converted into a mausoleum by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.However, the claims about the Shiva a temple continued and culture minister Dr Mahesh Sharma had clarified in parliament on December 1, 2015 that the ‘government had not found any evidence which can suggest that Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple of Shiva a’.Earlier, in a bid to downplay the controversy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said the monument was made by the blood and sweat of “Bharat Mata’s sons” and its protection was the responsibility of his governmentThe 17th century marble monument was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Both were buried there.With inputs from agencies

This Diwali, Ayodhya to see a laser show, mega aarti on Saryu ghat and 1.71 lakh diyas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From laser show to mega aarti on banks of Saryu, it would be a very special Diwali for Ayodhya this year.As part of Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath’s grand plans, 1.71 lakh earthen diyas will be lit up to make a Guinness World Record.In an interview to Zee News, CM Yogi said that the ‘Deepotsav’ is part of a grand plan to revive Ayodhya as a tourist centre.Talking about the celebrations and the importance of the ancient city, CM Yodi said, “Ramayan is 10,000 years old and Ayodhya is an integral part of it. It was a developed city even back then and people continue to come here from all over. To connect with its illustrious past is a matter of pride for us,” he said.According to a News18 report, an event management company from Gujarat has been hired specifically for this job. According to the report, a diya will be placed on every square metre in the entire city.Over 2,000 students of Faizabad’s RML Awadh University are reportedly volunteering for the event. Over 10,000 temples across the city will be decorated and a laser show will showcase the Ramayana story during the event.Earlier, UP Governor Ram Naik had said that the years of neglect faced by Ayodhya would go this year.He said the celebrations on Diwali are intended to promote Ayodhya as a tourist place.Talking about CM Yogi’s grand plans, Naik said that this is an attempt to restore Ayodhya’s lost glory and present it beautifully.Noting that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after winning a war in Lanka, Naik said the state government wants to portray the same scene.”I believe and you can imagine that those who visit Ayodhya, whether they are domestic or foreign tourists, they all carry a wish to see Lord Rama there. We hope the government will work keeping all the aspects in mind,” the Governor was quoted as saying by the PTI.

Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya by next Diwali: Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today said construction of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya will commence soon and it will be ready to receive devotees by next Diwali.Hurdles in the way of the proposed Ram temple are being removed, Swami said without elaborating.”Construction of the temple is likely to begin sooner than later. This week we will be celebrating Diwali and by next Diwali the Ram temple is likely to be ready to receive devotees,” he said addressing a seminar here organised by the Bihar unit of Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS), which he has floated.The Rajya Sabha MP said for electoral success “it is essential that the ideology of Hindutva is never lost sight of”.Swami said VHS would make efforts for the construction of a grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram’s consort Sita at Sitamarhi in north Bihar, believed to be her birthplace. “It is impossible to think of Maryada Purushottam Sri Rama without his companion Jagat Janani Janaki”.Plans were also afoot by VHS to also set up a university there. The university will serve as a centre for Indian renaissance where ancient Indian learning will be promoted alongside imparting of contemporary vocational training, he said, adding the organisation also proposed to undertake similar projects at other places of historical importance in all districts across Bihar.

Yogi Adityanath government proposes to build 100 metre tall Lord Ram statue in Ayodhya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yogi Adityanath government has proposed to build a Lord Ram’s ‘grand statue’ in Ayodhya, latest reports say.The statue is part of ‘Navya Ayodhya’ project that is seen an initiative by the Uttar Pradesh government to promote religious tourism.The 100 metre tall statue will be built on the banks of River Saryu in Ayodhya.The statue will be built after securing permission from the National Green Tribunal. However, the proposal has not been sent to NGT for approval. Apart from the statue, a Ram Katha gallery, an auditorium in Digambar Akhada are also part of the plan.The Centre has approved Rs 133.70 crore to the state government for the Ayodhya’s redevelopment project. But the the state government had sent a detailed project report (DPR) of Rs 195.89 crore to the Tourism Ministry at the Centre.According to a press communique released by the Raj Bhavan, Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Principal Secretary, Tourism, made the presentation.The presentation also included information on programmes scheduled for Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya on October 18. Governor Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will be present on the occasion.

Lord Shiva gave me strength to drink poison and counter those who spewed venom: PM Modi in Vadnagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On his first visit to his birthplace since occupying the top post, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a roadshow and visited his school here and said the town had taught him to “drink poison”. At the B N High School where he studied, he smeared sand from the premises on his forehead. Modi, who once sold tea at the Vadnagar railway station, recalled his journey to Delhi from Gujarat where he was the chief minister for 13 years from 2001.He said he has managed to serve the nation with the blessings of Lord Shiva since 2001 despite some people “spewing venom” at him during these years.He was apparently referring to the attacks on him during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister after the riots of 2002 in the state.”Vadnagar has taught me to drink poison,” he said, while noting that his birthplace is the land of Shiva, like Kashi (Varanasi), his Lok Sabha constituency.Modi was addressing a public meeting after inaugurating a newly-built medical college and launching an immunization programme here.”I started my journey from Vadnagar and now I have reached Kashi. Just like Vadnagar, Kashi is also the town of Bhole Baba. Bhole Baba’s blessings gave me immense strength, and this strength is the biggest gift I have received from this land,” he said.”The blessings of Bhole Baba (Lord Shiva) gave me the strength to drink and digest poison. Due to this ability, I was able to counter all those who spewed venom against me since 2001. This ability gave me the strength to serve the motherland with dedication over these many years,” he said.The prime minister did his schooling in Vadnagar, an ancient town which was once home to a Buddhist monastery and has a centuries-old Shiva temple.On the second day of his visit to poll-bound Gujarat, Modi held a roadshow here. A large number of people lined the road to greet him. There were chants of “Modi-Modi” and flowers were showered on him along the route.Before inaugurating a newly-built medical college in the town, he visited the Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple where he performed puja alongwith Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.”I am touched by the immense love showered by the people of Vadnagar today. It gave me new energy to serve the nation with more zeal,” Modi said, addressing a public gathering after the roadshow.”I saw many faces among the people who came to greet me.Those faces brought back many memories of my childhood,” he said. P

Karwa Chauth 2017- significance, dates, origin, rituals, ceremonies and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>We are sure that all you women are ready to observe this fast for husbands and eagerly waiting to dress up the best out of the lot. As u starve for your husband’s well-being, this year we bring to you the real cause and significance of this fast. What is Karwa Chauth – Concept and Belief A ritual in which majority of Hindu married women fast for a day without food and water, for their husbands with a strong belief that the festival ensures prosperity, longevity and well-being of their husbands. Mostly celebrated in North India, Karwa Chauth holds a strong belief in the minds of women, that by observing the fast with all rituals and complete devotion they will be able to safeguard the lives of their husbands. The belief and the faith of a woman in starving the whole day is a tradition being followed over ages.When is it celebrated- Hindu Calendar dates The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. A reference to the fact that the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or krishna paksh, of the month of Kartik. It is also believed the festival marks the onset of Rabi crop cycle and serves as a prayer for a good harvest in this predominantly wheat-eating regions.Why is it celebrated-Etymology and originOriginated from the northwestern parts of India was celebrated by the wives of men who went to far off places in military camps or fight wars. Their wives used to pray and fast in order to ensure safe home-coming of their husbands. Like all other festivals Karwa Chauth also has two historical versions to it. The first one suggests that the festival originates from a very sweet and noble mythical tale. There lived a beautiful queen Veervati. Veervati was the only sister to seven brothers. She spent first five years of her married life at her parents place. Finding it difficult to fast all day without food and water, Veervati would long for the sun to set an moon to rise so that she could break her fast and eat. Her brothers could not see this and in love for their sister one fine Karwa Chauth they created an illusion for her behind the Peepal tree. She fell for her brother’s trick and she followed the rituals to open her fast only to realise that it was a trick. As a repercussion to all this she lost her husband. She veiled and cried the whole night in grief and sorrow. On observing the pain she was going through a goddess appeared and asked her to observe the fast with complete devotion once again and promised to bring back her husband to life.The second version of the story explains that after being tricked by her brothers, Veervati lost her husband. On her way back to see her husband she met Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. As she explained the entire story to the Goddess, Parvati slit her finger and gave the drops of her blood to Veervati only to be given to her husband and get him back to life. Hence making the day more spiritual and sacred. How is it celebrated- Rituals and CeremoniesThe rituals of Karwa Chauth are simple enough for every women to abide to. Women in north observe the a day long fast without having anything to drink or eat. As the sun sets and moon appears, woman looks at the moon through a sieve, prays and then later looks at her husband. The husbands breaks his wives’ fast by feeding hr with a glass of water and sweets. Ladies in the evening gather and pray together reciting a story (Karwa Chuath ki katha) and mantras. While doing this they sit in a circle and rotate the traditional plate(pooja-ki-thaal) seven times in a circular motion. The festival also coincides with the wheat-sowing time i.e., the beginning of the Rabi crop cycle. Big earthen pots in which wheat is stored called Karwa s, are also used in the rituals of the day.

Navy foils piracy attempt on Indian vessel in Gulf of Aden

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Navy’s elite Marcos commandos on Friday foiled a piracy attempt against an Indian carrier with 26 crew members in the Gulf of Aden, a key shipping route near the southern tip of the Red Sea between Somalia and Yemen.The Marocs on board INS Trishul — on an anti-piracy mission — responded quickly and rescued the boat that was targeted by 12 pirates.”The piracy attempt was made on the Indian ship MV Jag Amar at 12:30 pm and the INS Trishul, which was on an anti-piracy deployment in the region, responded immediately,” Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.All 26 Indian crew members on board the Indian ship were safe. The Marcos commandos carried out a swift operation to rescue the 85,000-tonne bulk carrier. An AK 47, one magazine with 27 rounds, ropes, fuel drums and ladders were seized by the commandos.The Navy has been actively engaged in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. In April, it rescued a Liberian vessel, MV Lord Mountbatten, in the Gulf of Aden after helicopter-borne marine commandos fired at the pirates who were attempting to hijack the ship.Earlier this year the Navies of India and China rescued 19 Filipino crew members on board a ship in the Gulf of Aden hijacked by Somali pirates after a 10-hour standoff. Pirates stormed into a foreign merchant vessel registered in Tuvalu, an island nation on the South Pacific. The merchant ship was travelling from Kelang in Malaysia to port city of Aden in Yemen.

Bihar University: Lord Ganesha ‘to write’ commerce exam, Ganpati picture on admit card

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many students pray to Lord Ganesha in the hope of getting good marks. But if we go by an admit card reportedly issued by a university in Bihar, Lord Ganesha himself was to write the examination on behalf of an undergraduate commerce student. The admit card bearing the image and signature of Ganpati was issued to Krishna Kumar Roy by The Lalit Narayan Mithila University (LNMU) in Darbhanga district. Krishna Kumar Roy is a first-year BCom (Hons) student of JN College, Nehera. Lord Ganesha’s picture on the admit card was a sure harassment for Roy, who was forced to meet university staff to get this corrected. Finally, he was allowed to write the university examination which began from October 4, but only after he ended up wasting a lot of time and passing through immense mental trauma.“I had to submit relevant papers and make several rounds of my college for the past one month because of my faulty admit card,” Roy reportedly told after the goof-up. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the university has distanced itself from the controversy. “The mistake was not at our end but that of the cyber cafe where the student had gone to submit his examination form online. At our university, all examination forms have to be submitted online,” LNMU registrar Mustafa Kamal Ansari was reported as saying by the Hindustan Times.According to the registrar, admit card so downloaded needs to be verified and countersigned by the college principal before the candidate is allowed to appear in the exams.

BJP’s bid to cash in on religious tourism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi went on a temple tour in poll-bound Gujarat; how could ‘the god’s own party’ be left behind. The BJP government at the centre has devised a plan to counter Rahul’s ‘soft Hindutva’.While Rahul began his campaign by offering prayers at Dwarkadhish and followed it up by daily visits to temples during his Nav Srijan yatra last week in a state where Lord Krishna is a popular deity; Modi government has chalked out a plan to restore dilapidated Krishna temples in Gujarat and Rajasthan.Working on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea, the list of temples on the Krishna circuit has been carefully prepared. These temples have religious sanctity and quite popular among devotees of Lord Krishna in both Gujarat and Rajasthan. Tourism department has released work order for the first phase of Rs 91crore plan for five temples in Rajasthan.Three months ago funds were released for renovation of Govind Dev ji and other temples in the vicinity, Charan temple at Nahargarh, Srinath ji temple at Nathdwara, Galta ji and Khatu Shyam ji. Pilgrims will get everything and much more than they expect, which includes locker facility, alternative routes, signage, CCTV, Wi-Fi, high mast lights, shopping arcade, light and sound show, cafeteria and shades.The central government has included every place related to Lord Krishna on the Krishna circuit to promote religious tourism. The tourism ministry has transferred Rs 60 crore as first instalment to Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, which has issued tenders and work orders worth Rs 52 crore for Govind Dev ji, Galta ji, Khatu Shyam ji and Srinath ji. The money approved for the project will also be spent on Jai Niwas and Pondrik Park, Kanak Vrindavan.

PM Modi at Red Fort Ground, 5 new Governors, Mumbai Stampede and Mohan Bhagwat: DNA evening must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1: Elphinstone stampede: Piyush Goyal says spend whatever is necessary on safetyA day after Elphinstone train station stampede, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday held a high-level meeting on railway safety in Mumbai. In a series of tweets, Goyal said that ‘We are turning a 150-year-old convention on its head’ making foot over bridge mandatory. dnai.in/f5Sk2: President Kovind appoints 5 new GovernorsPresident Ram Nath Kovind, on Saturday, appointed five new Governors on Saturday. However, hours after the appointments were announced, Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) expressed its dissatisfaction. Speaking to media, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, “Governor is going to act according to the wishes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I don’t think there will be any change in approach.” dnai.in/f5S43: ‘Gau rakshaks’ work within legal framework: Mohan BhagwatRSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat yet again came in support of gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) in his Vijaydashmi speech in Nagpur on Saturday. Addressing the swayamsevaks at the RSS Headquarters, the Sarsanghchalak was seen talking elaborately about cow protection in his over-an-hour long speech. Bhagwat backed the cow vigilantes and said that they worked well within the legal framework and it would be unfair to link them with violence or ‘communal feelings without knowing or neglecting the facts.’ dnai.in/f5S24: At Delhi’s Red Fort Ground, PM Modi calls festivals a way of social educationIn his second ever Dussehra celebrations in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in famed Red Fort event on Saturday. President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu also attended the Dussehra celebration. In his brief address to the crowd, PM Modi said that festivals are a way of social education and that even after thousand years, the stories of Lord Ram give new meaning to the society. dnai.in/f5SL5: Won’t allow single brick for bullet train until Mumbai rail infrastructure is fixed: Raj ThackerayMaharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray raised the pitch for fixing railway infrastructure in Mumbai by threatening to stall work for the Centre’s upcoming bullet train project. “Until the present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for bullet train in Mumbai,” said Raj Thackeray. dnai.in/f5RJ

Maa Durga takes away all negativity, fills us with positivity: Bihar family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the Jaipuriars, the nine-day Navratri festival is all about Mother goddess Durga absorbing their negativity and filling their lives with positivity. The Bihar family that has been living in Navi Mumbai since 1994 has been celebrating Navratri with fervour.”My mother has been doing it for more than 50 years,” says Nawanit Jaipuriar, a 51-year-old chartered accountant, who lives with his mother, wife and two children.”She would bring Kalash at home and continues to read Durga Saptshati, which is about Goddess Durga defeating the demon Mahisashura,” said Nawanit.The family begins the celebration from Mahalaya, which starts after the period in which departed souls are remembered. A metal pot filled with water is kept over a basket and is filled with soil, sand and barley.”Over that, we place rice in a cup. While the metal pot is symbolic of a mother, the coconut is of her husband Lord Shiva. Mother always takes away all our negativity and blesses us with positive ones,” said Rashmi, Nawanit’s wife.Each day, water is sprinkled on the mud and barley for nine days after which a havan (holy fire) concludes the prayer ritual.”We do a puja every day in the morning and evening,” says Nawanit. There is also a tradition of placing clothes, which have changed with the times. “Earlier clothes to be worn on Dashami day would to be placed before the Kalash but now only towels are kept. These are then given to family members,” says Nawanit.While primarily, Goddess Durga and her nine incarnations are worshipped, on the last day, even Lord Ram is remembered.”Vijay Dashami is also celebrated as Dusshera and marks the beginning of the homecoming of Lord Ram after he killed Ravan. Both are victories of good over evil,” says Rashmi.

Ramlilas with a twist in Old Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The entire national Capital is gearing up for the festive season and not to be left behind are the Luv Kush Ramlila Committee and the Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee — two of the biggest Ramlila committtes in old Delhi — which are organising their progrrammes on the Red Fort ground. The Luv Kush Ramlila Committee was launched in 1988 and has since engaged Members of Parliament (MP) and councillors to play characters in the dramatic depiction of the mythological epic, Ramayana. This year, MP of northeast Delhi, Manoj Tiwari, is going to play the role of Angad, and MP of Hoshiyarpur, Vijay Sampla, will be playing the role of Nishad Raj. Nearly 50 film and television actors will also be participating in the Ramlila.Besides, Lucknow-based magician Hasan Kamal Rizvi is going to play the role of Narantak. And he won’t be the only Muslim actor to perform in the Ramlila. Organisers have also planned other cultural activities, such as a daily dance performance by a different troupe. They will also be bringing in beauty pageant winners from more than 56 countries to attract the crowd. To top it all, John Abraham will be the special guest on the occasion of Dussehra, on September 30. The Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, started in 1958, has installed CCTV cameras this year to provide for fool-proof security. The cameras have a high capacity for rotating, so that every activity in the premises can be monitored. It is also broadcasting the ramlila on its Facebook page and Youtube. In fact, this year, the committee has given Ram Baraat a new avatar of a ‘Royal Wedding’, in which the baraat will enter the ground with beautifully accessorised horses and elephants. Also, instead of depicting Lord Ram’s stepmother Kaikeyi as a villain, she will be shown as dead against Ram being sent to the exile. “We are considering a positive role for Kaikeyi, as written in Kadam Rishi’s Ramayana. We are hoping that Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Manmohan Singh will join us at Dussehra to shoot the Ravana with the symbolic arrow,” said Rahul Sharma, Press Secretary of the Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee.Ramlilas began to be organised in Delhi nearly 400 years ago, when Mughal king Shahjahan shifted his Capital from Agra and built Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi. This time, more than 500 small ramlilas are being organised across the city.

President Kovind visits Kedarnath, Badrinath; prays for India’s prosperity and well-being

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ramnath Kovind along with family paid obeisance at the famous Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand today and prayed for the country’s prosperity and well being.Accompanied by Governor K K Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the president along with his wife Savita and other family members arrived at Kedarnath in a MI- 17 at around 8 AM.After getting down at the helipad located behind the high altitude temple amid overcast conditions, the president and his family members took a round of the newly built Kedarpuri in all terrain vehicles to have a look at the reconstruction work.The shrine had witnessed massive devastation in the June 2013 flash floods.After taking a round of Kedarpuri, Kovind and his family worshipped Baba Kedarnath, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country. He spent around 20 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum of the famed temple performing ‘rudrabhishek’ of Lord Shiva.Traditional delicacies of Uttarakhand were offered to the president as ‘prasad’, deputy chief executive officer of the temple committee Anil Sharma said.The president then left for Gauchar where he and his family took rest for a while at the ITBP guest house before setting out for Badrinath.Kovind spent around twenty minutes at Badrinath to offer prayers before leaving for the Jollygrant airport.The president’s visit was smooth even as many parts of Uttarakhand received rain today.Before embarking on his journey to the Himalayan shrines, the president and his wife planted sandalwood saplings at the Raj Bhawan here.The president and his family began their two-day visit to the state yesterday with a visit to the ‘Har Ki Pairi’ in Haridwar.It was the Kovind’s first visit to Uttarakhand after assuming office. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat later thanked the President for visiting the famous Himalayan shrines despite bad weather saying it will go a long way in sending the message of a safe ‘Chardham Yatra’ to the outside world.

Kashmir: 6th Century Lord Shiva stone sculpture unearthed in Harwan

Updated: Sep 24, 2017, 05:18 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Workers dredging a water reservoir stumbled upon a rare one-faced stone sculpture of Lord Shiva dating back to the 6th century CE in Harwan area in the outskirts of Srinagar, an official said on Sunday.The oval-shaped bust is nearly 2.5 feet in height. It has been handed over to the Department of Archives and Archaeology by the police.Mohammad Shafi Zahid, the director of the Archaeology Department, said this was the first time that such a sculpture was discovered in Kashmir.”It is a one-faced sculpture of Shiva of around 6th century CE,” he said.Harwan area is a known heritage site and has archaeological importance. One of the oldest Budhhist sites is also located there.

Cows to planes: Indian ministers who rewrote scientific history

The junior education minister is the latest official to claim unverified Indian scientific inventions.

Dawood Ibrahim wants to surrender, is in talks with Centre for a ‘settlement’, claims Raj Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sensational and stunning claim, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was in talks with the Centre for a surrender. He charged that this would be claimed as an achievement by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for winning the next Lok Sabha polls. The son of a Mumbai police head constable, Dawood attained notoriety as an organised crime lord and smuggler and the kingpin of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts which claimed 257 lives and left over 700 injured. The underworld don is believed to be hiding in Pakistan. “One thing that I have understood is that Dawood Ibrahim wants to come back to India… He is handicapped and wants to die in this land of India. He is hence doing a settlement with the Centre. It is his wish, but they (BJP) will claim they brought Dawood back to India and win the polls on this plank. They will claim that years after the bomb blasts, the Congress could not bring him back, but their man, our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) did this,” claimed Raj. “They will not bring him back, it is his wish,” he added. Raj was speaking on Thursday at the launch of his official Facebook page and said as a cartoonist, he would tell people “what lay between the lines.” In the early 1990s, the Shiv Sena and BJP alliance had promised to bring Dawood to justice in India with senior BJP leader, the late Gopinath Munde claiming they would “get back Dawood in shackles.” Raj also attacked Modi and claimed that his pre-poll promises like bringing back black money to India had not come to reality. He added that hence, the tide on social media was gradually turning against the BJP. Claiming that the Mumbai- Ahmedabad bullet train was meant for Gujaratis in the two cities, Raj questioned why longer routes like Mumbai- Delhi, Mumbai- Chennai or Mumbai- Kolkata had not been chosen for the high-speed network. “There is a dream to merge Mumbai with Gujarat and this is part of that exercise,” he claimed. Opposing any imposition of Hindi, he said while Marathi had a history dating back to the 8th century, that of Hindi was just around 125 years ago. India was also like Europe with each state having a different language, cuisine and festivals. Raj also alleged that the ongoing expansion of the Metro railway network in and around Mumbai was aimed at pushing up real-estate prices to make housing unaffordable for Maharashtrians. “They want to do away with the existence of Maharashtrians,” he claimed, while warning of reprisals. The MNS chief, who had supported Modi’s bid for the Prime Minister’s post, said people had “given him power as they felt something good will happen.” He lashed out at Modi and claimed he took up issues like yoga, Swachh Bharat and now football and discarded them later.

Navratri 2017: Best devotional songs to soak in the festivities of Durga Puja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The festival of Navratri is here and everyone is set to soak in the festivities. Celebrated with full fervour across eastern parts of the country in states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and parts of Assam and Tripura as Durga Puja. Nine nights of feasting, revelry, celebrations and good times awaits everyone.Devotees of Goddess Durga do not fast and they do not abstain themselves from eating non-vegetarian delicacies too, unlike the customs in the states of Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat. What remains common is the devotion with which people pray to the different avatars of the goddess during nine days and nine nights The eastern part of India celebrates Durga Puja and worships the goddess and her nine avatars through pushpanjali every day and only then relish the lavish feasts. According to the popular beliefs, Goddess Durga comes to her maternal home with her children Saraswati, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Kartikeya during Navratris and hence should be welcomed with all kinds of delicacies. That’s the reason enough why devotees in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam do not fast during Navratri.The festival may be celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country, but at the end it just comes down to nine days of festivities. So, here is our list of devotional songs dedicated to Godess Durga which set the mood for Navratri celebrations.
ALSO READ Sharadiya Navratri 2017 Schedule: Ghatasthapna muharat, puja vidhi and all you need to knowJai Ambe Gauri is the main aarti sung for Goddess Durga. This bhajan glorifies the goddess and how she saved the world from asuras Mahishasura, Shumbh and Nishumbh. The bhajan also explains the appearance of Goddess Durga and the weapons that she carries. The bhajan also takes into account the relationship of Goddess Durga or Goddess Amba with that of her husband Lord Shiva.
ALSO READ This Navratri Dalljiet Kaur will be seen in the role of ‘Maa Shakti’ on tellyMahishasura Mardini was an early Bengali radio programme that is played on the mornings of Mahalaya in West Bengal. This has been going on air since 1931 on All India Radio. Birendra Krishna Bhadra is forever immortalised for lending his voice for the two-hour Sanskrit recitation of Mahishasura Mardini on All India Radio Calcutta. His recital of shlokas can give goosebumps to any Godess Durga devotee.Aigiri Nandini Nanditha Medhini is a very popular Durga Devi Stotram and is believed to be penned by Adi Shankracharya sometime around 810 AD. The song is dedicated in praise of the Goddess Durga who kills many demons in her fearsome avatar of Mahishasura Mardini and that explains ten arms adorned with different weapons and lion as her ride.Durga Chalisa is the song that is sung to praise Goddess Durga and most devotees who are fasting or praying to the Goddess during Navratri read this bhajan to appease the goddess. This bhajan praises all the nine forms of the goddess and glorifies them.Ya Devi Sarv Bhuteshu exemplifies the Goddess Durga and salutes the divine power that in inherint in all living beings.This bhajan praises the three flowing channels of energy that is Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Parvati, and Goddess Saraswati. It even talks about how the Holy Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva created Goddess Durga a manifestation of the Supreme Power Adishakti herself.

Hyderabad: Woman with son’s dead body forced to spend night on road after landlord denies entry

Updated: Sep 15, 2017, 01:35 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman, who lost her son due to dengue, was not allowed to bring the dead body inside her rented apartment by her landlord in Hyderabad, Telangana.The incident took place on September 14, when the woman was forced to spend a night on the road with the dead body of her 10-year-old son, allegedly because the landlord didn’t let her in.Terming the incident as sad and shocking, child rights activist, Achoot Rao told ANI that it is a severe violation of the child rights and asserted that she would file a case in the State Human Rights Commission.

Shradh 2017: Significance, puja vidhi, dates; all you need to know

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is always valuable to know your roots. Indians are known for our grand celebrations whether it’s our wedding, birthday, Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Biswakarma Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. We always look for excuses to celebrate any occasion.For the uninitiated, an auspicious period is beginning under the Hindu calendar – Pitru Paksha Shraddh. It is an occasion to pay respects to our ancestors. The 16-days fest started from September 5 and will end on September 19 this year. It is believed that it is during this time our ancestors come down to bestow their blessings upon us. It is the season to pay an ode to those deceased relatives and our forefathers. It is believed Shradh rites help liberate our souls from the circle of life and death.Shradh and its significanceAccording to Hindu mythology, the souls of our previous three generations reside in ‘Pitru Loka’, which is known as the realm between heaven and earth. This realm is headed by the god of death, Yama. It is believed when It is believed that when a person from the next generation dies, the first generation is taken to heaven bringing them closer to God. Only the last three generations in Pitru-Loka are given shradha rites.Before we dive into the rituals of the festival, let us go back to the times even before stone age existed where Gods’ way was the high way.Hindu scriptures during Mahabharata said when Karna died his soul was taken to heaven. Karna, known to be a charitable person, donated gold to the needy ones all his life. When he was sent to Heaven, he was only offered gold and jewels. However, Karna was looking for food to eat and so went on to talk to the lord of heaven, Indra, to enquire about the matter. This is when Indra told Karna that all throughout his life he had donated only gold to his ancestors during shradh, but never food. Soon realising his mistake, Karna said he never knew his ancestors and so he couldn’t decide what to donate in their memory. And Karma was given a chance to amend his mistake and was granted to enter earth to perform shradh rites where he could donate food and water in their memory. Now, this 15-day period was named as Pitru Paksha.Puja ritualsThe puja ritual is usually performed by the eldest son of the family. The ritual is performed after he showers and wear a ring made of ‘kush’ grass. The kush grass is used to invoke ancestors. Pind Daan, the ritual of offering rice, sesame seeds and balls made from barley flour is performed. While performing the holy ritual, three things should be kept in mind – piety, hastiness and anger. Two Brahmins are offered new pair of clothes, fruits, sweets and ‘dakshina” (donation), as part of the offerings. The offerings or the ‘daan’ is believed that whatever is given to the Brahmins it reaches our ancestors. The ritual is believed to keep away any negative shadows and bring happiness to our family. So, let’s celebrate this holy occasion to keep our friends, family, relatives close to our heart and take a moment to bow down to our ancestors who made it possible for us to live a wonderful life!Dates to remember05th September – Purnima Shraddha06th September – Pratipada Shraddha07th September – Dwitiya Shraddha08th September – Tritiya Shraddha09th September – Chaturthi Shraddha10th September – Maha Bharani, Panchami Shraddha11th September – Shashthi Shraddha12th September – Saptami Shraddha13th September – Ashtami Shraddha14th September – Navami Shraddha15th September – Dashami Shraddha16th September – Ekadashi Shraddha17th September – Dwadashi Shraddha, Trayodashi Shraddha18th September – Magha Shraddha, Chaturdashi Shraddha19th September – Sarva Pitru Amavasya

Ayodhya land dispute: SC directs Allahabad HC to appoint new observers in 10 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to appoint new observers in the Ayodhya land dispute matter in the next 10 days.According to preliminary reports the directive was issued after the Allahabad HC informed the apex court that one of the observers had retired, while the second had been elevated to HC.The apex court is scheduled to commence the final hearing in the long-standing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute from December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the structure.The apex court, after an intense deliberation for more than one-and-half-hours, reached a consensus on commencement of the hearing on a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits.The high court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acre area at Ayodhya among the parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla.
ALSO READ Babri demolition case | Proof to frame charges against LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti: CBI courtAnother sect of the Muslims under the banner of Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh recently went to the court offering a solution that a mosque could be built in a Muslim- dominated area at a “reasonable distance” from the disputed site in Ayodhya.However, its intervention has been opposed by the All India Sunni Waqf Board which claimed that judicial adjudication between the two sects had already been done in 1946 by declaring the mosque, which was demolished on December 6, 1992, as that belonging to the Sunnis.
ALSO READ Babri demolition case: Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan surrenders before Ayodhya court, gets bailA specially constituted bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, asked the contesting parties to complete the translation of the exhibits of the documents likely to be relied upon into English within 12 weeks since these were in eight different languages including Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Pali and Arabic.The bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, asked the Uttar Pradesh government to complete within 10 weeks the translation of the evidence recorded for adjudication of the title dispute in the high court into English.
ALSO READ No kurta-pajama stuff: Lawyer’s comment about Subramanian Swamy’s attire heats up Babri land dispute caseThe bench made it clear that the parties would have to strictly adhere to the time frame fixed by it and that no adjournment would be given under any circumstance.The top court said it would not allow the matter to take any shape other than the civil appeals and would adopt the same procedure as was done by the high court.It said it would strictly go by the Civil Procedure Code and the Evidence Act.Senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Lord Ram Lalla and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP government, pressed for early hearing of the matter, but senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Anoop George Chaudhari, Rajeev Dhavan and Sushil Jain, representing other parties including All India Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara, were not in favour of commencement of the hearing before January next year.Sibal even said that it was a serious matter and the hearing should not be started in haste.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, an intervener in the matter, made an attempt to raise the issue of the fundamental right of religion of the Hindus under Article 25 of the Constitution.He said during the adjudication of the matter he would like to make out a case that the fundamental right should get precedence over the property right.However, the bench made it clear that it would first hear the main appellants and respondents in the case which involved the parties like — Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla.A major part of the deliberations revolved around the issue of completion of the pleadings as the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara took a tough stand that till the entire set of documents was translated, the hearing should not commence.Their stand was strongly opposed by the counsel for Lord Ram Lalla and the UP government which said that almost seven years have passed since the judgement of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court and the contesting parties should have completed the translation work earlier.However, the counsel for the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board submitted that the documents, including the judgement running into 9,000 pages, had come to them only an year ago and they would take at least four months to complete the translation work.They also opposed a suggestion of the bench and senior counsel representing Ram Lalla, the UP government and others that the parties relying on relevant documents themselves place the translation of the extracts of the exhibits, saying that all documents should be referred to official translators.The bench said the parties themselves would translate the required documents and in case of any dispute it would examine it at the relevant time.The apex court also allowed the substitute names of appellants and respondents in case those who were originally involved had died by their legal heirs or representatives and said that the same could be made known through public notice in leading dailies both in English and vernacular languages in the area concerned.While the bench was considering a framework completion the pleadings to commence the final hearing, Sibal stressed on following of the stipulated procedure by asking it not to circumvent the process.He went to the extent of saying that “the judges were donning the role of registrars”.However, the bench said it was doing so as the parties have not allowed the registrar to complete the formalities.Many of the original plantiffs and defendants in the matter including Mohd Hashim, who was the first person to take the matter to the apex court, have died.A battery of senior advocates including Vikas Singh, Shyam Divan, UP Advocate General Raghvendra Singh, Huzefa Ahmadi appeared for appellants and intervenors in the matter.A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Hourt, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.On July 21, a bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, had said that it would soon take a decision to list the matter for early hearing.The court’s remark had come on a plea of BJP leader Swamy who sought urgent hearing of the matter.Swamy had said the main appeals against the Allahabad High Court order were pending for the last seven years in the apex court and these required urgent hearing.He had also said that a separate petition was earlier filed by him seeking enforcement of his right to worship without “much hassle” at the site.

Builder buys 1 kg gold for Rs 31.35 lakh at Lalbaugcha Raja auction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chetan Joshi, a builder by profession, bought the most expensive article offered by a devotee to Lalbaugcha Raja this year. He bid the one kg gold biscuit for Rs 31.35 lakh. After its purchase, the total auction amount at Lalbaugcha Raja this year stood at Rs 97,96,500.”In 2016, the auction amount stood at Rs 1.5 crore, collected from over 225 articles of which the total weight of gold was 5 kg, and that of silver was 80 kg,” said Mahesh Jadhav, treasurer of the mandal.This year, there were 125 articles offered, which mandal officials said probably fell due to the rains. Only 82 were auctioned. Of these, the total gold weighed 5.5 kg, while silver weighed 75 kg. Besides the one kilogram gold brick, there were two gold idols of Lord Ganpati and Goddess Lakshmi collectively weighing over 1.1kg. The Ganpati weighing .587 kg was bid at Rs 15.60 lakh, while the Lakshmi idol weighing .517 kg was bid for Rs 15.60 lakh. There were also two gold chains around .250 kg. Offerings this year also saw notes banned from circulation post demonitisation. They stood at Rs 1.30 lakh. Articles not auctioned due to lack of time, mandal organisers say will be auctioned on Monday amongst themselves, said Jadhav.Sudhir Salvi, secretary of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshutsav Mandal said, “We will ask our chartered accountant what to do with these (banned) notes. The decision will be taken tomorrow.”Those present said the crowd that comes for auction was less compared to previous years. This is despite the fact that the auction was for one day, as compared to more than one day earlier. Members of the Samiti said it was due to demonitisation.However, that was in no way an indicator of the enthusiasm of devotees participating in the auction. “I have been coming every year for the last six years. I feel that whatever I am taking from here is prasad of the Lord,” said Jyoti Bhaktha, who purchased a 12 gram gold chain for Rs 50,000.While she purchased just one article, some others purchased multiple ones. Rahul Upadhyay was one who did. After purchasibg a gold chain, he purchased a silver-plated sword. “I have been coming here for the past 10 years.It is god’s blessings that I take home with me,” said Upadhyay.Those like Dimple Thakkar, who had come to buy a house, missed out on it. “Someone bid for the house higher than I did. Since I had come for first time, I took 10g modaks as prasad from him,’ said Dimple Thakkar. “I now want them to put up more gold modak’s for auction as my mother and brother also want them,” she added.Auction 2017Members of the samiti said that due to demonitisation, the crowd was less compared to the previous year, which saw 225 articles auctionedArticles not auctioned due to lack of time, mandal organisers say will be auctioned on Monday among themselves, said Jadhav

India Mumbai blasts 1993: Two sentenced to death

The bombs killed 257 people and were allegedly to avenge the killing of Muslims in riots.

Visarjan: Clean-up drive in full swing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As devotees bid farewell to Lord Ganesha after the final day of immersion, more than 500 volunteers, including college and school students as well as residents, visited the Juhu beach area with an aim to do their bit and help clean the beach.Among the youngsters helping BMC workers were Bollywood actors Dia Mirza and Vivek Oberoi along with TV actors Rochelle Rao, Keith Sequeira and singer Kavita Paudwal, who participated in the clean-up initiative drive at Juhu along with DNA volunteers.Actress Dia Mirza, said, “After the last day of immersion, the shabby state of the beach is an eye sore. Citizens must celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly way. It is good to see youngsters coming forward to help clean up the beach. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the awareness level of eco-friendly Ganesha.”Model and anchor Rochelle Rao said that DNA and other organisations have been doing an amazing job in bringing citizens together to clean up the beach while actor Keith Sequeira said, “It should be a part of the process. The condition of the beach shows how important education and awareness is. We should respect the beach. It is part of our heritage; We should take up the responsibility of cleaning it up.”350-400 metric tonne of garbage was collected at the clean-up and it took the garbage trucks 40 trips from Juhu to the dump yard.Larson Fernandes founder of Juhu Angels NGO, and operation manager with ISS facility services India, said, “Every year, more than 2,000-2,500 metric tonne of garbage is generated after Ganesh immersion. We have been helping the civic authorities clean up the beach for the past eight years. Corporator Aneesh Makwaney has also been actively involved in the beach cleaning effort.”

City’s visarjan noise levels hit all-time high

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbaikars made sure that the Supreme Court stay on a High Court order restoring silence zones is made proper use of in the city when they bid a cacophonous farewell to Lord Ganesha on Tuesday.Noise-level readings carried out by Awaaz Foundation recorded the maximum noise level at 119.8dB during this year’s Ganpati visarjan compared to 116.4dB in 2016.Of the 25 locations in the city where noise levels were recorded, Dadar topped the charts at 83dB, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officials said. Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation, said noise levels outside some major hospitals were extremely high and that there was extensive use of noisy firecrackers.“While there was less use of DJs, brass bands and drums were used throughout the city. Metal cylinders beaten with metal hammers were used extensively,” she said.Anti-noise pollution activists have asked for a complete ban on firecrackers and beating of metal plates, which are the biggest contributor to noise pollution.MPCB joint director V M Motghare said that the noise levels had come down compared to last year as fewer DJ were seen with loudspeakers. “The noise levels is still a concern but there has been a lot of awareness which is showing on the ground as people are preferring less noisy processions,” he said.

Thailand residents immerse Ganpati idols in the city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, on Tuesday, Ganpati idols worshiped by Thailand residents were immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) had hosted 500 foreign tourists at Girgaum Chowpatty, giving them an opportunity to study the culture of Maharashtra.Priti Jaidee, a resident of Thailand, brought her handmade clay-based Ganesha idols. Accompanied with 50 other tourists from the Ganesh Museum in Thailand, the devotees of Lord Ganesha visited various temples across the country in the last 12 days, and reached Mumbai on the day of the immersion. Lord Ganesha is widely worshipped in Bangkok and Thailand. Several temples have been dedicated to the Elephant God.”We believe that Lord Ganesha has a a lot of power to create and destroy the universe. We are his ardent followers. We made clay idols so that we can pray and talk to people about Ganpati. I am happy that we could immerse our Ganpati idols in Mumbai,” said Jaidee.”The biggest festival has to be celebrated in a very lavish way. We have gathered here for peace and harmony between two countries.

Ganpati mandals to lend helping hand to underprivileged children in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City-based Ganpati mandals and individual households are trying to help under privileged children.A Tardeo resident circulated a message to donate stationery as prasad to the Lord Ganesha rather than offering sweets. The idea was to further distribute the stationery to city-based needy children from an NGO.Kruttik Parekh, a resident of Tardeo, said, “We believe that celebrating Ganeshotsav in an eco–friendly way is the need of the hour. Every year we keep eco-friendly Ganesha as our theme but this year we wanted to take it a step further by donating study material and stationery to underprivileged children. We are spreading the message among the guests visiting our house to offer notebooks, pens or pencils instead of offering any kind of prasad, flowers and money. Through our drive, we intend to reach out to maximum students and help them in their education.”A Lalbaug-based Ganpati mandal recently distributed school aid to the children of farmers in Marathwada. Members of GD Ambekar Marg (Kalewadi) Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal this year have planned to show the Ganpati idols in Lalbaug to the children. Ramesh Kale, chairman of the mandal, said, “The children have never seen Ganpati idols in Lalbaug area. The mandal has made arrangements to bring around 40 children from the Marathwada region to Lalbaugh and we will be showing them the Ganesh idols from various mandals in the area.”

RSS meet to start today, Ayodhya not on agenda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided not to raise the Ram temple issue during its three-day meeting that starts in Mathura’s Vrindavan on Friday. The ideological mentor of the ruling BJP has instead decided to focus on economic and security challenges, besides better coordination with the government.The All-India Coordination Committee meeting will be attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, besides Sangh affiliates such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.”Since the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, Ram temple is not on the agenda for discussion,” said RSS Spokesperson MM Vaidya. He said that the country was facing many security and economic challenges, and the RSS meet would seek valuable suggestions from its frontal organisations on both issues.The Supreme Court agreed last month to give an early hearing to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case. The case has been pending before the apex court since 2010 after the Allahabad High Court divided the disputed land equally between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board.In March, the top court had said that fresh attempts must be made by all parties for an out-of court settlement. The BJP’s stated position is that temple construction should be done in a legal manner after mutual dialogue.The RSS meet is also likely to discuss strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Supreme Court’s verdict on instant triple talaq and its “positive” impact in the Muslim community may also come up for discussion.”It is a routine meeting which is generally held twice a year. Since the media is always curious about any RSS meeting, we are officially spelling out the agenda,” said Vaidya.The Babri mosque was demolished by karsevaks, who claimed it was built on Lord Ram’s birthplace, on December 6, 1992, sparking one of India’s worst communal riots. Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and others are facing trial for criminal conspiracy.The site — comprising 2.7 acres — remains disputed and a potent religious and political flashpoint. VHP has, however, announced it will hold a meeting in the first week of September to finalise the date for construction.

Thane pandal gives seed ‘bombs’ as prasad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This year, a Thane-based Ganpati mandal is urging devotees to shun firecrackers and instead “burst” seed bombs. Shreerang Sahanivas Ganeshotsav Mandal is distributing seed bombs as prasad to devotees visiting their pandal.Seeds of custard Apple, Balsam, pumpkin, sweet lime, lemon, chickoo, cashew nut, tamarind, bullet wood, and dates are rolled into balls of clay and later handed over to the devotees to be planted in their neighbourhood garden or at their homes.So far, the mandal has created 8,000 such clay balls. During the next few days, another 25,000 seeds will be converted into seed bombs to be distributed during the festival.”We believe in a clean and green environment, and so this year we decided to distribute seed bombs to devotees as prasad, which they could plant,” said Pramod Sawant, President, Shreerang Sahanivas Ganeshotsav Mandal.”The seeds were collected through various means, and school students volunteered to convert them into seed bombs. We have received a good response to this initiative,” Sawant said.Omkar Patne, Joint Secretary of the mandal, said, “When devotees visit the pandal to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha, we ensure that everyone takes back home a message of eco-friendly Ganesha and celebrating the festival without affecting the environment.”

India is Nepal’s most important partner PM Deuba

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is currently on a five-day state visit to India, has dubbed India as “an important partner in hardships,” saying that Nepal considers trust as a pre-requisite to the relations with neighbouring countries. “People of Nepal believes in Panchsheel?the five principles of peaceful co-existence -that are derived from the teachings of Lord Buddha, provides an enduring framework for managing harmonious interstate relations. I believe these principles make meaningful contributions in promoting peace, stability, security and development,” Deuba said while speaking at a foundation event. “Nepal’s Foreign Policy priority towards its neighbours is that we consider trust as a pre-requisite to the relations. India-Nepal ties are unique in character and people of two countries share a special bond and affinity,” Deuba noted. “India is one of our most important partner and friend in hardships, need and people of Nepal are grateful of India’s generous support. We also shares regional and global platforms as Nepal aspires to grow together with SAARC countries,” he continued. Prime Minister Deuba further noted that for many reasons, including the open border, Nepal and India have had important and significant relations. He also expressed gratitude towards the continued solidarity, goodwill and support extended by India to the socio-economic development endeavours of Nepal. “From Ayodhya to Janakpur ,Pashupatinath temple to Kashi Vishwanath temple, Lumbini to Bodhgaya sister-city relations will enable the Nepalese and Indian cities to promote cultural exchange, sharing of knowledge and expertise as well as develop stronger people-to- people relations between them,” Deuba said. He added, “Given the mutual trust across wide spectrum, Nepal would never allow any activities against friendly neighbour India and there would be every support and cooperation from our side.” He also expressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi special gratitude for the concern shown towards timely completion of the power transmission lines, Pancheswar project and other projects running with the support of the Indian government in Nepal. PM Deuba said that Nepal was now looking forward to foreign direct investment in its water resources, tourism and other sectors as it moves ahead in the phase of economic development following political stability, with the implementation of the new constitution. Also speaking at the press conference, Prime Minister Modi said that India was ever ready to support the greater development of Nepal and is always in favour of a prosperous and peaceful Nepal. Making a short speech in Nepali language at the onset, he said, “We are very happy to welcome Nepal’s Prime Minister and the Nepali delegation to India.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ganesh Chaturthi 2017: Here are 13 WhatsApp messages you can send loved ones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s that time of the year again. Everyone’s favourite elephant God will be brought into various homes and pandals and thousands of people will throng to get a good darshan. Ganesha, the obstacle defeater and the Lord of Bliss, will guide us through all our turbulence and show us the light.Here are some WhatsApp messages you can send your loved ones this Ganesh Chaturthi1. May Lord Ganesh bring you good luck and prosperity! Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi.2. I wish you Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and I pray to God for your prosperous life. May you find all the delights of life, may your all dreams come true.
ALSO READ Ganesh Chaturthi 2017: Muhurat, puja vidhi, and all you need to know about the festival3. Lord Ganesh is our mentor and protector / May He enrich your life / by always giving you great beginnings and removing obstacles from your life.4. May Lord Ganesha bless you with worldly bounties and keep you and your family protected from obstacles at all times! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!5. May the destroyer of evil grace you with peace and love; / And blessings be showered upon you from heaven up above! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!6. May Lord Ganesh shower you with success in all your endeavours. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.7. I know that Ganesha is happy with me… for he has made my life so rich with a friend like you. Jai Shri Ganesh.8. This is a special time when family, and friends get together, for fun. Wishing laughter and fun to cheer your days, in this festive season of Ganesha Puja and always! Happy Ganesh Puja.9. Jay Shree Ganeshay namah / Ganapati Bappa Morya / Mangalmurti Moraya / Saglya mitrana mazya kadun. Happy Ganesh Puja!​10. I wish you very Happy Gowri Ganesha and I pray to Ganesh Chaturthi for your wonderful life ahead. And that, all your dreams come true.11. May this “Ganesh Chaturthi” be the start of a year of happiness in your life. Lord Ganesha fills your home with prosperity and fortune! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!12. Gajanana Shri Ganaraya aadi Vandu tujhe Moraya. Ganpati Bappa Morya! Mangal Murti Morya Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!13. May Lord Ganesha filled your home with joy and happiness. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut likens Jain Guru to ‘a terrorist like Zakir Naik’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut on Wednesday accused Jain Guru Nayapadma Sagar Ji Maharaj of spreading hate in society, and likened him to the banned Salafi evangelist Zakir Naik. ?He (Nayapadma Sagar) is a terrorist like Zakir Naik, who propagates violence on the pretext of religion and uses the language of terrorism. Such a person cannot be a religious preacher,? Raut told ANI, adding that the Jain Guru is bringing disrepute to the Jain religion. The Shiv Sena had raised its voice against Zakir Naik, Raut said, ?because he creates rift within the society, and tries to convert Muslim men into terrorists.? Clearing the air that he does not harbour ill thoughts towards the Jain religion, Raut recalled the Jain preacher Lord Mahavir, and said that he sent out a message of peace and patience to the country, but Nayapadma Sagar on the other hand ?has tried to change the meaning of the Jain religion? and that the religion is not like that.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC notice to govt on arrangements for Vinayaka Chathurthi fest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today issued notice to the state government on the issue of arrangements for installing idols of Lord Vinayaka and their immersion in view of Vinayaka Chathurthi festival, which falls on August 25. A division bench, comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice M Sundar, directed to tag a fresh PIL filed with regard to installation of idols of the elephant God with a similar plea filed earlier on energy theft to August 23. The judges issued notice to the state government on the plea pertaining to installation of Vinayakar idols on August 25 and their immersion on September 3. They also orally directed the Additional Advocate General to submit details of the permission given for installation and immersion of idols as also the Bakrid festival which falls on September 2. The petitioner, one M Subash, submitted that many local groups and political parties had circulated pamphlets with regard to installation of Vinayagar idols throughout the city followed by ten days of pooja. He further said despite the Pollution Control Board’s circular, idols in various sizes were made of Plaster of Paris and other material and their immersion in the sea results in polluting the waters. The petitioner further submitted that there was no restriction on installation of idols near mosques/churches/temples which could lead to communal tension. Hence, he prayed for a direction on framing guidelines by authorities on safeguarding environment and ensuring communal peace. Also, the PIL sought a direction on restriction on number of idols displayed on number of days and a direction to conduct the procession and immersion on August 27 (Sunday) for the purpose of maintenance of communal peace and tranquility.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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