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Dalai Lama teaches ways to tackle negative emotions amid pandemic

Tibetan Buddhist philosophy espouses the transformation of mind as the key to achieving peace and happiness within oneself and in the world at large.

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Dalai Lama

Dharamsala, May 16 : Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, after a three-month-long break from all engagements since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, began two-day virtual teaching on Saturday on tackling negative emotions of fear and anxiety precipitated by the global health crisis.

Drawing from the teachings of Buddhist scholar, Nagarjuna in his text, ‘Precious Garland’, he said the analytical and scientific approach of the Nalanda tradition, forming the base for Tibetan Buddhism, is precise in the study of the workings of human mind, according to a post on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

He compared it to quantum physics that makes a distinction between appearance and reality.

“Appearance can be misleading, an object can be dissected into the tiniest molecule. While inherently the object holds no fixed meaning, we as observers ascribe meaning to the object. Therefore, we should instead seek an objective reality”.

His Holiness observed how materialistic development with its comfort and ease has brought along the human ignorance towards inner peace, so much that even materially successful people feel discontent.

The antidote to this discontent is the understanding that mental and emotional wellbeing is central to self-confidence and happiness.

Tibetan Buddhist philosophy espouses the transformation of mind as the key to achieving peace and happiness within oneself and in the world at large.

Especially relevant in the present circumstances, the spiritual leader spoke on the interdependence of all living beings — “an individual is reliant on community to survive which teaches us to strive for kindness and compassion towards one another, qualities intrinsic to human nature.”

Similarly in the COVID-19 crisis that the world is facing today, the Nobel Peace laureate stressed global cooperation and focus on “what unites us as members of one human family”.

In this vein, he called upon all citizens of the world to also pay attention to the long-term issue of global climate change that has been set in motion and are expected to have far-reaching consequences within the next two decades.

His Holiness will resume the teachings on Sunday.

Cities

DJ Halli violence: CSOs appeal Bengaluru police to widen probe

The Bengaluru City police are probing the incident and the violence that took place then at the streets of East Bengaluru on August 11, in which four were killed during police firing and several were injured.

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Bangalore: Alleging inaction by Facebook and the City Police, a fact-finding committee formed by several Bengaluru based civil society organisations (CSOs) appealed to the Bengaluru City Police to widen the scope of investigation against the alleged Facebook post believed to have led to the same.

The Bengaluru City police are probing the incident and the violence that took place then at the streets of East Bengaluru on August 11, in which four were killed during police firing and several were injured.

“The intelligence failure to predict and prevent the violence must be investigated,” the committee has strongly demanded in its report on the violence that ensued on the night of August 11th, 2020 titled ‘Communalising Violence in DJ Halli’.

“This report brings out several truths. This report is not the end, on its authority, we must inquire into the truth and find out who is behind the violence, and who all failed to act. There are people who profit from the riot as well. We must find out those who are responsible. We must further tolerance,” said (Retd.) Justice H.N. Nagmohan Das.

Adding to this, senior journalist Indudhara Honnapura said, “There was an opportunity to stop this, but Police failed to do so. Everyone, including the police, knew this is a sensitive area. There are many good officers, but I do not understand why they did not send sufficient police force to control the incident. Why didn’t the government provide information to the police?”

“Facebook has failed to act against Naveen’s post which amounts to hate speech. Besides the local police too showed laxity in handling the situation as a result of this, situation went out of their (Police) control,” the report alleged.

The committee further stated that there was an intelligence failure in the state machinery’s reaction to the incident, the police were responsible for a delayed response in registering the FIR against Naveen, which resulted in a discontent crowd swelling at the stations.

Denying allegations that the mob was communal or political in nature, the team comprising CSOs claimed that lack of substantial evidence to suggest that the mob violence was communal in nature, in that it specifically targeted the Hindu community or that it was premeditated and pre-planned.

“This is a local and spontaneous incident that has been taken advantage of by different political parties for immediate political gains which included the upcoming corporator elections in the state,” the committee observed.

“The police have carried out several arbitrary arrests in the middle of the night, which has created an atmosphere of fear in the areas. The families of those arrested have not been informed of the arrest or whereabouts of their loved ones,” the report stated.

The committee claimed that a larger agenda of total criminalisation and demonisation of the entire community has also been noted.

Besides this, the report also came down heavily on the several sections of media which have misportrayed the incident in a communal light by spinning conspiracy theories and targeting the Muslim community.

The fact-finding committee claimed that it inferred several facts on the incident, after a thorough inquiry into the incident, documenting several testimonies, and gathering evidence from all those involved across the spectrum.

Key findings by the committee:

1.) The Facebook post uploaded by accused P. Naveen, nephew of Pulkeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy crosses the constitutional protection encompassing free-speech, and amounts to hate speech against the Muslim community, the committee noted.

2.) Further, it accused the police and the media of not sufficiently probing the intent and motive behind the post but focussing on the violence that followed the same instead.

3.) The mob violence appears to be not directed by any visible leadership. However, the role of the mob in attacking Devarajeevanahalli (D. J. Halli) and Kadugodanahalli (K. G. Halli) police stations and MLA Murthy’s residence in Kaval Byrasandra destroying public and private property is undeniable and unjustifiable.

Alleging police inaction, the committee observed that the cops failed to act swiftly and effectively on the post when small delegations approached the police station and to intervene in effective ways to prevent the violence from escalating in the areas.

The report added that the perceived delay in lodging the FIR, and the failure to assure firm legal action and the perception that this was due to the MLA’s intervention cannot be ignored.

The imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 (of the Code of Criminal Procedure) has been termed a ubiquitous punishment to those in the areas, who allegedly met with verbal and physical abuse when they attempted to leave their homes.

The fact-finding team was comprised former chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Nina Nayak, independent journalist Cynthia Stephen and 21 others including lawyers, civic activists, representatives of various CSOs and policy researchers a” has urged the state government to form peace committees including all communities to restore peace in the areas.

Earlier about two weeks ago another fact finding report was submitted by ‘Citizens for Democracy’, a platform of responsible citizens – which reportedly has a backing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh claims to be committed to democratic values, safety and security of the citizens of India – had termed that the riots were pre-planned and organised and it was undoubtedly communally motivated.

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Punjab farmer tries to commit suicide over Farm Bills

A protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

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A day after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture Bills, despite the opposition by BJP’s oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal terming it as an “anti-farmer” move, a protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

The farmer tried to commit suicide at a protest site in Badal village, the hometown of the Badals, in Muktsar district.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said farmer Pritam Singh, 60, was disturbed over the passing of the agriculture Bills in the Lok Sabha.

The farmer feared that the Bills would be against the farmers.

The condition of the farmer is stated to be serious.

The farmers have been staging a protest at the Badal village just outside the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against the Bills brought by the Central government.

Akali Dal’s lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Union Cabinet on Thursday to protest the Farm bills.

While announcing the decision to withdraw the minister from the Union Cabinet, SAD President Sukhbir Badal said the party would continue to support the government and the BJP, but will oppose the anti-farmer policies.

He said the three agriculture related Bills in the Lok Sabha would sound the death knell for 20 lakh farmers, three lakh ‘mandi’ labourers, 30 lakh farm labourers and 30,000 ‘arhatiyas’, besides destroying the food grain procurement system established over a period of 50 years.

Earlier, warning that enacting laws on the ordinances issued by the Centre vis-a-vis farmers would lead to unrest in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had led a Congress delegation to Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the three agriculture-related Bills in Parliament.

The Chief Minister submitted a memorandum to the Governor and told him that the Congress felt that any move to “tinker with the present procurement system, and that too in the times of a nationwide crisis, may deepen social unrest among Punjab farmers”.

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Cities

Hindu Yuva Vahini leader murdered in Uttar Pradesh

A Hindu Yuva Vahini leader was found dead with stab wounds near his own hospital in Bareilly

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A Hindu Yuva Vahini leader was found dead with stab wounds near his own hospital in Bareilly.

Bareilly Senior Police Superintendent (SSP), Rohit Singh Sajwan, said, “The body of Sanjay Singh, 37, was found near his hospital in Dunka locality under the Shahi police station area on Thursday evening. The body had multiple stab wounds that could have led to his death. We have sent the body for the post-mortem examination and lodged a murder case against unknown people.”

Sajwan said five hospital staff members have been detained and were being questioned. Police were also scanning CCTV footage from the murder scene.

Dinesh Singh, a relative of Sanjay Singh, said the latter was very active in Hindu Yuva Vahini activities and had several political rivals in the area. “I think his rivals are behind this incident,” Singh said.

Singh was Bareilly district vice president of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had founded in 2002.

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