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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 ...




Forced into Midnight Labour Pain, Bihar Gives Birth to a 'Coalition of Comfort' for Nitish
Mumtaz Alam, Much before the central government agencies carried out raids at homes of Lalu Prasad Yadav's family members in the last couple of months, it was getting visible to people that ‘honest' Nitish Kumar was feeling uneasy in the Grand Alliance of secular parties in Bihar. What happened Wednesday midnight was due to happen sooner or later.   After all, the man who spent 17 years with a partner must be missing him and looking for ways to rejoin. Nitish was with BJP-led NDA alliance till 2013 when he parted ways after then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was declared prime ministerial candidate of NDA. His JDU and RJD and Congress fought the Lok Sabha elections separately only to be defeated by the ‘Modi wave' in May 2014. Consequently, he and the other two formed Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance and fought the state Assembly polls together in 2015 and comprehensively defeated BJP-led NDA despite PM Modi's massive and aggressive campaigning in the st...




A Strange Omission in President Kovind's First Speech
Amulya Ganguli, Ram Nath Kovind's first speech as President was in keeping with his low-key personality.He said all the right things about his illustrious predecessors, including Pranab Mukherjee, and also about Indian poverty and diversity and combining the "wisdom" of ancient Bharat with the science of contemporary India. Similarly, the village panchayats and a digital Republic were described as the "twin pillars" of national life.This two-track approach was also evident in the references to Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and B.R. Ambedkar when the President was speaking of the years immediately after independence. However, the name of Jawaharlal Nehru, generally regarded as the architect of modern India, was missing from the luminaries mentioned by Ram Nath Kovind.The curious omission could not have been inadvertent, especially when Deen Dayal Upadhyay's name was mentioned in the same breath with Gandhi's towards the end of the speech. Evidently, the aversion of th...




Compromising Principle for Commerce: Why Modi Skipped Palestine Is Now Accidentally Revealed
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, July 23: During his visit to Israel, first by any Indian Prime Minister since creation of the Jewish country, Narendra Modi didn't visit Palestine, also a first by an Indian leader visiting Israel, and thus invited criticism by a section of political class and civil society who said he was shifting from India's established Gandhian-Nehruvian policy on Palestine just to please his Hindutva followers. But there was something more than met the eye and which has now been accidently ‘exposed'.   During a close-door meeting with leaders from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia in Budapest earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told them: "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he needs water for his people. ‘Where will I get it? Ramallah? No'."   What Netanyahu said was not for public or press but it was accidentally transmitted to the headphones of the pressmen covering the summit in the...




Modi: Crack Down on Cow Vigilantes. Togadia: Cow Vigilantes Should Work Fearlessly
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, July 17: Why Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hard words have hardly left any impact on cow vigilantes is because there are many in his large family of Sangh Parivar who are directly or indirectly supporting the acts of cow vigilantes.   In October last year, PM Modi had warned cow vigilantes at a public meeting in Gujarat but violence in the name of cow protection continued unabated and over dozen people have since been killed.   On 29th June this year, while addressing a rally during the centenary celebrations of the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, PM Modi had said: "Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve."   And only yesterday (16th July), while addressing an all-party meeting in Delhi, he asked states to crack down on cow vigilantes who are committing violence in the name of cow protection.   "Some anti-social elements have made cow protection...




Making Indian democracy a world leader - through civic engagement
Frank F. Islam, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House did not receive a large amount of press coverage in the United States. The most notable quote came during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden when President Trump proclaimed: "I am proud to announce to the media, to the American people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media."Trump's comment missed the real significance of his meeting with Modi. It was important not because of the pair's leadership in social media but because the Prime Minister and the President are leaders of the two largest democracies in the world.The United States was established as a democratic republic over 240 years ago. For the past 100 years or so, it has been the standard bearer for democracy globally.By contrast, the Indian democratic republic just turned 70. For many years, India has looked to the United States for its examples of exemplary dem...




Is Nitish Kumar on a losing wicket?
Amulya Ganguli, Nitish Kumar is in a bind. He knows that the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance in Bihar is fraying at the edges, but he doesn't know which way to turn.If he responds to the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) overtures to join the saffron brigade either formally or informally with the BJP propping up his government with outside support, he will be accused of crass opportunism.He also knows that in the BJP's company, he will have to play second fiddle to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo and forget about a major role in national affairs. For all practical purposes, he will have to remain confined to Bihar for the rest of his career.However, if he remains with Lalu Prasad Yadav and Co, he will be staring at a probable defeat in the next election and the loss of his reputation as a good governance man.His predicament is due to a miscalculation of Modi's appeal for the average voter. When Nitish Kumar realised it after his party's poor performance in 2014, he quit the Chief Minist...




Amarnath attack: Security Breach and Other Unanswered Questions
The input was not specific but it warned of exactly what happened in Botengoo village on Monday night. The security forces still failed to act. Why?Sarwar Kashani,New Delhi, July 11: The widely condemned attack on Amarnath pilgrims by militants in Kashmir has left many questions unanswered including why security forces failed to secure the route to the pilgrimage site despite specific intelligence inputs that terrorists planned a "sensational" strike to kill 100-150 Hindus and stoke communal unrest in the country.Muneer Khan, the police chief in the Kashmir Valley long hailed for battling militancy, had in a June 25 note shared an intelligence input received from a south Kashmir police officer that "terrorists have been directed to eliminate 100 to 150 yatris and 100 police officers... which they believe will result in flaring of communal tensions throughout the country".Khan had said the input was to be corroborated but did not rule out "the possibility of s...




Muslim women in India can become change agents through education
Frank F. Islam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently called for empowerment and education of Muslim women. One would have expected this message to receive widespread acceptance and support. It did not.There was resistance on several fronts for a variety of reasons. Some saw Modi's move as a political stunt. Some questioned whether Modi was doing anything meaningful in the education and empowerment area. Others came out against it because of a connection to the triple-talaq controversy.There is no gainsaying that there is an unequivocal and critical need to empower Muslim women through education in order for India to achieve its full potential. The status of education in general was captured by the 2001 census which revealed that the Muslim literacy rate was only 59 per cent.In response to these and additional findings regarding Muslims and others in the weaker sections, the Sachar Committee Report of 2006 disclosed a development deficit in a number of areas. The report resulted in the...




When NDA had not clear majority of presidential electorate, why didn't Congress-led Opposition announce its own candidate much earlier?
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, June 22: The Dalit ‘enticement' has made big cracks in the non-BJP camp in last four days and the NDA candidate for President of India Ram Nath Kovind is said to be in comfortable position now to enter the Rashtrapati Bhawan next month.   Originally, NDA had only about 47.5 per cent share in the vote poll of the presidential election - 5.27 lakh in absolute numbers out of total 10.98 lakh votes, a bit short of the halfway mark of 5.49 lakh votes. But soon after it declared Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit politician from Uttar Pradesh, as its presidential candidate, several parties from the non-BJP camp fell one by one from the rank and announced their support for the ‘Dalit' candidate of NDA, giving the ruling alliance a very clear majority - it is said it has surpassed even 60% vote support. The latest one to fall is Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United of chief minister Nitish Kumar, which is seen as a big setback for the Oppositi...




Will Ansari emerge as a Dark Horse in presidential race?
Mumtaz Alam, New Delhi, June 13: With certainty, one can't say ‘No'. As neither the ruling alliance nor the Opposition have announced their candidates for the next month presidential election, the possibility of current Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari emerging as a consensus candidate for President remains.   Seasoned diplomat and author Ansari, while acting as Vice President for the last two consecutive terms, has remained largely neutral though both times he was made candidate by the previous Congress-led UPA alliance - first in 2007 and then in 2012.   Former Indian Foreign Service officer of 1961 batch, Ansari turned 80 this past April and his term as 14th Vice President will end in the coming August. He was born in April 1937 in Kolkata. Despite age, he is one the fittest top constitutional representatives in the country today. Moreover, he is one of the most articulate and informed functionaries of high positions.   Besides initial h...




Triple Talaq: Invoking Islam and Discarding Islam
Abu Haris, The fierce debate on Triple Talaq's validity has one thing in common; all want Islam to be invoked or at least, they are pretending so. From jurists to judges and from journalists to activists all are quoting Quran and Islamic literature to prove how Triple Talaq is against the teachings of Islam. In fact, it is the point of consensus in the otherwise rather clumsy debate.  But, one very simple point is missing; do they all really intend to invoke Islam or is it just for winning a debate? If they seriously want that Islam be followed in the matter of Talaq then they must answer as to how the followers of Islam and others gain knowledge of Islam.  With Madrasas almost out of the scene for even Muslim students, the only place of learning are the government-run schools or the schools affiliated to government-run boards.  So, can someone please check and tell what basic teachings of Islam are being imparted in those schools.  In school syllabus Islam...




Babri Masjid trial may reveal BJP's communal face
There is little doubt that the political fallout of the judgment on their culpability for the destruction of a 16th century protected monument will influence the outcome of the next general electionAmulya Ganguli,The proverb, "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet ... with exactness grinds He all", can be said to apply to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwarts who have been charged with criminal conspiracy in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court for their role in demolishing the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.It has taken a quarter of a century for the law to catch up with the heroes/villains of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, depending on whether one belongs to the saffron brotherhood or is with the minorities and the Left-Liberals.There is little doubt that the political fallout of the judgment on their culpability for the destruction of a 16th century protected monument will influence the outcome of the next general election.While the BJP will hope that a...




Days after cattle trade rule hitting food habits of millions, Modi celebrates India's plural nature
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, May 28: In the country of 1.25 billion people, hundreds of millions of people are non-vegetarian and the Constitution has protected their food habits. But people and groups votary to the ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP or its mentor RSS have long been targeting non-vegetarians in the name of faith.   While slaughter of cows is already banned in several states, the Union Ministry of Environment last week issued a new set of rules to regulate cattle trade in the country and effectively banned sale of cattle including buffaloes, bullocks and camels at cattle markets for slaughtering purposes and also for religious sacrifice. Apart from losses to meat and leather industry, the new rules are said to be hugely targeting the food habits of Dalits, Muslims, Christians and many others.   However, PM Modi while greeting the nation, and especially Muslims on the advent of Ramazan, during his Mann Ki Baat radio address today (Sunday), ce...




First time in 40 years of its history, Minority Commission to be headed by a little-known 'social activist'
Mumtaz Alam, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, May 25: After facing criticism by Opposition and a section of media for keeping the post vacant for two and half months, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday appointed a little-known ‘social activist' Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi as Chairperson of the National Commission For Minorities (NCM).   ‘Social activist' Rizvi will take charge from former IAS and former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Naseem Ahmad who headed the commission from 4.3.2014 to 3.3.2017. The contrast between the profiles of the two runs across the 40-year history of the NCM. Most of its chairpersons since its inception in 1978 have been former judges, civil servants, academicians or big politicians.   It is different this time.   "So far the tradition was that the Commission had a retired judge or bureaucrat as its chairperson or member. It is perhaps for the first time that all the members are social activists who know...




Whither India's culture? The curious silence at the top
Why hasn't the Sahitya Akademi, which gloriously calls itself "India's National Academy of Letters", spoken a word against it?Saket Suman,It seems to be yesterday once more with the deafening silence of the Sahitya Akademi and other cultural institutions over the provocative threat that acclaimed actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Paresh Rawal has made against writer Arundhati Roy.Why hasn't the Sahitya Akademi, which gloriously calls itself "India's National Academy of Letters", spoken a word against it? Why hasn't the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), which aims to promote cultural exchanges with other countries, uttered a word for the writer who brought us international fame by becoming the first Indian to win the Booker Prize? And by the way, where is the Culture Minister?Rawal kicked up a storm late Sunday by his tweet targeting Booker Prize-winning novelist and activist Arundhati Roy. The vicious comment that urged violence against the...




'Beheading' of constitutional institutions set up for minorities
Does keeping such institutions headless serve the idea of ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’? Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, May 23: The BJP-led central government completed its three years last week and on the occasion celebrated its ‘achievements’ under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship slogan ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’. Along with other ministers, Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while highlighting works of his ministry said the Modi government in last 3 years “took educational empowerment of Minorities as a mission which has given results on ground level.” He may have proofs of “results on ground level”, but what is known to all is that three key constitutional bodies established to safeguard the constitutional, legal and educational rights of religious minorities and scheduled castes have been made almost defunct as they remain headless for past several months and years. T...




Tie Arundhati Roy on Army jeep. Who said this? A BJP MP
Opinion IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, May 22: On Twitter, he describes himself as "THE ACTOR, Padma Shri & PARLIAMENTARIAN of INDIA" but what action he suggests about India's celebrated writer is not much different from what mob of tribals did in Jharkhand last week or cow vigilantes did in Alwar of Rajasthan last month.   Apart from ACTOR, BJP's Paresh Rawal has highlighted the word PARLIAMENTARIAN in his description on the micro-blogging site. But what Rawal suggested Sunday night cannot or at least should not come from the mouth of a parliamentarian for an eminent citizen of the country who is not facing any heinous criminal charges that many of his co-parliamentarians including several from his BJP are.   "Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy !" tweeted Paresh Rawal.  Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy !— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) May 21, 2017 We have a wide varie...




Triple Talaq: A social issue that needs to be addressed by society
Abu Haris, The controversy over Triple Talaq (in a single sitting) is a case of social problem. In any case, the court would do what it is supposed to do but every social issue has to be addressed through the society also. Everybody would agree that any social issue cannot be resolved by just a law to ban that. The problem of dowry is a glaring example of what the law can do and what it cannot. In fact, there are cases where the dowry act has been misused for the opposite purpose and our police officers and courts are riddled with false cases.  Triple Talaq (in a single sitting) is such a delicate issue that it cannot be resolved through a debate anchored by anyone who is still in his/her school days mode. When the moderator of a discussion becomes a party the real issue gets lost. There are two issues; one to ban the triple talaq (in a single sitting) and the other is to eradicate it. Banning it is a contentious issue but the eradicating it is not. In fact, eradication of trip...




Kashmir could turn out to be Modi's biggest failure
The appearance of schoolgirls on the streets to join the teenage boys to throw stones at the security forces shows that the familial and social norms are breaking down Amulya Ganguli, There is little doubt that notwithstanding any achievement of Narendra Modi in the economic field or in partially curbing the saffron hotheads, Kashmir will be the scene of his biggest failure unless he is able to accomplish a dramatic breakthrough in the near future.Such a feat will justify Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's belief that only Modi can solve the state's problems.At the moment, however, an expectation of this nature appears unreal because militancy in the Valley has become a great deal more intense than before, making the situation "scary", as the Election Commission has been told by the state government in the context of the Anantnag parliamentary by-election, which had to be cancelled.The ridiculously low polling percentage of seven in last month's Srinagar...




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