01-11-2020 The Asian Independent

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Vol : 04 : #54 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

GDSF could play a

kingmaker's role in Bihar

Tejashwi slams Nitish over Niti

Aayog's report on development

Patna : Turning the heat back

on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish

Kumar who has been raking up the

"15 years of Jungle Raj" issue,

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader

and the opposition

Mahagathbandhan's chief ministerial

nominee Tejashwi Yadav on

Saturday pointed at Niti Aayog's

report wherein Bihar fares poorly

on the parameters of development.

"Nitish Kumar always turns over the pages of

the past to attack us but why does he avoid

mentioning reasons behind Bihar being an

under developed state? Why has Niti Aayog

recognised Bihar as the most under developed

state. It is in the last position in Niti

Patna : Even as all eyes are on the National

Democratic Front led by the BJP and the

Grand Alliance led by the RJD amid the Bihar

Assembly elections, it is the Grand

Democratic Secular Front (GDSF) that could

play a kingmaker's role in the post-election

scenario, several political observers believe.

An alliance of six parties, GDSF is led by

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) in Bihar.

The front has pockets of influence in several

districts of Bihar and thus the capability to cut

into the votes of parties like the Janata Dal-

United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the

Congress.

Political experts said that if the GDSF could

bag 10 per cent of the votes, it could play the

role of a kingmaker in case of a tight situation

after the Assembly elections.

The GDSF headed by RLSP leader and former

Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha is

contesting 104 of the 243 seats, including 80

by Bahujan Samaj Party, and 20 by AIMIM.

Besides these three parties, Suheldev

Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), Samajwadi

Janata Dal Democratic (SJDD) and Jantantrik

Party Socialist (JPS) are part of the GDSF.

"The RLSP has good ground support in

south and central Bihar and districts such as

Aayog's report," he said.

"It is a deliberate attempt to

divert attention from real issues

like unemployment, job creation,

migration, flood situation. Why

does he avoid talking on these

issues during the election campaign,"

the RJD leader said while

addressing a rally.

On Saturday, Tejashwi

addressed a total of 17 rallies in

constituencies where the second phase of

polling is scheduled to be held on November

3. Tejashwi also slammed JP Nadda, the

national president of the Bharatiya Janata

Party, and urged him to "avoid making people

of Bihar fools". See Page 25

Buxar, Shekhpura, Jamui, Munger, East and

West Champaran, Aurangabad, Nawada,

Rohtas and Kaimur are considered as its

stronghold. Its candidates can surprise bigger

political parties," remarked Patna-based

lawyer Bharat Sharma.

He said that in the 2015 Assembly elections,

the RLSP bagged two seats and 3.6 per cent

votes. See Page 25

Banks to charge for deposits

& withdrawals, Cong says

'KAMAR TOD TOHFA'

New Delhi : Customers in some banks will now

have to start paying fees for deposit and withdrawal

of money. As per reports, Bank of Baroda will start

charging its customers for transactions beyond the

prescribed limits from November 1.

Names of other banks like Bank of India, PNB,

Axis Bank and Central Bank are also emerging in

reports, but they are yet to take a final call on the

matter. Tagging the report, Congress General

Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala attacked the

Centre and called the latest move a "Kamar Tod

Tohfa" of the government. As per reports, some of

these transaction charges will kick in from

November 1. It is being said that withdrawals three

times in a month will be free but after that a withdrawal

transaction charge will be levied at a flat fee

of Rs 150. Similarly, deposits three times in a month

will be free but thereafter a charge of Rs 40 will be

levied on each transaction. "Modi Sarkar ka naya

kamar tod tohfa. Ab jhud ka paisa bank mein jama

karwane aur nikalwane par bhi bank karenge vasooli

(now one's own money will be charged for deposits

and withdrawals by banks)," Surjewala said.

Sean Connery dies at 90 : Global celebs pay tributes

London : As the news of his

demise spread on Saturday, celebrities

across walks of life took to

social media to pay tributes to legendary

actor Sean Connery.

News of the Scottish star's

demise was communicated by his

family, according to a report in

bbc.com. No official reason has

been shared for the death yet.

Connery, who is widely recalled as

the original James Bond on

Hollywood screen, had an active

career as an actor spanning nearly

five decades. First Minister of

Scotland Nicola Sturgeon paid her

respects on social media, saying that

Scotland was in mourning.

"I was heartbroken to learn this

morning of the passing of Sir Sean

Connery. Our nation today mourns

one of her best loved sons. Sean was

born into a working class

Edinburgh family and through talent

& sheer hard work, became an

international film icon and one of

the world's most accomplished

actors," stated Sturgeon.

Hollywood action star Hugh

Jackman said he grew up idolising

Connery. "I grew up idolizing

#SeanConnery. A legend on screen,

and off. Rest In Peace," Jackman

tweeted. Actor Sam Neill said that

he learned a lot from Sean Connery.

The two actors co-starred in the

1990 thriller, "The Hunt For Red

october". "Every day on set with

#SeanConnery was an object lesson

in how to act on screen. But all that

charisma and power- that was

utterly unique to Sean . RIP that

great man - that great actor."

Actress Elizabeth Hurley tweeted:

RIP the glorious Sean Connery

"James Bond" producers Michael

G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said

Connery is responsible for the success

of James Bond.

"He was and shall always be

remembered as the original James

Bond whose indelible entrance into

cinema history began when he

announced those unforgettable

words - 'The name's Bond, James

Bond'. He is undoubtedly largely

responsible for the success of the

film series and we shall be forever

grateful to him." Former England

football star Gary Lineker said that

he is shaken by the news, reports

mirror.co.uk. "Shaken and, on this

occasion, stirred to hear that Sir

Sean Connery has passed away.

Had the pleasure of playing golf

with him on a couple of occasions.

See Page 25


2

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Delhi: Fresh Covid

cases above 5,000

for 4th straight day

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

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Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

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New Delhi : Delhi continued

to log over 5,000 Covid-19

cases for the fourth straight day

on Saturday. According to a

health department bulletin, the

national capital recorded 5,062

fresh Covid-19 cases on

Saturday, taking the total caseload

to over 3.85 lakh while 41

new fatalities pushed the death

toll to 6,511.

The infection rate stood at

11.42 per cent and case fatality

rate remained below 1 per cent.

The new cases were detected

out of the 44,330 tests conducted

on Friday. The active cases

tally rose to 32,719.

With the festive season on

board, the unprecedented spike

has raised concerns, especially

when the national Covid tally

has shown a steady decline.

The testing figures released

on Saturday have seen a significant

drop of 25 per cent the

government has been conducting

over a week's time, which is

almost 60,000 tests every day.

Meanwhile, this is the fourth

day when Delhi has reported

more than 5,000 cases since the

pandemic struck the country.

The national capital has been

logging over 5,000 cases since

Wednesday.

The government, however,

has not declared it the third

wave of Covid-19 cases yet.

While the rise in cases is being

attributed to the ongoing festival

season - Chhath and Diwali

approaching in November - the

government says it is because

of a robust contact tracing and

testing.

The Covid-19 figures in the

national capital have been

increasing rapidly. A day ago,

Delhi reported 5,891 new

infections and 40 deaths. On

Thursday, Delhi reported 5,739

new Covid-19 infections while

the number of fresh cases

recorded on Wednesday stood

at 5,673.

However, on average, Delhi

has reported 4,750 cases every

day in the past week, suggesting

that the trajectory of viral

load in the city has crossed its

peak. On Friday, Delhi Chief

Secretary Vijay Dev held a

review meeting with all district

magistrates on the pandemic

management, the government's

daily health bulletin said. In the

past five days, the city has witnessed

nearly 25,000 new

cases.

The first time Delhi had

reached the cumulative 25,000

mark was on June 4, 92 days

after the city recorded its first

case on March 2.

The unwanted record spike

comes has coincided with an

extended festive season and the

onset of winter. Medical

experts have suggested that the

Covid-19 virus could become

even more potent and fatal as

the temperature drops.

The increase in Covid cases

has also been linked to worsening

pollution in the national

capital, which is preparing for

its annual bout with "severe"

and "hazardous" air quality levels.

Meanwhile, the daily national

Covid-19 tally of India is on

a constant decline for over a

week, which had been reporting

close to one lakh cases

daily till last month.

As per the experts, the country

has passed its peak but a

surge is looming over in view

of festivity and laxity observed

in the public.

New Delhi : Although the Coronavirus'

impact on the US economy has been profound,

the result of the upcoming presidential election

in November is likely to have a significant

effect on the global economy in the next four

years. The current pandemic and an uncertain

economy have added new importance to an

already volatile US election cycle.

According to a report by Sucden Financial, a

US firm in commodity futures and options trading,

however, the critical outcome is mostly

straightforward: the overall government election

outcome will matter more than any candidate's

success. It said a divided/unified government

will be a better predictor of future policies

than the winning party.

The Senate race is as important as the

Presidential election. A unified government will

mean that either candidate will be able to follow

through on their main campaign pledges or see

at least two more years of deadlock. In some

respects, there is a benefit to some assets from a

divided government, it said.

While policies of Joe Biden vs. Donald

Trump will differ significantly, both are likely

to be big spenders. "Indeed, we believe that

both candidates can enact policy that will have

a positive economic impact to revive the economy

from the Covid-19 crisis, which could support

the dollar, at least in the short-term," the

PM pays tribute to Indira Gandhi

on her 36th death anniversary

New Delhi : Prime Minister

Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tribute

to former Prime Minister Indira

Gandhi on her 36th death anniversary.

Modi took to Twitter to express

that she was a central figure of the

Indian National Congress. She was

the first and, to date, only female

Prime Minister of India.

"Tributes to our former PM Smt.

Indira Gandhiji on her death anniversary,"

the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister had paid tribute

to Gandhi in his monthly Mann ki

Baat radio broadcast last Sunday as

well. Born on November 19, 1917, in

Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, Gandhi

was assassinated by her own bodyguards

on October 31, 1984 here following

the Operation Blue Star.\

US Presidential election

to significantly impact

GLOBAL ECONOMY

report said. Indeed, despite the candidates' different

long-term ambitions for the US' global

role, the election outcome should not significantly

change the country's medium-term outlook.

Both candidates are likely to focus on

recovering the economy from the deepest recession

since the start of the record-keeping.

Record unemployment and fiscal spending to

lessen the pandemic's impacts are likely to

remain the key objectives for the US economy.

As per the report, for Biden's win, this would

imply that his administration would be more

focused on safeguarding the recovery rather

than delivering on his campaign pledges, at

least at the beginning of his term. If Trump

wins, we expect his second term to be less disruptive

and polarising than the first one. The

potential for surprises should be much lower,

mostly if Congress remains divided, it added.

Fulfilling campaign pledges depends mostly

on the outcome in the Senate. Should the

Congress remain divided, this could significantly

dampen the outlook for the US economy. As

for the dollar's impact, either result would leave

the currency weakening trend in place, and a

Biden victory could accelerate this depreciation.

Given his term poses less geopolitical

risks, the dollar volatility could fall and could

be based more on the fundamentals rather than

presidential statements.

Punjab BJP leader

resigns over

farm LAWS

Chandigarh : BJP Punjab youth general secretary

Barinder Singh Sandhu on Saturday resigned

from the party over the newly introduced Central

farm laws, thus becoming the third prominent

leader in the state to step down this month.

In his letter to state BJP President Ashwani

Sharma, Sandhu said that the farmers' unions,

'arhtiyas', small traders and labourers were fighting

against the agricultural laws passed by the

Centre.

"Seeing these prevailing circumstances, I am

resigning from the post of BJP Punjab youth general

secretary and the party," he wrote.

Sandhu said he had raised his voice against the

farm laws, but was ignored.

Earlier, party's general secretary and core committee

member Malvinder Kang and state Kisan

Morcha chief Tarlochan Singh Gill had resigned

from the party over the farm laws.

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ASIA

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

3

Delhi's clogged Sadar Bazar

a recipe for Covid disaster

New Delhi : With Diwali just a

fortnight away, a pandemic-hit people

desperate to go out and the lockdown

stricken businessmen eager to compensate

with some brisk sales, Delhi's

Sadar Bazar on Saturday saw madness

in motion.

Forget social distancing, the national

capital's wholesale market was

clogged with buyers and sellers. With

the Delhi government seemingly turning

a blind eye, it has become a recipe

for disaster in the city which till Friday

saw 5000 new Covid-19 cases for 3

consecutive days.

While the Centre may be aggressively

campaigning for masking up till

the Covid vaccine is here, very few in

the vicinity of Sadar Bazar were seen

wearing masks. Those who did wear it

were found wearing it wrongly, with

someone's mask dangling from the

ears or covering just the chin.

Not just buyers who queued up at

shops, carts carrying bulk materials

found it extremely difficult to make

their way through the crowds. It was

just like any normal Diwali.

While there were barricades put up

by Delhi Police to regulate the crowds

which swamp this wholesale market

with an estimated 40,000 shops, each

year; the sheer number was overwhelming

enough for such barricades

not to prove a hindrance to Delhiites'

ambition to go shopping and 'feel normal'.

After the nationwide lockdown in

late March owing to the pandemic, the

national capital's business community

like anywhere else in the country took

a financial hit. Now, with virtually

everything open with just mild restrictions

and the buyers eager to shed their

inhibitions during the festive season,

Sadar Bazar has tossed aside all Covid

concerns. While, in view of the festive

season, Delhi Police urged all market

associations to put some basic rules in

place like compulsory wearing of

masks, maintaining physical distancing

or providing hand sanitizers to

each customer, on the ground in Sadar

Bazar little or nothing was being followed.

With a fresh spike of 48,268

coronavirus infections and 551 deaths

in 24 hours, India's tally on Saturday

rose to 81,37,119. The national capital,

too, witnessed a rise in the number

of infections with around 5,000 cases

being recorded daily for the past three

days.

Delhi recorded 5,891 fresh Covid-

19 cases on Friday, the highest singleday

spike till date, taking the total

caseload to over 3.81 lakh with 47

new fatalities pushing the death count

in the national capital to 6,470.

But in Sadar Bazar, that seems to be

the least of their worries.

Rajendra Sharma, General

Secretary, Federation Of Sadar Bazar

Traders Association, said: "We want

the encroachments to be removed

from Sadar Bazar. Many traders have

come from outside and settled here

(which adds to the crowd). Also vehicular

access needs to be curbed till

Diwali. We agree that the corona situation

is worrying. But efforts have to

be made from all sides including the

MCD, Traffic, Delhi Police."

UK PM mulls England

lockdown next week

World's oldest Test cricketer

Eileen Whelan turns 109

New Delhi : England's Eileen Whelan, the oldest living Test

cricketer across genders, turned 109th on Friday.

Eileen, who played seven Tests for England between 1937 and

1949, either side of the World War II, was born in 1911 in

London and played as a specialist bowler. In 2011, she became

the first female cricketer to reach 100 years of age. She took 10

wickets from seven matches and aggregated 38 in 10 Test

innings. The International Cricket Council on Friday wished her

on twitter, "Eileen Ash (nee Whelan) world's oldest, who played

seven Tests for England from 1937 to 1949, is the oldest living

Test cricketer. She celebrates her 109th birthday today. When

current England captain @Heatherknight55 met the legend in

2018, she was left enriched in yoga lessons and old cricket tales."

The oldest living male cricketer at the moment is John

Watkins of South Africa, who is 97 while the oldest living Indian

Test cricketer is Dattajirao Gakekwad who turned 92 this week.

London : UK Prime

Minister Boris Johnson was

considering putting England on

a month-long lockdown next

week in the wake of a second

wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,

according to official documents.

The documents seen by the

BBC suggest that new "stay at

home" order could be

announced on Monday, but

schools, colleges and universities

will be exempted.

It said that unless additional

restrictions were introduced,

the UK was on course for a

much higher death toll than

during the first wave. The BBC

said in its report on Saturday

that the documents were understood

to be part of a presentation

by the government's pandemic

modelling group SPI-M

shown to Johnson.

It was predicted that Covid-

19 hospitalisations in the UK

were likely to peak in mid-

December, with deaths rising

until at least late December

before falling from early

January.

The documents come after

official statements from the

government's Scientific

Advisory Group for

Emergencies (Sage) revealed

that the virus was spreading

much faster in England than the

predicted "worst case" scenario,

which had estimated

85,000 deaths during winter.

Sage member, Professor

Gabriel Scally told the BBC

that a national lockdown was

inevitable, as the "R number is

still far too high.

Everyone knows that

these tiers are not

working and they're

not going to work".

"We could have got

away with a shorter

circuit-breaker if it had

been done earlier but

now I think the numbers

are accelerating

so fast that there is

nothing left in the

armoury anymore

except really quite a

serious lockdown," he

added.

The current estimate

of the R number

in the UK, the number

of people each infected

person passes the virus

on to on average, is between

1.1 and 1.3, which indicates

that cases were still on the rise.

As of Saturday, the UK has

so far reported a total of

992,874 coronavirus cases,

while the death toll stood at

46,319.


4

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Punjab CM launches scholarship

scheme for SC STUDENTS

Chandigarh : Punjab Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh on Saturday formally

launched the recently announced Dr. B.R.

Ambedkar Post Matric Scheduled Caste

Scholarship Scheme, and also virtually laid

the foundation stone of Rs 50 crore worth

of projects at Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath

Sthal in Amritsar to mark the Maharishi

Valmiki Jayanti.

Participating in the Valmiki Jayanti celebrations

here, the Chief Minister also

inaugurated a new Ram Tirath ITI, while

giving the go-ahead for the establishment

of a skill development centre to prepare

Dalit students for competitive exams.

In addition, he announced an annual

holiday under the Negotiable Instruments

Act in remembrance of the great personality,

and said that Guru Nanak Dev

University in Amritsar would organise an

annual seminar on Bhagwan Valmiki on

the eve of his birth anniversary every year.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister distributed

Post Matric SC Scholarship

Certificates to students and congratulated

the Valmiki Samaj for various schemes

launched by the Technical Education and

other departments for the Dalit community

in the state.

His government was committed to the

welfare of the community, he added.

The Chief Minister said the state scholarship

scheme would ensure that poor SC

students get free higher education, which

the government of India had unfairly

deprived them of with its abrupt withdrawal

of the Central aid of Rs 800 crore to the

state. The Dr B.R. Ambedkar Post Matric

SC Scholarship, being launched without

any financial contribution from the Centre,

will provide 100 per cent fee waiver for the

SC students to give them net savings of

about Rs 550 crore, he said.

The scheme, which will benefit more

than 3,00,000 poor SC students every year,

will involve no upfront payment by these

students to government and private educational

institutions.

The institutes will provide free education

to the SC students under the scheme

against direct subsidy from the state government,

the Chief Minister announced,

adding the students will also get monthly

stipend to buy books, uniforms, etc.

Giving details of the Bhagwan Valmiki

Tirath Sthal projects, the Chief Minister

said these include a panorama on

Maharishi Valmiki (Rs 25-30 crore),

facade lights (Rs 10.9 crore), filtration

plant in the sarovar (Rs 4.75 crore), furniture

(Rs 2 crore) and construction of a

'parikrama' (Rs 1.3 crore).

Virtually inaugurating the temporary

campus of the ITI at Bhagwan Valmiki

Tirath Sthal, popularly known as Ram

Tirath, Amarinder Singh said the institute

will contribute to generating more jobs for

youngsters. Around 90 trainees had so far

been admitted to the institute, he

announced, adding that the student strength

will be raised to 240 by next year when the

building will be renovated at a cost of Rs

1.82 crore and machinery worth Rs 3.5

crore will be procured.

The number of courses will also be

increased from the current four to nine, he

added.

Trump to hold 14 rallies in

last 3 days of campaign

Washington : Ahead of Tuesday's presidential election, US

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold 14 rallies in an

effort to urge voters to re-elect him for a second term.

In a statement on Friday, the President's re-election campaign

announced that Trump will hold four rallies in Pennsylvania, a

major battleground state, on Saturday, The Hill news website

reported. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won in

Pennsylvania with 48.18 per cent of the ballots.

But in this election cycle, the President is trailing behind his

Democratic rival Joe Biden.

In the latest Hill/Harris battleground poll released on

Thursday, Biden was leading Trump by 51 per cent to 46 per

cent. In the announcement, the campaign further said that the

President will then hold five rallies in Michigan, Iowa, North

Carolina, Georgia and Florida on Sunday.

On the even of Election Day, Trump will attend five more rallies

on Monday in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

According to the announce, the President will hold a final

event in Grand Rapids, Michgan, the same city where he held his

last rally of the 2016 campaign, The Hill news website reported.

Addressing reporters at the White on Friday, Trump said he

may travel on Election Day. "I'll give you that answer in the next

couple of days," he said.

Violence expands to

28 Afghan provinces:

DEFENCE MINISTRY

Kabul : Violence has

expanded to 28 out of 34

provinces in Afghanistan in the

last 24 hours amidst constant

delays to the start of direct

peace negotiations between the

Kabul government and the

Taliban, the Defence Ministry

said.

"The Taliban staged attacks

on the checkpoints and bases of

the government forces in 28

provinces over the past 24

hours, but the government

forces repelled their attacks and

inflicted heavy casualties to

them," TOLO News quoted

Ministry spokesman Rohullah

Ahmadzai as saying on Friday

night. Last month the Taliban

launched a brazen attack on

Lashkargah city, the centre of

Helmand province, leaving

thousands of people homeless.

Provinces where the fresh

spate of violence reported are

Uruzgan, Badghis,

Badakhshan, Baghlan,

Balkh, Paktia, Takhar,

Jawzjan, Khost,

Zabul, Sar-e-Pul,

Ghazni, Ghor, Faryab,

Farah, Kabul, Kapisa,

Kunduz, Kandahar,

Kunar, Laghman,

Logar, Maidan

Wardak, Logar,

Nangarhar, Nuristan,

Nimroz, Herat and

Helmand.

The US in a report

this week said that the

level of violence has

continued to remain

high despite the peace

efforts, which was

officially launched in Doha on

September 12.

According to the report,

2,117 civilians were killed in

conflicts and attacks in

Afghanistan over the last nine

months.

In the latest incident, the

Taliban attacked security outposts

in the province of Kunduz

on Thursday evening, killing at

least one security force member

and injuring three others.


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This new perfume can

be gamechanger for dry

skin sufferers: Study

London : Suffering from skin problems?

Here's good news for you.

Researchers have developed a novel allergen-depleted

and anti-inflammatory fragrance

that can be used in moisturisers for

people with extremely dry, xerotic skin.

Tests on skin cells found that the anti-inflammatory

ingredients of the allergen-depleted

fragrance composition reduced expression of

both Prostaglandin E2 and Interleukin-8

after applying a stressor substance, the study

said.

"A moisturiser containing our novel fragrance

could provide an improved treatment

option for people with dry skin conditions,"

said study author Julia Gallinger, senior scientist

from Beiersdorf -- a German skin care

company. "It would be both pleasant to use

due to its scent, enhancing patients` treatment

adherence, and actively soothe inflammation,"

Gallinger added.

The researchers also studied the fragrance

formulated in a moisturiser applied to the

forearm of human volunteers after they

shaved their skin on three consecutive days

to induce skin irritation.

According to the study, 86 people with

dry skin who used the fragranced moisturiser

for two weeks. It showed that 97 per cent

agree that it doesn't just feel like they have to

apply something on their skin, but now they

also enjoy it.

They found that skin redness was significantly

reduced in the skin treated with the

moisturiser. Fragrances are one of the most

frequent causes of allergic contact dermatitis.

Also, 91 per cent confirmed that the

scented lotion makes their care routine more

pleasant. Furthermore, 71 per cent confirmed

that they like the scented product better than

the unscented moisturiser they normally use.

The novel fragrance was developed without

using not only any of the 26 commonly

known allergens, but also without the additional

60 plus potential allergens currently

under evaluation.

However, it still has a pleasant scent,

which can significantly improve the cosmetic

acceptability of moisturisers and, consequently,

enhance patients' treatment adherence.

According to the team, the long-standing

paradigm of fragranced moisturisers considered

as allergenic risk in the treatment of

xerotic dermatoses may soon become obsolete.

"The fragrance has been integrated into

two new Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS products

for dry skin to provide skin care with a pleasurable

experience." Gallinger said.

New Delhi : The Income Tax

Department carried out searches in the

cases of four prominent contractor

groups based in Patna, Bhagalpur,

Hilsa, and Katihar on Thursday. In

addition, surveys were also conducted

on some traders of mined rocks in

Gaya.

According to the Central Board of

Direct Taxes (CBDT), the search operation

were conducted as all the four

groups were have found to have been

evading taxes by inflating expenses

for the supply of material and labour.

In one case payments have been made

to various parties without any evidence

of having received any services

or supplies. Payments made to bogus

parties were received back as an unsecured

loan or sometimes withdrawn in

NEWS

cash. Such loans are of about Rs. 10

crore, a CBDT statement said.

Further, the investigations revealed

that substantial bogus purchases have

been debited in the books. These parties

do not exist, but are shown as

'creditors' in the books. Such creditors

amount to about Rs. 20 crore. The IT

department also seized bank documents,

accounts and other incriminating

material of some bogus parties

from the premises of the assessee.

These documents and consequential

field investigations clearly show

that the parties are not genuine and

bank accounts have been opened and

are being operated by the assessee

only, the CBDT statement said. The

cash generated has been used in

acquiring properties etc. Seized documents

in another case also show that

the payments for inflated expenses are

being made by bearer cheques. These

payments are withdrawn from the

bank account by the assessee's own

persons. Such amounts are being

quantified. There are sundry creditors

for unpaid labour of about Rs 15 crore.

These have also been found to be

bogus during the search.

There are documents showing

inflation of expenses of about Rs 15

crore in another group. This group has

made investments in properties in

Bihar, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh

In another case, evidence of payments

made for bogus purchases

through cheques but received back in

cash has been seized. The cash generated

has been invested in purchasing

properties and construction of a commercial

building. Evidence of such

concealment of income of about Rs. 10

crore, using this modus operandi, has

been found. Various incriminating documents,

including diaries, purchase

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

Imran says couldn't have survived

without wife BUSHRA BIBI

Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran

Khan said he could not have survived without his

wife Bushra bibi, adding that she has great

wisom. Bushra Bibi is Khan's third wife, who he

married six months before assuming office as

Prime Minister.

Khan made the remarks while speaking to

German magazine Der Spiegel, Geo News

reported

"I discuss everything with her. Problems I face

in the government, dealing with complex situations.

"Only a fool doesn't talk about everything

with his wife," he was quoted as saying.

The Prime Minister described his wife as his

"soulmate and companion", adding: "I would not

have survived without her."

Khan frequently praises his wife for her wisdom.

Upon the completion of PTI government's

first 100 days, he credited her for handling "such

a difficult life" with grace.

Privatisation-bound BPCL postpones

key EXPANSION projects

New Delhi : Privatisation-bound

PSU refiner Bharat Petroleum

Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) has

delayed expansion plans for its

refinery projects, pending its share

sell off programme that will see

government completely exiting

from the company and handing over

its management to a strategic

investor.

BPCL has plans to expand its

Bina refinery and take efficiency

improvement measures at Mumbai

refinery. But investment decisions

on both the projects are now left for

the new owners in the company that

is expected to take control after the

current bidding process ends,

sources said that a senior BPCL

officials told analysts at a recent

post results conference call.

The Bina Refinery expansion

involves taking up its capacity from

present 7.8 million tonne to 15 mt

over next five years with an investment

of over Rs 30,000 crore. Plan

is also to set up a petrochemicals

unit with a 1.5 mtpa naphtha cracker.

With regard to Mumbai refinery

the plan is to connect the unit with

an ethylene cracker plant set up at

an alternate location.

These expansion plan will now

Income Tax Department conducts searches in Bihar

5

be kept on the back burner till clarity

emerged over the company's new

owners.

Government is selling its entire

53.29 per cent stake in BPCL to a

strategic investor to mobilise over

Rs 50,000 crore as disinvestment

receipt. This will help in containing

country's rising fiscal deficit that is

slated to these clause to 8 per cent

of GDP due to adverse impact of

Covid-19 pandemic.

The strategic sale process at this

juncture has not been easy as initial

bidding date under the process

being already postponed on four

occasions. The latest EoI submission

date is November 16.

Sources said that BPCL official,

during the analyst call, put complete

toon of sale process by the end of

current fiscal year as challenging

because any worsening of pandemic

situation would curb travel

required to assess its assets by

potential investors.

deeds, documents showing receipts

and payments in cash have been

seized. During surveys, evidences of

unaccounted cash entries, unaccounted

sales and purchases have also been

found totalling to more than Rs. 8

crore. In addition, sales and purchases

of stone etc have been found to be not

recorded in the books of accounts.

During the search, cash totalling

upto Rs 3.21 crore has been seized.

Fixed deposits of Rs. 30 crore have

been placed under prohibitory

orders. Further, properties worth Rs.

16 crore are being placed under prohibitory

orders. The searches have

led to unearthing of unaccounted

income of about Rs. 75 crore, so far.

Further investigations are continuing,

CBDT said.


6 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Indians biggest beneficiaries

as Canada to admit 401,000

NEW IMMIGRANTS

Toronto : Canada will admit a

record 401,000 new immigrants in

2021, against the usual annual

intake of 350,000.

The figures will rise to 411,000

in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023 to

make up for the shortfall of 2020

due to the Covid-induced restrictions.

It is cheering news for Indians

as they account for the bulk of

immigrations into Canada.

In fact, Indian immigration into

Canada has jumped exponentially

in the last three to four years.

While 39,340 Indian immigrants were admitted

in 2016, the figures jumped to 85,000 in

2019 -- a rise of 105 per cent.

Restrictive US policies and shortage of IT

and healthcare professionals are two of the

many factors behind the rapid rise of Indian

immigration into Canada. Similarly, the

number of Indian students coming to Canada

has jumped from 76,075 in 2016 to 219,855

Saudi man arrested

for crashing car into

Grand Mosque gate

Riyadh : A Saudi Arabian man, who crashed his car into one of

the gates of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, has been arrested, state

media reported. Sultan al-Dosari, spokesman for the Mecca region

governorate, said that at 10.30 p.m. on Friday, the security authorities

responded to an accident where a car hit one of the entrance

gates of the Grand Mosque, Al Arabiya news reported citing the

Saudi Press Agency.

"The car swerved while moving at a high speed on one of the

roads surrounding the southern courtyard of the Grand Mosque.

Thankfully, no one was injured," according to SPA.

"The driver was arrested. He is a Saudi national and was in an

unnatural state. He was referred to the public prosecution."

The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that no civilians were

injured in the crash, while other videos posted on social media

showed a number of people pushing the vehicle away from the

mosque complex. The Grand Mosque resumed congregational

prayers earlier this month after a seven-month hiatus due to the

novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, the Kingdom will allow some foreigners to perform

Umrah, a pilgrimage to the cities of Mecca and Medina.

in 2019, showing a rise of almost 300 per

cent. Thanks to the record number of students

and newcomers, Indians have become

one of the fastest growing communities in

Canada, with their numbers crossing 1.6 million

in a country of over 37 million.

As Canada's birth rate declines, new

immigrants account for 82 per cent of its

population growth. Moreover, newcomers

New Delhi/Beijing : President

Xi Jinping overcame all the challenges

to his authority at the

Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

Central Committee's fifth plenary

session. Top sources told IANS

that Xi, who was facing disapproval

from some of the members

of the CCP over his aggressive

policies, dodged all the internal

political pressure at the plenary of

the 19th Central Committee of the

CCP, the highest decision-making

body of the party, which concluded

on Thursday after four days of

deliberations.

Analysts in New Delhi said that

Xi has evaded questioning at least

for the time being. "An immediate

effect will be endorsement of his

assertive foreign policy, including

with India. This could mean Xi

Jinping might initiate military

action against India this winter,"

an analyst said. Since the initial

mishandling of the coronavirus

pandemic and the Cold War-like situation

with the US, sources said, there was some

discontent among some members of the

Central Committee of the CCP against Xi's

leadership.

Following the violent face-off between

the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and

Indian troops along the Line of Actual

Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the disaffection

rose further, sources said.

However, Xi prevailed at the plenary session,

sources said, adding that the Chinese

President outmanoeuvred every critic and

opponent. His vision presented in the 14th

five-year plan, which includes six new

objectives - to realise socialist modernisation

by 2035, build strong nation, set a new

development pattern, innovate, revitalise

rural China, set up new opening-up structure

for trade -were endorsed by the Central

Committee. Xi headed the task force for the

drafting of the plan and personally oversaw

also bring billions of dollars into

Canada each year.

Sectors such as healthcare, IT

and farming cannot survive without

new immigrants.

Since nearly 60 per cent immigrants

come under the economic

category, they support the economy

by starting new businesses.

Government statistics say that

more than 33 per cent of businesses

are owned by newcomers

because the Canadian ecosystem

encourages people to become

entrepreneurs, not job seekers.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

said on Friday while announcing the new

immigration targets, "Newcomers are playing

an outsized role in our hospitals and care

homes, and helping us to keep food on the

table. As we look to recovery, newcomers

create jobs not just by giving our businesses

the skills they need to thrive, but also by

starting businesses themselves."

the draft process, Chinese media said.

Chinese officials on Friday said that

China under the plan will continue to be

open for trade, "although it would adopt new

development strategies that put heavy

emphasis on boosting the domestic market

and pursuing indigenous innovation in the

next five to 15 years."

The effusive commentary admiring Xi's

vision, which appeared in the China Daily

and the Global Times, both mouthpieces of

the CCP, after the Central Committee's press

conference on Friday, corroborated that the

President vanquished the opposition to his

authority. Backing Xi, the Global Times

wrote in an editorial, "The plenary session

has continued the overall plan of the 19th

National Congress of the CPC, and maintained

the strategic pace and spiritual outlook

of China's advancement, which shows

China's strong endurance and stamina amid

changes. "Profound changes are taking place

in the world. China has withstood two major

Punjabi truck driver who killed

16 in Canada faces deportation

Toronto : A Punjabi

truck driver, who killed

16 Canadian junior

hockey players and

injured 13 others by

jumping red light in

April 2018, faces

deportation to India.

Jaskirat Singh

Sidhu, 31, crashed his

semi-trailer into a bus

carrying the hockey

players at an intersection

near the town of

Armley in Saskatchewan province on April 6, 2018.

Driving almost at the speed of 100 kmph, Sidhu didn't heed the

red light signal, ramming his semi-trailer into the bus which was

already in the intersection.

Sidhu, who came to Canada from Punjab in 2013, was sentenced

to eight years for each of the 16 deaths and five years for dangerous

driving in March 2019.

Since he is just a permanent resident not a citizen of Canada,

Sidhu faces deportation to India.

The deportation decision by immigration authorities is likely to

come by April 2021. Sidhu's lawyer Michael Greene said on

Thursday that since his client has no criminal background, he

should not be deported. The lawyer said Sidhu is "clearly not the

kind of guy that is going to commit another offence. So put all

together, it's going to be an extremely difficult decision for an

(immigration) officer to make." Sidhu's deportation was a major

topic on radio shows on Thursday, with Canadians divided on

whether he should be allowed to stay on in the country.

Xi overcomes challenges to his authority

in CCP central committee plenary

challenges: One is the strategic

containment from the US, and the

other the public health challenge

posed by the novel coronavirus.

Both challenges are fierce, having

brought uncertainties. The 14th

five-year plan and the 2035 longterm

goal are formulated in this

context."

Defending Xi's policies, the

Global Times said, "The two challenges

didn't derail China's development.

They didn't even have an

impact on its speed. They brought

about new situations and conditions,

which have driven China's

amazing adaptability. Chinese

people have developed a broader

vision and become more capable

in dealing with challenges, just

like the country's strength and

renewal of resistance outperformed

a mutating virus." The plenary

session has not only made the

14th five-year plan, but also

looked ahead to 15 more years, the

newspaper said while praising Xi's vision.

Patting the President on his back, it further

wrote, "One of the biggest achievements

China has made in recent years is that it has

stabilised the country's development. No

matter how large the variable is, it diminishes

after being dealt with China's system. The

fight against US suppression, coupled with

the battle against the coronavirus, created an

unprecedented stress test for China, which

also has provided us with a yardstick for the

future." China, it said, has the "courage" to

set goals in six areas in the 14th five-year

plan. "The coronavirus is likely to have a

lasting influence, and the US may find more

trouble with China, but the central government

has the confidence to eliminate and

curb the negative impact that those risks may

have on the country's economic and social

development. The government's confidence

is bolstered by that of the public. The US

cannot crush China," it added.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

7

Ambedkar Mission Society Punjab (Regd.) organized a meeting

at a very short notice to honor Dr. RS PRAVEEN KUMAR

(IPS ADGP Telangana state) at AMBEDKAR BHAWAN

TOKYO, (Samaj Weekly)- 18

October 2020, A group of Indians in

Japan organized a peaceful protest to

express solidarity and to demand justice

for a 19 year old Indian woman belonging

to the Dalit (untouchable) community

who was allegedly raped and murdered

by four upper caste men in the

Hathras village of India’s most populous

state – Uttar Pradesh.

The protest was organized by

Ambedkar International Mission Japan

(AIM) in collaboration with the Dr.

Babasaheb Ambedkar International

Association for Education, Japan

(BAIAE). Representatives from AIM

and BAIAE condemned the brutal rape

and murder and called out the state’s

complicity in allegedly protecting the

perpetrators of the crime. Around 100

people gathered in front of United

Nations office in Shibuya, Tokyo and

utilized placards and addressed to

Japanese media to register their protest.

Some of their key demands were a fair

and expeditious investigation of the

Hathras incident, protection of the

victim’s family during the trial and

strict punishment to the accused.

According to AIM Japan, “The

Hathras incident is as much a social

failure as it is a state failure. Its roots

can unequivocally be traced to India’s

casteist and patriarchal social system,

which affords the upper castes a

divine right to dominate and desecrate

the very soul and dignity of those

beneath them. Dalit women are at the

bottom of the caste order and hence,

despite the barbaric nature of this incident,

it has failed to elicit a commensurate

response from India’s majority

population and political class. We are

outraged, saddened and deeply concerned

by the casteist and patriarchal

mentality responsible for this incident

and also by its institutional propagation.

Through this protest we raise

our voice against atrocities on women

and caste-based crimes and demand

Jalandhar (Samaj Weekly)- Ambedkar

Mission Society Punjab (Regd.) organized a

meeting at a very short notice to honor Dr.

RS PRAVEEN KUMAR (IPS ADGP

Telangana state) at Ambedkar Bhawan, Dr.

Ambedkar Marg (Nakodar Road), Jalandhar

on 17th October, 2020. Dr. RS PRAVEEN

KUMAR is self made man, he is scholar

educated from Harvard University and he is

an IPS Officer , Secretary of TSWREIS &

TTWREIS & Founder member of

SWAEROES. Dr Praveen Kumar is widely

known as the brain behind the success story

of the Everest conquerors Malavath Purna

and Sandhanapalli Anand Kumar. Malavath

Purna, a 13-year-old tribal student from

Nizamabad district in Telangana state, created

a spine-tingling history on 25th May,

2014 by becoming the youngest girl in the

world to scale the Mount Everest, and Anand

Kumar is the first boy from APSWREIS to

scale Mount Everest. He is also the founder

of SWAEROES network.

Representatives of various

societies/organizations attended this meeting.

Dr Praveen Kumar addressed the meeting

on the topic ‘Promotion of education and

social issues’. He also gave the answers to

the questions of the audience. Ambedkar

Mission Society honoured him with a Loyee

and Bukke. Prominent Ambedkarite, thinker

swift justice in the Hathras case”.

A representative of AIM said, “The

entire world stood up against apartheid

and writer, Editor Bheem Patrika Shri L R

Balley gave his blessings and his

Autobiography ‘Ambedkari Hone ka Arath’

to Dr. Praveen Kumar.

Among others, Dr G C Kaul (General

Secretary, Ambedkar Bhawan Trust,

Jalandhar), Mr. Sohan Lal DPI Colleges

(Retd.), Baldev Raj Bhardwaj, Advocate

Kuldip Bhatti, Advocate Harbhajan Sampla,

Harmesh Jassal, Ex MLA Darshan Lal

Jethumajara, Jaswinder Wariana, Jagdish

Deesha, Param Dass Heer, Janak Raj

Chohan, Rajinder Rana, Rakesh Mahi, Ginni

Mahi, Renu Samrat and Priya Lakha were

present on this occasion. Madam Sudesh

Kalyan (President, Ambedkar Mission

Society Punjab passed a vote of thanks and

the program was conducted very efficiently

by Mr. Varinder Kumar General Secretary of

the Society.

INDIANS IN JAPAN PROTEST IN TOKYO

DEMANDING JUSTICE IN THE HATHRAS CASE

in South Africa. We ask for the same

global condemnation for the Indian

caste system, which is the longest running

apartheid in the world.” The number

of people attending the protest was

limited to 100 due to Covid-19 restrictions

in Japan. Some of the local

Japanese too attended the protest and

expressed solidarity with the Hathras

case victim. AIM Japan and BAIAE

Japan members have submitted petitions

to the United Nations Human

Rights Council in Japan demanding fair

and expeditious investigation of the

Hathras incident, protection of the victim’s

family during the trial and strict

punishment to the accused. The Indian

government must take initiatives along

with the community leaders to eradicate

caste, restore law and order in the State

of UP and country and create a safer

space for women, and provide equal

opportunities to all its citizens along

with additional safeguards for the

Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

Our brave daughter will be in the

hearts of all NRIs. Justice shall be

served!


8 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Give A Dalit Man A Pair Of Scissors, And

He’ll Show You What FREEDOM Is

In the 13 years that we’ve lived in our house, our neighbours have remained just neighbours,

nothing more, nothing less. For companionship, my Appa has his pigeons, hawks and crows.

When we first moved to

Basavanagudi in Bengaluru, a relative

told Appa he should chop the top half

of the Tabebuia tree growing in front

of our house. He said that a tree growing

taller than your house was bad

luck, that it would stunt your prosperity.

Of course, that same person also

told Appa not to let daughters sleep

under vaulted ceilings because it made

them ambitious and they would never

get married.

Appa studied the ceiling and the

tree with caution. Amma made a fuss,

not on behalf of my ambitions but

because she had put her life on hold to

build this house. The vaulted ceiling

was her final touch. I have now spent

13 years under it and for 13 years no

matter where I was in life and how

many ambitions I had and how often

they cut me, the Tabebuia tree dropped

pink flowers every February.

During the pandemic, I took to

spending hours on the terrace under

the shade of the Tabebuia tree, reading,

watering plants, and listening to

short stories by women. Over Jamaica

Kincaid’s words (Figures in the

Distance) in Chimamanda Ngozi

Adichie’s voice one evening, I discovered

rows of sugary dust left behind by

ants on a pear leaf. I scraped some out,

surprised when they made my fingers

sticky. Kincaid’s narrator was saying

that as a child, she was convinced that

only people she didn’t know died.

I think back to the time my grandfather

died; how his body had grown

smaller in death and was being bathed

under the Tabebuia tree even as

Brahmin neighbours retreated into

their homes, repulsed by the sight of

bare-chested, thread-less Dalit men

walking around. I think back more

recently to the time my oldest uncle

died, looking just as his father had, his

small body cradled by the man bathing

him.

I was brought back to the story

when Adichie whispered “We were

afraid of the dead because we never

could tell when they might show up

again,” her dipping voice both covering

and revealing the child narrator’s

goosebumps. I tightened my grip on

the water pipe to manage the urge

to highlight that line, as if I was

reading it off a Kindle or a

mobile screen, copying those

lines to later paste and post

on Twitter, an invitation for

others to read, for me to

remember weeks or months

later while senselessly

scrolling down to see if

there’s anything I’ve said in

excess, anything that must

be uncurated.

To Fall In Love (With

Yourself), You Need A Plunger,

Not Plumber

There are 60 potted plants on the

terrace, although Appa says 58

because two are succulents and he

doesn’t think of them as real plants. I

stopped arguing with him after he

began using them as weights for a

plate of bird grain. Two weeks into the

lockdown, Appa began coming up to

the terrace only to feed the birds. For a

while, he used to stop at the plants,

considering them, cursing them when

they weren’t growing, and then ignoring

them entirely when he discovered

birds because they showed him that

they remembered him.

At home, there were varying opinions

about how often plants must be

watered. Appa said weekly, my sister

said once in three days. I saw logic in

both but selfishly continued watering

them every day because in the 30 minutes

that it took to water the plants, I

could listen to stories without interruption;

even I couldn’t interrupt

myself. And what is a short story if not

an interruption, a sudden,

smalli

s h

hole to

free-fall

into? My hands were tied, so were my

ears. All I could do was shut up, water

the plants, and listen to the story.

Two weeks into the lockdown,

Appa began coming up to the terrace

only to feed the birds.

One morning, Appa played a

YouTube tutorial video for the confused

koel sitting on the Tabebuia tree.

He was teaching it how to sing, not

croak. “Listen to how the birds do it

here, you are not doing it properly,” he

was instructing it. We told him not to

birdsplain but neither the koel nor he

was interested in our opinion. Amma

left him alone and took to watching

the parrots that came in clouds, sat a

while, and then fluttered away, early in

the mornings. “I saw 50 parrots

today,” she told anyone who called her

on the phone.

Every year during Hiriyar Habba,

we remember our dead elders. There’s

mutton, egg, and chicken on a plantain

leaf, a bundle of beedis sticking out of

a small glass, and bottles of cheap

whiskey, all arranged neatly in front of

stern, black and white pictures of Ajja

and Doddappa. The meat on the plantain

leaf is then eaten by the oldest

members of the family. This year

though, instead of eating them, Appa

stood on the terrace holding mutton

pieces, waving them at the hawks

that swooped down and grabbed

what they could. One of the hawks

lost its grip on a piece and it fell right

into our neighbours’ compound.

Appa’s eyes widened with delight,

although a familiar, muted fear crept

in between his eyebrows.

Later that day, there was outrage in

the neighbour’s house, and curses that

fell on our caste while Appa snorted

lazily and Amma glared at no one.

Three months ago, the neighbours

were flying kites and one morning I

saw blue threads hanging uselessly

from the Tabebuia tree. Some days

later, Appa rescued a pigeon struggling

to free itself from one of those

threads. Streaked with blood, it was

caught in the pigeon’s wings and

lodged deep inside the skin, making

several cuts every time it tried to get

away. Appa held the bird in his left

hand in a way that might look rudely

firm to an untrained eye, but was gentle.

I kept wondering if he’d hurt the

pigeon more in the process or if the

pigeon would turn around and bite him

but Appa was deft with the scissors,

making one quick cut after another.

When the last loop had been cut, he

freed the bird and it flew away with a

flutter, making Appa laugh.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd And The

Loneliness Of A Bahujan Academic

Our house and its Tabebuia tree are

flanked by houses that wear threads of

a different kind. In the 13 years that

we’ve lived here, our neighbours have

only remained neighbours, never

becoming anything more, anything

less. During the lockdown, I often see

Appa standing by the window, watching

the neighbours every time they

gather near the katte in the morning to

read newspapers, laugh, and talk. I

wonder if he ever desired that kind of

companionship but then I see him with

his pigeons and his hawks and his

crows and I have an answer.

“Our house and its Tabebuia tree

are flanked by houses that wear

threads of a different kind.”

I think back to the time when our

neighbour stopped stealing our milk

packet after she discovered its

Dalitness, and how since then, Appa

stands defiantly by the door, publicly

eavesdropping on every loud, private

quarrel between her and her son. I

think of the privacy he gives birds

when they eat. How he stands behind

the door discreetly, and watches them,

smiling like a man who has just learnt

how to fly. I am glad that the trees and

birds here are more ours than

Basavanagudi and its people. Give a

Dalit man a pair of scissors, and he’ll

show you what freedom is like no one

else can, regardless of what colour the

thread is or how long.

By Vijeta Kumar

Foods to ignore if you are suffering from arthritis

New Delhi : Arthritis is an autoimmune

disease that affects joint and

bone pain. It could be a problem or a

matter of concern, If not taken care of

at the right time. Hence it is important

to follow these few tips such as proper

sunlight exposure every day, having

food products that provide calcium

and Vitamin B12 with all micro nutritions

for e.g. olive oil, green tea, blueberries

etc and also taking all the medications

recommended by doctors.

Eating food habits should be defendant,

right from a young age when

you're a teenager in your early 20s,

advises Dr. Ashwani Maichand �

Orthopedic Surgeon , Apollo spectra

Delhi.

He says: "Arthritis is no more an

age-related disorder and does not

affect only those above 45 years.This

is basically more relevant to the

teenage generations who are not particular

about their timings of the food,

their content of the food. Osteoporosis

means a lack of calcium in bones even

in young patients. So young patients

form to get early arthritis."

He lists down a few food items

that can worsen your condition:

Refined Sugars: Sugary food can be a

risk factor for arthritis.

Chocolates,ice-cream, aerated

drinks, all sweets to be avoided

Red meat: Red meat can worsen your

problem. It is a source of inflammation

in arthritis.

Excessive salt intake: Avoid canned

soups and foods that have excessive

use of salt.

Deep-fried foods: Fried foods can be

inflammatory and excessively

worsen arthritis because it is made

of high Omega fatty acids.

Foods to be taken on the regular

basis:

• Fruits: Dried plums, pomegranate,

grapes, peaches, apples, blueberries,

seasonal fruits are always

good for the health. Everyone need

to eat fruits on regular basis this

helps to improve the overall health

• Oils: Olive oil, Fish oil are good for

bones

• Herbs: Sallaki , Aswagandha are

beneficial

• Whole grains and cereals: Wheat,

Oats, Corn, Rice, Barley

• Spices: Ginger and garlic

Calcium is basically available in milk

products, Most of them love dairy

products so one should include

milk curd on regular basis

A vegetarian can have vitamin B12

Products, some fresh fruits, and

some green vegetables for your

good muscle strength.

These foods are lower oxidative stress.

It also helps in reducing joint stiffness

and pain . The expert shares a

few tips that can help keep arthritis

at bay

• Exercise: It not only takes the stress

of the excess weight of your joint

but also strengthens muscle around

your joint. So, for strengthening

your muscles regular exercise is

important along with intake of protein.

• Add fish in your diet: Certain fish

are rich in omega-3 fatty acid.

Omega-3 has a number of health

benefits and can reduce inflammation

in your body. For e.g. �

Salmon, trout, and sardines.

• Control your weight: Your knees

should take the support of your

body. Being overweight can take a

quick toll on them. Diet and exercise

can help you bring weight into

a healthier range.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 9

Time for a serious discussion on

interfaith relationship issues

A young aspiring Nikita

Tomar was murdered by

Tauseef, who happened to be

stalking her since here college

days as both studied in the same

institution in Faridabad. Nikita,

it is reported, had turned down

the proposal of Tauseef in the

past. The young man could not

take the rejection and killed her.

The entire incident is recorded

in a CCTV camera which show

that Tauseef tried to kidnap

Nikita but having failed in doing

so he shot her and ran away.

There seems to be other accomplishes

too in this crime.

The Haryana government

swung into action and formed an

SIT to probe into the details of

the issue and got the accused

arrested. Now, this would have

been an incident of a young boy

feeling humiliated after the

‘rejection’ by the girl but since

the story is between the Hindu

girl and a Muslim boy, the

media has jumped into it suggesting

it is ‘love jihad’. The

irresponsible reporting from the

TV channel is deliberately done

in a highly despicable way

because of electoral issues and

blaming the entire community

for the same. If the accused was

merely Tauseef, how would

media have reported the issue.

They would have said, it is a

failed lovers story or a Romeo

trying to intimidate the girl who

does not want to respond or

reject the boy’s overtures.

Unsurprisingly, there is not

much reactions from the ‘liberals’

on the issue. Not that they

need to respond but important

that the disease in India is far

bigger and it is time we understand

this. Is our activism or

criticism extremely selective

which may make us champion in

the eyes of our friends but help

those who are using the narrative

to vilify the Muslims in the

ground. And this is not the single

event. A few weeks back, a

young boy named Rahul, was

Manila : The Philippines on

Saturday ordered evacuation of

coastal villages as it prepares for

the onslaught of typhoon Goni, the

strongest tropical cyclone to hit the

archipelago this year.

Goni, with maximum winds of

215 km per hour and gusts of up to

265 km per hour, moved closer to

the eastern coast of the main island

of Luzon on Saturday at 20 km per

hour from the Pacific Ocean,

reports Xinhua news agency.

PAGASA, the country's weather

bureau, forecasted that Goni would

make landfall in Quezon province,

southeast of Manila, on Sunday.

allegedly killed by the relatives

and family of a girl who happened

to be in relationship with

him but belonged to Muslim

community. Now, one does not

suggest that the entire community

is responsible for this, but it is

important that we speak up

because we all have our own

prejudices in making communities

victim and villains. Why is

that when a crime is committed

by some particular community

individuals is used to vilify the

entire community and I can say

this is not the Hindutva problem

but also of those who pretend to

be fighting against them.

Now, both Nikita and Rahul’s

murder became a high point of

anti Muslim propaganda by the

notorious IT Cell. Now, Karni

Sena too have jumped into the

issue and media is already saying

that Nikita was victim of

Love Jihad. More over, there is

also a campaign that Tauseef is

the relative of a Congress MLA

in Haryana. While, being a relative

of a person does not make

one complicit of the crime, as

reported by various newspapers

that Nikita’s family had filed a

case against Tauseef in March

and that time his family begged

and wanted to close the case. It

is also being reported that

Tauseef was also a brilliant student

and was in love with

Nikita. Whether this was a one

sided love or an affair, the fact is

that a girl was murdered just

because she refused to comply

or surrendered meekly.

Police has already arrested

the accused and is filing the case

but the media has concluded that

it is love Jihad. Nikita’s family

has asked for ‘death penalty’.

There are few lessons from these

cases which we hear often and

we need to be careful. A few

days back, ‘secular’ ‘liberal’

‘celebrities’ were upset with the

Tatas withdrawing Tanishka

advertisement under pressure

from the troll army which felt

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

"There remains a possibility that

this typhoon will reach Super

Typhoon category over the next 12

hours," the bureau said in its latest

severe weather bulletin, warning of

potential flooding and landslide in

its path. The bureau alerted the residents

of many regions in the

Philippines' main island of Luzon,

including the capital Manila, to prepare,

warning that Goni "will bring

heavy to intense rains", destructive

winds and a storm surge of up to 3

metres. It warned the surge may

"result in life-threatening and damaging

coastal inundation," adding

"This storm surge may be accompanied

by swells and breaking waves

reaching the coast."

The Philippine Coast Guard said

no vessels are allowed to sail,

stranding passengers and goods in

ports in the Bicol region and

Eastern Visayas province, which

are in the path of the typhoon.

Police forces were deployed in

areas in Typhoon Goni's path to

help local government units in the

evacuations, Philippine National

Police chief General Camilo

Cascolan said.

Meanwhile, the state weather

bureau said it is also tracking

Tropical Depression Atsani churning

in the Pacific Ocean 1,655 km

east of southern Luzon.

Goni is the 18th tropical cyclone

to hit the Philippines this year. The

previous topical storms left a trail

of destruction in the archipelago.

Earlier this week, typhoon

Molave, which tore through villages

in Luzon and the central

Philippines, left 22 dead and displaced

thousands. Typhoons and

tropical storms regularly hit the

Philippines from June through

year's end.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the

country's worst, killed over 7,000

people in November 2013.

that Hindu sentiments were

‘hurt’. Tanishka withdrew the

advertisement and ‘liberals’

were upset. Ofcourse, the same

liberals don’t give Charlie

Habdo a right to offend which is

very much part of French culture.

It may not be part of our

culture but definitely of their

culture.

The issue is not really of

Love Jihad but why has it come

to this level that every interfaith

marriage or affair has potential

of becoming a big communal

flare up. If we know that our

actions are resulting in our communities

behaving in such a way

to seek blood then what is the

way out. Same things are happening

when people marry

beyond their castes. It is also

true that even when people

marry with in their castes and

against the choices of their parents

such things are happening.

So this is the issue of our individual

choices which is facing

real obstruction from our parents

and societies. A few of

those who claim it are actually

living in the other world. They

have money and privileges to

live without society and people

but those who are depended on

families cant revolt and if they

then they face not merely backlash

but threat to get killed.

So what is the way out ?

Should we discourage our

youngsters to look for their own

partners. I say very openly that

Love Jehad campaign is nothing

but an attempt to suggest that

only parents and relatives

should decide about your future

and no adult person has a right

to decide because everything

that we decide must have an

‘approval’ of ‘society’ and ‘family’

which will never be happy

with our independent choices.

That is why Dr Ambedkar had

said long ack that we are still not

a society because an individual

is not respected here and we

don’t respect his individuality,

privacy and choices.

The point is how do you tackle

with obsession of an individual.

It is a crime and should be

told to your youngsters in the

schools. Will we discuss in our

schools and colleges how to

respect freedom and choices.

What is that ? The fact is the

way our women and other dissenters

get trolled on social

media speak volume of the

‘maturity’ of our system. These

trolls are nothing but young

boys and girls of ‘respectable’

families who want to get noticed

and shout loudly that ‘our culture

is great’. Nothing wrong in

that but a culture or a system

does not become ‘great’ and

‘powerful’ just because we want

it or like it. We will have to create

an environment which does

not exists. The issue of freedom,

choices and individuality comes

from an enabling environment

which is fast reducing. We are

between the Hindus and

Muslims without suggesting that

we have to fight against the

evils. Definitely the system here

has its own anti Muslim prejudices

and need to be rectified but

it is important to ask a few questions

which are important for all

of us to understand that Women

have their own agency and voices

as an independent person and

not some one’s wife, mother or

sister. The question one should

ask as why should a woman be

forced to either change her

name, religion or cultural practices

just she is marrying into an

another faith.

Why should the name of the

children in these inter-faith marriages

be of the male’s choice.

Why cant we develop secular

ways of marriages. In Europe

humanist marriages are on the

rise as people don’t want religious

marriages. That is the only

way for those who are individuals

and want to marry out of

their choice. The best way for a

interfaith marriage to sustain is

not to ask your partner to convert

and enjoy the good practices

and cultural values of both

the cultures. Imposing one culture

and value system will create

issues and bring an end to it.

It is time for us to come out

of these calculations of whether

the issue may help the Hindutva

or Asaduddin Owaisi because

unless we speak up boldly and

categorically, things are going to

worsen. South Asia as a whole

has not shown any respect for

individuality and majoritarianism

and hating minorities and

dissent is part and parcel of our

‘culture’. That way hate mongers

are ‘secular’ in their hatred

towards ‘freedom of expression’

and ‘individual rights’. Those

youngsters who claim to love

some one must understand that a

woman is not here to be ‘owned’

by some one. She has a right to

reject you even if you were in

relationship. This is my request

to youngsters particularly girls

to focus on their economic independence

and then think of anything

else. The youngsters must

be very clear that if their partner

or lover belong to any other religion

or caste or nationality,

please think all pros and cons.

You will have to be absolutely

free mind without any prejudice

to be in such a relationship.

Asking your female partner to

change as per your ‘culture’,

‘religion’ and ‘nationality’ will

only bring disaster to such a

relationship. It might have

worked in the past or with certain

cases where women have

‘accepted’ it but it wont succeed

all the times. For the men, it is

also important that rejection by

some one is not the ‘end’ of era

and one must move ahead with

that.

For all others, I would say, let

the police investigate the matter

and come to a conclusion. A

crime is a crime but dont bring

your conspiracy theories in it.

Do your journalism and not

become part of a propaganda

machinery which can damage

our society. For a stronger India

we need vibrant youth free from

the religious, caste and gender

prejudices of the past as we cant

stuck there and have to move

ahead to make a better and

inclusive India.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a

social and human rights

activist. He blogs at

www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

Philippines orders evacuations ahead of strongest typhoon


10 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Prominent US-based Dalit activists call for international

support against CASTE-BASED VIOLENCE

India Civil Watch International has recently published an online series that was originally prepared by prominent

African-American and Dalit activists as a protest against the gruesome Hathras rape case in Uttar Pradesh.

The online publication by India Civil

Watch International consists of poems,

articles and video messages culminating

major powerful voices from the Black,

Dalit and other marginalized communities

working as activists, scholars and

professionals across US universities.

This group of US-based academics had

initially launched a petition to condemn

the horrific case of the rape and murder

of a Dalit woman in Hathras, highlighting

the dubious role of police in handling

of the case.

The petition received a huge

response within a week and registered

1800 signatures from international

human rights workers, academics and

organizations to demand action against

police brutality. International organizations

like Dalit Solidarity Forum in the

USA, National Women’s Studies

Association, SEWA-AIFW (Asian

Indian Family Wellness), CodePink,

and Women’s Legal and Human Rights

Bureau-Quezon City have endorsed the

petition.

Individual signatories include

Barbara Harris-White, Chandra Talpade

Mohanty, Arjun Appadurai, Shailaja

Paik, Suraj Yengde, Rod Ferguson,

Katherine McKittrick, Margo Okazawa-

Rey, Laura Pulido, Huma Dar, Nida

Kirmani, and Meena Dhanda.

As the petition is gaining more solidarity

and support, the recent publication

by Indian Civil Watch International

has further strengthened the cause for

justice concerning caste-based violence

in India.

The group has discussed how George

Floyd’s brutal murder by a white police

officer in Minneapolis “has reignited

the Black Lives Matter Movement in

the U.S. and across the globe” while

“the rapes and murders of Dalit women

in U.P. by dominant-caste men have galvanized

tens of thousands of protestors

across the world to rise up against the

police state that operates in the service

of violent Hindutva in India.”

“We have to accept and feel the

extremely painful fact that Dalit

women have been raped, mutilated,

murdered, and burnt,” says Dr Roja

Singh, Dalit and Indigenous scholar

published on the website. She has further

urged for “a global movement – a

cry for restorative justice and human

dignity justice for all.”

The group has also resonated that as

the bulk of resources have been made

available online, people across the

world must ponder over similar patterns

and “draw important connections

between movements for social justice

that are raging in different parts of the

world in this historic moment,” other

than “generating important debates

Dalit President burnt to death in Amethi, police

raiding in search of 5 domineering villages

about what transnational solidarity can

and must look like at this time.”

The publication has also shed light

on state-sponsored brutality against

Dalits and other vulnerable communities

stating that they aim to bring attention

to “state’s complicity in the continued

inhuman violence towards and

oppression of Dalits, not just in U.P. but

across India.”

Christopher Queen, a Religious

Studies scholar who has written extensively

on socially engaged Buddhism in

Asia and the West, has also signed the

petition and has spoken on parallels

between racialized and caste-based violence.

He has compared “the violent

racism in the United States, which is

allowed by corrupt officials and callous

citizens” to “the escalating brutalization

of Dalit citizens, particularly women

and girls.” He further calls this “a growing

plague at the heart of a nation claiming

to uphold democratic institutions

and humane values.”

As the petition continues receiving

an overwhelming international

response, the US-based group has highlighted

that major international academic

journals, academic departments and

programs at top-tier public universities

in the United States, and social justice

organizations from around the world are

also now endorsing the campaign.

Amethi, The shocking incident

has come to light in Amethi,

the parliamentary constituency

of Union Minister Smriti Irani.

The bullies first kidnapped the

husband of the Dalit village

head, then burnt them alive in a

house boundary escaped.

Hearing the screams of the head

husband, the family members

who rushed to the spot were

immediately admitted to the

hospital where he died during

treatment. After this incident,

tension has spread throughout

the village. Family members

have accused the five domineering

kidnappers of the village.

Police are pushing for the arrest

of the accused.

According to the information,

this incident is from Bandoiiya village

of Munshiganj police station

area. Here late Thursday evening,

the woman village head Chhotka’s hus- band Arjun disappeared from the vil- lage. After sometime in the boundary

of a house in the village, Arjun

was found burnt in almost 90

percent state. On getting to

know, the family members

admitted him to the hospital

with the help of the villagers.

Death in hospital

If the family members of

Arjun are to be believed then

at around 6 pm, the Prime

Minister was kidnapped. He

was then burnt to death. On

the other hand, Amethi

Superintendent of Police

Dinesh Singh said that the villagers

had reported the Prime

Minister lying in an injured

state.

Policemen who reached the

spot rushed him to the hospital

where he died. Family members

have filed a complaint

against 5 people of the village.

The police is pushing to arrest

the accused.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

11

The heart connect: Are you sleeping well enough?

New Delhi : The pandemic brought

with it a new normal that came with its

own consequences. The social distancing,

erratic work hours, and the stress of

living in times of an outbreak have

raised anxieties for many. As we find

ourselves busy fighting COVID-19,

many other significant health issues

seem to have taken a backseat.

People are not only losing their sleep

to overstretched working hours, and the

uncertainty caused by coronavirus but

are also finding it difficult to sleep

properly. Experts warn this could take a

toll on, not just your lifestyle but also

heart health. Emotional and mental

stress can lead to erratic sleep patterns,

which, experts believe, may lead to

heart-related health issues, eventually

leading to something as critical as

stroke.

It is important to understand that

sleep management is not just restricted

to a good night's sleep or getting enough

of it. The quality of your sleep is the

most important. If you are snoring a lot,

experiencing shortness of breath while

sleeping or not able to sleep properly

over a period, you must speak to a doctor.

For instance, in some cases, people

may experience a disturbance in the

breathing pattern while sleeping. This

could be a condition called sleep apnea,

which can have a lasting impact on your

cardiovascular system in the future.

The question really is - does poor

sleep affect your heart health? If you

look at a condition like sleep apnea, the

answer is, 'yes'. According to studies,

"nearly one billion adults aged 30-69

years worldwide were estimated to

have obstructive sleep apnea, with and

without symptoms." What makes this

kind of sleep disorder more alarming is

the fact that it could put a person more

at risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregular

heartbeat which can then lead to a heart

disease, eventually leading to a stroke.

When the upper chambers of your

heartbeat too fast, it can give rise to a

condition called AF. Atrial fibrillation

can reduce the pumping efficiency of

the heart by 30 percent. The chaotic

rhythm causes the blood to form clots

in the left atrial appendage, and if this

clot travels to your brain, it can cause a

stroke. Studies reveal that close to one

third of people with atrial fibrillation

will have a stroke. Therefore, sleep patterns

are very important when it comes

to heart health.

When the breathing is interrupted,

the brain compels the person to wake

up so that they can resume the breathing

pattern to normal. During sleep

apnea your airway gets blocked, and

this can happen repeatedly while sleeping

to the extent that you may even stop

breathing for very short spans of time.

It is important to note that while sleeping

a person might not notice symptoms

such as breathlessness, loud snoring,

fatigue and night sweats, however, one

can easily observe these symptoms during

the day- tiredness, not feeling fresh

right after waking up, weariness, poor

memory and headaches.

While there are several medications

and blood thinners are available to protect

you from stroke, technology has

made things simpler for patients living

with AF.

Pacemakers are designed to monitor

your abnormal heart rhythm by delivering

an electrical impulse to help control

your heart rhythm. It can effectively

treat symptoms like light headedness

and fatigue. Not only does a pacemaker

monitor your heartbeat, it also keeps a

check if your heart is beating too slowly.

Pacemakers even store information.

Atrial fibrillation burden and helping

doctors to evaluate therapy efficacy.

Pacemakers are now MRI safe such that

if anyone needs to undergo MRI they

can do so, despite having a metallic

implant. There are studies to prove that

a good sleeping pattern can effectively

reduce the chances of stroke. Hence, it

is more imperative than ever before, to

watch out for those irregular sleep patterns

that are not just important from a

lifestyle perspective, but also critical to

your heart health.

Superfoods that can lower the risk of breast cancer

New Delhi : A healthy lifestyle

which includes exercise and a nutrientdense

diet may help reduce the risk of

cancer. Foods which are rich in antioxidants

and fiber have been found to regulate

oestrogen and inhibit cancer cell

formation. Small changes to a routine

can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Rohit Shelatkar, VP at Vitabiotics,

Fitness & Nutrition Expert lists down

some superfoods to add in ones diet to

reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Walnuts: Walnuts are packed with

Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and

phytosterols which helps regulate

oestrogen levels and slow the growth of

breast cancer cells. Walnuts have been

known to help fight inflammation which

in itself is beneficial in avoiding heart

disease and a host of other chronic conditions,

but it is also linked to cancer.

Blueberries: Research suggests, that

blueberries can reduce the growth of

breast cancer tumours by causing cancerous

cells to self-destruct, a process

called apoptosis. Frozen wild blueberries

are just as antioxidant and nutrientpacked

as fresh. One can consume blueberries

with smoothies, oatmeal or

yogurt.

Sweet Potatoes: The sweet potato

can inhibit proliferation and can regulate

cell growth, defend and repair them.

Studies have shown that women who

eat sweet potatoes on a regular basis are

at a 17 percent lower risk of developing

breast cancer.

Flaxseeds: Flaxseed has all kinds of

amazing health benefits, including lowering

blood pressure and cholesterol.

Flaxseed is the richest source of lignans,

a type of antioxidant. Dietary flaxseed

has the potential to reduce tumour

growth in patients with breast cancer.

One can add flaxseeds to smoothies,

yogurt parfaits, or mix in the morning

oatmeal.

Garlic: Garlic gets its cancer-busting

properties from allicin, a component of

garlic that's been shown to inhibit the

division of cancer cells. Other cancer

risks also found to lower lung, stomach,

and prostate, possibly due to the

flavonols present in the garlic. Eating

garlic raw can maximize the anti-cancer

effects.

Green Tea: Green tea is packed

antioxidants with immense health benefits.

One of those benefits includes having

anti-breast cancer properties.

Decreasing the number of fatty foods

in the diet and replacing them with

whole foods will reduce the risk and

have been shown to improve the survival

rate of breast cancer patients.

While no single food is guaranteed to

keep oneself cancer-free, changing the

diet to include more of these superfoods

that can help fight breast cancer would

prove beneficial.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

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6 :00 pm

SUNDAY at

6 :00 pm

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by

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12 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 BUSINESS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

IndiGo’s Q2FY21 net

loss at Rs 1,194.8 cr

Mumbai : InterGlobe Aviation, which runs airline major

IndiGo, on Thursday

posted a quarterly

net loss of Rs

1,194.8 crore for the

second quarter of

2020-21.

The company had

posted a net loss of

Rs 1,062 crore in the

like period of the

previous fiscal.

According to the company, its total income for the quarter

declined to Rs 3,029.2 crore, down 64.5 per cent over the same

period last year.

In the quarter, passenger ticket revenues declined to Rs

2,208.2 crore, a decrease of 68.9 per cent and ancillary revenues

went down to Rs 506.6 crore, a reduction of 45.5 per cent compared

to the same period last year Total expenses for the quarter

also declined to Rs 4,224.1 crore, a decrease of 55.9 per cent

over the same quarter last year.

Besides, IndiGo said that it had a total cash balance of Rs

17,931.8 crore as on the September 30, comprising Rs 6,973.4

crore of free cash and Rs 10,958.4 crore of restricted cash.

“We are pleased that we are slowly but surely stair-stepping

our way back to normal capacity. While we are very much

focused on managing the crisis of the present, we are also

reimagining the promise of the future,” CEO Ronojoy Dutta

said. “Once we are back at 100 per cent capacity, we will have

lower unit costs, a stronger product, a more efficient fleet and a

robust network. We are impatient for the arrival of the future.”

India bans exports of onion seeds

New Delhi : In a bid to provide onions at an affordable price,

the Centre has prohibited

the export of

onion seeds, with

immediate effect.

“The export of onion

seeds is prohibited,

with immediate

effect.

The provisions

under ‘Transitional

Arrangement’ shall

not be applicable under this notification,” an official statement

said. In a tweet, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs

and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal said: “Ensuring

the availability of onion at affordable prices for consumers,

Government under PM @NarendraModiji bans export of onion

seeds.”

German economy recovering

after Covid-19 slump

Berlin : Germany’s GDP rose by 8.2 per

cent in the third quarter (Q3) compared to

the previous quarter amid the ongoing

Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s Federal

Statistical Office (Destatis) said.

Although the German economy shrank

by 4.3 per cent in Q3 year-on-year, the

quarterly increase was still notable in light

of the “historic slump” in the second quarter

caused by the pandemic, Xinhua news

agency quoted Destatis as saying on

Friday. The recovery of the economy during

the summer was mainly driven by consumer

spending, investments in machinery

and equipment as well as a “sharp increase

in exports” it added.

Following losses of more than a billion

euros in the first half of the year,

Germany’s largest carmaker Volkswagen

saw growing sales again in Europe and

China and announced earnings before tax

of around 2.4 billion euros by the end of

Q3. Although Volkswagen’s global sales

during the first three quarters of 2020 were

still down 18.7 per cent year-on-year,

deliveries in Q3 reached pre-crisis levels

again. German plastics manufacturer

Covestro also recorded a strong increase in

net income in Q3 and posted a year-onyear

growth of almost 22 per cent as the

company’s measures in response to Covid-

19 were now paying off. Like most

European countries, Germany is currently

hit by the second wave of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela

Merkel and the minister-presidents of the

country’s federal states agreed on tougher

contact restrictions and a limited lockdown

starting from next month.

In order to support companies whose

operations were closed due to the upcoming

lockdown, the government decided to

provide additional economic aid to the tune

of 10 billion euros. Depending on their

size, the affected companies receive up to

75 per cent of lost revenues compared to

pre-crisis levels. As part of the major

RIL’s Q2FY21 consolidated net profit slips to Rs 10,602 cr

New Delhi : Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on

Friday reported a decline in its consolidated net

profit for the quarter ended September 30 of

FY2020-21 on a year-on-year (YoY) basis due to

the effect of an exceptional item.

Accordingly, the company’s consolidated net

profit during the first quarter of FY21 declined to

Rs 10,602 crore from Rs 11,352 crore reported

for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

The consolidated net profit attributable to

owners of the company also fell to Rs 9,567

crore from Rs 11,262 crore reported for the corresponding

quarter of the previous fiscal.

On a quarter-quarter (QoQ) basis, however,

the company’s consolidated Q2 net profit stood

higher by 28 pers cent.

Also, on a QoQ basis, the company’s cash

profit before exceptional item was Rs 16,837

crore ($2.3 billion), higher by 20.9 per cent.

Compared to the April-June quarter, the company’s

Q2 revenue grew by 27.2 per cent to Rs

128,385 crore ($17.4 billion).

“We delivered strong overall operational and

financial performance compared to previous

quarter with recovery in petrochemicals and

retail segment, and sustained growth in ‘Digital

Services’ business,” said Mukesh Ambani,

Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance

Industries. “Domestic demand has sharply recovered

across our O2C business and is now near

pre-Covid level for most products. Retail business

activity has normalised with strong growth

in key consumption baskets as lockdowns ease

across the country. With large capital raise in last

six months across ‘Jio and Retail’ business, we

have welcomed several strategic and financial

investors into Reliance family.

“We continue to pursue growth initiatives in

Covid-19 stimulus package worth 130 billion

euros that was unveiled in June, the

government has already introduced quick

loans for struggling companies via the

state-owned development bank KfW and

suspended the obligation to file for insolvency.

On Friday, Minister for Economic

Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier stressed

that the economic downturn was “less drastic

than initially feared” because the country

had acted “jointly and decisively during

the first wave of the pandemic”. Despite

each of our businesses with a

focus on the India opportunity,”

he added.

On a YoY standalone

basis, RIL reported a fall in

net profit for the quarter at

Rs 6,546 crore from Rs

9,702 crore reported in the

corresponding period of the

last fiscal.

While on a QoQ basis, the

company’s cash profit for the

quarter was Rs 10,350 crore.

The standalone revenue

for the quarter on a QoQ

basis, grew by 23.3 per cent

to Rs 64,431 crore ($8.7 billion).

Besides, the company

reported that Jio Platforms’

consolidated net profit grew

by 19.8 per cent to Rs 3,020 crore on a QoQ

basis. The consolidated revenue from operations,

including access revenues, grew by 7.2 per cent

to Rs 18,496 crore, QoQ.

Furthermore, the company’s consolidated

value of sales and services of Reliance Retail for

2QFY21 increased by 30 per cent QoQ to Rs

41,100 crore, “a strong performance given that

the full store network was not operational and

the renewed increase in new confirmed

cases, the catching-up process of the

German economy that was achieved in Q3

would continue at a very slow pace in the

coming winter months, according to

Altmaier’s ministry.

For the full year 2020, the government

projected a price-adjusted decline in GDP

of 5.5 per cent before growing again by 4.4

per cent in 2021. However, the ministry

warned that the forecast depends strongly

on how the infection spreads.

Air India Express’s FY20 net profit climbs to Rs 412.77 cr

New Delhi : Air India’s low-cost international subsidiary

Air India Express on Wednesday reported its

highest-ever net profit, at Rs 412.77 crore for the financial

year 2019-20. The airline had reported a net profit of

Rs 169 crore in 2018-19.

The airline which started its commercial operations in

April 2005, has been reporting net profit continuously for

the last five years. “Efficient utilisation of assets in terms of aircraft, manpower and materials

and enhanced operational efficiency in key areas have significantly contributed to the

the record profits,” said K. Shyam Sundar, CEO, Air India Express. The airline’s operating

revenues grew by over 25 per cent from Rs 4,172 crore in FY2018-19 to Rs 5,219

crore in FY2019 -20. Besides, the number of passengers flown by Air India Express

increased by 11 per cent to reach 4.84 million from 4.36 million in 2018-19.

with footfalls still significantly lower than pre-

Covid levels.”

“Revenue from operations for 2Q FY21

increased by 29.7 per cent QoQ to Rs 36,566

crore, and at the same level as the last year

despite restricted store operations and lower

footfalls,” the company said in a statement.

“With revenues of Rs 41,100 crore and EBIT-

DA of Rs 2,006 crore, the performance marks an

industry leading performance with a ‘V shaped’

recovery over 1QFY21, as sales grew 30 per

cent, EBIDTA nearly doubling and margin

improving +170 bps QoQ,” it added.

In terms of the company’s ‘O2C – Refining

and Marketing’, the segment revenues for

2QFY21 increased by 33.3 per cent on QoQ to

Rs 62,154 crore primarily due to higher crude oil

price.

On the ‘O2C – Petrochemicals’, the company

said the segment revenue increased by 17.8 per

cent QoQ with higher prices across product portfolio

and higher volumes.

“PP, PE and PVC prices strengthened by 13

per cent, 17 per cent and 25 per cent QoQ,

respectively, due to tight supply with regional

turnarounds and improvement in demand. With

increase in feedstock prices, PX prices firmed 10

per cent QoQ while PTA and MEG prices

increased by 4 per cent and 10 per cent respectively,”

the company said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

HEALTH

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

13

High intake of vitamins

A, E and D linked to

fewer respiratory issues

Nutrition has key

role in cutting the

risk of several

infections

London : Amid the Covid-19 pandemic,

researchers, including one of

Indian-origin, have found that high

intake of vitamins A, E, and D may be

linked to fewer respiratory complaints

in adults. Nutrition has a key role in

cutting the risk of several infections,

although exactly how it boosts immunity

is complex and not fully understood,

the study, published in the journal the

BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health,

reported. "Micronutrient deficiencies

are often overlooked as a key contributor

to the burden of malnutrition and

poor health, presenting an additional

layer of challenge during the Covid-19

pandemic," said study author Sumantra

Ray from Imperial College London in

the UK. The researchers wanted to

explore whether the intake of these

vitamins from both diet and supplements

might be linked to the prevalence

of respiratory complaints in a nationally

representative sample of UK adults.

They drew on information provided

by 6,115 adult participants in the 2008-

2016 National Diet and Nutrition

Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS

RP) who had completed three or more

days of diet diaries.

Respiratory complaints were reported

by the participants and had not been

diagnosed by a clinician. They were

broadly defined, and included both

infectious and non-infectious conditions,

such as colds, chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease, and asthma.

The researchers looked at dietary

intake only and that from diet and supplements,

accounting for potentially

influential factors, such as age, sex,

weight (BMI), smoking, household

income and total energy intake. In all,

there were 33 cases of respiratory complaints.

These respondents were generally

older and less likely to say they

regularly took vitamins A, E, C or D

supplements.

There was no obvious association

between BMI and vitamin intake, or

between BMI and respiratory complaints.

But vitamin A and E intake

from both diet and supplements was

associated with a lower prevalence of

respiratory complaints in UK adults.

And vitamin D intake from supplements,

but not from diet, was associated

with fewer respiratory complaints,

prompting the researchers to suggest

that the findings add to the current scientific

debate on the value of vitamin D

supplementation.

"Our findings are consistent with the

hypothesis that supplementation is critical

to ensuring adequate vitamin D status

is maintained and potentially indicate

that intake of vitamin D from diet

alone cannot help maintain adequate

vitamin D status," the authors wrote.

Young smokers three

times more likely to

Google joins Mayo Clinic to use

AI for radiotherapy planning

die PREMATURELY

LONDON : Current smokers

faced nearly three times the risk

of premature death from cardiovascular

disease compared with

people who never smoked, with

the risk being higher among

those who began smoking during

childhood, say researchers.

"It was surprising to see how

consistent these findings were

with our earlier research and

with other studies from around

the world both in terms of the

substantial risks associated with

smoking and with the health

benefits of quitting smoking,"

said lead study author Blake

Thomson from the University of

Oxford in the UK.

The age at which a person

begins smoking is an important

factor, and those who start smoking

at a young age are at especially

high risk of dying prematurely,

the study, published in the

Journal of the American Heart

Association, reported.

However, quitting can substantially

reduce that risk, especially

for those who quit at

younger ages. Getting people to

quit smoking remains one of the

greatest health priorities globally.

Using data collected between

1997 and 2014, from the annual

US National Health Interview

Survey, researchers examined

the medical histories, lifestyle

habits and demographics of

smokers and non-smokers. The

study included 390,929 adults,

aged 25 to 74 years, 56 per cent

female. Occasional smokers

were excluded from the study.

Current smokers were grouped

by the age at which they began

smoking.

During the follow-up period,

4,479 people died before the age

of 75 from heart disease or

stroke.

After adjusting for potential

confounding variables, such as

age, education, alcohol consumption,

region and race,

researchers found 58 per cent

were never smokers, 23 per cent

were ex-smokers, and 19 per

cent were current smokers.

Among current smokers, two

per cent had started smoking

before age 10, and 19 per cent

began smoking between ages 10

and 14.

Those who quit smoking by

the age of 40 reduced their

excess risk of premature death

from cardiovascular disease by

about 90 per cent.

Quitting smoking at any age

offered benefits, and the earlier a

person quit, the better, according

to the findings. The analysis

found that when compared to

peers who had never smoked,

those who were current smokers

had nearly three times the risk of

dying prematurely from heart

disease or stroke.

The researchers said that

more research is needed to better

clarify the mechanisms by which

prolonged smoking from childhood

affects cardiovascular risk.

San Francisco : In a bid to

fight cancer, Google has collaborated

with Mayo Clinic on

research to develop an Artificial

Intelligence (AI)-based system

that can support physicians,

help reduce treatment planning

time and improve the efficiency

of radiotherapy. In this research

partnership, Mayo Clinic and

Google Health will work to

develop an algorithm to assist

clinicians in contouring healthy

tissue and organs from tumours,

and conduct research to better

understand how this technology

could be deployed effectively in

clinical practice.

Mayo Clinic is an international

centre of excellence for

cancer treatment with worldrenowned

radiation oncologists.

“Google researchers have studied

how AI can potentially be

used to augment other areas of

healthcare—from mammographies

to the early deployment of

Mayo Clinic is

an international

centre of

excellence for

cancer treatment

an AI system that detects diabetic

retinopathy using eye scans,”

said Dr Cian Hughes,

Informatics Lead, Google

Health.

More than 18 million new

cancer cases are diagnosed

globally each year, and radiotherapy

is one of the most common

cancer treatments. But

planning for a course of radiotherapy

treatment is often a

time-consuming and manual

process for clinicians. The most

labour-intensive step in planning

is a technique called “contouring”

which involves segmenting

both the areas of cancer

and nearby healthy tissues that

are susceptible to radiation

damage during treatment.

“Clinicians have to painstakingly

draw lines around sensitive

organs on scans—a timeintensive

process that can take

up to seven hours for a single

patient,” Hughes said in a statement

on Wednesday.

In a previous collaboration

with University College London

Hospitals, Google researchers

demonstrated how an AI system

could analyse and segment

medical scans of patients with

head and neck cancer—similar

to how expert clinicians would.

“Our research with Mayo

Clinic will also focus on head

and neck cancers, which are

particularly challenging areas to

contour, given the many delicate

structures that sit close

together”.

In this first phase of research

with Mayo Clinic, Google

hopes to develop and validate a

model as well as study how an

AI system could be deployed in

practice.

The technology will not be

used in a clinical setting and

algorithms will be developed

using only de-identified data,

Google said.


14 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 HEALTH

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Cognitive disorders may increase

risk of severe Covid-19 : Study

The findings, published in

the journal 'Brain,

Behavior and Immunity',

highlight the need for

special care for

populations with these preexisting

conditions during

the pandemic.

New York : Researchers have

claimed that dementia and other cognitive

disorders now appear to be the risk

factors for developing severe Covid-19.

The findings, published in the journal

'Brain, Behavior and Immunity',

highlight the need for special care for

populations with these pre-existing conditions

during the pandemic.

"We took a hypothesis-free approach

and the most statistically significant

ones are the cognitive disorders and

Type 2 diabetes," said study senior

author Kaixiong Ye from the University

of Georgia in the US.

"Right now, we don't know the

mechanisms behind these associations,

we only know these are more common

in Covid-19 patients," Ye added.

In a blind study, the researchers

analysed data from nearly 1,000 diseases

and two specific genes to compare

the health profiles of Covid patients

with those testing negative, looking for

commonalities in the patients.

The study relied on data from UK

Biobank, a long-term study of more

than 5,00,000 participants investigating

the respective contributions of genetic

predisposition and environmental exposure

to the development of the disease.

Analysing the genetic factors that

make some individuals at higher risk for

severe Covid-19, the team focused on

two genes: ACE2 and TPMPRSS2,

known to be critical for the virus to

enter into human cells.

"In the TMPRSS2 gene, we found

that a specific genetic variation is more

common in the Covid-19 patients," Ye

said, adding that while the discovery

was novel at the time, the team knows

more data now exists about host genetic

factors than even three months ago.

The research team also found that

variations in genes related to SARS-

CoV-2 infection may be associated with

severe Covid-19 that requires hospitalization.

"And we are starting to understand

how those genetic variations are

making a difference," Ye stressed.

"Working on one disease, the whole

field is converging together, around the

world, at the same time. It really showcases

the power of science," he said.

"What my group is doing is really

just data analysis, large-scale data mining,

but from vaccine development to

studies in patients, scientists are attacking

the disease from different aspects,

and that's moving us forward very

quickly in combating Covid-19." the

study author wrote.

Some RECOVERED COVID

patients can still carry virus

Close to 17 per cent of patients considered fully recovered from Covid-19

tested positive for the virus in follow-up screening, says a study

London : Researchers have reported that

some patients recovered from Covid-19

could still carry the virus, suggesting that

recovered patients should be more cautious

and avoid close contact with others.

According to the study, published in the

American Journal of Preventive Medicine,

close to 17 per cent of patients considered

fully recovered from Covid-19 tested positive

for the virus in follow-up screening.

Patients who continued to have respiratory

symptoms, especially sore throat and

rhinitis, were more likely to have a new positive

test result. This suggests the persistence

of these two symptoms should not be underestimated

and should be adequately assessed

in all patients considered recovered from

Covid-19.

“Clinicians and researchers have focused

on the acute phase of Covid-19, but continued

monitoring after discharge for long-lasting

effects is needed,” said study lead author

Francesco Landi from Catholic University of

the Sacred Heart in Italy.

The study included 131 patients who met

the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria

for discontinuation of quarantine at least

two weeks prior to the follow-up visit. The

WHO criteria specify that the patient should

be fever-free without fever-reducing medications

for three days, show improvement in

any symptoms related to Covid-19, be more

than seven days past symptom onset, and test

negative for the virus twice, with reverse

transcription PCR (RT-PCR) testing.

A new RT-PCR test was administered at

the time of post-acute care admission.

Demographic, medical, and clinical information

was collected, with an emphasis on

the persistence of symptoms and signs related

to Covid-19 such as cough, fatigue, diarrhoea,

headache, smelling disorders, loss of

appetite, sore throat, and rhinitis.

The findings showed that 16.7 per cent of

the patients tested positive again. There was

no significant difference between patients

with positive and negative test results in

terms of age or sex. None of the patients had

a fever and all reported improvement in their

overall clinical condition. Time since onset

of disease, number of days hospitalized, and

treatments received while hospitalised were

not significant. The only two symptoms that

were higher and significantly prevalent in

patients with a positive test were sore throat

(18 per cent vs four per cent) and signs of

rhinitis (27 per cent vs two per cent).

“Our findings indicate that a noteworthy

rate of recovered patients with Covid-19

could still be asymptomatic carriers of the

virus,” Dr Landi observed.

UP sets RECORD in

sanitizer production

Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh has set a record of sorts by producing

over 1.7 crore litres of sanitizer since March when the

lockdown was imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional Chief Secretary, Cane Development and Excise,

Sanjay Bhoosreddy said that the sanitizer production capacity

of the state was around six lakh litres per day.

"The demand was rather high in the beginning and sanitizer

production escalated. The demand has now stabilized," he

said. He further said that the total production of sanitizer in the

state was highest when compared with other states.

He said that cane mills and distilleries had been roped in by

the state government in the production of sanitizer which was

not only supplied to the government departments and hospitals

in the state, but also exported to other states, including Punjab,

Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Around 1.6 crore packs of sanitizers have been put into the

market. "Many companies were also given licenses to produce

sanitizer in the state. The aim is to provide sanitizer to people

at an affordable cost," Bhoosreddy said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

HEALTH

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

15

Cognitive disorders may increase

risk of severe Covid-19 : Study

New York : Researchers have

claimed that dementia and other cognitive

disorders now appear to be the

risk factors for developing severe

Covid-19.

The findings, published in the journal

'Brain, Behavior and Immunity',

highlight the need for special care for

populations with these pre-existing

conditions during the pandemic.

"We took a hypothesis-free

approach and the most statistically

significant ones are the cognitive disorders

and Type 2 diabetes," said

study senior author Kaixiong Ye from

the University of Georgia in the US.

"Right now, we don't know the

mechanisms behind these associations,

we only know these are more

common in Covid-19 patients," Ye

added. In a blind study, the

researchers analysed data from nearly

1,000 diseases and two specific genes

to compare the health profiles of

Covid patients with those testing negative,

looking for commonalities in

the patients.

The study relied on data from UK

Biobank, a long-term study of more

than 5,00,000 participants investigating

the respective contributions of

genetic predisposition and environmental

exposure to the development

of disease.

Analysing the genetic factors that

Gurugram hospital successfully

deals with complicated pregnancy

Gurugram : A private hospital in

Gurugram has successfully managed a

complicated pregnancy of a 35-year-old

woman, who was suffering from a rare

placenta Accreta/Percreta condition.

The case of this patient was complicated

as she had her placenta grown too

deeply into the uterine wall and bladder.

Placenta percreta

is a rare condition

which is

seen in 3 in 1,000

pregnancies and

is at an increasing

trend with rising

rates of c-sections.

Since the

risk with placenta

accreta is life

threatening, it can

only be handled

by a skilled

gynaecologist.

A team of doctors

led by Dr

Alka Kriplani

from Paras

Hospital, Gurugram saved the life of the

woman and her baby.

According to the doctor, the patient,

Kanchan Bhatia, was brought to the hospital

with complaints of vaginal bleeding

during the third trimester. Upon investigation,

it was found that she had a rare

condition called placenta accreta with

invasion into the bladder and lateral

pelvic wall.

She was suffering from the last few

months and visited many hospitals but

they refused to admit her due to severe

complications that could have arisen in

the case.

"The team of gynaecologists at the

hospital took the challenge to manage this

rare case. In such

cases, the placenta

detaches from

the uterine wall

after childbirth.

With a placenta

accrete part or the

entire placenta

remains attached.

This can cause

severe blood loss

after delivery and

even the mother

can die just after

the delivery.

Placenta accreta

is considered a

high-risk pregnancy

complication,"

Dr Kriplani said. She said the

patient was kept in the ICU for a day for

observation after the delivery and she did

very well in the post-operative period.

"This was an extremely challenging case

as such cases need advanced medical

care. Since we also have the necessary

high-end equipment, we performed this

surgery successfully," Dr Kriplani added.

Paris : A massive ongoing second

wave of the coronavirus pandemic

across Europe has prompted

many countries to tighten their preventive

measures, including reimposing

lockdowns, to stem the

spread of the disease.

On Wednesday evening, French

President Emmanuel Macron

announced that a nationwide lockdown

will be reimposed from

Friday, adding that the "virus

is circulating at a speed that

not even the most pessimistic

forecasts had anticipated".

France on Wednesday reported

36,437 new cases, bringing

the national tally to 1,235,132

with 35,785 deaths, according

to figures released by French

Public Health Agency.

Under the new lockdown,

the only authorized out-ofhome

trips will be "to go to

work, a medical appointment,

to provide assistance, shopping

or to take the air", said

Macron. The restrictive measures

will affect universities,

libraries, bars, cafes, restaurants and

gyms. Public gatherings will be

banned, and cultural ceremonies and

conferences suspended.

But unlike the first lockdown,

nurseries, primary schools and middle

schools will remain open, said

the President, arguing that "our children

would not be lastingly

deprived of education, of contact

with the school system." Also on

Wednesday, Germany announced a

partial lockdown starting from

November 2.

The country registered a daily

record high of 14,964 new cases,

taking the national caseload to

464,239, the Robert Koch Institute

(RKI), Germany's disease control

agency, said. The death toll rose by

85 to 10,183, according to the RKI.

Under the new round of lockdown,

entertainment and leisure

activities will be largely prohibited

as bars, restaurants, theatres, operas

make some individuals at higher risk

for severe Covid-19, the team focused

on two genes: ACE2 and TPMPRSS2,

known to be critical for the virus to

enter into human cells.

"In the TMPRSS2 gene, we found

that a specific genetic variation is

more common in the Covid-19

patients," Ye said, adding that while

the discovery was novel at the time,

the team knows more data now exists

about host genetic factors than even

three months ago.

The research team also found that

variations in genes related to SARS-

CoV-2 infection may be associated

with severe Covid-19 that requires

hospitalization.

"And we are starting to understand

how those genetic variations are making

a difference," Ye stressed.

"Working on one disease, the

whole field is converging together,

around the world, at the same time. It

really showcases the power of science,"

he said.

"What my group is doing is really

just data analysis, large-scale data

mining, but from vaccine development

to studies in patients, scientists

are attacking the disease from different

aspects, and that's moving us forward

very quickly in combating

Covid-19." the study author wrote.

EUROPEAN nations reimpose

lockdowns amid 2nd Covid-19 wave

and concert venues will have to

close until the end of November.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told

public broadcaster SWR on

Wednesday that it is time to break

the Covid-19 wave now. European

Commission President Ursula von

der Leyen on Wednesday called on

the European Union (EU) member

states to shoulder responsibility at

all levels to fight the second wave of

the pandemic.

Von der Leyen

announced new proposals

made by the

Commission to enhance

the EU-level coordination

to address the

health crisis, including

improving the flow of

information to allow

informed decision-making,

establishing more

effective and rapid testing,

making full use of

contact tracing and

warning apps across

borders, among others.

She underlined the

necessity of wearing a mask, good

hand hygiene, as well as avoiding

crowds and indoor spaces lacking

good ventilation. Last week, Ireland

decided to impose a nationwide

lockdown again due to the resurgence

of Covid-19 cases.


16 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Maharshi Valmiki's ideals will continue

to inspire countrymen : PM Modi

New Delhi : Prime Minister

Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted

people on the occasion of Valmiki

Jayanti. He said the ideals of the

saint, which were based on social

harmony, equality and justice, will

continue to inspire the countrymen.

"Best wishes to all of you on

Valmiki Jayanti. His ideal ideas

based on social harmony, equality

and justice will always inspire the

countrymen," the Prime Minister

tweeted.

Valmiki Jayanti is being celebrated

across India on the birth anniversary

of the famous sage Maharishi

Valmiki, who composed the epic,

Ramayana in Sanskrit. On this day,

followers of the Valmiki sect carry

out Shobha Yatras or processions and

Following attacks on Dalits,

leaders visit Koppal village

Koppal: Dalit leaders

from different

organisations visited

Agedal village in

Koppal district on

Friday, where upper

caste people allegedly

assaulted Dalit families.

They tried to instil

confidence among

Dalit families, who were

reportedly attacked by upper

caste people on Wednesday, by

holding an open meeting in

their area. Women shared their

worries and trauma over the

incident, and alleged that they

were manhandled by a group of

upper caste people.

Addressing the meeting,

Anand Bandari, a Dalit leader,

said that atrocities committed

upon Dalits were increasing,

and that the caste system was

sing devotional songs and bhajan.

Maharishi Valmiki is also called

the Adi Kavi or the first poet in the

Sanskrit language. He is also responsible

for writing the first ever

Sanskrit shlokas.

Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated on

the full moon night or "Purnima" of

the Ashwin month. This day is also

commemorated as 'Pragati Diwas'.

On this auspicious day many worship

the poet by reciting verses of the

Ramayana at Valmiki temples across

the country.

It is said that Maharishi Valmiki

did intense penance for years to attain

the stature of a great saint. Valmiki's

life teaches us that no one is born as

good or evil. It is one's deeds that

determine his greatness.

Typhoon Molave leaves 27 dead,

50 MISSING IN VIETNAM New Delhi : The India

Hanoi : Floods and landslides triggered

by typhoon Molave in Vietnam have left

27 people dead, 50 missing and 67 injured

as of Saturday morning, according to

authorities.

The country's Central Steering

Committee for Natural Disaster

Prevention and Control said the fatalities

were reported from the provinces of

Quang Nam, Nghe An, Dak

Lak and Gia Lai, Xinhua

news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the missing

and injured were mainly

reported in Quang Nam and

Binh Dinh provinces,

according to the committee.

The natural disasters

damaged 63 bridges along

with some national highways

and local roads, said

the committee. As many as

10,420 military officers and soldiers have

been mobilized for the search and rescue

work and to help locals cope with the now

weakened Molave, which is among the

strongest typhoons that hit Vietnam in the

past 20 years. Molave approached part of

Vietnam's central region on Wednesday,

bringing heavy rains and strong winds,

said the committee.

being followed in many villages

in Koppal district. “There

is a need of launching a movement

by secular people, farmers,

labourers and students to

fight against the caste system

being practised in villages,” he

added.

Other leaders like Srinivas

Nayak and Chitte Babu

demanded justice and protection

for Dalits in the district.

DSP Ujjinakoppa and circle

police inspector Uday Ravi

spoke at the meeting

and said that they have

registered complaints

from both parties.

When Dalits raised an

objection that false

cases were being registered

against them by

upper caste people,

police officials asserted

that FIRs will be

cancelled if complaints are

found to be false during questioning.

However, Dalit leaders

mentioned that a trend of registering

counter cases against

Dalits, on whom atrocities were

committed, was increasing in

the district. “This trend is forcing

Dalits to sell their house

and land to fight their cases in

courts. However, people who

barge into Dalit colonies and

houses are let off, and wander

freely in society,” they alleged.

Delhi's coldest October since 1962

Meteorological Department (IMD)

on Saturday said that Delhi recorded

the coldest month of October

since 1962.

"In 2020, Delhi recorded the

mean minimum temperature of

17.2 degrees Celsius in October,

which is the lowest since 1962

when it was 16.9 degrees Celsius at

Safdarjung monitoring station."

The IMD scientist said that the

dip is due to calm winds and

absence of cloud cover over the

capital city, adding that the minimum

temperature will further

plummet to 10 degrees Celsius on

November 1. The national capital

had also logged the minimum temperature

of 12.5 degrees Celsius,

the lowest in 26 years in the month

of October, on Thursday. The lowest-ever

temperature was logged in

1937 at 9.4 degrees Celsius,

Himachal's Keylong gets

first snow of season

Shimla : The high altitudes

in Himachal Pradesh on

Saturday were covered by a

thick white sheet of snow,

turning the hill stations like

Keylong more picturesque.

The minimum temperature

recorded there was minus 0.8

degree Celsius.

This was the season's snowfall

that froze Keylong and its

nearby destinations in Lahaul-

Spiti district. According to a

MeT department official,

Shimla and Manali, which

have been experiencing long

sunny days, recorded the minimum

temperatures at 11.4

degrees and 4.8 degrees

Celsius, respectively.

However, hills overlooking

Manali had snow. Shimla's

nearby tourist spot Kufri saw a

Srivastava added. According to the

IMD, the capital city generally

records a mean minimum temperature

of 19.1 degrees Celsius in the

month of October. Besides this, the

low of 9.3 degrees Celsius,

while it was 2.3 degrees in

Kalpa in Kinnaur district.

"High-altitude areas of

Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba,

Kullu and Kinnaur districts

maximum and minimum temperature

will hover around 31.4 and 13

degrees Celsius on Saturday. Wind

speed will be 11.1 kmph. The sky

will also remain clear.

experienced light snow in the

past 24 hours," the official

said. He said the weather

would largely remain dry in

mid and low hills till

November 5.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

17

INDIA- UAE DEFENCE COOPERATION

MOD- SIDM, CII, New Delhi Held on 27.10.2020

New Delhi (Samaj Weekly)-

UAE Ambassador to India H E

Dr. Ahmed Albanna delivered a

special address at the virtual

meeting on the theme: “India-

UAE Defence cooperation”

organized by CII, New Delhi,

said, At a very challenging

times, this important programme

is organized when the whole

world is facing a tough time.

UAE and India has reached a

comprehensive strategic partnership.

The two countries have developed

a deeper appreciation in

each other as multiple culture

and multiple ethnic society and

important member of the global

and regional community.

Our two countries signed

comprehensive strategic partnership

in Jan 2017 and India was

the first country for this agreement.

In the last five years, UAE

and India has exchanged five

heads of states visits, these

include two visits by his

Highness shiekh Mohammad bin

zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince

of Abu Dhabi and deputy

supreme commander of UAE

armed forces to India in Feb

2016 and Jan 2017 being the

chief guest at the Indian

Republic Day.

There were three important

visits made by honorable Indian

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Aug2015 Feb 2018 and of

course in Aug 2019 where he

was awarded one of the highest

award in the UAE.

UAE is the only country in

the Arab region which has been

visited by Indian Prime Minister

Honorable shri Narendra Modi

as a first visit after becoming

Indian Prime Minister.

Before I touch upon defence

cooperation area, I would like to

discuss little about our recent

achievements, the UAE’ participation

in India NIIF investment

fund as the first foreign institution

investor creating such a

platform. UAE is the first country

to participate in India’s

strategic petroleum reserves, a

consortium led by India ONGC

including Indian oil and Bharat

petroleum has been awarded

10% stake in the Lower Zakum

concession with the participation

fee of 2.2 billion dirham which is

around USD599 million.

The deal marks first time the

emirate of Abu Dhabi has awarded

a stake in a concession to an

Indian group. ADNOC and

Saudi Aramco signed a framework

agreement to jointly develop

the refinery and Petro chemical

with a co investment reaching

around 44 billion dollars.

UAE and India food security

have established logistic and

cold storage chain and processing

facility in three major states

i.e

Madhya

Pradesh,

Maharashtra and Gujarat with an

intention to triple the export of

food products from India to

UAE, currently from 2.2 billion

to 6 to 7 billion hopefully in the

next coming 3to 5 years.

The launch of rupees card in

UAE has been appreciated. The

UAE is the first country in the

middle east to facilitate and

arrange such arrangements for

the Indian rupees card in the

Arab regions.

Our bilateral in 1985 was

about 185 million dollars, now it

is 60 billion US dollars. India is

the second largest country in

term of foreign trade partnership

and we are the third largest to

India. If we look at the portofolio

of the investment, there are

great huge investments from

both. There are important viable

sectors that companies of the

two countries have been looking

forward to enter into collaboration

and more investment.

In terms of air connectivity,

1068 flight operate between

India and UAE today with 168

thousands seats capacity

between the two countries. There

is a huge demand and we are

looking forward to increase this

seat capacity. There is possibility

of reviewing the seat capacity

enhancement that was signed

several years ago.

In terms of India and UAE

defence cooperation, considering

our strategic relationship, I

strongly believe that this is a

very opportune time for India

and UAE to escalate defence

cooperation and specially for the

untapped potential and to get to

joint defense production through

collaborative partnerships

between our industries and government

covering our mutual

and strategic and commercial

interests.

Summaries of development

show that we are achieving our

goals counting on India as a

valuable and important partner .

UAE and India defence cooperation

will promote regional stability

and cooperation as partners in

peace.

Between the two countries

there are regular high level visits

with the purpose meeting several

manufacturer of defence products.

Not only this, these visits

also look at education, health

sector etc.

We have three high level

committees between India and

UAE. The joint commission

which is headed by our foreign

minister and Indian foreign minister

Dr S.Jai Shankar.

We have the high level investment

taskforce which is due to

meet hopefully sometime next

week, which is headed by UAE

side.

Of course, strategic dialogue

committee headed by our minister

of state of foreign affairs and

also from India side. Those committees

show the importance of

our relationship.

Mou was signed in 2107 that

was during the visit of HIS

Highness being the chief guest at

the republic day and the agreement

was signed between

Ministry of defence ,UAE and

Ministry of defence, India to

identify cooperation in manufacturing

technology, R&D and military

field.

Today India has opened up

defence sector further for foreign

investors.Indian ministry of

defence through newly

announced acquisition procedures

allow 74% FDI in the

defence sector through automatic

route.

We are also hopeful that soon

to be announced Indian defence

production exports promotion

policy 2020 will create more

opportunities for partnerships

between India and UAE.

The two countries are committed

closely to strengthen

Marine security in the gulf and

Indian ocean to preserve stability

and peace which is vital for

prosperity.

I am so optimistic about our

future together that our two

nations are poised to emerge

more stronger post the pandemic

of coronavirus. Since at the core

of our partnership lies the

strength of our people and people

to people.

Greece, Turkey pledge mutual

aid after 6.7-magnitude quake

Athens/Ankara : Greece and

Turkey have pledged mutual aid

after a massive earthquake measuring

6.7 on the Richer scale jolted

the Aegean Sea between the

Turkish coast and the Greek island

of Samos, killing 22 people and

injuring over 790 others.

The US Geological Survey

(USGS) said Friday’s earthquake,

which was centred off Turkey’s

Izmir province, triggered a minitsunami

that flooded Izmir and Samos,

reports the BBC. Seismologists monitoring

seismic activity in the affected

area have advised people to stay away

from damaged buildings, Xinhua news

agency reported. Numerous aftershocks

have been recorded so far, with

the strongest measuring 5 on the

Richter scale, according to a report by

the Greek national news agency

AMNA. The 6.7-magnitude quake was

which was felt as far away as Athens

and Istanbul and aftershocks as strong

as magnitude 6.2 are expected to follow,

Akis Tselentis, director of the

Geodynamic Institute of the National

Observatory of Athens, told AMNA.

Of the 22 victims, 20 were reported in

Izmir and two in Samos, who were

high school student. At least 786 were

injured in Izmir and eight others on

Samos. The quake damaged buildings,

mainly old constructions, and parts of

Samos’ road network, and material

damages have also been reported on

the nearby islands of Chios and Ikaria,

according to AMNA.

“Our condolences and thoughts go

to the families of the victims of the

earthquake in Samos and Izmir,”

Greek President Katerina

Sakellaropoulou tweeted. “Human

tragedy knows no boundaries. We

hope for the least possible fatalities,

while our duty now is to provide

immediate support to the island.”

In a post on social media, Greek

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

said: “I just called (Turkish) President

Erdogan to offer my condolences for

the tragic loss of life from the earthquake

that struck both our countries.

“Whatever our differences, these

are times when our people need to

stand together.” Relations between

Greece and Turkey have been particularly

strained in recent

months by a dispute relating

to control of territorial waters

in the Mediterranean and the

resources beneath them.

Meanwhile, President

Erdogan said his government

would help those affected by

the quake “with all the means

available to our state”. Also,

Greek Foreign Affairs

Minister Nikos Dendias

tweeted that he spoke with his Turkish

counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu,

expressing Athens’ readiness to immediately

send to Ankara members of its

disaster relief unit to help in extracting

people trapped in buildings

The two earthquake-prone countries

have experienced several destructive

quakes in recent years.

The rapprochement known as

“Greek-Turkish earthquake diplomacy”

started in the aftermath of the 1999

quake that hit both countries. In

January, more than 30 people were

killed and more than 1,600 injured

when an earthquake struck Sivrice in

Turkey’s eastern Elazig province. In

July 2019, the Greek capital Athens

was hit by a tremor that knocked out

power to large parts of the city.

A powerful quake that struck the

Turkish city of Izmit, near Istanbul, in

1999 killed about 17,000 people.

Durgapur barrage lock gate damaged,

panic of flood in Bengal villages

Durgapur (West Bengal) A portion of

lock gate of Durgapur barrage got severely

damaged on Friday night triggering

panic among villagers that it may lead to

inundation of a large part of low-lying

areas in West Bengal’s West Burdwan district,

officials said on Saturday.

According to state Irrigation

Department officials, the lock gate number

31 of Durgapur barrage suffered

heavy damages and became nonfunctional;

thereby failing to check the flow of

water. It resulted in continuous release of

huge quantity of gushing water from the

barrage. Engineers of the Irrigation

Department have already reached the spot

but the situation still remained “out of

control”, sources said.

Employees who man the lock gates

noticed that the metal lock gate was partially

damaged and water was flowing out

unchecked. Immediately the higher

authorities were sounded off last night.

The 692 metre-long Durgapur barrage

was built on the Damodar River in 1955.

It has 34 gates, including 2 under-sluice

gates. It is a 12-metre high barrage. “The

repairing job is currently underway,” an

official said. Water from the barrage is

supplied for drinking purpose, as well as

to various big units in the Durgapur-

Asansol industrial belt.


18 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : A 19-year-old Dalit

woman in India’s northern state of Uttar

Pradesh died late last month after

reporting she’d been gang raped and

brutally assaulted by four upper-caste

men. After fighting for her life for two

weeks, victim died in a New Delhi hospital.

According to media reports, police in

Uttar Pradesh quickly cremated the victim

in the middle of the night without

the consent of her family, barring journalists

and opposition politicians from

visiting her village and family in the

district of Hathras. The government

denies these claims.

The Hathras case prompted suspicions

of complicity and cover up by

police and Uttar Pradesh state officials,

capturing the attention of national and

international media. “They brutalize

and intimidate Dalits so that our community

knows their place and feel too

intimidated to seek better wages and

rights that should be guaranteed to

them,” Dalit rights activist Thenmozhi

Soundararajan told DW.

Culture of impunity

Dalit, also known as the “untouchables”

in India, languish at the bottom

of the South Asian country’s caste hierarchy.

Dalit women, who make up 16%

of India’s female population, face higher

risks of gender and caste-based violence

and are often exposed to widespread

sexual violence.

At least 10 Dalit women are raped

per day, and their vulnerability to rape

has increased by 44% in the last 10

years, according to a report by the

National Crime Records Bureau of

India.

Rape of Dalit woman fuels outrage

across India

AHuman Rights Watch (HRW)

report found that one of the reasons

Dalit women are more vulnerable to

violence is because they make up the

Muslim intellectuals and activists

speaking at a webinar on Sunday condemned

the Paris beheading of a school

teacher, Samuel Paty, by an 18-year-old

Muslim fanatic, Abdullakh Anzorov.

The webinar was organised by the

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy

(IMSD). Moderated by its convener,

Javed Anand, all four panellists are

office bearers and prominent members

of IMSD.

In his introductory remarks Anand

stated: “We are here to condemn in

unequivocal terms, no ifs and buts, not

only the man responsible for this barbaric

act but all those who had any role

in the instigation of the crime as also all

those who seek to justify it. We are here

not just to condemn the slaying of Mr

Paty, but also to demand the abolishing

of apostasy and banishing of blasphemy

anywhere and everywhere across the

world”. Islamic Scholar Dr Zeenat

Shaukat Ali, Mumbai-based, argued that

killing people for blasphemy or apostasy

is not permissible in Islam. The

Qur’an never mentioned such punishments.

The Qur’an has stood for peace

and justice in a non-violent way. It will

be very fruitful if scholars and ulema

scrutinised and sifted through Hadith

literature which has been pending over

the years. The confirmation of a Hadith

has to be in consonance with the verses

of the Qur’an, she said.

“Respectfully, the Paris beheading is

Why India’s Dalit women are

vulnerable to sexual violence

The recent rape case of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in northern India has shed light on how lower-caste women are disproportionately

affected by sexual violence. Tanika Godbole reports from New Delhi.

majority of India’s landless laborers and

scavengers, and a significant percentage

of them are forced into prostitution or

sold into brothels.

For this reason, Dalit women are

more likely to come into contact with

landlords and enforcement agencies,

who can then easily exploit and abuse

them with impunity. “For centuries,

landowning castes terrorize the Dalits.

They live and work their lands as their

Muslim intellectuals, activists condemn Paris beheading,

demand abolition of apostasy and blasphemy laws

a wake-up call to the ulema and leaders

of the Muslim world. It is time for both

the clergy and the parents to instruct

children that such acts of violence are

not only detested and abhorred by Islam

but are in total contradiction to Islam’s

reverence for peace, explicit recognition

of tolerance, compassion, social equality,

high moral order and spiritual depth,

Ali added.

Columnist, New Age Islam, Arshad

Alam, Delhi-based, in his presentation

contextualised the Islamist beheading of

the teacher. Pointing out that it was

planned and pre-meditated, he argued

the prime objective of such acts of terror

is to silence any critique of Islam. Alam

added that Charlie Hebdo cartoons must

be seen within a European tradition

which has for long satirised religious

traditions, particularly Christianity.

Since Islam is also now a European religion,

the same yardstick must be

applied to this religion also. Those who

want to retain blasphemy laws on the

statute are basically the same forces

which are opposed to the liberal secular

tradition and therefore should be rightly

understood as indulging in right wing

politics, he said.

Alam argued that it is incumbent on

Muslims to raise their voice against the

laws of blasphemy and apostasy as

worldwide they are the worst victims of

such laws. Moreover, these laws serve to

control and intimidate the minds of

own private kingdoms,” said

Soundararajan. “Just as there is no way

to understand sexual violence in the history

of the US without understanding

racism and slavery, there is no way to

understand the frequency and lack of

punishment of violence against women

in India right now without understanding

caste,” she added.

Systematic and structural discrimination

: For many Dalit women, law

Javed Anand

and order systems are not accessible.

Women seeking to file police complaints

often find it difficult to do so.

Evidence collection and witness testimonies

are even more challenging.

Police are slow to register complaints,

investigations concerning Dalit women

are often delayed, and officials often

raise doubts there was a rape.

If a case manages to be filed, the

woman is likely to face new obstacles

before a judge “whose gender biases

and caste affiliations can greatly influence

the judgment in the case,” HRW

reported.

Witnesses rarely agree to come forward

to testify or corroborate the victim’s

statement for fear of retribution

from perpetrators, who are often in positions

of relative power in the community.

Role of the media

Indian mainstream media often

ignore stories about women belonging

to marginalized communities.

“Caste-based violence is quite common,

but it doesn’t receive coverage in

upper-caste dominated newsrooms. It’s

common for Dalit villages to be burnt

down, for the cops to refuse a postmortem

for women who have been

raped, for the local administration and

upper-caste people to suppress cases

filed by Dalit people,” activist Manisha

Mashaal told DW.

But the Hathras case, unlike most

atrocities against Dalit women, made

global headlines and sparked nationwide

protests. “What made the Hathras

incident stand out is the blatant gaslighting

and harassment that Dalit families

face in the wake of such heinous crimes.

It was captured for the world to see,”

said Soundararajan. Many equated the

Hathras case with the 2012 bus gang

rape of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh in Delhi.

The rape triggered mass demonstrations

and resulted in a significant

increase in public discussion of crimes

against women in India. But activists

argue that India’s legal system remains

slow in hearing and prosecuting rape

cases, even more so in cases concerning

Dalit women.

“The atrocities are immense against

Dalit women, and the rape case in

Hathras is just the tip of the iceberg,”

said activist Mashaal.

-Tanika Godbole

Muslims and till the time they are not

abrogated, Muslims and others will not

have the freedom to discuss, debate and

critique, something which is cardinal in

order to develop a free and open society.

Advocate and mediator, A. J. Jawad,

Chennai-based, spoke about the similarities

between blasphemy and sedition as

weapons of power and control used by

theocracies and autocracies to suppress

dissent and to whip up mob frenzy. He

said that religion and nationalism are

excuses used to charge up emotions.

The anti-blasphemy laws and anti-sedition

laws are used to attack detractors

and dissenters by theocratic and autocratic

(far right) rulers.

He pointed out how in the 11th century

AD, Sunni scholars of law and theology,

called the “ulema,” began working

closely with political rulers to challenge

what they considered to be the

sacrilegious influence of Muslim

philosophers on society.

The most prominent in consolidating

Sunni orthodoxy, said Jawad, was the

brilliant and highly regarded Islamic

scholar Ghazali, who died in the year

1111. In several influential books still

widely read today, Ghazali declared two

long-dead leading Muslim philosophers,

Farabi and Ibn Sina, apostates for

their unorthodox views on God’s power

and the nature of resurrection. Their followers,

Ghazali wrote, could be punished

with death.

Ghazali’s declaration provided justification

to Muslim sultans from the 12th

century onward who wished to persecute–

even execute – thinkers seen as

threats to conservative religious rule.

The trend continues today, said Jawad.

Activist and writer Feroze

Mithiborwala, Mumbai-based, said

essentially the basic argument against

the cartoon controversy is that they

“mock” and “offend my religious sensibilities”

and thus should be banned. The

cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, which

undoubtedly hurt the feelings of ordinary

Muslims actually required a nonviolent

response, which would have

been far more effective.

On one hand, we have a murder committed

by a religious fanatic in the name

of blasphemy. On the other hand, there

is a secular French tradition of absolute

freedom of expression, which includes

the right to offend all religions,

Mithiborwala added. He said it’s high

time religious people realised one basic

truth: every religious text and tradition

is ‘offensive, blasphemous and heretical’

to the followers of other sects and

religions. The very concepts of blasphemy

and heresy are essentially anti-people

and anti-democratic, as their agenda

is to stymie any theological and intellectual

debate and discussion on the

issue of religious oppression and violence,

both ideological and structural.

Therefore concepts such as blasphemy

and heresy have no place in any conscientious

civilised society and must go,

Mithiborwala concluded.

A 2-minute silence was observed at

the beginning of the webinar as a mark

of respect for the slain teacher whom

Hassen Chalghoumi, an imam who

leads prayers at a mosque in a Paris suburb

described as “a martyr for freedom

of expression, and a wise man who has

taught tolerance, civilisation and respect

for others.” The imam added: “This is

not Islam, sorry, it’s not religion, its

Islamism, it’s the poison of Islam.”


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

19

Need to reflect : Why 80% Dalit girls faced

sexual abuse, 90% ‘considered’ suicide

In a major revelation, top Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has said that between 75 and 80 per cent girls, who come to study

at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), founded by Macwan about two decades ago off Ahmedabad to offer alternative training

options to manual scavenging and other caste based occupations, have experienced sexual violence or harassment.

Speaking a virtual seminar organized

by the Impact and Policy Research

Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, Macwan

said, girls particularly experience sexual

abuse in their villages when go for

defecating in the open. Most of the girls

who come to study at DSK are Dalit

and are from poor background.

Giving a specific instance of interaction

with girl students at DSK, Macwan

said, “During a session I raised a question

to whether anyone of them had ever

thought committing a suicide.

To my utter surprise almost

90% of them raised their hands,

which speaks volumes about

the trauma that youth go

through.” Claiming that our

schools have failed to fight the

trauma Dalit children, especially

girls, undergo, Macwan told

the researchers participating in

the seminar about the need to

“capture the impact of caste and gender

prejudices in the minds of young people,

and investigate social reasons as to

why suicide rates have doubled in the

last decade.” Macwan, who was speaking

on “Heinousness of many Hathras

amidst the Pandemic — Voluntarism,

the Way Ahead for Combating Caste

and Gender-based Violence”, wondered

why those at the very top of the power

structure failed to condemn the manner

in which the Hathras victim’s family

was treated even after the gangrape

incident on September 14 and her subsequent

death a fortnight later.

“Her body was forcefully burnt by

the power wielders knowing fully well

how to destroy crucial evidence that

would reveal the crimes”, he said, stating,

this stood in sharp contrast to “the

right of respectful burial was awarded

to dreaded terrorists and the convicts of

the heinous crimes as that of Nirbhaya.”

According to Macwan,

very unfortunately, even the

head of the Indian state,

President Ramnath Kovind,

though a Dalit, “hasn’t spoken

a word condemning the incident.”

Further, “There are 680

elected representatives at state

and national levels who are

Dalits, and their eerie silence

to speak against the brutal

incidents of caste violence including

Hathras is very disturbing.” Given this

framework, said Macwan, political

reservation to the scheduled castes is

proving to be “futile, as it has become

more of personal benefits and has not

generated any equality in society or

impacted the lives of the Dalits.” He

wondered whether suspension of political

reservation would bring about any

change.

There is news that in UK,

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled

(17/10/2020) 50 Pence ‘Diversity coin’

to celebrate Britain’s diverse history and

recognise the profound contribution

minority communities have made to the

shared history of the country. The coin

carries the message “Diversity Built

Britain”. This is in the backdrop of the

campaign led by ‘We too built Britain’

group. The release of the coin is the

beginning of the series which will honour

the country’s ethnic minorities.

There can be a detailed elaboration as to

how different ethnic minorities have

lived and made Britain their home. A

significant number of these are from

South Asia, including India.

The real import of this is the backdrop

of the thesis of ‘Clash of civilizations’

by Samuel Huntington, as per

which the present era is the one where

after the collapse of socialist Soviet

union, the clash is along the lines of civilizations.

Different religions will be in

conflict as per this thesis. “It is my

hypothesis that the fundamental source

of conflict in this new World will not be

primarily ideological or primarily economic.

The great divisions among

humankind and the dominating source

of conflict, will be that the cultural.

Nation states will remain the most powerful

actors in world Affairs, but the

principal conflicts of global politics will

occur between Nations and groups of

different civilizations. The clash of civilizations

will dominate global politics.

The fault lines between civilizations

will be the battle lines of the future.”

This theory dominated the global

scene particularly in the aftermath of

9/11 attack on World Trade Centre.

Diversity in Nation Building :

Contributes or Hinders?

Osama bin Laden called 9/11 jihad and

George Bush launching the attack on

Afghanistan used the word Crusade,

while Tony Blair, the then UK PM,

attributed ‘divine reasons’ for the

attacks on the countries of West Asia.

This theory did provide an ideological

cover for the attacks on different

countries by US and allies. It was primarily

driven by lust for control over oil

resources. The ‘Clash theory’ provided

cover for the violations done by

American axis always out to control

global resources, earlier in form of

direct colonization and now as imperialist

forces, influencing global economy

with an eye on oil resources. At ideological

level the best response to this

thesis came from the then President of

India, Dr K.R. Narayanan, who stated

that ‘civilizations don’t clash, it is barbarisms

which clash’.

The United Nation at that time was

led by Kofi Annan, who was the

General Secretary. He went on to

appoint a high level international committee,

cutting across different religions

and nations to come up with an understanding

of the world today and to recommend

the measures to restore the

amity of civilizations, cultures and people

of the of the World. The report (Mid

N o v 2 0 0 6 )

(http://www.unaoc.org/repository/report

– Ram Puniyani

.htm) is a landmark in more ways than

one.This committee came out with a

brilliant document, ‘Alliance of

Civilizations’.

There is not much awareness about

this global study, which aptly describes

the role of migrations, building of

nations by diverse communities through

alliances at multiple levels.

Talking of India, diversity has been

the hall mark of this society from long.

Christianity entered India, right in first

century. Already different religious traditions,

Jainism Buddhism were present

here. Islam came in 7-8 Century from

Malabar Coast through Arab traders and

later many of those who were victims of

Varna-Caste system embraced Islam

through Sufi saints. The Muslim

invaders coming from North West were

more for reasons related to power and

wealth. Buddhism had spread in various

South East Asian countries. Indians also

migrated to different parts of the World

mostly for economic purpose, employment

or greener pastures. UK has abundant

number of them, Similarly

America and Canada, now Australia has

lot of migrants from India. Earlier many

Indians did migrate to Caribbean’s,

Mauritius, and Ceylon among other

places.

The migrating communities have no

monolithic approach in the countries of

their migration. Most of them do maintain

their nostalgia for the country of

their origin, while relating to the societies

of their migration in different

ways. Today you will see a large numbers

of Indians in West Asia, particularly

in Gulf region. Here in India the sectarian

elements uphold the Non

Resident Indian’s nostalgia for India,

they also look down upon minorities

(Muslims and Christians) as foreigners.

There is an infinite diversity within the

Hindu fold itself. Indian culture has

been a total mix of diverse sections of

society, each contributing in their

unique ways. All our Literature, Art,

Architecture is a mix of contributions

from multiple streams.

India’s diversity has been multi-factorial

and at different layers. Different

communities have been living and celebrating

this diversity. Religious festivals

have been one of the strong platforms

for community interactions. In the area

of religions Bhakti and Sufi traditions

have upheld the diversity. While ‘melting

pot model’ of cultural integration

does apply partly, the main expression

of diversity has been a ‘salad bowl’

model where different components are

visible and still are thick part of the

whole. Our literature for example not

only mirrors the reality of society, it also

tells us the diversity which has been

prevailing here. We can learn this from

so many literary giants and see this

diversity of our culture. The same diversity

formed the base of freedom movement

of India, which gave space to each

of these components of diversity.

In contrast to those who were part of

national movement, the communal

streams went for monolithic concepts,

like ‘Urdu-Muslim-Pakistan’ and

matching ‘Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan’.

The leasers of freedom movement went

on to uphold this diversity as a strength

to coin phrases like ‘Unity in Diversity’.

One of the paramount leaders of freedom

Movement, Jawaharlal Nehru,

went on to express the same as a celebration

in his magnum opus, ‘Discovery

of India’.

Today we do need to learn from the

UK example where role of minorities is

recognised, appreciated and upheld.

One needs to give the similar acceptance

for diversity, to pave the path of

peace and progress.


20 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

We may in due time find a cure for

the deadly Coronavirus but the epidemic

of rape in India remains incurable. It

has only generated a herd immunity in

acting against such heinous crime to the

point of rape toleration. As almost all

women go through some form of sexual

harassment in their lives, most cases

go unreported to save some abstract

honour of the victim which also disgraces

and discredits the entire family.

It takes the most gory and brutal rapes

for the country to come out it of its

somnambulance. According to the

NCRB data[1], there has been a steady

increase in the crime against women

with 87 women raped in a single day

and one woman raped in every 16 minutes.

The horrifying details of violence

against women get worse in the case of

Dalit women where even filing an FIR

is a challenging task. Sadly, it took the

gruesome gangrape of Nirbhaya in

2012, in Delhi for the Country to come

out in the streets. A nation-wide stir led

to the revision of the rape laws in India

under Justice Verma Committee

Report’s recommendation[2] to redefine

‘rape’ in order to address the existing

legal lacunas by broadening the

existing flawed understanding of rape.

It also included acid attack, sexual

harassment, use of criminal force on a

woman with an intent to disrobe, trafficking,

voyeurism and stalking as part

of sexual assaults with stringent punishments.

The fact that these widespread

crimes against women were

legally unrecognised (especially stalking

and voyeurism) as sexual assault

shows the apathy and the normalising

culture of rape in our country.

As the unfortunate tragedy of

Hathras gang rape captured the media

glare with the politicians pouring in

and social media buzzing it. Mr

Markandey Katju, the former Supreme

Court judge of India and the Chairman

of the Press Council of India with a

long-standing judiciary service made a

Facebook Post[3] in all seriousness

stating that the rapes in the country are

due to the rising unemployment. He

further relates the rising number of

unemployed male youth of our country

with the uncontrollable sexual urges are

bound to increase the rapes because

they are unable to marry. Before I point

out the falsity and the utter farcicality

of the argument posed by the most

respected judge of our country who

may have decided the fate of many rape

victims, it’s important to analyse the

façade of condemnation of rape which

is stated in the first and the last line,

The horror of Hathras and the

culture of normalising rape

while the major part of the post negates

the condemnation as it goes on to build

an argument that validates caste ridden

patriarchy in naturalising the sexual

urges of men (and not women) in the

form of rape.

The argument posed by Mr Katju is

not just flawed but damaging at various

levels. Firstly, it promotes a false

understanding of rape as a socio-economic

phenomenon, thereby absolving

men of their crime. If rape is a by-product

of a systemic failure of governance

in the form of unemployment then it’s

understandable for men to rape women

for their ‘natural’ urges (not to forget to

mention that ‘natural’ is concomitant to

‘good’ in common parlance). What is

natural is seldom resisted. Additionally,

unemployment rarely impedes marriage

for men as most men usually

inherit some sort of property or land.

Contrastingly, lack of dowry does make

many women unmarriageable.

Secondly, for Mr Katju, male sexual

urges and desires are ‘natural’ like food,

it’s interesting how he speaks of sex

and food in the same breath while

ostensibly condemning the rape. By

equating sex with food, he again normalises

the rape culture by re-enforcing

male entitlement to female sexuality

and bodily claims and not surprisingly

in both motif of food and sex, women

are conspicuously present by their

absence as objects, in most cases

preparing food and bed for men.

Without distinguishing between sex

and rape, Mr Katju almost uses the

terms interchangeably further intensifying

the rape culture.

While sex is a natural urge in both

men, women and people with different

sexual orientation, its imperative to disengage

sex with rape. Sex is a biological

fact but rape is neither biological

nor natural and it is most often not an

act of sexual gratification, despite being

an extreme form of sexual aggression.

Rape is an act of cultural and sexual

domination. Rape is forced, non-consensual

and a complex act. Men can

rape for variety of reason, for sex, to

seek revenge, to punish, to put women

in their place or to show them their

‘aukaat’, for jealousy, to display their

power or lack of it, to besmirch the

family name, rape is a perfect punishment.

Also very often rape is accompanied

by bodily mutilation and violent

attacks indicating the male power and

control in marking their territory. The

Hathras gangrape of a Dalit girl by

upper caste men followed by unlawful

and undignified cremation of her body

is embodiment of the noxious interplay

of caste and patriarchy to maintain the

status quo. Mr Katju’s take on rape here

is not only unacceptable but is a dangerous

trend as it advertently or inadvertently

shifts the discourse on rape to

unemployment in an attempt to channelise

our anger and outrage into more

electorally beneficial issues because as

he implies rapes are too mundane

(“Numerous rapes have been taking

place daily since decades”) Hathras

gangrape is a cruel reminder of the

upper caste well-oiled machinery that

makes raping Dalit women acceptable

by easily undermining the legal and

social hurdles. Blaming it on unemployment

is compounding to the travesty

of justice.

Furthermore, the belief that married

women cannot be raped comes from

deeply entrenched patriarchal belief that

women are men’s property hence the

question of consent does not arise in

marriage. Historically rape has been a

‘property crime’ not against women, the

victim but the husband or the father

because raped women were akin to

‘damaged goods’ and hence their owners

should be compensated. If as Mr Katju

prescribes marriage to control rapes then

why do we have married men raping

women inside and outside marriages[4].

Surely Justice J.S Verma, who headed

the Verma Committee in the aftermath of

national outpouring and outrage against

Nirbhaya rape in 2012 did not agree with

Mr Katju as he considered marriage as

“not a valid” defence against rape.

Hence the Justice Verma Committee

maintained that the “relationship

between the accused and the complainant

is not relevant to the enquiry

into whether the complainant consented

to the sexual activity and the fact that the

accused and the victim are married or in

another intimate relationship may not be

regarded as a mitigating factor justifying

lower sentences for rape.”

Preposterous as it may sound, when

there is burglary or theft in our house,

do we look for reason for justification

of the theft, exploring the socio-economic

status of the burglar or lamenting

his unemployed and now presumably

unmarried state, then why is the prevalence

of rape to be blamed on rising

unemployment? It is precisely this

mindset that fails to recognise rape as

an individual crime on female sexual

autonomy and bodily sovereignty that

leads to the normalisation of rape.

While Mr Katju is trolled for his

post which he described as a ‘twitter

storm’ he remained undeterred and put

several such post reiterating his condemnation

of the rape with more justifications

and dismissing women’s sexual

urge with the ignominy of forced

pregnancies. In other words, women

don’t rape men due to fear of pregnancy

and also because men are physically

difficult to overpower. Unwittingly, Mr

Katju points out to the core and crux of

rape, and that is, the brazen and most

often brutal display of power, violence

and aggression which goes without

impunity and let’s not forget Mr Katju

condemns rape.

-Amina Hussain

HSIL announces Rs 320 crore investment in Telangana

Hyderabad, (Samajweekly) HSIL, India’s

second-largest glass packaging producer,

announced an investment of Rs 220 crore in

AGI Glaspac to set up a new facility manufacture

specialty glass.

The Greenfield facility in Bhongir,

Telangana will be operational by the end of

September 2022. The facility will have a manufacturing

capacity of 150 tonnes per day and

will include one new furnace with five manufacturing

lines spread across 15 acres.

In a context of strong global demand for

high-end specialty glass bottles, AGI Glaspac

will also focus on exports to the USA,

Australia, and a few European countries.

The high-quality specialty glass products

will cater to industries such as pharmaceuticals

including vials, perfumery, cosmetics, and

high-end liquor. The state-of-the-art facility

will be equipped with cutting-edge technology

rooted in the principles of digital manufacturing,

and will also create job opportunities in

the region.

AGI Glaspac already has two manufacturing

plants in India, one in Sanathnagar and the

other one in Bhongir, Telangana with an overall

capacity of manufacturing 1,600 tonnes

container glass per day.

“I am very excited that we are foraying into

the production of specialty glass, as it further

strengthens our footprint in the glass packaging

segment. This segment is set to gain

momentum from the increasing marketing

strategies and advertisements implemented by

high-end perfumery, liquor, and cosmetics

companies besides, the rising trend of online

shopping which would propel the growth

across the country,” said Sandip Somany, Vice

Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL.

AGI Glaspac is India’s second-largest and

the most profitable glass packaging manufacturer.

The company develops a comprehensive

and highly appreciated range of standard

designs catering to marquee clients in alcoholic

and non-alcoholic beverages, fast-moving

consumer goods, retail, pharmaceuticals,

and edible oil industries.

Meanwhile, HSIL, also the makers of the

iconic brand Hindware, announced an investment

of Rs 100 crore in their plastic pipes and

fittings solution business to increase the production

capacity at the Sangareddy, Telangana

plant. Through the investment, the company

aims to augment the production from current

30,000 tonnes to 48,000 tonnes by September

30, 2022. Despite the ongoing pandemic, there

has been a significant increase in the demand

of CPVC and UPVC pipes and fittings.

The strategic investment will help the company

cater to the requirements from the customer

base, optimize the lead-time, and consistently

meet the future demands from various

markets, the company said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

21

Former SOLDIERS on mission to map

Ganga pollution face cash crunch

New Delhi : Ex-Armymen, who

are slated to embark on a 5,000-km

Ganga parikrama next month in a bid

to map the pollution of the nation's

third largest river, are now facing cash

shortage and could have to cancel the

seven-month-long walkathon if the

funds do not start trickling-in.

These daring veterans were to start

their journey on November 25 from

the holy river's genesis 'Gomukh' to

'Gangasagar', the point at which it

merges into the sea in the Bay of

Bengal, and then return to the starting

point.

"While we were doing fine up until

the pandemic started; post the reopening,

we are finding it increasingly difficult

to sustain it. Many have come

forward from different religions and

countries but the response from within

India has been tepid," said Colonel

Manoj Keshwar, Founder of Atulya

Ganga told IANS.

He added, "We will try to manage it

for few weeks, if the funds do not start

trickling in even by then, we may be

forced to cancel the parikrama. We do

not want to give up or stop until we

have covered 5,000 km track up and

down the Ganges, but we cannot do

that without financial support."

Colonel Manoj Keshwar further

said that the team has approached the

Tourism Ministry, Jal Shakti Ministry,

Central Pollution Control Board and

met with various ministers and stakeholders

to seek help. 'Mundaman

Parikrama' will take around seven

months to complete, during which the

veterans plan to hold public meetings

to mobilise participation of more people

living along the river towards the

cause that has both environmental and

religious significance.

The team plans to hold public meetings

and visit schools along the river

course for creating mass awareness.

A tracker will be developed to keep

a tab on an increase or decrease in pollution

in and around the river. A report

in this regard will be handed over to

the Prime Minister's Office and other

ministries concerned.

As per the rules of 'Mundaman

Parikrama', the person engaged in the

exercise is not allowed to cross the

river at any point, except at Gomukh

and Gangasagar. The person can move

away from the banks for only a maximum

of one yojan or 13 km and must

see the holy river once in 24 hours.

The team will undertake the

Parikrama for at least 10 years.

Records will be maintained to cross

check on progress in pollution reduction

in and around the river.

"Even when we were in Army, we

always thought of Ganga as a saviour,

the source of nourishment for millions

living on its banks. It was perhaps this

strong sentiment towards the river that

motivated us to organise the first ever

Mundaman Parikrama. The aim was to

make ganga cleaning a fun activity,

while making it a great learning experience

as well," Keshwar added.

What's in a name? Everything, Kamala Harris tells America

New York : Democratic Vice

Presidential nominee Kamala Harris is

turning the final stretch of her campaign

to the threshold of American

political history into a teaching

moment on accurate pronunciation as

an expression of common courtesy

and a nod to respecting world cultures.

Harris' first name Kamala has long

been mispronounced in US political

circles. The maximum mangling has

happened in the last few weeks, as

Republicans have repeatedly poked

fun at Harris' first name, during an

ongoing national reckoning on racial

politics. Fox News' Tucker Carlson

and more recently Georgia Senator

David Perdue do more than mispronounce

Kamala Harris' first name.

They jump off the deep end. "KAHmah-lah?

Kah-MAH-lah? Kamalamala-mala?

I don't know.

Whatever," Perdue, who has

worked across the aisle with Harris for

three years in the US Senate, said in

his speech at a recent campaign rally

for President Donald Trump. "I think

that the name that your parents give

you, whoever you are, meaning whatever

your gender or race or background

or language your grandmother

speaks, is a very special thing," Harris,

56, told the latest edition of PEOPLE

magazine in an interview with her husband.

"Many cultures have naming ceremonies.

It is a gift that is an incredible,

familial gift. The family gives the

child a name and so I come at it from

that: not about myself, but for everyone...

Respect the names that people

are given and use those names with

respect," Harris said. Kamala means

'lotus' in many Indian languages and it

is a well loved name for girl children.

"It's about respect," Harris told

PEOPLE, "and it's about respect for

all that comes with a name".

Apart from the now du jour storyboard

on how to say 'Kamala' the right

way, a fresh burst of Kamala Harris

content is washing over media coverage

the weekend before the big night

on November 3.

If reporters aren't scrambling to

Harris' mother's hometown Chennai,

they're tracking down online groups

devoted to 'Chittis' (aunt in Tamil,

Harris' mother tongue) and crunching

data on how online narratives related

to Harris have zeroed in much more on

personal identity, compared with the

men in the presidential race. "Family,"

Harris had said during her nomination

speech, "is my uncles, my aunts, and

my Chittis".

WNYC has a report out on 'Chitthi

Brigade', a political sisterhood of 150-

200 members stretching across 20

states, including Ohio, Arizona, Texas,

Georgia, and Pennsylvania. "It brings

together women of three generations,

from their 20s to their 70s, all of

whom are committed to helping elect

the Biden-Harris ticket and to inspiring

one another during the chaos of the

presidential campaign."

A Washington Post "perspective"

piece is headlined "Kamala Harris

knows things no vice president has

ever known". The author writes about

the "profoundly moving" nature of

Kamala Harris simply doing the paces

as a woman. "That she has thought,

talked, purchased, exercised, sought

medical care, sought justice, laughed

and bitten her tongue as a woman."


22 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

BABA SAHEB S LEGACY

AMBEDKAR BHAWAN JALANDHAR

Jalandhar (Samaj Weekly)-

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar started his

Punjab election tour from Jalandhar

and addressed a gathering of lakhs of

people here on 27th October, 1951. He

had in his heart the pain of overcoming

the crisis of his society which made

him not giving priority to government

job. After getting higher education from

England he came back and joined politics

as independent to serve his community.

Babasaheb said in his speech,

“When I came from England after getting

my degree in Doctor of

Philosophy, there was nobody in India

with such qualifications. So when I

reached Bombay and settled in the

Mohalla from where I had gone, the

Bombay Government after a great difficulty

found my place, as nobody knew

where I was residing – it was such an

unpopular place – and approached me

to accept the post of Professor of

Political Economy. I refused the offer.

If I had accepted that job, I would have

been at least the Director of Public

Instructions. I would have got three or

four thousands of rupees per month. I

refused the post because I had a great

feeling for the service of my community

which I could not have done remaining

in that service. A Government servant,

you know, cannot serve his community

as he has to go according to the

wishes of the Government and follow

the policy of the

Government. After

earning some money

for two-three years, I

again went to England

for further studies and

came back as a

Barrister. When I

returned to Bombay, I

was again asked by

Bombay Government

to accept the post of a

District Judge. I was

offered Rs. 2000/- per

month and promised

that I will be a High

Court Judge after some

time. But I did not

accept that also. My

income although, from

the other sources at that

time was only Rs.200/-. In 1942, I had

to face two questions. One was to serve

as a High Court Judge and the other

was to join Government of India as a

member of the Viceroy’s Executive

Council. Had I joined the High Court,

I would have received Rs. 5000/- per

menses as pay and Rs. 1000/- as pension

after retirement but I did not do

that. I entered politics. I got birth in

Achhut community and will die for my

community and the cause of my community

is supreme to me. I did not join

any party or body. I remained independent

while in the Congress

Government, I

remained true to my

people. Many people

thought that I

had joined the

Congress Party as I

had accepted the

C a b i n e t

Ministership of the

C o n g r e s s

Government. The

critics pointed out

that Dr. Ambedkar

had joined Congress

and why the

Scheduled Castes

people should continue

to remain in

the Scheduled

Castes Federation. I

explained about it at

Lucknow that earth and stone are two

different things and they can never mix

together. Stone will remain the stone

and the earth will remain the earth. I

L R Balley, Founder

Trustee Ambedkar Bhawan

and Editor Bheem Patrika

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar with Seth kishan Dass, Pritam Ramdaspuri and others.

am like a rock(Stone) which does not

melt but turns the course of rivers.

Wherever, I may be, in whatever company

I may find myself, I would never

lose my separate identity. If anybody

asks my co-operation I would gladly

give it for a worthy cause. I co-operate

with the Congress Government for four

years with all my might, and with the

sincerity in the service of my motherland.

But during all these years I did

not allow myself, to merge into the

Congress organization. I would gladly

help and co-operate with those who are

sweet-tongued but whose intention and

action go against the interest of our

people.”

Babasaheb said that we can have one

power and that is the political power.

This power we must win. Armed with

this power, we can protect the interest

of our people.

To perpetuate the legacy of

Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar in Jalandhar

where he delivered his speech to lakhs

of people, the eminent writer, thinker

and editor of Bheem Patrika, Shri

Lahori Ram Balley and Shri Karam

Chand Bath bought that piece of land,

in the name of Ambedkar Bhawan

before 1963, by collecting one-one

rupee from the people. Then Shri

Balley Ji formed a Trust in the name of

‘Ambedkar Bhawan Trust’ in 1972 to

take care of this property. At present the

Board of Trustees of Ambedkar

Bhawan contains Dr. Ram Lal Jassi –

Acting Chairman, Dr. G. C. Kaul –

General Secretary, Baldev Raj

Bhardwaj – Finance Secretary, LR

Balley (Founder Trustee) and KC

Sulekh, Dr. Surinder Ajnat, RPS Pawar

IAS (Retd.), Chaudhary Naseeb Chand

HAS (Retd.), Sohan Lal DPI – Colleges

(Retd.), Dr. Rahul and Dr. TL Sagar as

the current trustees. From the very

beginning, the Ambedkar Bhawan has

been the center of activities for the

propagation of Baba Saheb’s ideology.

The meetings, seminars and missionary

discussions are organized in ordinary

course in Ambedkar Bhawan. In

collaboration with “Sewa-PTU” organization,

free coaching is provided to

young educated boys and girls for competitive

examinations for jobs in banks,

insurance companies, railways, SSB,

Service Selection Commission etc. and

computer and personality development

courses are also imparted to the children

in collaboration with “Speed”

organization. There is also a library in

the Ambedkar Bhawan where Indian

and foreign scholars do research work.

The building has a community hall

which is provided on a very nominal

rent to the needy for social and cultural

functions. In the courtyard of the building,

in collaboration with

Ambedkarites, Buddhists and other

associates, a statue of standing Tathagat

Gautam Buddha was erected in 2015

which has become a center of attraction

in the area.

Mr. Balley also formed the Ambedkar

Mission Society Punjab, whose activities

have been going on continuously since

the 1970s from Ambedkar Bhawan for

the promotion of the mission. The

Ambedkar Mission Society has produced

thousands of Ambedkarite intellectuals.

When Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar

was critically ill on 30th September,

1956, Shri LR Balley made a promise to

him (Babasaheb) to spread the

Ambedkar Mission throughout his entire

life. On the day of mahaprinirvan of

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar on 6th

December, 1956 Shri LR Balley

resigned his permanent Government job

and dedicated his life to Ambedkar

Mission. Since then he did not look

back, Even today, at the age of 90 plus,

Shri LR Balley is giving the message of

Ambedkar Mission to the society from

Ambedkar Bhawan, Jalandhar.

Baldev Raj Bhardwaj

Finance Secretary

Ambedkar Bhavan Trust

(Registered), Jalandhar.

Mobile: 98157 01023


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

WORLD

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

23

National Education Policy 2020 : A Fall

into the Abyss of Neo-colonization

In the new National Education Policy

2020 (hereinafter NEP), there has been

a quantum leap towards neo-colonization

of Indian education via privatization

to further corporatization of education.

There is a crucial need to understand

this new dimension of the NEP.

Significantly, under the NEP, foreign

universities and foreign direct investment

(FDI) have been allowed entry in

the realm of higher education. The

country is already full of private

schools, colleges, institutes and universities.

Alongside consumer goods, electronic

and print media is replete with

advertisements of private universities.

Even Presidents-Vice-Presidents of the

country participate in the programs of

these private elite universities.

Owners of private universities want

land in cities or around cities to establish

their ventures. Governments provide

the land of farmers to them at

cheap prices in so-called ‘public interest’.

In some places, this facility is provided

to private players of education by

creating complexes/clusters. For example,

the Government of Haryana

acquired the 2006 acres of fertile land

in 9 villages of Sonepat and laid the

foundation of Rajiv Gandhi Education

City (RGEC) for private educational

institutions in 2012. At that time the

market price of the land was above one

crore rupees per acre, the government

had decided to give compensation of

just 12.60 lakh rupees per acre to the

farmers. From the scheme to the construction

of RGEC, all the work was

done by foreign institutions/companies.

The land now is home to many elite

universities like Jindal, Ashoka and

SRM.

Hereafter, the governments will do

all this work for foreign universities.

There is no dearth of leaders and intellectuals

who consider private education

system and foreign universities as

panacea for ‘world-class standards’ of

India’s education system. So, in the

coming years, the campuses of foreign

universities can be spread like private

universities. Even though a joint document

of the World Bank and UNESCO

(The Task Force 2000) itself states that

“there are prestigious universities from

developed nations offering shabby

Kurukshetra : “We require minimalism

to take care of our needs by

using minimax strategy (minimising

the possible loss) by decision rule as

the worst case with professional

ethics,” said former Vice Chancellor

and Needonomist Professor M.M.

Goel, retired from Kurukshetra

University. He was addressing the participants

of 2nd online Short-Term

Training Program (STTP) sponsored

by AICTE at Panipat Institute of

Engineering & Technology (PIET)

Samalkha concluded today. His topic

courses in poor and developing countries

using their renowned names, without

assuring equivalent quality.”

Foreign universities in India are purported

to be from universities in North

America and Europe. While thinking

this, the truth is forgotten that the truly

prestigious universities there have

acquired that reputation based on the

colonial plunder, and, of course, the

consistent intellectual engagement

of150-200 years.

Just as the laws of of social justice or

reservation in the admissions/scholarships

of learners and appointments of

teachers are not applicable in private

universities, the same will not happen in

foreign universities.

This desire has been expressed in the

NEP that private colleges, institutes,

universities should be kept free from

strict regulation. It seems that the government

in favor of light regulation for

the private players of the country will

abstain from strict regulation for the foreign

players as well. The term constitutional

reservation is not mentioned even

once in the entire NEP document. It has

been rightly said in opposition to the

NEP that this is a document to destroy

the public education system. Now foreign

universities will also come here.

There will be no constitutional principle

of social justice in this big market of

education.

But this is not the only case. All this

was already present in the situation of

privatization of education. The NEP

includes education curriculum (literacy/skill-centric),

class-stepping

(5+3+3+4 – students with rich backgrounds

ahead, from disadvantaged

backgrounds backward, with most of

them out of the race for higher education).

And the method of teaching

(online-digital-e-learning) has been

decisively made keeping in mind the

needs and profits of corporate capitalism.

Due to the deep-rooted socio-economic

disparities in Indian society,

which has deepened in the last 3

decades of neo-liberalism, as stated by

Anil Sadagopal, this education-policy

will create a 10 percent costlier global

work-force for the corporate sector. The

remaining pushed-off students will

work as technicians and laborers in a

was “Needonomics for Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs) 2030”.

Dr. Akhilesh Mishra program coordinator

delivered the welcome address

and introduced Prof. Goel.

He said that there is a close relationship

between decluttering and

manifesting the lifestyle based on needonomics

for reviving the economy

suffering from recession during covid

crisis. We need to stop wastage of food

and grains to ensure zero hunger as

second target of SDGs even if we

don’t rely the 94th ranking among 107

– Prem Singh

nations in terms of Global Hunger

Index by questioning the credibility of

the data releasing agencies, told Prof.

Goel. To improve SDG index ranking

of India from 117th, we have to use

full potential of schemes under

Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan for generating

employment by treating business

more than money making as

social entrepreneurs with moral values,

believes Prof. Goel.

He believes that the SDGs are

shared goals and all of us are required

to contribute in achieving them and

globalized economy. With this, a vast

army of unemployed will remain as it is

now. The nature of knowledge/epistemology

has also been changed along

with the way of imparting knowledge in

the NEP : The knowledge is not predetermined

in the context of the individual

and society or the world, it is a predetermined

text designed to serve the

existing corporate-capitalism; This lesson

is best taught by private

schools/universities and foreign universities;

Government schools/universities

should either teach that lesson, otherwise

be prepared to be abandoned.

The NEP is a complete project to

enslave the minds of the learners to the

corporate capitalist system. The terms

such as scientific approach, critical

thinking, creativity, cognitive power,

sensitivity, diversity, plurality etc. have

no meaning for an enslaved mind. An

enslaved mind would not recognise the

socio-economic inertia and inequality

prevailing in the society. Such words

written under ‘Introduction’ in the NEP

seem hollow. The phrases such as

‘super-power of global knowledge’,

‘global standards of education’, ‘rich

heritage of ancient and eternal Indian

knowledge and thought’, etc. have been

written or spoken to pat the back of policy-makers

and the 10% global laborers

so that realization of slavery should not

hurt the latter.

The empty talks of Prime Minister

and his ministers regarding the NEP can

be understood. The organization to

which they belong is fundamentally

incompetent for the cultivation of spirit

of freedom – whether it is the spirit of

national freedom or the basic spirit of

freedom associated with mankind. But,

as socialist leader Kishan Patnaik said,

slavery has pierced the minds of most

big intellectuals in India. Many of them

have criticized the NEP for not completely

removing governmental regulations

over private educational institutions;

They do not like the ‘light but

tight’ method proposed in the NEP;

Some say that such good things in the

NEP can become fruitless due to the

narrow and communal attitude of the

current government; Some say that

everything is fine except for the imposition

of Hindi and Sanskrit; Foreign universities

and foreign direct investment

are a major achievement of the NEP, so

on and so forth.

In fact, as Anil Sadgopal has said,

‘The language and presentation of the

NEP is the most misleading and contradictory

of all education policies ever

made.’ But this ‘trick’ of those who

drafted the NEP can be effective only

for the general public; not for intellectuals.

Actually, the NEP of corporate-

India thrives by incorporating the intellectuals

and their children living in it.

Therefore, this cannot be done simply

by saying that the NEP has been made

by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

(RSS) to create its ‘Hindu-Rashtra’. The

Hindu-Rashtra of the RSS has no problem

in being subordinate to the newly

colonized corporate-India in the same

way as it was not bothered about slavery

under a colonial power. The real question

would be : what do the advocates of

the constitutional Indian-nation

(Bharatiya Rashtra) really

believe/want? Do they want the Indiannation

to be subordinated to corporate-

India? Under the NEP, the politicalintellectual

leadership, which had

approved the neo-colonialist clutches on

the country, wants to make the present

and future generations a natural slave of

justifies sanskars to be imbibed as a

necessary and sufficient condition for

ensuring inclusive growth as care for

the cared- less and use of the usedless

people.

For exploring the path ahead for

achieving SDGs, we need concrete

plan of action for controlling population

which is otherwise given lip service,

said Prof. Goel. SDGs are interconnected

and indivisible and balance

the economic, social and environmental

dimensions of sustainable development,

told Prof. Goel.

neo-colonialist designs. That is why the

NEP can be called a long and unending

leap into neo-colonization.

Adivasis, Dalits, backward, minority

communities already pushed to the margins

in the matters of education will be

further marginalized by the NEP. The

‘digital obsession’ of the government

and the NEP will not allow them to

reach higher education. There should

have been a natural and fierce opposition

from their side. But their organizations/individuals

have not yet raised

their voice of protest. It has been clear

since long that the private sector is

being promoted from school education

to higher education at the cost of the

public education. In the absence of public

education, the provisions of social

justice will be compromised.

Dr. Rammanohar Lohia gave the formula

to bring forward five groups of

Indian population – tribals, dalits,

women, backward, poor Muslims – for

the creation of modern India. The leaders

of these groups used that formula

only to score electoral victories.

Whereas Lohia’s belief behind the formula

was that the ‘Bahujan Samaj’ of

India has simultaneously remained

independent from the rest of society by

archaic Brahminical and new colonial

orders i.e. values and beliefs. If this

mind will play a leading role in the creation

of modern India, it will get rid of

the mixture of Brahminical and colonial

orders. But the presiding intellectuals

left no stone unturned in defying and

condemning Lohia during the reign of

Nehru and Indira. Lohia was excluded

from courses ranging from school to

higher education. Because those very

intellectuals had their ready-made formulas

for modern India.

Looking at the situation, the fact is

we have squandered away the opportunity

to build a modern Indian state. The

main basis of the struggle to maintain

some scope for constitutional rights in

corporate-India could be found in the

realm of the hard working ‘Bahujan’

population. This calls for political consciousness;

opposition to the NEP can

be the basis for building this much

needed political consciousness.

(The writer teaches Hindi at

Delhi University)

We require minimalism to take care of our needs and use

minimax strategy (minimising the loss) by decision rule as a

worst case with professional ethics : Prof. M.M. Goel

Prof. M.M. Goel


24 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Arrests in BHIMA KOREGAON case frame a

transformation in India’s polity and police force

Bhima Koregaon is a village in

Maharashtra’s Pune district where, in

1818, Dalit soldiers of the British army,

mostly Mahars, trounced the troops of

the local ruler, Peshwa Bajirao II, a

Brahmin. On January 1, 2018, like

every year, Dalits of Maharashtra, mostly

Mahars, gathered to commemorate

this event. On the eve of the event, an

Elgar Parishad (“Congress for Speaking

Aloud”) in Pune, whose organisers

included two retired judges, saw speakers

contesting “homogenising

Hindutva” and criticising the Narendra

Modi government. The police allege

that this was the provocation for violence

at Bhima Koregaon — participants

of the event were attacked by

upper-caste Hindu nationalists. They

retaliated, leading to the death of one

person. A Dalit activist filed a complaint

against two men, Sambhaji Bhide, who

had past links with the Sangh Parivar,

and Milind Ekbote, a former BJP corporator

who had been jailed several times

— on one occasion, for participating in

a communal riot. The latter went to jail

briefly, but the police, in spite of the

report showing both men guilty of “a

well-planned conspiracy,” began looking

at a different angle after a disciple of

Bhide, Tushar Damgude, filed a complaint.

This shift took place while the

Pune-based Forum for Integrated

National Security — seen as close to the

RSS — was putting forth the notion of a

Maoist conspiracy. Soon after, the

police made new arrests — the accused

were presented as “urban Naxals”.

The expression “urban Naxals” designates

alleged urban Maoists — in contrast

with those in rural India, particularly

the country’s tribal areas, which

are the crucible of the Indian version of

Maoism, “Naxalism”. This expression

was coined by Arun Jaitley in 2014 to

describe activists of the Aam Aadmi

Party, a regular political outfit. But its

current usage owes much to Bollywood

film director Vivek Agnihotri, who

defines an “urban Naxal as an intellectual,

influencer or activist who is an

invisible enemy of India”.

The idea of such a conspiracy was

propagated, however, by the Sangh

Parivar. A 2019 booklet attributed to the

RSS, to which Agnihotri also contributed,

argued that “urban Naxals”

had not only been “infiltrating police,

New York : Researchers have

developed a smart fabric that can

detect non-metallic objects ranging

from avocadoes to credit cards.

The fabric, named Capacitivo,

senses shifts in electrical charge to

identify items of varying shapes and

sizes, according to a study from

Dartmouth College (DC) in the US

and Microsoft Research.

"This research has the potential to

change the way people interact with

computing through everyday soft

objects made of fabrics," said study

senior author Xing-Dong Yang from

DC. "Existing sensing techniques

armed forces, bureaucracy and civil

services” but had also mounted a “campaign

to overthrow the Indian government”

and that “all Left-leaning professors

and journalists [we]re Naxal supporters

and even support[ed] violence

by Naxal groups…” In September

2018, the then Home Minister, Rajnath

Singh, warned that Naxalites had

“come to the cities and are trying to

influence people.” Prime Minister

Narendra Modi himself told students in

2019 to wonder whether “urban Naxals,

some people who consider themselves

intellectuals, are not trying to gain

political mileage by putting a gun over

your shoulders […] You will have to

find out if this is not a conspiracy by

them to destroy your life. They cannot

think of anything else but hatred for

Modi.”

In June 2018, the Maharashtra police

—the BJP led the ruling coalition in the

state at the time — in the course of its

investigation in the Bhima Koregaon

case, arrested five “urban Naxals” who

were accused, not only of instigating

violence (in spite of the fact that only

two of them took part in the Elgar

using fabrics typically rely on inputs

such as user touch. The new interactive

system relies on an 'implicit input'

technique in which the fabric does not

require action from the object it is

sensing," Yang added.

The fabric system recognises

objects based on shifts to electrical

charge in its electrodes caused by

changes to an object's electrical field.

The difference in charge can relate

to the type of material, size of the

object and shape of the contact area.

According to the researchers,

Information detected on the electrical

charge is compared to data stored in

Parishad), but also of plotting a “Rajiv

Gandhi-style” assassination of Modi.

Their profile matched that described by

Agnihotri: Surendra Gadling was a

lawyer, Shoma Sen a retired English

professor, Sudhir Dhawale a poet and

publisher, and Mahesh Raut and Rona

Wilson were human rights activists.

Two months later, the police arrested

poet-activist Varavara Rao, lawyer and

trade unionist Sudha Bharadwaj and

human-rights activists-cum-authorsand-columnists,

Arun Ferreira and

Vernon Gonsalves.

Two more “urban Naxals” were

arrested in April 2020: First, Anand

Teltumbde, a former Bharat Petroleum

executive, regular contributor to the

Economic and Political Weekly (EPW),

professor at the Goa Institute of

Management and author of a number of

books, including Republic of Caste;

and then, Gautam Navlakha, an ex-editorial

consultant of the EPW and member

of the People’s Union for

Democratic Rights. Earlier this month,

Swamy, who has worked amongst the

tribals of Jharkhand, was arrested also

because of his alleged Maoist links.

the system using machine learning

techniques.

The ability to recognize non-metallic

objects such as food items, liquids,

kitchenware, plastic, and paper products

makes the system unique.

For the results, twenty objects were

tested on the "smart tablecloth" as part

of the study.

The objects varied in size, shape

and material. The team also included a

water glass and a bowl to test how reliably

the system could recognize the

fullness of a container.

Overall, the system achieved a 94.5

per cent accuracy in testing.

They were all accused under the draconian

anti-terror law, the Unlawful

Activities Prevention Act, of a conspiracy

aimed at overthrowing the government

and assassinating the Prime

Minister. The accusations were made

on the basis of letters recovered from

the computers of two of the arrested.

Amnesty Tech, the Amnesty

International’s digital-security team,

discovered subsequently that one of

these computers contained malware

allowing remote access and alleged that

the letters could have been planted. The

allegation that the letters had been manufactured

cannot be dismissed given

that the communication of the Naxals is

always heavily coded.

While searching the houses of the

accused, the Maharashtra police listed

as evidence against the accused literature

that is not banned — they also

commented on the political ideas and

social attitudes of the accused. For

instance, the men in uniform who

searched the house of Varavara Rao’s

daughter Pavana and son-in-law K.

Satyanarayana, a professor at the

English and Foreign Languages

The system was particularly accurate

for distinguishing between different

fruits, such as kiwis and avocados.

The status of a liquid container was

also relatively simple for the system to

determine.

The design prototype features a

grid of diamond-shaped electrodes

made from conductive fabric attached

to a sheet of cotton, the researchers

said.

The size of the electrodes and the

distance between them were designed

to maximize the sensing area and sensitivity.

When an object or an object's status

University in Hyderabad, asked, “Why

are you reading books on Mao and

Marx? Why do you have books published

in China? (…) Why are there

photos of Phule and Ambedkar in your

house, but no photos of gods?’’ To

Rao’s daughter, they said, “Your husband

is a Dalit, so he does not follow

any tradition. But you are a Brahmin, so

why are you not wearing any jewellery

or sindoor? Why are you not dressed

like a traditional wife? Does the daughter

have to be like the father too?” In

trying to make people comply with the

upper-caste version of their religion and

exhorting them to reject leftist ideologies

in an anti-intellectual manner, such

policemen echo the discourses of the

Hindu nationalist vigilantes.

The internationally renowned historian,

Romila Thapar, and other scholars

filed a petition in August 2018 against

these arrests. But two of the three

judges on the bench refused to release

the accused on bail. The dissenting

judge, Justice D Y Chandrachud,

observed: “A clear-cut distinction has

to be made between opposition to government

and attempts to overthrow

government by rising up in arms.” For

him, the Bhima Koregaon case was “an

attempt by the state to muzzle dissent…

each of them is prosecuted for being a

defender of persons subjected to human

rights violations.” In other words, the

accused in the Bhima Koregaon case

were victims of judicial authoritarianism

and political prisoners.

A day after the Shiv Sena-NCP-

Congress government — which had

replaced the BJP-led government after

the September 2019 elections — decided

to review the chargesheet against the

accused, the Union Ministry of Home

Affairs handed over the investigation to

the NIA. On October 20, Michelle

Bachelet, the United Nations High

Commissioner for Human Rights

“urge[d] the Government [of India] to

ensure that no one […] is detained for

exercising their rights to freedom of

expression and peaceful assembly —

and to do its utmost, in law and policy,

to protect India’s robust civil society”.

She also urged “the GoI to release people

charged under the Unlawful

Activities Prevention Act for simply

exercising basic human rights that India

is obligated to protect.”

SMART TABLECLOTH CAN FIND FRUIT AND

HELP WITH WATERING THE PLANTS

is identified by the fabric--such as

when a potted plant needs watering--

the smart fabric can trigger a desired

action or prompt.

Researchers expect that the system

can serve a variety of functions including

helping to find lost objects, providing

alerts or notifications, and providing

information to other smart systems

such as diet trackers.

The study and demonstration video

describing the sensing system were

presented at the ACM Symposium on

User Interface Software and

Technology (UIST 2020) from

October 20 - October 23, 2020.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

15 Delhi Police officers get

Special Operation Medal

New Delhi : On the occasion of the birth anniversary of

India's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 15 officers

of the Delhi Police Special Cell have been awarded Union Home

Minister's Special Operation Medal.

Out of 15 officers, 11 were awarded for their role in

''Operation PAMIR'' in which a team of Special Cell had busted

an international drug cartel. "Operation PAMIR also successfully

uncovered a hitherto unknown modus operandi of using the

land route from Afghanistan through Iran and then via sea to the

ports of western India for narco-smuggling," a police officer

said.

The team had recovered a total of 330 kg of heroin valued in

the international market around Rs 1,320 crore, and apprehended

nine accused persons, including five Afghanistan nationals. It

was the largest-ever heroin haul seized in Delhi's crime history,

and the police forces of Delhi, Mumbai and Haryana were taken

into confidence, besides convincing their senior formations

about the urgency and seriousness of the operation.

Officers awarded in the case are Neeraj Thakur, Special

Commissioner of Police/Special cell (then Joint CP/Special

Cell), DCP Manishi Chandra, ACP Hridaya Bhushan, Inspector

Vinod Kumar, Sub-Inspector Manoj Kumar, Sub-Inspector

Sunder Gautam, sub-inspector Yashpal Singh, sub-inspector

Amit Kumar, sub-inspector Arvind Singh, sub-inspector

Shamsher Singh and assistant sub-inspector Brijpal. "Four officers

including ACP Lalit Mohan Negi, inspector Sunil Kumar

Rajain, inspector Ravinder Joshi and sub-inspector Pankaj Singh

Chauhan were awarded Union Home Minister's Special

Operation Medal for their role in busting of an ISIS-TN module,"

an officer said.

In December 2019, a group of ISIS terrorists from Tamil

Nadu, who killed Hindu Munnani leader KP Suresh Kumar and

were on conditional bail, had fled under mysterious circumstances.

This group of terrorists was also involved in the killing of a

Special Sub Inspector of Police (SSI) Wilson of Kaliakavilai

Police Station in Tamil Nadu. Wilson was on duty at police

check point on January 8, 2020, it stated. In this pan-India operation,

the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested the kingpin of

this ISIS module Khaja Moideen along with his two associates

in Delhi after a brief exchange of fire, the statement said.

A total of 39 officers were awarded Union Home Minister's

Special Operation Medal, out of which 15 were bagged by the

Delhi Police Special Cell.

NEWS

Jagan writes to Modi for clearing

Rs 55k crore for Polavaram

Amaravati : Andhra Pradesh Chief

Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on

Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra

Modi to accord investment clearance for

the Polavaram project's second revised cost

estimate (RCE) of Rs 55,549 crore at the

earliest so that the project could be completed

by December 2021.

Reddy said the second RCE has been

recommended by the Central Water

Commission (CWC), Technical Advisory

Committee (TAC) and Revised Cost

Committee (RCC), all Government of

India (GoI) entities. The Chief Minister

explained Modi about all the developments,

delays and cost overruns, highlighting

that there was some communication

gap, resulting in confusion on the cost of

the project.

Reddy said Polavaram project has been

declared a national project by the central

government at the time of Andhra Pradesh

bifurcation and enshrined as a solemn

promise in the AP Reorganisation Act,

2014. According to the Act, the Central

government shall execute the project and

obtain all requisite clearances, including

environmental, forests and R & R norms.

He said the expenditure of Rs 5,136 crore

incurred by the undivided state on

Polavaram Irrigation Project till April 1,

2014 was considered as the share of the

state government as per paragraph 5.3 of the

cabinet note dated April 29, 2014. For the

purpose of executing the project, a special

purpose vehicle, PPA, was notified in the

gazette on May 28, 2014, which will execute

the project, preferably through the concerned

state departments or any other expert

agency. The Chief Minister mentioned that

the original cost of the project as per 2005-

06 price levels was Rs 10,151 crore, which

was revised under first RCE as Rs 16,010

crore at 2010-2011 price levels, which was

also changed to Rs 28,920 crore by the

Revised Cost Committee as per 2013-14

price levels. However, Reddy differed with

the Ministry of Finance's September 30,

2016 decision which was communicated by

01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020

Continue Page 1

GDSF could play a kingmaker's ...

25

Man held in Raj for sharing army's

secret information with Pak

Jaipur : Rajasthan Police, based on

intelligence inputs provided by the Military

Intelligence (MI) Jaipur, have arrested a

civil defence employee of the Military

Engineering Services (MES) in Rajasthan's

Niwaru on charges of working as an "espionage

agent" for a Pakistani intelligence

agency. It was reported in September this

year that the MI Jaipur learnt about an

"espionage agent" in Niwaru, who was

passing military-related information to his

handlers in Pakistan. The individual was

identified as Ramniwas Gaura, 28, a civil

motor driver working with the MES.

It was learnt that Gaura was in contact

with one Pakistan Intelligence Operator

(PIO) namely Ekta @Jasmeet Kour

through Facebook and WhatsApp. During

his two years of contact with the PIO, he

shared the information about units and formations

at Niwaru and Jaipur as also information

about various offices and personnel

in these two places.

The case details were shared with the

police headquarters in Jaipur, following

which and a joint operation was planned to

apprehend Gaura. A joint team of Jaipur

Police Intelligence and MI Jaipur was

formed, and all the findings were analysed

again. Further details were acquired and

conclusive evidence was gathered.

Gaura was eventually detained on

Friday. During questioning, he reportedly

confessed that he had received a friend

request from the PIO's Facebook profile,

"Ekta", in February/March 2020, and

accepted it. They soon became "very

friendly", shared their WhatsApp numbers

with each other and started chatting, apart

from interacting over audio/video calls.

The PIO used to use an Indian WhatsApp

number and had claimed that she was

the Ministry of Water Resources with a condition

that the balance irrigation component

cost at latest price levels should be borne by

AP, even as 100 per cent cost of the project

after April 1, 2014 would be borne by GoI.

Reddy said the state government somehow

failed to bring this complete ad hoc departure

from gazette notification on May 28,

2014 to the notice of GoI for the reasons

best known to it.

As the last approval of investment clearance

was done at 2010-11 price level, he

said PPA asked AP to submit a realistic

RCE to complete the project.

"Accordingly, the government of AP

submitted second RCE for Rs 57,297 crore

at 2017-18 price level and the reasons for

increasing the cost of the project are due to

time overrun, change in design, price escalation

and adoption of LA, R & Ra," he

said. However, he highlighted that the cost

of LA and R & R alone is Rs 28,191 crore

out of the second RCE, therefore capping

the entire expenditure for the project at Rs

20,399 crore at 2013-14 price levels for

irrigation component only is unrealistic

and not in accordance with the GoI guidelines

for national projects and also violation

of APR Act, 2014.

The Chief Minister told the Prime

Minister that any further delay would only

further increase the cost of the project,

which will do no good to the notional interests

of a national project.

Continue Page 1

working with the Principal Controller of

Defence Account (PCDA), Shimla. After

the initial friendly chats, Ekta started asking

Gaura about information of "military

nature" which he readily shared. For monetary

favours, he shared his account details

with Ekta and in March 2020, demanded

Rs 10,000. Further details are being examined

by the Jaipur Police Intelligence and

MI. Other agencies have also joined the

investigation following Gaura's arrest.

Rajasthan Police Additional Director

General (Intelligence) Umesh Mishra told

the media that the team received a tip-off

about Gaura passing secret information of

the army to Pakistan for the last several

days. The intelligence team started monitoring

his activities and the investigation

revealed that the accused was in contact

with an account created on social media

with a fake name (Chhadam).

The secret information of the Indian

Army was being sent by the accused

through this account and money was also

being demanded by him. In fact, he also

shared the details of his bank account with

the "Pakistani officer". Gaura is likely to be

produced at a local court soon by the

police. A police remand may be requested

for further examination. More leads are

expected to emerge, officials said.

Sean Connery dies at 90 : Global...

A real character and for me, the best Bond. James Bond should be immortal. RIP."

Star Trek actor George Takei wrote on Twitter: "Sean Connery was a movie legend,

even far into his golden years. Our strongest Bonds were formed by him, and he was

Untouchable. He passed today at age 90, a suave hero to the end."

Lord Sugar, who hosted the British version of "The Apprentice" called Connery a

"Great actor, great 007". He added: "RIP Sir Sean Connery." Former first minister of

Scotland Alex Salmond said: "The world's greatest Scot, the last of the real Hollywood

stars, the definitive Bond. Sean Connery was all of these things but much more. He was

a staunch patriot, a deep thinker and an outstanding human being." As James Bond,

Connery shot to global superstardom as Bond in 1962, with the first film of the 007 series,

"Dr. No", and then went on to work in "From Russia with Love" (1963), "Goldfinger"

(1964), "Thunderball" (1965), "You Only Live Twice" (1967), "Diamonds Are Forever"

(1971) and "Never Say Never Again" (1983). American Film Institute has voted James

Bond as portrayed by Connery as the third-greatest hero in cinema history.

"RLSP strength is well recognised in the alliance and among

other political parties. Kushwaha had pointed out to 'Padhai,

Kamai, Dawai, Sinchai aur Kamai'. Now, the same tagline is used

by Tejashwi Yadav in his political rallies at places where voting in

the second phase is scheduled for November 3. It indicates that

something is cooking between these two alliances," Sharma

opined. The BSP too has stronghold in districts such as Gopalganj,

Rohtas, and Kaimur. The BSP had won six seats in 2005. It gave

tickets to 228 candidates in the 2015 elections, but none won. The

party however gained 2 per cent votes.

Mayawati and Kushwaha have done two joint rallies in

Bhabhua and Karadhan, the stronghold of these two parties.

AIMIM contested the 2015 elections and managed to open its

account in the Assembly by winning a seat from Muslim-dominated

Kishanganj. Kushwaha and Asaduddin Owaisi have jointly

addressed around 20 rallies, mostly in Muslim-dominated

Seemanchal areas. Ranbir Kushwaha, a member of Kishanganj

Market Association said: "The AIMIM can cash in on Muslim

votes in Seemanchal area like Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and

Katihar. These are Muslim-dominated districts and AIMIM has

good chances of winning more seats. It is also a threat to the RJD

and the JD-U." The SBSP has good hold in some constituencies in

Kaimur and Rohtas. Similarly, the JPS has stronghold in Ghoshi

constituency and the SJDD in some constituencies in Darbhanga

and Madhubani.

Continue Page 1

Tejashwi slams Nitish over Niti ...

"I challenge him to come on a common platform and discuss

any issue. The discussion will be similar to the presidential election

debates in the US where people can watch and judge who is

right and who is wrong," he added.

In most of his rallies, Nitish Kumar, a senior Janata Dal-United

leader, has criticised the RJD government's performance in Bihar

between 1990 and 2005 when the party was in power .


26 01-11-2020 to 15-11-2020 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Tired my best to provide water

in Tumkur : Deve Gowda

Sira : Janata Dal (S) supremo

H.D. Deve Gowda on

Saturday sought to clarify that

neither he nor his party ever

tried to prevent water from

Hemavati being diverted to

Tumkuru district.

The Hemavati reservoir is

built in Hassan district, which

is a bastion of the Gowda family,

and Tumkuru being the tailend

beneficiary of this project

never got its due. Hence, there

is always great degree of apprehension

among the Tumkuru

electorate about Gowda and his

family being involved in

thwarting this project to benefit

the Hassan electorate.

Keeping this in mind just

three days prior to the bypolls

in Sira, Deve Gowda attacked

his former party colleague and

Leader of Opposition

Siddaramaiah, asserting that

there has always been a ploy

against him and his party by

some people who later joined

the Congress to become the

Chief Minister.

"It is a known fact that

Hemavati river water will not

reach here. Despite best efforts,

it won't reach. That is the reason

why the H.D.

Kumaraswamy-led coalition

government envisaged the

Upper Bhadra project, which

can quench the thirst of parched

areas of Tumkuru. But none

wants to remember this, instead

they only want to highlight

Hemavati," he alleged.

Deve Gowda further said

that he and his family members

were not the ones who were

stopping water from coming to

the people, but the national parties

were the real culprits.

"Our own friends who were

with us before joining other

parties in search of greener pastures

are fanning such misleading

campaigns. I leave it to you

to decide, whom to believe and

whom not to," he said while

seeking votes in Sira in favour

of Ammajamma, the widow of

Sathyanarayana, who succumbed

to prolonged illness

two months ago.

Meanwhile, former

Karnataka Pradesh Congress

Committee President G.

Parameshwara during his campaign

rally asked the electorate

to vote in favour of Congress

candidate T.B. Jayachandra.

"Do not forget, Jayachandra

is the one who ensured that

tanks in Sira are filled to their

brim whenever he was in

power. Outsiders never used to

give their daughters for marriage

to the people of Sira for

the fear of non-availability of

water. Jayachandra has worked

hard to ensure water for all of

you, so vote for him," he said.

The Sira constituency in

Tumkuru is going to the polls

on November 3, along with

Rajarajeshwari Nagara in

Bengaluru.

All AP higher educational

institutions to REOPEN

from MONDAY

Amravati : All higher educational institutions, universities and

affiliated colleges, across Andhra Pradesh will reopen from

Monday. Unlike alternate half days for schools, colleges will function

on all six days of the week, said an official.

"A new academic calendar for non-professional courses, professional

courses and post-graduate programmes was released,"

said an official. However, classes for first year professional and

non-professional undergraduate courses will commence from

December 1.

After a gap of five months, educational institutions in the southern

state are reopening, following all standard operating procedures

aimed at warding off the Coronavirus pandemic.

Telangana Raj Bhavan

lit in pink for breast

cancer awareness

Hyderabad : Telangana's Raj

Bhavan, the official residence of

Governor, has been illuminated in

pink lights to raise awareness on

breast cancer on Saturday.

The Raj Bhavan's facade and

entrance gate are aglow in pink.

Usha Lakshmi Breast Cancer

Foundation, which actively promotes

breast health and safety

arranged the lighting with permission

from Governor Tamilisai

Soundararajan. The permission

was granted to the foundation

during an online breast cancer

awareness meeting.

Soundararajan emphasised on

early detection and treatment of

breast cancer to save thousands of

precious lives and even posed for

pictures in the pink light.

"Early detection is vital in

effective cancer treatment and

survival. We must all strive for

the promotion of better awareness

on breast cancer on a regular

basis," she added. P. Raghu Ram,

founder and chief executive of

the foundation said that this was

the first time ever to illuminate a

Raj Bhavan in pink to raise

awareness. October is observed

as the International Breast Cancer

Awareness month.

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