The Telegraph – ‘Post-ban’ in the era of post-truth: BJP would have loved it if the Congress had banned Accidental Prime Minister

Political parties are finding new ways of turning the post-truth era to their advantage

Editorial, 30 December 2018. The world knows how sensitive Indian politicians are: they keep banning works of art, entertainment and scholarship that they think can hurt the religious, regional, cultural, moral or national sentiments of a particular group of voters. Or their own, for that matter.

Right-wing mobs would ban lovers if they could; they vandalise art exhibitions and film sets, they even burnt a library with irreplaceable texts, and are endorsed by politicians who ban the films, books and artists that excite their ire. It is because of such politicians that freedom of expression is now endangered in India.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is the most skilled in identifying tender sentiments as well as in quick bans. And it seems convinced that everybody loves a ban as much as it does.

Hence the hopeful tweets of its leaders and anticipatory information to the media that the Congress would be banning the film, The Accidental Prime Minister, especially in Madhya Pradesh, for it depicts Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi family’s domination of the Congress in a negative light.

The Congress, in line with Rahul Gandhi’s insistence on the freedom of expression, has not only stated that there will be no call for a ban, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh made this clear, but party leaders have also asked members in the states to refrain from asking for a preview of the film.

The BJP would have loved it if the Congress had fallen into the trap; it did its best by spreading the word that the Congress wanted the film banned. In the post-truth era, this would be a ‘post-ban’ strategy: accusations of banning when there is no intention to do so.

The BJP can then say that the Congress is guilty of the same attack on freedom of which critics accuse the BJP and, with greater elation, point out that Mr Gandhi does not practise what he preaches. By making it look as though the Congress is wielding the BJP’s quick-fix tool of repression, the BJP has underlined the advantages of a technologically enriched post-truth culture.

Even the Shiv Sena, once the BJP’s soulmate, is not keen on bans, it seems. Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha member from the party, has said that nobody can ban the film on Balasaheb Thackeray scheduled for release on January 25.

The statement was made in response to the Central Board of Film Certification’s directive to make three cuts in the film of sequences and language it considered hurtful to the sentiments of particular groups.

Mr Raut believes that the uncut film presents Thackeray as he really was, together with his entire vision. Incitement, it may be recalled, was a part of Thackeray’s political vision. Mr Raut’s reasoning is impeccable; the timing of the film interesting. – Martyrdom festival concludes at Fatehgarh Sahib; Giani Harpreet Singh faces protest

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 December 2018. The 314th annual martyrdom festival commemorated to the martyrdom of Chhote Sahibzaades (younger sons) Baba Jorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh got concluded in Fatehgarh Sahib on December 28.

More than a million devotees from all over the world paid obeisance at the historic shrine Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop Sahib during these three days of martyrdom festival.

A religious procession was taken out from Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib to Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop Sahib under the leadership of Panj Piares (the five beloved ones of Guru Sahib) on this occasion. Students of various schools, Kirtani Jathas, Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Societies and Gatka parties enthusiastically participated in this religious procession.

Gatka parties grabbed the attraction of common masses by manifesting their skills in this martial art taught by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh, Head Granthi of Sri Harmandr Sahib Giani Jagtar Singh, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma, Baba Balbir Singh of Budha Dal and Nihal Singh Harianvelan of Tarna Dal also attended this religious procession.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh faced a protest by the Sikhs as soon as he started addressing the gathering. He called upon the Sikhs to wage a war against drugs and female infanticide in his speech.

Den Haag: Wouwermanstraat – Parallelweg

Wouwermanstraat – Parallelweg
21 December 2018

Wouwermanstraat with a vague tram 9 to Vrederust

Wouwermanstraat – Tram 12 to Holland Spoor

NS Sprinter EMU

NS Sprinter EMU

Tram 11 to Holland Spoor

I think this is Tram 11 to Scheveningen Harbour

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FirstPost – Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan sends 14 recommendations to India to aid visa-free travel, list includes issuing 500 permits per day

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 30 December 2018. Pakistan has sent recommendations to India for facilitating visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims through the upcoming Kartarpur corridor, according to a media report on Saturday.

Islamabad has given a 59-page document with 14 key recommendations to New Delhi, Express News TV reported quoting Pakistani diplomatic officials.

The recommendations call for Indian pilgrims to be given free entry, and that facilitation centres and security check-posts to be set up on both sides of the border. The pilgrims will be allowed in groups of a minimum of 15 people and Pakistan shall issue special permits to them.

Both countries will compile a record of visitors which will include their names, travel records and other details, according to the recommendations.

The Indian government will provide a list of pilgrims to Pakistan three days in advance and it will be mandatory for all visitors to bear a standard Indian passport. The recommendations further say that all visitors shall be required to obtain a security clearance certificate from Indian authorities.

Pakistan will issue permits to 500 visitors per day and local authorities shall reserve rights to admission.

On 28 November, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for the corridor on the Pakistani side that will connect Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak situated in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur.

Two days earlier, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone for the corridor on the Indian side of the border. Pakistan said it will complete and open the corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November, 2019.

The Hindu – Hasina heading for landslide victory after deadly Bangladesh election day

The deadly violence and bitter rivalry that marred the election campaign spilled over into voting day.

Dhaka – Bangladesh, 30 December 2018. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appeared headed for a landslide win in a general election on Sunday marred by opposition claims of rigged voting as 14 people were killed in clashes between rival supporters.

Early results showed Ms. Hasina racing into a clear lead, winning each of the first 29 seats declared, some by tens of thousands of votes, according to Channel 24, which is compiling results from around the country.

The deadly violence and bitter rivalry that marred the election campaign spilled over into voting day, even as authorities imposed tight security with 600,000 troops, police and other security forces deployed across the country.

Ten people were killed in clashes between Ms. Hasina’s ruling Awami League party and supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), police said, while three men were shot by police who said they were protecting polling booths.

An auxiliary police member was also killed by armed opposition activists, according to officials.

Ms. Hasina, 71, has been lauded for boosting economic growth in the poor South Asian nation during her decade in power and for welcoming Rohingya refugees fleeing a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.

But critics accuse her of authoritarianism and crippling the opposition, including arch-rival Khaleda Zia who is serving 17 years in prison on graft charges, to cling on to power.

The BNP-led opposition alliance on Sunday accused Ms. Hasina’s party of using stuffed ballot boxes and other illegal means to fix the result, which was to be announced on Monday.

BNP spokesman Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal told reporters there were “irregularities” in 221 of the 300 seats contested. Its Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami said it would reject the results.

“Voters are not allowed to enter booths. Especially women voters are being forced to vote for the boat,” Alal said, referring to the Awami League symbol.

‘We’ll cast your vote’

Bangladesh election commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman told AFP the body had “received a few allegations of irregularities” and was investigating.

Authorities ordered mobile operators to shut down high speed internet services until midnight Sunday “to prevent the spread of rumours” that could trigger unrest. One independent television news channel complained that its broadcasts were blocked.

Voting in the capital Dhaka was largely peaceful as convoys of soldiers and paramilitary forces were on the streets where most traffic was banned.

“I have never missed voting in my life. This is probably the last election for me and I want a suitable candidate for my country,” 98-year-old Abdus Salam said at a Dhaka polling station.

However voters in provincial areas reported intimidation. Atiar Rahman said he was beaten by ruling party activists in the central district of Narayanganj.

“They told me not to bother, ‘We’ll cast your vote on your behalf’,” he told AFP.

The opposition said the unrest was stirred up to deter voters, and presiding officers reported a low turnout across the country.

Sunday’s deaths brought to 18 the official police toll for election violence since the ballot was announced on November 8.

Police said they acted “in self-defence” in the southern town of Bashkhali, when they fired on opposition supporters who stormed a polling booth, killing one.

In a separate incident a man was shot by police after he tried to steal a ballot box.

Free and fair?

Ms. Hasina needs 151 seats to control Parliament but experts say a victory would be sullied by accusations that she hamstrung opponents.

The opposition says more than 15,000 of its activists were detained during the campaign, crushing its ability to mobilise support.

Human Rights Watch and other international groups said the crackdown created a climate of fear which could prevent opposition supporters from casting ballots.

The United States raised concerns about the credibility of the election while the United Nations called for greater efforts to make the vote fair.

Seventeen opposition candidates have been arrested over what they claim are trumped-up charges while another 17 were disqualified from running by courts, which Ms. Hasina’s opponents say are government controlled.

The Bangladeshi leadership has alternated between Ms. Hasina and Ms. Zia, allies-turned-foes, over the last three decades.

Ms. Hasina rejects accusations of authoritarianism but analysts say she feared young voters would support the BNP.

Her government was criticised this year for its heavy handling of weeks of major student protests that brought Dhaka to a standstill.

Ms. Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s first President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was gifted victory in the 2014 election when the BNP boycotted the vote claiming it was not free and fair.

Tolo News – Khalid vows further reforms in Defense Ministry

Assadullah Khalid says Afghan forces will be on the offensive against militants.

Kabul – Afghanistan, 29 December 2018. Assadullah Khalid, who took the charge as the acting defense minister following a decree by President Ghani last week, vowed further reforms in the Ministry of Defense and a thorough attention to the Afghan forces, who he described as the owners and decision makers of this country.

Khalid takes the charge amid reports about a   on the battlefields. Meanwhile, there are reports about a rise in civilian casualties in Afghan and foreign forces operations in different parts of Afghanistan.

But Khalid said he will want practical work from his staff members and he will leave the judgment to the people on his activities.

“Required measures will be implemented after a thorough assessment in the ministry,” Khalid said as he labeled this as one of his top priorities.

Another top priority, Khalid said will be to give morale to government forces and address their problems.

He said he is sure that the nation trusts him while assuring that the ministry will serve the soldiers who are on the frontline and that he will not allow bureaucracy in the ministry.

Khalid said the Afghan forces will be on the offensive against militants.

“After this, our slogan will be to kill the enemy and eliminate their strongholds. We must go after the enemies’ strongholds,” Khalid said.

He said that the Army forces will continue to support the peace process.

“I assure government that all the forces will support the peace process and if peace comes to Afghanistan, that will be because of security forces’ pressures,” Khalid said.

He vowed further attention to the families of those soldiers who have been wounded or who have lost their lives on duty.

“When I came to the ministry, I noticed an incident in which wounded soldiers in Andar district were not taken to the center for a week. I assure all soldiers that I will not allow such an accident to happen again. I will not sleep and I will shake up the ministry until our wounded soldiers are transferred,” he added.

Khalid vowed to boost coordination among the Army forces as a main principle in the ministry.

“Coordination is a main principle in the ministry and we will work more on this. I heard that in some areas our forces are busy as private guards. We will change this soon and our commando forces’ focus will be only on operations,” Khalid said.

He said the Afghan forces are the owners of this country as he described the importance of the duty of the Afghan Army who are defending the country on the frontlines of the battle.

“Foreign forces are here for training and supporting Afghan forces, but you (Afghan forces) are the real owners and the decision makers of the country,” he said.

He assured that he will protect the people as he recalled an attack against him when he served as the head of the National Directorate of Security.

“Some people criticize me and say that Khaild could not save himself when he was in the NDS. Let me tell them that I was here to protect them not to protect myself, and I will continue to protect you again,” he concluded.

The Tribune – Yogi ‘misled’ Sikhs over ’84 Kanpur riots probe

Tribune News Service

Lucknow – UP – India, 28 December 2018. The All-India Riot Victims Relief Committee (AIRVRC) on Friday accused CM Yogi Adityanath of misleading the Sikh community on the issue of setting up a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the 1984 riots in Kanpur.

At a press conference here, committee head Kuldip Singh Bhogal said while the CM at a Sikh meet in Lucknow on October 28 had claimed to have set up a SIT to probe the matter, his government had repeatedly failed to submit a report with the Supreme Court as sought by the latter.

Bhogal said the life sentence awarded to former Union Minister Sajjan Kumar had motivated them to step up efforts to bring the Kanpur culprits to book. “Three years ago, we learnt through an RTI query that 127 members of the community were killed in Kanpur.

A committee delegation visited various police stations and found that most of the records against the rioters were missing. None had been chargesheeted, leave alone punished.”

Subsequently, the committee filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a CBI probe and a SIT. The apex court asked the Union Home Ministry to file an affidavit in this regard.

“It has been more than a year, but no affidavit has been filed. Nor has a SIT report been sent to the court,” Bhogal said. The case is listed for hearing on January 2.

The committee presented cheques for Rs 11,000 each to 1984 riot widows Parkash Kaur and Kuldeep Kaur on behalf of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (DSGMC).

To Den Haag (NL) via Antwerpen

To Den Haag via Antwerpen
Antwerpen Centraal – Den Haag Centraal
20 December 2018

Antwerpen Centraal [Middenstatie]

Antwerpen Centraal [Middenstatie]
Level + 1

Koningin Astridplein
Departure point of Flixbus

Den Haag – Haagse Markt
20 December 2018

Taken om my way to Fischerstraat

Hoefkade – Parallelweg
21 December 2018

Hoefkade – Tram 11 to Holland Spoor

Parallelweg – Tram 11 to Scheveningen Harbour

To see all my pictures:

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Morning Star – PM should apologise for Amritsar massacre on centenary of tragedy

Twenty-four MPs and trade unionists are supporting the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary committee’s calls

London – UK, 28 October 2018. Prime Minister Theresa May should offer a formal apology for atrocities committed by the British empire, according to a new campaign launched as the centenary of the Amritsar massacre approaches.

The Jallianwala Bagh Centenary committee, initiated by the Indian Workers’ Association, is planning a seminar and rally in central or west London on the day of the anniversary.

Twenty-four MPs, trade unionists and organisations, including shadow chancellor John McDonnell, former RMT president Alex Gordon and the Marx Memorial Library, are among those formally supporting the call for a government apology.

The Amritsar atrocity, also known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, took place on April 13 1919 when soldiers of the British Indian army fired their rifles into a crowd of peaceful nationalist protesters.

Acting on the orders of Colonel Reginald Dyer, the troops killed or wounded more than 1,500 men, women and children.

Dawn – Pakistan renews request for Chenab hydropower projects inspection

Khalid Hasnain

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 29 December 2018. Pakistan has once again urged India to fulfil its commitment made in August this year of getting its two hydropower projects, 1,000 MW Pakal Dul and 48 MW Lower Kalnal, inspected by Pakistani experts.

“We have once again requested our counterpart, Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, through a letter on December 24 to immediately schedule our experts’ tour to inspect 1,000 MW Pakal Dul and 48 MW Lower Kalnal at Chenab Basin,” Pakistani Commissioner for Indus Waters Mehr Ali Shah told Dawn on Friday.

Islamabad had earlier in last month written a letter to New Delhi, reminding it of fulfilling its promise made during the 115th meeting of the Permanent Commission for Indus Waters (PCIW) held between the two countries from Aug 29 to 30 in Lahore.

During the meeting, India had not only agreed to allow Pakistani experts to inspect the aforementioned two projects in September but also the Kishanganga project at Jhelum basin at a later stage.

Reciprocally, Pakistan had also agreed to allow India to carry out inspection of Kotri Barrage over the Indus after September.

In August, India agreed to invite Pakistani experts for inspection

“Since we are yet to receive a positive response from our counterpart, we are also planning to serve reminders to India in writing on every alternate day besides making phone calls on hotline.

And finally (If they don’t fulfil the promise) we may approach the World Bank under Article 9 of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) to press India to fulfil its commitment,” he added.

As a result of the 115th PCIW’s meeting, India had earlier scheduled inspection of the projects at Chenab basin by Pakistani experts from Oct 7 to 11. But later, it postponed the same on the pretext of local bodies’ elections in the respective areas.

During last week of October, the Pakistani commissioner telephoned his counterpart Pradeep Kumar Saxena and urged him to give a schedule for the tour of experts in November or December’s first week.

However, Mr Saxena was reported to have said it wouldn’t be possible during first or second week of December due to local Punchayat elections in the state of India-held Kashmir, the area where these projects are located.