The Telegraph – Anti-CAA protests: Amartya Sen lays stress on the importance of opposition unity

He further said that even in the absence of opposition unity, protests can continue

Kolkata – West Bengal – India, 14 January 2020. Days after demanding that the amended citizenship act be scrapped, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has stressed the importance of opposition unity to carry out any protest for a cause. However, he said even in the absence of opposition unity, protests can continue.

The economist was talking to journalists in Kolkata over the countrywide CAA-NPR-NRC protests. “For any kind of protest, opposition unity is important. Then protests become easier. Unity is important if the protest is for a proper cause,” Sen told journalists on Monday night.

“But even if unity is not there, then that doesn’t mean we will stop protesting. As I said, unity makes protest easier but if unity is not there still we have to move on and do whatever is necessary,” Sen said. Earlier, speaking at Nabanita Deb Sen Memorial Lecture, the economist said viewing oppositional reasoning as quarrelsome would be a big mistake.

“It is necessary to emphasise the subtleties of the innovative forces of the opposition… We need to know more about what I am protesting about. The head must also join with the heart in protest,” Sen said in his speech. “When there seems to be a big mistake in the Constitution or human rights, there will surely be reasons to protest,” Sen said.

Deb Sen, who passed away at her Kolkata residence last November, was the economist’s first wife. A few days ago, Sen, who has been critical of the Narendra Modi-led Union government, said the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act should be scrapped.

“I think the CAA must be scrapped because it cannot be an act. That’s the job of the Supreme Court to see whether what was passed in Parliament can be legally attached to the Constitution,” the Nobel laureate had said.

The Tribune – SGPC, TV channel told to clarify stand

Sikh body draws flak for being silent on the matter

GS Paul – Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 13 January 2020. The Akal Takht secretariat has sent a communication to the SGPC and a private TV news channel to clarify their stance within a fortnight over the “exclusive” rights over the telecast of Gurbani and Hukumnama pronounced daily from the Golden Temple.

The issue of granting rights to a particular TV channel by the SGPC was raised in the Vidhan Sabha, which had unanimously passed a resolution urging the SGPC to allow all TV and radio channels to air Gurbani from the Golden Temple.

But the matter again cropped up when the TV channel blocked the morning “Hukumnama” pronounced daily from the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple on Facebook pages of some Sikh web channels.

The TV channel, which claimed to have its exclusive rights, had sent notices to the web channels and reportedly got the content blocked through Facebook.

Sikh Siyasat editor Paramjeet Singh has approached the SGPC against the “discrimination” over telecast rights. He said the TV channel blocked the content, terming it to be its “intellectual right”.

“We pick the audio of ‘Hukumnama’ from the SGPC website on different portals which are already put in the public domain. Our designers add visual of the Golden Temple to it and broadcast it further. Now, it has been blocked. We have communicated to Facebook to unblock the content. Facebook said it would reply by January 16,” he said.

The SGPC, which is silent on the matter, has invited criticism for allegedly granting the telecast rights of “sarb sanjhi Gurbani” to a particular channel. Former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh said the Gurbani and katha kirtan could never be the personal property of anyone.

“Anyone who has faith in Sikhism has the right to propagate it further. Every mode of media should be encouraged to do it by observing the rehat maryada,” he said.

Den Haag NL – Parallelweg – Hoefkade

Den Haag NL
Parallelweg – Hoefkade

Parallelweg – Museum Tram
Kees Pronk and friends ?

Parallelweg – Tram 11 to Station Holland Spoor

Parallelweg – Tram 12 to Station Holland Spoor

Tram stop Hoefkade
Tram 12 to Duindorp – Tram 11 to Scheveningen haven

Tram stop Hoefkade – Tram 12 to Duindorp

Tram stop Hoefkade
Tram 12 to Duindorp – Tram 11 to Scheveningen haven

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Asian Age – Mystic Mantra: Guru Gobind Singh – One word, one world

The Guru extols the Sikhs to fight against sectarian forces and to remain fearless in the path of truth and justice

Kulbir Kaur

New Delhi – India, 14 January 2020. All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body, the same build, a compound of earth, air, fire and water,” said Guru Gobind Singh. Emphasising on the notion of universal mankind, Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru and the creator of the Khalsa, denounced all kinds of divisions and upheld the inherent unity as an integral trait of the Supreme Being.

Guru Gobind Singh was a believer in One Supreme Being and regarded the whole of humanity as one, highlighting its inclusiveness and universalism.

He says: “As sparks flying out of a flame fall back in the fire from which they rise; as dust rising from the earth falls back and on the earth does lie; as waves beating on the shingle go back and in the ocean mingle; so from God come all things under the sun and to God return when their race is run.”

Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666 at Patna. He moved to Anandpur when he was five and received his initial education in scriptures as well as in arms. It was a time of great stress and challenge for the community. In order to show the true path to the people and to protect the oppressed from tyranny, he formed the Khalsa brotherhood based upon bravery and sacrifice.

Guru Nanak’s concept of the ideal society was transformed into the Khalsa Panth at the time of Guru Gobind Singh largely under social and historical forces. He visualised Sikh society as a universal brotherhood voicing the concept of “One World”.

It aimed at demolishing all the walls of prejudice between man and man, man and woman, religion and religion, the rich and the poor and the ruler and the subjects. Hence, Guru Gobind Singh truly presented a unique image of “Saint-soldier” (Sant-sipahi).

In Sikhism, the Almighty is not only the ultimate truth but he bestows justice as well. In his court, no distinctions based on caste, religion, gender and class are taken into account: the person will be judged only on the basis of his conduct and deeds.

One of these duties, hence, of the Khalsa, is to stand for the right cause so that justice prevails. It was in keeping with the tradition of the Sikh faith to stand for truth and righteousness that the Khalsa was formed.

Guru Gobind Singh describes it as a mission to “To establish dharma, to annihilate the calumniators and oppressors; enemies of universal peace and love; to succour the good, to exterminate the evil”.

The Guru extols the Sikhs to fight against sectarian forces and to remain fearless in the path of truth and justice. The path shown by the Guru is not for the meek, nor for the renouncers. To run away from one’s duty and to remain aloof from the world, especially the woes of the oppressed, is like showing one’s back to the divine.

Not surprisingly, the only prayer the Guru says is: “Give me this power, O Almighty! From righteous deeds I may never refrain. Fearlessly may I fight all battles of life, full confidence may I have in asserting my battles; when the mortal life comes to a close, may I die with the joy and courage of a martyr”.

Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University

Dawn – USA deplores detentions, internet ban in occupied Kashmir

Anwar Iqbal

Washington DC – USA, 13 January 2020. The chief USA diplomat for South Asian affairs, Alice Wells, has expressed concern over continued detentions and internet-shutdown in occupied Kashmir, days before her visit to New Delhi for bilateral talks.

“Closely following USA ambassador to India and other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir. Important step,” she wrote in a tweet posted on the official website of the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

“We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy,” she added.

Kashmir has no internet access for more than 150 days.

Ms Wells will reach New Delhi on 15 January on a three-day visit that includes talks with senior Indian officials on bilateral and regional issues. She will then proceed to Islamabad on a similar, three-day visit that will begin on 19 January.

On Thursday, the Modi government arranged a “guided tour” for some New Delhi-based diplomats to the occupied valley, the first after India scrapped the region’s autonomous status five months ago.

“European Union envoys declined an invitation, apparently because the visit did not include meetings with three former chief ministers, who continue to be in detention and whose parties dominated Kashmiri politics,” reported an American broadcaster, Voice of America.

But US ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, accompanied the group, which met Indian military officials, politicians and journalists selected by Indian security services.

India showcased the visit to support its claim that normalcy is returning to the troubled region, where a strict clampdown imposed in August paralysed life as authorities imposed a dusk to dawn curfew.

Indian authorities also imposed unprecedented restrictions on both social and conventional media and disconnected cellphones. Indian security forces also arrested hundreds of Kashmiris, including senior politicians. Most of them remain in detention and the internet suspended.

The diplomats from more than a dozen countries were driven in a motorcade from the airport amid tight security and the areas they visited were also selected by Indian officials.

“Although access for diplomats, rights activists and foreign journalists to Kashmir has always been controlled, India has further restricted travel to the region for both foreigners and Indian opposition leaders,” VOA noted.

The USA broadcaster reported that Indian opposition parties were criticising the government for not allowing their leaders to visit the region while taking diplomats on what they called a “guided tour”.

“Essentially, the government wants to demonstrate that everything is normal in Kashmir, which is far from the reality,” said Congress Party leader Manish Tewari.

Besides Ambassador Juster, the diplomats who visited Kashmir represented Norway, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

“It’s all about trying to improve the optics,” Manoj Joshi, a foreign affairs analyst at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi told VOA. “Around the world, the government’s handling of the domestic situation has been getting huge amount of negative attention.”

Although Indian succeeded in “persuading” Washington to sends its ambassador, “its other good friend France hid behind the European Union decision not to go on the guided tour,” reported an Indian media outlet, ThePrint.

“Brazilian ambassador to India, Andre Aranha Correa do Lago, didn’t travel to Srinagar although his name was on the list,” the report added.