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3 in 5 journalists in India face work-related threats: Survey

The “Threats to Safety of Journalists in India” survey involved 823 media professionals, out of which approximately 21 per cent were female.

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New Delhi, Nov 15 : About three in five journalists in India receive threats or pressure at some point of time, mostly through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter as well as private messaging app like WhatsApp, said a survey on Friday.

Of those who faced threats/harassment, 35 per cent believe that they were targeted because of the angle or the way a story was reported by them.

While 29 per cent of the overall respondents disclosed that they received threats once in a year, 19 per cent of the respondents received threats several times a month, showed the results of the survey conducted by Vision Foundation in association with the National Union of Journalists (India).

Out of those who were threatened, around 46 per cent respondents claimed that social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook were the medium, followed by 17 per cent respondents who were threatened via private messaging apps like WhatsApp/Message.

On the other hand, 76 per cent journalists said that either no safety protocol existed in their organisations or that they were not trained for safety issues.

At least four journalists were killed in India in 2019 due to work-related issues.

The “Threats to Safety of Journalists in India” survey involved 823 media professionals, out of which approximately 21 per cent were female.

The results suggest that journalists face physical, psychological and emotional risks because of many factors like sharp division of ideology among citizens, high voltage political situations, impunity for crime against journalists and ethical dimensions of journalism, among others.

Ensuring accuracy of news published (74 per cent), followed by reporting exclusive news (13%) and being the first one to publish news (11 per cent) seem to be the top three priorities of the media organisations in which the respondents work, the study revealed.

When asked about the biggest challenge faced by the journalism sector in the 21st century, 33 per cent pointed to increasing attacks on freedom of press, followed by 21 per cent respondents who felt that fake/paid news was the biggest challenge.

Social networking sites and influencers bypassing traditional media was cited as a challenge by 18 per cent respondents.

India

Atal statue installed in Lucknow, to be unveiled on Dec 25

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Lucknow: A 25-ft bronze statue of former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was installed at the Lok Bhawan building here and is expected to be formally unveiled on December 25, his birth anniversary.

The statue was installed at the Bhawan on Monday night.

According to sources, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unveil the statue.

Sources said that the Prime Minister’s Office was yet to confirm Modi’s availability on December 25.

Sculpted by famous sculptor Raj Kumar Pandit of Jaipur, it statue is going to be the tallest statue in the state.

Vajpayee’s life-size statue was commissioned on March 9, 2019 to Jaipur’s Works for Artist Foundry. It has been mounted on an eight feet high base, prepared by the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited.

The statue has come up at the spot where a cut-out of Vajpayee, overlooking the imposing entrance to the Lok Bhawan, was symbolically placed.

Vajpayee represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha for a record five consecutive terms, which also included his three stints as Prime Minister.

Yogi Adityanath has taken a keen personal interest in the construction of the Vajpayee statue.

Though the exact estimate was not known, officials said that the contract for the Vajpayee statue was given for Rs 89.6 lakh.

Last year, a 12.5 ft bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda, made by Maharashtra’s Uttam Pacharne, was unveiled at the Raj Bhawan by the then governor Ram Naik and the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Four more statues — all 12.5 ft high — that are nearly ready and are being given finishing touches include those of Adityanath’s revered gurus Mahant Avaidyanath and Mahant Digvijayanath, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna and also Bhartendu Harish Chandra — widely regarded as the father of modern Hindi literature and Hindi theatre.

While Bhartendu Harish Chandra’s statue would be installed at the Bhartendu Natya Akademi in Gomti Magar, the place and positioning of Bahuguna’s statue as well as those of spiritual gurus from Gorakhnath Math, of which Adityanath is the head priest, are yet to be decided.

“Unlike in previous governments when statues were mostly sanctioned on political lines, the Adityanath government is sanctioning statues of leaders which inspire our young generation,” said Uttar Pradesh Minister Ashutosh Tandon.

In the Bahujan Samaj Party regime, statues of almost all Dalit icons were installed in various places in the state capital while Akhilesh Yadav, in his regime installed statues of Janeshwar Misra and Ram Manohar Lohia.


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Citizenship Bill ‘patently unconstitutional,’ battle ground to shift to Supreme Court: Chidambaram

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p chidambaram

New Delhi, Dec 10: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram described the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as “patently unconstitutional” on Tuesday and said with its passage in Parliament, the battleground will shift to the Supreme Court.

“CAB is unconstitutional. Parliament passes a Bill that is patently unconstitutional and the battle ground shifts to the Supreme Court. Elected Parliamentarians are abdicating their responsibilities in favour of lawyers and judges!,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.

“That is the price we pay for giving a party a brute majority that it uses to trample over the wishes of the states and the people,” the former Union minister said in another tweet.

According to the proposed legislation, members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan by December 31, 2014 and faced religious persecution in those countries, will not be treated as illegal immigrants and given the Indian citizenship.

P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 10, 2019
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it, 80 voting against it and zero abstentions, after a heated debate.

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BHU professor attacked for supporting Muslim colleague

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Banaras Hindu University, BHU

Varanasi: A Sanskrit professor at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) here has been allegedly attacked by students for supporting his Muslim colleague, Feroz Khan, whose appointment to the department as assistant professor had sent students on protests since the past one month.

The Dalit professor is a senior faculty member in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharam Vigyan (SVDV) department where Khan has been appointed.

“I was sitting in a classroom when some students barged in and started abusing me in foul language. They asked me to stop supporting a Muslim’s appointment to the faculty.

“I felt unsafe and came out. Some of the students then hurled stones at me and later caught up with me and shoved and pushed me. I could escape because a stranger gave me a lift on his scooter,” Professor Shanti Lal Salvi told reporters here, following the Monday’s incident.

Salvi alleged a colleague had instigated the students but would not name him before the media.

“I have complained to Vice-Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar against a professor of the department and some students,” he said.

A student, who was a part of the group that had accosted Salvi, said they had only asked the professor to stop supporting Khan and never attacked him.

Some students of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Sankay department have been protesting Khan’s appointment on the ground that a Muslim cannot teach Hindu religious texts, which the department’s syllabus includes.

There has been speculation that Khan may be shifted to the department of Samhita and Sanskrit, part of the university’s faculty of Ayurveda, or the Sanskrit department of the arts faculty as a compromise.

He has appeared in interviews held by the two departments, on November 29 and on December 4.

Meanwhile, no classes have been held in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan department since November 8, the day after Khan’s appointment.

Chief proctor O.P. Rai met the student protesters on Monday and said Khan’s appointment would soon be discussed at the executive council of the university.

The semester examinations have also been postponed due to protests. “The next date of the semester examination in the department will be announced soon,” the proctor told reporters.

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