The Indian Express – Mumbai: CSMT to be redeveloped into world-class station

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India, 28 November 2019. Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) in coordination with Central Railway (CR) is working out a plan to redevelop CSMT station into a world-class station while restoring its heritage charm.

The redevelopment scheme will focus on creating waiting lounges on the lines of airports, segregating suburban commuter traffic from mainline while transforming the area around the station to go in sync with the main station building, which is a Grade-1 heritage structure.

The concept plan prepared by ISRDC has revived an old plan, which was estimated to cost Rs 2,700 crore for the entire redevelopment but had to be shelved in 2014.

A French firm, Arep Ville, was then appointed as a consultant. The plan was shelved as the land identified for commercial exploitation has to be used for railway projects for capacity augmentation.

In the new plan prepared by ISRDC, using the old consultancy report as the blueprint, an additional deck will be created over the mainline tracks for long-distance passengers. The deck will be on the lines of waiting lounges at airports.

To enhance the heritage look of the station building, encroachments around it will be removed. The annexe building constructed in 1929 and the building above the mainline platform will be restored to give them a heritage look.

Mumbai: CSMT to be redeveloped into world-class station – Sukhbir Badal again hands over the reins of SGPC to Gobind Singh Longowal

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 27 November 2019. In the annual general house meeting of SGPC held today, Bhai Gobind Singh Longowal has been unanimously reelected as a president for the third term. The 15 member executive body of the Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee also includes a woman member.

SGPC members Bhai Rajinder Singh Mehta and Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh Nawanshahr have been elected as senior and junior vice president while Bhai Harjinder Singh Dhami has been elected as general secretary of the apex Sikh body.

Names of the other 11 members are as follow:

  1. Bhai Bhupinder Singh Asand
  2. Bhai Jagsir Singh
  3. Bhai Harpal Singh Gora
  4. Bhai Sher Singh Mandwala
  5. Bhai Jasbir Singh
  6. Bhai Jasmer Singh
  7. Bhai Amarjit Singh Bhalaipur
  8. Bhai Surjit Singh Kang
  9. Bhai Indermohan Singh Lakhbirwala
  10. Bhai Magwinder Singh
  11. Bibi Kuldeep Kaur Tohra

The apex Sikh body’s general house has also passed a resolution condemning Supreme Court’s verdict on the disputed land of Babri Masjid.

Beside it, 10 opposition members walked out of the meeting to register their protest on the handling of the sacrilege incidents of 2015.

Sukhbir Badal again handovers reins of SGPC to Gobind Singh Longowal

Ieper/Ypres – Commemoration of 1918 armistice

Commemoration of 1918 armistice
12 November 2019

At the Indian monument
Ashoka Lions

Three Belgian blue barets (UN)
Gurka (?) piper

Gurka (?) piper, one Belgian blue baret and two red ones (?)

Belgian officers

On the left a South-African officer, on the right two Belgian officers.
The tall one in the middle is British and to his left and right India Army officers

Mixed group

The last post

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – ‘Harassment & disrespect’: Indian government urged to confront Spain after Sikh pilot forced to remove turban at Madrid airport

Cominidad de Madrid – Spain, 28 November 2019. A prominent Sikh leader has called on New Delhi to confront the Spanish government, after an Indian Air Force pilot told him he was subjected to a ‘discriminatory’ search in Madrid.

The Sikh pilot, identified as Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral, was reportedly harassed while passing through security at Madrid’s airport.

“The Madrid airport officials demanded him to remove his turban and asked for a manual check-up of his turban which is an offence in the eyes of a Sikh,” Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, wrote in a letter to External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

He noted that the air force captain was subjected to the invasive search even after clearing the airport’s metal detectors.

“Truly, this is a case of bias and racial attitude towards Sikhs at the Madrid airport,” Sirsa said.

Sharing his letter on Twitter, the Sikh politician expressed hope that the External Affairs Ministry would raise the issue on a “global level.” He also noted that Madrid airport officials “continue to hurt our sentiments and play the ‘ignorance’ card to their advantage.”

There are no reports so far of Madrid airport responding to the allegations. Sikhs are routinely subjected to discriminatory behavior while traveling or living abroad, usually on account of their distinctive headgear. In 2017, for example, a Sikh New York taxi cab driver was attacked and had his turban stolen by a passenger. – Hindutva politics: Pragya Thakur’s Godse praises: What is a terror-accused doing in Parliament in the first place?

Punishing the MP by removing her from a parliamentary panel is like yelling at a thief for stealing after you handed him the keys to your house.

Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

New Delhi – India, 27 November 2019. Is anyone surprised that Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Pragya Singh Thakur called Mohandas Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “deshbhakt”, a patriot, in Parliament?

Thakur has made no secret of her admiration for Godse and indeed, called him a patriot even in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after she was made a BJP candidate.

At the time, she had to apologise, and the BJP insisted that its views were not the same as hers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi even said he will never be able to forgive Thakur for her comments.

Yet nothing about her candidature changed and her electoral victory was celebrated.

On Thursday, a day after Thakur called Godse a deshbhakt in the Lok Sabha, and despite others in the party trying to claim she wasn’t talking about Gandhi’s assassin, the BJP has decided to take some action.

Thakur has been removed from the Parliamentary panel on defence. BJP working president J P Nadda said she will not be allowed to participate in parliamentary party meetings this session.

If that sounds like an appropriate punishment, it isn’t. Punishing Thakur by removing her from the Parliamentary defence panel is like yelling at a thief for stealing after you handed him the keys to your house. Why was he inside in the first place?

In the same vein, the question is not whether the punishment is apt, but why Thakur was even on a defence panel, and indeed, in Parliament in the first place.

Let’s not forget, Thakur has been accused of terrorism. She is among the alleged conspirators in the Malegaon blasts case, where explosives hidden in a motorcycle killed six people and injured more than 100 others in Maharashtra in 2008.

Her initial comment defending Godse also came in the context of terrorism, in which she said people should not call him a terrorist because he was actually a patriot.

Clearly, she subscribes to or, at the very least, admires Godse’s violent philosophy and has also been accused of committing terror herself, two data points that should have meant no mainstream political party even considering her for a Lok Sabha ticket, let alone a spot on a Parliamentary panel overseeing India’s defence.

But this is what the BJP chose to endorse. It should now hardly be surprising that Thakur espouses the views she has always held. Modi’s “will never forgive her” comments seemed to achieve nothing. And it is equally doubtful that the current punishments will somehow prompt a change of heart from Thakur.

At most, it seems as if the party is mildly embarassed by her comments because of the headlines they result in, not because of the implication that the BJP is endorsing and actually promoting a strain of thought that believes in hatred and violence. Indeed, for many in the party, that is a selling point, as the support for Thakur online on Wednesday demonstrated.

This is the India that the BJP wants: one where the ruling party openly encourages bigoted behaviour and policies, where any criticism is labeled anti-national, where those who were part of lynch mobs are garlanded. This is the India that the BJP has helped create. How can anyone be surprised that praise for Gandhi’s assassin made its way to Parliament?

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