The Asian Age – Kapil Mishra questions CM’s absence, marshalled out

The AAP government said that it will urge the Centre to expedite the probe by the special investigation team into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases

New Delhi, 12 August 2017. Amid heated arguments, the four-day long Delhi Assembly session concluded on Friday with the passage of three legislations, which were earlier returned by the Centre, even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal remained conspicuous by his absence.

The AAP government said that it will urge the Centre to expedite the probe by the special investigation team (SIT) into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

Earlier in the day, sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra was marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly after the rebel AAP leader held up a banner accusing the chief minister of “bunking off” House proceedings.

As soon the House met on the session’s last day, Mr Mishra stood up with the banner which said “Kejriwal missing, come to the House” written across it.

Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said Mr Mishra’s act was against the rules of the House and called the marshals in. He ordered that Mr Mishra will not be permitted to attend the House for the rest of the day.

“Chief minister Mr Kejriwal has not attended a single sitting of the House over the last four days. I sought to know why was I marshalled out. He bunked off the entire session,” the sacked minister said.

Mr Mishra, who was a Mr Kejriwal loyalist at one point, was stripped off his portfolios of water and tourism and removed as a minister in May after the municipal polls, where the AAP suffered a humiliating defeat.

After that, he made a series of allegations against the AAP supremo, PWD minister Satyendar Jain and other leaders of the party. He was promptly suspended from the party’s primary membership.


The Asian Age – Main accused in Junaid’s lynching arrested from Maharashtra, confesses to killing

The Faridabad police had a sketch of the accused and they received information that he had taken shelter in Dhule

Mumbai, 9 July 2017. Faridabad police on Saturday arrested a man from Dhule, Maharashtra, who allegedly stabbed to death 16-year-old Junaid Khan on a Mathura-bound train on June 22. The police said the accused, who was not named, had confessed to the crime.

The Faridabad police had a sketch of the accused and they received information that he had taken shelter in Dhule. The Dhule police helped the Faridabad police find the accused.

A police official said, “We cannot reveal the accused’s name. He is 32 years old and he was hiding here in Dhule for the past two weeks. We are questioning people in the area where he was hiding. It’s not our investigation. We are just helping the Faridabad police.”

On Thursday, Haryana police had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for information that would help nab the people who had attacked Junaid and brothers Hashim and Sakir Khan.

According to the police, the accused confessed to having stabbed Junaid inside the train when the teenager and his brothers were returning to their home in Khandawli village in Ballabgarh after Id shopping in New Delhi.

Going by the police sketch drawn with input from one of Junaid’s brothers, the accused is about five-feet-six-inches tall and muscular.

The accused allegedly called Junaid and his brothers “beef-eaters” and “anti-nationals,” and flung their skullcaps off their heads.

The police had arrested five people after the attack.

BBC News – Why are Indian women wearing cow masks?

Geeta Pandey

New Delhi, 28 June 2017. A photography project which shows women wearing a cow mask and asks the politically explosive question, whether women are less important than cattle in India, has gone viral in the country and earned its 23-year-old photographer the ire of Hindu nationalist trolls.

“I am perturbed by the fact that in my country, cows are considered more important than a woman, that it takes much longer for a woman who is raped or assaulted to get justice than for a cow which many Hindus consider a sacred animal,” Delhi-based photographer Sujatro Ghosh told the BBC.

India is often in the news for crimes against women and, according to government statistics, a rape is reported every 15 minutes.

“These cases go on for years in the courts before the guilty are punished, whereas when a cow is slaughtered, Hindu extremist groups immediately go and kill or beat up whoever they suspect of slaughter.”

The project, he says, is “his way of protesting” against the growing influence of the vigilante cow protection groups that have become emboldened since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came to power in the summer of 2014.

“I’ve been concerned over the Dadri lynching [when a Muslim man was killed by a Hindu mob over rumours that he consumed and stored beef] and other similar religious attacks on Muslims by cow vigilantes,” Ghosh said.

In recent months, the humble cow has become India’s most polarising animal.

The BJP insists that the animal is holy and should be protected. Cow slaughter is banned in several states, stringent punishment has been introduced for offenders and parliament is considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.

But beef is a staple for Muslims, Christians and millions of low-caste Dalits (formerly untouchables) who have been at the receiving end of the violence perpetrated by the cow vigilante groups.

Nearly a dozen people have been killed in the past two years in the name of the cow. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumours and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.

Ghosh, who is from the eastern city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), says he became aware of “this dangerous mix of religion and politics” only after he moved to Delhi a few years ago and that “this project is a silent form of protest that I think can make an impact”.

So earlier this month, during a visit to New York, he bought the cow mask from a party shop and, on his return, began shooting for the series, taking pictures of women in front of tourist hotspots and government buildings, on the streets and in the privacy of their homes, on a boat and in a train, because “women are vulnerable everywhere”.

“I photographed women from every part of society. I started the project from Delhi since the capital city is the hub of everything – politics, religion, even most debates start here.

“I took the first photo in front of the iconic India Gate, one of the most visited tourist places in India. Then I photographed a model in front of the presidential palace, another on a boat in the Hooghly river in Kolkata with the Howrah bridge as the backdrop.”

His models have so far been friends and acquaintances because, he says, “it’s such a sensitive topic, it would have been difficult to approach strangers”.

Two weeks ago when he launched the project on Instagram, the response was “all positive. It went viral within the first week, my well wishers and even people I didn’t know appreciated it.”

But after the Indian press covered it and put out their stories on Facebook and Twitter, the backlash began.

“Some wrote comments threatening me. On Twitter people started trolling me, some said I, along with my models, should be taken to Delhi’s Jama Masjid [mosque] and slaughtered, and that our meat should be fed to a woman journalist and a woman writer the nationalists despise. They said they wanted to see my mother weep over my body.”

Some people also contacted the Delhi police, “accusing me of trying to instigate riots and asking them to arrest me”.

Ghosh is not surprised by the vitriol and admits that his work is an “indirect comment” on the BJP.

“I’m making a political statement because it’s a political topic, but if we go deeper into the things, then we see that Hindu supremacy was always there, it has just come out in the open with this government in the past two years.”

The threats, however, have failed to scare him. “I’m not afraid because I’m working for the greater good,” he says.

A positive fallout of the project going viral has been that he’s got loads of messages from women from across the globe saying they too want to be a part of this campaign.

So the cow, he says, will keep travelling.

To see the pictures :

The Tribune – SGPC for more security to Giani Gurmukh Singh

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 20 June 2017. The SGPC has approached the DGP to ensure the security of former acting Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Gurmukh Singh.

Giani Gurmukh Singh, who is now serving as head priest [There are no Sikh priests] of Gurdwara Nauwin Patshahi, Dhamtan Sahib in Jind had received a anonymous threatening letter, allegedly from controversial Dera Sirsa supporters, at his ancestral place in Arif Ke village in Ferozepur.

Committee chief KS Badungar said that “I have also written to DGP Suresh Arora that the matter should be thoroughly probed and the guilty brought to book,” he said.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh too has echoed similar views.

Meanwhile, SGPC general secretary A S Chawla said that such an instance has raised a question mark on the law and order situation in the state. “Some disgruntled elements want to vitiate peace in the state. It is the liability of the government to nab the culprits”, he said.

Gent Koopvaardijlaan Mashid – Deurle Vierschaar

Gent Koopvaardijlaan Mashid
Islamitische Faculteit
4 March 2017

Entrance to the mashid
Yesterday two pictures of the Islamic Faculty
Today the mashid is ‘in the picture’

Deurle Vierschaar
Fundraising dinner
4 March 2017

Our sevadars

One sevadar took the picture
the others ‘in the picture’

Serving the guest buffet style

The organisers
Some in three-colour suits

Two of the organisers and our guests

All proceeds to the Don Bosco Orphanage in New Delhi

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Tribune – EC tells Punjab, 4 other states to prepare for polls

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 28 December 2016. The Election Commission has shot off a letter to the Cabinet Secretary and the chief secretaries of poll-bound Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur asking them to strictly adhere to the code of conduct, likely to be announced anytime now.

With this, the EC has also indicated that it planned to conduct simultaneous elections in these states.

“Immediate action should be taken for enforcement of the code of conduct after the announcement,” it wrote.

The provisions to be followed include prevention of defacement of property, misuse of public space as well as official vehicles. The EC asked the authorities to remove political advertisements from public property within 48 hours and from private property in 72 hours after the announcement of the poll dates. – Young activist Gursharan Singh Sohal finally released by Punjab police

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib, Panjab, 13 December 2016. Gursharan Singh Sohal (an activist of Youth Akali Dal Amritsar), who was abducted by the Punjab police from Amritsar on December 10, was reportedly released by the Punjab police yesterday.

According to sources, Sohal’s followers succeeded in tracing him 48 hours after his abduction, in Ferozepur. Although he was reportedly arrested by the police there, reasons for his arrest have still not been clarified by the police there.

Sikh24 attempted to contact Gursharan Singh but it was learnt that his phone remained in the custody of Ferozepur police.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that other activists of Youth Akali Dal Amritsar are also being targeted by the Punjab police due to their active participation in Sarbat Khalsa 2016.

The police are conducting raids to arrest YADA’s S. Papalpreet Singh (Chief Organizing Secretary) and Navdeep Singh Qazi (Amritsar) to indict them in fake cases. According to sources, the police haven’t managed to arrest them yet as they have not been located.

NDTV – Parkash Singh Badal dedicates 2nd phase 0f Virasat-E-Khalsa to nation

Anandpur Sahib, 25 November 2016. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today dedicated the second phase of the prestigious Virasat-e-Khalsa to the nation.

Disclosing this here, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the second phase of this historic monument comprised 13 galleries in addition to already existing 14 galleries at a cost of Rs. 77 crore.

This would showcase the history of the state from period surpassing the installation of Guru Granth Sahib to post independent Punjab, he said.

The blend of handicrafts with the ultra modern technology along with the three-D animation with marvellous audio-video content would be the main source of attraction of this architectural marvel, he said.

The first phase of this project was dedicated to the people by the Chief Minister on 25 November 2011.

Published in: on November 26, 2016 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , – Movie review: ’31st October’ is a cathartic experience

“31st October”; Director: Shivaji Lotan Patil; Cast: Soha Ali Khan, Vir Das, Lakhwinder Lakha, Deepaj Rana, Vineet Sharma, Nagesh Bhonsle, Daya Shankar, Maneet Vaghadia; Rating: **1/2

New Delhi – Film, 2 October 2016. This film pays tribute to the Sikhs killed after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 and those Hindus who helped some Sikhs survive the aftermath of the fanatics’ wrath.

With over 8,000 Sikhs reported killed after the assassination, this film is an indirect plea to prosecute those responsible for the mass killings.

The dramatized narrative, based on a true story of a family who experienced the nightmare, follows the lives of Davinder Singh (Vir Das) and his family which consist of his wife and three children, on that fateful day.

Narrated in a linear format, the screenplay is simple and effective with hourly updates, beginning from 6.30 am right till the assassination, giving glimpses of the various localities, inhabited by Sikhs in Delhi. How the tension and horror unfurls, forms the crux of the tale.

With a beard and a turban, actor Vir as the do-gooder, Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking employee with a low blood-pressure problem is sincere in his portrayal of Davinder Singh. But at times, his sincerity sticks out as an over-the-top act.

Actress Soha Ali Khan as Davinder’s wife Tejinder looks natural, performs ably and matches Vir in her histrionics. But she fails to be consistent in her accent.

Lakhwinder Lakha, Deepaj Rana and Vineet Sharma as their family friends – Yogesh, Pal and Tilak seem genuine and honest. Nagesh Bhonsle as Inspector Dahiya in a two scene role is impressive.

The script written by Producer Harry Sachdeva is blatantly straightforward and basic. It effectively shows the organised massacre along with plight and helplessness of the Sikhs. And it is astutely mounted with moderate production values.

On the technical front, Nandita Pandey’s costumes, Harish Kumara’s art direction with some, old film posters, radio and old television sets, replicate the period to the hilt.

The sepia tone frames add to the charm. But the visuals begin on a shaky note. Ramani Ranjan Das’ un-steady camera work is disconcerting, but nevertheless captures the setting and the tragedy with all sincerity.

The background score and the songs are soulfully rendered and add to the pathos of the narrative.

Overall, the film despite its earnestness, leaves much to be desired but for the makers it sure is a cathartic experience and the last scene says it all.

Published in: on October 23, 2016 at 4:49 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

The Times of India – Ten coaches of Jhelum Express derail in Punjab

Chandigarh, 4 October 2016. Ten coaches of the Jhelum Express derailed near Ludhiana early on Tuesday, leaving two passengers injured.

“Ten coaches of the Jhelum Express derailed between Phillaur and Ladhowal at 3:05 am,” Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ferozepur Anuj Prakash said.

He said the train was coming from Jammu and going towards Pune when it went off the tracks.

Two passengers have been injured in the incident, he said.