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9/11 the Indian version after Demonetisation!

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Armaan Amrohvi

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.

The 18th century nursery rhyme has been read mostly by all of us! But here the reason of quoting this rhyme is in comparison to the present scenario of the condition where India has trailed.

In the twilight of 8th November, PM Narendra Modi made an announcement to the nation, “From midnight today currency note of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 will be no more legal…!” This is similar to the 9/11 attack in the US which led to situation of unrest. Condition of unrest among the people buildup; people rushed to the ATMs to get cash for next morning, where also the old currency notes were being dispensed. All speculated that this situation will come to an end soon but even today–8 days after the announcement–when I am penning this article the situation of unrest in the nation persists. Long queues in the banks are to be seen rather a common view in every city of India.

Late at night on 8th November there were guidelines regarding the process for exchanging the old currency with the new one; the new guideline is to be seen in breaking news, being added on daily basis. Modi here I perceive to be Jack similar to the nursery rhyme has stumbled by this decision of his in the name of Black Money. The people who possessed the old currency kept on running and this led to a situation of strife in the country. No clear guidelines led to the death of number of patients who were deprived of medical aid as the hospitals refused to accept the old notes. Many foreigners who were getting medical aid in India have been sent back in this state of crises. Reason being that in exchange for old notes, single person can get only Rs. 4000; which was later changed to Rs 4500 on weekly basis not being enough to get treatment.

The common Indian has been the worst hit by demonetization! On 11th November just two days after this shocking announcement it was Gauna Devutthana Ekadashi according to the Hindu calendar—a day auspicious for the start of marriages. Number of marriages has been called off. In Pali a town in Rajasthan; two daughters are to be married, where the poor father had saved Rs.3 lakhs as FDs for the appropriate time. But when he went to bank to get the FD amount, he was told that he can only get Rs.20,000 against Rs.3 lakhs. The family is grieved on this announcement which is a similar situation at many homes in India at present.

The worst hit are the truck drivers who were on the highways. They were able to get fuel as per the somewhat smart guideline of the government that fuel pumps will honour the old currency, but the road side eateries refused to furnish food. The poor drivers have been hungry for more than 42 hours, which is pathetic. Anticipating the problem next day after the announcement government waived the toll all over India, but this could not fill the empty stomachs of the drivers. Situation is still same which has led to rioting in many places. In an eatery at Moradabad the owner was stabbed for not accepting the old currency, which proves that India is trending towards civil war in this sudden financial emergency.

It has been now eight days since India is mostly to be seen in queues outside the banks. All over India in these eight days there have been many deaths of the people who were in the queues. The ones who are due to some reasons not able to get to the bank are prey of Black Market as they are getting only Rs.300 against Rs.500 and Rs.700 for Rs.1000 old note. There is no mechanism perceived by the government to control this leechlike situation. But here at Amroha the people being well knitted have started to the ancient business process of Barter system, reason being that corporative banks are not allowed to exchange the old currency. But situation in other cities is not as favourable as here.

The people of the country are concerned about the present situation but PM advocates that future is secure. Modi the Jack here as per nursery rhyme is only giving verbal assurances unaware that the economy (Jill of the nursery rhyme) is also tumbling down. His promises about Make in India have been blown up, to the reason that the paper of this new currency has been imported from Italy, Germany and UK, whereas India indigenously manufactures the best paper. On the other hand the major scheme of PM–Swachh Bharat Mission–is being promoted on this new currency notes, these new currencies are the pamphlets for the promotion of Modi’s trailing scheme.

During his election campaigns in 2013-14 Modi had promised to bring back the Black Money from foreign countries. He was not able to even get the names of the culprits, but now with this scheme of his, he advocates that it will fetch out black money within the country, and all will have his much spoken slogan­–Achche Din–the Good Days!

By Armaan Amrohvi

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‘Mahamandaleshwar should correct himself, a saint is never a Dalit’

When asked whether if it does not appear that the trust is kept away from maternal power?

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Kameshwar Chaupal

Lucknow, Aug 2 : Kameshwar Chaupal, a member of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has dismissed the allegations of Mahamandaleshwar Kanhaiya Prabhunandan Giri, saying that “a saint is never a Dalit”. On the inclusion of Dalits in the trust, he said, “I am a Dalit and I have been made a member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.”

In fact, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Kanhaiya Prabhunandan Giri of Prayagraj recently alleged that Dalit saints are being neglected in the Bhoomi Poojan rituals to be held on August 5 for the construction of Ram temple as they have not been invited to the ceremony. Swami Kanhaiya also alleged that no Dalit has been made a member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust. BSP supremo Mayawati also expressed displeasure over the issue.

In a special interaction with IANS in this regard, Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal said that there is a lack of confidence behind the allegations. Mahamandaleshwar cannot become one himself. The appointment to this post is done by the Akhara Council. This election is held according to merit. The Akhara Parishad does not see any saint on the basis of caste but ii makes someone a ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ on the basis of merit. So now, from where this Dalit thing came from after being a saint?

Chaupal said that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad emerged only to remove the distinction from inside the society. “On February 1, 1989, the ‘Dharmasansad’ of saints was held in which one lakh saints participated. At that time this decision was taken that the foundation stone of Ramjanmabhoomi would be laid by someone from the back row of the society. Being from Scheduled Caste, I laid the foundation stone and non of the dharmacharya had opposed it.”

He said that after the formation of the trust, it was decided that as long as Lord Ram would be in belief, a Dalit would be a member of the trust. “However, trusts are not formed on the basis of caste. He said that Mahamandaleshwar should not think like this. This is an immature complaint. His statement is prejudiced. He said that when no body knows about the guest list of the event, how can he allege that no one has invited him?”

Asked if there is any communication gap in the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust because you said to put the time capsule in the foundation of Ram temple and the General Secretary rejected it. On this, Chaupal said that it is not so that everyone in the trust has the freedom to speak. Every issue is discussed deeply and openly.

“We talked about the capsule looking at the future, so that history is preserved. The General Secretary of the trust wants to talk more about it. Everything came out openly. This proposal will be discussed right now. Everything happens democratically. This is not a matter of dispute. Earlier there had been talk of not making any changes in the model of the temple, but after discussing it, changes are being made. There is no defeat or victory in this.”

Asked why L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Vinay Katiyar, the leaders of the Ayodhya movement, could not find a place in the Trust, Chaupal said that this was beyond his scope. The government has formed a trust on the decision of the Supreme Court.

When asked whether if it does not appear that the trust is kept away from maternal power?

On this, he said that first Scheduled Castes, then Backwards and then common people will think that we are not taken in, now you are talking about maternal powers. Actually, this work is not for profit but it is a matter of sacrifice. This is about dedication. If you will see the Ramayan then you will find that someone got Lanka and another one got other things but it was Hanuman who got nothing. But still he is being worshipped everywhere. Devotion is needed to build the temple. Right now everyone is satisfied with the trust. All they want is that there should be a grand temple as soon as possible.

When asked why people are giving silver gold despite refusing the trust, he said that “we have a lot of transparency here. Those who donate silver and other things we appealed to them to give cash directly and deposit it in the account. Now you can also pay online. We are calling upon people to donate according to their ability.”

The Prime Minister is expected to perform Bhoomi Poojan and foundation stone. You have laid the foundation stone before this. How are you feeling? In response to this question, Chappal said that the foundation stone was established long ago. Now there is only Bhoomi Poojan. The chairman of the trust has also clarified this point.

He said that when we laid the foundation stone in 1989, it was a period of struggle. At that time Babri Masjid’s structure was standing on it, which was demolished in 1992. It remained abandoned for so many years. Therefore, it is necessary to perform Bhoomi Pujan for purification. My contribution is like a squirrel in Ram Setu. But it is a matter of pride that the Prime Minister is going to do this because he is the most recognised leader of the country. I am feeling proud after laying the foundation stone.

In response to another question, Chaupal said that the trust wants that the temple should be built at Ramjanmabhoomi as soon as possible and dedicated to the public. A committee for temple construction has been formed. Experts have been appointed for every subject.

On the question of not inviting the people of the opposition parties for the Bhoomi Poojan programme, he said that “earlier we had invited people from opposition parties for ‘Dharamsansad’ multiple times. But they didn’t come due to fear of losing their vote bank. These people will not come even after invitation. Anyway, due to coronavirus, the programme is being organised in a very limited manner.”

(Vivek Tripathi can be reached at [email protected])

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Yogi emerges as BJP’s new poster boy for ‘Hindutva’

The likes of Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti have also been side-lined from mainstream politics and are past their prime, apart form being largely unknown to the millennials.

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Yogi Adityanath

Lucknow, Aug 2 : As the countdown begins for the ‘bhumi pujan’ of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the BJP has found a new poster boy of “Hindutva” in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

With the BJP’s original Hindutva mascot Kalyan Singh slipping into political retirement, Yogi Adityanath has emerged as much younger and stronger Hindu icon.

Ever since he assumed the office of Chief Minister in March 2017, Yogi has made it a point to constantly reaffirm his commitment to the Hindu ideology.

By declining to address the Muslim community at the Eidgah on Eid-a tradition followed by all Chief Ministers- refusing to lift the ban on sale of meat on Bakrid, the Chief Minister has reinforced his image as a Hindu leader.

Even after becoming Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath continues to remain the chief priest of the famous Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur, wears saffron robes and performs his religious duties without fail.

Without any qualms, the Chief Minister led the shifting of Ram idol from the original site to the makeshift structure at Manas Bhawan in March this year and is regularly seen offering prayers at various Temples.

He initiated the ‘Deepotsav’ function during Diwali in Ayodhya and has been working overtime to turn Ayodhya into a major tourist hub.

Yogi has effectively translated his religious following into his political following and devotees of the Goraksh Peeth openly swear by his popularity as the Chief Minister.

Interestingly, Yogi’s popularity as a Hindu icon has now soared past the popularity of leaders who played key roles in the temple movement.

Kalyan Singh, now 88-year-old, lost much of his sheen when he revolted twice against the BJP – in 1999 and then in 2009- and joined hands in between with Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and formed his own party. He played caste politics and decimated his stature as a Hindu leader.

L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the two stalwarts of the temple movement, have faded away from public memory to a great extent after they were eased out of active politics.

The likes of Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti have also been side-lined from mainstream politics and are past their prime, apart form being largely unknown to the millennials.

Besides, unabashed showing his religious leanings, Yogi Adityanath has also impressed many by ensuring development of Ayodhya – a city that had remained steeped in backwardness for decades.

The Chief Minister has aggressively promoted religious tourism in Uttar Pradesh and his repeated visits to the holy cities like Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi reaffirm his commitment to Hindutva.

In a rare departure from established traditions, Yogi Adityanath penned an article in which he made am emotional appeal to the people to light lamps and candles in their homes to mark the ‘bhumi pujan’ which will turn the dream of Ram temple into reality.

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India’s COVID cure difference up from 1,573 to 5.77 lakh in 52 days

While on the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation. The US (46,20,419) and Brazil (27,07,877) remain the two worst-affected nations.

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Coronavirus

New Delhi, Aug 2 : India’s COVID-19 recovery difference compared to active cases has increased from 1,573 to 5,77,899 in just 52 days amid a spike in new infections, a signal for those under observation to shed the stigma of the disease.

On June 10, for the first time, the latest Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) data revealed, the difference between the total number of recovered and active patients was 1,573. Now, the difference has increased to 5,77,899 as on August 2, the data said.

“The gap between the recoveries and the active cases has seen a steady rise,” the ministry said.

India on Sunday, meanwhile, registered a record highest ever single-day recoveries of 51,255 patients in the last 24 hours at a time when 54,735 new coronavirus cases were reported, totalling an overall 17,50,723 cases so far.

With 51,225 patients cured and discharged in 24 hours, India’s total recoveries from COVID-19 have touched 11,45,629 on Sunday.

Setting a record in recovered patients in the last 24 hours, the recovery rate has seen a high of 65.44, the data mentions, adding this means that more and more COVID-19 patients are getting cured and discharged.

The active cases are the actual case load for India and currently the active cases (5,67,730) account for 32.43 per cent of the total cases and all are under medical supervision either in hospitals or in home isolation.

The ministry said it is the result of coordinated implementation of COVID-19 management strategy by the Union and states and Union Territory governments, and selfless sacrifice of all frontline health and other workers and COVID-19 warriors across sectors who have ensured that the recoveries are continuously on the rise.

“The successful and coordinated implementation of the effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on a comprehensive Standard of Care framework, have resulted in a consistent trend of rising recovery rate,” the ministry said.

As per the data there has been a progressive decline in Case Fatality Rate too keeping India among the countries with lowest CFR at 2.13 per cent as compared to the global average.

A total of 6,84,111 people have died due to this deadly virus across the world, with 1,54,361 alone in the US followed by 93,563 in Brazil and 47,472 in Mexico.

On the recovery front, 1,05,02,330 people have won the fight against the virus of which 20,37,982 were from Brazil, 14,61,885 were from the US while 11,45,629 are in India.

However, Maharashtra remained the worst-hit region in the country with the total number of cases crossing 4,20,000, with 14,994 deaths out of which 265 occurred in the last 24 hours.

Tamil Nadu comes in second with 2,45,859 cases and 3,935 deaths. The state registered 97 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Amid the grim situation, there is good news from Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh which saw a decline in the number of active cases.

While Delhi reported 37 less cases in the last 24 hours, Haryana’s active case count went down by 180 and Himachal Pradesh’s by 14 cases. Mizoram, Tripura and Uttarakhand too saw a decline in the number of active cases.

While on the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation. The US (46,20,419) and Brazil (27,07,877) remain the two worst-affected nations.

A total of 1,98,21,831 samples have been tested so far, of which 4,63,172 were tested in the last 24 hours.

India currently has a total of 1,344 laboratories which are functional and capable of carrying out COVID-19 testing, of which 913 are government labs while 431 are private.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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