By tradition, nationalism and ancestry, we are all Hindus: Mohan Bhagwat

By tradition, nationalism and ancestry, we are all Hindus: Mohan Bhagwat

New Delhi: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said that the Sangh has reservations on the use of word “minority” and noted that it would always maintain that the people of the country are Hindus by tradition, nationalism, and ancestry. Bhagwat, who answered questions in the last part of his lecture series here, said the Sangh has evolved its views with the times. He said the word ‘minority’ gives an impression of difference whereas all people are the same.

“Before the British came to India, we didn’t use the term minorities. We all belong to the same society and lived together. The Sangh has reservations on the very word minorities. Sangh doesn’t believe in it. Everybody is our own. If they have gone away, we have to unite them. We speak with these sentiments,” he said.

Urging people to see how RSS functions, he said Muslims living in the vicinity of places where a ‘shakha’ takes place to feel secure.

“Wherever there is a proper shakha of Sangh and if there is a Muslim neighbourhood in the vicinity, I can assure you that they feel more secure there. We believe in nationalism, which is the tradition of both Muslims and Christians. It is about the pride of that feeling.”

He said devotion towards motherland is Hindutva. “Don’t have any doubts. Come, talk to us, attend the programmes of the Sangh. Come and see what happens, what is spoken. Those who come to us, their views about us change. You can ask questions.”

“Time changes, accordingly the organisation changes itself and thought and articulation also changes according to the situation and time,” he said.

Answering a query on NOTA (none of the above) during voting, he said it is not advisable to choose the option because “if we don’t select the best possible option, the worst possible one will benefit.”

Sohrabuddin Sheik’s encounter was fake: First Investigating officer

Sohrabuddin Sheik’s encounter was fake: First Investigating officer


Mumbai: The death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in police custody on November 26, 2005, an alleged fake encounter case’s first investigating officer deposed before the CBI court today.
The witness told the court that at the end of his investigation of the alleged encounter case, he had concluded it was a fake encounter case.
He also said that of the 11 witnesses whose statements he had recorded, 10 had not supported the prosecution’s case during trial.
The court has now agreed to the retired officer’s request for a day to study the papers as just and proper.
The defence had already begun his cross examination on Tuesday and proceedings will continue on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi apprec iates Atal Vikaas Yatra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi apprec iates Atal Vikaas Yatra

 Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi today appreciated the 'Atal Vikaas Yatra' of Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh . Mr . Narendra Modi tweeted that the State-wide Atal Vikaas Yatra had been receiving  tremendous response from the common people. Mr. Modi congratulated Dr. Raman Singh and hailed the rapid progress of the State. Prime Minister tweeted that it is not surprising that masses have faith in you. Mr. Modi thanked Chief Minister for his birthday wishes on (17th September).


Karnataka’s 203 MLAs richest in India with Rs 111.4 lakh annual income

Karnataka’s 203 MLAs richest in India with Rs 111.4 lakh annual income

New Delhi: Of the 224 Karnataka MLAs, 203 have the highest average annual income of Rs 111.4 lakh, followed by Maharashtra’s 256 MLAs (Rs 43.4 lakh), according to an analysis of the affidavits of 3,145 legislators. The findings were released on Monday by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO that works for electoral and political reforms.

The affidavits of 941 MLAs did not declare their income, said the report, adding that the analysis primarily focused on the annual (self) income of the sitting MLAs only. It said the average annual income of the 3,145 sitting MLAs is Rs 24.59 lakh. At least 711 MLAs in the southern region have the highest average annual income of Rs 51.99 lakh, while 614 MLAs in the eastern region have the lowest Rs 8.53 lakh. A total of 63 MLAs of Chhattisgarh Assembly have the lowest average annual income of Rs 5.4 lakh followed by Jharkhand’s 72 MLAs with Rs 7.4 lakh.

Out of 3,145 MLAs analysed, 55 (2 per cent) have not given their profession in their affidavit, 771 (25 per cent) declared business as their profession and 758 (24 per cent) said they are agriculturist or farmer. The analysis said a number of 397 (13 per cent) MLAs, who have declared their profession as agriculture and business, have the highest average annual income of Rs 57.81 lakh. “MLAs under real estate business and acting or filmmaking profession category comprise only 1 per cent of the total MLAs analysed,” revealed the analysis, adding “nevertheless, they are among the top four highest paid profession categories with an average annual income of Rs 39.69 lakh and Rs 28.48 lakh, respectively”.

“Housewife, teacher, pensioner and lawyer are among the least paid profession categories,” it said. A number of 1,052 (33 per cent) MLAs, declaring their educational qualification to be between 5th to 12th pass, have an average annual income of Rs 31.03 lakh. “At least 1,997 (63 per cent) MLAs, graduate or above, have an average annual income of Rs 20.87 lakh. A number of 139 8th pass MLAs have average annual self-income worth Rs 89.88 lakh, while those who have declared themselves to be illiterate have an average annual self-income of Rs 9.31 lakh.

A total of 1,402 MLAs, aged 25-50 years, have an average annual income of Rs 18.25 lakh and 1,727, aged 51-80 years, have Rs 29.32 lakh. At least 11 MLAs, aged 81-90 years, have an average annual income of Rs 87.71 lakh whereas two MLAs, declaring their age above 90 years, have Rs 60.91 lakh. Only 258 (8 per cent) MLAs are women, said the analysis. “On an average a male MLA’s annual self-income is Rs 25.85 lakh whereas for a female MLA, it is Rs 10.53 lakh.”


Pre-poll alliance between AIMIM and BMM is bogus, it will only benefit BJP: Shiv Sena

Pre-poll alliance between AIMIM and BMM is bogus, it will only benefit BJP: Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Terming the proposed pre-poll alliance between the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) as “bogus”, the Shiv Sena said Monday that such a political move is not a good omen. The alliance would only benefit the BJP, the Sena claimed, alleging that the move by the BBM chief, who is the grandson of late Dr B R Ambedkar, is akin to betraying people of his own community.

The political alliance of Owaisi and Ambedkar is only for someone’s defeat and is a well-planned strategy,” it said, without naming any party. Leaders of the AIMIM and the BBM had said Saturday that both parties will forge an alliance for the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls in 2019. Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of the Hyderabad-headquartered AIMIM, had said that preliminary talks held between the two parties yielded positive results. “The proposed political alliance of the AIMIM and Prakash Ambedkar’s front of scheduled castes is not a good omen,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ Till now, both were carrying out activities behind the curtains in support of the BJP, but now they will come out openly to help the saffron party, said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

It said instead of openly joining hands with the BJP, they have chosen to set up a new front, which has nothing to do with the line of thinking of late Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution. “Babasaheb fought against the wrong, unjust traditions of Hindu religion but he never joined hands with radical Muslim groups. He even rejected an offer to convert to Islam,” the Marathi publication said.

The AIMIM is a “corrupt version” of the Muslim League, it alleged, adding that it is involved in Muslim vote bank politics. “One Owaisi brother had allegedly remarked that 25 crore Muslims could easily overpower Hindus in this country. The grandson of late Babasaheb Ambedkar joining hands with such people is like betraying people of his own community,” it said. “However, any rational Muslim or a scheduled caste youth will not fall for such a bogus alliance,” it added. Alleging that Owaisi’s language propagates “anarchism”, the Sena asked Prakash Ambedkar to clarify if he is comfortable with it. “If someone construes that BBM’s joining hands with Owaisi would lead to instigating the scheduled caste youth and fuel riots in the state, then what answer does Prakash Ambedkar have for it?” it sought to know.

Most of the scheduled caste community outfits are already affiliated to some mainstream political party. The leaders are more interested in their self-growth than helping the community, the Sena said. “The schedule castes are already divided into several factions, such as Athawale, Kawade, Gavai and Ambedkar. Instead of these factions floating their own front, Prakash Ambedkar is joining hands with the AIMIM,” it said, wondering if such a move will be accepted to the scheduled caste youth.

Kerala nun rape case: Protesting nuns say they ‘will rest’ only after accused Bishop is arrested

Kerala nun rape case: Protesting nuns say they ‘will rest’ only after accused Bishop is arrested

Kochi: A group of protesting nuns from Kerala on Saturday said that they “will rest” only after a bishop accused of sexually abusing a senior nun is questioned and arrested. Speaking to the media, one of the five nuns who along with hundreds of people are protesting here said: “We will not rest and we will not be happy till he is questioned and arrested.”

The nun’s remarks comes after reports have surfaces that the accused, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, was handing over his charge. Another nun said that Bishop Franco was very powerful and cannot be underestimated.

“We will continue the protest and will not stop till Bishop Franco is arrested.” On Thursday, the bishop got a breather from the Kerala High Court which said that “arrest is not the issue” and expressed satisfaction in the ongoing probe. The victim has accused Mulakkal of repeatedly sexually abusing her between 2014 and 2016. There are five other nuns of the same congregation who has supported her claim.

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the victim and other inmates of the convent. However, Mulakkal has denied any wrongdoing and termed it a conspiracy hatched against him.

Hindu Vahini General Secretary arrested with weapons

Hindu Vahini General Secretary arrested with weapons

Ghaziabad: Police discovered illegal weapons from the house of Hindu Vahini member. The weapons discovered are only given to police, army or paramilitary force. SSP Vibhu Krishan told that history sheeter Amit Tyagi resident of Brahmanan town, his brother Jitendra Tyagi and personal security Amish Kumar have been arrested.
Scorpio, Varna, 4 factory-made pistols, licensed revolver, 100 bullets, and other weapons were seized from them. Police arrested 6 including 3 minors.
CEO Modi Nagar Dharmendra Chauhan told that Jitender’s son studies in 10th class in Modi Public School. On teacher’s day, he had a fight with a 12th class student. He allegedly opened fire outside the school after lunch hour. Jitender’s son and his two friends fired 10 round firing.
On receipt of information, police reached the school. Looking at police the accused tried to escape in the vehicle. However, police arrested the trio. Police received the tipoff that illegal weapons can also be found from those who will be coming for the rescue of the boys. As soon as the three reached the police station police frisked them. Police discovered licensed revolver from Amish and a pistol each from Jitendra and Amit. Police also found revolver and bullets from their vehicles. A heavy force was sent to arrest them at their house. SLR bullets, pistols, two revolvers, and other items were seized from their house.
Nearly one dozen cases are booked against Amit under various sections of IPC and CRPC. History-sheeter Amit Tyagi is the district general Secretary of Hindu Vahini. He has put up billboards and banners at various places of the districts of Modi Nagar, Muradnagar.


"Slow Decision-Making" A Factor In Mounting Bad Loans: Raghuram Rajan

New Delhi: Over optimistic bankers, slowdown in government decision making process and moderation in economic growth mainly contributed to the mounting bad loans, said former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in a note to Parliamentary panel.
In a note to Chairman of Estimates Committee Murli Manohar Joshi, he said: "A variety of governance problems such as the suspect allocation of coal mines coupled with the fear of investigation slowed down government decision making in Delhi, both in the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments".
Project cost overruns escalated for stalled projects and they became increasingly unable to service debt, he said, adding the continuing travails of the stranded power plants, even though India is short of power, suggests government decision making has not picked up sufficient pace to date.
He further said a larger number of bad loans were originated in the period 2006-2008 when economic growth was strong, and previous infrastructure projects such as power plants had been completed on time and within budget.
"It is at such times that banks make mistakes. They extrapolate past growth and performance to the future. So, they are willing to accept higher leverage in projects, and less promoter equity. Indeed, sometimes banks signed up to lend based on project reports by the promoter's investment bank, without doing their own due diligence," he said.
Citing an example, he said "one promoter told me about how he was pursued then by banks waving chequebooks, asking him to name the amount he wanted".
Unfortunately, he said, that growth does not always take place as expected and the years of strong global growth before the global financial crisis were followed by a slowdown, which extended even to India, showing how much more integrated the country had become with the world.
Strong demand projections for various projects were shown to be increasingly unrealistic as domestic demand slowed down, he said.

He also pointed to loss of promoter and banker interest for rise in NPAs.

Over malfeasance and corruption in the NPA problem, he said, "Undoubtedly, there was some, but it is hard to tell banker exuberance, incompetence, and corruption apart".

"Clearly, bankers were overconfident and probably did too little due diligence for some of these loans. Many did no independent analysis, and placed excessive reliance on SBI Caps and IDBI to do the necessary due diligence. Such outsourcing of analysis is a weakness in the system, and multiplies the possibilities for undue influence," the note said.

On steps required to prevent recurrence rising non-performing assets  (NPAs), Mr Rajan suggested that there is need for improving governance of public sector banks and process of project evaluation and monitoring to lower the risk of project NPAs.

Besides, he also made a case for strengthening the recovery process and distance public sector banks from the government.

The Parliament's Committee on Estimates had invited Mr Rajan to brief it on the matter after former Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian praised him for identifying the NPA crisis and trying to resolve it.

Mr Rajan, who was RBI governor for three years till September 2016, is currently the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Rahul Gandhi appoints 2 coordinators of OBC department

Rahul Gandhi appoints 2 coordinators of OBC department

New Delhi : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday approved the names of national coordinators of the AICC OBC department for Assam and Haryana.

Sameer Gogoi has been named national coordinator for the state of Assam and Sanjay Parmar for Haryana. The announcement was made by AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot.

OK, let ‘Dalit’ continue to be

OK, let ‘Dalit’ continue to be

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is only the messenger boy. The order to media to stop using ‘Dalit’ for people categorised as scheduled castes came from a high court. The British had coined ‘scheduled castes’ in 1935 to sum up a bunch of humankind born on the subcontinent and punished for breathing the same air the ‘higher humans’ inhaled.

The British summation actually highlighted the divisions percolating down to the lowest caste in the Hindu hierarchy. These are people, ironically, also branded ‘caste-less’. In short, the enlightened and liberal English, with the only thing fair about them their fair skin, were hardly of any help; but couldn’t have expected much from a nation of shopkeepers, anyway.

Do we have the right to call the Mahatma ‘divisive’? If Bapu was alive today, he would have been trolled endlessly for being just that. Gandhi sticks on in memory only because of his policy of ‘nonviolence’, a notion that stands defeated today. Anger is at the tip of every man’s nose these days and neither Jignesh Mevani nor a Brahmin loose will sit in peace and sort out fracas.

Gandhi’s ‘Harijan’ for the SC was patronising; who in Hades wanted to be Krishna’s people? Krishna reminded the Kshatriya his duty but left the Brahmin to his wiles, that was sentence enough for the ‘Harijan’. Gandhi’s ‘Harijan’ was not liberated. The term kept him tied to his lot in the Hindu hierarchy — a pretty pathetic lot, at that. Gandhi forgot that some people wanted emancipation in this life, not in the next.

Gandhi offered no solution. He was too focused on freeing India rather than in freeing a bunch of humanity from crap they were assigned to carry from birth. Getting thrown off a train should have taught a lesson, but that was racist. The closer to home reality of untouchables was given the miss. In the India of then, there were people whose very presence was seen as a curse, his shadow an insult. Blame it on the sun!

Coming to the here and now, who should have the right to name? The people who are being given a nomenclature themselves, a judge or a government? Clearly, those who are being saddled with a term, they have the first right to reject. And they have rejected every other term and chose ‘Dalit’. BR Ambedkar went for ‘broken man’ and ‘depressed classes’ for a time but those fell to ‘Dalit’ in the early 1970s.

The term Dalit, say many a Dalit, sums them up perfectly — a one-size-fits-all garb, neither cotton nor silk but chainmail! Fit accessory to the lance and the sword, the aggression that notes the so-called Scheduled Castes these days of the Mevani and Chandrashekhar — Bhima Koregaon! “Keep your SC to yourself, we will rather be Dalit,” is the overwhelming feeling and vote.

In a desert of divisions, Dalit is the big tent under which to strategise, to plan the annihilation of castes, not post a timeless schedule to group people in varied colours of defeat. ‘Dalit Pride’ sounds great, it lifts the spirit and if it gives ‘Hindutva’ the feeling that a new religion could be born, no big deal. Valmiki couldn’t have asked for more.

The “timing” of the court ruling and the government’s advisory has come in the wake of massive Dalit protests against the various atrocities committed on the Dalit and in the backdrop of the Supreme Court ruling “diluting” the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

In common parlance, ‘Dalit’ has gained ascendance. Now to say, to get fresh posters printed and new hoardings erected is a waste of money, time and effort, all of which are in short supply. Besides, the fight for equality in the eyes of man is centuries old and God is highly undependable, lacking the guts to show his face — his voice lost in the chant.

To sum up, ‘Dalit’ it will be and if the government has any objections, it can sue, go to court. Nothing much will be attained except court trouble. As for the media, who can stop journalists from picking a word from the dictionary — Oxford, Collins and Cambridge — and giving it its proper place in the sentence? The sentence is not to hang.

The writer is a freelance journalist. Views are personal.