The Telegraph – Our broken republic: Attacks on Muslims and Dalits have grown alarmingly since 2014

Caveats on the safety and the movement of a particular community on a day of national celebration are a matter of shame

The Editorial Board, 23 January 2019. Irony proliferates in the India that the Bharatiya Janata Party is striving to build earnestly. In 1950, this young republic had adopted a Constitution, the sacred foundation of the democracy, which, among other pledges, promises to uphold the principle of secularism.

Nearly seven decades later, the Darul Uloom Deoband, a seminary, has been forced to issue an advisory to its Muslim students to avoid travelling on Republic Day. In case travel is unavoidable, the advisory has asked the students to undertake such precautions as avoiding arguments, exercising restraint and immediately returning to the institution on the completion of the business at hand.

There is evidence to cite that such precautions are not unwarranted in New India. The seminary’s students have been assaulted in public places; on one occasion, the attack was perpetrated on Republic Day. The culprits remain at large.
Attacks on minorities, Muslims and Dalits, resulting in deaths and injuries, have grown alarmingly since 2014. The vigilantes come in various garbs: gau rakshaks, patrons of Hindutva as well as caste dispensations. A young boy, travelling to shop for Eid, had been stabbed to death in a train by goons who, reportedly, objected to skull caps.

What is common to these infractions is the pliant response of the State. No less than a Union minister had publicly felicitated a group of men who had been convicted of lynching a Muslim trader in Jharkhand.

Naturally, the men in uniform have taken a cue from their masters. Convictions in lynching cases remain sporadic, even though such deaths seem to have abated a bit. Perhaps the electoral reversals suffered by the BJP have compelled its leaders to keep these vigilantes on a tighter leash.

What the advisory reflects is the state of deep unease among India’s minorities. Caveats pertaining to the safety and the movement of a particular community on a day of national celebration are a matter of shame for an inclusive polity. This fear is worrying on another count. The sense of persecution is often instrumental in the inception of radicalism.

The solemn state of affairs in Kashmir, where the spectre of fundamentalism is said to be on the rise, is a grim reminder of the risks posed by besiegement. Can there be a bigger blot on India’s commitment to pluralism and representativeness than the hauntings suffered by its own citizens?

https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/as-india-celebrates-republic-day-a-reminder-that-attacks-on-muslims-and-dalits-have-grown-alarmingly-since-2014/cid/1682468?ref=top-stories_home-template

Sikh24.com – Rosa Parks award for Gurinder Singh Khalsa who forced US authorities to change policy on turban

Sikh24 Editors

Washinton DC – USA, 20 January 2019. Indianapolis based quadragenarian Sikh Gurinder Singh Khalsa has been conferred the Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award on January 18 for his courage and compassion which forced the US authorities to change its policy towards turban.

It is noteworthy here that after getting denied access to a plane for wearing turban in 2007 while travelling from Buffalo to Sacramento, Gurinder Singh Khalsa had mobilized more than 67,000 people nationwide for petitions and took the issue all the way to the US Congress.

Congress forced Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to change its policy towards the turban of the Sikh community. As a result, Sikhs can now wear their turban through airport security in the US.

Dedicating the award to the Sikh community, Gurinder Singh Khalsa said that the change does not come without the support of a community so this award was not for him. “I dedicate this award to more than 67,000 individuals from all walks of life across America, and to one of the largest Sikh advocacy groups, Sikh Coalition.

Without their countless efforts, change in the TSA turban policy would not exist,” he said while addressing the award ceremony, which was attended by top State officials and eminent community leaders.

Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill said on this occasion that he sees the great power of quiet resolve common in the personalities of both Gurinder Singh and Rosa. “Sometimes those who bravely protest for civil rights are stereotyped as somehow threatening figures, perhaps simply because of the raw courage required to fight for justice” he added.

“I know that Gurinder Singh Khalsa has experienced and witnessed certain perceptions and situations that have been unjust. But in his cheerful and dignified manner, he has stood for justice and free speech and freedom of religion and for so many truly American principles that make our nation great,” he said.

Indiana’s State Assembly Speaker Brian C Bosma congratulated Gurinder Singh Khalsa on receiving the award for his principled commitment to faith and his pursuit of positive change that embodies the American principles of free speech and religious freedom.

https://www.sikh24.com/2019/01/20/rosa-parks-award-for-gurinder-singh-khalsa-who-forced-us-authorities-to-change-policy-on-turban/#.XEiuyM17nIU

Spui – Kalvermarkt – Rijnstraat – Den Haag Centraal – RandstadRail RET Metro

Spui
30 December 2018


Tram 1 to its temporary terminus Gravenstraat


Spui

Kalvermarkt
30 December 2018


Kalvermarkt


Kalvermarkt in 1915

Den Haag Centraal
30 December 2018


Rijnstraat entrance

Den Haag Centraal – RET Metro Beurs and Capelsebrug
Kralingseveer Gurdwara
30 December 2018


RandstadRail RET Metro E

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The News – Issuance of ticket for not wearing helmet

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 23 January 2019. The Traffic Police authorities on Tuesday apologised to the Sikh community after an officer mistakenly issued a ticket to a Sikh bike-rider for not wearing helmet.

An official of the Traffic Police in Peshawar said all the wardens have been directed not to issue tickets to Sikhs for not wearing helmets. Similar orders were issued a few months back. However, a traffic officer Fayyaz issued a ticket to one Manmeet Singh on Tuesday.

The elders of the Sikh community immediately took up the issue with the Traffic Police bosses who tendered an apology. They directed the wardens not to issue tickets to Sikhs as they have been exempted from wearing helmets due to religious reasons.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/422329-issuance-of-ticket-for-not-wearing-helmet

The Hindu – Modi trying to appoint pliant CBI chief, says Congress

“The process must be transparent and only officers with unblemished record must be considered”

New Delhi – India, 23 January 2019. Ahead of the high-power selection committee meeting on January 24 to decide on the next CBI Director, the Congress on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to appoint a pliant officer.

Deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, told reporters that the process of selecting the CBI chief must be transparent and only officers with unblemished track record should be considered.

“I have said on the 10th of January from this podium that the Prime Minister is desperate to select and appoint a pliant CBI Director to buy future protection for all the acts of omission and commission of his government,” Mr Sharma alleged.

“No officer against whom there is any question mark, any charges during service career, should be considered for empanelment. Otherwise, it would be a gross miscarriage of justice,” he said

On Thursday, the high-power committee, headed by the Prime Minister and including Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, will be meeting to appoint a full time director in place of the former CBI chief Alok Verma.

The country’s premier investigating agency has been in turmoil since October last when the rivalry between Mr Verma and the former number two in the agency, Rakesh Asthana, resulted in a bitter factional feud. On October 23, the government stepped in and sent the former CBI chief on forced leave.

The Supreme Court, after hearing a petition from Mr Verma challenging the manner of his removal, restored his position. However, on January 10, Mr Verma was removed by the high-power committee a second time within 48 hours by a 2:1 majority where the Congress member dissented.

A week later, on January 17, the government transferred out Mr Asthana and has removed several officials to put an end to the factionalism within the CBI.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-trying-to-appoint-pliant-cbi-chief-says-cong/article26064154.ece