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Bilkis from Shaheen Bagh is TIME magazine’s hundred most influential people of 2020

Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country.

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Shaheen Bagh

When I first met Bilkis, she sat in the midst of a crowd, surrounded by young women who were protesting with placards displaying verses of revolution. With prayer beads in one hand and the national flag in the other, Bilkis became the voice of the marginalized in India, an 82-year-old who would sit at a protest site from 8 a.m. to midnight.

She had been sitting there ever since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which could block Muslims from citizenship in the country, in December, and she continued through the cold winter. Bilkis, along with thousands of women who joined her in Shaheen Bagh, a neighborhood in New Delhi, became the symbol of resistance in a nation where the voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned out by the majoritarian politics of the Modi regime. Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country.

She said to me as a parting note: “I will sit here till blood stops flowing in my veins so the children of this country and the world breathe the air of justice and equality.” Bilkis deserves recognition so the world acknowledges the power of resistance against tyranny.

India

Paddy procurement gained 23% increase over last year’s purchase

Seed cotton (Kapas) procurement operations under MSP are going on smoothly in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

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Farmers Rabi Crops

New Delhi, Oct 25 : Paddy procurement for Kharif crops this year so far has gained “good momentum” in nine procuring states and Union Territories (UTs), said an Agriculture Ministry data.

As per the data, over 144.59 LMTs of paddy was purchased till October 24 this year against last year’s corresponding purchase of 117.55 LMT — an increase of 23 per cent.

Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Kerala are among the procuring states. Out of the total purchase of 144.59 LMTs, Punjab alone has contributed 95.20 LMT which is 65.84 per cent of total procurement.

About 12.41 lakh farmers have already been benefited from the ongoing Kharif crops procurement operations with Minimum Support Price (MSP) value of Rs 27,298.77 crore at MSP of Rs 18,880 per metric ton.

Further, based on the proposal from the states, approval was accorded for procurement of 45.10 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020 for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme (PSS).

Sanction for procurement of 1.23 LMT of Copra (the perennial crop) for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given.

For other states and UTs, approval will also be accorded on receipt of proposals for procurement of pulses, oilseeds and Copra under PSS so that procurement of FAQ grade of these crops can be made at notified MSP for the year 2020-21 directly from the registered farmers, if the market rate goes below MSP during the notified harvesting period in the respective states and UTs by the Central nodal agencies through state nominated procuring agencies.

Till October 24, the Central government through its nodal agencies has procured 894.54 metric ton of Moong and Urad having MSP value of Rs 6.43 crore benefitting 871 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana.

Similarly, 5,089 metric ton of copra (the perennial crop) having MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore has been procured benefitting 3,961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In respect of Copra and Urad, rates are ruling above MSP in most of the major producing States.

The respective state and UTs governments are making necessary arrangements for commencement of procurement from the date as decided by the respective states based on the arrivals in respect of Kharif pulses and oilseeds.

Seed cotton (Kapas) procurement operations under MSP are going on smoothly in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

“Till October 24 this year, a quantity of 3,53,252 cotton bales valuing Rs 1,04,790.17 lakh has been procured benefitting 68,419 farmers,” the ministry said.

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India

Harish Salve to get married to London-based artiste Caroline Brossard

Brossard is an artist, who grew up in the UK and has an 18-year old daughter of her own.

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harish salve Caroline Brossard

New Delhi, Oct 25 : The year 2020, has been blissful for one of the top legal eagles in the country. Senior advocate Harish Salve, who was Indias former Solicitor General, became Queens C ounsel (QC) in England and Wales in January, a title which is recognized all over the world, and also recently revealed his wedding plans to a London-based artist, slated next week.

65-year-old Salve, has been associated with many high-profile cases: Kulbhushan Jadav, Vodafone, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, ITC hotels etc., and also one of the prominent lawyers who are actively before several courts in India through video conferencing. He divorced his wife for 38 years Meenakshi Salve in June this year.

Salve has adapted to being a Londoner. He lives in North London. On October 28, he will marry Caroline Brossard in a church wedding. According to reports, Salve and Brossard have been seeing each other for close to a year, after they first met at an art event. Brossard is an artist, who grew up in the UK and has an 18-year old daughter of her own. Elaborating the factors, which solidified the couple’s connection, Salve had said they share a passion for theatre and classical music, along with art.

Salve had said that wedding will be a very small affair, as only 15 are allowed to gather in London. It is learnt that other than Brossard’s family, Salve’s guests include Camellia and Namita Panjabi, renowned Indian restaurateurs in the UK.

Amid the lockdown, Salve, was also one of the busiest lawyers, as he appeared in some high-profile cases in the Supreme Court — represented Facebook Vice President in a case against Delhi Legislative Assembly, journalist Arnab Goswami against Maharashtra government and Indian Banks Association in a matter regarding the loan moratorium – and had expressed that he is very comfortable in arguing in matters, through video conferencing, from London.

Salve was raised in Nagpur. His father NKP Salve was a chartered accountant and he was associated with the Congress party. Harish Salve did his LL.B. from Nagpur University. He was designated as senior advocate by the Delhi High Court in 1992. He was the Solicitor General for India from 1999-2002. Salve was called to Blackstone Chambers in 2013. And, in the same year, Salve was appointed to the English Bar. Salve’s name featured on the list of silk appointments, which was released by the UK Ministry of Justice in January and he was appointed QC in the same month. The title of QC is awarded to those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy.

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Sonia Gandhi appeals people to be cautious about covid, attacks Centre

She also appealed to people to protect themselves from the coronavirus during festivals and to follow all COVID-19 guidelines.

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi, Oct 25 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of Vijayadashmi. In her message, she said the nine-day puja festival is a symbol of victory over injustice and ego.

Attacking the Union government, she said, “Vijaya Dashami’s biggest message is that people are paramount in governance and there is no place for arrogance, falsehood and breaking of promises in a ruler’s life.”

She hoped that this Dussehra will not only bring happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone’s life but also strengthen harmony and cultural values among people.

She also appealed to people to protect themselves from the coronavirus during festivals and to follow all COVID-19 guidelines.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also greeted the nation on Dussehera.

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