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Showing posts from July 5, 2020

Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress

July 12, 2020,  7:35 AM  IST   Sagarika Ghose  in  Bloody Mary   |   India ,  politics   |   TOI The ruling party’s daily target doesn’t change: it’s ready, aim and fire at the Gandhi family. Almost every day, amplified by TV news, the Nehru-Gandhis are targeted by one BJP functionary or another. The day could begin with an attack on Jawaharlal Nehru’s failures over China and the 1962 war, and end with assaults on Rahul Gandhi’s tweets. BJP spokespersons mock Sonia Gandhi as “Antonia Maino” on TV. During the tense standoff with China, funding of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was torn apart, and is now to be officially probed. Most recently, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was cast as a squatter who needed to be evicted from government accommodation. (Admittedly, she should have left on her own).   The Nehru-Gandhis are the Enemy No. 1 of the Modi-fied BJP. Yet intriguingly enough, they also

736 Sangh Parivar NGOs qualified for government funds, subsidised rations during the COVID-19 lockdown

SAGAR 11 July 2020 Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh distribute ration in Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh, during the lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. The RSS has a documented history of mobilising its volunteers for relief interventions during disasters, as a means of sewa, or service. According to the Sangh’s literature, sewa is essential for “nation building,” as it would generate goodwill and acceptability for its foundational aim—the establishment of the Hindu Rashtra.   PRAMOD ADHIKARI As of 13 May, at least 736 NGOs affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh featured among a list of organisations enlisted by the central government for relief interventions during the ongoing lockdown to control the novel coronavirus pandemic. All these entities come under the umbrella of the Rashtriya Sewa Bharati, which is a registered trust, and works in the fields of education

144 veterans of the Indian Armed Forces have written a joint statement on the situation at the border with China in Ladakh

144 veterans of the Indian Armed Forces have written a joint statement on the  situation at the border with China in Ladakh , drawing attention to failure in the “political, civil and military establishments” that led to the continued swirl of rumours on the issue and the loss of 20 soldiers’ lives in the violence at Galwan Valley〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 We, the signatories, are all Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces, who have served in the defence of our nation in various ranks and appointments in peacetime and in operational/war zones, over the past several decades. We do not represent any group or political party, and each of us only has the best interest of our country and our Armed Forces at heart in making this Statement. We therefore request that our respectful comments, requests and urgings in the following paragraphs be taken in that spirit alone. 1. The Chinese PLA build-up in Galwan and other places in Aksai Chin, and the recent events in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, have raised

India quite literally needs to put a roof over its China dream

Giving rural migrants an incentive to return is crucial to restoring economic activity to pre-Covid levels. By  Bloomberg  |  Jul 11, 2020, 09.17 AM IST BCCL - Non Copyright Representative image By Andy Mukherjee It took a pandemic and a lockdown to highlight the precarious existence of the country’s blue-collar workers. Left without jobs and shelter, an estimated 30 million — roughly a fifth of the urban labor force — have gone back to their villages, with many completing long, hazardous journeys on foot when trains and buses shut down. ADVERTISEMENT No wonder, then, that Prime Minister Narendra  Modi ’s government cleared a plan this week to build inexpensive rental dwellings in cities for 350,000 workers. Giving rural migrants an incentive to return is crucial to restoring economic activity to pre-Covid levels. But there’s an opportunity here to do much more. For  India  to industrialize, rethinking the  housing  situation will be as important as freeing the urban poor from large me

RSS influence over govt institutions grows with new IIMC & Prasar Bharati appointments

New IIMC DG Sanjay Dwivedi and newly formed Prasar Bharati Recruitment board’s chief Jagdish Upasane have had Sangh Parivar connections for a long time. RAHUL SAMPAL 10 July, 2020 New Delhi:  The Narendra Modi government’s appointments to educational and cultural institutions seem to have a distinct Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh flavour, a view backed up by its latest choices for the posts of director general of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and head of Prasar Bharati’s new Recruitment Board. Prominent institutions under the Ministry of Culture, such as the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Lalit Kala Akademi and the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, also have office-bearers with RSS backgrounds. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh is among those who allege that many of these appointments are not meritorious. “Appointments in all these institutions should be done on the basis of merit. Are these persons eligible for these posts or not? If someone is non-

Pakistan on brink of Covid-19 financial collapse

Pakistan is spending too much on the military and debt servicing amid coronavirus-induced economic devastation By  FM SHAKIL JULY 7, 202 A money changer counts Pakistani Rupee notes in Karachi in a file photo. Photo: Agencies PESHAWAR – Pakistan’s financial woes are going from bad to worse as the national fiscal deficit surges to over 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and could breach 9-10% as state revenues dry up amid Covid-19 economic devastation. That’s raising questions among analysts and business executives of whether the country is headed towards a budgetary blowout-induced financial collapse. Approved by the National Assembly on June 29, Pakistan’s 2020-21 budget is notable for a 3.4 trillion rupees (US$20.7 billion) fiscal gap that officials say will be bridged mainly by bank borrowing. The new budget cuts subsidies, increases petroleum levies, caps salaries and pensions, and slashes provinces’ sh

Contextualising Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Eulogy of Osama Bin Laden

By Siegfried O. Wolf. 10 July, 2020 ISSN NUMBER: 2406-5617 0 48  DOWNLOAD PDF Siegfried O. Wolf Dr. Siegfried O. Wolf, Director of Research at SADF (Coordinator: Democracy Research Programme); he was educated at the Institute of Political Science (IPW) and South Asia Institute (SAI), both Heidelberg University. Additionally he is member (affiliated researcher) of the SAI as well as a former research fellow at IPW and Centre de Sciences Humaines (New Delhi, India). On June 25, 2020 , Pakistan’s military-backed Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan made a statement in the National Assembly in which he glorified Osama Bin Laden (OBL) as a ‘martyr’ [1] , using the term  shaheed [2] .  This is without doubt a landmark event which needs a closer assessment. This SADF Comment aims to shed light on the rationale behind PM Khan’s eulogy of the former Al Qaeda leader and contextualise it within both domestic and regional trajectories. In order to do so, the following points should be highlighted: By de