Friday, 30 October 2015 17:50
The cow protection debate revived by sangh parivar activists after the Narendra Modi government came to power is no longer centred round the question of respecting religious taboos: the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq a month ago in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri village for allegedly storing and consuming beef shifted the thrust of the discussion to whether personal freedoms – the right to choose one’s diet, clothes, beliefs, and life partners – was under threat.
Next came the storming of Kerala House in Lutyens’ Delhi earlier this week by the Hindu Sena for serving beef to its customers, following which the Delhi police, with unusual alacrity, responded to the Sena’s call, giving the issue yet another twist — that of violation of federal freedom.
As long as the Bharatiya Janata Party and the sangh parivar restricted themselves to advocating a ban on cow slaughter, virtually no political party challenged it, largely because it had support among a section of Hindus, and is there in the Directive Principles — though not in the Fundamental Rights — of the Constitution.
Indeed, other political parties either remained silent on the subject — as when the BJP-Shiv Sena government earlier this year expanded its cow protection law to include all bovines — or supported it. The Congress, for instance, has been at pains to stress that most of the laws banning cow slaughter in the country — enacted in at least 24 States — was done on its watch. The Congress’ Digvijaya Singh even said his party would cooperate with the government if it wished to enact a Central law on the subject.
But with the BJP government failing to reassure citizens that it has no plans to enforce dietary restrictions, it has entered treacherous terrain.
Friday, 30 October 2015 17:47
Separatist Hurriyat, headed by Syed Ali Geelani, on Thursday called for ‘Million March’ on November 7, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving in Kashmir valley, and the venue would just metres away from where the PM is scheduled to speak.
Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said his party is approaching the state administration for a formal permission for the rally.
“The ‘Million March’ at the Tourist Reception Centre ground in Srinagar on the day of planned public rally of Modi will see more than a million people marching. It will be a clear referendum. This is to underline that Kashmir dispute is not about terrorism but rights and broken promises of New Delhi,” Mr. Akbar said.
Mr. Geelani has called upon other faction of separatists to join the march.
Monday, 26 October 2015 11:25
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for unity and diversity on Sunday, saying the mantra of unity should pervade “our thought, conduct and articulation.”
Saluting Sardar Patel for geographically uniting India, Mr. Modi called for social unity in his Mann Ki Baat address to the nation. “India is a nation of diversities. There are many sects, communities, languages and castes. India is a diverse country and this diversity is our adornment,” he said. “Peace, harmony and unity are necessary for development.”
Mr. Modi’s statement follows statements made by him and President Pranab Mukherjee in the wake of an outcry over the killing of a Muslim at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on the suspicion of storing beef and the “insensitive” statements made by some BJP leaders after the incident.
Read: Live update of PM's address on 'Mann ki Baat'
Monday, 27 July 2015 10:39
In the wake of attack by suspected terrorists in Gurudaspur on Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and assured him full central assistance to tackle the situation.
“I have spoken to the Punjab Chief Minister, who apprised me of the developing situation in Gurudaspur. Security forces have rushed to the spot,” Singh, who is on way to Madhya Pradesh, said in New Delhi.
The Home Minister said the central government is monitoring the situation and he was confident that the situation would be brought under control.
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