Weekly News Roundup – October 21, 2019


Get ready for Ayodhya verdict, buy swords, not gold on Dhanteras: BJP leader

Photo: Via Amnesty India

A BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh asked people to buy “iron swords instead of gold jewellery and silver vessels” on Dhanteras. “The Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue is expected soon and we are confident that it will be in favour of the Ram temple. However, this could vitiate the atmosphere, so it is advisable to stock iron swords instead of gold jewellery and silver vessels. These swords will be useful for our own protection when such a time comes,” BJP’s city president for Deoband, Gajraj Rana told reporters.… This is not for the first time that Rana has made a controversial statement.…

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“We the  ̶P̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ Hindus of India…”?

More than a century-and-a-half later, the makers of the Indian Constitution were greatly inspired by our founding fathers, but their idea of ‘fundamental rights’ went much further: They promised freedom of conscience “to every religious denomination or any section thereof,” abolished untouchability and offered equality of opportunity, and even made special provisions for women and children. That celebrated constitution is now under unprecedented assault by the Modi government and its ideological fountainhead, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). If our nation has been slowly but steadily moving towards more inclusion, India seems to be lurching dangerously in the other direction, towards a Hindu Rashtra that is eager to exclude the ‘other.’

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Akal Takht Chief Calls For Ban On RSS, Says It’s Out To “Divide” India

Photo: DNA India

The chief of the top Sikh body – Akal Takht – called for a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday, saying that allowing it to operate freely would only “divide” the nation. The RSS is the ideological mentor of the BJP which rules the centre. “Yes, it should be banned. I believe what the RSS is doing will create divisions in the country. The statements being made by RSS leaders are not in the country’s interests,” Akal Takht chief Giani Harpreet Singh said during a media interaction in Amritsar, calling upon the centre to rein in the outfit. When pointed out that the RSS was linked to the BJP, Giani Harpreet Singh said: “Then it is not in the country’s interests. It will hurt the country and destroy it.”…

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Kashmir families live in fear as loved ones are detained far from home

Photo: The Guardian

The last time he saw her, Mehraj-ud-din Wani assured his wife that he would soon be a free man. Wani was speaking to his wife, Gulshan, from behind bars in Srinagar jail in Kashmir. “He was certain that he would be released,” she said. “He said that he will be home in a matter of days.” But that didn’t happen. The 29-year-old fruit seller is still detained and has been sent to a prison hundreds of kilometres away. Wani is one of thousands of people reportedly detained in mass arrests in the disputed Himalayan region, which has faced a security crackdown since India’s prime minister, Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, revoked the Muslim majority state’s semi-autonomous status in August.…

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Communal Harmony

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