The Telegraph – Covid no bar for BJP celebrations

First anniversary of the second Modi government

J P Yadav

New Delhi – India, 30 May 2020. The BJP will begin a month-long campaign on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the second Modi government, the unprecedented crisis posed by the pandemic not deterring the party from going ahead with the celebrations.

On Saturday, when the second Modi government completes one year in office, BJP president J P Nadda will address party workers on Facebook Live.

This will be followed by a series of events through June, including digital rallies, conferences and media addresses, designed to tell the people about the achievements of the Modi government and its continued commitment to serve the public.

The high point will be a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people on his call for an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India). The BJP plans to get copies of the letter delivered to 10 crore families across the country.

“At least one virtual rally (where a leader will speak and people at their homes and party offices will listen to the video live) will be held in each district of the country. The theme of the rallies will be a self-reliant India,” BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said.

“People will be told about Modiji’s call for a self-reliant India and the stress on using locally made goods,” he added.

Earlier this month, the BJP had released an audiovisual to mark six years of Modi in power and highlight the achievements of his government. The BJP believes that despite the distress and hardship being suffered by the people, particularly the poor, due to the lockdown, Modi’s popularity was still high.

BJP leaders said that barring the pandemic, which was beyond the control of the government, the first year of Modi 2.0 had achieved big.

They listed the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Citizenship Amendment Act and clearing the decks for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The leaders said core ideological issues of the BJP that had been pending for decades had been cleared by the government in the first year itself of its second term. – World Sikh Parliament issue advice on practical steps for Gurdwaras to reopen

Sikh24 UK Bureau

Santokh Singh

London – UK, 27 May 2020. The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) on 26 May released two videos, one in English and one in Punjabi, with advice for Gurdwaras around the world on considerations they should take when reopening their doors to the Sangat after lock-down.

The videos cover topics from protecting the elderly members of the Sangat to the distribution of degh. The content highlights the dangers of a second and third wave of Corona-virus which may cost many more lives to the deadly disease.

Sangat is encouraged to conduct TV shows to engage with the Sangat and let them know about the changes they will need to bring in. WSP also ask Gurdwaras to put up signing, markings on the floor and potentially introducing a one way system if possible in the Gurdwara.

It is also highlighted that many Gurdwara granthis have also passed away due to the virus and the Sangat are encouraged to keep social distancing to protect the most vulnerable in the community and the Divans being extended in order to cater for the Sangat having Darshan of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

To see the videos click on the below link !

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge
01 April 2020

De Lijn Bus stop – Bus 20
Peter Benoitlaan
Melle – Landskouter – Oosterzele


Jean Jaures – French socialist politician

De Lijn Bus stop – Bus 20

De Lijn Bus stop – Bus 20
Henri Van Daelestraat

I just left Gentbrugge and entered Melle

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

I-News – Sikh frontline workers having to choose ‘between faith and safety’ because corona-virus masks do not fit around their beards, warns MP.

No one should be made to choose between breaking their faith and compromising their safety’

Serina Sandhu

London – UK, 29 May 2020. Sikh workers on the front-line of the corona-virus pandemic are having to choose between their faith and their safety because some of the face masks to protect them against Covid-19 do not properly fit due to their beards, an MP has warned.

Leaving bodily hair uncut is one of the central tenets of Sikhism, meaning that some men have large beards.

But Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, Preet Kaur Gill, who herself is a Sikh, said some frontline healthcare workers with beards were not passing “fit tests” to ensure their respirator masks properly fitted their face, according to British Asian newspaper, Eastern Eye.

‘Take action’

Some had been asked to shave their beards in order to properly wear the mask as part of their personal protective equipment (PPE).

“No one should be made to choose between breaking their faith and compromising their safety or commitment to the frontline,” Ms Gill told i.

“Everyone should be supported to practise their religion safely and free from discrimination, and the fundamental tenets of Sikhism, like the proscription of cutting bodily hair, must not be an exception.”

She urged the Government to address concerns among members of the Sikh community “and take action to protect those working on the frontline as a matter of urgency”.

Ms Gill said it was important the Government acted on the matter because people from ethnic minority backgrounds were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Public Health England is carrying out a review into the issue.


Ms Gill’s warning comes after a Sikh consultant anaesthesist was moved from the front-line because he refused to shave his beard to ensure he could wear a respirator mask, according to The Telegraph.

The Sikh Doctors Association said “concerned” Sikh health professionals had told the group they had been put in a difficult position of having to shave their beard to pass the fit test for certain masks. It called for workers with beards to be “equipped with the right PPE to carry out their duties safely”.

Janet Daby, the Labour MP for Lewisham East, tweeted: “I’ve heard numerous concerns and the choice being forced on Sikh frontline workers is absolutely devastating.”

‘Safety of staff is paramount’

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the Government body responsible for workplace safety, people undergo “fit testing” to ensure that face masks have “a good seal with the wearer’s face”.

“A face fit test should be carried out to ensure the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) can protect the wearer,” it says.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “The safety of our staff is paramount, and all healthcare professionals must have a mask fit-test carried out before using any masks to ensure they are fit for purpose.

“During this global pandemic, we have been working around the clock to ensure PPE is delivered as quickly as possible to those on the front-line and we have delivered more than 1.51 billion pieces items since the outbreak began.”

The Hindu – LAC standoff – India says Trump did not talk to Modi on China

Ministry of External Affairs rejects USA President’s claim that he discussed border tensions with PM.

Suhasini Haidar

New Delhi – India, 30 May 2020. The government on Friday forcefully rejected USA President Donald Trump’s claim that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, or that the two leaders spoke at all.

Government sources said India would not accept Mr Trump’s offer to mediate on the stand-off at the LAC, and this was conveyed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to his American counterpart on Friday.

“There has been no recent contact between PM Modi and President Trump. The last conversation between them was on 4 April 2020 on Hydroxychloroquine [HCQ],” said sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

According to Defence Ministry sources, Mr Singh, who discussed issues around COVID-19 and the defence partnership with USA Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a telephone call on Friday, used the occasion to convey India’s firm commitment to resolving issues with China bilaterally, “through the established mechanisms that exist between India and China.”

Mr Singh is understood to have also stressed that the resolution of the month-long stand-off at different points along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim could “take some time” but that India and China had in the past managed to resolve border issues without mediation by others.

Government officials told The Hindu that they were taken by surprise by the USA President’s comments, particularly his reference to Mr Modi’s “mood” when Mr. Trump claimed to have spoken to him.

“I can tell you, I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He’s not, he’s not in a good mood about what’s going on with China,” Mr Trump told reporters at White House on Thursday (Friday morning India time).

When asked by reporters about his offer of mediation on the “raging border dispute” between India and China, made first in a tweet on Thursday, Mr Trump said he would be willing to broker talks between the two countries if “it would help”.

“I would do that. You know, I would do that. If they, if they thought it would help if I were the mediator or the arbiter, I would do that. So, we’ll see,” Mr Trump told a correspondent from PTI news agency who asked him about his tweet.

However, the MEA sources reiterated that the Ministry’s official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava “made it clear” on Thursday that India was “directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts.”