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Nitish must have realised by now that his 'ghar wapsi' has not helped him
Amulya Ganguli, Nitish Kumar must have realised by now that his 'ghar wapsi' hasn't helped him. The BJP is treating him more like an unwanted guest than the repentant prodigal son.The Bihar Chief Minister's sense of being redundant in the BJP's scheme of things is likely to intensify in view of the reports that the BJP intends to contest 25 of the 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar in 2019, leaving a paltry nine to the Janata Dal-United.Of the remaining six, the BJP is considering giving four to the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, another somewhat morose camp follower of the saffron brotherhood, and two to Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).If this kind of seat-sharing really does take place, then Sharad Yadav may well have the last laugh. His glee will be shared by Lalu Prasad for more than one reason.First, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader knows that he will be able to present the downsizing of Nitish Kumar in the saffron camp as an insult to Bihar.Second...




Pehlu Khan Lynching & Batla House Encounter
Salman Sultan, Pehlu Khan was transporting milch cattle, bought in a genuine purchase, when he was accosted by so-called ‘Gau Rakshaks’ who took law into their hands and clobbered Pehlu Khan into a dead body in front of his son. In a CID-CB enquiry, Police officials could not find evidence of the presence of accused named in, nonetheless, a dying declaration of Pehlu Khan. As per enquiry, accused could not be located (cell phone data) in time and space with the place of gruesome murder. In a TV report, it was told that the Cows belonging to Pehlu Khan is now in possession of one of the accused who maintains a Cow shelter. Therefore, a daring theft preceded the murder. The enquiry has not bothered to explain presence of Cows belonging to Pehlu Khan in Shri Rath Sarvajanik Gaushala of Dahmi village, owned by one of the alleged assailant ‘Jagmal Yadav’.   Time and again these so-called ‘Gau Rakshaks’ have taken law into their hands in the name o...




Indian Muslims Should Embrace Triple Talaq Verdict
Frank F. Islam, On August 22, the Supreme Court ruled that triple talaq -- the practice which allows a man to divorce his wife instantly by saying the word talaq thrice -- is unconstitutional. Predictably, the ruling was denounced by a number of Muslim leaders and organisations. Some interpreted it as an attack on their religion and way of life. Others saw a conspiracy angle in the importance given to an issue.This perspective is desperate and distorted. This perspective is not only wrong but also wrong-headed, misplaced and misguided.I applaud this judgement because I strongly believe that Muslim instant divorce is illegal and incorrect in many ways. Instant divorce is deplorable, disgraceful and shameful. In addition, it is demeaning, demonising, disheartening and demoralising to Indian Muslim women.Most importantly, as one of the judges pointed out, triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Quran. Recognising this, many Islamic countries, including two of India's large Muslim ...




Emperor Ashoka and Persecuted Rohingyas
Salman Sultan, Emperor Ashoka ascended Magadhan throne as new Maurya ruler in 273 B.C. Following the policy of Magadhan Kings of aggression and conquest, Ashoka invaded Kalinga in the ninth year of his reign. Though Ashoka was victorious inflicting heavy casualties on Kalingans but witnessing the horrific effect of his conquest made him regret. His heart was filled with sorrow and despair. Consequently, he relinquished the policy of aggression and conquest in favour of peace and non-violence. To repent his deeds resulting in such devastation of Kalingans, Ashoka turned to Buddhism.   As per legend Siddharta Gautama born (623 B.C) into a ruling caste family was protected by his father to such an extent that he never witnessed suffering of people. However, one day he wandered into a park area of his kingdom where he was impressed by the calm and composure of a sage who was consoling suffering people and has even kept himself composed while passing through a corpse. Siddharta ...




India Must not Be Seen to be Uncaring about Rohingyas
Amulya Ganguli, The Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, is looking for a round of applause for not driving the Rohingya refugees in India into the sea or shooting them; all that he wants is their deportation.It is, however, doubtful whether the process of exiling them will be uncomplicated since it is bound to raise humanitarian concerns in India and elsewhere.It is not easy to harshly deny shelter to a group which has had to leave their own country, viz, Myanmar, in dire circumstances.Rijiju probably believes that branding them as potential terrorists since they are Muslims will be persuasive enough. But it is not an argument which will be readily accepted.Moreover, the issue of deportation has been complicated by, first, Myanmar's reluctance to accept them and, secondly, by the unwillingness of the emigrants themselves to return to a "home" which they no longer consider safe in view of the recent army actions against them.Even if the Myanmar army was targeting t...




Demonetisation Was a Catastrophe: Marc Faber
New Delhi, Sep 8: Demonetisation was a catastrophe which couldn't achieve the objectives it aimed for, Marc  Faber, editor and publisher of economic and financial publication 'The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report', said on Friday."We all know demonetisation has been a catastrophe. It didn't achieve its objectives. It could have been done in a benign way, giving a period of six months wherein old notes could be exchanged so that nobody suffered," Faber told BTVi in an interview.He said that the move was based on academics wherein the people in the government had no clue of how the market functioned.Faber said the note ban did aim at targeting organised crime, which gets a boost from abundance of cash. But they too have other means to lend out money these days, he added.Touching upon the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said that the rates are quite high under the new indirect tax regime, which would encourage black marketing.Demonetisation and GST roll-out also affected India'...




India Should Take Humane View of Rohingya Refugees
Bawa Singh, Given its rich mineral resources, historical and civilisational ties and strategic location, sharing maritime and land borders, Myanmar holds a pivotal position in India's Act East policy. However, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have become a serious security concern not only for Myanmar, India and Bangladesh, but for the entire region.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in Myanmar (September 5-7). The Rohingya refugee issue is likely to be taken up during his discussions to resolve this shadow over bilateral and regional security.Rohingya refugees have serious security implications for Southeast and South Asia given their vulnerabilities, allowing many to be picked up by terrorist groups. According to the Human Rights Watch Report 2017, the ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar has been on since June 2012. It has become the most serious and widespread form of violence against the Rohingyas.Operations carried out by government security forces against Rohingyas led to g...




US Needs A Comprehensive, Strategic Immigration System To Revitalize Itself
Frank F. Islam, There is no question that our current immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. It's been that way for some time.  During 2013, Congress spent a considerable amount of talent and energy trying to find an approach to immigration reform that was workable. The Senate managed to pass a bi-partisan bill but things ground to a halt in the House.  Since then, there has been a lot of talk but no real action on immigration reform. Deportations of illegal immigrants have gone up. "Building a wall" became one of the primary talking points of the presidential primaries and campaign. But nothing has changed from a substantive or policy standpoint.  Now, Donald Trump has put forward an immigration proposal titled Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (Raise Act or Act) which calls for a shift to a skills-based immigration system from a family-based immigration system.  The Raise Act has caused qui...




56% Americans Say Trump 'Tearing the Country Apart'
Washington, Aug 31: Fifty six per cent of Americans have said that they believed President Donald Trump was "tearing the country apart" instead of drawing people together, according to a new poll.While the findings are sharply divided along partisan lines - with 15 per cent of Republicans describing Trump as "tearing the country apart" and a whopping 93 per cent of Democrats saying he is - only 33 per cent of voters overall said they believe the president is "drawing the country together", the Fox News poll revealed on Wednesday.The findings underscore a string of increasingly negative perceptions of the Trump White House, which continues to register low ratings on a wide array of issues, including its handling of North Korea, Russia, the environment, health care and race relations, with a majority of voters registering disapproval of each, reports Politico news.A majority of voters did not approve of Trump's handling of any of the major policy areas cover...




About 6 Months as CM, Yet Yogi Doesn't Want to Contest Assembly Poll
IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, Aug 30: Before 19th September, Yogi Adityanath will have to become member of the state Assembly or Council to continue as Chief Minister. Though more than five months have passed since he assumed charge of CM, he is still Member of Lok Sabha from Gorakhpur and has not contested state legislative poll.   Media reports say that he has decided to contest election for state Legislative Council to fulfil the constitutional requirement of being member of either house of the state legislature.   Whenever a sitting CM opts Legislative Council rather than Legislative Assembly, it is said that he does not want to take any risk. A member of Legislative Assembly is elected by common public. Yogi has spent more than five months in office, but some incidents of law and order and recent killing of children at the state-run Gorakhpur hospital has hit his image.   Yogi is not alone who is opting the path of Legislative Council to continue as chief mini...




Khattar's 'Good Governance' Fails Haryana Yet Again
In nearly three years in power, Khattar has hardly done anything remarkable for the state, even though he recently made big claims on completing 1,000 days in office.By Jaideep Sarin,Chandigarh, Aug 26: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has once again failed the state.Blame it on his lack of experience in political life and administration or his utter lack of grip on the government that he heads, Khattar has come a cropper when it comes to dealing with law and order situations, especially the ones that put the life and property of the common people in Haryana to risk.The mayhem and arson by Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) followers in Panchkula town on Friday, just minutes after the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted for the rape and sexual exploitation of two female disciples in 2002, which left 31 people dead and nearly 250 others injured, has put Khattar in a politically precarious position on holding on to his chair.Khattar's name has virtually become synonymous wit...




Grossly Misplaced Patriotic Fervor
Salman Sultan,What is happening in Uttar Pradesh and with our Railways? While scores of innocent lives were callously extinguished even before they could properly open their eyes to see this beautiful world and specially our unique country with abundant flora and fauna, the government instead of acknowledging shortcomings on its part was in denial mode. One of them even went to the extent of making these grave infantile hospital deaths look insignificant citing common occurrence of such deaths in previous years. It is common knowledge that unhygienic environment due to poor sanitary conditions is compounded by stray animals roaming on our city streets.  “Japanese B. encephalitis (JBE) is caused by a virus (a member of the flavivirus group) which is spread by mosquitoes. The pig is the natural amplifier and reservoir host. In other words it serves to multiply up the virus and keep it going. Many other species can be infected including most domestic animals and many wild ...




Modi's Inclusive Call: Need for Religious Leaders to Build Bridges
Frank F. Islam,  As India celebrates its 71st Independence Day, it must remember the sacrifices made by leaders of the freedom movement. It was their vision, idealism, commitment to democracy, secularism and pluralism that made India an exceptional nation in the world.India's commitment to secularism and rule of law is unmatched and unparalleled. But, unfortunately, over the past several months, violent acts carried out by some members of right-wing groups posing themselves as cow vigilantes have resulted in the death of more than 20 people.Any type of violence that is grounded in hatred, bigotry, harassment, misunderstanding and ignorance does not represent the character and conscience of a country that has been a shining symbol of democracy, diversity and secularism around the globe. The violence and polarisation are contrary to the nation's values. This type of intolerant and ugly behaviour by some individuals is against India's traditions and commitment to communal peace and h...




Irony of history: From Angrez-mukt in 1942 to Congress-mukt in 2017
Amulya Ganguli, On August 31, 1942, Lord Linlithgow wrote to Winston Churchill: "I am engaged here in meeting by far the most serious rebellion since that of 1857, the gravity and extent of which we have so far concealed from the world for reasons of military security."It wasn't until the beginning of the following year that the British were able to quell the uprising caused by the Congress's call on August 9 to the British to quit India, but not before the colonial rulers had had to use 57 battalions against the rebels and the administration had broken down in large parts of Bihar and what is now eastern UP.The British blamed the Congress for the violence, but one probable reason for the attacks on railways stations and the cutting of telegraph wires was the incarceration of virtually the entire Congress leadership which left no one in the field to control and guide the mobs.Some historians have pointed out, however, that this wasn't the first instance of the Congress's abse...




Will House of Elders elect Father of the Nation's grandson as Vice President?
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, August 5: The answer of the question will be out in the evening today as voting for the Vice President of India has just started in the Rajya Sabha or Upper House or House of Elders. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi's son Devdas, is pitted against senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. The term of sitting Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha is ending on 10th of August. Former diplomat, civil servant and governor Gopalkrishna is contesting as Opposition's candidate against former BJP president and veteran parliamentarian Naidu.   MPs queued up outside Parliament House on Saturday to elect the country's next Vice President, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being the first to cast his vote.   The voting began at 10 a.m.   The counting of votes will be done in the evening. The results would be announced later on Saturday.   NDA candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu is contesting against Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gan...




How CPI-M Would Err by not Resending Yechury to Rajya Sabha
Mumtaz Alam, New Delhi, July 29: Sitaram Yechury is one of the very few members who have spoken strongly and impressively from the Opposition benches in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament, for over one decade. But when BJP is sending its two strong speakers – Smriti Irani and Amit Shah – to the House, Yechury’s party CPI-M has reportedly decided not to resend him, and it will be a big mistake that the communist party is going to commit. Rajya Sabha is not a place just to count heads when required. It is the national platform to put across your views powerfully and to take on your opponents. According to media reports, the CPI-M’s Central Committee has decided that party General Secretary and two-time Member of Rajya Sabha Sitaram Yechury will not be fielded again as a candidate from West Bengal for three reasons: The party does not have required strength and does not hope Congress will support it; The Kerala unit of CPI-M has opposed...




The Mistakes Which Nitish Has Made
Nitish Kumar is teaming up, therefore, with a party whose pursuit of Hindutva and ultra-nationalism is far more aggressive at present than in the time of Vajpayee and Advani. Amulya Ganguli, Nitish Kumar may have won the trust vote in the Bihar legislature, but he is now weaker than what he was during his earlier stint as the Chief Minister. At that time, he had become a larger than life figure because of his success in controlling lawlessness in the state and preparing the ground for development. As a result, he was even seen as a possible player on the national stage.But that aura is gone. The reason is his journey from the "communal" to the "secular" camp and back. Had he moved in only one direction, he would have appeared more straightforward than at present. But trips back and forth tend to undermine a politician's credibility. He is seen then as an opportunist on the lookout for the best chance.If he had wanted to retain his trustworthiness in the wake ...




Assam Congress Chief Writes to Rajnath Seeking Action Against VHP, Bajrang Dal for "Imparting Arms Training"
New Delhi, July 28: The Congress' Assam unit chief, Ripun Bora, said on Friday he had urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to action against the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for "imparting arms training to their workers" in the state.The Rajya Sabha MP told the media here that he had written to Rajnath Singh to demand a high-level inquiry into what he called the unlawful activity of the two organisations that were dangerous to people's lives.He demanded steps to prevent such training in future in the state.In his letter dated July 26, released to the media on Friday, Bora said the Bajrang Dal and VHP, as part of their organisational work in Assam, recently imparted arms traning to their workers at Nalbari and Hojai respectively by violating the law.Bora said he had sent along a video footage of arms training imparted to Bajrang Dal volunteers and women volunteers of 'Durga Vahini' of the VHP.He said the footage had since been aired in electronic media in Assam but...




The Grand Immoral Act of 'Honest' Nitish Kumar
He would have become hero if he had sat home after resignation and not resumed alliance in supersonic way with a party he fought last election against Mumtaz Alam, IndiaTomorrow.net, Patna, July 27: The ‘Vikas Purush’ of Bihar Nitish Kumar had led his party JD-U to 44 seats loss in the 2015 Assembly elections despite being CM for over a decade and the party slipped from No. 1 position of 2010 to No. 2, yet his face was saved by the Grand Alliance partners RJD and Congress who elected him as Chief Minister. They did so because he was their declared chief ministerial candidate during the poll campaign even though his party’s tally slipped from 115 seats in 2010 to just 71 in the 243-member Assembly in 2015.   Not just that, the party he resumed alliance with last midnight even though he had contested against it had also performed poorly. BJP had won 91 seats in 2010 but was reduced to 53 in 2015 and finished at No. 3.   On the other hand, N...




Khattar Pats Self for 1,000 Days in Office, Others Not Impressed
Khattar, in these 1,000 days, has visited the US, Canada, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore to attract investment to Haryana. Not many of the hyped investment proposals have seen the light of day so far.Jaideep Sarin,Chandigarh, July 27: The first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is patting itself on its back for having completed 1,000 days in office and highlighting its achievements. But not many, especially the opposition, are impressed by the claims.While the Khattar government is upbeat about "ushering in an era of change in the state by giving people transparent, graft-free and responsive administration, divorcing growth from regional and political bias and showing discretion and nepotism the gate in recruitment to various posts", opposition leaders and people on the ground are taking the claims with a pinch of salt.Opposition Congress leaders are pointing out that Khattar and his government have nothing ...




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