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BJP Using PMO to Destabilise Tripura: CPI-M Chief Whip
Averring that the BJP was trying to exploit the current situation in Tripura to expand its footprint in the northeast region, Choudhury, a former state minister, said the saffron party is tying up with local parties such as the IPFT to destabilise the state government.Rupesh Dutta,New Delhi, July 26: With the Centre promising negotiations with leaders of the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) -- organisers of the recent 10-day-long economic blockade demanding a separate state for the tribals of Tripura -- CPI(M) senior leader Jitendra Choudhury has accused the BJP of using "unethical and undemocratic" means to destabilise the state.Choudhury, CPI-M Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha, also took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it was using the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to instigate the IPFT and other tribal forces against the state government in Tripura, where his party has been in power for two decades.Averring that the BJP was trying to exploit the curren...




Free Speech Faces 'Real Danger', Says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
Thakurta said the magazine had received a notice from the Adani group that sought an unconditional withdrawal of the two "defamatory and harmful" articles co-authored by him. Sarwar Kashani, New Delhi, July 24: India faces a "real danger to freedom of expression", says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a veteran journalist, who quit as editor of Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) after he was asked by the trust that manages the internationally respected journal to withdraw two articles critical of the government for favouring the Adani business group."I do believe that in India, there is real and present danger to freedom of expression, which you and everybody know is fundamental right of every citizen" guaranteed by the Constitution, Thakurta told IANS in a chat over the circumstances that led him to quit the academic journal, known for its strong editorials, scholarly pieces and political commentaries.The editor resigned on July 18, minutes after his meeti...




How MASUKA - a Comprehensive Legal Package to Deal with Lynching - is Need of the Hour, Explains Adv. Sanjay Hegde
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, July 16: MASUKA or Manav Suraksha Kanoon, a draft law prepared by concerned members of civil society, is the result of an effort to have a comprehensive law to deal with mob violence and lynching, said senior lawyer of Supreme Court Sanjay R Hegde while talking to IndiaTomorrow.net on the sidelines of Jamia Collective event where he spoke on why there is a need for a new lynching law.   "The entire effort is to have one comprehensive package legally which deals with mob situation where the mob tries to take the law in its own hand. The mob and members of the mob will finally come to know that the law is there for everyone including the victim and including the smallest minority," said Adv. Hegde.   In the last three months, around two dozen people have been killed in mob lynching in different parts of the country on suspicion of cow theft, beef or child theft. Most of the lynchings were carried out by self-styled g...




Rahul Gandhi Will Be Face of Opposition in 2019 Election: Jyotiraditya Scinda
Prashant Sood and Sidhartha Dutta, New Delhi, July 9: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi may be elevated as party chief on completion of the organisational election process in October and he will be the opposition's face in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has said.Scindia, 46, who is party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, also said that the time for introspection is over and the party has to act soon on a gameplan to improve its prospects in the 2019 elections.He claimed that the Narendra Modi government will face defeat in the next elections in the same way as the first National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had lost power in 2004 despite its "India Shining" slogan."Rahul Gandhi is leading the party and he will be leading the party," Scindia told IANS in an interview when asked who will be the party's face in the next general elections.To a question if Gandhi will also be the face of the larger oppo...




Hold BJP Responsible for Breaking Kashmir Promises: Yashwant Sinha
The "only way out" of the Kashmir problem was to have talks "not only with internal stakeholders but also with people across the LoC, which means Pakistan" as agreed to between the BJP and the PDP -- Yashwant SinhaSarwar Kashani and V.S. Chandrasekar, New Delhi, July 6: The BJP should be held to its promise of dialogue with all stakeholders, including Hurriyat, and even Pakistan, as that is the only way out of the present imbroglio in Jammu and Kashmir, says senior party leader Yashwant Sinha.He feels that after having promised dialogue, citing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, somebody should ask why the Centre is going back on the agenda of the alliance with the Peoples Democratic Pary (PDP)."We should hold them (the BJP) to their own promise in the agenda of the alliance where they have said they would talk to all internal stakeholders. After praising Vajpayee for doing what he did, they were saying that we will do the same thing. Somebody s...




Vigilante Killings Will Damage India's Economy: Yashwant Sinha
My view is that all such incidents, and certainly a clutch of such incidents, create a bad image of the country. Not only within country but also abroad -- Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha  Sarwar Kashani and V.S. Chandrasekar, New Delhi, July 5: In strong disapproval of the recent spate of lynchings in the name of cow protection, veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said the such incidents create a bad image for the country abroad and serve as disincentive for foreign investments."My view is that all such incidents, and certainly a clutch of such incidents, create a bad image of the country. Not only within country but also abroad," Sinha told IANS in an interview."I am relating it to economic activities and I am saying that it has an adverse impact on the economic activities. As far as lynching per se is concerned, you know unfortunately in our society, such lynching has been going on. It is not always communal," he said.He recalled...




Declared 'dead' by Delhi govt. 4 years ago, Urdu poet speaks to IndiaTomorrow.net
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, June 19: Once uncrowned king of India's humorous Urdu poetry, this octogenarian poet has been living an unnoticeable life for some years in a dingy lane in Jamia Nagar - probably Delhi's most populated and educated Muslim neighbourhood. While Asrar Jamayee was already struggling as poetry event organizers stopped inviting him due to his age, the Delhi government declared him dead in 2013 and stopped monthly old-age pension.   "How shameless it is to declare a living man as dead," says Jamayee while talking to IndiaTomorrow.net today (19 June 2017) at his friend's home where has been staying for some time.   "Earlier I used to get Rs 1500/- as monthly pension through Jamia Co-operative Bank. Suddenly I got to know that my pension was stopped," he says.   He has since been running from pillar to post to ‘prove' he is very much alive and his pension should be resumed but to no avail.  ...




Gau Rakshaks are hard criminals out to defame government, terrorise minority: NCM Chairperson
"All such happenings are unfortunate. Minority commission does not justify this. And we are making efforts that such incidents may not occur in future" said NCM Chairperson Ghazanfar Abbas,  IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, June 17: Those who lynch people in the name of cow are not Gau Rakshaks, they are in fact hard criminals who are defaming the government and terrorizing the minorities, said Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, newly-appointed Chairperson of National Commission For Minorities (NCM).  In an exclusive video interview with IndiaTomorrow.net, the NCM chairperson highlighted his priorities and spoke on various contemporary issues pertaining to religious minorities in the country.  Asked about lynching of dairy farmer Pahlu Khan by Gau Rakshaks (cow vigilantes) and other such attacks by them in the name of cow, Rizvi said: "They are not Gau Rakshaks, they are hard criminals who are doing such things to defame the government and also to t...




'India might become an educationally failed nation'
Saket Suman, New Delhi, June 8: An Indian linguist and anthropologist who is globally revered for his work on dying languages, Ganesh Devy has researched and documented 780 living Indian languages. He says that offering reservation quotas alone will not solve the problem of social exclusion in the country's education system which is headed for "failure".Devy's latest book, "The Crisis Within" (Aleph/Rs 399/130 pages), argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay."Dalits and tribals are left out of higher education in a conspicuous way. We think that offering reservation quotas will solve the problem. We have never thought of making the tribal view of the world or the Dalit view of society as the core of education. Unless that happens, their inclusion will not be complete or satisfactory," Devy told IANS in interview ahead of the b...




Child slavery down in India but child abuse up: Satyarthi
Amiya Kumar Kushwaha, New Delhi, May 21: The number of child workers in India has fallen considerably but incidents of sexual violence against children has gone up, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said.Satyarthi also being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 had greatly helped him in his long-running campaign against child labour and child abuse not just in India but across the world.Speaking to IANS journalists, the 63-year-old said that problems cannot be just left to the government to resolve and that the young will have to use social media to spread awareness about the suffering of bonded children.Satyarthi said the number of child workers in India had fallen from 12.5 million in 2001 to 10 million in 2011 and further to 4.2 million now."I cannot verify the accuracy of this data but I can say there is improvement (in the situation)."But Satyarthi, who heads the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), pointed out that there was a steep hike in incidents of child abuse and...




In meeting with PM, Ajmal raises citizenship issues of Assam residents
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, May 13: In a recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Member of Parliament from Assam and national president of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Maulana Badruddin Ajmal has raised three major issues of citizenship of Assamese Muslims.   "We told him (PM Modi) that names of 48 lakh women have been removed from the voter list. This should not be done. Their names should be reinstated in the NRC (National Register of Citizens). We urged the PM to order an enquiry into it," Ajmal, two-time Lok Sabha MP from Dhubri," told IndiaTomorrow.net outside the Prime Minister's Office.   He was part of a high-level delegation of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind that met PM Modi here on Tuesday. The delegation discussed various issues including cow vigilantism and measures to establish "closer interaction between the Government and the Muslim Community on issues of larger national interest".   Perfume baron Ajmal, howev...




BJP communalising triple talaq, trying to impose Hindu personal law: IMSD
We have repeatedly and publicly asked for the BJP or anyone from the Sangh Parivar to offer a draft of what a Uniform Civil Code would look like. Which code are they referring to? -- Javed Anand  New Delhi, May 4: A Muslim group on Wednesday accused the BJP government of communalising triple talaq, while terming its proposal of Uniform Civil Code an attempt to impose Hindu personal law."BJP has made a lot of noise (about triple talaq and nikah halala). Without questions, they are communalising and politicising the whole issue," Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) General Secretary Javed Anand told IANS.He said that it was "interesting" that this call for an Uniform Civil Code came from one particular ideological quarter - the Sangh Parivar - but there was no clarity on what it would entail."We have repeatedly and publicly asked for the BJP or anyone from the Sangh Parivar to offer a draft of what a Uniform Civil Code would look like. Which code a...




'RSS government' will never recognise progressive writers: Nayantara Sahgal
The state cannot tell you to do this and that with regard to religion. That was a very precious inheritance where all Indians felt equal and felt safe. Now I am sorry to say that the minorities do not feel safe, in particular the Muslim community is being hounded, persecuted and killed. That is not accepted by any civilised Indian: Sahgal Saket Suman, New Delhi, April 30: A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family and one of India's foremost writers with feminist concerns, Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award in 2015 to protest against rising intolerance in the country. Will she ever accept a recognition from the state again? Never!The widely acclaimed author of the novel "Rich Like Us", for which she received the 1986 Sahitya Akademi Award, in fact, laughed off the idea. Dubbing the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance regime as the "RSS government", she said it is not possible for them to recognise progressive writers like her.&...




I have faced a lot of racial abuse in the country: Mizoram Chief Minister
Tridib Baparnash, New Delhi, April 25: Lashing out racial abuse faced by northeastern people in major Indian cities, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla says he himself was a victim of such slurs in various corners of the country."Racial abuse is the worst thing in this country. I have faced it myself a lot of times. These are foolish people who do not know their own country," the 74-year-old Chief Minister told IANS in an interview ."In a reception some 20-25 years ago, one gentleman said to me 'You don't look like an Indian' to which I replied?: 'Tell me in one sentence what does an Indian look like?' "The five-time Chief Minister said it is not only the common people but politicians at the national level -- cutting across party lines -- who do not have a basic idea of India."Even the national leadership, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other political party, if you do not know your own country, how can you be a leader?""Many of these national...




There is no glory in war: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt
"Those who see glory in war must go to the soldiers whom they pretend to worship... or even to their families, and ask them what they think of war." Natalia Ningthoujam,  New Delhi, April 15: Mahesh Bhatt has often been slammed for unearthing talent from Pakistan and giving it a platform in Indian filmdom. But the filmmaker, who has worked with artistes like Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sara Loren from across the border, believes there is no glory in war. He says problems, including betweern India and Pakistan, should be solved through peaceful means without firing a bullet.Be it a warning by a regional political party in the wake of the Uri attack in India last year or criticism from members of the film fraternity, Bhatt has been targeted for working with artistes from Pakistan despite India's strained bilateral ties with the nation.Talking about such attacks on him, Bhatt told IANS in an interview: "We are on the brink of doom. We nee...




Fee Hike: Private schools working as mafia, say angry parents
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, April 11: The big fee hike by private schools in different parts of the country including Delhi and Haryana has forced parents to come out on the streets to protest.   "Till last year, we're paying Rs 10,000 as quarterly fee. From this year, they hiked it to Rs 26,000 quarterly," says C K Rathore, one of scores of parents from Haryana protesting against the fee hike near the Parliament House here on Sunday.   Praveen Sharma, also a parent says: "I have two children - son reads in 12th Class and daughter in 7th class. Every year, the school hike fee, annual charges and development charges. My children have been studying there for 15 years, but I haven't seen any development work."   "In summer, they don't properly arrange water for children," she claims.   She reveals nexus between schools and private publishers.   "Private schools have NCERT books in syllabus from class...




Gau Rakshaks wanted to set us ablaze in Alwar: Victim
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, April 9: The brutal gang of cow vigilantes (Gau Rakshaks) in Alwar had more sinister design than just assaulting the cattle traders who had purchased cows and calves from the government-run cattle fare in Jaipur and were on way to their home in Mewat of Haryana.   One of the victims has said that after brutally assaulting them, the cow vigilantes wanted to set them ablaze but could not succeed as the police arrived on the scene at the right time.   "We had gone there to purchase buffaloes. Buffaloes were costlier than cows there. So we purchased cows to get milk during the coming Ramadan. While we were returning, they stopped our vehicle. They were on bikes. They started beating us. We showed them official purchase documents but they tore and threw them away," recalled Mohammad Rafiq who was with Pahlu Khan who succumbed to the brutal assault.   Five persons including Rafiq and Khan had gone to Jaipur. They are cattle tr...




JNU seat cut: Our future looks bleak, say research aspirants
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,  New Delhi, April 8: A large number of students pursuing their masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are uncertain about their future after massive seats cut in MPhil/PhD programs. Acting on the University Grants Commission (UGC) notification 2016 for admission in MPhil/PhD programs at central universities, JNU has offered either no seat or very few seats in its various centers for 2017-18 session.   IndiaTomorrow.net talked to many students of JNU who are concerned about their career as there are no seats in the research programs they had aspired to take admission in this year.   "My center had 60 seats for research, this year it has zero seat. I came here with a dream to do research at India's top university but due to the sudden seat cut, I have no idea what to do," said Ramesh Kumar, pursuing masters in Hindi.  Shahadat, an MA (Arabic) student also showed his hopelessness as there is no seat for MPhi...




UGC regulations will curtail autonomy, social diversity at universities: Academicians
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,  New Delhi, March 27: The University Grants Commission (UGC) notification regulating admission procedure for research programs (M.Phil./Ph.D.) at central universities is not just curtailing the autonomy of these educational institutions but will also affect the present social diversity there, say eminent academicians in exclusive interviews to IndiaTomorrow.net.   “In every state and part of the country, universities have their own acts. They have to work according to those acts. So any suggestion that this 100 per cent viva voce norm is followed at all universities is incorrect. To say that they have to respect the UGC guidelines means inflexibility…that is straightforward violation of autonomy,” said Prof. Ayesha Kidwai, Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.   She also criticized the cut in the number of seats for research programs. “The...




UGC regulations may finish JNU as premier research university: JNUTA
Acting on the UGC notification, JNU has cut about 86% seats in M.Phil./Ph.D. programs for the academic session 2017-18. It is said that the Academic Council of JNU had approved an intake of 1406 students for M.Phil/Ph.d for the coming academic year, but the JNU administration has brought it down to 194 seats. Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, March 23: In the wake of the massive cut in seats for M.Phil. and Ph.D. aspirants at country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the teachers' body of JNU has strongly criticized the University Grants Commission for its controversial May 2016 notification regulating admissions in M.Phil. and PhD. courses at central universities in the country.   Acting on the UGC notification, JNU has cut about 86% seats in M.Phil./Ph.D. programs for the academic session 2017-18. It is said that the Academic Council of JNU had approved an intake of 1406 students for M.Phil/Ph.d for the coming academic year, but the JNU admini...




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