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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Gorakhpur : BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday tore into the father-son duo of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, saying they had destroyed the state.

    In an attack on the Samajwadi Party chief, who earlier said at a rally in Varanasi that Modi's hands were soaked in blood, the Gujarat chief minister said the "baap-beta" (father-son) duo followed him wherever he went.

    Modi was addressing a "Vijay Shankhnad" rally organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party here.

    On a statement by Mulayam Singh Yadav that Modi could not make a Gujarat of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP leader said the Yadavs have no "haisiyat" (standing) to change Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat.

    "For turning Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, a vibrant state, one needs a 56-inch chest and not politicians digging their heels into vote bank politics," Modi said, as the crowd cheered on.

    To become Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh needed 10 percent growth in agriculture, not three or four percent as in the last 10 years, Modi said.

    Gujarat meant 24x7 power supply, sugarcane dues paid on time, crushing of cane on schedule and happy farmers, something not possible for the Samajwadi Party government, Modi said.

    "Uttar Pradesh has the potential to become the leading state in the country, but sadly the people who have ruled here in the past one decade have chosen to ruin the state with their petty, narrow political thinking and vote bank politics," he said.

    "The state affords no honour to girls and women, no employment, no security or safety for its citizens. You have destroyed the mandate given by the people to your party in the 2012 state assembly polls," the BJP leader said, referring to Mulayam as "Netaji" as he is called by his partymen.

    He also told the gathering that while other parties decided to destroy Uttar Pradesh, the BJP was committed to the development and prosperity of the state.

    Seeking a five-year term for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said that while people had given 60 years to the Congress, he was seeking 60 months to change the face of India and bring prosperity in every home and a smile on every face.

    Inviting the farmers of Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat, he said one should see for himself or herself what vision he has for the state.

    Predicting that the voters had made up their mind to vote out the Congress and its allies, Modi also charged the United Progressive Alliance, the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party of being responsible for gloom in the country.

    Thanking the people of Uttar Pradesh for the love they expressed in attending his rallies in large numbers, Modi said that given a chance, he would return that love, offering them the dividend of development.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Taking part in the debate on draft Telangana bill in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi vehemently opposed central control over Hyderabad police and termed the move against the interest of Muslims.

    Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi reminded the assembly how minorities’ apprehensions were not addressed when former Hyderabad state was trifurcated in 1956 which resulted in long standing disputes. He said again assembly is walking on the same path by neglecting the concerns of minorities in the draft Telangana bill.

    MIM leader said making Hyderabad a joint capital is not acceptable, “Creating a joint capital even for a period of 10 years will be disastrous. It will give rise to a super governor with special powers, which will make Hyderabad police directly answerable to the center through governor.”

    In that situation, Mr. Owaisi adds, “If a communal party comes to power in Delhi and post same mentality person as governor who will enjoy control over the police, then imagine the plight of Muslims. Law and order is a state subject. If it is taken away from the state government, it would lead to a situation where the Muslim community would not be safe in Hyderabad.”

    Mr. Owaisi also reminded the house how the things turned up in Delhi with CM Arvind Kejriwal had to come out on streets, demanding accountability of the police, “Chief Minister's position should not be reduced to that of a 'Rajpramuk, like it is in Delhi. Otherwise same obscurity will arise in Hyderabad,” he said.

    MIM cautioned that like Delhi “a situation may come where the commissioners of police of Hyderabad and Cyberabad become more powerful than the elected government of Telangana and its Chief Minister.”

    MIM again moved 31 amendments in the draft bill which they had earlier conveyed to the speaker. Apart from keeping Hyderabad as the sole capital of Telangana, MIM also demanded separate High courts for both the states, continuation of all the minority institutions including Minorities Commission, Finance Corporation, Commissionerate, Continuation of higher budgetary allotment to minorities in both the states, and making Urdu first official language with Telugu in the new state of Telangana among many other demands.

    Party also continued the attack on the draft bill in the Legislative Council where their MLC Altaf Hyder Razvi argued against the central control over police and revenue matters in Hyderabad giving references to Delhi troubles.

    MIM made it clear that though they support formation of Telangana as ‘fait accomplai’ but they will never support draft Telangana bill which intend to form a state without complete statehood.

    Akbaruddin Owaisi also informed that MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi will move 31 amendments to the draft bill in the upcoming budget session of the parliament where the bill is expected to be taken up for discussion and voting.


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    By M Reyaz, TwoCircles.net,

    New Delhi: A resident of Patna has accused the Congress MLA from Kishanganj Jawed Azad and Home Secretary of Bihar Amir Subhani of collusion in land grabbing. Shah Raza, alias Dimple Khan, a resident of Patna has accused Javed Azad and Amir Subhani of “interest in land dealings” and for helping each other “to grab the disputed land.”

    According to Shah Raza, he had “agreement” with the actual owner of the land to purchase it, but the owner is now being coerced to sell it off to one Mansoor Alam, a relative of Jawed Azad.



    Congress MLA from Kishanganj Jawed Azad.

    He alleges that Subhani is “misusing his official position and power as Home Secretary to help Mr Mansoor Alam grab the land measuring six kathas of land,” situated in Samanpura locality under Shahstri Nagar Police Station in Patna.

    Shah Raza has now written a letter to Chief Vigilance Commissioner giving details of meetings and alleged land dealings and has urged action.

    Azad and Subhani are believed to be “close friends.” Azad also holds important position in Shershah Housing Co-op Construction Society, and Alam allegedly possess a document regarding ownership of disputed land.

    He alleges that on December 16, 2013 Bihar’s Home Secretary had called a meeting of Mansoor Alam, Bashisht Singh’s brother and Vidya Bhushan, In charge of Shashtri Nagar Police Station, where Raza alleges, “Mr Subhani Without seeing legal documents of Mr Bashisht Singh died with Mr Mansoor Alam.”

    According to allegations on January 13, 2014 Subhani called another meeting of Shahstri Nagar Thana Incharge, SDO of Patna Sadar, DSP Secretariat, DCLR Patna Sadar, Mansoor Alam and brother of Bashisht Singh. Allegedly he “pressurized the police and the civil officials to help Mr Mansoor ALam in grabbing the land of Mr Bashisht Singh in a deceit-full manner.”

    Bashisht Singh had earlier agreed to sell his land to Shah Raza. In letter to the CVC, Raza has also attached the copy of agreement between him and Singh.
    Shah Raza has also alleged that both Subhani and Azad are “using their clout and harassing by hook or crook” him as well. He alleged that on directions of both Subhani and Azad, a false case has been registered against him.

    He went on to allege that Azad has assured Subhani to help him get “plum post” in Delhi on deputation.

    Shah Raza has now urged the CVC to investigate the matter and take “stern and prompt action” against Subhani, Azad and others. He has also sent copies of same letters to 23 departments in total, including the office of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Home Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, etc.



    Amir Subhani

    Both denied the allegations:

    When TCN contacted the Bihar Home Secretary Amir Subhani, he expressed his surprise, denying all allegations. He said he is not even aware of any Bashisht Singh and such land dealings.

    Kishanganj MLA and Congress leader Jawed Azad too expressed his shock, questioning the veracity of the letter. He said that indeed one of his relatives’ from Kishanganj is Mansoor Alam, but he has no knowledge of any land dealings in Patna.

    Azad laughed off the charges saying, he is not able to keep tab of his own lands and how will he grab any other property in Patna.

    Asked about his relations with Subhani, he said that the senior bureaucrat is "of course known to everyone in Bihar," but how does that prove any collusion?

    Jawed Azad further said that if any concerned party has approached the CVC, he would also appeal to the Vigilance Commissioner to have time bound fair probe so that the truth would come out once the investigation is completed.

    Efforts of TCN to reach out to Bashisht Singh failed at the time of filing this report, as his phone was switched off and he is currently in Siwan district.


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Aligarh Historians Society (AHS), Aligarh Muslim University organized the 14thProfessor M. Athar Ali Memorial Lecture. Professor James Wescoat Jr., Aga Khan Professor, Aga Khan Programme for Islamic Architecture, Massachussetto Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, delivered the invited lecture at the Faculty of Arts lounge on ‘Water Work in Mughal Landscape’.

    In his lecture, Professor Wescoat drew on his extensive research and fieldwork on Mughal gardens and raised issues concerning water-use in the gardens, and the amount of labour and animal-power that were required for their irrigation. Professor Wescoat used statistical data to illustrate how much energy inputs would have been needed for watering the gardens and landscape in Mughal times. He successfully set a new line of enquiry for scholars of Mughal agricultural and garden history. He supported his arguments with slides containing a number of Mughal miniatures.



    Prof. James wescoat delivering the Prof. M Athar Ali Memorial Lecture, AMU

    Earlier, welcoming the guest, Professor Shireen Moosvi, Secretary, AHS, highlighted the achievements of the Society. Professor Irfan Habib, President, summarized the major contributions of Professor Wescoat to garden history.

    A discussion was also held on two books co-published by the Aligarh Historians Society. The “Atlas of Ancient Indian History” by Irfan Habib and Faiz Habib and “Fatehpur Sikri Revisited” by S. A. Nadeem Rezavi, have been published by the Oxford University Press on behalf of AHS. The books were introduced by their authors Professor Irfan Habib and Dr S.A. Nadeem Rezavi.



    Prof. Shireen Moosvi addressing the Prof. M Athar Ali Memorial Lecture, AMU.

    Mr. Prasun Chatterji, Mr Shashank Sinha and Mr. Navin Srivastava of Oxford University Press, Routledge and a cartographic service from Delhi, also spoke on the occasion.


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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: A Documentary Film Festival - “Ainaa”, curated by the students of MA Convergent Journalism at the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia is going to be held on January 24, 2014 on the university campus.

    “Ainaa” is a unique Documentary Film Festival which will present documentaries that have been conceptualized, shot, edited and directed by the Final Year students of M.A. Convergent Journalism of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia.

    A reflection unto society, each documentary featured in “Ainaa” fosters a thought and hopes to leave the audience with a lasting message. “Ainaa” holds a mirror to society, both to the good and the bad around us.

    The following six documentaries will be screened at the Festival:

    1) THIS FILTHY LIFE (18 mins.)
    2) KAANSUTRA (15 mins.)
    3) PLEASE MIND THE GAP (20 mins.)
    4) HEAD IN THE STARS (19 mins.)
    5) WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY ISLAM? (23 mins.)
    6) UNCLE BOND (22 mins.)

    The screening is scheduled to be held on January 24, 2014 from 4 PM onwards in Dr. M.A. Ansari Auditorium, Jamia Millia Islamia. The screening is open for all.


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    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : Family members of the Nizam, the erstwhile ruler of Hyderabad State, have condemned the "disparaging" remarks made by political parties in Andhra Pradesh legislature about him during the debate on the bill for formation of separate Telangana state.

    The Nizam Family Welfare Association, which represents family member of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruler of Hyderabad State, said the leaders of some political parties made the remarks out of their bias and ignorance of history.

    "Hyderabad State had always been independent and secular and was a symbol of Indian heritage and communal harmony, and secularism. The legacy and heritage of Nizam or the Asif Jahi dynasty who ruled for 228 years was so impressive and rich that no individual can run it down," Association president Nawab Najaf Ali Khan said in a statement here Thursday.

    He wanted to know how the political parties can blame Nizam for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and drag his name in the debate.

    In an obvious reference to the claim by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu that Hyderabad developed during his rule and not during Nizam's rule, Khan said the political leaders can't compare themselves with the Nizam who had a tremendous foresight and left an indelible mark in almost every sphere.

    "These leaders should take their history lessons again as they have absolutely no knowledge about the administrative skills displayed by the Nizam," he said.

    Pointing out that 66 years had passed since the Nizam's rule ended, he said the leaders had done nothing except blaming each other for their follies.

    He said the Nizam was a leader of the masses and he made available to people all the latest technology available at that time.

    The association said it was during Nizam's rule that Osmania University, Osmania Hospital, Niluofer Hospital, schools, colleges, scientific and research institutes were set up.

    The Nizam also built roads, started railways, aviation services, introduced telephone, radio, electricity, postal, built water supply and drainage system and established industries including Nizam Sugar Factory.

    Khan said even when he was not the ruler, the Nizam served the people. He set up Nizam Orthopaedic Hospital with his own money when during a visit to Osmania Hospital he saw a boy, whose leg was amputated and he was told that the facility to put an artificial limb was available only in Pune.

    He also set up Nizam Charitable Trust in 1954 with the corpus amount of Rs.4.9 crore. It is still in existence helping the poor and needy regardless of religion and caste.


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    By Arun Kumar, IANS,

    Washington : The US defence department has clarified rules allowing Sikhs, Muslims and other religious-minority service members to wear a turban, scarf or beard as long as the practices do not interfere with military discipline, order or readiness.

    However, requests for wearing items of one's faith by way of religious accommodation will still be decided on a case by case basis, but will generally be denied only if the item poses a safety hazard, interferes with wearing a uniform, a helmet or other military gear or "impairs the accomplishment of the military mission", Pentagon said.

    "The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless a request would have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion and good order and discipline," Pentagon spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan J. Christensen announced Wednesday.

    Immediate commanders may resolve religious accommodation requests that don't require a waiver of military department or service policies that address wearing of military uniforms and religious apparel, grooming, appearance or body-art standards, he said.

    The spokesman said department officials believe the new instruction will enhance commanders' and supervisors' ability to promote the climate needed to maintain good order and discipline, and will reduce the instances and perception of discrimination toward those whose religious expressions are less familiar to the command.

    The Defense Department "places a high value on the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and the rights of others to their own religious beliefs", "including the right to hold no beliefs", the spokesman said.

    Sikh American organisations criticised the new rules for not going far enough, but acknowledged they were a "stepping stone" in a long process of prodding the Pentagon to ease restrictions on wearing or showing their "articles of faith".

    The Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF) called the rules an expansion of current policies rather than a meaningful overall change in policy.

    "Unfortunately, this continues to make us have to choose between our faith and serving our country," said SALDEF executive director Jasjit Singh.

    "This is an expansion of the waiver policy that is decided person by person. It does not open doors and say you can apply as a Sikh American and serve your country fully," he said.

    Responding to new Pentagon rules that permit limited religious accommodation, Democratic House member Joe Crowley, reiterated his call for an end to the presumptive ban on Sikh articles of faith, including turbans and beards, in the US military.

    Crowley, vice chair of the Democratic Caucus and a leader on Sikh American issues in Congress, is currently spearheading a bipartisan letter signed by 20 members of Congress on both sides of the aisle requesting that the US Armed Forces update their appearance regulations to allow Sikh Americans to serve while abiding by their articles of faith.

    "Depending on how they are implemented, some aspects of the new Department of Defense rules may be a step in the right direction," said Crowley.

    "But more needs to be done to end the underlying presumptive ban on service by patriotic Sikh Americans. Sikh Americans love this country and want a fair chance to serve in our nation's military."

    (Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)


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    By IANS,

    Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra Thursday summoned the state legislature to meet here from Feb 10, an official statement said.

    Vohra has summoned the legislative assembly and the legislative council to meet at Jammu on Monday, Feb 10, 2014, at 10.30 a.m., it said.

    He has called the members of the assembly and the legislative council to assemble together in the central hall of the legislature building in the new secretariat premises here for his address to both houses of the legislature, the statement added.

    "After the said address, each house of the legislature will meet as a separate body at the time specified by the respective presiding officers," it said.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: MIM legislative floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi during the discussion on Telangana draft bill in Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly raise the issue of rising communalism in the region and the recent attacks and killing of Christian pastor in rural Telangana.

    On January 11 Pastor Sanjeevullu and his wife was violently attacked in Vikarabad village 64k.m. from Hyderabad two days later he succumbed to his injuries. Three similar kind of incidents occurred in January alone where Christian priests were brutally attacked. Recently Nalgonda district police has arrested 7 Hindu Vahini activists in cases of attack on Munugode village Pastor Talla Christopher and Ipparthi Church Pastor Gajjala Neeladri Pal.

    MIM leader in the state assembly stated that their party’s repeated warning to the Union Govt. creating separate Telangana state will only strengthen the hindutva forces and the party supporting it in the long run is now unfolding, “Even before the Telangana state is came to being some communal forces has started to work to disturb the atmosphere and harmony. In recent past few weeks ago a Christian pastor was attacked in Vikarabad and succumbed to injuries. Four to five similar incidents of similar kind of attacks on christen priests has been reported from different parts of Telangana.”

    Owaisi demanded immediate action against Sangh Parivar, “I hope mischief mongers will be brought to book immediately.”

    Counting down the list of riots in the region MIM leader said, “Historically riots happened in Telangana region while SeemaAndhra region remained relatively peaceful. Religious intolerance is prevailing in the telangana region due to the activities of sangh parivar.”

    MIM again reiterated its fear that Sangh Parivar will fill the political vacuum in Telangana after the merger of TRS with congress or after its political demise in the new state.

    Many Christian groups have met chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy demanding protection to the community. Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches has already written to National Human Rights Commission for immediate intervention fearing more attacks in the run up to parliamentary and state elections.

    Related:

    EFLU students’ protest against the suspension of Deputy Registrar Rasool Saheb

    EFLU suspends Deputy Registrar Rasool for ‘cooperating with CAG,’ he claims victimisation


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has upgraded its S. T. S. High School, AMU City High School and AMU Girls’ High School up to senior secondary level in the session 2013-14 with the opening of Class XI in these schools under regular mode. All the three steams, science, commerce and Arts/Social Science will be taught in these schools.

    In a consultative meeting of Principals of schools and Superintendent, Abdullah Nursery and Primary School (ANPS) has decided that admission in the ANPS will be given in Class I only from the session 2014-15 through admission test conducted by the school.

    AMU Controller of Examinations, Prof. Pervez Mustajab informed that application form for admission to Class I, VI and IX are available in an Online Application mode. The last date for submitting online application for Class I is February 15, 2014, while for Class VI, it is February 8 and for Class IX, it is February 1, 2014.

    It was also decided the test for Class VI and IX shall be conducted on OMR sheets. However, there will be no negative marking in the evaluation.

    The University has already announced the dates for admission test, which is March 2, 2014 for Class IX, March 9 for Class VI and March 16 for Class I.

    Candidates applying for the admission to University maintained schools under NRI/Foreign National category will have to pay US$50 (Fifty) towards admission test fee/processing charges.

    Prof. Mustajab said that foreign nationals will be exempted from written test or interview, however candidates under NRI category will have to appear in the admission test and/or interview.

    He said that the candidates admitted under NRI/Foreign national categories will have to pay US$1000 (One Thousand) at the time of admission in addition to the regular charges. Further, they will also have to pay additional US$ 600 per annum in each subsequent academic session up to Class X.


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    By Mohammed Sharique Anwar,

    The miraculous success of AAP (Aam Aadmi Party – Common People’s Party) in the Assembly Election 2013 in Delhi has sent a wave of shock to the sympathisers, party activists and leaders of the Congress and the BJP across the nation. What happened on December 08, 2013 in New Delhi was a historic and never-before event. It was an eye-opener for Indian media as well as Indian political analysts.

    While on the one hand, it thwarted the tall claim of the BJP that Narendra Modi is the most popular leader, while one the other hand, it belittled the speculation of the ruling Congress party that UPA – 3 will emerge under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

    The Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal proved that change is the name of the game and political battle can be won in the name of fighting social evils like corruption, rape, scams etc. His team was successful in observing the public opinion. It successfully tapped into the despair, disgruntlement and resentment of the common people of Delhi. The political pundits and celebrities began supporting AAP overtly or covertly.

    Kejriwal became the darling of the press. On the whole, it was a dream-like event for AAP. The flip side of the story was (still is) the huge expectation of the common people from Aam Aadmi Party. It was a tough assignment, really tough to unshackle the old and deep rooted practice of 6 decades. My question is – Has Mr Kejriwal failed to deliver as expected?

    There is no denying that Kejriwal, an alumnus of IIT – Kharagpur and a former IRS Officer is an honest, hard-working and brilliant man who wants to work for the betterment of the common people. He abandoned a high profile career to join politics. Although his intention appears to be pure, he is bound to make some mistakes as politics is a new battle-ground for him and most of his party workers.

    After taking the oath from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at the historic Ram Leela Ground in New Delhi, he pledged good governance and supremacy of law and order in Delhi. His main goal was to punish the corrupt government officials from top to bottom. He promised free water and subsidized electricity to the common people of Delhi. He promised to bring about a sea-change in the politics of city-state. He also stressed on the equality among people and advocated for brotherhood. While addressing the crowd after the oath he sang a popular song of the Hind Film “PAIGHAM” starring tragedy king Dileep Kumar–

    Insaan ka Insaan Se Ho Bhaichaara!
    Yahi Paigham Hamara, Yahi Paigham Hamara!!
    Nae Jagat Me Hua Purana Oonch Nich Ka Qissa!
    Sabko Mile Mehnat Ke Mutabiq Apna Apna Hissa!!
    Sabke Lie Sukh Ka Brabar Ho Bantwara!!
    Yahi Paigham Hamara, Yahi Paigham Hamara!!

    (There should be brotherhood amongst human beings,
    This Is Our Message, This Is Our Message!!
    In New World, the tales of Rich and Poor Is Old,
    All Should Have The Share Of Profit As Per their Efforts!!
    There Should Be Equal Distribution of Happiness amongst All,
    This Is Our Message, This Is Our Message!!)

    This heart-touching song was so appealing that he was being considered to be the Messiah of poor, desperate and down-trodden people. The message was so simple, effective and incisive that the entire country began to look up to him as a beacon of hope amongst the corrupt politicians. His political profile as an ordinary man drew huge mass base and support. In a very short period, he achieved what other politicians can only dream of in terms of expanding political base. His fan-following grew from strong to stronger. There was a time post assembly election in 2013 in Delhi that he was the most searched person on google leaving the US president Mr Obama to the second spot. As a non-resident Indian based in Dubai, I was amazed to see his growing stature in the Indian political firmament.

    In order to fulfil the promises he made before the Assembly elections, he started implementing his political agenda of providing free litre water up to 667 for a family. Not only that, he also subsidized the electricity as per his party manifesto. It resulted into the reduction of 50 per cent of electricity bill. The common people had a relief of sigh because the cost of living is sky-rocketing in India with each passing day. These moves were, however, criticized by his political opponents by stating that it would not only embezzle the funds but also empty out the treasury. He was also blamed to be a populist who is doing all in a hurry to gain political dividends in the upcoming Parliamentary election in 2014.

    With all his achievements, Mr. Kejriwal failed to keep his legislators united. He didn’t even finish 20 days that his own party member and a seating MLA Vinod Kumar Binny revolted. He blamed Kejriwal for fooling the innocent people of Delhi in the name of subsidy and free water. In the same breathe, Binny was vocal that he would protest against Kejriwal and his team in the same Ram Leela Ground if the election manifesto was not implemented as promised. He held a press-conference questioning Kejriwal’s honesty and dignity.

    The dust didn’t settle here. The law minister Somnath Bharti kicked up a new controversy. He went to his constituency Khirki Extension in South Delhi on a tip-off that drug-trafficking and sex-racket is being run by the Ugandans and Nigerians. He ordered the Delhi police to catch the culprits red-handed but to no avail.

    Rather, Bharti was warned by the police not to disrupt the law and order. He and his supporters had an altercation with the police team in the midnight when the police team cited the reason of illegality to arrest a woman between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM. There was a huge hue and cry created against Bharti by his political adversaries because of his comment – Ye Log Hamlogon Ki Tarah Nahin Hain (These people are not like us).

    This objectionable comment was against the black people of Uganda and Nigeria. There is no denying that some Nigerian or Ugandan nationals might be involved in an illegal business. However; Bharti had no right to paint all the Africans with the same brush. One is not wrong in the assertion that almost all the illegal business prospers with the help of police. This demoralised and forced Kejriwal to sit on dharna outside the Rail Bhavan against Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde because the Delhi police department falls under Union Home Ministry.

    Kejriwal was absolutely right in his protest for allocating the responsibility of police. To a large extent, it will help the government of the day to nab the culprits and expose the dubious role of the police. He sat on agitation while demanding the suspension or removal of the said police officers who failed to discharge their duties. He and his supporters called off the agitation once Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung sent the said police officers on leave until the inquiry of dereliction of duty is not completed.

    One of the most famous leaders of AAP Dr. Kumar Vishwas apologized to the Muslims community for his unsavoury remark against Late Imam Hussain, the grand-son of the prophet Mohammed who was martyred by Yazeed in Karbala, Iraq. Controversy after controversy left the common people of the country in a tizzy.

    Of late, a huge controversy erupted when AAP’s leader Prashant Bhushan, noted lawyer of the Supreme Court of India; questioned the deployment of Indian army in Kashmir. He personally suggested the Union government for army pull-out as it flies in the face of Kashmiri people. The BJP and the Congress started questioning his patriotism ideological denomination. Even the rightist and centrist media slammed Bhushan’s statement as anti-national which is dangerous to the unity and integrity. Almost all the parties started playing the national and communal card.

    As the parliament election is around the corner, AAP should work on good governance, development and safety and not on agitation and protests. Holding protest or agitation before the Parliamentary Election will be suicidal for AAP. It will only strengthen his political adversaries. After all democracy is for the people, of the people, by the people. The strength of democracy is the power of common people. There is a lot to be done irrespective of the fact that AAP has so far done far better than the governments of Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh after coming to power in December 2013.The count-down has begun and Aam Aadmi (common people) is watching across India.

    I hope AAP will take a stock of the situation and introspect what is going wrong after a stupendous political debut. Thomas A. Edison has rightly said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

    (Mohammed Sharique Anwar is currently working in Dubai in a multinational company.)


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Students at the Jamia Millia Islamia's A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre have curated a documentary film festival, Ainaa, which opened Friday. Six films will be shown.

    The movies have been conceptualized, shot, edited and directed by final year students of the centre's Master of Arts Convergent Journalism.

    A reflection on society, each documentary hopes to convey a message. "Ainaa holds a mirror to society, both to the good and the bad around us," a Jamia statement said.

    The documentaries to be shown are "This Filthy Life" (18 minutes), "Kaansutra" (15 mts), "Please Mind The Gap" (20 mts), "Head In The Stars" (19 mts), "What's Wrong With My Islam?" (23 mts) and "Uncle Bond" (22 minutes).


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    By IANS,

    Washington : Indian-American Farah Pandith, the first-ever US special representative to Muslim communities, is leaving her position at the State Department to join the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

    Appointed to the position in June 2009 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Pandith "always places people above politics, and she has performed groundbreaking work," said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement Thursday.

    Originally from Srinagar, Pandith will be joining the Institute of Politics as a resident fellow for the spring semester. She will lead weekly study groups on a range of topics.

    Pandith has a master's degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an AB from Smith College Pandith's deputy, Adnan Kifayat, will serve as the acting special representative until a permanent replacement is named.

    Describing Pandith as a "trailblazer and a visionary," Kerry said "Farah's legacy is an extraordinary record of thoughtfulness, balance, and sheer guts and determination."

    "For Farah, this isn't just a career. It's her life's passion," he said.

    "It's in her DNA as a first-generation immigrant who achieved historic firsts for America, from changing the way our Embassies engage with Muslim communities in Europe to getting a Quran placed in the White House Library."

    She travelled to more than 80 countries and launched critically important youth programmes, including Generation Change, Viral Peace, and the Hours Against Hate campaign, Kerry noted Pandith's career in public service has taken her from Chief of Staff of the Bureau for Asia and the Near East at USAID to Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives at the National Security Council to Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: On first look you will find her to be just another lady in her 60s, till you know her enormous efforts to bring a change in the society to understand her real worth. Meet Birubala Rabha, who is almost single-handedly fighting against the social evils like witch hunting despite the threats of losing her life.

    Since mid-1980s, the lady from Thakur Villa village, a remotest part in Goalpara district along the Assam-Meghalaya border, has been fighting to eradicate the superstition of killing innocent people in the name of witch-hunting.



    Birubala Rabha

    Altogether 72 have been killed on suspicion of practicing witchcraft, besides 437 were accused of witch-hunting killings in the state between 2005 and October 2013 according to government record available.

    Her name was also referred for the Noble Peace Prize in 2005. In an interview Birubala Rabha shares her experience and upcoming projects at her home with TwoCircles.net.

    Q: Do you have any new plan in your mission towards making society free from superstitions like witch-hunting?

    A: We have decided to create more awareness by visiting people and having personal interaction and also via public meetings in various parts of Assam which starts from next week. Initially we will go to Tinsukia and then in several places of the upper Assam before moving to other places as well.

    Here, the important thing is that we will also take the women who have been targeted as witch sometime or the other in their lives. In our 15 member team, Anjali Hajong and Padumi of Lakhipur area who were targeted as witch will also accompany.

    I think it will help the people understand the reality. They are such beautiful women and how can these be witch? Moreover, the village heads where such incidents have taken place will also be with us in the journey.

    Q: Who are the people who are helping you in such mission?

    A: Initially, I had to face tremendous problems in my way as everybody would react against me. The village heads ,the general people in the village never listened to me. But gradually, things started changing as I grew stronger in my mind to fight the evil. The media also started to highlight the things and people understood.

    There are several people who have come forward to join hands with me to complete my mission. Starting from Tinsukia to Goalpara many people who are doctors, teachers and social activists have been helping me. But the mission is still far from accomplishment.

    Q: Why and when did you start your war against this social evil?

    A: First of all when I saw people branded my eldest son as witch after he suffered from a mental illness, I was pretty determined to see it off since 1985.

    Once my husband went to a quack to know my son’s status but he had said that my son Dharmaswar would die within three days, but he is still alive. That is completely non-sense. Then I realized how people are made fool by these quacks. Then similar incidents continue to occur in my neighbourhood.

    In many cases, their own families distanced themselves from them. Whenever I came across these cases of witch-hunting cases in the area, I felt disturbed. But for an uneducated rural tribal women like me, I had no idea how to fight.

    After that I joined in the village Mahila Samiti and I was invited in a discussion by the Assam Mahila Samata Society (AMSS) in Goalpara on the issue of witch-hunting. There the local women were silent even after knowing the fact that five women of that locality were branded witch without any reason.

    The local women’s behaviour enraged me and I spoke on their behalf. This is how the journey began.

    Q: What are the major problems you have to face throughout the period till now?

    A: All are problems. The road has been tough, in fact very tough at times. On many occasions the miscreants had threatened to kill me because I advocated for the innocent women who have been branded as witch.

    Initially, the people here boycotted me socially. I fought back and said I was born and brought up here besides getting married here. I’m going to stay back here.

    I used to travel with NGOs to campaign against witch-hunting. I even walked for several kilometers to save the girls. It’s a fight for womanhood against patriarchy, because most of the quacks are men and most of the witch-hunting victims’ women. Out of the 35 people I have personally rescued, 33 are women and two are men.

    Then there are financial problem as always. I’m a very simple village with hardly any earning. We need money to travel to places and do our work. So, it’s another major worry for me. At the same time I also need to run the family along with my two sons and a daughter in law.



    Q: Why do you think people targeted as witch?

    A: This is the main point of the entire thing. The miscreants try to achieve their goal by killing innocent and helpless people by branding them as witch. Recently, when we were fighting the case of Anjali Hajong, I came to know the reason. A village youth tried to establish physical relation with Anjali who is a widow but when she refused to do so, she was branded as witch.

    On the other hand, on some occasions, the ill minded and greedy people try to kill lonely and helpless couples and old persons to acquire their properties. These innocent people are tortured for various means and the villagers also misled by these groups.

    Q: How is the support from the state government?

    A: Very poor. The state government should have been played more pro-active role in this regard. This is also a major worry. So far many innocent people have lost their lives and many others have been tortured. Government can do lot more things if they want to do.
    Besides, an act should be enacted against to stop the crime. We need a strong law to curb it.

    Q: Any other project for the coming days?

    A: We have to make our Mission Birubala which was formed in 2011 stronger and we need to go for wider reach to interact with the people. If the state government allots us a plot of land for an office we can further proceed in our mission.


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    By IANS,

    Title: Desert Hunt; Author: K.S.R. Menon; Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Pages: 241; Price: Not listed

    Dubai, the most liberal oasis in the Gulf, comes alive as journalist-writer K.S.R. Menon weaves a gripping tale of an Al Qaeda attempt to procure a suitcase nuke from a renegade Pakistani spy working in tandem with a supposed A.Q. Khan. The Indian intelligence, with eyes and ears in Kabul and along the Afghan-Pakistan border, provides valuable inputs that trigger a key Hamas operative's assassination by Israeli agents in Dubai. With the Indian and American intelligence playing a key role, security agencies in Dubai foil - at the very eleventh hour -- a spectacular suicide attack to avenge the Hamas man's murder and also to divert attention from the carefully planned nuke deal. The fitting climax sees a senior wounded Al Qaeda leader being smuggled by sea into Dubai with help from a Pakistan-based Indian don (read Dawood Ibrahim). Can they return to Pakistan safely?

    The 16 years Menon spent in Dubai working for the Indian media has obviously made him a master of its topography. The reader is transported to Dubai - its iconic landmarks, the coast and the numerous streets - as the various characters, primarily from the UAE and Pakistan, weave in and out of the gripping, suspense-filled work of fiction.

    "Desert Hunt", Menon's first book, has all the ingredients for a fast-paced film.


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will lay the foundation stone of the Kishanganj Centre of Aligarh Muslim University Centre in Bihar on Thursday, 30 January, 2014 at 1.00 pm in village Chakla, Kishanganj.

    AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. General (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah convened a consultative meeting of the University officials to finalize the programme. Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S. Ahmad Ali, University Registrar, Gp Capt (Retd) Shahrukh Shamshad and other officials participated in the meeting.


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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday expanded his council of ministers for the fifth time, inducting four cabinet ministers and one minister of state.

    Cabinet ministers sworn in by Governor B.L. Joshi here were Shivkant Ojha, Iqbal Masood, Mehboob Ali and Shahid Manzoor.

    The lone minister of state was Yasser Shah, son of Labour and Employment Minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Waqar Shah, who was relieved of his duties Friday as he has been ailing for the last one year.

    Akhilesh Yadav expanded his ministry a few days back when Gayatri Prajapati and Manoj Pandey, legislators from Amethi and Rae Bareli - the parliamentary constituencies of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and party chief Sonia Gandhi respectively - were appointed cabinet ministers.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Friday got a rap from the Election Commission (EC) which said it was not satisfied with the party's explanation over communal appeal made during the Delhi assembly polls.

    Then AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was questioned by the poll panel for an alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct by way of an appeal on grounds of religion to Muslim voters to support his party in the assembly elections.

    The EC, in its letter, highlighted that the first reply from the party was signed by Pankaj Gupta, national secretary of the AAP.

    After an objection was raised, another reply, signed by Kejriwal, was filed.

    The letter added that the commission was not satisfied with the response.

    "Notwithstanding the averments made by you to justify the contents of the pamphlets, the fact remains that you have made an appeal in that pamphlet to a particular religious community for securing votes in favour of your party, which, the commission considers, is violation of the Model Code of Conduct," the commission said.

    "Now, therefore, having regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply under reference, the commission hereby conveys its concern, and cautions you to be more careful in the election campaigns of your party in future," it added.

    The pamphlet, whose objectionable parts the Election Commission has reproduced in its notice, purportedly has AAP saying that, "Delhi's Muslims should support Aam Aadmi Party in the forthcoming polls".

    "We (AAP) are not seeking votes for power or money but for rooting out corruption from the system and building a corruption-free India where people belonging to all religions can live in peace," the pamphlet said.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Supreme Court Friday said it would hear Jan 28 the curative petition by 1993 Delhi blast terror convict Devinderpal Singh Bhullar for commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.

    A bench of Chief Justice P.Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice M.Y. Eqbal slated the matter for hearing Jan 28 as senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi told the court that Bhullar's curative petition is pending since September 2013.

    Tulsi told the court that the April 14, 2013, ruling declining to commute Bhullar's death sentence into life imprisonment on the grounds that he was convicted under the terror law has become invalid in the light of the recent three-judge verdict of tghe apex court.

    The bench headed by Chief Justice Sathasivam ruled that delay in the president deciding the mercy petition and mental illness of death row convict are grounds for commuting death sentences to life imprisonment.

    The court also said that while commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of inordinate delay in deciding the mercy petition by the president, the court's decision would not be coloured by the consideration whether the person on death row was convicted under the provision of Indian Penal Code or the terror laws.

    "The only aspect the courts have to satisfy is that the delay must be unreasonable and unexplained or inordinate at the hands of the executive," it said.

    The apex court by its earlier verdict, rejecting Bhullar's plea, had said: "If the enormity of the crime is such that a large number of innocent people are killed without rhyme or reason, the exercise of power by the president or the governor, as the case may be, not to entertain the prayer for mercy in such cases cannot be characterized as arbitrary or unreasonable and the court cannot exercise power of judicial review only on the ground of undue delay."

    In the case of Bhullar, it has been canvassed that not only there was delay in deciding his mercy petition but he was also mentally ill and undergoing treatment in a mental hospital. It has also been said that the apex court verdict confirming his death sentence was a split verdict, with a majority confirming the capital punishment.

    Bhullar was sentenced to death for the 1993 blast at the Youth Congress office, a stone's throw from Parliament House in Delhi, which left nine dead. The attack was targeted against then Youth Congress leader M.S. Bitta.


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    By IANS,

    Panchkula (Haryana) : A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here Friday framed charges against Hindu leader Swami Aseemanand and three others in the Samjhauta train blast case.

    Following the framing of charges, Aseemanand and three others - Kamal Chand, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma - will face trial for criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder, sedition and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and various sections of the Explosive Substances Act, Railways Act, Damage to Public Property Act, and Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.

    Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, was arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in which 14 people were killed in 2007.

    The NIA had questioned Aseemanand about his role in the Samjhauta Express train blasts Feb 18, 2007, at Diwana village near the industrial town of Panipat, 160 km from here, in Haryana. The suitcase bombing took place in two coaches of the train.

    A total of 68 people, a majority of them Pakistani nationals, lost their lives in the Samjhauta blast.

    The train was going from Delhi to Attari, the last station on the Indian side. The passengers were to board the Samjhauta Express train, a twice-a-week peace train between India and Pakistan, to Lahore city in Pakistan the next day (Feb 19).

    Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation Nov 19, 2010, from Haridwar.

    The NIA later said that it has evidence against Aseemanand and others.

    The charge sheet in the case was filed in 2011, four years after the bombing attack took place.


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