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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to central and city government on a plea filed by a prime accused in the 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts, seeking a direction that he be provided books on homoeopathy free of cost in jail for studying as he was too poor to afford them.

    Justice Manmohan, issuing notice to the governments, asked them to file response on plea of Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui who is lodged in Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

    Siddiqui had moved the court after attempts by him to get the books from Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Delhi by filing a Right to Information (RTI) plea failed with Central Information Commission (CIC) rejecting the request.

    He sought direction to supply copies of all 45 books published by CCRH, Delhi.

    Siddiqui had earlier written a letter to the Delhi's chief justice claiming his right to study the medical books after his request was rejected by CCRH and CIC.

    Acting on the letter, the high court had converted the plea into a PIL and appointed advocate Sumeet Pushkarna as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

    In his plea, Siddiqui said the prisoners are not ordinary citizens and special consideration is required for his application under RTI for copies of all books.

    In his letter, he said that he had filed an application under the RTI Act but the CCRH turned his request down on the ground that these were "priced publications" and hence could not be given out free of cost.

    Siddiqui's request for soft copies was also turned down, citing copyright laws.

    As he fell in the below poverty line category, which was verified by the Bombay High Court registrar, Siddiqui said he should be given this information free of cost.

    Since a prisoner is not allowed to do any business to earn money, the state must ensure that he is provided the publications, his plea added.

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    By Asma Anjum Khan for,

    Respected…sorry, , Mr.Tehelka,
    Hope you are doing fine….
    Fine? In a jail? Sorry. Dunno know how to begin?

    The media fraternity you were once part of, has already paid you homage, for the horrific crime you committed.

    May be, rightly so. The man in such a high position should never have done such a thing, (Does that mean, the man in a lower position should be doing it? ) A little birdie tells me that you have been thinking of joining, take the staircase, avoid the elevators , campaign? Altogether they say you have become allergic to the word, ’lift’ and go mad whenever tried your fellow inmates try humming Adnan Sami thingy, Thori si toh lift kara de…?

    This relentless media glare might have astonished you as well. Your Think-fest [or Stink-fest?] at Goa funded by the very forces you fought all these years didn’t help either. You were said to be becoming fond of money. But, as it is said, did you also sell your stories? What’s more you allegedly received a money bag from Mamata Di’s satchel and had a Congressi Kapil Sibal on board!

    Sir, very wrong, how can you claim to be neutral veutral when you have, ’such’ people on your Tehelka ship? [It’s another matter that this type of neutral journalist is as rare as finding a Hippopotamus munching pop corn sitting next to you,]. But our no holds barred media and Twitterati went on a rampage, tearing you apart, bit by bit. For once you left behind our Saheb of the Snoop-gate. This guy had used the whole state machinery to snoop on an architect girl he had taken a fancy upon. (Never mind, like in your case his girl too was of a daughter’s age). The moment your transgression came to light, Saheb’s snooping saga began to fade from the minds and the media rapidly. Now Twitter, Facebook, TV studios, wherever you turned, you found heated discussions on how Tejpal got malformed into Teja. All this resulted in what was wanted from your slip-up; the Saheb Snoopgate was forgotten in no time. Comparatively speaking what was more important? Using state machinery like you and your father owned it or a news portal chief’s two minutes of transgression? Perhaps it was the latter. In this country of ours sometimes we never know which wrong becomes right with some quarters or vice versa.

    A rape is a rape is a rape and in the same way a rapist is a rapist, is a rapist. God.. I now understand how useful a creature the lift-wala boy, could be! A bit old fashioned, of course, but a blessing in disguise; especially when great journalists happen to ,’use’ it. Imagine if that Hyatt hotel had a lift wala boy , then today you would have been sipping chai with Shoma aunty, in your cool villa; you built by breaking the environmental laws. But you chose the elevator and went down with a thud! Aah! The alchemy of an elevator! No wonder you got the Bad Sex Award for your first novel, The Alchemy of Desire. ! I heard you also ended your Think-fest speech, at Goa with, We are here to eat and drink and sleep , with whoever you want. God, Tarun! You are incorrigible!

    But to tell you the truth, I felt bad about all this happening to you. I had cherished your daredevilry when you brought out that defence scam. You were so different from those arm chair journalists /columnists who write about asparagus ,without ever eating one. You were ,the real journo. The teenager me, watched you and your adventures ,starry eyed, admiring the courage you showed. I still remember seeing those images of fluttering notes in the hands of Bangaru Laxman, former BJP chief. Since then yours truly is a fan.[of course, till you stepped into that elevator at Hyatt] It’s no surprise to see you being attacked with such vengeance. After all, it’s easy to hit someone who has already fallen on his mouth. They said you had a loose tongue, that you parked your red Pajero always in the wrong place and didn’t mind paying that five rupees bribe to the watch-man! Why, there was even a debate about how the Pajero males …….Okay, have a look at some of the headlines your lift-fest brought about.

    Tarun Tejpal was trapped in a Skin Not His Own ; Mr.Moral’s Meltdown

    Aah you see the whole moral fabric of India came down, with a thud, with your Lift-fest. No, I won’t ask the silliest of queries ,like that theatre guy, Alyque Padamsee as to why the hell did that woman go into that elevator with him? [To go to the ground floor, Sir!?]

    When I see people going for your murder, I wonder where their conscience goes to sleep, when Riot Rapes are reported. If Gujarat 2002 seems a stale story to these guys, then there are fresh rapes to relish upon from Muzaffarnagar in UP. The issue of Riot Rapes is the most peculiar case in point. While candle light vigils are held for some, others are raped with a regular impunity. There is also a surety that the beasts of these Riot-Rapes will go unpunished. But do we see any outrage? A barrage of tweets/ media glare about them? No, a Riot Rape seems like an Open License Rape.

    Tejpal Sir,

    I have admiration for your pioneering investigative journalism. I know you had to pay a big price for your dare devilry acts. But no one before you had brought out such gutsy stories of corruption. You gave us gems like Aniruddha Behal and Ashish Khetan. It was because of these two guys that we see some of the worst riot criminals behind bars today. But it was your Hamartia that brought you down or else it’s rare to see a Chief Minister rushing to the victim’s help.

    Hopefully you would soon be out of your hole. Now do not screw up again. That Black African leader Malcolm X , who could count the pulse of his detractors from far afar was once a big thief and got imprisoned. He had said that the reason for imprisoning him was not that he had stolen some petty goods but because he had slept with the, ‘white’ girls. Those white girls were his partners at crime. It was unpardonable. The people you had exposed previously just grabbed the opportunity and killed two birds with one stone. They avenged you for your earlier ‘audacious’ journalism and also swiftly pulled out the Saheb- gate out of the public memory. The so called liberal moderates who scoff at communalism, perhaps unwittingly became the ready instrument for the purpose. You see Tejpal Sir, when you stomp upon the elephant; you must always be careful about your own tail first.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: In a bid to intensify the struggle and meet their demands, workers of Manesar Plant of Maruti Suzuki in Gurgaon of Haryana approached Delhi on January 29 towards the culmination of their 15 days ‘Jan Jagran Padyatra’ from Kaithal , a district of Haryana, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Gurgaon to Jantar Mantar of Delhi which spans 15-31 January.

    On the way of Padyatra they got rousing support from the students, teachers and workers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on 29th January as JNU Students Union organized a cultural evening in solidarity with the workers with speeches, songs, plays and performances by many organizations such as Revolutionary Cultural Front (RCF), Dastak, A group of JNU Workers and Staff and of course JNUSU.

    Addressing the gathering JNUSU President Akbar Choudhry vehemently criticized the corporate class of country. Referring the example of Narandr Modi he asked, “Do you know why corporate fascism is keen to present Gujarat as model of development and to make the whole country as the same because Modi providing the space and resources of the country to them to oppress the poor that is why he is champion in their eyes.”

    Criticizing the policies of Aam Admi Parti’s Government he elaborated, “There are quite a number of poor and workers who came in the trap of new fascism of AAP, but still there are some, in front of us, who will lead the struggle and provide befitted response to all kind of fascism” Choudhry added.

    Struggle of the workers has started on 4th June 2011 for the demand of constitutionally guaranteed right to unionize that traversed through many a terminations, suspensions and brutal assault by police when they tried to protest by imposition of 144 to disallow gatherings in the entire industrial belt. Speaking to the audience Anjani Kumar, Editor of Bhor Magazine applauded the sprite and struggle of Maruti Workers but also warned how the corporate are on agenda to split the movement, “there is black law in Haryana that the worker who hails around 80 km of the factory will not be given the naukri. Because of this there is always a tussle between local and employees,” he said.

    The movement took another turn after 18th of July 2012 when a Human Resource Manager Avneesh Kumar Dev of Jharkhand killed in an assault by workers as claimed by Police which resulted about 55 named and 600 unnamed workers were booked,546 workers were terminated and 148 are still behind the bar.

    Chanting the slogans to release 148 jailed workers and withdraw all false cases and to give their constitutional rights workers of Maruti also complained about media blackout after the incident of 18th July. When asked about the future of the struggle, a terminated worker, Ram Nivas of 29 said “we do not care about the future. By this Padyatra we started our journey of struggle, now how much oppression we have to face we will continue to fight,” Ram told TCN.

    “This is not just our fight rather it is fight of all workers being oppressed in this country,” added Niavs. Pointing the finger over the judgment of Special investigation Team (SIT) Haryana MR. K.G Mukharji, Professor of JNU said, “it is so strange that the person who often use to talk about the rights of workers how could he being killed by workers, rather he was killed by police. Oppression over workers and violation of their rights actually tell us how independent and democratic we are,” Mr. Mukharji said.

    Singing the resistance songs ‘mang rahe ham adhilar,bangle nahi chahiye’ a group of women workers and parents show their solidarity. Almost brimming with tears the mother of a worker, Darshan who hails from Sonipat District of Haryana, whose son is right now in jail said “my son is languishing in jail, he has a wife and a daughter along with two younger brothers, there is no one who could make butter and bread for us, we are in very horrifying condition”. She told TCN. “My husband started facing hysteria and faced many diseases because of the painful news of our son’s arresting” she added.

    Since 18 months there are 148 workers are still behind the bars because of the murder of hr manager. After this incident corporate media presented workers as a criminals and the faced the wrath and anger of the masses because of misconception created by media. “By this Padyatra we tried to wash out the confusions and misconceptions, now janta is again with us, I am sure now we can win the battle,” Said Jitandre Kumar, who started working in Manesar Plant of Maruti in 2005. When asked who is to be blamed for this longest movement and still in the midway of struggle he said “first of all Haryana Government to be blamed for not providing any assistance and secondly Media black outing our whole movement,” Mr. Kumar told TCN.

    “Forced to work for more than eight hours a day without minimal lunch/tea breaks and sometimes even without toilet breaks, the workers are forced to meet the target of 1 car every 42 seconds,” read a leaflet issued by Democratic Student union (DSU).

    “Even as profits of the company were soaring and the consumer price index rose by 50%, the real wages of Maruti workers rose by just 5.5% between 2007 and 2011.while the annual remuneration of Maruti’s CEOs increased by 419% the share of the workers’ wages in the net sales of the company dropped from 2.24% in 2007 to 1.94% in 2011,” added the pamphlet.

    A large gathering of students, teachers, workers and other staff turned up to show their solidarity with those workers. And pledge to continue their support to fight the battle to its natural end that is to meet the demands.


    Maruti Workers’ Long March for Justice

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Kishanganj: A student of the Aligarh Muslim University Mobashir Jamal has alleged that he was kidnapped and harassed by a group of Congress workers in Kishanganj after he raised the issue of the minority status of the University with the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

    Congress President Sonia Gandhi laid down the foundation stone of AMU Kishanganj Centre in Chakla village of the district on January 30. Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr. Pallam Raju, Bihar Governor, Dr. D. Y. Patil, Bihar Chief Minister, Shri Nitish Kumar and Bihar Minister of Education, P. K. Shahi was also present on the occasion.

    Pervez Siddiqui, Secretary, Sir Syed Minority Foundation (SSMF) presented a memorandum to Sonia Gandhi for restoration of Minority Status of AMU. Mobashir, who is the Treasurer of the SSMF and was with Parvez at the programme, along with some other students.

    Pervez Siddiqui told TCN that as the programme got over they were rounded up for raising the issue with Mrs Gandhi and beaten badly. He said that even he was hurt, along with five other of his friends. They all escaped, but Mobasshir was caught, and locked in a room.

    In a written statement he said that he somehow he managed to escape from the confinement after about eight hours by jumping from the roof and later contacting few local friends.

    Mobasshir has now submitted a written complaint at the Town Police station of Kishanganj demanding actions against those goons.

    They suspect that those goons were Congress party workers, as they had party flags in hands and were in programme.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : Security at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rally in Meerut Sunday has been tightened, with an inspector general of police being made in charge of a political rally for the first time.

    The security has been stepped up in view of the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Uttar Pradesh last year.

    A number of police personnel have been deployed. Besides bomb disposal squads, metal detectors have been set up to secure Modi's rally, officials said.

    Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel told IANS that security for Modi's rally has been tightened.

    He also said the Inspector General (IG) Meerut has been assigned the charge of the security at Meerut.

    This is for the first time that a high-ranking official has been assigned with the duty of a political rally.

    Officials said two superintendent of police (SP), 10 additional SPs, 20 deputy SPs, 12 inspectors, 150 sub-inspectors, 450 constables, 22 traffic sub-inspectors, 15 traffic head constables and 10 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been sent from the headquarters in Lucknow.

    Also, 20 hand-held metal detectors, 25 door-framed metal detectors, three anti-sabotage teams, two bomb disposal squads and two commando units of the anti-terrorist squad have also been dispatched for the rally venue.

    Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) has taken over the rally venue for the past one week and the area is being sanitised, an official said.

    Political parties expect Modi to speak on the Muzaffarnagar communal riots that left 63 dead and thousands homeless.

    The Akhilesh Yadav-led government has been slammed for poor rehabilitation and for its failure to contain the riots. The Samajwadi Party (SP) government has in turn blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for inciting communal passions.

    The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress have alleged the riots were a result of an understanding between BJP and SP.

    Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has so far maintained a studied silence on the riots and party insiders say that he might finally speak his mind at the rally.

    Former Mumbai police chief Satyapal Singh, who quit service, may join the BJP at the rally.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh police have filed chargesheets in 22 cases in Muzaffarnagar riots, an official said Saturday.

    These chargesheets have been filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) after investigations into the charges against the accused.

    A total of 6,261 people have been named in 543 cases in Muzaffarnagar communal riots that left 63 dead and rendered thousands homeless.

    Police said investigating officer had added names of 162 people in the original list of accused after which the total number of accused went up to 6,423.

    Allegations against 683 have been found to be correct and as many as 242 people have been jailed. The police is on the lookout for others who are absconding, while 47 have so far surrendered.

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    By IANS,

    Patna : After Aligarh Muslim University, now Banaras Hindu University is keen to open a centre in Bihar, officials said Saturday.

    Two days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone of an off-campus branch of the AMU in the state's Kishanganj district, BHU has shown its willingness to set up a branch in Bihar.

    "I am keen to open a branch (of BHU) in Bihar. It is up to the Bihar government to provide us land (for it) as soon as possible," BHU vice chancellor Lalji Singh told IANS over the phone.

    Singh said that he would speed up the process if the Bihar government sends approval for the land.

    "I will talk to officials of the union human resource development ministry next month in this connection," he said, adding the university's branch in Bihar would facilitate students of the state.

    BJP legislator Awnish Kumar Singh had proposed the BHU branch in the state's Motihari district in 2012. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that the state government would take steps in this direction if BHU initiates the process.

    "I will again raise this issue in the next session of the (state) assembly," Awnish Kumar told IANS here.

    Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the BHU should send a proposal to the state government to open its branch.

    "We will be happy if BHU open its branch in Bihar and will provide all possible help for it," he added.

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    By Soroor Ahmed,

    Though the Aam Admi Party is passing through pangs of becoming a ruling party in Delhi it is, at least on one count, in more advantageous position than the Bharatiya Janata Party. Like the Congress it has the potential to emerge as a pan-India party.

    While the Congress has grown weak nationally the biggest limitation of the BJP is that it can hardly become an all-India party. Even during the high time of Ram Janambhoomi Movement it failed to break out of the Hindi heartland of India. About 250 out of 543 parliamentary constituencies remain totally out of its bound.

    Notwithstanding the tall claims of Moditva wave the party is yet to register its presence in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and other smaller north-eastern states. If the BJP comes to power it will have to rely heavily on the regional allies and the party may have to once again make major political concessions as it did during the Vajpayee rule between 1998 and 2004.

    Though it would be too early to say anything about the Aam Admi Party, as it is at present a conglomeration of various social activists, NGOs, academics, former bureaucrats and technocrats, journalists, politicians linked formerly to different parties, etc yet it has the capability to challenge the Congress party in all the parliamentary constituencies of the country. Time may be running out for the party for the coming Lok Sabha election, but it can certainly spread its tentacles in the years to come.

    While there may be no scope for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley or Christian-dominated Mizoram or Nagaland the Aam Admi Party can certainly hope to emerge as a force to reckon with in all these places in the years to come––provided its leaders capitalize on the prevailing mood of the people in the proper way.

    Another significant plus point with the Aam Admi Party is that it is demolishing the caste and community barriers. Its expansion may hit the Congress party hard, but the truth is that its emergence has come as a big blow to the BJP, whose failure as the main opposition party helped AAP come to power in Delhi. This may happen elsewhere too. If many young voters have till now been rooting for Narendra Modi it was not necessarily out of love for him, but because they have no alternative to weak Manmohan Singh. The AAP has provided that choice to them.

    While realization has dawned upon many Congressmen and they have started making up their mind to sit in the opposition after the May 2014 election the BJP leaders are a bit panicky. If AAP really walks away with a few seats, as many experts predict, the result may seal the prospect of Narendra Modi.

    Though the AAP is not playing the caste politics, it needs to be pointed out that after Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is the first big personality to emerge from the trading community, which has the natural proclivity towards the BJP. In that way, notwithstanding his party’s stand against FDI in New Delhi he may be acceptable especially to the small traders. That is why the saffron party is a bit alarmed even in its stronghold of Gujarat.

    As AAP can provide alternative in the states too it also has the potential to contest the hegemony of the dynastic rule––not just of the Congress––and regional satraps. In states like Tamil Nadu, where the Congress ceases to remain as any force and BJP finds no scope whatsoever the AAP can make inroads. After all dynasties have their life and the AAP can surely fill the vacuum, provided it overcomes the early days blues.

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    By TCN News,

    Hyderabad: A delegation of Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), which is a state-level apex body of Archbishops, Bishops and Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations representing the Christian Community in the State, had a meeting with N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of A.P., in his Camp Office at Hyderabad on January 31.

    Led by APFC Presidents Archbishop Thumma Bala and Moderator Bishop D. Dyvasirvadam, APFC Executive Secretary Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma, coordinators Fr Maddu Bala and Rev. Kurunadihi and others submitted memorandums to the C.M. on the issues of the Christian Community in the State.

    While thanking him for his initiatives, they urged him to take up further action on their demands (listed below) for which he responded positively. The members of the delegation also had the opportunity to have dialogue with Sri Parthasarathi, Minister for School Education, who assured to follow up the matter. In the afternoon, they addressed a Press Meet at the Wesley Church, Secunderabad, on these demands and concerns.

    Later, they took part and spoke in the Protest Rally and Public Meeting held at Indira Park on the atrocities committed on women particularly on Ms Esther Anuhya and on the Minorities particularly on Pastor Sanjeevulu. Some delegates from other Minority communities especially Muslim leaders also participated in it.

    APFC demands submitted to the Chief Minister:

    1. Since the Mumbai Police has failed to arrest the culprits so far, ensure that the case of Esther Anuhya is handed over to the CBI for proper investigation into her rape and murder.

    2. Hindu Vahini group whose members were arrested last month for the murder of Pastor Sanjeevulu of Vikarabad in Ranga Reddy district, and attacks on many Pastors in Nalgonda district, which also had claimed to have killed four pastors in 2004-05, must be banned to guarantee the security of Christians and other Minorities so that they can exercise their fundamental rights of religious freedom without fear and obstruction.

    3. As the High Court of A.P. has squashed the government ban orders issued in 2004 on the recruitment in private aided schools as violative of Articles 14 and 45 of the Constitution and the RTE Act, as most of our schools are located in the remote areas in the SC and ST localities catering to the Dalit and Tribal children, and as adequate funds are available under the Sarva Siksha Abiyan (SSA) and Rajiv Gandhi Vidya Mission, continue the grant-in-aid to the Church-run Schools and speed up the process of filling up the vacant grant-in-aid posts in our Educational Institutions.

    4. As the Ecclesiastical and Canonical Church laws, and the Societies / Trusts Acts, FCR Act and the rules and legal safeguards under them, are already available and suffice to protect and to develop Church properties, desist from enacting further legislations on Church properties and Christian educational institutions.

    Memorandum submitted:

    January 31, 2014

    Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy,

    Hon. Chief Minister of A.P.,

    A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.

    Sub: Appeal to entrust the case of Esther Anuhya to the CBI to ensure proper investigation into her rape and murder - regarding

    Honourable Chief Minister,

    Prayerful greetings from Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), which is a state-level apex body of Archbishops, Bishops and Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations representing the Christian Community in the State!

    Ms Esther Anuhya, 23 years old, was employed with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Goregoan at Mumbai as a software engineer residing in Andheri from 2012. After her holidays, on her return from home at Machilipatnam she got down at Kurla LTT railway station on January 5, 2014 morning when she went missing. Her decomposed charred remains of mutilated half-burnt body were found by her family members on January 16 in a swamp near the Eastern Express Highway in Kanjurmarg at Tata Nagar Colony of Bhandup. The post-mortem reports revealed that she was raped before being killed and burnt.

    Sorry to note that the family of Esther Anuhya did not receive required cooperation from the Mumbai Police for tracing her when she went missing and later in conducting inquiry in the case. It failed to locate her body which was finally found by the family members. Her father Prof. S. Jonathan Prasad met Union Home Minister Sri Sushilkumar Shinde on Jan. 24, 2014 who directed the Mumbai Police to take the investigation more seriously.

    Even after that, the Mumbai Police has not been able to arrest any culprit in the case. Hence, while thanking you for your valuable intervention in the case, the APFC requests you to ensure the case is handed over to the CBI. Thanking you in anticipation,

    Most Rev. Dr Thumma Bala, Rt. Rev. Dr G. Dyvasirvadam,

    Archbishop of Hyderabad, Moderator Bishop of CSI,

    Presidents of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC)

    January 31, 2014

    Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy,

    Hon. Chief Minister of A.P.,

    A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.

    Sub: Request to desist from enacting a law on Church Properties - regarding

    Ref. 1: G.O. Rt. No. 3696 dated 17-08-2013 of GAD - Constituting Group of Ministers for enacting legislation on Christian Properties and Educational Institutes

    Ref. 2: APFC letter to the Chief Minister dated 23-08-2013

    Honourable Chief Minister,

    Prayerful greetings from Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), which is a state-level apex body of Archbishops, Bishops and Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations representing the Christian Community in the State!

    In continuation of our letter dated 23-08-2013 with regard to the GO referred above, we submit to you again that the APFC opposes legislation on the properties of Churches and Christian Educational Institutions. The formation of any sort of Board / Council for Christians by the Government with a view to exercise administrative control over their affairs would only go against Articles 26-30 of our Constitution. This was affirmed by Hon. High Court of A.P. in its recent judgment staying the GO issued by CCLA ordering the Churches to obtain NOCs from the District Collectors to sell their properties.

    Apart from our Ecclesiastical and Canonical Church laws, our Dioceses and Institutions are being regulated by the Government through the Societies / Trusts Acts, FCR Act and their Rules. These already available legal safeguards suffice to protect and to develop Church properties. Hence, the APFC requests you to desist from enacting further legislations on the matter.

    Respected Sir, while thanking you for your concern for safeguarding Church properties, we humbly request you to give due weight to the views of the APFC consisting of Archbishops and Bishops which alone can legitimately represent the Churches and the Christian Community. The individual Christians, even if they happen to be MLAs / MPs or holding high positions or offices cannot claim to be doing so. Soliciting your valuable support, and assuring you of our cooperation and prayers, and thanking you in anticipation,

    Most Rev. Dr Thumma Bala, Rt. Rev. Dr G. Dyvasirvadam,

    Archbishop of Hyderabad, Moderator Bishop of CSI,

    Presidents of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC)

    January 31, 2014

    Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy,

    Hon. Chief Minister of A.P.,

    A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.

    Sub: Appeal to get Hindu Vahini banned to ensure the security and rights of Christian and other Minorities in the State - regarding,

    Honourable Chief Minister,

    Prayerful greetings from Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), which is a state-level apex body of Archbishops, Bishops and Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations representing the Christian Community in the State!

    As you are aware, Pastor Rev. Sanjeevulu of Vikarabad in Ranga Reddy district, who was brutally stabbed by four men on the night of January 10, 2014, succumbed to death in Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad on Jan. 13, 2014. Two of the culprits belonging to the Hindu Vahini group were arrested by the police on Jan. 26, 2014 while others are still absconding. Meanwhile, on Jan 20, 2014 Nalgonda police had arrested three activists of Hindu Vahini organisation for attacking Pastor Nama Moses and his wife in December 2013 at Narketpally. In a similar incident, Chandur police arrested two persons for attacking Munugode Pastor Talla Christopher on the same day. In another incident, two persons were arrested by Kanagal police for attacking Ipparthi Church Pastor Gajjala Neeladri Pal. Some of those arrested revealed to the police the conspiracy and systematic plan of the Hindu Vahini for attacking and killing of the pastors all over the state.

    The same Hindu Vahini group had claimed to have killed four pastors in 2004-05 whose members were later arrested in these cases. Now that the general and state elections are around, this group has become active again. The visit of VHP leader Sri Praveen Thogadia to Hyderabad in the first week of January 2014 seemed to have emboldened them. The State of Andhra Pradesh records one of the highest numbers of atrocities on Christian preachers and members.

    Hence, while thanking you for your valuable intervention in the case Pastor Sanjeevulu in obtaining compensation and protection to his family, the APFC appeals to you to ensure the ban of Hindu Vahini and other terrorist groups to guarantee the security of Christians and other Minorities so that they can exercise their fundamental rights of religious freedom without fear and obstruction. Thanking you in anticipation,

    Most Rev. Dr Thumma Bala, Rt. Rev. Dr G. Dyvasirvadam,

    Archbishop of Hyderabad, Moderator Bishop of CSI,

    Presidents of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC)

    January 31, 2014

    Sri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy,

    Hon. Chief Minister of A.P.,

    A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.

    Sub: Request to continue the grant-in-aid to the Church-run Schools and

    speed up the process of filling up the vacant grant-in-aid posts - regarding

    Honourable Chief Minister,

    Prayerful greetings from Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), which is a state-level apex body of Archbishops, Bishops and Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations representing the Christian Community in the State!

    Several times in the past we had appealed to you and previous Chief Ministers to continue the grant-in-aid to the Church-run Schools and allow us to fill up the vacant grant-in-aid posts. Sorry to say, thousands of aided posts got cancelled in our schools due to the ban and hundreds of schools in the rural areas had to be closed.

    As you are aware, Hon. High Court of A.P. in its judgment on W.P. No.9503 of 2005 dated 30.07.2013 directed the State government to permit private educational institutions to fill up the vacant grant-in-aid posts as per the rules. It squashed the government ban orders issued in 2004 on the recruitment in private aided schools as violative of Articles 14 and 45 of the Constitution and the RTE Act.

    As most of our schools are located in the remote areas in the SC and ST localities catering to the Dalit and Tribal children, now that adequate funds are available under the Sarva Siksha Abiyan (SSA) and Rajiv Gandhi Vidya Mission, the APFC requests you to continue the grant-in-aid to the Church-run Schools and speed up the process of filling up the vacant grant-in-aid posts in our Educational Institutions. Thanking you in anticipation,

    Most Rev. Dr Thumma Bala, Rt. Rev. Dr G. Dyvasirvadam,

    Archbishop of Hyderabad, Moderator Bishop of CSI,

    Presidents of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC)

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    By Ras H. Siddiqui,

    New York: On Sunday, February 2nd 2014 at the MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face each other in Super Bowl XLVIII (Forty Eight) for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. In the world of American Football (during which the foot comes into contact with the ball less than 1% of the time) there is no other single event which brings out more fans than the Super Bowl. It is certainly a rough and tough game of great skill and strategy which takes some immigrants in this country years to understand. But once you do, you are hooked. And the Super Bowl can no longer be ignored.

    The two teams to reach this Super Bowl were decided on Sunday, January 19th. The AFC Championship game was between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. The Broncos won with a score of 26-16. The statistics for the two quarterbacks explain why Tom Brady and his Patriots were sent packing. The Bronco’s defense reminiscent of the old “Orange Crush” (they were nicknamed such several years ago) dominated the game, and only let New England score 3 points during the first three quarters (it was only in the fourth quarter that the Patriots were able to manage a touchdown).

    But the story just begins there. It was Denver’s offensive line and quarterback Peyton Manning who sealed their victory. Manning threw for 400 yards with a touchdown each in the second and third quarter which, along with 4 field goals, all were made possible by the superb protection provided by the Broncos offensive line. Unlike Tom Brady who was sacked twice during the game, Peyton Manning felt no real threat from the Patriots.

    The better team won the AFC championship but that might not have been true in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks certainly did outscore the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 but it seems that luck was not with San Francisco that day. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked four times while San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick was sacked twice. The San Francisco defense did an okay job especially in trying to contain Marshawn Lynch who still rushed for 109 yards. But it is rare in this game that a quarterback of one team runs for more yardage than the entire opposing team, a feat that San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick accomplished here. San Francisco was leading 17-13 at the beginning of the fourth quarter when things started to unravel.

    A 35 yard 4th down touchdown by Seattle changed everything but victory was not sealed. There was in the stripped ball/fumble earlier and finally the interception with 22 seconds left in the game, when Kaepernick threw a mysteriously odd pass to his almost double covered receiver Michael Crabtree which was tipped by Seattle’s Richard Sherman to teammate Malcolm Smith in the end zone. The outcome was an interception and not a possible game-winning touchdown. The NFC championship was decided by this one last play and it did not go San Francisco’s way.

    Now let us move back to the Super Bowl 48 which should be a classic matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks and to make some predictions about that game here. Throughout the many years of watching this final between the AFC and the NFC champions at the Super Bowl I have always sympathized with the underdogs. This year that underdogs I believe are Seattle and I am hoping that they can win that city’s first Super Bowl ever. But will they be able to beat the Broncos? If the Denver offensive line plays as well as it did against New England and gives Peyton Manning ample time to throw the ball, Seattle’s dream will remain unfulfilled.

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    By Amulya Ganguli, IANS,

    As Rahul Gandhi emerged from his cloistered existence into the big, bad world via his first television interview, he must have realized that the ground reality is a far cry from his idealistic concepts.

    Even as he sought refuge in his pet themes of the right to information, women's empowerment, opening up of the closed political system et al, he faltered on the questions of the 1984 and 2002 riots, the alliances with Lalu Prasad and M. Karunanidhi and inflation, among others.

    Moreover, he gave the impression that he was still overawed by the crusty, cynical warlords of his party, who routinely place expediency over principles. Hence, Gandhi's unconvincing explanation that the Congress' tie-ups with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) were with parties and not leaders.

    If the reluctant debutant believes that these are not one-man parties, he is being purposefully naive. What he has done, therefore, by drawing an illusory distinction between Lalu Prasad and the RJD is to make a mockery of his earlier bravado when he tore up the ordinance which aimed at saving the RJD leader from the legal consequences of the fodder scam.

    Evidently, the seniors in the party, probably led by his mother, Sonia Gandhi, have told him that an opportunistic alliance cannot be sacrificed at the altar of morality. If the episode revealed anything, it is that the shehzada is not as powerful as is commonly believed.

    This impression is confirmed by his failure to get his way on the Adarsh housing society scam, where former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan has escaped the legal noose with the blessings of the party.

    Evidently, Rahul Gandhi's fulminations against corruption are for the sake of record at a time when the Aam Admi Party (AAP) has brought the issue to the fore. Gandhi insists that the scamsters will suffer if the pending anti-graft bills are passed by parliament. But he might have scored a more effective point by slamming the alliances with Lalu Prasad and Karunanidhi.

    These stumbles are perhaps only the beginning of what may well prove to be even greater blunders if he gives more interviews. It is then that the subjects which were not raised in his first one-to-one interaction with the media are bound to come up.

    Foremost among them is the economy. As the celebrated slogan - It's the economy, stupid! - reminded Bill Clinton of what was of major concern to Americans during the 1992 presidential campaign, in India, too, it is the sliding economy which is known to be largely responsible for the dismal prospects of the Congress.

    It is also a sensitive topic for the dauphin because it is the Queen Mother Sonia Gandhi's socialism, propagated by her kitchen cabinet, the left-of-centre National Advisory Council (NAC), which is seen to be behind the stalling of the economic reforms. As former NAC member Aruna Roy complained, there was too much emphasis on growth by the government.

    How Gandhi will respond to any questions on reforms is not known, but since his views are believed to be largely aligned to those of his mother - after all, he scuttled the bauxite project in Niyamgiri hills and imposed an annual subsidy burden of Rs.80,000 crore by calling on the government to raise the number of cooking gas cylinders for consumers from nine to 12 - he may well emerge as the new votary of the licence-permit-control raj.

    He can also come out as someone who is confused, for he claimed, out of the blue, that he wanted India to be a manufacturing hub like China. But how does he square this intention with the belief that the Congress will provide reservations for Dalits and Adivasis in the private sector?

    Does he not know that any such move will make industrialists even more reluctant to invest in India. In any event, what are his views on reservations in industries and educational institutions for not only Dalits, Adivasis and the intermediate castes but also the "backward castes" among Muslims even if, legally, Islam does not have a caste system?

    It is possible that Gandhi isn't aware of all the nuances or that he hasn't made up his mind on these issues or that he is for the quota system or that he is bowing to the dictates of the crafty seniors as on the question of aligning with political leaders with a tainted image? But any hint of uncertainty is damaging for a possible prime ministerial candidate.

    Unfortunately, even his idealism has a trace of disingenuousness, for he cannot expect to break the rigid mould of parties where, as he says, all the decisions are taken by a few, when he himself is at the heart of a closed system. Unless Rahul clears the cobwebs in the mind about the ideological course, he is in trouble.

    In this context, one doesn't know if Amartya Sen was showing the way out by suggesting at the Jaipur literary festival that India needs a right-of-centre, pro-market, secular party. The Congress might have been that party but for the kitchen cabinet.

    (Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: The website of Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is now available in several Indian and foreign languages. Interestingly though Urdu language option is not available still.

    The website, with domain, has been active for quite some time, where in Blog section he often writes his thoughts.

    As of now, besides English, the website is available in 10 Indian languages - Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit, Kanndada, Malyalam, Telgu, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi and Assamese. It is also been made available in Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish languages.

    (Narendra Modi's website screen shot)

    Besides, Urdu another notable Indian language that is missing is Bengali. Even Arabic language is missing from the website.

    The choice of language seems to suggest the target of Modi, who has been projecting his Gujarat’s model for development across country. BJP has very little chance in West Bengal and due to 2002 Gujarat riot, he is largely despised by Muslims.

    (Urdu Twitter handle of Modi)

    Similarly in international arean, Arab world does not seem to be on his radar so far, although with Spanish he seems to be targeting Spain and Latin America.

    It should be mentioned here that besides his official Twitter handle @narendramodi, since last year his media cell also maintains twitter handles in several Indian languages, including Urdu @narendramodiU.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Centre for South African and Brazilian Studies, Aligarh Muslim University organized a National Seminar on “Rising India, China, South Africa and Brazil: Challenges and Strategic Options”.

    Addressing the inaugural session, Chief Guest, Mr. Carlos Duarte, Ambassador of Brazil in India said that the seminar would promote trade, industrial and research relations among these countries. He said that large reserves of natural resources are available in Brazil and the country is showing positive improvement in its economic condition. He said that there was significant decline in unemployment in the country. He hoped that India and Brazil worked together for a better understanding and resolution of global issues. He further added there was enough scope for India and Brazil to help each other in the fields of technological, economic and environmental advances.

    Chief Guest, Mr. Carlos Duarte, Brazilian Ambassador in India addressing at the national seminar on strategic options.

    The Guest of Honor, Mr Kabiruddin Sheikh, Director, MGIEP, UNESCO India, said that these countries have emerged as a big economic market for the world. He said there was a need for evolving new ideas in the matters relating to economic and natural resources for a sustained development. He said that in current scenario, employment, health, education, and housing facilities are major challenges.

    Prof B S Prakash, former Ambassador of India to Brazil and Uganda, and Visiting Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, said that the term power has got a new definition in the last decade and now it is perceived as a means of people’s freedom.

    Mr V B Soni, former Ambassador to Ukraine, Senegal, Georgia, and Mali, said that the BRICS countries could work for their development by using their common social, cultural and economic factors with Global cooperation, as the basis.

    Prior to that, Prof Mohd Gulrez, Chairman, Department of West Asian Studies, and the Convener of the program, while welcoming the guests, threw light on the motives behind the formation of the Centre. France Li, from Taiwan Embassy, said that India and Taiwan could learn a lot from each other’s experiences. She said that although, her country is short of resources, but the standard of education and technology is rising, which is leading to improvement in the standard of living.

    Major Gen Prof GG Dwivedi, Department of West Asian Studies, proposed the vote of thanks, and said that the young generation needs to have knowledge about the Global Relations and Affairs. He said that AMU is moving on the track of a Global Educational Institution, in which new courses will be introduced not only in relation to foreign languages, but also the important issues of foreign countries.

    Presiding over the Seminar, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University said that there is a need for mutual cooperation among BRICS countries. He said that although these countries have differences on economic, religion and linguistic grounds, these differences tend to be sorted out by discussion on the issues like environment and poverty. Gen Shah hoped for the positive results of the Seminar. Dr. Ayesha Munira conducted the program.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: A joint protest was today organised at Jantar Mantar against the closure of Pathribal fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir. Protesters demanded reopening of the Pathribal case, sought sanctions to prosecute the officers and urged reiterated the demand to repeal AFSPA from J&K and the North-Eastern states.

    The protest was jointly organised by Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign, All India Students' Association (AISA), Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), Jamia Students' Solidarity Forum, New Socialist Initiative (NSI) and People's Campaign against Politics of Terror, and was supported by several other organisations and human rights' activists.

    In the incident, in 2000, the army had killed five innocent civilians in the village of Pathribal. They had claimed them to be the "militants" who were responsible for the Chattisinghpora incident that had claimed the lives of 36 sikhs. However, it was establish by the CBI that this was a fake encounter. The alleged militants were actually local innocent civilians.

    This case had gone to the Supreme Court which in 2012 had ordered the army to either allow the trial in the civilian court or conduct a court martial for the five guilty officers. The Army had opted for the latter. However, two years after, the army has decided to close the case on "lack of evidence".

    It has been alleged that the investigation was rigged. Another thing to be noted is that the army had opposed this case and argued that no case can be registered against its officers under the veil of AFSPA as it provides impunity and that it requires prior sanction of central government to prosecute as per Section 7 of AFSPA.

    The organisers and supporters of the protest condemned this action of the army.

    Protesters were together to raise the issue of human rights violations and it could be seen that how they were truly representing the core objective of humanity and justice regardless of any other identity. Even few determined persons who live in other cities near Delhi such as Panipat and Saharnapur joined the protest.

    Ravi Nitesh, one of the organisers of the protest and a core member of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign argued that in this case, the army had overruled the CBI and the Supreme Court. Doing so, it has challenged the republic, the democracy. The army should not have an upper-hand. Being a part of the Indian department of governance, the army must respect the investigation and instructions of central agencies as well as of judiciary.

    Anubhuti Agnes Bara, Vice President of JNUSU had talked about the suppression of human rights under AFSPA. Because of the legal impunity that it granted to the armed forces under AFSPA, there have been several other incidents of human rights' violation in the states of Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast India.

    Activists of AISA, Shehla Rashid, V Arun Kumar and others, had also challenged AFSPA on democratic and humanitarian grounds. They argued this incident is not one of its kind. There are several reported and unreported everyday stories of human rights' violation in Jammu and Kashmir & North-east. These incidents also raise a question on the ideals of democracy.

    Ameeque Jamei of People's Campaign Against Politics of Terror said that this and all other incidents of human rights' violation are a breach of the ideals of democracy, equality, truth and justice.

    Devika Mittal, a student and a core member of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign, had argued that AFSPA-imposed violence presents a contradiction. On one hand, the Indian state lays claims on Kashmir and North-east but on the other hand, doesn't treat them as other citizens. In fact, they are not even treated as human beings.

    Some notable human rights' organisations and activists had also extended their support and solidarity with the protest. Some of the names include Antony Arulraj of Hotline Delhi (a human rights' group), Human Rights' Activist Babloo Loitongbam, Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat (RTI and Social Activist, J&K), Dr. Walter Fernandes (Research Scholar and Activist), Kamayani Bali Mahabal (Sr Advocate and Activist), Kiriti Roy (Program Against Custodial Torture and Impunity), Kumar Sundaram (Activist, Co Editor-India Resists.Com), Madhuresh Kumar of National Alliance of People's Movement, Prithvi Sharma of Indian Community Activists Network, Prof. Nandini Sundar (Academician - Delhi University and activist), Prof. Ritu Diwan (Academician -University of Mumbai and Activist), Ovais Sultan Khan (Activist), Subash Mohapatra of Global Human Rights Commission, Suresh Bhat B. (Human Rights Activist), Tahir Ahmad of Mission Bhartiyam, J&K, Touseef Raina of Global Youth Foundation, Tanveer Hussain Khan (Political Activist, Srinagar, J&K), Wahid Dar - JKDYF and others.

    The protest also saw participation of several Kashmiris living in Delhi. Some of them like Haseeb Mustafa Alvi, Aasif and Anees also shared their experiences of living under AFSPA. Haseeb said, "It is not surprising that this case was closed by the army".

    Seram Rojesh, a research student of DU from Manipur, also talked about the need to challenge foundation of AFSPA. He had talked about how AFSPA has been caught in the blame game.

    Activists from Haryana and U.P. also came in support. Dheeraj Gaba who was here from Haryana and Meherzamaan who was here from Saharanpur tried to put their points about the increasing suppression of state that need to be opposed for the very idea of justice.

    The organisers are also submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister with the following demands:

    *Re-open the Pathribal case
    *Provide the sanction to prosecute the officers and
    *Repeal AFSPA from J&K and the North-East.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Saturday the state cabinet had accepted the recommendations of its sub-committee on forming 659 new administrative units in the state.

    He was addressing a media conference at his Wazarat Road residence in winter capital Jammu Saturday.

    "The recommendations have been accepted by the state cabinet that met here today (Saturday). These have now been sent to the state planning and finance department to work out a roadmap so these recommendations are implemented", the chief minister said.

    Omar Abdullah termed the decision to form new administrative units, including new sub-divisions, tehsils, block development offices, naib-tehsil offices, etc. as "historic".

    Asked whether his party's relations with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) were now back on an even keel, the chief minister said, "We had never left the UPA. The present coalition government in the state is stronger than the previous one."

    Once implemented, Jammu and Kashmir would have 35 new sub-divisions, 135 tehsils and 177 blocks and 301 naiyabats (naib tehsildar offices) and other new administrative units.

    Political circles remained abuzz this week with media speculations of an imminent parting of ways between the ruling National Conference (NC) and the Congress parties following a stalemate over the formation of new administrative units in the state.

    Omar Abdullah had told the meeting of the cabinet sub-committee Jan 24 that he would have the new administrative units cleared by his government whatever be the cost.

    The chief minister had given a week's time, ending Jan 31, to the sub-committee to present its recommendations to the state cabinet.

    Congress ministers who are members of the sub-committee had been asserting that the formation of the administrative units was politically motivated since it would come handy for the NC in Muslim majority Valley while the Congress stood to lose in the Jammu and Ladakh regions of the state.

    Following intervention by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, the state Congress was asked to include its own areas of political influence in the list of new administrative units.

    With today's acceptance of the recommendations presented before it by the cabinet sub-committee, the stalemate over the contentious issue has finally been resolved.

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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed for,

    Imphal: Manipur Minorities and Other Backward Classes Economic Development Society (MOBEDS), an agency under the Department of Minorities and Other Backward Classes (MOBC), organised one-day educational awareness programme at the Remedial Coaching Centre at Azad High School on February 1, 2014 at Yairipok.

    The function was attended by Parliamentary Secretary of MOBC, SC & Science and Technology Md. Amin Shah and Chairperson of Manipur State Minorities Commission (MSMC) A. Halim Chowdhury, IAS Retd. attended the function as Chief Guest and President respectively. The newly elected MP of Rajya Sabha, Alhaj Abdul Salam, MOBEDS Project Director Md. Salauddin Khan and SDO (Keirao Bitra) Md. Samim Ahmad Shah were also present as Guests of Honour.

    Addressing the function, Md. Amin Shah said that the Muslim community is lagging behind the others because the community had failed to realize the importance of education for quite a long time. The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs and MOBC Department have been implementing various schemes for the welfare of the minority communities. There are schemes for giving scholarship and coaching to minority students. Recently we had opened free remedial coaching programme in many Muslim villages. We had opened one here at Yairipok to give special coaching for Muslim students. Such coaching centres had produced excellent students. The Muslim students should take these opportunities and work hard to bring good results, he added.

    Md. Amin Shah further said the MOBC Department will warmly receive any kind of suggestion to bring about improvement in the work of the department but we don’t want unwarranted interference. The department is planning to organize such educational awareness programmes at Remedial Coaching Centres of Jiribam, Kshetrigaon, Thoubal, Irong, Sora, Kwakta and Lilong. The Department is planning to introduce a scheme to provide bi-cycles to Muslim girl students studying in Class IX and solar lamp to minority students, he added.

    Halim Chowdhury said the Muslim community need to be made aware of the importance of educating their children. We have been sensitizing the Muslims in the remote areas. Still today the Muslim parents in the remote areas are not realizing the importance of educating their girls. MSMC have been organizing such awareness programmes in the rural areas and it has helped a lot in opening the eyes of the illiterate Muslims, he added.

    Md. Salauddin Khan informed the gathering on the programmes taken up by MOBEDS. He said that private coaching centres in the State today charge Rs. 8000 per student for the kind of coaching that we are giving in our centres. The Muslims in the State should take these opportunities. We have recruited well-qualified tutors. We are organizing free remedial coaching from Class VI-XII in 9 centres. Our centres had produced position holders, he added.

    Dr. Syed Ahmed (the author of this report) also spoke at length as a resource person on the policies and programmes taken up by the Centre and the State for the welfare of the minorities.

    Alhaj Abdul Salam emphasised the importance of education in the development of the Muslim community in his speech.

    Md. Samim Ahmad said the today the Government at the Centre and the State is giving numerous opportunities to Muslim students in the form of scholarship and coaching. The Muslim students should be aware of all these facilities and work hard.

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    By IANS,

    Aligarh : Shamshad Husain, son of renowned painter M.F. Husain, Sunday presented a rare painting of his father to the Aligarh Muslim University.

    Shamshad was the chief guest at the inaugural function of a three-day national workshop on "Nature Interpretation and Diorama-Making in Museum", organised by the department of museology.

    Delivering the keynote address, Gulshan Kharbanda, proprietor of Akriti, New Delhi, said diorama themes that are conventionally environment-related can today be industrial, architectural or any technology to communicate about.

    Highlighting the theme of the workshop, S. Asif A. Naqvi said the dioramic presentation techniques are now incorporating modern audiovisual, digital and mechanical devices and methods.

    Diorama is a three-dimensional model of a landscape, event, space, scene or room, often enclosed in a glass showcase for exhibition purposes.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: The noble peace prize winning spiritual leader from Tibet and the 14th Dalai Lama who is in Guwahati advocated that the secular ethics should be included in the schools. During the first LBS Founders’ Commemorative Lecture on ‘Human Approach to Peace and the Individual’ at Nehru Stadium on Sunday he urged the people to make the 21st century, a century of peace through dialogues.

    “Secular ethics must include in schools to educate the young minds so that we can see a healthy tomorrow. We have to work more seriously for religious harmony by promotion of human values and secular ethics through education. The secular concept is very important to India and its constitution is based on secularism for its multi-religious community. We really need the effort to educate people on this aspect as it is very relevant in today’s world,” Dalai Lama who won the noble peace prize in 1989 said.

    Dalai Lama addressing the Interfaith Conclave on Peace and Religious Harmony in Guwahati.

    Stating that India was truly an example of secularism where people of world’s major religions lived together, he said, “This is truly a precious thing and is a good example to show the world. India is a pluralistic, multi-religious society, in which home grown religions like Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism flourish alongside religions that have come from outside like Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. All these faiths live peaceably together in harmony. In my lectures abroad, people call me a messenger of India as I always talk of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) and harmony.”

    The Dalai Lama said that though all religions taught the message of love and compassion, political power and economic interest corrupted people. He said though the world's major religions had a common message there might be vast differences in theory and philosophy.

    “The main practice of all major religions is love and to defend it against obstacles we need tolerance and forgiveness. Consequently, all major religions talk about compassion, tolerance, contentment, and self-discipline. The masters of our various traditions have been realistic in their teaching,” the 78 year old spiritual leader said.

    Dalai Lama along with other religious leaders inaugurating the Interfaith Conclave on Peace and Religious Harmony in Guwahati.

    On the present crisis situation across the globe, he said that every problem can be solved through dialogues and eventually peace can be expected. “Let the 21st century be the century of dialogues. Problems that are causing troubles need to address with dialogues. Only then we can call it the century of peace. And for that we need strong will power,” the spiritual leader who fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising said.

    Earlier, after his arrival in Guwahati, he participated in an Interfaith Conclave on Peace and Religious Harmony. He also inaugurated the 5-Day Festival of Tibetan Art and Culture in the afternoon at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra before moving to Shillong.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Department of Museology, Aligarh Muslim University today organized a three day National Workshop on “Nature Interpretation and Diorama Making in Museum”. Renowned artist, Mr. Shamshad Husain was the chief guest and AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah presided over the inaugural ceremony.

    On this occasion, Mr. Shamshad Husain presented a rare painting of his father, M. F. Husain to the Vice Chancellor.

    MF Husain son presenting his father's portrait to AMU Vice Chancellor at Museology Seminar, AMU.

    Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Gulshan Kharbanda, Proprietor of Akriti, New Delhi said that conventionally, the themes for Dioramas were environment related, be it habitat related or ecology related or environment conservation related. But today the themes can be industrial, architectural or any technology to communicate about.

    He said that today in the world of digitization, we employ various gadgets like touch screens, andio commentary with sound and light effects, electronics and mechanical animations.

    Highlighting the theme of the workshop, Professor S. Asif A. Naqvi said that today the dioramic presentation techniques have drastically modernized and improved and have become more communicative by incorporating modern audiovisual, digital and mechanical devices and methods.

    Welcoming the delegates, Dr. Abdurraheem K., Chairman, Department of Museology at AMU said that this worlshop has been organized as a part of efforts to develop the University Museum into a world class Museum as announced by the Vice Chancellor.

    He said that a number of people have donated artefacts, manuscripts, photographs, coins etc. for the AMU Museum. He said that Princess Aliya Sultana from Baroda has promised to donate some eggs of dinosaurs to AMU Museum.

    In his presidential address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said that he has been a great fan of M. F. Husain’s paintings. M. F. Husain had presented a painting to AMU which was destroyed or stolen in the past.

    Guest present at the Muselogy Seminar, AMU.

    He said that AMU has decided to establish only one Central Museum. He said that diorama was an ideal choice.

    Prof. Irfan Ahamed, Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences also addressed the inaugural function. Mr. Gaurav, Scientist, National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi proposed a vote of thanks.

    On this occasion, AMU Vice Chancellor gave away prizes to winners of essay writing competition organized on the occasion of world Heritage Day.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: Young people from different parts of the city and other states have staged a protest programme near Dighalipukhuri on Sunday. Student and young professionals from different parts of the region staying in Guwahati had taken part in the protest.

    This was organised by few individuals through social networking sites and there was spontaneous responses from different people. Protesters prepared posters and shouted slogan against racial discrimination and providing justice to the victim by taking action against the accused.

    Youths protest in Guwahati against the killing of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania

    It was felt that there was less protest in Guwahati after the brutal killing of Nido Tania, so, some of the young people took the initiative of the protest programme. “We are here to raise our concern and voice against discrimination and brutal killing of one of our brother in Delhi. Over the years we have seen that Delhi has not been a safe place, we want a safe metro as many people from north east go there for higher studies and other profession,” said Debangini Ray, one of the organiser of the programme.

    Nido Tania who hailed from Arunachal Pradesh died hours after allegedly being thrashed by the shopkeepers of south Delhi’s busy Lajpat Nagar market on Friday. He was the son of Arunachal Congress MLA Nido Pavitra.

    “Delhi Police need to more proactive and they must become friendly to the people of North East as they don’t take FIR on time,” this was alleged by Ranjan K Baruah, youth activist and another organiser of the programme. He also said that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal must act and make his intervention so that this kind of things does not happen in metro cities like New Delhi.

    Apart from others members from Discovery Bikers had also participated in the protest. Participants were all demanding that place outside north east must be secured for the people of north east and there should not be any form of racial discrimination in future. People involved in this kind of activities must be punished so that people are safe outside the region. A candle light vigil was also organised in the evening near Guwahati Commerce College in the city to pay tribute to the soul of Tania.

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