The News – Civilian would have been declared traitor for co-authoring book with Indian counterpart: Rabbani

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 25 May 2018. Veteran PPP leader and former Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday said if any civilian had co-authored a book with an Indian counterpart he would have been declared a traitor, referring to “The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and The Illusion of Peace” co-authored by former ISI and RAW chiefs.

Speaking in the Senate, he said it was surprising to see that on one hand Pak-Indo relations are at their worst and on the other hand opening of a book co-authored by former spymasters of both the countries is taking place.

Authored by former ISI chief Assad Durrani and former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A S Dulat, the book discusses important issues between the two nations.

It also sheds light on Kargil Operation, Abbottabad Operation against Osama bin Laden, arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed, Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani.

He asked whether Assad Durani had sought permission from defence minister before writing the book.

According to Geo News, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has sought response from Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/321311-civilian-would-have-been-declared-traitor-if-he-had-co-authored-book-with-an-indian

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Daily Times – Sikhs in the Hindutva crosshairs

Human Rights activists the world over must take cognizance of RSS groups in India harassing minorities, especially the Muslims and Sikhs in the name of Hindutva

Op-Ed, 26 May 2018. The election of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi as Prime Minister (PM) of India has allowed the extremist Hindutva ideology to disturb the country’s social order.

The ideology’s origins can be traced back to a secular, diehard Hindu named Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who in his 1923 essay ‘Essentials of Hindutva’ presented a new, distorted version of Hinduism, and what it meant to be Hindu. Savarkar stressed that India is exclusively for Hindus and they must safeguard their religion, apparently from Muslims.

Again in 1928, Savarkar published a pamphlet ‘Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?’ and put forward the concepts of ‘Indian Nation’ and ‘Greater India’ and defined a Hindu on the basis of race, culture and nation. The essays and books of Savarkar served as the Bible for his followers and they relentlessly followed those arguments.

If Hindutva was confined to only the promotion of Hinduism as a religion or belief, there would be nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, the progenitors of Hindutva took it upon themselves to denigrate Muslims as well as other religious groups, driving the Indian society to fear and hate.

In 1939 another extremist Hindu, M S Golwalkar, put forward a new book titled We or Our Nationhood Defined. Golwalkar defined the Hindu religion and nation, he also used virulent language especially aimed at Muslims.

On September 27, 1925, Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a physician by profession and a Hindu by religion, was deeply influenced and impressed by the teachings of Savarkar and laid down the foundations of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or the National Volunteers Movement in Nagpur, Maharashtra, then under British India.

Ostensibly, Dr Hedgewar was driven by the notion of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ or the ‘Hindu nation’ and wanted to organise the’Hindu nation’ primarily to preserve its identity. It was driven by intense hate and antipathy towards Muslims and Islam. Instead of teaching Hindus the notion of civic nationalism, they were given a distorted, radicalised version of Hinduism flanked by extreme sentiments of Hindu nationalism.

Hindutva appeared to have been placed on the backburner by the Indian Congress, while BJP, in its earlier rule under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, did not display a penchant for extremist Hindutva policies. It however, has received ascendancy in the government of Narendra Modi, who is himself a pracharak of the radical ideology.

The latest victims of Hindutva ideology besides Muslims, Christians and low caste Hindus, the Dalits, appear to be the Sikhs. Its community leaders have expressed grave resentment and anger over the RSS’ malicious designs of Hindutva, aimed at establishing hegemony of Hindus over India.

Sikhs in India were suppressed under Indira Gandhi, when she ordered a massive crackdown on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh shrines through Operation Blue Star onJune 1, 1984. She paid dearly when two of her own Sikh guards assassinated her.

Since then, the Sikhs have been supressed. Now however, they are being directly targeted. This is happening to the extent that concerned voices have been raised by large Sikh community leaders in Australia and Canada.

The RSS’ Ghar Wapsi (return to your home) campaign, is an ongoing movement which aims to bring converted Muslims, Sikhs and Christians back to Hinduism. This law is a repeat of the past Shuddhi (purification) movement

Modi is constrained to support the repressive policies of the RSS in pursuit of the Hindutva diktat. During the 2014 general elections, Modi reached out to his parent organization, the RSS and Sangh Parivar for electoral support.

Following his victory, the progenitors of Hindutva demanded their pound of flesh: implementation of stern Hindutva doctrines and placement of extremist Hindus in important positions in the Indian government; thus the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the heads of the IB and RAW are in the same category.

The RSS’ ghar wapsi (return to your home) campaign, is an ongoing movement which aims to bring back converted Muslims, Sikhs and Christians to Hinduism. Many low caste Hindus, the Dalits had converted to escape the repression by high caste Hindus, the Brahmins.

This law is a repeat of the past shuddhi (purification) movement. Readers may recall that on September 24, 1990, then BJP president LK Advani launched “a crusade in defence of Hindutva”, which culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992.

Since 1996, the BJP’s election manifestoes for Lok Sabha elections pledge to espouse Hindutva in these terms: “The cultural nationalism of India … is the core of Hindutva.” This explains the Modi government’s systematic purge of educational and cultural institutions.

The ‘Ghar Wapsi’ movement is also based on getting Sikhs into the folds of Hindutva, and aimed at converting the Christians and Muslims so they return to their ‘original religion’. The movement has gained momentum during the current Modi regime.

The recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred by his ostensible support for the Sikh community. He was greeted by mocks and jibes, facing embarrassment.

Human Rights activists the world over must take cognizance of RSS groups in India harassing minorities, especially the Muslims and Sikhs in the name of Hindutva. This cannot be a reflection of “Shining India”.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/244791/sikhs-in-the-hindutva-crosshairs/

The Hindu – BJP on the way out, says Punjab CM

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 May 2018. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that a united Opposition would oust the BJP-led government at the Centre in the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.

Captain Singh was talking to press persons in Shahkot during a roadshow ahead of the Assembly byelection in the constituency on Monday. He said that anti-BJP forces were coming together and would throw the BJP-led Central government out as the people were completely fed up with it.

“People want a change, they want a future, they want a government that delivers,” he said, adding that the BJP-led government would face the consequences of its ill-conceived policies.

“The economy has been destroyed, industry is fleeing, law and order has collapsed,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/bjp-on-the-way-out-says-punjab-cm/article24003661.ece

The Asian Age – Man, his father, friends kill 15-yr-old girlfriend asking for marriage

On January 12, the minor’s body was found in the jungle near Mohiuddinpur area of district Meerut

Ghaziabad – UP – India, 15 May 2018. Five people were arrested on Monday in connection with the alleged rape and killing of a 15-year-old girl who was missing from her house in the Krishna Nagar area in Ghaziabad since December 2017, police said.

Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said that on December 27, a missing report was lodged by the parents of the girl at Modinagar police station.

On January 12, the minor’s body was found in the jungle near Mohiuddinpur area of district Meerut, he added.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the police arrested prime suspect Sumit Kumar, 21, his father Ramesh, 60, his friends Arif, 21, and Rajeev, 26, and driver Sonu, 26, whose Swift car was hired to take the girl to Meerut to execute the murder.

“The prime accused Sumit confessed he was in love with the girl and on December 26 he took her in Vijay Nagar area and cohabited with her after which she was mounting pressure on him for marriage. Upon rejection of the proposal she threatened to lodge an FIR against him,” a police official said.

The prime accused then decided to eliminate the girl, police claimed.

According to police officials, on January 9, Sumit and his friends took the girl for a ride in a Swift car, consumed alcohol at Ganga Canal, Murad Nagar and then strangulated her, using her stole, in the Mohiuddinpur area.

They also crushed her under their car, police added. Police recovered a motorcycle, a car, 2 country-made pistols, four live cartridges and the stole from the accused, officials said.

“All these things were used in the commission of the crime. Her earrings and clothes were recovered from a sugar cane field where her body was thrown. The accused have been sent to jail in connection with the case registered under sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and other sections of IPC along with POCSO Act,” SSP Krishna added.

http://www.asianage.com/india/crime/150518/man-his-father-friends-kill-15-yr-old-girlfirend-asking-for-marriage.html

Sikh24.com – June-1984 Holocaust: Sikh activists to take out religious procession on 27 May

By Sikh24 Editors

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 24 May 2018. In commemoration of the martyred Sikhs of June-1984 holocaust, a religious procession has been scheduled to be taken out on May 27 in village Bhana and other villages situated in its vicinity.

Notably, hundreds of Sikhs had attained martyrdom while battling against Indian army’s invasion into Sri Harmandr Sahib in June-1984.

Sharing the development with media, the SYFB’s senior vice president Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal informed that the procession will commence under the patronage of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and leadership of Panj Piares from Gurdwara Patshahi Shevin in village Bhana.

“It will conclude back at village Bhana after traversing through villages Dhuddi, Mand Wala, Dhoorkot, Bhaloor, Nathu Wala, Nathe Wala, Demru, Rode, Lande, Jioon Wala, Baggeana, Kot Sukhia, Nangal, Chameli etc.” he added.

He further informed that the writers and lyricists working for the high spirit of Punjab and Sikhism will be specially honoured on this occasion beside the Sikh freedom fighters and families of martyred Sikhs.

Sikh activists Bhai Gursewak Singh Bhana, Bhai Sarabjit Singh Ghuman, Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udoke, Manwinder Singh Giaspura, Bhai Damandeep Singh, Bhai Baljit Singh Dhuddi, Bhai Sukhchain Singh Sikhan Wala, Bhai Angrej Singh Khalsa, Bhai Sewak Singh, Bhai Arshdeep Singh Tilla etc. were also present on this occasion.

http://www.sikh24.com/2018/05/24/june-1984-holocaust-sikh-activists-to-take-out-religious-procession-on-may-27/#.WwgxUSC-nIU

Newsbyteapp.com – The-hero-we-need: In Uttarakhand, Sikh cop saves Muslim man from angry-mob

Shalini Ojha

Ramnagar – Uttarakhand – India, 25 May 2018. What could have turned into another tragic incident of mob-lynching was averted, all thanks to a Sikh cop deployed in the area.

An angry mob attacked a Muslim man in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, after he was found meeting with his Hindu girlfriend at the famous Girija temple.

When the mob tried beating the man, sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh hugged him and took him away.

Locals learnt couple belonged to different communities.

The Girija temple is frequented by couples because it is situated in a secluded area.

On May 22, when this Muslim man met his girlfriend at the temple, somehow locals got a whiff about their religions.

Soon the couple was surrounded by a furious mob who intended to hurt the boy. The presence of police and most importantly, Gagandeep Singh saved his life.

Cop attempted to save man, mob criticized him

A video of the incident, that has gone viral on social media, shows how Gagandeep fought hard against the group to save the man.

As the crowd heckled the man and even slapped him, Gagandeep held on to him tightly and took him away from the spot.

When the mob’s greed couldn’t be fulfilled they started yelling ‘Police prashasan murdabad’.

Mob alleged they found couple in compromising position

Speaking about the incident, Ramnagar police station in-charge Vikram Rathore said members of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) were a part of the crowd.

They alleged they found the couple in a ‘compromising’ position.

“By the time our team reached, the crowd had started manhandling the youth and his friend,” he said.

Officer Singh can’t be thanked enough for his bravery.

https://www.newsbytesapp.com/timeline/India/23470/107406/uttrakhand-cop-saves-muslim-man-from-angry-mob

The Hindustan Times – India, Netherlands discuss cooperation across various sectors

India and The Netherlands on Thursday explored cooperation across multiple sectors at a CEOs Round Table attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.

New Delhi – India, 24 May 2018. “Netherlands is the fourth largest investor in India in diverse sectors,” Kumar said in an earlier tweet.

The CEOs Round Table was preceded by a bilateral meeting between Modi and Rutte at Hyderabad House here.

Rutte arrived here on Thursday morning on a two-day visit to India that will also see him going to Bengaluru.

This is his second visit to India since June 2015, but the first after being re-elected as Prime Minister in 2017.

The Dutch leader’s visit comes within a year of Modi’s visit to The Netherlands last June.

According to figures released by the External Affairs Ministry, India and The Netherlands have a bilateral trade of $7.621 billion (April 2017-Feb 2018).

The Netherlands is also home to a 235,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.

Rutte’s visit is expected to boost the economic and political cooperation between India and The Netherlands.

In the not too distant past stage democracy was important to the governments of the Netherlands. Now they are only to pleased to sit down with elected dictator Modi.
The Man in Blue

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-netherlands-discuss-cooperation-across-various-sectors/story-XowJbXuk64geFtIYensCYI.html

The Tribune – Need six months to set things right: Soni

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 23 May 2018. Environment Minister O P Soni on Wednesday admitted that the water pollution problem in Punjab is grave. The minister, who visited the dera of environmentalist Balbir S Seechewal at Shahkot, tried to get away with any query related to the ecological disaster post discharge from Chadha Sugars.

He said: “We will narrate before the tribunal how it happened and what action has been taken by the government. We have got a report on the case from the inquiry committee.” The minister agreed that the water pollution affected villages of Shahkot and surrounding areas, which as cancer prone.

“I joined this department hardly a month back. Give me just six months to set things right. We will get all mills checked and punish the offenders”.

Soni was accompanied by PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu, who said: “We acted swiftly and issued a show-cause notice to the company. Representatives of the company will appear before the board.” He said: “Though there has been a huge loss, we have tried our level best to ensure that drinking water is not contaminated”.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/need-six-months-to-set-things-right-soni/594027.html

Firstpost – Brahmins and Jat Sikhs lead campaign for Dalit land rights in Punjab amid milieu of deep-rooted caste prejudices

Arjun Sharma

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 24 May 2018. Upper castes have been rightly accused of oppressing and denying the human rights of Dalits for centuries. But in Punjab, a significant section of the leadership of the campaign for Dalit land rights comes from Brahmins and Jat Sikhs, both considered high castes.

The Malwa region of Punjab is witness to a growing Dalit movement over rights to common panchayat land. Section 6(1)a of The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964 stipulates that one-third of the cultivable common land proposed to be leased shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

However, Dalits complain that the law is not being followed. They say the land is used for other purposes and have been protesting this injustice for years.

Interestingly, in this cause, they have not just been joined, but led by members of communities that have traditionally been the most notorious violators of their rights, the Brahmins and Jat Sikhs.

While leaders from higher castes working for Dalit causes in Punjab downplay their caste origins, their support is deeply appreciated by the Dalit leaders.

Laws rarely implemented

Mahi Pal, a prominent Brahmin leader of the landless peasants’ movement from Bathinda district, started working for Dalit causes in 1980. Pal who is the finance secretary of the Dihati Mazdoor Sabha said that caste has never come in the way of his work for Dalits, and that he tries to keep his caste a personal affair.

“After entering the movement for Dalits and landless labourers, I was shocked to see that people from this section of society are being discriminated against only because they are born in a specific caste,” Pal says.

He stressed that despite the many laws for uplifting Dalits, little has been done as they are rarely implemented.
“While the law demands renting out of one third or 33 percent of the panchayat land to Dalits, a village in Bathinda, Jai Singh Wala, has allotted the entire panchayat land for construction of a gurudwara. Now how will the Dalits in the village get their share of land?” questions Pal.

No land for Dalits

Dalits in villages of Punjab are mostly landless labourers who work on the agricultural lands of Jat Sikhs. After widespread mechanisation of agricultural processes in recent decades, most of them have lost their jobs and been forced to do menial work.

A Dalit rights activist, Mukesh Sharma Malaudh, from Sangrur district was recently declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in a case going back to June 2014. Sharma, along with other protesters, had then clashed with police over their demand for the lease of panchayat land to Dalits at a nominal price.

Sharma, who is the president of Zameen Prapti Sangarsh Committee (ZPSC), is fighting for the one-third share of Dalits on panchayat land as well as on Nazool land, which is un-irrigated, barren land located outside municipal limits and escheated to the state government.

The Nazool Land Cooperative Societies were established under the Nazool Lands (Transfer) Rules, 1956. As per the rules, there is a provision that Nazool land may be allotted to landless Dalits.

Sharma says that the state government increases the rent on panchayat land for Dalits every year. “If the government is serious about improving the status of the Dalits in the state, there is a need to overhaul a few things and implement all laws created for the welfare of Dalits,” says Sharma.

The problem of casteism is deep-rooted in Punjab, where separate cremation grounds and gurudwaras for Dalits still exist in most of the villages. While the law regarding renting out of one-third of panchayat land could be applicable in large villages, it becomes difficult to implement in case of smaller villages.

According to the 2011 census, Punjab has the highest percentage of Scheduled Caste population among all the states of the country.

The Scheduled Caste population in Punjab numbers 88.60 lakh, or 31.94 percent of a total population of 277.43 lakh.

As per the 2011 census, the vast majority of the Scheduled Castes (73.33 percent) live in rural areas, while 26.67 percent reside in Punjab’s urban centres. The majority of Scheduled Caste labourers work in the agricultural sector or are engaged in low-wage and arduous occupations in the cities.

Communist movement in Malwa

S R Darapuri, a retired IPS officer and Uttar Pradesh-based Dalit thinker whose family belongs to Doaba region of Punjab, says that the spread of the communist ideology in the Malwa region has led to many intellectuals and social activists, irrespective of their caste, to join the Dalit movement.

“It is a classic case where Brahmins and Jat Sikhs are steering a movement of people who were suppressed by these very castes. The success of the communists in the Malwa region of Punjab is the main cause why leaders have forgotten their castes for the cause of Dalits,” says Darapuri.

A case in point is the All India Kisan Sabha, the mass organisation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Ruldu Singh, president of the Punjab Kisan Union says that despite being from the Jat community, he has been supporting the cause of poor farmers and Dalits in the area for a long time. “I was also arrested during a protest for Dalits in year 2009 in Mansa district,” he says.

Singh says the Jat community, for the most part, rarely concerns itself with issues other than the mounting problems of agriculture in Punjab. “But I will continue to work for poor and Dalits in our state as successive governments use Dalits only as their vote bank and never see them as humans,” Singh says.

Arjun Sharma is a Ludhiana-based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters

https://www.firstpost.com/india/brahmins-and-jat-sikhs-lead-campaign-for-dalit-land-rights-in-punjab-amid-milieu-of-deep-rooted-caste-prejudices-4481547.html

The Hindu – No discrimination on basis of religion: Rajnath

The minister was responding to the Archbishop’s call for prayers

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 22 May 2018. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that he had not seen the letter by the Archbishop of Delhi, Anil Couto, asking for a prayer campaign in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, along with an appeal to fast on Fridays.

“I have not seen the statement [of the Archbishop] verbatim but all I can say is that India is a country where there is no discrimination against anyone on the basis of caste, sect or religion. Such a thing cannot be allowed,” Mr Singh said on the sidelines of an event of the Border Security Force (BSF) here.

His comments came in the wake of the Archbishop referring to a “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country, and appealing for a prayer campaign ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Archbishop Couto, who had written to all parish priests in the national capital earlier this month, did not name any political party in his letter.

The Home Minister said the government would not allow any breach of the unity of the country.

“Sometimes questions are posed to us. We will not compromise on the unity, integrity and sovereignty of this country at any cost and this is our top priority. We are also committed to strengthening the bonds of amity, affinity and harmony in our society,” he said.

Call for campaign

Citing the political atmosphere which allegedly poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution and the secular fabric of the nation, the Archbishop letter says, “It is our hallowed practice to pray for our country and its political leaders all the time but all the more so when we approach the general elections.

As we look forward towards 2019, when we will have a new government, let us begin a prayer campaign for our country”.

No discrimination against anyone on the basis of caste, sect or religion in India
Rajwant Singh must be joking !
Man in Blue

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-discrimination-on-basis-of-religion-rajnath/article23962362.ece