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Vol : 05 : #79 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

UK RECORDS another

36,517 new Covid cases

London : The UK has registered

36,517 new Covid-19

infections and 63 coronavirus

related deaths, bringing the

total loss of lives to 142,898,

according to the latest official

figures. The death toll only

includes people who died within

28 days of their first positive

test, Xinhua news agency

reported.

The infections have raised

by 6 per cent over the last seven

days, and the number of deaths

has decreased by 6.9 per cent.

There are currently 8,652

patients hospitalised with

Covid-19.

The latest data came as more

than one million 12 to 15-yearolds

in England have been vaccinated

against Covid-19, figures

from National Health

Service (NHS) England

showed. "Over a million young

people aged 12 to 15 have now

received the crucial protection

the vaccine provides," UK

Health Secretary Sajid Javid

said on Sunday.

"This is a phenomenal

accomplishment and will make

a huge difference in stopping

Covid-19 from further disrupting

their education, their health

and their lives," he added.

More than 87 per cent of

people aged 12 and over in the

UK have had their first dose of

vaccine and more than 80 per

cent have received both doses,

the latest figures indicate. More

than 21 per cent have received

booster jabs, or the third dose of

a coronavirus vaccine.

Need an action plan by

tomorrow: SC directs Centre,

states on curbing air pollution

New Delhi : The Supreme

Court on Monday sought an

action plan within 24 hours

from the Centre and state governments,

detailing steps taken

by task forces to stop air pollution

caused by vehicular traffic,

construction work, stubble

burning, power plants, entry of

heavy vehicles, dust, etc.

A bench headed by Chief

Justice N.V. Ramana told counsel

appearing for the Centre and

state governments, "Need an

action plan by tomorrow

evening. Hold a meeting..."

The top court also asked the

Centre and states to allow the

people to work-from-home.

The bench, also comprising

Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and

Surya Kant, noted that the

Centre in its affidavit has submitted

that stubble burning is

not a major factor leading to

severe air pollution level in the

capital, rather the agricultural

burning leads to merely 11 per

cent contribution on PM 2.5

and PM 10 concentration.

The top court told the Centre

to call an emergency meeting

of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and

Uttar Pradesh governments on

Tuesday for taking urgent

measures to bring down air pollution

levels.

The top court also told the

state governments to not take

action against farmers, rather

persuade them to stop stubble

burning.

"Don't take action against

farmers, persuade them," said

the bench. The bench emphasized

that action is required to

be taken on vehicular pollution,

industrial pollution and dust

control measures, which contributes

nearly 76 per cent to

the air pollution.

The Delhi government has

told the Supreme Court that it is

ready to take steps like complete

lockdown to control the

local emission, which would

help in bringing down the air

pollution in the national capital,

but added that it will have only

a limited impact.

In an affidavit, the Delhi

government said: "GNCTD is

ready to take steps like complete

lockdown to control local

emissions. However, such a

step would be meaningful if it

is implemented across the NCR

areas in neighbouring states.

Given Delhi's compact size, a

lockdown would have limited

impact on the air quality

regime". The government said

this issue would need to be

addressed at the level of airshed

involving the NCR areas.

Can consider appointing

retired SC judge to monitor

Lakhimpur Kheri probe: SC

New Delhi : The Supreme

Court on Monday said it will

also consider the names of

some retired apex court judges

to monitor day-to-day investigation

in the Lakhimpur Kheri

violence incident. The top court

also directed the Uttar Pradesh

government to upgrade its task

force investigating the matter

with some high-ranking officials.

Senior advocate Harish

Salve, representing the Uttar

Pradesh government, submitted

that the top court can appoint a

retired judge to monitor the SIT

probe. A bench headed by

Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and

also comprising Justices Surya

Kant and Hima Kohli said,

"Now, we have a lot of freedom

for a retired SC or HC judge.

Let us see..."

The bench noted that it will

find out a judge who is willing

to take up the assignment.

During the hearing, the top

court emphasized that the Uttar

Pradesh government should

upgrade the task force investigating

the matter. It said the

officers must be high-ranking

officers, currently there are

local Lakhimpur Kheri, subinspector

level and DSP level

officers on the task force.

The bench told Salve that it

needs one more day's time to

finalise the name of the judge.

"We are considering Rakesh

Kumar Jain (former Punjab and

Haryana HC judge) or others.

We have to consult them," said

the bench.

Salve submitted, "Judge can

be appointed from any other

state".

Earlier, the top court had

said it wanted to appoint a

judge outside of Uttar Pradesh.

Concluding the hearing, the

top court asked the Uttar

Pradesh government to look

into grievances of the victim's

families, who have not been

paid compensation. Additional

Advocate General Garima

Prasad submitted that the state

would take necessary steps.

The violence occurred on

October 3, resulting in the

killing of eight persons, including

four farmers who were

allegedly mowed down by the

vehicles in the convoy of

Ashish Misra, the son of Union

Minister and BJP MP Ajay

Kumar Misra.


2

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Punjab waives income limit

on pension of Olympians

Chandigarh : Acceding to a

long-pending demand of former

Olympians, Punjab Sports

and Youth Affairs Minister

Pargat Singh on Monday

announced to waive the condition

of income limit on pension

of medal winner international

players.

An announcement to this

regard was made by the minister

during an interaction with

former players held here

regarding formulation of new

sports policy.

He said instead of big stadiums,

major thrust will be laid

on establishing coaching centres.

Pargat Singh said, in order

to streamline sports in the state

a 20-member committee comprising

of players of various

games is being constituted so

that benefit can be taken from

their vast experience and

expertise in field of sports.

The minister said the government

is in process of formulating

a policy wherein the

services of the players recruited

under sports quota will be taken

by the department. He exhorted

such government officers to

voluntarily opt for this scheme

to uplift the level of sports in

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

V.B. Rawat

Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Head Office

Samaj Media Enterprise Ltd.

46 Summer Road

Erdington, Birmingham UK

B23 6UR

+44 7878 456 484

+44 121 565 4810

Email :

info@theasianindependent.co.uk

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the state. He advocated that at

level of coming into service

these players must give preference

to department only.

The minister also called

upon the players to render services

to the Education

Department so that foundation

of sports can be laid at early

age. He said that the department

has set a target of associating

five lakh youth of the

state under sports. For creating

an atmosphere of sports in the

Decision to hold PU board exams

amid Covid triggers row in K'taka

state corporate firms, private

companies and NRIs will be

roped in. Meanwhile, former

Olympians lauded the Sports

Minister for involving them to

prepare the sports policy. They

also gave their suggestions to

inculcate sporting spirit

amongst the youth from tender

age. They said that it is for the

first time that any Sports

Minister has done a meeting

with them on this important

issue.m3

Gurugram : After a gap of two

months, Gurugram district recorded a

Covid death on Monday, taking the

total death toll in the district to 924.

The district witnessed the last

Covid related death on September 3.

"This is the first Covid related

death after the first week of

September. The person who died was

aged 70. He was fully vaccinated and

had co-morbidity," Dr Virender Yadav,

chief medical officer (CMO),

Gurugram, said adding that, there has

been a marginal increase in Covid

cases in the last few days due to gatherings

during the festive

season".

According to the daily

Covid bulletin during the

last 15 days of this month,

Gurugram reported 132

Covid infected patients,

whereas in October, 206

patients were found to be

infected.

As of now, the Health

Department has carried

out Covid tests of

21,08,299 persons in

Gurugram. At present, 78 patients are being treated in the district and 70

Personal Specification

Bengaluru : The decision of the

Department of Pre-University Education

in Karnataka to conduct mid-term board

exams amid fears of a possible third

wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered

a row in the state.

The All India Democratic Students'

Organisation (AIDSO) has called for a

bundh on Tuesday against conducting

the board exams instead of regular

midterm exams.

The department has prepared question

papers on lines of annual examination

and will hold the exams for 6.5 lakh

students at a time between November 29

and December 10. Sources in the education

department said that the decision has

been taken in the backdrop of fears of a

possible third Covid wave.

Earlier, mid-term exams were not conducted

simultaneously. The Pre-University

College Principal's Association prepared

question papers in every district and evaluated

the answer sheets at the college level.

Job Title: Accounts Manager

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excellent organisation, communication

and people skills and the ability to work

under pressure.

This is a unique opportunity to secure

an interesting position.

Qualification Required:

" Required masters in the accounting &

finance field.

" Able to communicate with the management

in the English language.

Duties & Responsibilities:

" develops and manages business

accounts to increase sales of financial

products;

" takes responsibility for the efficient

and effective operation ofbusiness

accounts;

" carries out and/or supervises general

accounting and administrative work

VACANCY

patients are being

treated in home isolation.

On Monday, 12

new patients were

found infected with

the coronavirus and 10

patients were discharged

from hospitals.

On Monday, the

Health Department's

team administered

anti-coronavirus vaccines

to 11,634 people

at 151 centres. In this, 2,899 people

The results were not sent to the

department. But this time the

education department is conducting

mid-term exams on

the lines of CBSE and ICSE.

The results for the 2020-21

academic year were

announced after considering

the mid-term results and SSLC

scores. Many colleges weren't

able to conduct the mid-term

exams. It has become a challenge

for the education department

to announce PU results.

The AIDSO has urged the

state government not to pressurise

the students and lecturers amid

severe academic crisis, terming the decision

to hold mid-term exams as undemocratic

and unscientific.

* The Asian Independent and people associated with it are not responsible for any claims made by the advertisers and do not endorse in any products or services advertised. Please visit www.theasianindependent.com/tc for more information.

" performs book keeping functions

" prepare finamcial documents &

reports

" prepare periodic accounts & financial

forecasts

" Managing the day to day customer

accounts alongside management.

" Prioritise the workload to ensure that

all urgent and time sensitive issues

are dealt with first.

" Sending out routine correspondence.

" Filing, record keeping, data inputting

and other administrative tasks as and

when required.

Schedule:

" Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm)

Mr B. Kalair

New Model UK Limited

Kalair Court, Marston Road, Blakenhall,

Wolverhampton, WV2 4NJ

United Kingdom

Mobile : +44 (0) 7904 037 462

Email : newmodeluk@yahoo.com

Website : https://www.newmodeluk.com

Gurugram records first Covid death after 2 months

were vaccinated with the first dose and

8,735 got the second dose. M.P. Singh,

the nodal officer and deputy civil surgeon

of the vaccination campaign,

says that so far 36,96,049 vaccines

have been administered in Gurugram.

Apart from this, the health department

has recommended three places

— Chandra apartment in Sector 55,

Ridgewood Estate in DLF phase 4 and

South Close Nirvana Country in

Sector 50 to be declared as containment

zones, after a total of 12 Covid

cases were reported from these areas

recently.

Fake SIM card

racket busted

in J&K

Srinagar : Jammu and

Kashmir Police said on Monday

that it has busted a fake SIM

card racket in Baramulla district.

"The accused person

would issue fake SIM cards

after managing forged documents.

"Three persons, Owais

Farooq Waza, Suhail Aziz and

Javid Ahmad Kanjwal, all residents

of Baramulla, have been

arrested in this case.

"Incriminating material including

mobile phones along with

SIM cards, electronic gadgets

and documents have been

recovered from their possession.

"Case under sections of

UA (P) Act and IPC has been

registered against the accused

and further investigation is

going on", police said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

RAJAH SPICES –

empowering women

in India for good

5p from every promotional pack to support community farming initiatives in Gujrat

Rajah Spices, the UK’s leading authentic

spice brand, has announced a new partnership

to empower women farmers in

Gujarat who grow cumin and other spices.

The programme is being run in partnership

with The Self-Employed Women’s

Association (SEWA), India’s largest Trade

Union specifically for women.

Rajah has been working with SEWA on

this project for the past three years and now

wants to tell its loyal customers about this

important initiative and ask for their support.

The new partnership will ensure that

5p from every promotional pack of Rajah

Spices sold in the UK is donated to SEWA

as part of a project to empower the lives of

2,400 cumin farmers living in Gujarat.

Women make up the majority of farmers

in Gujarat, many have low incomes, and

there is limited support if their crops were

to fail, for example, due to poor weather

conditions or a bad harvest.

Through this promotion 5p from the

purchase of every participating pack (Chili

100g, Garam Masala 100g, Dhaniya 100g,

Jeera 100g and Haldi 100g) will directly

support all the women enrolled in the programme.

This contribution will fund vital

financial and agricultural training to help

improve their farm businesses and build a

more secure future for them and their families.

Through Rajah’s partnership with

SEWA, training will be provided on essential

farming practices, such as how to use

natural pesticides and apply fertilizers

effectively, to grow more crops. SEWA

will also provide the women with financial

training and reliable market access to

ensure they get a fair price for their cumin

when it is sold.

Kamiben Khegarbhai Ahir from Patan

District said ‘this training changed conventional

farming and these new practices

increased our income and our living standards

have also improved’; while, another

farmer from Surendranagar reported the

training had made a significant difference

to her business as ‘overall costs have

reduced and also my quality of land has

improved’ and that ‘most of (the other villagers)

will carry out the same practices

from next year’.

Rajah monitors the success of the project

constantly, visiting the communities at

least once a year to assess the impact of

their work. Lillian Paschalidi, Senior

Brand Manager at Rajah commented

‘Rajah has been sold in the UK since 1931

and is proud to be at the heart of the community.

This promotion builds on our longstanding

work in Gujrat to directly empower

thousands of women to give them a better

future. We are excited to give our customers

the chance to support this programme

and help make a positive difference

to their lives too.”

Look out for participating packs in store

and visit www.rajahspices.co.uk/sustainability

for more information.

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

3

Birsa Munda's biography

to release in December

New Delhi : An authoritative

biography of tribal leader Birsa

Munda (Nov15, 1875-June 9,

1900), who, in the words of

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

"shook the British empire" with

his traditional bow and arrow,

will be published in December,

the publisher said on his birth

anniversary on Monday while

releasing the trailer of the book.

Modi declared on Monday

that henceforth, Birsa Munda's

birth anniversary would be celebrated

in line with that of

Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom

fighters who had sacrificed

their lives for the nation.

Here's a sneak preview of

"The Legend of Birsa Munda"

by Tuhin A. Sinha and Ankita

Verma:

In 19th century India, deep in

the heart of what is now the state

of Jharkhand, the Adivasis have

been leading a life of absolute

misery and darkness. The colonial

state, with the help of its

scheming local collaborators,

has cast a net of abuse and

exploitation that is tightening

around these Adivasis, much like

a hangman's noose does.

Everything they hold dear – their

land, homes, history, traditions,

religion, families – has fallen

victim to the grand colonial plan

of building a magnificent but

merciless empire for the Queen.

However, when a people are all

but crushed into dust and their

identities threatened with a complete

erasure, they erupt like a

hot, angry whiplash of fire with a

roaring so loud that it reverberates

in the very heart of the

empire and sends a frisson of

fear up the spines of those in

power. A fire that stokes a rebellion.

And at the heart of this

rebellion is the twenty-five-yearold

Birsa Munda. He decides

what must be done to save his

community and leads the

Adivasis in fighting back to

reclaim their lives.

He was a lion-hearted warrior;

a healer, a spiritual guide, a

forgotten hero.

Based on true events, this

epic tale of courage is a tribute to

the life of Birsa Munda, who in

his very short life, mobilized the

tribal community, rebelled

against forced conversions, envisioned

a fairer, more just society

and died fighting for it. A

thrilling account that chronicles

what most history books don't

mention, "The Legend of Birsa

Munda" (Amaryllis) is the story

of a subaltern tribal hero, whose

contribution to India's struggle

for independence must never be

forgotten.

Tuhin A. Sinha is a bestselling

author, screenwriter and

politician. Tuhin is acknowledged

among the most prolific

Indian writers with a maverick

knack to experiment with new

genres. He has authored eleven

books. Tuhin's books traverse a

wide range of genres and include

socio-political thrillers and

romantic sagas. He has also written

extensively on all political

issues including Kashmir.

Ankita Verma is a communication

specialist and the author

of two books. An economics

graduate from Mumbai

University, she is also trained in

advertising communication and

marketing from Xavier Institute

of Communication.


4

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Clashes erupt between ABVP, Left

groups in JNU; several injured

New Delhi : At least

a dozen students were

injured as clashes erupted

at Jawaharlal Nehru

University (JNU), here,

between the members of

Akhil Bharatiya

Vidyarthi Parishad

(ABVP) and the Left

alliance of AISA and

SFI, sources said here

on Monday.

The clashes occurred

on Sunday evening

around 9.30 p.m. after

an argument between

the two groups, on

account of organising a

seminar, turned violent.

D e p u t y

Commissioner of Police

(Southwest district) Gaurav

Sharma said they received

complaints from both sides and

are currently probing the incident.

"We are soon going to

register an FIR into the case,"

he said.

Sharing pictures of injured

students, Jawaharlal Nehru

University Students Union

president Aishe Ghosh accused

the members of ABVP of

unleashing violence on students,

and time and again disrupting

campus democracy.

Sources told IANS that

some of the injured students

were admitted to the All India

Institute of Medical Sciences in

the national capital.

"Will the JNU

Administration still be silent ?

Will no actions be taken on the

goons ?," Ghosh questioned on

Twitter.

On the other hand, the right

wing ABVP levelled counter

allegations on the Left student

parties -- AISA and SFI.

They alleged that the Left

parties violently attacked a

peaceful meeting of the ABVP

activists in JNU. "Finger of an

MA student was broken in this

assault, a Divyang student was

manhandled, and various

ABVP activists were hit," the

party said.

ABVP further demanded

stringent actions against the

people involved in the violence.

"They (Left parties] have

time and again destroyed the

peace of JNU campus," a party

member said.

Meanwhile, the ABVP has

planned to conduct a "Save

JNU March" around 2.30 p.m.

Monday against the violence.

"Leftists have once again

launched their tyrannical attack

on JNU on the same lines of

Jan 5 attack. It's high time to

expose these goons and stand in

solidarity with the victims," the

party tweeted announcing their

'Save JNU March'.

DCW chief urges Prez Kovind to withdraw

Kangana's PADMA SHRI AWARD

New Delhi : Delhi

Commission for Women

Chairperson Swati Maliwal has

written to President Ram Nath

Kovind demanding withdrawal

of Kangana Ranaut's Padma

Shri award and registration of

an FIR against the actress on

sedition charges.

Ranaut recently made a statement

in a TV show describing

India's Independence in 1947 as

"bheek" (alms). Urging the

President to take immediate

cognisance of the statement, the

DCW chief said, "The remarks

are not only derogatory but also

completely disregards and

insults the sacrifice made by our

freedom fighters."

In the letter, Maliwal wrote,

"Our great freedom fighters like

Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh

and countless others have sacrificed

their lives to bring freedom

to our nation..

It was only through these

sacrifice and martyrdom that we

got freedom from British rule.

Ranaut's comments have hurt

the sentiments of lakhs of

Indians and this statement is

seditious in nature."

Maliwal also expressed her

protest to Ranaut's statements

over Twitter.

"Kangana Ranaut is such a

woman who mocks the martyrdom

of Gandhi, Bhagat Singh;

and the freedom achieved by the

sacrifice of millions of people

seems to her as alms! She needs

treatment, not reward," tweeted

the DCW chief.

Come out with viable policy on

offshore wind energy: Stalin to Centre

Chennai : Tamil

Nadu Chief Minister

M.K. Stalin has urged

the Central government

to come out with

a viable policy on harnessing

offshore wind

energy.

Speaking at the

Southern Zonal

Council meeting held

in Tirupathi on Sunday,

Stalin said the state has

huge potential to harness

offshore wind

energy.

"However, we are

yet to get a green signal

from the Central government

to go ahead with our projects.

Many international organisations are

keen to establish partnerships with our

government," he added.

"Therefore, we request the Union

government to come out with a viable

policy in this regard at its earliest," the

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said.

According to him, Tamil Nadu has

been a pioneer in promoting renewable

energy sources which are ecofriendly

and non-exhaustive.

The state is blessed with hot weather,

vast coastline and strong wind

potential that are yet to be fully

exploited to meet its energy requirement.

Tamil Nadu has signed several

agreements to use this potential and

maximise the returns.

With regard to the transfer of railway

land for the metro rail project,

Stalin said it should be done on a permanent

basis. "The transfer must be

with full surface rights without any

restriction when 99 per cent of the

market value is charged, as is being

done by other Central government

departments or agencies for underground

tunneling work below their

land," the Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister added.

"If the full surface rights

are not given, then only

nominal or token value

should be charged for

restricted rights. In underground

tunneling, even for

depth less than 15 metres,

only the nominal fee as

track rent should be

charged. When the surface

is not affected and no surface

rights are given, it is

totally unreasonable to

charge any such amount,"

he said.

According to Stalin,

instructions have been

given to sensitise and create awareness

among the fishermen to carry

documents, identity cards and QRbased

Aadhaar cards.

The field officers are randomly

checking the presence of biometric

cards or Aadhaar cards, boat registration

certificates while venturing into

the sea. During the patrolling, the

Indian Coast Guards, Marine

Enforcement wing or Coastal Security

officials are also verifying the presence

of QR-based Aadhaar cards of

the fishermen at sea, the Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister added.

Stalin calls for solidarity among

southern states in resource usage

Chennai : Pointing out the common

culture, cuisine, weather and

others amongst the Southern states,

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.

Stalin has called for solidarity in utilising

the limited resources in a judicious

manner.

In his speech on Sunday that was

read out at the Southern Zonal

Council meeting held in Tirupati,

Stalin told the participants from the

neighbouring state: "Our culture has a

lot of similarities. We have grown by

our policy of inclusiveness. We have

common cuisine, weather and shared

values." "Solidarity among us is crucial

in utilising the limited resources

available with us in a judicious manner.

Unnecessary litigations and

needless conflicts will result in

unwanted animosity that may hinder

our progress. The universal language

of love can dissolve all problems and

make us march in the path of progress

unitedly," he said.

Stalin also urged the Central government

to declare the classical language

Tamil as an official language of

the country as it is one of the world's

oldest and rich languages. He pointed

out Tamil is already a National

Language in Sri Lanka and

Singapore, and a minority language

in Malaysia and South Africa, and

Prime Minister Narendra Modi never

misses to quote verses from Tamil literature

in his speeches in order to

embellish an argument.

"We also request the Union

Government to declare Thirukkural

as a National Book, that signifies its

secular couplets with capsules of wisdom,"

Stalin said.

Tamil Nadu always trusts in cooperative

federalism with strong patriotic

fervour with equal emphasis on the

rights of the State and their autonomy.

It is second to none in contributing

towards National integration and

upholding the principles of unity, he

said.

It strongly believes that the beauty

of India lies in its multiculturalism

and its inclusiveness that has been

nurtured from time immemorial,

Stalin remarked.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : The use of

cryptocurrencies on the dark

net for terror acts and drug trafficking

by militant organisations

is posing a severe threat to

the national security and a big

challenge to security agencies

in India, according to cyber

experts.

Cryptocurrencies have

emerged as the most advanced

methods of terror financing and

when it is being transacted on

the dark net like TOR, Freenet,

Zeronet and Perfectdark, it

becomes untraceable for the

security agencies.

Money launderers, cyber

criminals and terrorists find

cryptocurrencies such as

Bitcoin, Monero, Ripples and

Zcash highly convenient

because they offer anonymity

and non-traceability.

The dark net is a deep under

variable link in the area of

internet where one cannot find

the identity of the users as the

router browser keeps complete

anonymity on the identity of

the users. It keeps the user

anonymous with whom he or

she is interacting with because

of the end-to-end encryption,

cyber expert Pawan Duggal

said. In both cases, the

anonymity creates real challenges

for the law enforcing

agencies in India and it has created

a unique "cybercrime

economy" on the dark net

where all kinds of cyber crimes

and services are now increasingly

being offered, he added.

The security agencies need

to be trained to penetrate these

online systems to trace the

sources of funding and purpose

so that the preventive steps can

be taken, Duggal further said. A

senior official in the Narcotics

Control Bureau (NCB) said

that the use of this platform is

not only confined to drug trafficking

or narco trade but this

has been of late being used by

many terror organisations

across the world.

The NCB has been constantly

combating the drug peddlers

opting for Dark Net and it has

collaborated with international

agencies to control the menace.

The dark net also provides

self-destructive mailboxes and

proxy servers where people can

use fake IDs. It definitely

makes it difficult to prove a

particular charge and there is a

requirement for amendment to

the Information Technology

Act and Evidence Act, Duggal

further said.

The TOR software, Freenet,

Zeronet, Perfect dark, are some

popular dark net browsers and

these can be accessed only

through the specialised software.

The TOR, the most popular

with over two millions daily

users, uses the onion routing

method which is a layered technology

that routes traffic

through the established layers

to conceal the identities of the

users. Despite all, the encrypted

and concealed identities of

the deep web, the cyber experts

said that the law enforcing

agencies are now able to infiltrate

in these browsers through

honey pots (posing as seller or

buyer on these browsers).

"In most of the cases, the

crypto currencies have been

used for narco- trade and

money laundering and terrorists

do not use this virtual currency

as this is traceable by the

agencies," a counter-terror

expert Rituraj Mate said. He

also said that crypto currency

can be used by the terror organisations

once it is legitimised in

India. Once it gets official permission,

it is apprehended that

the ultras may use somebody's

account for terror funding.

As far as dark net is concerned,

Mate also said that the

browser like TOR are also

tractable and the US Central

Intelligence Agency (CIA) has

NEWS

'INDIA needs to check

use of cryptocurrencies

for terror financing'

mastered the art of infiltrating

dark net groups and collecting

information, evidence to prosecute

cyber crimes. Interpol has

also started training program

on the dark net related crime

for the law enforcement agencies

of the world, he added.

The Indian agencies have a

tie-up with international agencies

like the CIA, FBI and

Interpol for exchange of information

on a regular basis

whereas Indian agencies also

have capabilities to track the

identities of the users on these

browsers, Mate further added.

On November 13, the issue

was comprehensively discussed

in a high-level meeting

chaired by Prime Minister

Narendra Modi with all stakeholders,

and it was learnt that

the government is mulling to

introduce a bill in the winter

session of Parliament to regulate

the dealing of cryptocurrencies

in India.

Officials have however said

that Indian agencies are technically

sound and skilled to

penetrate into the dark net

browsers and they have successfully

tracked many cases

of narco trade and hawala

transactions.

"We are capable of tracking

and nabbing the criminals on

the dark net and have enough

manpower to handle this issue

but we need to increase our

infrastructures like high configuration

servers and better coordination

in sharing information

with foreign law enforcing

agencies," a senior official said

on the condition of anonymity.

5

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

GUJARAT ATS

seizes 120 kg

heroin, 3 arrested

Gandhinagar : The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has

seized 120 kg of

heroin valued at

around Rs 600 crore

from Zinzuda village

in Morbi district and

arrested three persons

in connection,

police said on

Monday.

According to the

police, the contraband

seized on

Sunday was being

transported to Africa

via Gujarat.

Addressing the

media, Director

General of Police

(DGP), Ashish

Bhatia said: "Based

on intelligence

inputs, the Gujarat

ATS learnt that drugs

were being brought

here. Based on this

information, a team

of ATS raided the house of one

Mukhtar Hussein Syed in Zinzuda village

of Maliya-Miyana in Morbi district

and recovered 120 kg of heroin,

with an estimated international value

of Rs 600 crore.

"We have arrested three persons,

Mukhtar Hussein, resident of Jodiya,

Jamnagar; Shamshuddin Husseinmiya

Syed, resident of Zinzuda, Morbi; and

Ghulam Hussein Umar Bhagad, resident

of Salaya, Devbhumi Dwarka.

"The drug consignment was sent by

one Zahid Bashir Baloch, a resident of

Pakistan. Baloch had been absconding in an earlier case of seizure

of 227 kg heroin registered by the Directorate of Revenue

Intelligence. The present consignment was delivered in Devbhumi

Dwarka district's Salaya during the last week of October. The narcotics

was initially hidden and subsequently moved to Zinzuda

village. The consignment was intended to be sent to Africa via the

Gujarat route. During interrogation, it was revealed that the

accused persons decided to misappropriate the consignment and

sell it buyers in India. "We are yet to arrest two other persons in

Gujarat regarding the case."


6 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Pak's alliance with China may

invite wrath of US, allies

New Delhi : Pakistans decision to

form a complete strategic alliance with

China may invite the "wrath of the US

and its allies", the countrys policymakers

anticipated during their last weeks

closed-door briefing to the lawmakers

on national security issues, The Express

Tribune reported.

The members of the Pakistan

Parliament were told that the country

was manoeuvring to maintain a "balance"

in ties with the US and China.

However, Pakistan's efforts to seek

that balance seem to have not produced

the desired results, the report said.

The lawmakers were informed that

the country's relationship with the US,

Pakistan's traditional ally, is confronted

with further perils in the wake of recent

developments, particularly the chaotic

exit of the US from Afghanistan, the

report said.

"The ties with the US at the moment

are at the lowest ebb," an MP quoted a

senior figure as saying.

Pakistan's longstanding ties with

China have in the past helped Islamabad

to act as a bridge between Washington

and Beijing, acquiring a somewhat winwin

situation. But finding itself in an

altered geostrategic setup, Pakistan no

longer views it as an easy task, the

report said.

As China inches closer to matching

the US on all fronts, there have been

visible signs of what observers see as a

‘new cold war'. Against this backdrop,

Pakistan is confronted with the daunting

task of sustaining a balance in its

alliances.

On one hand, Beijing has stood by

Islamabad in difficult times and has

emerged as a major investor but on the

other, Islamabad also has to take into

account Washington's huge leverage

over international financial and other

institutions, the report said.

Briefing the lawmakers, the policymakers

highlighted that while China has

been Pakistan's long-standing "friend

and ally", the US still holds the key in

terms of IMF and FATF. Therefore,

Pakistan is striving for maintaining a

balance.

According to the Pakistani assessment,

the US could tighten the screws

on Pakistan through the International

Monetary Fund (IMF), Financial Action

Task Force (FATF) and other means, the

report said. The prospects of any positive

development on the Pakistan-US

ties are grim. "Sanctions, least likely,

coercion through IMF and FATF highly

likely," according to the assessment of

Pakistani policymakers.

The US could also resort to putting

curbs on Pakistani exports, it was

feared.

The report said Pakistan is already

struggling to revive the $6 billion

bailout program because of the stringent

conditions the global lender wants the

country to first fulfil. Similarly, despite

the substantive program on the action

plan, the FATF has kept Pakistan on the

"grey list."

The policymakers fear that the US

Congress could move new legislations

penalizing Pakistan for its role in

Afghanistan, the report added.

But the US' priorities have visibly

undergone a shift following its withdrawal

from Afghanistan and is once

again looking to abandon Pakistan.

Last month, when US Deputy

Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited

both Pakistan and India she had

said Washington had "no interest" in

going back to the days hyphenating

India and Pakistan, and that her trip to

Islamabad is only for "specific and narrow

purpose".

Sherman, who was speaking at an

event in Mumbai during the last day of

her two-day visit to India, also said her

Pakistan visit was for a "particular set of

reasons" and is not meant to once again

rebuild a broader relationship with the

country.

A western diplomat while speaking

on condition of anonymity said some of

the statements made by Prime Minister

Imran Khan after the US exit from

Afghanistan did not help Pakistan's

cause. It sent the wrong message to the

US. There was no need to "putting salt

on the wounds," remarked the diplomat,

the report added.

Glare on livestreaming intensifies

as China reins in influencers

Beijing : A sustained clampdown on

livestreaming by China recently stretched to

influencers with authorities slapping a ban

on recommending stocks or brokerages as

the Chinese capital opened its first bourse on

Monday.

According to state media, Beijing gets its

first stock exchange with the opening bell

going off Monday morning in what is seen as

the world's second largest economy trying to

rise above Western clamour given to taming

the dragon.

Livestreaming, which has a history of

spawning celebrities out of influencers

whose social dazzle under the ring light outshines

the glare of authorities, has lately

been under government scanner in the most

populous nation.

The government has come down hard on

the socio-cultural practice over the years

with the crackdown gathering momentum

against individuals who in increasing numbers

command societal reverence in the land

of philosophers like Confucius and Lai Zi.

Some influencers achieve cult-like status

on the back of their aura-filled image lapped

up by youngsters.

"Livestreaming for me is a good way of

buying things. The model can put on clothes

I want to purchase and help me choose -

doing away with the handicap of not being

able to try them on in person on the e-commerce

platform," said Cheng, not willing to

reveal her first name.

The 34-year-old mom said her mother

loves livestreaming platforms like Tik Tok.

"They provide another source of entertainment

for lots of Chinese, especially those

from rural areas," she added.

China in September banned anyone under

16 from registering to stream online. The

State Council, China's cabinet, said that

online services from games to social networks

should limit how much time and

money children spend online, adding that it

will be doing more in terms of classifying

and reviewing the content in games, as well

as protecting children's privacy and personal

information. Livestreaming offers a chance

for people living in remote and isolated

places to sell local specialties and tell their

stories, said Cheng, who every day spends

two hours commuting to her office in

Beijing. The clampdown on livestreaming

has come as part of the government's attempt

to limit screen time among children. Quirks

often define the country of about 1.5 billion

when it comes to digital life and the way citizens

take to it. For another Beijinger,

livestreaming and the ecosystem around it is

a waste of time for the young. "Men tend to

become effeminate by getting involved in

such things," says the senior professional not

willing to be named.

Welcome to the neoliberal world where

capitalism rules and people can be fooled

into such things, said the economics major.

China's property slump deepens

New Delhi : China's property slump has deepened, official data

showed, with new home prices seeing their biggest month-onmonth

decline since 2015, the BBC reported.

New construction starts in January to October also fell 7.7 per

cent, compared to a year earlier.

The country's property market has been shaken in recent months

as real estate giant Evergrande struggles to keep up interest payments

on its huge debts, the report said.

China has also been hit by a new wave of Covid cases and major

power cuts. The 0.2 per cent drop in new home prices in October

was the biggest fall seen in China since February 2015, the report

added. It also marks the first decline in new home prices since

March 2015. Sentiment in China's property market, which accounts

for about a quarter of the country's economic activity by some

measures, has been rocked as major property developers grapple

with huge debts, the report said.

The industry has come under intense scrutiny as fears continue

over the future of companies including real estate giant

Evergrande. Other Chinese home builders have also struggled to

find the money to make debt repayments.

Shares of developer Fantasia plunged by 50 per cent last week

after it said there was no guarantee it would be able to meet its

other financial obligations following a missed payment of $205.7

million in October, the report said.

And earlier this month, trading in shares of Kaisa Group and

three of its units was halted in Hong Kong after one of its businesses

missed a payment on a wealth management product.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

7

20 Indian fishermen released

from KARACHI prison

New Delhi : The Pakistan government

has released 20 Indian fishermen

from the District Prison and

Correctional Facility in Karachi,

Dawn news reported.

Most were imprisoned after crossing

over to Pakistani waters four years

ago with some also leaving after five

years.

Many wore colourful beaded necklaces

and bracelets around their necks

and wrists which they had made those

themselves.

Since the education provided to

prisoners in jails here is in Urdu or

English, the Indian fishermen find it

very hard to follow. Therefore, they

fare better in learning handicrafts or

vocational training, the report said.

There was something very special

in Ravendra Govind and Makwaran

Bhawesh Kumar's luggage. It was a

model of a Pakistani Coast Guard boat

made of blue and white beads. There

was also a small white helicopter and

a lifeboat resting on one of the decks

of the bigger boat.

"It is a model of the boat which

arrested us at sea four years ago,"

Ravendra was quoted as saying in the

Dawn news report.

"Its image is imprinted in my mind

so me and my friend here", he gestured

towards his friend Makwaran,

"started working on this model."

But the beautiful boat bore an

Indian flag and the name ‘Jiyan Ind'

on one side. The men had also given it

the name Ravi.Vadhel.

Asked why it didn't carry the

Pakistani boat's name, Makwaran

added that though the image of the

boat they could not get out of their

heads, the Indian flag was imprinted

on their hearts, the report said.

Both the friends said that their parents

back home had found suitable

brides for them and they would be

married soon after reaching home.

The jail staff when calling out the

names of the deportees came across

two names for whom they said, "Oh

come on, won't you stay longer. We

will miss you here," followed by giggles

and laughter all around. The fishermen

said that they have been treated

very well by the jail staff with whom

they also made friends, Dawn reported.

"The food served to us was exceptionally

delicious. We would get

chicken dishes three times a week,

eggs every morning with paratha, toast

and great tea. "But our favourite dish

in jail will have to be karhi-pakora,"

said Himat Balal Babu, the report said.

Another deportee, Arjun Babu, was

sporting very long tresses. He said that

he had been growing his hair from the

time of his arrest five years ago. "It

was for the fulfilment of my wish to be

released soon. It was a mannat," he

explained. "My hair grew so long and

I believe it is thanks to my mannat that

all we 20 are being released today," he

said, adding that he would get a haircut

as soon as he reaches home but not

immediately just to be safe. "I'll look

for a barber after crossing the border,"

he smiled, the report said.

Meanwhile, Ravendra said that he

was glad to be leaving for home now

but was sad about leaving behind several

other Indian fishermen in jail for

also having crossed over to Pakistan

unknowingly like him. "Please release

them also so that they can be with their

families," he pleaded. He also said he

will also ask the authorities in India to

release the Pakistani fishermen languishing

in Indian jails for years for

the same offence. All the deportees

belonged to the Indian state of

Gujarat, the report said.

The names of the rest are: Ranveer

Maoo Jee, Babu Naran, Bhupat

Bhagwan, Naran Parbat, Bhavesh

Shara Bhai, Rukhad Arjun, Dana

Bhupat, Ransi Bachu, Pola Sahur,

Meepa Aama Bhai, Biso Naga, Parma

Haresh Kumar, Paresh Bhai, Taba

Bhai, Vaju Lakhman and Juseb

Moosa.

The deportees were presented with

gift bags and a sum of 5,000 PKR each

by the Edhi Foundation, who were

also responsible for transporting them

to Lahore, the report said.

They are expected to reach Lahore,

by road, on Monday evening from

where they would be handed over to

Indian authorities through the Wagah

Border, the report said.

India completes reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Nepal

Kathmandu : India has successfully

reconstructed 50,000 houses in

Nepal's Gorkha and Nuwakot districts

in association with National

Reconstruction Authority (NRA), UN

Development Program, and UN

Office for the Project Services.

To mark the event, the Indian

Embassy in Kathmandu on Monday

organised a function where Namgya

C. Khampa, Deputy Chief of the

Mission, announced that 50,000 private

houses as committed by the

Centre in New Delhi, have been completed

with the Owner Driven

Reconstruction Approach adopted by

Kathmandu.

The event was attended by Chief

Executive of the National

Reconstruction Authority of Nepal,

Sushil Gyawali, Mayors of Gorkha

and Nuwakot districts, and several

representatives from various

Kathmandu-based donor agencies.

To expedite the reconstruction

work, the Nepal government had set

up the NRA whose main objective is

to carry out rapid reconstruction of the

physical damages caused by the massive

earthquakes of April 25 and May

12, 2015, and their aftershocks.

In March 2018, the UNDP and

UNOPS reached an agreement with

the government of India to provide

socio-technical facilitation and consultation

(STFC) services to earthquake-affected

beneficiaries in four

Urban Municipalities and 14 rural

municipalities the two districts.

For this, India had committed $150

million as a post-earthquake assistance

package on the housing sector to

provide financial and technical support

for the reconstruction of 50,000

beneficiaries, including a $100 million

grant and $50 million under our

Fourth Line of Credit.

Besides this, India is also working

with the NRA for the construction of

71 education sector projects, 132

health buildings, and

restoration/retrofitting of 28 cultural

heritage sites in a total 11 districts of

Nepal affected by the earthquake of

2015.

Altogether, 8,979 people lost their

lives and 22,309 were injured in the

2015 earthquakes.

Hundreds of thousands of private

houses, government buildings,

schools, health institutions, and historic

and archaeological heritage sites

were damaged.

According to the Post Disaster

Needs Assessment prepared and published

by the National Planning

Commission, it was estimated that

approximately $7 billion equivalent

of physical properties were damaged.

After the quake, the Nepal government

had organised a donor conference,

where India had pledged the

highest $1 billion for the reconstruction

bid as grant and loan.

According to the Post Disaster

Recovery Framework prepared by the

NRA in 2015, the total cost of reconstruction

is estimated to be the $9.3

billion.


8 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : Retirement is definitely

a well-deserved rest after a lifetime

of working hard. Getting respite from

a work routine and stress after years

of repetition can spark a sense of

relief and adventure.

However, the feeling of respite

soon fades for a majority of people as

questions about their sense of identity

and lifestyle start clouding their

minds. Naturally, after years of following

the same routine and doing the

same work, a sudden and complete

halt can feel strange and trigger emotions

of uncertainty and loneliness.

As more families go nuclear, a

majority of retirees live independently

by choice or because their children

work far away. While living alone

allows a person space to find and further

their individuality, it can also lead

to feelings of being alone and alienated.

This possibility has only worsened

during the pandemic as the social

restrictions have minimized whatever

a small number of visitations filled the

day of most retirees otherwise. A

Retiree spend most of their days in

leisure, and thus constant loneliness

might not translate into the best for

their physical and mental health.

There is therefore a critical need for

their children to take out time and

meaningfully engage with them to

make their retirement years happier.

Rahul Gupta, CEO, SeniorWorld

and Deepu, COO, SeniorWorld

together share ways to achieve how

working children can be more

involved in supporting Retired

Parents:

- Help them keep pace with technology:

By teaching your parents how

to cope with the current technological

advancements, children

can help them maintain pace with

the times. Learning the internet

and its usage can help ease their

day-to-day tasks and simultaneously

keep them engaged as they

start using mobile applications to

order medicines, shop online,

Can working children help

support retired parents

order groceries, stream movies,

and play games with friends who

are miles away. Children can also

help their parents engage in meaningful

virtual activities by helping

them get on board with virtual

tools such as Zoom, Google Meet,

and Facebook Live, etc.

- Help them keep fit: Taking a morning/evening

walk together with

your parents can prove to be a

good way to develop a meaningful

connection. This is a wonderful

way to bond while also keeping

yourself and your parents fit. An

additional perk is a fresh air that

you get to take outdoors which can

substantially boost your mood and

energy levels.

- Help them find hobbies: A good way

of keeping your parents engaged is

to find a long-lost hobby or activity

of theirs and rekindle their

interest in it. One can also help

their parents find and develop a

new hobby altogether. While

reigniting their interest in their old

hobbies, it is critical to tweak the

hobby to accommodate any current

challenges they may have.

For example, if your mother struggles

with her eyesight, getting her

larger crocheting hooks can prove

to be helpful.

- Travel with them: For a person who

has spent their life in service, it is

good to have a change of scene.

Thus, taking your parents out on a

Joe Biden's ties with

Kamala Harris are in crisis Thiruvananthapuram

Washington : US President Joe

Biden's ties with Vice President

Kamala Harris is in crisis, with the latter's

staff furious that she is being 'sidelined',

insists that the relationship

between Biden and Harris

remains harmonious and

productive.

while the President's team is

But privately, Harris'

increasingly frustrated by how Harris is

playing with the American public, the

Daily Mail reported. Harris' approval

rating has plunged even further than

Biden's in recent months, with rumours

swirling that the US President is considering

appointing her to the Supreme

Court as a backdoor method of selecting

aides gripe that she's been

set up to fail, and handed a

portfolio that is not commensurate

with her historic

status as the first woman,

and first woman of colour, to

hold the Vice President's

office, the report said.

a new Vice President, the report

"They're consistently

said.

Harris and her top aides are reportedly

frustrated with Biden for handing

her 'no-win' issues like the border crisis,

White House insiders told CNN.

They cited how the President defended

'white man' Pete Buttigieg, the transportation

secretary, more vigorously

than her.

At the same time, Biden's staff are

reportedly disappointed with Harris

over self-inflicted controversies, like

sending her out there on losing

issues in the wrong situations

for her skill set," a former

high-level Harris aide

told CNN. Typically, the

incumbent Vice President is

considered an automatic

lock for the party's next

open-field presidential primary.

For the Democrats, it's

not clear whether that day

her 'awkward' laughter when asked News/Washington Post poll shows Biden

will come in 2024, if Biden

about visiting the border by NBC's Lester at 53 per cent disapproval and 41 per cent decides not to seek re-election at the age

Holt. They blame her failure on the border approval -- down 11 points from April, the 80, or 2028, if he runs again as he has

crisis for sliding poll numbers. A new ABC report said. Publicly, the White House vowed both publicly and privately.

trip might be a good idea to keep

them engaged and happy. Open

spaces and adventure might also

do you good as your bond with

your family over a trip.

- Learn things from them: Most

retired people have lived a life full

of intriguing experiences and have

gained prominent knowledge over

the years. They love to share their

knowledge and recollect anecdotes

and see it as a quality time

with their family. You can give

your parents this quality time by

regularly reaching out to them for

help with your daily tasks like

cooking, gardening, etc, for seeking

guidance on issues you are

facing, or simply for a hearty chat.

: A

26-year-old RSS worker was

killed allegedly by a group of

the SDPI (Social Democratic

Party of India) members at

Ellapully in Palakkad district

on Monday morning.

A group of four

men waylaid and

attacked the youth

when he was going

on a motorcycle with

his wife at 9 a.m.

Speaking to

media, Palakkad BJP

district president

K.M. Haridas termed

it a "well-planned"

political murder by

the SDPI.

"A Sanjith was

going with his wife

when he was stopped

and brutally

attacked. The SDPI

in the state has got

the ruling party's

backing," he alleged.

A police team has

reached the crime

spot and started

investigation. Even

- Help them join a senior club: Joining

a club can be a very good idea for

retired people. This is because it

allows them to meet like-minded

people and form new connections.

Some of these connections might

become deep and significant as

time passes and can even act as a

strong support group for your parents

as and when they need.

- Take care of their safety: It is critical

that you take care of your parents'

safety at all times. One can do this

easily in this day of technology,

even while working tight schedules

and from afar. You can use IoTenabled

security cameras, home

security devices, and other technical

devices to facilitate this. In case

of any adversity, the systems would

be quick to notify you so you can

intervene timely. There are several

options available in the market that

have been built with the unique

needs of seniors in mind. Children

should keep researching and see

which ones can help their parents'

overall safety.

- Offer to host coffee dates for them -

You can organize coffee dates for

your parents and their friends as a

way of showing your gratitude for

all the play dates they arranged for

you. This is a great way to help

them refresh their energy and let

them deepen their connections

with the people they love.

- Find them a volunteering cause -

Helping your parents find and volunteer

for a cause they believe in

can help them to find a new sense

of identity and purpose in their life

and can help beat any existential

questions they might be having.

There are plenty of charities that

heartedly welcome additional

helping hands, and thus you can

easily find one suitable for your

parents.

Give your parents the gift of time

today to see a happier and healthier

version of them every day!

Kerala: RSS worker

killed in Palakkad

though Sanjith was immediately

rushed to the nearby hospital,

he succumbed to his

injuries.

The area has been cordoned

off and the security beefed up.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 9

J&K polls to be held soon: Tarun Chugh

New Delhi : All efforts are being

made to hold elections in Jammu and

Kashmir, after the delimitation process

gets over, said BJP general secretary

Tarun Chugh and in-charge of Jammu

and Kashmir, Ladakh and Telangana in

an exclusive interview with IANS.

Here are some excerpts of the interview:

Q. The BJP is going to contest elections

in Punjab for the first time without

the support of Shiromani Akali

Dal (SAD)? How will the BJP be able

to fight against Congress, SAD and

the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)?

A. Yes, this time the BJP will contest

forthcoming Assembly elections in

Punjab on its own. We have been contesting

elections continuously since

1952. We fought earlier under the banner

of Jana Sangh and from 1980 with

the poll symbol of the BJP and in 1992

also as a party, although the circumstances

were different then. This time

we are ready to give a tough fight to the

Congress, SAD and the AAP, including

all opposition parties. We have made

preparations right to the booth level of

all 117 Assembly seats.

Q. Amarinder Singh is constantly

speaking about the possibility of a

possible alliance with the BJP, with

the latter calling him a nationalist

leader. When will the BJP make the

final decision about an alliance with

Amarinder Singh?

A. It is for the BJP high command to

Ex-Maha HM

Deshmukh sent to 14

days judicial custody

Mumbai : A Special PMLA Court on Monday

sent Maharashtra ex-home minister Anil Deshmukh

to 14 days' judicial custody, two weeks after his

remand with the Enforcement Directorate (ED)

ended.

Special PMLA Court Judge H.S. Satbhai also

permitted a bed and prescribed medicines to

Deshmukh,72, given his advanced age and health

conditions, though the ED's Special Public

Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar opposed the

demand.

The senior Nationalist Congress Party leader

was arrested early on November 2 in connection

with a money-laundering case filed by the ED and

has since been in the agency's custody.

The ED's case followed a corruption FIR registered

by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param

Bir Singh - currently 'missing' - wrote a letter in

March accusing Deshmukh of allegedly asking a

sacked cop Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore

from Mumbai hoteliers between December 2020

and February 2021.

The Special Judge Satbhai heard Special Public

Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar and Deshmukh

lawyers Inderpal Singh and Aniket Nikam, and

after the ED did not seek further remand, ordered

judicial custody for the NCP leader.

decide what kind of alliance the party

will have with Amarinder Singh. Punjab

is a border state, its peace and security is

of utmost importance. The BJP will take

a decision at an appropriate time.

Q. On Sunday, a delegation of

Punjab BJP leaders met Prime

Minister Narendra Modi and

demanded the reopening of

Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. How big

is this an issue for Punjab?

A. Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was

opened even earlier because of Prime

Minister Narendra Modi, which the

Sikhs all over the country have been

demanding for the last seven decades.

Along with this, the Prime Minister has

taken many remarkable steps for Punjab

and Sikhs, so the Punjab BJP delegation

thanked him and urged him that before

celebrating the birth anniversary of

Guru Nanak Dev on November 19, the

Kartarpur Sahib Corridor must be

reopened again so that with full enthusiasm

and reverence, the Sikhs can visit

the Gurudwara and pay their respects.

The 1984 riots accused were penalised

only after the Modi government made

efforts and Sikhs got justice. We also

thanked PM Modi for this.

Q. What is the biggest issue for the

BJP in the Punjab Legislative

Assembly elections? With what promise

will you seek votes from the public?

A. Mafia Raj is the most serious

issue in all areas of Punjab. There are

drug mafia, sand mafia, transport mafia,

etc. The law and order situation in

Punjab has completely collapsed. The

economy of Punjab is in bad shape.

There is no development in agriculture

or industry, trade. All these issues will

be part of our campaign.

Q. While removing Article 370

from Jammu and Kashmir and reorganizing

the state, it was promised

that Legislative Assembly elections

will be held at an appropriate time,

what is the preparation for this?

A. The removal of Article 370 has

been welcomed by all. Democracy has

been strengthened. On the call of Prime

Minister Narendra Modi, the people of

Jammu and Kashmir have voted in

lakhs and have shown faith in the policies

of the government. Preparations are

afoot to hold assembly elections in

Jammu and Kashmir soon. The matter

of delimitation is already being looked

into by the Election Commission. After

the delimitation work is completed, the

central government will take a decision

on it soon.

Q. But the same question is being

asked again and again that when will

the Legislative Assembly elections be

held in J&K?

A. Elections will be held soon. As we

told you, the central government wants

to hold the elections as soon as possible.

Q. What will be the target of the

BJP in the assembly elections in

Jammu and Kashmir? Will you contest

elections alone or join other parties

as well?

A. It is too early to say anything on

this. Let the elections be announced

first, then the party will see what to do.

Q. The way terror incidents have

increased in recent days, what do you

see is the motive behind the targeted

killings?

A. This is a conspiracy of Pakistan

and ISI to spread terror in the Kashmir

Valley and Indian security forces will

deal with it effectively. Jammu and

Kashmir has moved from terrorism to

tourism. People have realized that for so

many decades Abdullah, Mufti and

Examine work from home

for employees: SC to Centre,

states on air pollution

New Delhi : The Supreme

Court on Monday told the

Centre and state governments to

examine the feasibility of work

from home for employees and

also asked the states to ensure

that stubble burning does not

happen for 1-2 weeks.

A bench headed by Chief

Justice N.V. Ramana and also

comprising Justices D.Y.

Chandrachud and Surya Kant

said: "At present, there is a good

amount of stubble burning taking

place. We tell the states that

stubble burning does not happen

for 1-2 weeks.." It further directed

the Centre and states, "to

examine for work from home

for employees," in the meanwhile.

Mehta submitted that the

Haryana government took some

steps to implement work from

home and they have also

stopped trash burning.

The top court asked the chief

secretaries of Punjab, Uttar

Pradesh, Haryana to be present

for Tuesday's emergency meeting

scheduled by the Centre.

The bench noted that the construction,

stubble burning, work

from home, transport, etc., are

the issues. "Let the committees

meet and let them discuss these

issues...need an action plan by

tomorrow evening," said the

bench.

The top court pointed out that

there is no basis for hue and cry

about stubble burning, as it

merely contributes to only 4 per

cent of air pollution in winters,

and pointed out that, as per

Centre's affidavit, major culprits

of air pollution are transport,

industries, and vehicular pollution.

Solicitor General Tushar

Mehta, representing the Centre,

while detailing on initiatives

taken by the Delhi government

to curb air pollution, submitted,

"We are fighting together, no

politics in the fight against air

pollution..."

The bench noted that "in fact

now the cat is out of the bag, the

farmers' stubble burning contributes

to 4 per cent of the pollution

as per the chart (in the

Centre's affidavit)...so, we are

targeting something which is

totally insignificant...".

The top court also sought an

action plan from the Centre,

Punjab, Haryana and Delhi by

Tuesday regarding measures to

curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The Chief Justice emphasized

that since stubble burning

is not reason, the authorities

must focus on issues which

majorly contribute towards air

pollution.

Congress have fooled them.

Pakistan will be defeated in its nefarious

design. The Modi government is

continuously working on the eradication

of terrorism and taking the UT to the

path of development and ensuring security

to all. Terrorists killed 2,081 people

during 2004-2014 while 239 civilians

were killed during 2014 to 2021, which

is again a testimony of peace and security

in Jammu and Kashmir.

Q. The opposition parties keep

raising the demand for full statehood

to Jammu and Kashmir again? As

BJP in-charge, what do you have to

say on this?

A. All such people should understand

that J&K has moved on. A new chapter

of development and progress is being

written. The decision about restoring the

statehood will be taken at the right time.

Q. It has been a common complaint

of the people of Ladakh that

the pace of their development is very

slow. How far have you been able to

resolve the grievances of the people

there?

A. Ladakh remained neglected for

decades due to the policies of Abdullah

and Mufti. Ladakh region was never

respected, but now new development

works are taking place and people of

Ladakh are feeling proud of it. The

Centre will make Ladakh a developed

region where people will find new

avenues of development and progress

and connectivity.

Woman gets husband

arrested for seeking sexual

favours in drunken state

Patna : Despite prohibition, cases of liquor consumption,

trade and smuggling are rising in Bihar.

In Aurangabad district, a woman got her husband

arrested when he came home in a drunken state.

The incident took place in Neem Tola village

under Barun police station of Aurangabad. In a

written complaint to the police, the woman named

Suman Devi alleged that her husband Pawan

Chaudhary was a habitual drinker.

"Chaudhary, in an inebriated state, was trying to

seek sexual favour from his wife Suman Devi on

Monday. As he was in a drunken state, his wife

refused. This led to a heated exchange of words

between them. The woman took the help of other

family members to overpower him and informed

us," said Dhananjay Sharma, SHO of Barun police

station.

"Suman handed over her husband to the police

when we reached the village. Pawan Chaudhary

was found in a drunken state. He also underwent a

medical examination where doctors found traces of

alcohol in his blood," Sharma said.

The accused was booked under relevant sections

of the prohibition law.

In the last 17 days, over 50 persons died and

around 40 lost their eyesight after consuming spurious

liquor in Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Bettiah,

Samastipur and Vaishali districts.


10 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

India's 41st scientific

expedition reaches Antarctica

New Delhi : Geological exploration

of the Amery ice shelf at

Bharati station and reconnaissance

surveys and preparatory work for

drilling of 500 meters of ice core near

Maitri would be the two main programmes

of India's 41st expedition to

Antarctica.

The first batch of 23 scientists and

support staff that is part of the 41st

Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

reached the southern white continent's

Indian Antarctic station Maitri

last week, a release from the Ministry

of Earth Sciences said on Monday.

Four more batches will be landing

in Antarctica by air using the DROM-

LAN facility and chartered ice-class

vessel MV Vasiliy Golovnin by mid-

January 2022, it said. The first programme

encompasses geological

exploration of the Amery ice shelf at

Bharati station. This will help explore

the link between India and Antarctica

in the past. The second programme

involves reconnaissance surveys and

preparatory work for drilling of 500

meters of ice core near Maitri. It will

help in improving the understanding

of the Antarctic climate, westerly

winds, sea-ice and greenhouse gases

from a single climate archive for the

past 10,000 years.

"The ice core drilling will be done

in collaboration with the British

Antarctic Survey and the Norwegian

Polar Institute. In addition to accomplishing

scientific programmes, it

will replenish the annual supplies of

food, fuel, provisions, and spares for

operations and maintenance of life

support systems at Maitri and

Bharati," the release said.

The Indian Antarctic programme,

which began in 1981, has completed

40 scientific expeditions, and built

three permanent research base stations

in Antarctica: Dakshin Gangotri

(1983), Maitri (1988) and Bharati

(2012).

As of today, Maitri and Bharati are

fully operational. The National

Centre for Polar and Ocean Research

(NCPOR) in Goa is an autonomous

institute under the Ministry of Earth

Sciences and manages the entire

Indian Antarctic programme. The

Indian contingent reached Antarctica

after training for snow-ice acclimatisation

and survival at the

Mountaineering and Skiing Institute,

ITBP Auli, Uttarakhand; and a stringent

sanitary protocol including a 14-

day quarantine at Cape Town, South

Africa.

The crew is expected to return to

Cape Town in late March or early

April of 2022, leaving a team of 48

members over winter. It will also

bring back the winter team of the preceding

40th expedition. The 41st

expedition is being led by Scientist,

National Centre for Polar and Ocean

Research (Voyage Leader), Dr

Shailendra Saini; Metrologist, India

Metrological Department (Leader,

Maitri Station), Huidrom Nageshwar

Singh and scientist Indian Institute of

Geomagnetism (Leader, Bharati

Station), Anoop Kalayil Soman, the

release said.

Telangana CM pays

tributes to Birsa Munda

Hyderabad : Telangana Chief Minister K.

Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday paid tributes to

tribal leader and freedom fighter Birsa Munda on

his 146th birth anniversary.

The Chief Minister noted that Birsa Munda had

sacrificed his life at a very young age fighting for

the country's independence, for the self-respect

and rights of the adivasis, tribes and found a permanent

place in the history of the country's freedom

movement.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known,

said that under self-governance in Telangana, the

government is implementing several welfare and

development programmes for the adivasis, tribes

and protecting their self-respect.

The Union government has declared November

15 as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas or Tribal Pride Day

as a tribute to Birsa Munda.

Born on November 15, 1875, in Ulihatu village

in present day Jharkhand, Birsa Munda participated

in the freedom movement.

India will celebrate Birsa Munda's

birth anniv every year: Modi

Bhopal : Prime Minister

Narendra Modi on Monday said

that the nation will celebrate freedom

fighter Birsa Munda's birth

anniversary in the line of

Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom

fighters who sacrificed their

lives for the nation. Modi was

addressing a mass gathering of

tribals at Bhopal's Jamburi maidan

on the occasion of 'Janjatiya

Gaurav Divas' orgainsed by the

Madhya Pradesh Government to

mark the birth anniversary of tribal

freedom fighter.

The Prime Minister reached

Jamburi maidan at 1.10 p.m. and

walked through an exhibition of

tribals' handicrafts. During inspection,

he interacted with the tribals

and congratulated them for Birsa

Munda's birth anniversary. As he

ascended the dais, people who had

assembled from different parts of

the state and were waiting for last

several hours, cheered. In his

speech, he highlighted several

schemes introduced by the BJPled

Centre in the last seven years.

He also thanked the tribals for

their active participation in taking

the Covid-19 vaccines. "When

people in some developed countries

are showing hesitation in taking

Covid vaccines, tribals have

accepted it.

We need to learn from from this.

Tribals are the strength of India but

despite constituting 10 per cent of

the total population, their culture

and history has not got the desired

recognition," he said.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

11

Centre's affidavit on air pollution in SC points

at contradictions on stubble BURNING

New Delhi : The Central government's

affidavit in the Supreme Court

has brought out two contradictory figures

on stubble burning, as Delhi continues

to grapple with severe air pollution.

The affidavit filed by the Joint

Secretary in the Ministry of

Environment, Forest and Climate

Change cited a scientific study carried

out to get indicative figures to show

average sectoral contributions in PM

2.5 and PM 10 concentrations in Delhi.

According to the study, the PM 2.5

concentration due to agricultural burning

is 4 per cent in winter and 7 per cent

in summer. For PM 10, agricultural

burning is 4 per cent in winter and 7 per

cent in summer. The study said PM 2.5

in winter is 85 per cent due to various

sectors -- residential (10 per cent),

industry (30 per cent), dust (17 per cent)

and transport (28 per cent). Similarly, in

summer, PM 2.5 concentration is 85 per

cent due to the above sectors. The same

sectors contribute 85 per cent of PM 10

concentration in winter and 87 per cent

in summer.

However, an annexure in the affidavit,

which details the minutes of the

seventh meeting of the Commission for

Air Quality Management in NCR and

adjoining areas held on November 14,

said, "Efforts need to be intensified to

control the instances of stubble burning

to minimum as currently the paddy

stubble burning has been contributing

about 35-40 per cent total pollution load

in Delhi-NCR." Senior advocate Vikas

Singh representing the petitioner,

Aditya Dubey, said, "The government

of India made a wrong statement in the

court on Monday over stubble burning

as its high-level meeting on Sunday

evening had recorded that stubble burning

even now is responsible for 35-40

per cent of Delhi's air pollution (paragraph

114 of their affidavit).

Construction needs to be regulated

rather than banned because it's an ongoing

activity which will cause pollution

whenever allowed."

The Centre is trying to protect the

farmers as they do not want to alienate

them during election time, Singh added.

During the Monday hearing on

Dubey's petition to stop farm fires, the

Supreme Court said farm fires only

have a 11 per cent share in Delhi's pollution.

A bench headed by Chief Justice

N.V. Ramana and also comprising justices

D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant

said according to Centre's affidavit --

industry, vehicular pollution and dust

caused more than 70 per cent of air pollution,

and Delhi's air pollution is not

due to stubble burning.

"Are you agreeing in principle that

stubble burning is not the major cause,"

Justice Surya Kant asked Mehta. The

SC bench questioned whether the "hue

and cry" surrounding the stubble burning

was without scientific and legal

basis. During the hearing, Justice

Chandrachud said, "Now the cat is out

of the bag. Farmers' stubble burning is

contributing only 4 per cent. It's

insignificant." The top court directed

the Centre and state governments to

come up with an action plan to curb air

pollution in the national capital and

scheduled the matter for further hearing

on Tuesday.

WILL CHANGE BACK NAMES OF

DISTRICTS, SAYS AKHILESH YADAV

Lucknow : Samajwadi Party president

Akhilesh Yadav has said that when

his party comes to power, he would

change back the names of various districts.

"Even before the paint on the new

name dries up, we will be back and will

revert to the original name," he said at a

press conference here on Monday.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on

Saturday had suggested that Azamgarh,

which is Akhilesh Yadav's parliamentary

constituency, could be changed to

Aryamgarh.

The SP chief alleged that the BJP had

destroyed Uttar Pradesh.

"They are doing now what we did

five years ago. They could not give an

oxygen plant to Azamgarh during the

Covid peak - what development will

they give to Uttar Pradesh now," he

said.

He claimed that his party had helped

migrant workers during the pandemic

but the BJP government was inaugurating

only those projects that had been

initiated in his regime.

Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the quality

of the Purvanchal expressway had

been compromised. He said that there

were no expressway facilities but the

government was rushing to inaugurate

it.

He promised that when he comes to

power, he would construct mandis along

the expressway so that people could

benefit.

Akhilesh also slammed the district

administration of Ghazipur district for

denying him permission to take out a

yatra on the expressway.

"I thought they will allow us to move

on our own expressway," he said.

Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Kisan Sena,

Political Justice Party, Akhil Bhartiya

Navnirman Party and Labour party

announced their merger into the

Samajwadi Party on Monday.

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12 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

'NE Delhi riots probe on communal lines',

submits lawyer; Court disapproves

New Delhi : A Delhi court has

expressed strong disapproval on the

submission of a lawyer, who appeared

for an accused in a case related to last

year's riots in North East Delhi, in

which he said that only the persons

belonging to the Muslim community

were targeted by the police in the

aftermath of the riots.

The court of Additional Sessions

Judge Virender Bhat said that the submissions

are not in good taste, adding

that "these are noted with immense

disgust, repugnance and strong disapproval".

"It is the counsel himself who is

now painting the entire Delhi Police

with a communal brush by saying that

the criminal cases related to the riots

have been fastened upon the members

of Muslim community alone. The

statement of the counsel is not only

highly irresponsible, but also patently

false," the court said.

Further, the court stated that while

dealing with the cases related to the

riots, it has noticed that members of

both the communities have been

arraigned as accused and have been

India allows foreign

tourists as Covid

cases DECLINE

New Delhi : India on Monday

decided to reopen the entry of all

foreign tourists following a sharp

and sustained decline in Covid-19

cases. According to the officials,

now the foreign travelers will be

allowed to visit India without a

mandatory quarantine. The government's

move came 20 months after

the pandemic situation improved in

the country. India has now allowed

entry to fully inoculated tourists

from 99 countries including the UK,

USA, Israel, Brazil, Canada,

Greece, Kuwait, Colombia, Russia

and Germany, who have already

recognized the Indian vaccination

certificates or WHO-recognised

vaccinated Indian travelers in their

countries. The government only

requires that such tourists monitor

their health for 14 days after their

arrival in India. In case of a foreigner

who has taken only one shot, will

have to go for RT-PCR test at the

airports or any entry points in India

and will have to go for seven days

self home quarantine stay in case of

a positive report and on the 8th day,

the RT-PCR test will be done again

and then they can walk free in the

country. In case a person is found

positive in the second RT-PCR test,

he will have to stay in home quarantine

for another eight days.

Earlier, the Indian authorities

had allowed foreign tourists

through chartered flights and they

had to go for 14 days home mandatory

quarantine but now that restrictions

have been eased off.

In March 2020 the government

suspended visas of all foreign

nationals as the Covid-19 pandemic

was on a steep hike. In December

2020, the government launched an

'air bubble' or 'air corridor' scheme

with 19 countries such as USA,

UK, France, Germany, Canada, the

Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain,

Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and

Japan so that the stranded passengers

in India can leave to their

countries and the Indians who were

stuck in these countries might

return to India.

The Indian authorities allowed

the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

and OCI (Overseas Citizens of

India) cardholders to visit here.

charge-sheeted by the police.

In some cases, it has been observed

that there are witnesses belonging to

the Hindu community cited against the

New Delhi : Out of the 40 MLAs in

Goa Assembly, 11 have declared criminal

cases against them, which translates

into 28 per cent of the total sitting

MLAs, according to the Goa Election

Watch report prepared by the

Association for Democratic Reforms

(ADR).

The report said that nine MLAs had

declared serious criminal cases in their

affidavits. One MLA has declared cases

related to crime against women under

IPC Section 376. The report further

added that party-wise, 7 out of 27

MLAs from the BJP and one out of 5

Congress MLAs have criminal cases

against them.

"One (33 per cent) out of 3 MLAs

from the Goa Forward Party, the sole

MLA from the NCP and one (33 per

cent) out of the three Independent MLAs

have declared criminal cases against

them in their affidavits," the report said.

Serious criminal cases have been registered

against five (19 per cent) out of the

27 BJP MLAs, one (20 per cent) out of

the five Congress MLAs, one (33 per

cent) out of three MLAs from the Goa

Forward Party, the sole NCP MLA and

one (33 per cent) out of the three

accused belonging to the same community,

and vice versa.

Observing that the police appears to

have done their job with the utmost

integrity and certainly not on communal

lines, the court said may be some

lapses have occurred during the investigation

of these cases related to the

riots, but even those lapses do not give

any slightest indication that the investigation

was not fair or impartial or

that it was done on communal lines.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha,

appearing for the accused named Arif,

commenced his arguments by submitting

that the riots that took place in

North East Delhi in the last week of

February 2020 were not actually communal

riots. It was his submission that

the riots had taken place at the

instance of certain political vested

interests to derail the peaceful protest

which was going on against the newly

promulgated CAA/NRC by the

Parliament. The court also said that

Independent MLAs, as per the report.

On an average, the Goa Assembly sat for

16 days per year. The longest was the

10th session in 2019, from July 15 to

August 9. It had 20 sittings in total. The

highest number of hours contributed to

Assembly sittings were 154.01 hours in

2017 when the Assembly had 24 sittings.

The lowest number of hours contributed

to Assembly sittings was 35.54

hours in 2020 when the Assembly had

seven sittings. However, only 36 MLAs

asked questions in the seventh Assembly

the lawyer did not point at any material

on record to substantiate his claim

that the riots were not communal in

nature, or they were the handiwork of

any political party.

The court dismissed the bail plea of

Arif, stating that the allegations

against the accused are serious in

nature. The case relates to the murder

of Alok Tiwari, who had sustained

several injuries near the Shiv Vihar

Tiraha on February 25 last year during

the riots that engulfed almost the

entire North -East Delhi.

As per the post-mortem report, the

deceased had received 13 injuries by

sharp-edged and blunt objects and the

cause of his death was "shock as a

result of ante-mortem injury to the

brain caused by blunt force impact".

As per the eye witness account of

Ajeet Kumar Tomar, Arif was part of

the riotous mob which had attacked

the deceased with rods, stones and

bottles, thereby causing his death.

Out of 40 MLAs, 11 face criminal cases

in poll-bound Goa: ADR report

Srinagar : Two unidentified terrorists

have been killed in an ongoing

encounter between terrorists and security

forces at Hyderpora in Central

Kashmir's Srinagar district on Monday,

officials said.

"One more unidentified terrorist

killed (Total 2). Operation going on,"

police said.

The firefight between terrorists and

security forces took place after a joint

team of the police and the army cordoned

off the area and launched a

search operation on the basis of specific

information about presence of terrorists.

As the security forces zeroed in on

the spot where terrorists were hiding

they came under a heavy volume of fire

that triggered the encounter.

session. A total of 9,442 questions were

asked by these MLAs. Out of the five

MLAs who asked the highest numbers

of questions, four belonged to the

Congress and one to the BJP, said the

ADR Report.

The report analysed the criminal,

financial and other background details

of all the 40 sitting MLAs in Goa. The

analysis is based on the affidavits submitted

by the candidates prior to the

2017 Assembly elections and the byelections

conducted thereafter.

2 terrorists killed in Srinagar encounter


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

Hindu Rao doctors protest

non-payment of salaries

New Delhi : Doctors at Delhi's Hindu

Rao Hospital went on a half-day pen-down

strike on Monday over the non- payment of

salaries for the past three months.

The resident doctors have also not got

their dearness allowance (DA) since the past

five months.

A total of 200 doctors staged the strike

from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and will again

protest in a similar manner on November 16

and 17.

Hindu Rao hospital RDA president

Tanuraj Tyagi told IANS: "We have not been

paid salary for past three months and our DA

is pending for five months. From today

onwards, we have started pen-down strike

for three days, thereafter we will go on an

indefinite strike."

The RDA doctors, in a letter to the

Medical Superintendent (MS) dated

November 11, had threatened to go on a pendown

strike on November 15, 16 and 17

from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and an indefinite

strike from November 18, if pending salaries

and DA are not paid by the evening of

November 14.

"If our salaries and DA up to date are not

released on or before November 14, we will

go on pen-down strike strike on November

15, 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and

unfortunately we will go on indefinite strike

from November 18 on Thursday," read the

letter to the MS. The nurses of the hospital

are also protesting over salary issues. As the

RDA doctors staged the protest, senior doctors

attended to the patients, Tyagi said. Over

50 per cent nurses' posts and a large number

of doctors' posts are lying vacant in the

MCD-run 980-bed Hindu Rao hospital.

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

13

December 1: All India Protest

against Attacks on Minorities

The Polit Bureau expresses its grave concern at the growing

attacks against minority communities – Christian and Muslim – by

organisations affiliated to the sangh parivar. The recent exposures

in the internal documents of social media platform – Facebook –

also underline how BJP leaders have promoted highly communal

messaging, provoking violence in many instances. Not only do the

perpetrators of such communal actions enjoy immunity from the

law, instead of protecting the victims, the administration in many

BJP-ruled states punishes the victims and those who support them

with false cases and arrests under draconian clauses.

Recent reports by human rights groups have recorded 300

attacks on Christian communities and places of their religious worships

within the first nine months in 2021. Many of the victims

belong to adivasi and dalit communities. Prayer meetings are

being regularly prevented and participants beaten in the name of

preventing conversions.

Members of the Muslim minority are targeted and there are continuing

cases of lynching, police killings, false arrests and mob violence

against them in the name of `cow protection’ and `love jihad’.

The most recent example has been in Tripura, where VHP hoodlums

attacked minority communities, including vandalizing some

mosques. Those reporting these attacks have been booked under

UAPA. Another example is the prevention of the right to offer

prayers, which have been curtailed in Gurgaon, part of the National

Capital Region. Muslim street vendors in some parts of Madhya

Pradesh have been threatened and disallowed from pursuing their

livelihood. In Assam, the poor peasant families cultivating land for

decades were brutally evicted only because they belong to Muslim

minority. In Uttar Pradesh, the use of NSA against Muslims have

become common place.

These attacks on minorities constitute an attack on the

Constitution of India. The CPI(M) calls upon all its units to

observe December 1 as a day of protest against attacks on religious

minorities and their Constitutional rights.

'Player shouldn't suffer',

Delhi HC asks TTFI to give

clean chit to Manika Batra

New Delhi : The Delhi High

Court said on Monday that a

player should not suffer in courts

ahead of international events and

suggested the Table Tennis

Federation of India (TTFI) to

give a clean chit to ace paddler

Manika Batra, who had

approached the court against the

selection process of the apex

table tennis body.

A single bench of Justice

Rekha Palli observed that there

was no question of misconduct

from the player's side, and noted

that there is nothing wrong in

seeking a personal coach.

The bench also said that the

country cannot afford a player

doing the rounds in courts ahead

of international events.

The court also asked the TTFI

to bring the reits correspondences

on record at the next hearing

on November 17.

The high court was hearing a

petition filed by Batra seeking

quashing of rules mandating

compulsory attendance at

national coaching camps for

selection in international events.

She had knocked the doors of

the court seeking her inclusion at

the Asian Table Tennis

Championship, which was to be

held at Doha from September 28,

while also seeking the scrutiny

of the conduct of TTFI in not

selecting her for the Asian

Championships. On September

23, the Delhi High Court had put

an interim stay on TTFI's rules

that made it compulsory for

players to attend a national camp

for selection in international

events. Batra had also alleged

that she has been a target of the

TTFI just because she has come

out against the apex body, and

that she was being treated like an

accused. Rather than being able

to focus on her matches and

tournaments, she was being

called by the international federation

to provide evidence, she

had said. The court had also

asked the Sports Ministry to file

an enquiry report related to the

conduct of TTFI officials in not

selecting Batra in a sealed cover.

Batra had made history at the

Tokyo Olympics by becoming

the first player from the country

to reach the third round at the

Games before losing to Austria's

Sofia Polcanova.

Kejriwal indulges

in blame game on

pollution: Punjab Minister

New Delhi : Slamming the

Aam Adami Party (AAP) for

wrongly blaming the Punjab

farmers for Delhi pollution,

Punjab Industries Minister

Gurkirat Singh on Monday said

that the Arvind Kejriwal-led

Delhi government has indulged

in the blame game to save its

own skin as it has completely

failed to control pollution in the

national capital.

Gurkirat Singh, who was the

chief guest at Punjab Day

Function held during the ongoing

India International Trade

Fair 2021 at Pragati Maidan, also

urged the Central government

for reopening of Kartarpur

Corridor, which has been closed

since March 2020 due to Covid-

19 pandemic.

Talking on industrial growth

in Punjab, the Cabinet minister

said the state government had

taken several steps for creating

ease of doing business and

ensuring stable growth of the

industrial sector in Punjab.

He said that the Congress-led

Punjab government has brought

investment of over Rs 1 lakh

crore in the state, which has not

only given the much needed

boost to the economy but also

generated employment.

The minister said that the

government has recently organised

a two-day Progressive

Punjab Investors' Summit during

which renowned industrialists

reiterated to further invest in the

Punjab to expand their businesses.

He said the state government

has set up Punjab Bureau of

Investment Promotion as the single

point of contact to facilitate

investors. The new industrial

policy with detailed schemes and

operational guidelines was

implemented with a sole motive

of becoming the number one

destination for investors and

business in the country.

The new policy covers extensive

reforms focusing on eight

key strategic pillars of change --

infrastructure, power, skill,

MSMEs, startup and entrepreneurship,

ease-of-doing business,

fiscal and non-fiscal incentives

and policy.


14 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Milind Teltumbde: From coal miner to

top Maoist commander of central India

Mumbai/Gadchiroli : The excitement

in security circles was palpable as

news trickled late on Saturday that one

of the 26 Maoists gunned down could

be of the top leaders Milind B.

Teltumbade.

Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil

officially confirmed the development on

Sunday, that indeed, the 57-year-old

dreaded Red insurgent and head of its

Central India operations, was among

those felled by the security agencies'

bullets in the Gadchiroli forests in the

November 13 encounter.

A Dalit, Milind Teltumbde, 57, was

the brother of human rights activist and

scholar Anand Teltumbde - who is the

brother-in-law of Vanchit Bahujan

Aghadi President Dr Prakash

Ambedkar. Anand Teltumbade is among

the group of so-called "Urban Maoists"

who were raided in early and mid-2018

in connection with the Koregaon

Bhima-Elgar Parishad cases - in which

even Milind Teltumbade was "wanted" -

and is currently lodged in the Taloja

Jail, Raigad.

Born in Yavatmal, Anabd

Teltumbade studied upto SSC and then

completed his ITI course before starting

life as ordinary electrician in the

Padmapur open cast coal mine in 1984-

1985, officials said.

A couple of years later, he came in

touch with lawyer Sujan Abraham, who

was state secretary of Akhil

Maharashtra Kamgar Union with far-

Leftist leanings - his maiden forays into

what would later become a long and

bloody career as an insurgent.

Milind Teltumbade was gradually

attracted to the Maoist ideology and

joined the coal workers' movements

through the Mazdoor Sangathan, the

Indian Mine Workers Federation and

then even as President of Naujawan

Bharat Sabha. All the time, he worked

Covid: UK firm to trial new

skin patch vax targeting T-cell

London : A UK-based company is soon

set to begin clinical trials of an easy-toadminister

skin patch against Covid-19, the

media reported.

While Covid vaccines target antibody

responses -- getting stuck to the virus and

stopping it from infecting cells -- Emergex's

vaccine uses T-cells to find and kill infected

cells thus preventing viral replication and

disease, the Guardian reported.

The vaccine will be administered as a skin

patch the size of a thumbnail bristling with

micro-needles that releases the shot within

seconds. It can last for up to three months at

room temperature, unlike other jabs that

need to be stored in the freezer or fridge.

The skin patch consists of tiny gold particles

coated in peptides (bits of proteins)

designed to generate the T-cell response in

the body, the report said.

Other Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer

and AstraZeneca also produce a T-cell

response, but to a lesser extent.

Further, the currently available Covid

vaccines mainly elicit an antibody response

that wanes over time, meaning people need

booster shots. But, Emergex's vaccine works

differently. It kills infected cells quickly,

which means it could offer longer lasting

immunity -- possibly for decades -- and

could also be better at fighting virus mutations,

Robin Cohen, the firm's chief commercial

officer, was quoted as saying. The Swiss

drugs regulator has granted approval for

Emergex to conduct the initial human trial in

Lausanne. The trial involves 26 people who

will receive a high and a lowdose

of its experimental Covid-

19 vaccine, starting on January

3. Interim results from the trial

are expected in June. However,

the Emergex shot will not be

available until 2025 at the earliest,

the report said.

"This is the first time a regulator

has approved a Covid vaccine

to go into clinical trials

whose sole purpose is to generate

a targeted T-cell response in

the absence of an antibody

response and those T-cells look

for infected cells and kill them,"

Cohen said.

"The virus is the asteroid: it

fires into the planet and a viral

code, a signature for that virus,

is rapidly displayed all over the

surface. These signatures are

read by T-cells as foreign, and

the T-cells kill the cell before it

can produce new live viruses," he explained.

According to Danny Altmann, a professor

of immunology at Imperial College London,

a T-cell vaccine may not "do the job on its

own" but could complement the current vaccines

as boosters as T-cell vaccines might be

more impervious to virus mutations.

"Antibodies are very sensitive to mutations

while T-cells can see many other parts

of the virus. Maybe that's a selling point for

T-cell vaccines," Altmann was quoted as saying.

Emergex is also testing another T-cell

vaccine against dengue fever on humans in a

separate Swiss trial, with initial results due in

January. The firm also wants to deploy its T-

cell vaccines against influenza, Zika, Ebola

and other infections.

in the field and rural areas to recruit volunteers,

and also played a critical role in

spreading Maoism in urban regions

among the educated youth.

By the late 1990s, he was a fullfledged

activist of the banned CPI-

Maoist and worked as a DVCM for the

coal-belts in Chandrapur-Nagpur districts.

In 2004, he became a member of

Maharashtra Rajya State Committee

and after the arrest of Shridhar

Shrinivasan, was promoted as the powerful

MRSC Secretary.

Within the next 8 years, by 2012, he

was the acting in-charge of the North

Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat Division

and at the 4th Central Committee

Members meeting in April 2013, was

promoted as a CCM.

In 2016-2017, the MSRC was wound

up and a new 'Maharashtra-Madhya

Pradesh-Chhattisgarh (MMC) Zone'

was created of which he became the

leader - a momentous development in

his career as an insurgent. This year, he

was the acting CCM and also head of

MMC Zone, with onerous duties - monitoring

and analysing security forces'

movements in Maharashtra-

Chhattisgarh, masterminding and executing

major ambushes, blasts and other

subversive acts, besides strengthening

the Maoist organisation in cities.

Soon, his police graph showed a

steep incline - with 63 cases lodged

against him including 42 encounters, 7

murders of civilians, 4 killings of police

personnel, 2 arson and a dacoity.

Some of the highlights in his CV

include: triggering the Jambhulkheda

blast of May 1, 2019 which killed 15

security, and Koparshi encounters of

May 17, 2020 which killed 2 policemen.

His wife Angela Sontakke-

Teltumbade - a highly qualified woman

with multiple degrees from University

of Mumbai - was arrested by Thane

police for the murder of a policeman

and Maoist activities, and is currently

out on bail.

Besides the Maharashtra Police,

Teltumbade was also wanted by the

National Investigation Agency (NIA),

and moved around with various aliases

like Jiva, Dipak, Sahyadri, Pravin,

Arun, Sudhir, etc to evade arrest.

Top police officials said with

Taltumbade's elimination, the Maoist

power in central India has been shaken

to the core and the security forces will

continue their cleansing operation with

renewed vigour.

Counter-terrorism

police called in after

car blast in Liverpool

London : British counter-terrorism police were called in after a

taxi exploded at a hospital in Liverpool, leaving one dead and

another injured, though this has not been declared a terrorist incident.

Police in the city confirmed the blast happened at around 11

a.m. on Sunday at the Women's Hospital in Liverpool city centre,

reports Xinhua news agency.

Photographs posted on social media showed a taxi in flames

and ambulances and fire fighters were also called to the scene.

Police placed a cordon around the hospital while inquiries continued

to determine the cause of the explosion.

"Work is still going on to establish what has happened, and

could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything,"

Merseyside Police said in a statement.

"We are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion

but given how it has happened, out of caution, Counter Terrorism

Police are leading the investigation supported by Merseyside

Police," the statement said.

Three people have been arrested after the blast by counter-terror

police, Sky News reported.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

15

The Independence and Gandhi:

In the Clutches of Neo-liberalism

(In the midst of a sudden re-discussion on the Independence and Gandhi – this 5-year-old article.)

The RSS did not participate in the

freedom struggle, and that it was

responsible for Gandhi’s assassination,

are facts that are not new. These

arguments have been used repeatedly

against the RSS since the

Independence of India in 1947. The

RSS does not claim a stake in the freedom

struggle, but refutes the accusation

of being party to Gandhi’s assassination.

Ever since Modi government

was formed at the center, the secular

camp has vociferously taken up these

two points, and the last few months

have indeed seen an intensification of

this endeavour. Perhaps the camp

feels that by emphasizing these two

accusations repeatedly, it will discredit

the RSS in the eyes of the people

and gain political mileage in the bargain.

However, this thought process

needs to be seriously deliberated

upon. The reason is that the manner

and the intent with which the secular

camp raises these two points to attack

the RSS, has little to do with the

Independence or Gandhi. The intervention

of the secular camp would

have been significant only if it had

raised the serious question pertaining

to a contemporary fact – how and why

did Narendra Modi-led BJP form a

majority government at the center

despite its history of treason against

the freedom movement and the act of

assassinating Gandhi? The secular

camp ought to have attempted a serious

investigation as to whether the

Independence and Gandhi have actually

lost relevance for the people of

India? If yes, then what are the reasons?

The investigation requires serious

self-introspection; an understanding

of how it is itself responsible for

this situation, then, to eventually

question itself – whether it, on its own

part, really values the Independence

of the country and Gandhi?

The secular camp, which considers

itself above all questions, can get

away with the argument that the present

government had merely 31 percent

voters while the remaining majority

of the country believes in the

Independence and Gandhi; and that it

is this very constituency which secularists

seek to caution against the

RSS. Now, the fact that the 31 percent

citizens have veered away from the

Independence and Gandhi should in

itself be a serious cause of worry for

the secular camp, for it constitutes a

significant section of society. The secular

camp which bears the responsibility

of the nation at ideological and

institutional level cannot function in

terms of ‘mine-thine’ social-political

divisions. The other question is, how

can the secular camp assume that all

those who did not vote for BJP, actually

value the Independence and

Gandhi? The truth is that most of the

political parties that have garnered the

remaining 69 percent of the votes are

in some measure or another, votaries

of neo-liberalism. It doesn’t need to

Dr. Prem Singh

be elaborated that the votaries of neoliberalism

will be, in material and

moral spirit, anti-Independence as

well as anti-Gandhi. Therefore, the

question as to how the RSS-BJP combine,

despite being against the

Independence and Gandhi, could form

a majority government, raises an

accusing finger elsewhere too; at all

the historic lapses, blunders and the

blinking of eyes on the part of the secularists.

Despite their reluctance to

face a bitter reality, the secularists

owe the people of the country their

democratic right to know the truth; a

certain transparency regarding political/economic

positions taken by the

secular camp. In other words, the

question is likely to singe the ones

who are raising it. But for the sake of

democracy and the cause of the common

people there should be no harm

and no fear in such singeing and selfassessment

even if it is injurious to

one’s own image.

It is not imperative for all or anyone

to essentially believe in Gandhi.

But it is not correct for detractors of

Gandhi to seek political mileage by

constantly upbraiding the RSS for his

assassination. Gandhi’s opponent

Mayawati and dalit intellectuals, who

propagate dalit identity, do not make a

hue and cry about his assassination.

The same is true for the

Independence. It is not essential that

everybody has to believe in the freedom

struggle of India and the values

accrued during it. But then such people

should not castigate RSS for not

participating in the freedom struggle.

First, the case of the Independence;

it is important before and above

Gandhi. For a number of years even

serious scholarship failed to notice

that after 1991, with beginning of

implementation of the new economic

policies heralding neo-liberal slavery,

there arose, simultaneously, a powerful

resentment across the nation to

oppose it. On the one hand laws were

being passed one after the other

(mostly through ordinances) against

the basic spirit of the Constitution, on

the other hand, those very laws were

being vehemently opposed. Some of

these opposing voices came from the

mainstream politics also. Even the

RSS-formed Swadeshi Jagran Manch

expressed concerns over the policies

that threatened to pawn the nation’s

Independence. This protest was rather

scattered and non-political. But a

cohesive understanding and the need

for an alternative politics had been

generated by means of these protests

by 1995. Equipped with the spirit of

the Independence, this alternative politics

stood in direct confrontation

against the Congress, the BJP and the

NGOs subsisting on foreign aid. But

soon enough the supposed third force

political parties including communist

parties agreed to follow the path

marked out by neo-liberalism. P

Chidambaram was the finance minister

in the Deve Gowda’s government.

And the world is very much aware of

the events in Singur and Nandigram in

West Bengal.

It was an unequal battle between

the two fundamentally unequal parties,

but the struggle against neoimperialism

was advancing in a systematic

and strong manner. Some of

the best minds of our times and a large

section of the youth were involved in

it at the cost of their careers and

health. Despite Atal Behari’s government

and the two of Manmohan Singh

governments that followed it, the

struggle against neo-imperialism

stayed strong. The country was almost

flooded with anti-neo-imperialist

pamphlets, tracts, folders, little magazines,

booklets and books. But just

then came the clarion call of the “second

freedom”. India Against

Corruption (IAC), Aam Aadmi Party

and mainstream media manufactured

a false contender against the

Congress, and by taking along in its

wake diverse elements such as RSS

and communists, socialists,

Gandhians, corporate houses, civil

society, Ramdev-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

they destroyed the struggle against

neo-imperialism. As soon as Anna

Hazare put the glass of juice to his lips

to break his fast at Ramlila Maidan he

silenced the debate/discussions of

neo-imperialist slavery from the

ambit of political discourse. In the

past two decades, the myriad voices

echoing through the country – azadi

bachao, videshi kampniyan bharat

chhodo, WTO bharat chhodo – were

drowned in the name of an imagined

mirage of ‘second freedom’. The

meaning of alternative politics was

reduced to a matter of wins and losses

between various neo-liberal parties;

the noose of neo-imperialist slavery

thus tightened even further.

Actually, the hard-earned

Independence began to be disregarded

in terms of spirit and values even from

the point of its achievement in 1947.

The partition of the country was the

biggest blow. The Independence,

accomplished after the protracted

struggle and sacrifices of the people

of India, was discredited by the progressive

camp as a false, incomplete

and compromised result of international

developments and so on. One

argument fielded was that the

Independence could have easily been

won by means of violence, instead of

the long-drawn non-violent one.

Though this very mind-set had secretly

breathed a sigh of relief that lakhs

of rebels, who sacrificed their lives,

were defeated in 1857; because they

happened to be too backward for their

tastes. Even today, the Indian intelligentsia,

whether Marxists or modernists,

are still horrified with the

thought that if 1857 had been successful,

the country would have remained

engulfed in ignorance as it was before

the ascendance of the British. The

RSS was not satisfied with ‘Gandhi

Vadh’. It did not forgive Gandhi for

opposing the Partition and advocating

Hindu-Muslin unity. Its mission was

to make India ‘Muslim free’, that is,

once again dividing apart the country

and society. It launched a petty campaign

against not just Gandhi but also

Nehru and the Congress, the platform

of India’s freedom struggle. In this

manner it became ‘nationalist’ before

as well as after the Independence

while remaining completely divorced

from the task of nation-building.

It was, as if, the process of gaining

the Independence became a crime in

free India; and the leaders of the

nationalist struggle – criminals! In

fact, those who put the very achievement

of the Independence in the dock

displayed a complete disregard for the

struggle of the Indian people; and perceived

them as worthless who did not

help in making a ‘communist nation’

or a ‘Hindu nation’ of their fantasy;

that too without ousting the British!

Both these camps are fighting over

Bhagat Singh these days, who had

considered liberation from the British

to be the first goal, and laid down his

life for it. If this utterly ‘denigrated’

Independence became the alibi for

rampant loot by opportunists and corrupt

politicians, businessmen and officers,

it should not surprise us. In this

state, people have often repeated the

comment “the British were better.”

Since the Independence has no currency

in our national/civil life people

have ignored the charge of treason

against the RSS, and promptly voted a

BJP government to power.

Now let us take the case of

Gandhi’s assassination. Secularists,

especially the communists, may use

Gandhi’s assassination strategically,

but they have been forerunners along

with the Congress, in assassinating his

ideas. During the freedom struggle

itself they had started calling Gandhi a

bourgeois, reactionary, pedestrian

peddler of superstitions and so on.

After the Independence, the Congress

first used him as a shield for the party,

and later for the family rule. Narsimha

Rao and Manmohan Singh falsely

linked neo-liberalism to Gandhi’s

dreams. Now the BJP is doing the

same thing. The existing dalit outrage

targets Gandhi already. Libertarians

want to put everything on hold to finish

off Gandhi first. Ever since the

backward discourse has taken off,

Gandhi is their very first target. An

enthusiastic backward polemicist is

likely to claim that if Gandhi weren’t

there, Brahmanism would have been

long eradicated from India society.

So, Gandhi shouldn’t have been there

at all! The absurd excess of blind anti-

Gandhi sentiment is in that Gandhi is

held responsible for all kinds of problems

even after his death. The emergent

solidarity of communist-dalitlibertarian

intellectuals is basically

based on anti-Gandhi sentiment. Even

though the one result of this solidarity

is to pull Ambedkar into a liaison with

neo-liberalism. Muslims still have

some respect for Gandhi. But in this

era of fanaticism, it may not last long.

Like the Independence, Gandhi stands

devalued in the country. Then why

would people protest against the RSS

for Gandhi’s killing?

Let us discuss a little more about

Gandhi’s assassination though it will

be a bit of a digression. Gandhi’s

assassination has been variously interpreted.

Lohia’s interpretation is still

the most important among them. Such

interpretations of Gandhi’s assassination

are no longer relevant. One simple

explanation would be that it was

an event that happened during the

course of the Partition of India. More

than ten lakh people died during the

riots of Partition. In the course of

things if Gandhi was killed too, it is

not such an earth shattering tragedy.

He had abjured the celebrations of the

Independence and was touring the

riot-affected areas instead. There

some rioter could have easily accomplice

Nathuram Godse’s work.

Gandhi’s killer was convicted by a

court of law; and in legal parlance,

Gandhi got justice. The government

carried out his funeral procession with

full state honours, and constructed a

fabulous memorial where leaders

from all over the world come to pay

their tributes to him. The Congress

governmentalized him and created all

kinds of havens for his followers. And

all this, when crores of victims of displacement,

murder and rape received

no justice. While Gandhi lived, he

was always tormented by such brutalities,

discriminations and injustices.

Therefore, perhaps, it is not appropriate

to keep discussing Gandhi’s assassination.

Instead a two-fold consolation

can be drawn from his assassination.

First, the positive consolation,

that he sacrificed his life to redeem

the bloodstained abominations of the

leadership of those times.

See Page 16


16 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Notice to 'Jai Bhim' team demands apology, Rs 5 cr in damages

Chennai : Angered at the "wrongful"

depiction of the Vanniyar community

in the Tamil film 'Jai Bhim', starring

Suriya, the Vanniyar Sangam

president, Pu. Tha. Arulmozhi, has

sent a legal notice to the producers,

director and Amazon, which operates

the OTT platform Prime Video, where

the film is being streamed.

The notice, which claims Rs 5 crore

in damages and a public apology, was

issued to 2D Entertainment, Suriya

Sivakumar and his wife Jyothika,

because their company A.K.

International has co-produced the

film, the director-screenwriter T.J.

Gnanavel and Amazon.

According to the legal notice, the

movie is claimed to have been based

on a real-life incident and its storyline

draws upon a decision of the Madras

High Court.

It retains the names of the people

who were involved in the incidents

shown in the film, so we have a

Rajakannu, Advocate Chandru and the

police officer Perumalsamy. The name

of the sub-inspector of police involved

in the custodial death of an undertrial,

however, according to the legal notice,

was "deliberately" changed from

Anthonysamy to Gurumurthy, and

he'srepeatedly referred to as 'Guru'.

In one of the scenes in the movie,

the notice points out, the 'Agni

Kundam' (fire burning from a holy

vessel) symbol of the Vanniyar

Sangam is shown in the calendar

behind the sub-inspector of police,

who commits the atrocity.

The notice says that the makers of

'Jai Bhim' had "deliberately" got a calendar

made for the year 1995 with the

'Agni Kundam'. He said it had been

done with the "mala fide intention of

defaming members of the Vanniyar

Sangam and damaging the image and

reputation of the entire Vanniyar community."

According to the Vanniyar Sangam,

changing the name of the villain to

Gurumurthy, which resembles that of

one of its frontline leaders, and projecting

him to be from the community

by showing its 'Agni Kundam' symbol,

implied that the members of the

community are prone to committing

wrongs and taking illegal actions.

"My client states that by various

symbolic representations in your

movie, you have wantonly, wilfully

and intentionally portrayed the character

of the sub-Inspector of police, who

is guilty of committing a custodial

death in the film and also in the reallife

story, belongs to Vanniyar community,

whereas the said sub-

Inspector does not belong to Vanniyar

community," the notice states.

"It cannot be considered as a casual,

innocent, inadvertent mistake and

natural sequence in the movie," the

legal notice reads. It adds that the

scene was included only "with a view

to maligning the image of the

Vanniyar community people in the

society and with a view to defaming

the entire community as a whole."

Apart from demanding Rs 5 crore

in damages, the Vanniyar Sangam has

also sought the removal of the "defamatory

scenes", references to the

Vanniyar community and its symbol,

the 'Agni Kundam', from the movie.

And it has sought an unconditional

apology from the film's producers and

writer for tarnishing the reputation of

Vanniyars.

Earlier, PMK leader and Rajya

Sabha MP Anbumani Ramadoss had

written to Suriya citing the objectionable

portions in the movie, alleging

that they deliberately targeted the

Vanniyars.

Responding to the charge, Suriya

had pointed out that the 'Jai Bhim' unit

had put out a disclaimer right at the

start of the movie, saying that this was

a story that had only been inspired by

a real incident and that the characters,

names and events were entirely fictional.

Continue Page 15

The Independence and Gandhi: In the

Clutches of Neo-liberalism

Second, the negative one, that at

least one big leader also lost his life in

the tragedy of the Partition!

Therefore, it could be said that the

secular camp, while demonstrating

against RSS’s treason, is itself not

entirely driven by the true spirit of the

Independence. Even when it attacks

the RSS on the issue of Gandhi’s

assassination, it cannot bring itself to

respect Gandhi. The style of defamation

that the NGO don Arvind

Kejriwal picked up from the RSS and

played out like a master craftsman, the

secular camp wishes to employ the

same to defame the RSS to seize

power. This style denigrates both: the

Independence and indeed, Gandhi.

Do such attacks on the RSS by the

secular camp stop communalism or

even lessen it? This is a serious question

that needs to be investigated

because the secular camp claims that

neo-liberalism can be tackled later;

communalism needs to be fought

urgently. While it is true that the secularists

are staunch opponents of the

communal RSS-BJP, it is also true that

they never oppose political parties and

individuals guilty of communalism –

from Congress to Kejriwal. The BJP’s

mass base, on the basis of this general

election results, is approximately onefourth

of the total. To oppose this onefourth

while pandering to the communalism

of the remaining three-fourth,

is to force the entire society into the

vicious process of communalism.

These are the dangers of the communal

politics of the secular camp that I

wish to argue about. Two examples

may be considered here.

Despite having a majority government

in the center, when BJP suffered

a humiliating defeat in Delhi, courtesy

Kejriwal, the secular camp could hardly

contain its happiness. A lot of communist

friends walked with a spring in

their steps, holding Congress in one

hand and Kejriwal in the other.

Kejriwal has been in the profession of

‘social service’ with foreign aid for a

long time. During that time he did not

once open his mouth against the horrendous

anti-Sikh riots in 1984, or

against the Babri Masjid demolition in

1992, or against the 2002 Gujarat

riots. Kejriwal’s NGO guru, Anna

Hazare first praised Modi from Jantar

Mantar, and Modi acknowledged this

in a personal letter. Elements like

Ramdev and Sri Sri, who run businesses

of religion, meditation, spirituality,

yoga and Ayurveda, were his

associates. The organizational aspect

of the India Against Corruption’s campaign

was handled by the RSS. When

the Aam Aadmi Party was formed, it

had a profusion of communal and

lumpen elements. When western Uttar

Pradesh was engulfed in the fires of

communal riots, the victor Kejriwal

was offering thanks to the almighty by

stoking the fires in the ‘havan-kund’.

Contesting from Banaras, he ensured

Modi’s victory. For this he sought

blessings of Baba Vishwanath by visiting

the temple, and the Ganges by

taking a holy dip. It is a matter of

grave concern that after the implementation

of the model code of conduct,

the blatant displays of religious ritualism

do not invite cancellation of candidature

by the Election Commission

of India.

During the mid-term Assembly

elections, held in Delhi after the resignation

of Kejriwal, the city was

gripped by communal tension. The

messages that were relayed on radio

broadcasts by recognized political parties,

focused on the attempts to aggravate

the communal situation in Delhi

by communal forces. There were also

appeals to defeat the communal forces

in the elections. But the BJP and AAP

broadcasts contained not one word

about the communal incidents. Later,

the chief minister of Delhi very graciously

gave his approval to rename

Aurangzeb Road. He then collaborated

with Modi to arrange Sri Sri’s festivities

on the banks of Yamuna. The

Justice Sachar Committee Report on

the state of minorities in the country

will complete ten years this

November. With the exception of BJP

and AAP, all big and small parties

have issued statements regarding its

implementation. These are merely

statement of facts known to the public.

It may be noted that the shades of

communal politics and shades of communal

collaboration of earlier secular

leaders took a while to unravel. For a

long time, they kept up the pressure of

secularism on Jan Sangh/BJP. But for

Kejriwal and his votaries there is no

difference between secularism and

communalism; whichever props them

to power is acceptable to them. The

explanation is obvious. AAP has not

emerged out of any political ideology,

organization or struggle; making use

of only popular strategies.

The second example is from Bihar.

The defeat of the BJP here was heralded

by the secular camp as the people’s

rejection of the brahminical and communal

forces. Without going into too

many details, some facts may be

observed here. Nitish Kumar and his

party allied with RSS/BJP for 16

years. This alliance continued through

the 2002 Muslim genocide in Gujarat.

The senior JDU leader was the cocoordinator

of NDA. He opposed the

decision to part ways with BJP. As

such the credit for sowing the seeds of

communalism in the, by and large,

secular terrain of Bihar goes entirely

to Janata Dal United. Therefore, the

secular camp’s argument that neo-liberalism

will be fought against later

whereas communalism needs to be

fought now, is absolutely misplaced

and misleading.

When, and if, the BJP is ousted,

will the secular camp honour its intentions

to bring neo-liberalism to a

close? Or to challenge it, at least? Is it

their policy and avowed intent? This is

the proverbial ‘yaksha prashna’ of

India’s contemporary politics. Any

politics that is practiced without

answering it is constitutionally

invalid. In polite language it is simply

called the politics of power. Within the

ambit of neo-liberalism, it really doesn’t

matter whether the politics of

power is practiced by either the communal

or the secular camp. A quick

glance at the current political landscape

reveals the answer to the aforementioned

‘yaksha prashna’.

The orientation and positioning of

the active players in contemporary

politics is clearly neo-liberal. About

five years back I had written that

Modi, born of the Sangh’s womb,

despite all the hype, would ultimately

suffocate and wither in Gujarat. But

the corporate conglomerate, the

upholders of neo-liberalism, backed

him up, and helped him rise to the PM

office. Kejriwal is the direct product

of neo-liberalism. It is clear to the corporate

sector that the politicians of the

so-called third front cannot be trusted

at the Centre; given their social

grounding, they cannot fast forward

the nation swiftly on the path of neoliberalism

like the Congress or BJP.

Which is why the corporate sector

raised its own leader. Kejriwal is

watched over by the Magsaysay award

house along with corporate houses and

national-international NGOs. The secular

camp’s support to the Congress

could still be acceptable to a degree

but, leave alone the intent and purpose,

the basic political understanding

of the kind of secular camp that has

mushroomed around Kejriwal, is

utterly suspect. It is seemingly a very

happy development for them given

that Kejriwal has defeated Modi in

international popularity! The absolute

height of the banckruptcy of political

wisdom is achieved when the secular

camp begins to see Kejriwal as a

viable alternative to Modi as a PM

candidate.

It is true that over the past three

decades it has become not only difficult,

but well nigh impossible to imagine

a reversal and a breaking away

from the clutches of neo-liberalism.

International conditions and pressures

too have had a role to play in this situation.

In such a scenario, it doesn’t

appear as if any easy resolution can be

found. The secular camp can say that

there is little option and that it cannot

help but practice politics within the

neo-liberal framework. It can also say,

and indeed it does say, that the neoliberal

shackles cannot be broken

without getting inside the system. It

also reminds people of its achievements,

such as Right to Information

Act, MNREGA, Tribal Forest Rights

Act, Land Acquisition Act and so on.

But the politicians who wish to practice

politics within the corporate

framework, the intellectuals who have

to head institutions, the writers and

artists who have to win awards, the

experts/NGO folks who have to be

advisers to the governemental committees,

the actors and players who

have to be brand ambassadors — they

should say that along with such superficial

reliefs, neo-liberal system will

continue to exist. This straight away

indicates that the World Bank,

International Monitary Fund, World

Trade Organisation, multinational

companies, corporate houses will continue

to dictate decision-making;

agreements like Dunkel and India-

America Nuclear deal, which compromise

the autonomy of the nation, will

continue to happen; disinvestment will

continue in public sector enterpirses,

all services from education to defence

will be privatised; international companies

like Carrefour, Wall Mart,

Tesko will increase their business in

the retail sector; debts of big corporate

houses will be written off; natural

resources will continue to be plundered;

towns and villages will continue

to be submerged, and their denizens

will continue to be displaced; farmers

and small entrepreneurs will conitnue

to commit suicide; legions of innumerable

people will continue to be

unemployed; land and labour will be

subjected to even more ruthless

exploitation; the abyss of economic

hardship will be bottomless; five hundred

smart cities and more will come

up; citizens’ dignity/security/right to

expression will no longer be legally

guaranteed; the intervention of

police/security forces/mafia will continue

to rise in civil life . … This list of

the denigration of our civil, social, cultural,

educational, religious life at the

hands of corporate companies can go

on.

It is useless to blame the corporate

sector. It does not love the communal

BJP. It has been closely watching

politicians and parties for the past

three decades. It has also been watching

the civil society that has come up

in these decades. If it is convinced that

neo-liberalism will continue to have

unbridled reign in the name of secularism,

it will replace the RSS/BJP

overnight. Such an assurance will be

given to the corporate by the secular

camp. In this process the genuine

movements that originated against

neo-imperialist slavery would be

pushed into the margins, to weaken, or

to die away. In other words, the real

fighters against neo-imperialism will

become less visible or be merged into

shades of neo-imperialism. The communal

camp does not have that

strength to bring this about. The

responsibility of making a difference,

this way or that, lies only with the secular

camp.

1 April 2016


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Joseph Maliakan is a veteran journalist

who worked with Indian Express at the time

when Delhi was burning in the aftermath of

Indira Gandhi's assassination. Mrs Indira

Gandhi was assassinated on October 31st,

1984 at her official residence in Delhi by her

own security guards, who happened to be

Sikhs. Though the incident happened at

around 9 am in the morning, the nation was

kept on the hook till 6 pm with no information

being made available to people on All

India Radio and Doordarshan. Once she was

officially declared dead at the 6 pm All India

Radio bulletin, Delhi had already witnessed

a scene of horrific crime with the goons of

the ruling Congress party led by senior leaders

campaigning against Sikhs. Frankly

speaking, it was not merely Congress but

the party that time became the ‘identity’ of

‘Hindus’ and Sikhs were made the biggest

villain being accused of celebrating Indira

Gandhi’s death by distributing ‘laddus’ and

so many things. Every Sikh was accused of

conspiring, enjoying and a suspected

Khalistani. The state completely abdicated

its responsibility with Delhi police actively

supporting the goons in targeting

the innocent Sikhs and their localities.

It was one of the worst massacres,

if I can say, that India saw in

post independent India. Trilokpuri in the

Eastern Delhi had a thick population, a

majority of whom were poor as well as

Economically Poor Sections of society. This

locality was targeted. Media had no clue but

it was courageous Joseph Maliakan who

reached the place and witnessed the horrific

crime. As per his own narrative, his editors

initially refused to believe the story because

of the magnitude of barbarism and deaths

but he stood by his report and it became one

of the most sought after information during

that period. He was the first and most

authentic reporter who reported the massive

massacre of Sikhs at Trilokpuri. He

appeared before many Commissions of

Inquiry. This conversation was

conducted at his home in Delhi. It

has many more details about the

media and how it functions.

An extremely important voice of sanity

and reasoning. We saw the anguish, pain and

tears in his eyes when he narrated this story

to us. Important to understand when the

state abdicated its responsibility the result

was mayhem and anarchy. Rule of law must

NEWS

An Eye Witness account to anti Sikh killings

in Trilokpuri in Delhi in the aftermath of

assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

Consuming liquor in private

is no offence: Kerala HC

Kochi : In what's going to be

a major relief for tipplers, the

Kerala High Court on Monday

ruled that consuming liquor in a

private place without causing

nuisance or annoyance to anybody,

will not attract any

offence. It also pointed out that

mere smell of alcohol cannot be

construed to mean that the person

was intoxicated or was under

the influence of any liquor.

The allegation in the case was

that on 26/02/2013, when the

petitioner, 38-year-old B.S.

Salim Kumar was called to the

Police Station for the purpose of

identifying an accused, was

under the influence of alcohol

and the local police station at

Badiadka registered a crime

against him and he was charge

sheeted against which he

appealed to the High Court to

quash the petition and it was

done by Justice Sophy Thomas.

The Court noted that there

was no evidence to show that the

petitioner committed rioting or

misbehaved himself in the Police

Station and the only allegation in

the FIR was that he was intoxicated

and was unable to control

himself. It further pointed out

that in order to attract an offence

punishable, a person should be

found in a public place in an

intoxicated manner or rioting

condition incapable of looking

after himself.

"The very fact that the petitioner

reached the Police Station,

when he was asked to be present

there, itself will negate the case

of the prosecution that he was

incapable of looking after himself

even if it is taken for granted

for argument's sake that he had

consumed alcohol at that time,"

and the court quashed the proceedings

of the petitioner.

persist. We all must hang our heads in

shame for our collective responsibility in

saving innocent lives. Very similar happened

in Gujarat 2002 and the real issues are

forgotten in the political manipulations and

blame games. As a nation and society, we

need to understand how long we will allow

ourselves to bear such things. One thing is

clear that India cannot become a

powerful nation as long ethnic,

caste and religious identities are

used to frame and punish people.

This conversation was recorded

about three years back at the Delhi

residence of Shri Joseph

Maliakan. He also speaks about

the caste bias in our media and how the

media ignored the real facts and how the

SC-ST officers faced the punishment

instead of the real criminals.

Listen to this extremely important conversation

of mine with Shri Joseph

Maliakan.

London : London's iconic

Tower Bridge has won a coveted

gold accolade in Visit England's

excellence awards, it was

announced.

The exhibition at the bridge

over the River Thames gives

tourists the chance to experience

panoramic views of London

from a high-level walkway with

a glass floor, as well as visit the

drawbridge's Victorian engine

room, reports Xinhua news

agency.

The tourist attraction was one

of 26 Gold winners in Visit

England's 2021 awards, which

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

London : An international

team of researchers has, in a new

study, claimed that SARS-CoV-

2, the virus that causes Covid-

19, does not infect human brain

cells, raising hopes that Covidrelated

damage to sense of smell

may be more superficial than

previously feared.

The study, published in the

journal Cell, showed that the

virus infects sustentacular cells -

- associated with structural support

-- but not olfactory sensory

neurons (OSNs), which are

responsible for initiating smell

sensations, as thought earlier, the

Guardian reported.

The study challenges previous

research that suggested the

Covid virus infects neurons in

the membrane that lines the

upper recesses of the nose. This

membrane, called the olfactory

mucosa which contains OSNs, is

where the virus first lands when

it is inhaled.

Olfactory dysfunction affects

an estimated half of all Covid-19

patients. In one in 10 of those,

the loss or change of smell is

long-term, perhaps permanent.

But if the virus only infects

the sustentacular cells, then the

damage could be less long-lasting,

the report said.

According to Peter

Mombaerts, Director at the Max

Planck Research Unit for

Neurogenetics in Frankfurt, this

could be the result of support for

the OSNs breaking down, even if

also give accolades for hidden

gems, the best-told stories, quality

of welcome and food quality.

The awards are based on the

scores gained by tourist attractions

in their annual assessments

by VisitEngland, which were

nevertheless delayed this year

due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest forecasts by

VisitBritain show that domestic

spending on tourism is estimated

at 51.4 billion pounds ($70 billion)

this year, only a little more

than half the amount spent in

2019 before the pandemic

struck. A spokesperson for

17

Human brain cells not infected

by Covid virus: Study

they themselves are not infected.

They may function below par, or

stop functioning altogether, until

the sustentacular cells regenerate,

the report said.

For the study, the team adapted

a form of skull base surgery to

remove tissue from the olfactory

mucosa and bulb of Covid-19

patients within about an hour of

their death. In 30 of the patients,

the researchers were able to

detect that the virus was still

replicating -- meaning the

patients had died in the acute,

contagious phase of the disease.

The results did "not show any

OSNs as being damaged or there

being fewer of them, or the

OSNs near infected sustentacular

cells as being different in any

way from those not near infected

cells," said Stuart Firestein, a

neurobiologist at Columbia

University in New York City.

In only six of the 30 patients

was the virus detectable in the

olfactory mucosa itself. "Overall

the numbers are thus really low

to make any strong conclusions,"

said Debby Van Riel, a virologist

at Erasmus University in

Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

If the study results are confirmed,

people experiencing

Covid-related loss of smell can

be reassured that the virus has

not infected their brains, and that

future therapies targeting the

understudied sustentacular cells

could alleviate or cure their condition.

London's famous Tower Bridge wins

gold in England tourism awards

VisitBritain said:

"Last year alone

saw about twothirds

of the value

wiped off the

domestic tourism

industry in

Britain, a 58 billion

pound loss to

the economy."

VisitEngland

Director Andrew

Stokes said: "Now

more than ever we

need these attractions

to encourage

and remind us to

get out and

explore the amazing

tourism on offer across

England, driving recovery and

economic benefits through the

regions."

Other Gold award winners

included the King Richard III

visitor centre in Leicester, the

National Horse Racing Museum

in Newmarket, Chester Zoo,

Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral,

the World War II code-breaking

centre at Bletchley Park, the

National Arboretum at Tetbury,

the World of Wedgwood (pottery),

and for chocolate lovers,

Cadbury World in Birmingham.


18 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Remembering Thoughts and Politics

of ACHARYA NARENDRA DEVA

Acharya Narendra Deva, known as

the patriarch of Indian socialism, was

born on 31 October 1889 in Sitapur,

Uttar Pradesh. He did his higher education

in Allahabad and Banaras. He

obtained his law degree from

Allahabad University and practiced

law for some time. But his philosophical

mind did not find satisfaction and

he became a history teacher at Kashi

Vidyapeeth in 1921 and then vice

chancellor of Lucknow University

and Banaras Hindu University

(BHU). Having a good knowledge of

Hindi, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, German,

French and English languages,

Acharya made a serious study of history,

archeology, religion, philosophy

and culture. Acharya was basically a

teacher. A politician's ambition and

strategic skills were not an integral

part of his personality. But his concerns

for India’s freedom and an egalitarian

democratic society kept him in

midst of politics.

Acharya was politically active in

Congress, Congress Socialist Party

(CSP) during the freedom struggle

and Socialist Party and Praja Socialist

Party (PSP) after the independence.

He presided over the formation conference

of the CSP held in Patna on 17

May 1934 and was also elected its

first president. Apart from his active

role in freedom/socialist movement,

Acharya propounded doctrine of

socialism. Lohia's 'Pachmarhi Thesis'

is well known in the socialist movement

of India. In the same manner

Acharya's 'Gaya Thesis' is considered

to be a masterpiece.

Acharya was inclined to follow

Marxism as a contemplative line of

thought and method. On one occasion

he said that he can leave the party but

not Marxism. But he was not a stereotypical

or orthodox communist. This

is to say that in the name of the proletariat,

a dictatorial attitude of a person

or a group within the communist party

was unacceptable to his democratic

mind. Acharya was a critic of the

undemocratic character of the regime

of Soviet Russia. But he was not a

supporter of pro-American capitalist

imperialism in any way. He did not

see any contradiction between

Marxism and National Independence

Movement of India and the rest of the

world under the yoke of colonial rule.

In the same way, he saw mutual supplementation

between the farmers and

workers' revolutionary power. He

favored the connection between the

agricultural revolution and the socialist

revolution. That is why he gave

more time to farmers’ politics.

However, he used to understand the

dangers of organizing farmers on the

basis of caste and religion.

Acharya considered much

that was of value in the ancient culture

of India. He made a serious study of

Buddhism and its philosophy. He

composed the Sahitya Akademi

award-winning book 'Bauddh

Dharma-Darshan' in Hindi. He said in

1936: "Our work is not only to end the

exploitation by the imperialism but to

end the exploitation by all those classes

of the society which are exploiting

the people today. We want to create a

new civilization which will be rooted

Prem Singh

in ancient civilization, which will

have the colors of the country, which

will keep the excellent elements of the

ancient civilization safe, and, simultaneously,

new progressive elements of

the contemporary world will also be

included, and, thus would like to present

a new ideal before the world."

Like all the important leaders

of freedom movement, Acharya

was sentenced to jail often. On one

hand, prison greatly damaged his

health due to his asthmatic condition,

but on the other it gave him much

time for reading and writing. For

instance, he started translation of

Vashubandhu's 'Abhi-Dhamm Kosh'

from French to Hindi in Banaras jail

in 1932 and completed it in Ahmed

Nagar jail in 1945 where he was held

captive with many leaders, including

Jawaharlal Nehru. In the preface of

his book 'Discovery of India', Nehru

has expressed his debt to his colleagues

including Acharya for their

scholarly inputs. Acharya, like

Gandhi, considered ethics as the criterion

for both life and politics. The

greatest significance of Acharya's

thoughts is to enhance the moral values

??of a person with the revolutionary

process of social change. His

emphasis on the ethical side of social

change is related to Indian view,

whereas the scientific analysis of the

social forces is related to the Marxist

view. He was naturally opposed to the

ethics-neutral tendency developed in

the Bolshevik stream of Marxism.

Acharya died in Madras on

19 February 1956 at the age of 67

years. He has made an outstanding

contribution to the independence

struggle and later to nation-building as

a teacher, thinker and socialist leader.

Nehru in his obituary in the Parliament

said, "The death of Acharya Narendra

Deva means something much bigger

for many of us and, I think, for the

country than just the passing away of

an important person. He was a man of

rare distinction - distinction in many

fields - rare in spirit, rare in mind and

intellect, rare in integrity of mind and

otherwise too. Only his body failed

him. I do not know if there is any person

present here in this House who

was associated with him for a longer

period than I was. Over 40 years ago

we came together and we shared innumerable

experiences together in the

dust and heat of the struggle for independence

and in the long silence of

prison life where we spent - I forget

now - four or five years together at various

places, and inevitably got to know

each other intimately; and so, for many

of us, it is a grievous loss and a grievous

blow, even as it is a grievous loss

for our country. There is the public

sense of loss and there is the private

sense of loss and a feeling that somebody

of rare distinction has gone and it

will be very difficult to find his like

again." Remembering Acharya on his

birth anniversary, one regrets the state

of political-intellectual scenario of

today's India. Our leaders, who were

engaged in the freedom struggle were

incomparably inspirational, and so

insightful.

(The author taught Hindi at

Delhi University.)

Growing IS attacks put Taliban in precarious position

New Delhi : In the two months since

the Taliban took control of the country,

the Islamic State (IS) affiliate in

Afghanistan, known as IS-Khorasan or

IS-K, has stepped up attacks across the

country, straining the new and untested

government and raising alarm bells in

the West about the potential resurgence

of a group that could eventually pose an

international threat, The New York

Times reported.

The attacks have been aimed mostly

at Taliban units and at Afghanistan's

Shia minorities. Suicide bombings in

Kabul, the capital, and in important

cities including Kunduz in the north and

Kandahar in the Taliban's southern

heartland have killed at least 90 people

and wounding hundreds of others in the

span of just several weeks.

And on Tuesday, IS fighters carried

out a coordinated attack with gunmen

and at least one suicide bomber on an

important military hospital in the capital,

killing at least 25

people, the report said.

"This has placed the

Taliban in a precarious

position: After spending

20 years fighting as

an insurgency, the

group finds itself

wrestling with providing

security and delivering

on its hallmark

commitment of law

and order. This has

proved especially challenging

for the Taliban

as they try to defend

themselves and civilians

in crowded cities against almost

daily attacks with an army that was

trained for rural guerrilla warfare," the

report said.

The surge in attacks has fueled growing

unease among Western officials,

with some predicting that the IS, often

considered a regional threat, could gain

the capability to strike international targets

in a matter of six to 12 months.

Colin Kahl, the US Under Secretary

of Defense for Policy, told lawmakers

last week that the Taliban's ability to

pursue the group "is to be determined".

Kahl's sentiments underline

the core concern of

Western intelligence communities:

There is little way to

measure the Taliban's effectiveness

against IS-K. There

is no longer reliable access to

intelligence as limited drone

flights provide piecemeal

information given the distance

they have to fly just to

get to Afghanistan, according

to US officials, and the established

network of informants

has collapsed.

The Taliban, who have

refused to cooperate with the

US in countering the IS, instead are

fighting the war on their own terms,

with tactics and strategies that look far

more localized than a government campaign

against a terrorist organisation,

the report added. "The Taliban became

accustomed to fighting as insurgents,

relying on a range of asymmetric

attacks to target Afghan and US forces,"

said Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism

analyst at the Soufan Group, a security

consulting firm based in New York.

"But it seems clear that the Taliban has

not given much thought at all to how the

equation changes as a counter insurgent,

which is effectively the role they are

playing now against the IS." As the

Taliban seek international recognition,

the group has used the resurgence of the

terrorist group as a bargaining chip for

more financial aid, according to Qatari

officials, reminding other countries that

a powerful Islamic State poses a threat

to them as well, the NYT reported.

Recognizing the potential threat along

its shared border with Afghanistan,

Pakistan is feeding some intelligence to

the Taliban about the IS, according to

US officials. The Washington Post first

reported on this development, the report

said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Celebrating life of a

Burmese Monk

dedicated to cause of

Buddhism in India

Kushinagar is celebrating the life and

achievements of Bhadant Gyaneshwar

Mahasthivir, the Monk in Chief of

Mahaparinirvan main temple, who complete

his 85th birthday on November

10th. As we all know, Kushinagar is one

of the foremost prominent places for the

Buddhists all over the world as Buddha

delivered his last sermon here and met

his ‘Mahaparinirvana’. Recently,

Kushinagar is also linked with international

aviation circuit as a new airport

has just been inaugurated here a couple

of weeks back.

Bhadant Gyaneshwar is the most

revered Buddhist monk living in

Kushinagar and is President of

Kushinagar Bhikshu Sangh since

February 21st, 2005 after the

‘Parinirvana’ i.e. passing away of

Bhadant Aniruddha Mahathera of

Lumbini. The Kushinagar Bhikshu

Sangh was initiated by Bhadant

Chandra Mani Mahathera on December

18th, 1952 and he remained president of

it till May 8th, 1972. Afterwards

Bhaddant Utikheindariya Mahathera

and Achutananda Mahathera became

the president. That way, Bhaddant

Gyaneshwar Mahathera is the sixth

President of Kushinagar Bhikshu

Sangha.

Bhadant Gyaneswhar was born as

Aaon Jaa Wey (childhood name) on

November 10th, 1936 in a village

named as Zibenji in the district of

Akyab, in Arakans province of

Myanmar, on the coastal region, where

Buddhism once thrived and now part of

Rakhine state, which has got famed for

the conflict of Rohingyas verses the

natives of the region who feel that

demographic changes might affect the

supremacy of the locals if the

Rohingyas are not thrown out or controlled.

Ofcourse, the crisis is of the

recent years and not that period when

Bhadant was growing. On April 12th,

1949, he got ordained as Shramaner

when his Guru named him as Jannisar

which got interpreted in Hindi as

Gyaneshwar. He learnt Pali and got

admission at the University in Rangoon,

now known as Yangon, capital city of

Myanmar, where he learnt Pali literature.

On June 3rd, 1956 he became a

Bhikkhu after six years of studies in

Buddhism at the University.

Burma, now Myanmar was the

region where Buddhism was thriving. In

1954, Burma organised sixth Buddhist

Sangeeti where Bhante Dharmrakshit

too participated in it. Baba Saheb

Ambedkar as well as EVR Periyar too

participated in this historical conference

in Rangoon. Bhadant Gyaneshwar, 18

years of age that time participated in it

and got opportunity to listen and meet

renowned Buddhist monks and scholars.

It is here that he met Baba Saheb

Ambedkar in this conference though he

does not remember much about him as

he says that he was too young to understand

the socio-political importance of

Dr Ambedkar as all were participating

as those who were Buddhists. For me,

any one who got an opportunity to meet

Dr Ambedkar or listened him live, has a

link to history and it is essential to

record their conversations and understanding.

Whether he was too young or

not did not matter for me that way as a

sense of understanding shared history.

Bhikkhus from SriLanka, Thailand,

Myanmar and various countries where

Buddhism is practiced largely, have

been coming to India to visit historical

places of great importance from the

Buddhist perspective. Many of them

were pained to see the utter neglect to

these sites which Buddhists worship and

feel sanctimonious. This resulted in

their decision to dedicate their lives for

the betterment of these historical places

and spread the Buddhist culture in the

country of its birth. Bhadant

Chandramani was brought to

Kushinagar by Anagarika Dharmpal,

the Buddhist revivalist in the South

Asian region. Before leaving to participate

in the historic World Parliament of

Religions in Chicago, Anagarika

Dharmpala asked Bhadant

Chandramani to look after his work to

protect the historical sites as well as

NEWS

strengthening Buddhist work in

Kushinagar. That was the year 1893

when Bhadant Chandramani decided to

stay back in Kushinagar and dedicate

his life for the mission of Buddhism.

For, the information of all, Anagarika

Dharmpala fought for reclamation of

the Buddhist control over Mahabodhi

temple in Bodh Gaya and it is his monumental

work that helped revive

Buddhism and its heritage in South

Asia. He can be simply called a global

ambassador of Buddhism and its

thoughts and

practice. It was

B h a d a n t

Chandramani,

who gave Deeksha to Baba Saheb

Ambedkar in Nagpur on October 14th,

1956. That way, Bhadant Chandramani

was part of a historic revolution

unleashed by Baba Saheb Ambedkar by

bringing Buddhism back to India.

Bhadant Gyaneshwar’s parents had

known Bhadant Chandramani as his

father was a follower. When Bhikkhu

Dharmarakshit and Bikkhu Kittima

Mahasthivir came to know about the

deteriorating health condition of

Bhadant Chandramani, who had

become one of the most revered

Bhikkhus of his time, in 1962, they

were concerned and felt that somebody

need to be put there in Kushinagar not

merely to assist Bhadant Chandramani

but also who could take the mission for

future. Bhadant Chandramani had

looked after the Buddhist heritage in

Kushinagar and the rest of the country

very well but by 1962 Bhadant’s health

was deteriorating and became a matter

of concern for all near dear ones in the

Buddhist movement. It was felt that he

needed someone to support him as well

as carry forward the movement further

and hence 27 years old Gyaneshwar was

asked to come to India and straightway

go to Kushinagar to be with Bhadant

Chandramani. Bhadant Gyaneshwar

came to serve his Guru in Kushinagar

on August 5th, 1963 and since then he

has been living here and has completely

merged himself in the Indian Buddhist

traditions including the local language.

He has been working for the upliftment

of the marginalised people here.

The Bhadant has sharp memory and

enormous strength to sit with you and

share his vast treasure of experience and

understanding. He meets disciples and

peoples from various walks of life and

discusses issues with them. Language

was a big issue when he came here but

now, he is fluent in not only Hindi but

Bhojpuri too. He is also looking after

many charitable activities initiated by

Bhadant Chandramani Mahasthivir.

After coming to India, he did not leave

his roots though he could not visit

Myanmar.

It is fascinating to hear him and how

he rebuilt the historical

places where lots of

fighting happened to

control the places as

well as for the land. To

get acquainted with

India and the language, Bhadant

Gyaneshwar got himself registered at

the local schools and passed his High

School in 1968, intermediate in 1970,

BA in 1973 and MA in 1975 from

Buddha Degree College, Kushinagar. He

did not stop here and got a degree in Pali

Sahitya Ratna as well as in Law too.

This year, the Myanmar government

gave its highest religious award for

great services and understanding to

Bhadant Gyaneshwar. Due to Covid

restrictions, he could not go there hence

the Ambassador of Myanmar came

down to Kushingar to handover the title

‘‘Abhidhazammahrathguru’ to him in

June 2021. Prior to this, the Myanmar

government gave him other honorary

titles of Abhidaja Aggamaha

Thaddamma Jotika in 2016, Aggamaha

Pandita in 1993 and Aggamaha

Thaddamma Jotika Daza in 2005 for his

services towards Buddhism. Bhadant

Gyaneshwar has been an Indian citizen

since 1978. Currently, he is the

President of Kushinagar Bhikshu

Sangha, Main Temple Kushinagar.

Bhadant Gyaneshwar has been associated

with various Buddhist religious

and charitable organisations and was a

member of Bodhgaya Mahavihar

Administrative body appointed by the

government of Bihar from 1990-2018.

When I asked him the question whether

Bodh Gaya should not be handed over

to the Buddhists as this is the holiest

shrine for the Buddhists, he reflected

and said, all the Buddhist places should

be handed over to Buddhist. He was

also disturbed that most of the Buddhist

shrines in India are under

Archaeological Survey of India, which

is perfectly fine given their importance

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

Celebrating the life of a Burmese Monk who dedicated

his life for the mission of BUDDHA in INDIA

Bhadant Gyaneshwar Mahasthivir

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

19

but he feels that people from world over

come to visit these places not because of

their archaeology but because for

Buddhist’s world over, India is the land

of Buddha and they want to visit all the

holy shrines based here.

Many of his followers and disciples

have become important Bhikkhus themselves

and are working to strengthen the

Buddhist movement in India. Dr Nand

Ratan Bhante Thero, came in touch with

him in 1995 when he used to live in

Shravasti. He got his higher education

under Guruji, as Bhadant Gyaneshwar

is referred to by his followers and disciples.

Guru ji sent him to Myanmar in

1998 to study at International

Theravada Buddhist University. He

returned to Kushinagar in 1999.

Dr Nand Ratan Bhante says: “Guru ji

has special concern and association with

the poorest and marginalised people and

their education particularly of the girls.

He is worried about the caste discrimination

and untouchability and has condemned

it. There are thousands of his

followers all over the country as well as

abroad. Under the Maitri Association,

Buddhists devotees from Japan contributed

for the education of hundreds of

children within the periphery of 10 kilometres

at the behest of Guruji. He is still

very active and concerned about

Kushinagar and its development”.

Every year Guruji has been organising

Deepakotsava in Kushinagar

when thousands of his Buddhist followers

come and celebrate the

Buddhist way of doing it. I asked this

question whether Deepawali ever

was a Buddhist festival and he

claimed that originally, it was a

Buddhist festival. Ofcourse, this has

been an issue of great contention among

Buddhists in India as many feel it is a

Brahmanical infiltration in Buddhism

however Guruji has a different view on it

and he says it with authority.

Bhadant Gyaneshwar has dedicated

his life for the cause of Dhamma and

has taken it to the most marginalised.

He has felt the impact of caste identities

in India and says he was never aware of

it as his country might have different

ethnic identities and groups but no hierarchy

among them. Hailing from the

Rakhine State he knew poverty and

gave various examples of different ethnicities

in Myanmar and their differences

but there was no hierarchy or

caste system. As we all celebrate his

86th birthday, we wish him more

strength and good health in hope that his

work will further strengthen the cause

of Buddhist movement in India which

will help us realise the dreams of Baba

Saheb Ambedkar for building an

enlightened India or what could be

termed as Prabudhha Bharat. How ironic

is it that it is the monks and dedicated

followers from outside India who have

taken the task of bringing back the glory

of Buddhism here. Bhadant

Gyaneshwar remains one such stalwart

whose life is an inspiration for all of us

who want to see the growth of Buddha’s

path in India.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a

social and human rights activist.

He blogs at

www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com


20 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Bar Council

praises 'JAI BHIM' film unit

Chennai : The Tamil Nadu and

Puducherry Bar Council has expressed

its appreciation to the makers of the critically

acclaimed Tamil film 'Jai Bhim'.

It said that the film not only brought

to light the struggle for justice by a poor

victim but also highlighted the strength

of the legal profession and the greatness

of the courts of justice that come to the

aid of victims whose rights get trampled

due to abuse of power. In a letter

addressed to the film's director,

Gnanavel, a copy of which was also sent

to actor Suriya and retired Justice

Chandru, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

Bar Council Chairman P.S. Amalraj

said, "I have watched the movie Jai

Bhim, produced by 2D productions.

Hats off to the producers and actor Surya

for boldly bringing out the truth, without

deviating from the original incident."

Making a number of observations about

the film, the Chairman pointed out that

the movie had shown, for the first time,

the real court campus and broken myths

about lawyers' arguments in actual court

proceedings. Stating that the film had

made the common man understand what

happened in court proceedings without

cinematic additions, the Chairman said,

"The director needs to be appreciated for

the boldness to bring out the disturbing

truth, without diluting it. The picture

shows the sincere hard work done by the

lawyer and explains to society the real

value of the noble profession."

"This movie has brought to light not

only the struggle for justice by a poor

victim but also highlighted the strength

of the legal profession and the greatness

of the Courts of Justice to come to the

aid of victims whose rights get trampled,

due to abuse of power."

"As the Chairman of the Bar Council

of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, I wholeheartedly

congratulate the makers, the

artistes of the movie, especially Mr

Suriya, and the real hero, Justice

Chandru for his selfless efforts and

bringing accolades to the legal profession,"

he added.

Concerns on China's compliance with biological weapons

convention, 700 nuclear warheads by 2027

New Delhi : China's advancements

in its nuclear capability,

including that the accelerated

pace of their nuclear expansion,

may enable China to have up to

700 deliverable nuclear warheads

by 2027, the US

Department of Defense (DOD)

said.

"The accelerating pace of the

PLA's (People's Liberation

Army) nuclear expansion may

enable the PRC (People's

Republic of China) to have up to

about 700 deliverable nuclear

warheads by 2027," the official

said. "And the report states that

the PRC likely intends to have at

least 1,000 nuclear warheads by

2030 — exceeding the pace and

the size that we projected in the

2020 China Military Power

report," the Department said in a

report.

The report also reveals that

China may have already established

a nuclear triad, which

includes the ability to launch

such missiles from the air,

ground and sea.

"The PRC has possibly

already established a nascent

'nuclear triad' with the development

of a nuclear-capable, airlaunched

ballistic missile and

improvement of its ground- and

sea-based nuclear capabilities,"

the report reads.

New to the report this year is

a section on the Chinese military's

chemical and biological

research efforts. It says China

has engaged in biological activities

with potential dual-use

applications and that this raises

concerns regarding its compliance

with the Biological and

Toxins Weapons Convention and

the Chemical Weapons

Convention.

The report concludes that

China continues to be clear in its

ambitions to be competitive with

world-class military powers, a

DOD official said.

"The PLA's evolving capabilities

and concepts continue to

strengthen its ability to fight and

win wars, to use their own

phrase, against what the PRC

refers to as a 'strong enemy' —

again, another phrase that

appears in their publications.

And a ‘strong enemy', of course,

is very likely a euphemism for

the US," he said.

According to the report, a big

part of China's effort to match

the strength of a "strong enemy"

involves major modernization

and reform efforts within China's

army. Those efforts include an

ongoing effort to achieve "mechanisation",

which the report

describes as the Chinese army's

efforts to modernize its weapons

and equipment to be networked

into a "systems of systems" and

to also utilise more advanced

technologies suitable for "informatised"

and "intelligentised"

warfare.

Also of significance are

China's efforts to project military

power outside it's own borders.

"The PRC is seeking to establish

a more robust overseas

logistics and basing infrastructure

to allow the PLA to project

and sustain military power at

greater distances," the DOD official

said. "We're talking about

not just within the immediate

environments, environments in

the Indo-Pacific, but throughout

the Indo-Pacific region and

indeed, around the world."

The official said China's army

has sought to modernize its

capabilities and improve its proficiency

across all warfare

domains, so that, as a joint force,

it can conduct the range of land,

air, and maritime operations that

are envisioned in army publications,

as well as in space, counterspace,

electronic warfare and

cyber operations.

China to classify online data amid crackdown on Big Tech

Beijing : After cracking down on

big internet companies like Alibaba

and Tencent, China is now mulling

regulations that seek to classify online

data based on importance like national

security.

According to the draft regulation,

data users can be fined up to 10 million

yuan ($1.56 million) for violation

of the stipulations concerning data

provided to regions outside China.

The Cyberspace Administration of

China (CAC) has unveiled the regulations

that included a proposed data

classification and security framework,

seeking public feedback on the draft

legislation by December 13, Global

Times reported. China will soon establish

a hierarchical data classification

management and protection system.

"The regulation stipulates that data

is classified into three categories --

general, important and core -- based

on their degrees of impact on and significance

to national security, public

interests or the legitimate rights and

interests of individuals or organisations,"

the report said on Sunday.

The core of cybersecurity is data

security, which attaches great importance

to national security, public interests

and personal legal rights.

The release of the draft regulation

makes China's legal system on data

protection a "practical" and "performable"

action, said Qin An, head of

the Beijing-based Institute of China

Cyberspace Strategy.

"The draft regulation not only

ensures mobility of data as a key production

factor, but also protects its

security," Qin was quoted as saying.

The use of biometric data, such as

face, fingerprint, gait and voice should

also not be used as the only means of

personal identification, according to

the draft regulation.

In addition, organisations must not

refuse to provide services or "hinder"

normal services, should data owners

choose not to consent to the collection

of their personal information not

deemed necessary for the provision of

such services.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

21

Celebrating Diwali with a special tasting

menu created by Radhika Howarth

(Asian Independent)- Diwali was an

important time for families all over the

country as they celebrated the festival

of lights with fireworks, new outfits

and, of course, delicious meals. When it

comes to festive feasts, Asda has

always been a reliable place for families

to shop, and this year their selection

of tasty and affordable options was bigger

than ever.

To celebrate the expansion of their

range, as well as Diwali displays being

added to the seasonal aisle for the first

time in key locations, Asda hosted a

special event to mark Diwali 2021.

Hosted at Benk + Bo Bakery in

Aldgate, the event space was beautifully

adorned with vibrant colours, twinkling

lights, marigold garlands and real

flowers.

The occasion featured a scrumptious

tasting menu created by Radhika

Howarth of @radikalkitchen that consisted

entirely of foods that can be

found on Asda’s shelves, and a guest

list of influencers, food bloggers, media

personalities and people from the culinary

world. Festivities commenced

with a brief welcoming speech from

Catherine McKenna, Buying Manager

for World Foods at Asda, before

Radhika stepped forward to talk about

the menu.

“People have asked me how I have

managed to cook such a variety for

ASDA’s Diwali Fiesta and if it was a

big effort,” she said, “but it’s been easy

with Asda’s wide range to create dishes

that are simple to put together by using

ingredients from the World Foods aisle

Chennai : Actor Manikandan,

who plays Rajakannu, one of the

pivotal characters in the critically

acclaimed 'Jai Bhim', says that the

biggest lesson he learnt while

working on the film was that one

does not need anything to be happy

other than just the willingness to be

cheerful.

Manikandan, who plays the role

of an Irular tribesman in the film,

underwent a training session for 40

days during which period he stayed

with the Irulars in their village to

learn their mannerisms and

lifestyle.

Talking to IANS, Manikandan

says, "We were able to understand

how self-reliant these people were.

Staying with them, I acquired quite

a few lifeskills. Their lifestyle had

a great impact on me. I realised that

they did not need anything to be

happy. I learnt that one can be

happy if one chooses to. They did

as well as frozen section, full of

flavour.” She also spoke about how

pleased she was to be working with

not have anything but they were

immensely happy."

The actor, whose performance

in the film has come in for widespread

praise, says that wearing

make up for his role was a tedious

process but the make up artistes

made it comfortable for him.

"Everyday, it would take two

hours just to put our make up.

Especially, for me, it would take

time to create the wounds that you

see in the film. To remove it, it

would take another two hours. The

make up artistes made this process

so comfortable for us," says Mani,

who goes on to give details of how

he learnt to hunt for the sake of the

film.

"Hunting was a very exciting

process. The very first thing that

they did as soon as we set foot in

their village was that they took us

hunting. They would walk for

miles and through the night, until

Asda and to be hosting an event in person

again.

Guests were served samples of

Radhika’s Chana Samosa Chaat Shots,

a warm and flavourful starter based

around samosas bought from Asda’s

frozen section, delightfully herby cubes

of spice encrusted Paneer Tikka, and

Italian inspired Arancini Balls with a

desi spice twist. Also on the menu was

a Navratan Pulao studded with chopped

nuts and raisins and a decadent, layered

parfait of Gulab Jamun and Shrikhand.

As they enjoyed the bold Indian

flavours and inventive combinations of

Radhika’s beautifully plated, bite-sized

snacks, guests were impressed that all

five of the recipes they sampled could

be easily recreated from Asda’s range

of ingredients, with one attendee making

a point to stop and thank the Asda

team for their hard work in expanding

their ethnic ranges. More than just making

it easier for them to shop for groceries

in one place, she said, it made

people from minority communities feel

respected.

With a warm atmosphere of interesting

conversation and delightful dishes,

Asda created a welcoming Diwali celebration

and showed their commitment

to expanding their ranges and better

serving the minority communities of

the UK. #ASDACelebratesDiwali

What Irulars taught 'Jai Bhim' actor: One doesn't need anything to be happy

early dawn. We didn't have that

kind of stamina," says Mani, who

discloses that the hunting party

would walk for scores of miles at a

stretch.

"If they begin walking by six in

the evening, they would walk until

6 the next morning during a hunt.

In fact, they would walk from

Gingee to Kancheepuram during a

hunt," says Mani.

"They taught us everything from

how to capture rats, rabbits, wild

boar to how to cast nets and set

traps," he adds.

To stress on how self-sufficient

the Irulars are, Manikandan recalls

a conversation he had with one of

the Irular boys during a hunt.

Says the actor, "One of the boys

whom I accompanied on a hunt

asked me once, 'Will you be able to

survive, if you got lost in this forest?'

I replied, 'No.' He turned back,

looked at me and said, 'I can'."


22 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

OBC Organisations Nominated Dr Manisha Bangar

for Padma Shri for her Distinguished

Efforts in Uplifting the Backward Classes

(Padma Awards are out and unlike the political custom of declaring them on the eve of republic day, this year

they have just been given by the president of India. Awards are being claimed as public but it rarely happens.

Dr Manisha Bangar’s name was also nominated by various OBC organizations for awarding her with

Padmashri which got ignored. Here is a detail of what they wrote in their nomination.)

Other Backward Caste (OBC)

organizations prominently OBC

Mahasabha (Dharmendra Kushwaha,

General Secretary), OBC Sevasangh

(Pradeep Dhobley National

President), OBC organizations from

Madhya Pradesh, OBC journalists

and lawyers nominated Dr Bangar

for her extraordinary contributions in

uplifting the socio-political and

health conditions of the Bahujan

community.

The Padma Awards are one of the

highest civilian honours of India

announced annually on the eve of

Republic Day. The Awards are given

in three categories: Padma Vibhushan

(for exceptional and distinguished

service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished

service of higher order) and

Padma Shri (distinguished service).

The award seeks to recognize

achievements in all fields of activities

or disciplines where an element

of public service is involved.

This is Why OBC Organisations

Nominated Dr Manisha Bangar –

Dr Manisha Bangar is a

Gastroenterologist and a liver transplant

specialist. She is professionally

practicing medicine for last two

decades. For last two twenty years

she has been making invaluable and

distinguished contributions in the

field of medical research, and education.

She has been the member of

member of the Governing Body

Council of The Liver (INASL) and

the South Asian Association for the

Study of the Liver (SAASL).

Along with the excellent professional

medical expertise, she is also a

Human Rights champion. She is an

activist and analyst of social and

political issues. She is the former

Vice president of BAMCEF and

founding member of National India

News Network.

She is an active voice of Bahujan

and dedicated Human Rights

activist committed to uplift the

Bahujan committee.

Dr Manisha Bangar’s believes that

through fair Representation and

Diversity Bahujan community can

realise its full potential

For the past two decades Dr

Bangar has organized numerous seminars

on representation to achieve

diversity and equality among institutions

of India. Through her news

media network she is ensuring the

fair representation and diversity in

the newsroom. Dr Bangar has been

also participating in various anticaste

movements and ensuring safe

institutional spaces. For the past two

decades Dr Manisha Bangar has been

actively promoting the rights of the

Bahujan community

and especially of

the women. She is

holding national

level leadership

position for more

than a decade now.

For the same Dr

Bangar proposed

solutions at the

Symposium on

Sustainable

Development

Goals – Combating

Inequalities for the

achievement of

SDG on 13 April

2016 in New York

City, USA. She was

a speaker at the

symposium and

presented before

the UN Secretary

General, the impediments

in achieving

the SDG 2020,

2026 & 2030 in the

area of health in

India and proposed

solutions.

She has also been

training and creating

grassroots level

leadership among

the indigenous community youth and

women.

Caste Based Census will Smash

the Brahminical Politics

Dr Bangar has been actively campaigning

for the caste based census.

The Government and other Non

Bahujan party are not keen to include

caste column in the census and so far

avoiding he questions on this subject

maater. Dr Bangar through media

campaigns and by supporting grassroots

organizations and Bahujan

activist ensuring the census based on

caste.

She started a series of panel discussions

to aware Bahujan communities

about the caste census. Several

distinguish faculty and academicians

were invited for the talk and discuss

the caste census. At the same time

she ensured platform to the young

emerging leadership advocating for

the caste census.

Through her social media account

she made appeals and influenced

people to lobby together against the

Brahminical plot of discouraging

caste based census. She has been

campaigning for the OBC rights and

against Brahmanical supremacy for

last two decades.

During the COVID 19 Pandemic

safety of the people was top most priority

and still it is

Dr Manisha Bangar

Dr Manisha Bangar has been educating

masses and raising awareness

on COVID 19 formore than 2 years

through video messages. She started

a special series combating corona

with Dr Manisha Bangar where she

was debunked misinformation and

fake news on the deadly virus and

also aware the masses by suggesting

right means. She led another awareness

campaign on covid vaccines

asking people get vaccinated.

Alternative Media to strengthening

the democratic forces and

ensured a media platform to

Bahujan

Dr Bangar founded and established

an alternative Digital Media

platform – “National India News

Network” in 2017. The news network

within three years has grown exponentially

and currently a digital platform

with 2.04 million subscriber

base and 30 million viewership.

She also started a Weekly Talk

Show Program to discuss public policies

and suggest solutions on pertaining

issues. On “Policy Matters with

Dr. Manisha Bangar” she discusses,

critically analyse and debate various

aspects of Health and Education

Policies especially from the perspective

of its accessibility and benefit to

the disadvantaged groups.

As the Managing Director of

“National India News”, she ensured

the streaming of informed

debates on issues of the

underprivileged population

of India. The commitment

of this channel under her

leadership for diversity in

Media was highlighted in

the symposium on “Media

and Caste ” conducted in

Harvard University in

February 2020, and it was

published in a prominent

digital platform “The Print”

which has a three million

subscriber base. For the last

5 years in news media her

utmost priority is strengthen

the democratic forces

and ensure media platforms

to Bahujan.

She is also among the

founding member of media

training institute of NIN

network started in year

2021.

Nourishing the

Bahujan Politics through

Elections

Dr Manisha Bangar participated

in the Indian

Parliamentary Election

2019 and contested for the

seat of Member of

Parliament from the

Nagpur, Maharashtra Lok Sabha

Constituency.

She is also serving as the National

Vice President of the People’s Party

of India–D since November 2018.

Honored with Prestigious

Awards and Recognition

Dr Bangar has been Honored and

felicitated by the Kalinga

Gastroenterology Foundation (KGF)

– Orissa by Prof Emeritus

Gastroenterology Dept., AIIMS Dr.

S. K. Acharya the “Kalinga

Samman” award for outstanding

work to educate the community

about Hepatitis control, eradication,

health care accessibility and liver disease

awareness in August 2017

She has been also Honored by the

President of World Hepatitis Alliance

(WHA)- Geneva, Switzerland Mr.

Charles Gore by the Title “ FRIEND

of WORLD HEPATITIS ALLIANCE

“ in recognition of the exceptional

work to educate, increase awareness

and improve the lives of the people

living with hepatitis in India in general

and Andhra Pradesh in particular

in May 2013

Along with the medicine she has

been also honored by several prestigious

awards for her social work. In

May 2017 Organization of Minorities

of India USA honored Dr Bangar

with Global Bahujan Award. Along

with a couple a awards in the year

2020 she was honored with prestigious

Eashwari Bai Award presented

by the Telangana Govt for distinguished

service to the marginalized

communities and gender empowerment.

This award was presented by

distinguished ministers and top opposition

leaders from Telangana State

and the Government of India.

A Bahujan Relentlessly Working

for the Bahujan community for last

two decades

Dr Manisha’s relentless work to

combat hepatitis made her the only

woman in India to be awarded the

title of “Friend of Alliance” (2012-

2013) by WHO- World Hepatitis

Alliance. It was for her exemplary

work at the clinical and community

level to influence real change in

health outcomes for those with

chronic hepatitis. In her efforts of

making hepatitis free society, she

reached out to more than 7 lac population

of united Andhra Pradesh and

Telangana. Since 2009, she is raising

awareness about hepatitis by providing

free consultation and screening.

She is frequently organizing vaccination

camps, public events educational

programs.

Her effort impacted 500 million

people around the world which is

recognized by world Hepatitis

Alliance

In the state capital of Telangana

she conducted seven major public

events on World Hepatitis Day for a

decade. Her involvement in 2012-13

with WHA made record on Guinness

world Book. She established 50 medical

camps and reached out to 2.5

million populations. For the Hepatitis

awareness she created a huge grassroots

network in 9 districts.

Through project (IC – Hep) she

made her reach up to taluka level

training medical practitioners and

community people. She engaged

youth and established a network of

trained clinicians to support general

public in total 9 districts AP –

Telangana.

Utilising her position as

Governing Council Member and

Task Force member of National and

South Asian Liver Disease

Associations as well as Nutrition

forums she is constantly engaged in

policy making and advocacy at grass

root levels.

Utilizing her social media influence

she engaged with several doctors

and organized discussions and

awareness programs to combat coronavirus.

Her work during the pandemic

was recognized by various

mainstream media.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

23

BJP, Cong trade barbs on

’Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ programme in MP

Bhopal : With the Centre's

announcement to celebrate 'Janjatiya

Gaurav Divas' to mark the birth anniversary

of tribal leader and freedom fighter

Delta stays as main 'variant of

concern' in India: INSACOG

New Delhi : The Delta variant

of Covid-19 continues to be

the main variant of concern

(VoC) in India, the Indian

SARS-CoV-2 Genomics

Consortium (INSACOG) said on

Thursday.

"Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY.x)

continues to be the main VOC in

India. No new VOI (variant of

interest) or VOC are noted and

other VOC and VOI other than

Delta are now negligible in

sequencing data from India," it

said.

It also said that there is no

change to the global scenario.

"Delta, including B.1.617.2

Birsa Munda with a mega event in

Bhopal on November 15, political bickering

has begun between the Congress

and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on

(AY) and AY.x sublineages, continues

to be the main VOC globally.

As per the latest WHO

update, Delta has outcompeted

other variants in most countries

and there is now declining

prevalence of other variants

among SARSCoV-2 sequences

submitted to publicly available

datasets or reported to WHO,"

said INSACOG in its bulletin.

The total number of samples

processed and sequenced so far

is 96,312. A total of 92,800 samples

have been analysed by

INSACOG.

A consortium of 28 national

laboratories set up in December

this matter. Preparations for the mega

event at Bhopal's historic Jamburi

Maidan are in full swing. The entire

ground is being decorated, highlighting

the cultural, social values and contribution

of the tribal communities especially

in the state. An estimated budget of

Rs 13 crore has been sanctioned for the

event for which people from tribal communities

from across the state will be

transported to it's capital, sources told

IANS. "People of tribal communities

will be brought to Bhopal. The allocated

fund will be spent on transportation,

accommodation food, sanitisers, masks

etc. The fund has been allocated to each

district," said a government official.

It is being alleged that the event is

being organised to increase the ruling

BJP's vote percentage in the tribal areas

in the upcoming assembly polls in

Madhya Pradesh in 2023. Prime

Minister Narendra Modi is likely to

announce nearly a dozen schemes prepared

by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan

government for tribal communities.

While the state BJP is busy in making

the event a grand success, the

Congress, which had won 36 assembly

seats out of the 47 reserved for

Scheduled Tribes in the 2018 elections,

has started blaming the Shivraj government

for investing a huge amount of

money to get votes.

A group of senior Congress leaders

2020 to monitor the genomic

variations in Sars-CoV-2, the

Covid-19 causing virus, the

INSACOG functions under the

Union Health and Family

Welfare Ministry.

The first cases of the Delta

variant first came to light in

India in October last year. The

variant is also generally blamed

for the explosive rise in Covid-

19 cases across the country.

Meanwhile, India on

Thursday reported 13,091 fresh

Covid cases in the last 24 hours.

In the same time span, a total of

340 deaths have also been

reported, said the Ministry.

London : UK Brexit

Minister David Frost said that

three weeks' talks with the

European Union (EU) have not

led to the closure of substantial

gaps on the Northern Ireland

Protocol but Britain will not

give up until exhausting all

negotiating possibilities. During

the intense discussions for the

last three weeks, the aim has

been to assess whether it is possible

to close the substantial

gaps in UK-EU positions and

secure potential negotiated resolution,

Frost said in the House

of Lords, the upper chamber of

the British parliament, reports

Xinhua news agency.

He said it has not been possible

so far at least in part because

the EU proposals do not go far

enough to make the protocol

sustainable for the future.

He said he wants to protect

the integrity of the talks and

remain positive. "I will not give

up on this process unless and

until it is abundantly clear that

nothing more can be done... If

we do in due course reach that

point, the Article 16 safeguards

will be our only option," Frost

on Wednesday opposed the government's

plan to organise the 'Janjatiya

Gaurav Divas'.

Citing the fire incident in Kamla

Nehru hospital, in which five infants

died of suffocation, the Congress leaders

said, "At the moment when entire

Bhopal is in mourning due to loss of

innocent children, the BJP government

is busy in a mega event," the leaders

said at a press conference.

However, the Congress itself has

planned a 'Janjatiya Divas' in Jabalpur

on the same date (November 15).

Reacting to the allegations, Chief

said.

The Article 16 of the

Northern Ireland Protocol provides

both the UK and the EU

with a unilateral power to take

action should the application of

the protocol give rise to "serious

economic, societal or environmental

difficulties that are liable

to persist, or to diversion of

trade". The UK and the EU view

changing the protocol as a longterm

solution to post-Brexit

trade disruption in Northern

Ireland. Britain outlined its proposals

in a government paper in

July, which observers interpreted

as a renegotiation of the protocol.

Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

slammed the Congress saying former

Chief Minister Kamal Nath-led MP

Congress could not digest its defeat in

the by-polls and is therefore making

wrong statements.

"BJP is not worried about it's vote

bank. But, the kind of statements coming

from the Congress is clear indication

that they are worried. Congress

ruled the state for several years but did

nothing for Janjatiya people, and now

when we are doing something for them,

they are making false allegations about

us," Chouhan said.

UK will talk with EU

until exhausting all

possibilities on NI Protocol

In response, the EU published

its own package to facilitate

the movement of goods

from Britain to Northern

Ireland, including cutting customs

formalities, simplified certification,

and an 80 per cent

reduction of checks on retail

goods for Northern Ireland's

consumers. It said it would

guarantee an uninterrupted supply

of medicine to the people of

Northern Ireland, by changing

EU rules.

However, the two sides

remain poles apart on the more

challenging issue of the oversight

role of the European Court

of Justice in Northern Ireland.


24 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

PM Modi asked me not

to bother about Bitcoin

scandal: Bommai

New Delhi : Karnataka Chief

Minister Basavaraj Bommai said

on Thursday that Prime Minister

Narendra Modi has asked him

not to bother about the Bitcoin

scandal in the state.

After meeting Modi at the

Prime Minister’s Office, he said

that discussion on the Bitcoin

scandal did not come up in the

meeting. "When I started telling

him about the scandal, he cut me

short asking me not to bother

about all this," he claimed.

Modi asked him to continue

serving the people with more

dedication and courage, Bommai

said.

"The meeting with the Prime

Minister went off very well. We

discussed a lot of issues. He was

especially keen on administration

and our decisions during the

last 100 days. How things could

be made better was also deliberated

upon," he said.

Bommai said that he had

extended an invitation to the

Prime Minister to attend four

programmes in December. "The

Prime Minister happily agreed

for a Karnataka visit. He asked

me to split the programmes and

assured he would visit the state

twice," he added.

The Prime Minister has

agreed to lay the foundation

stone for the Railway Suburban

Project, and inaugurate the

Ambedkar School of Economics

Chennai woman cop man trapped

under tree and presumed dead

Chennai : A woman officer of the Chennai police, E. Rajeswari

rescued a man from

underneath a tree that

fell upon him at T.P.

Chatram area. The

woman police officer

told media that she

received a call from

the control room stating

that a man had

been killed as a tree

fell upon him.

"I received a call

that a tree fell on him

at the cemetery in

T.P. Chatram, and my

team and I reached

the spot immediately.

On close inspection,

I found that he was

unconscious but

alive," she said. The

man, Udhayakumar,

28, was working at

the T.P. Cemetry and

his friend informed

the control room that

he had died after the

tree fell upon him.

Rajeswari told media that she pulled up the friend of

Udhayakumar for not rushing the injured man to the hospital.

The inspector also said that the duo had drunk the previous night

and the friend did not bother to take Udhayakumar to the hospital.

The video of her carrying Udhayakumar on her shoulders went

viral. She immediately took an autorickshaw and sent

Udhayakumar along with his friend to the nearby general hospital.

The injured person is out of danger and doctors said that he suffered

a concussion.

and other projects in Bengaluru.

He said Modi appreciated the

scholarship scheme aimed at the

farmers’ children. He said this

project should succeed as

Karnataka is the only state which

has farmers’ data in digital format.

He expressed his desire to

emulate the scheme in the entire

country, he underlined.

The Transparency Act

brought by the state government

was liked by the Prime Minister

who called it a "revolutionary"

step. There was also a long discussion

on implementation of

National Education Policy

(NEP), Bommai said.

"On losing Hangal bypoll, the

Prime Minister advised to take

winning and losing in the same

way and asked me to set a target

for 2023 general elections and

win people’s hearts," Bommai

said. Bommai also said he met

BJP President J.P. Nadda and

discussed upcoming elections in

the state. "I also met Union

Home Minister Amit Shah on

Wednesday. It was a brief meeting,"

he said.

Asked if they discussed the

Bitcoin scandal, Bommai said

that being the Home Minister,

Amit Shah would have more

information on the issue than

him.

New Delhi : China undertook construction

activities in the past several years along

the border areas, including in areas it illegally

occupied over the decades, the Ministry of

External Affairs said on Thursday.

Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

said that India has taken note of the US

Department of Defense report to the US

Congress, which inter-alia also makes a reference

to the construction activities carried

out by the Chinese side along the India-

China borders, particularly in the eastern

sector.

Taliban welcome meet on

Afghanistan hosted by India

New Delhi : In reaction to the

India Conferences statement, the

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

has said that it had already fulfilled

all of the demands mentioned

by the conference, Tolo

News reported.

"The Islamic Emirate welcomes

the India meeting. We are

trying to take solid steps in governance,

and the world countries

should not be worried of

Afghanistan soil being used

against anyone," said Inamullah

Samangani, deputy spokesman for

the Foreign Ministry, the report said. The India

Conference, in which the representatives of Russia,

Iran and five Central Asian states participated,

called for the formation of an inclusive government

in Afghanistan that will counter terrorism and

prevent Afghan soil from being used against other

countries.

"World countries are trying to bring their wishes

via negotiations to the Taliban and these meetings

have a positive result for Afghanistan," said

Sayed Haroon Hashimi, a political analyst, the

Lucknow : The Yogi

Adityanath government in Uttar

Pradesh has finally terminated

the services of Dr Kafeel Khan, a

paediatrician with the BRD

Medical College in Gorakhpur.

The government spokesman

confirmed the news of Khan’s

termination.

Kafeel Khan had been suspended

along with seven others

in August 2017 when over 60

children died due to disruption in

the oxygen supply at the BRD

hospital. Seven doctors, except

report added. Some political experts say that such

meetings could be effective in ensuring stability

and economic development. "The India meeting is

effective for Afghanistan because India is one of

the aid-providing countries to Afghanistan and it is

now also interested in supporting the country," said

Sayed Hakim Kamal, an international relations

analyst.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was not

invited to the India Conference. China and

Pakistan also didn’t participate in the meeting.

Kafeel Khan terminated after 4-year battle

"India has neither accepted such illegal

occupation of our territory nor has it accepted

the unjustified Chinese claims," the

spokesperson said. Bagchi also stressed on

the fact that the government has always conveyed

its strong protest to such activities

through diplomatic channels and will continue

to do so in the future.

"Further, as conveyed earlier, the government

has also stepped up border infrastructure,

including the construction of roads,

bridges etc., which has provided much-needed

connectivity to the local population along

Khan, were later reinstated. The

state government later booked

him for making inflammatory

speeches during the anti-CAA

protests in the state.

Talking to IANS on Thursday,

Kafeel Khan said that he was

waiting for the formal termination

order to be served to him.

"I will continue to fight for

justice and will challenge the

order in court," he said.

China carried out constructions in

areas it illegally occupied: Centre

the borders," he said.

The government remains committed to

the objective of creating infrastructure along

the border areas for the improvement of

livelihood of its citizens, including in

Arunachal Pradesh, he said.

"The government keeps a constant watch

on all the developments having a bearing on

India’s security, and takes all the necessary

measures to safeguard its sovereignty and

territorial integrity," Bagchi said.

Last week, the US Department of Defense

in its annual report submitted to the US

Congress on military and security developments

had flagged that China has built a

large 100-home civilian village inside the

disputed territory between the Tibet

Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh.

The report had also stated that these and

other infrastructure development efforts

along the India-China border have been a

source of consternation in the Indian government

and the media.

Talking about the claims made in the US

report, a senior security official stated that

the said village being referred to has been

under Chinese control since 1959.

The village has been built by China in an

area that was occupied by the Chinese

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) after overrunning

an Assam Rifles post in 1959 in an

operation known as ’Longju’ along the frontiers

in Arunachal Pradesh.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021

25

Nepal in a fix to hold census in

disputed territories with India

Kathmandu : Nepal on Thursday

began the once in a decade census with

the collection of personal data and

information. But officials in Kathmandu

were in a fix whether over conducting

the survey in the disputed territories

with India like Kalapani, Lipulekh, and

Limpiyadhura.

The former KP Sharma Oli government

last year issued a new map incorporating

the disputed territories with

India that pushed bilateral ties to an alltime

low.

This emerged as a major irritant in

the Nepal-India relations, with Delhi

calling Kathamndu's decision to publish

the new map a cartographic assertion.

Nepal's move was prompted by

India's announcement that it was building

a road link to Kailash Manasarovar

in the Tibet Autonomous Region of

China via Lipulekh.

The new map was adopted by

Parliament through a constitutional

amendment. Officials have been wondering

for quite a while about how to

conduct a census in the region, not

because it is remote but because

it is controlled by India.

Now there were calls from

several quarters to conduct the

census in Kalapani, Lipulekh,

and Limpiyadhura area but officials

are still in a fix. "We are

looking forward to using the

satellite technology to collect

necessary information of the

people residing in Kalapani,

Lipulek, and Limpiyadhura for

the 12th National Population

and Household Census,"

Director General of Central

Bureau of Statistics (CBS),

Nabin Lal Shrestha said. "We

have made a request with India

through the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs to conduct the census in

those three areas," he said,

adding that as of now no permission

has been granted from

the Indian side.

Nepal has been claiming that

its boundary to the west-north

begins from Limpiyadhura

Ganja worth Rs 1 cr

seized near Hyderabad

where the river Mahakali originates.

In Kalapani, it is currently

occupied by the Indian troops and

Lipulehk is the tri-juncture

between Nepal, India, and China.

The CBS said the government

is holding talks with the Indian

authorities to carry out the population

census of the region.

According to the Bureau, the

authority has been considering

using satellite means to take the

data of households residing in the

region.

Shrestha said that the CBS

cannot send enumerators to the

Kalapani region without talks

with India, as it continues to control

the area, even though Nepal

claims the territory as its own.

Also, since there is no direct

road link connecting the region

with the rest of the country, people

can reach the area via India.

Officials say that the bureau

has already collected the data on

the population in the region based

on India's 2011 census, according to

which, there are 363 people in Kuti, 78

in Nabi, and 335 in Gunji �the three

villages in the region. CBS officials say

they will wait for a response from the

Foreign Ministry with regard to their

request for diplomatic initiatives with

India.

Since India has been nonchalant of

late with regards to Nepal's diplomatic

requests, it is not clear whether Delhi

would respond.

When New Delhi published a new

map in November 2019 to update its

political map after detailing the boundaries

of Jammu and Kashmir and

Ladakh, it had shown the Kalapani

region within Indian borders.

The new map was unveiled after the

Indian government on August 5, 2019

rescinded the special status of Jammu

and Kashmir, paving the way for the

creation of the Union Territories of

Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Nepal's attempts to hold diplomatic dialogue

to resolve the issue went unanswered

by India.

Hyderabad : Prohibition and Excise department of Telangana

on Thursday seized ganja (marijuana) estimated to be worth Rs 1

crore in Medchal district near Hyderabad.

An official said 462 kg ganja being transported in two cars was

seized near Kowkur in Jawahar Nagar and four persons were

arrested. Medchal district excise deputy commissioner David

Ravikant told reporters that the contraband was seized when it was

being transported from Andhra-Odisha border area to Maharashtra.

Those arrested have been identified as Mohammed Fareed,

Ismail, Sachin Chawan and Baswa Raju. He said they registered a

case and took up further investigation.

This is the latest in the series of seizure of ganja and other drugs

by the excise and police in and around Hyderabad during the last

few days. The department launched an intensive campaign to curb

the drug menace on the direction of Chief Minister K.

Chandrasekhar Rao last month.

The excise officials had seized 4.92 kg Mephedrone drug from

three different places in Medchal Malkajgiri district on October 23.

On October 30, two drug peddlers were arrested and 110 kg of

ganja was seized from their possession in LB Nagar. The contraband,

estimated to be valued at Rs 18.50 lakh, was being transported

from the agency area in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra

Pradesh to Nagpur via Hyderabad.

Earlier, about 72 kg ganja was seized and four persons were

arrested by police in two different raids in Hyderabad Police

Commissionerate limits. Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda

Police, which cover Hyderabad and suburbs, are carrying out a special

drive against narcotics.


26 16-11-2021 to 30-11-2021 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Air Pollution: CMs, IGs of NCR

states to meet on Tuesday

Glasgow : As the 26th session

of the Conference of

Parties (COP26) to the UN

Framework Convention on

Climate Change (UNFCCC) in

Glasgow comes to a close,

members and partners of Asia

Pacific Forum on Women, Law

and Development (APWLD)

on Monday reiterated their

rejection to false climate solutions

reflected in the summit

outcomes that further burden

grassroots women and perpetuate

plunder of resources of

global south countries.

APWLD member and executive

director of Aksi! for gender,

social and ecological justice

in Indonesia, Titi Soentoro,

detests that the COP26 has

failed to address roots of climate

injustices raised by

activists and environmentalists

both in Glasgow and in virtual

platforms during the two-week

run of the conference.

"The COP26 has essentially

served as a platform for developed

countries to skirt responsibility

by diverting public

attention from irreversible

environmental and social

impacts to false solutions that

perpetuate capitalist drive for

profit," Titi says.

According to Titi, the push

for net zero emissions instead

of 'real zero' is nothing but a

decorative cover for unrestricted

emissions. "The current proposed

net zero pledges are not

New Delhi : The Commission for

Air Quality Management for Delhi

and Surrounding Areas (CAQM) has

called a meeting of all Chief Ministers

of NCR states and even IGs of Punjab

and Haryana on Tuesday in connection

with the increased severity of air

pollution in the region.

The Supreme Court on Monday

reprimanded the Centre and the states,

especially Delhi government for their

failure to reign in air pollution that had

reached hazardous levels last week

and now hovering on 'severe' and 'very

poor' level.

"CAQM has invited IGs of police

from Punjab and Haryana too. The

meeting will discuss what all can be

done as emergency measures to control

air pollution," said a source.

CAQM is a dedicated

Commission - under the Ministry of

Environment, Forests and Climate

Change (MoEF&CC) looking at the

air quality of Delhi and NCR's districts

of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar

Pradesh taking an air shed approach

(just like watershed, air shed is the

geographic area wherein meteorological

factors influence the air

quality within that area) and therefore,

CAQM can and has summoned

Punjab too owing to the

Grassroots women slam world

leaders' betrayal at COP26

grounded in deep decarbonisation,

and instead rely on other

false solutions including

nature-based solutions (NBS)

as sinks, to sequester the carbon

emissions; as well as on

carbon-markets to deliver carbon

offsets in developing countries.

We also demand for a

complete phase out of fossil

fuels," Titi explains. An indigenous

woman and APWLD

Climate Justice Feminist

Participatory Action Research

(CJ FPAR) partner, Delima

Silalahi of Kelompok Studi dan

Pengembangan Prakarsa

Masyarakat (KSPPM) of

Indonesia adds that it is critical

for rural and indigenous

women on the ground to really

understand these false climate

solutions and the impacts to

their lives and survival.

"The outcome of the negotiation

on market mechanism is a

huge threat for indigenous

communities in Asia and the

Pacific. World leaders are not

even brave enough to commit

to the protection of human

rights along with the Free, Prior

and Informed Consent (FPIC)

of Indigenous Peoples. Above

all, a market-based mechanism

is never a true climate solution.

It is a dirty business tactic, putting

profits over peoples,"

Delima notes. "We reject false

climate solutions. We want just

and equitable transition. The

market mechanism, especially

carbon trading, will aggressively

violate Indigenous Peoples'

rights to land and forest in the

name of battling climate catastrophe.

It is a massive land

grabbing plot threatening our

survival. It is a matter of life

and death for us in the community,"

she adds.

Meanwhile, APWLD member

Ana Celestial of Kalikasan

People's Network for the

Environment (Kalikasan PNE)

in the Philippines underscores

the importance of continuing

the fight for climate justice and

demanding accountability for

the climate crisis.

"Feminists, activists, and

environmental and land rights

defenders are either killed,

criminalised, or subjected to

various forms of harassment

for protecting mother earth.

Their perpetrators, the authoritarian

governments and massive

foreign corporations, continue

to plunder our lands and

natural resources, yet get off

scot-free. Worse, these are the

same people who are among

the most powerful dominating

the global climate negotiations

now, including the recently

concluded COP26l," Ana says.

Ana adds that the failure of

member countries to walk out

of COP26 with real commitments

on financing for loss and

damage is outrageous especially

amid increasing climateinduced

natural disasters that

have devastated many developing

countries including the

Philippines.

She explains that it is critical

to continue demanding more

financing from the developed

and capitalist countries to

deliver their promise of

USD100 billion a year and

additional public climate

finance based on the needs of

the affected communities.

multiple farm fires from the state

lending air pollutants that travel to

Delhi. Said an official from Punjab

that there have been 6,600 cases of

red entry (entry into revenue

records) against the farmers

indulging in stubble burning in that

state. The Tuesday morning meeting

is likely to discuss this issue further,

an official said, adding, "There

is a need to increase punitive measures

in Delhi and other districts of

NCR as the share of stubble burning

in Delhi's air pollution, as per

SAFAR it was 'low' - has gone

down substantially."

The sources that impacted Delhi's

air quality were moderate wind speed

and ventilation that is leading to accumulation

of pollutants. The AQI on

Monday was 'very poor' and is unlikely

to improve on Tuesday, SAFAR, a

forecasting system under the Indian

Institute of Tropical Meteorology,

IITM, Pune, said.

"The winds at transport level are

increasing, resulting in more intrusion

of farm fires related pollutants into

Delhi. So the air quality is expected to

remain at the higher end of very poor,"

the SAFAR forecast said on Monday.

SC collegium recommends

advocate Saurabh Kirpal as

Delhi HC judge

New Delhi : The Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief

Justice N.V. Ramana, has recommended the appointment of senior

advocate Saurabh Kirpal as a judge of the Delhi High Court.

A statement on top court's website said: "The Supreme Court

Collegium in its meeting held on 11th November, 2021 has

approved the proposal for elevation of Saurabh Kirpal, Advocate,

as Judge in the Delhi High Court".

The Supreme Court collegium had thrice deferred Kirpal's elevation

in the past. He was recently conferred senior advocate

gown. In an interview last year, Kirpal, who is a gay, had claimed

that he believes his sexual orientation is probably the reason the

collegium had not taken a decision on his elevation.

In another statement, the top court said: "The Supreme Court

Collegium in its meeting held on 11th November, 2021 has, on

reconsideration, resolved to reiterate its earlier recommendation

for elevation of following four advocates as Judges in Delhi High

Court: 1. Tara Vitasta Ganju, 2. Anish Dayal, 3. Amit Sharma, and

4. Mini Pushkarna.

The top court collegium also approved an advocate, K.

Manmadha Rao, and a judicial officer, B.S. Banumathi, as judges

in the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

In another statement, the top court said: "The Supreme Court

Collegium in its meeting held on 11th November, 2021 has, on

reconsideration, resolved to reiterate its earlier recommendation

for elevation of Sachin Singh Rajput, advocate, as judge in

Chhattisgarh High Court".

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