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India

‘Competitive communalism’ the agenda of ‘party of Hindutva’: Tharoor

“The issues that touch your wallet, your daily life need to be focused on. Competitive communalism is the agenda only of one party, the party of Hindutva. Our agenda is truly to challenge the government on performance.

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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday made a veiled attack on the BJP, accusing it of practising “competitive communalism” in the name of Hindutva and claimed his party chooses the politics of performance over the ongoing politics of identity to govern the country.

“The issues that touch your wallet, your daily life need to be focused on. Competitive communalism is the agenda only of one party, the party of Hindutva. Our agenda is truly to challenge the government on performance.

“In the battle between politics of identity and politics of performance, we hope we will be prevail with the Indian voters who would want to see their politicians performing for them,” Tharoor said at a session on his latest book “Why I am a Hindu” at the Kolkata Literary Festival here.

He said it is important to make people aware of the nuances of Hinduism as opposed to the hardliner Hindutva ideology practised by some sections of Indian society to put aside the arguments on religion and focus on more pertinent issues like price rise and lack of development under the present regime.

“If we can do that then we can put aside the Hindutva issue, the polarisation argument and talk about development. Then we can talk about the young people who were promised jobs four years ago and still have not got it or the housewives who were paying Rs 390 for a gas cylinder during the UPA, are now paying Rs 790 because the government has removed all the subsidies.

“For a government, the responsibility is if anybody breaks the law, whether they do it in the name of religion or something else, they should not worry about the religion part and focus on their actions to punish them,” he pointed out.

About the acceptance and diverse nature of Hinduism, Tharoor said the argument on religion should not be between the believers and the secular.

“The argument on Hinduism should be within the faith. It cannot be between the Hindu and secular. If you make it that way, then those who practise Hindutva would say vote for us because we are Hindus and they are not. But within the belief we can say to the Hindus, that their teaching of Hindutva is wrong…” he said.

Tharoor said true Hinduism teaches acceptance which is more important than tolerance because while the idea of tolerance is somewhat patronising, acceptance teaches to be respectful of others’ beliefs.

He also said, more than the faith, it is often the “faithful” who creates more problems in the society by choosing use their religious beliefs to hurt others.

“The problem is not the religion but the followers of the religion who distorted the essence to use it as a weapon or an instrument to attack others. There are good things in every religion but those who choose to use religion as a political instrument or an act of violence against other, are the problem,” he added.

India

CM Amarinder praises farmers for lifting blockade on goods

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Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday welcomed the farmer unions’ decision to allow movement of goods trains, saying it was in the interest of the state’s economy and its revival.

Thanking the farmer unions for heeding his appeal, the Chief Minister said the farmers had shown their love and concern for the people of Punjab with this move, as it will allow the state to get its much-needed coal supplies.He pointed out that the people of Punjab had been facing a total power shutdown as a result of coal shortage due to the blockade, and the decision of the unions had come as a major relief to them.Singh said in a statement here that farmer organisations, with this decision, had also ensured that the industry would not have to suffer anymore but would get back on the path to revival.The ‘rail roko’ of the farmers had caused huge financial losses to the industry, thus compounding the crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic.

Further, said the Chief Minister, the easing of the blockade for goods trains will help the state replenish its critically low urea supplies, thus catering to the urgent need of the farming community for fertilisers.The farmers had not let the state down, and he would personally ensure that his government never lets them down, said Amarinder Singh.He reiterated his commitment to save their livelihood and lives, both of which were facing acute danger as a result of the Centre’s ‘black’ farm laws.The Chief Minister, however, urged the unions to also lift the blockade on passenger trains, which were catering to tens of thousands of Punjabis every day, especially during festive times.”The people of Punjab want to come back home to celebrate the festival season with their families,” he said, appealing to the farmers to allow the movement of passenger trains too in the interest of Punjabis.

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India

Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against appointing SPPs in riots cases

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned till November 9 the hearing on a plea against the appointment of Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) in cases of riots and violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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India

SC allows trust to operate banks accounts to pay bills, taxes

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has permitted the Maharwal Khewaji Trust, which manages the Rs 20,000-crore property of erstwhile princely state of Faridkot, to operate bank accounts to pay salaries to staff and meet expenses on utilities bills and taxes etc.

In June, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled that the will of Harinder Singh Brar, the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state, was forged in favour of the Maharwal Khewaji Trust on June 1, 1982.

The High Court had said that his two daughters, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Maharani Deepinder Kaur, were entitled to inherit and share the properties.

The trust had moved the Supreme Court against this order. The top court had ordered for a status quo and allowed the trust to continue as caretaker.

Last Friday, a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said: “Since the activities undertaken by the Trust are in the nature of running a hospital and other philanthropic causes, at this stage, we permit the applicant Trust to operate the accounts mentioned in Paragraph 12 of the application strictly for the purposes enumerated at serial numbers 2 to 7 in Paragraph 8 of the application.”

The expenses include those on salaries, amounts due towards security agency, utilities bills, advance tax and GST payments and the statutory payments towards ESI and EPF.

The bench ordered that details of all expenses incurred as well as credits received should be placed before it periodically.

“The first report shall be filed on or before October 30; and the second report thereafter be submitted on or before November 30, ” said the top court.

Senior Advocates V Giri and Krishnan Venugopal opposed the prayer and submitted that in the name of meeting the expenditure towards fulfilling the objectives of the Trust, the amounts are being misused and, as such, the relief prayed for should not to be granted.

The top court’s order came on an interlocutory application filed by Trust that during the pendency of these petitions it may be permitted to operate its bank accounts.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Dhruv Mehta, appearing for the applicant, submitted that though there was no express order of injunction, the banks concerned have frozen the Trust accounts, as a result of which its activities are getting seriously prejudiced. They urged the top court to allow these accounts to be operated during the pendency of petitions.

The top court also directed the bank managers concerned to submit statements of accounts from June 1 to October 30. The top court listed the matter for disposal on November 4.

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