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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?



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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Obituary – Ex-Aus batsman Dean Jones had a love affair with India




Dean Jones

For some strange reason, a 51-second video clip of Dean Jones being bowled neck and crop for a duck by the legendary Kapil Dev in a Test against Australia went viral on Wednesday, with a commentator uttering the words “that’s the end of Dean Jones”. And, on Thursday Jones died of a cardiac arrest, aged 59 years and 184 days, in Mumbai.

Jones, who was in India to honour his contract with a broadcaster for the IPL, was close to many Indian players, like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and was a regular visitor to India for cricket-related work.

A top order batsman, Jones, who was part of the second Tied Test in which he scored his maiden double century in 1986 in Madras, played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs between 1984 and 1994. He was a gutsy batsman and wasn’t scared of stepping out to play speedsters. His running between the wickets was very brisk. Jones is perhaps best known for his 210 in the Tied Test, his maiden double century at that level — an innings after which he was taken to a hospital and was put on a saline drip after he was dehydrated during his eight-and-a-half hours at the crease in hot and humid Madras, as Chennai was then called.”

A day that changed my life forever,” Jones tweeted on September 19, on the 34th anniversary of the Tied Test. Another tweet of his that day read:

“This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB [Border] we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun!” Indeed, Jones’s friendship with Indians had well and truly begun in 1987, and some of his friends, like Kapil Dev, were in the team that played at Chepauk. India proved lucky for Jones as he was part of Allan Border’s team that won Australia their first ever World Cup, in 1987 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. After retirement, Jones started getting TV work in India and was nicknamed ‘Professor Deano’. He even named his twitter handle @ProfDeano. Jones’s love affair with India continued both on and off the field. In Test cricket, although he played only three matches on Indian soil, his average here — 92.

75 — was the highest of the six countries he had played in. He played 18 ODIs in India and tallied 719 runs at 44.

94. The Aussie once also played alongside Indians in unofficial cricket. When a World XI gathered in England to celebrate the bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1987, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar partnered Jones in a game against Gloucestershire in Bristol.”

He was a very nice, jovial person. I was shocked when I heard this news today. I was absolutely devastated. Of course, we played against each other, representing India and Australia. We also played together once. It was one of the three matches played before the main five-day game between the MCC and Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in London. Dean and I had a 200-odd-run partnership. I scored 171 and he scored 70-odd in that match,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “Of course, I knew him very well. When he used to come to Mumbai for commentary etc, sometimes we used to meet. He was a good friend. And he used to play golf also. So, I was surprised that he collapsed and died today. It’s absolutely shocking,” he said. In mid-2000s, Jones also applied for the India coach’s job. Although he didn’t get the job, he became coach of the Islamabad franchise in the maiden Pakistan Super League in 2016 and guided the team to the title.

Jones played a prominent role in the revival of Australian cricket in late 1980s, especially during the 1987 World Cup and the 1989 Ashes Test series.

He went on to captain Victoria and Derbyshire. At times, Jones was too outspoken. As a commentator, he slipped a couple of times. In 2006, he called South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla a “terrorist”, a comment for which he had to pay a penalty. But he was accepted back into the commentary box while Amla forgave him. On Thursday morning, Jones reportedly greeted everyone when he was at the breakfast table in the hotel where he was staying in Mumbai. “When he went for breakfast, he was jovial and said ‘good morning boys, hope everything is fine’ to people present there,” a hotel source told IANS.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

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Obituary – MoS Railway Angadi will be remembered for warm gesture, smile




Suresh Angadi,

New Delhi, Sep 23 : Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who passed away on Wednesday evening at a hospital here where he was being treated for Covid-19 will always be known for a big smile and warm gestures by his colleagues and friends.

Angadi was made the Minister of State for Railways in May last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Soon after his appointment as MoS for Railways, he knew that he has to meet the expectations of PM Modi to improve the train services.

During the inaugural run of second Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi to Katra on October 4 last year, just two months after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, he travelled in train with media persons to give a message that the government is standing with the people of J&K for the overall development of the region.

There were around 80 media persons along including the camerapersons to cover the inaugural run of the Vande Bharat Express.

During the trip, Angadi kept on interacting with the media about the plans of the Railway Ministry to bring development in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

He gave interviews for four consecutive hours without any break and assured that he answered all the tough questions posed to him.

Speaking to IANS on the same trip, Angadi had said, the Indian Railways, which has witnessed delays in completion of several important projects, was aiming to finish all of them by 2022, on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.

He had also said that the national transporter sees the option of allowing private operators to run trains as an opportunity to provide world class services.

Angadi had said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that all the pending projects and works be completed by 2022. We are focusing on completing pending works, like doubling and tripling of tracks, electrification, installation of CCTVs and signalling system upgrade.”

“New projects will be taken up only after completing them,” Angadi said.

He also favoured giving trains to private operators, and cited the example of private TV channels and said, “The entry of private players will generate more jobs and investment opportunities. In the long run, a lot of development will follow due to the competition.”

In countries like China trains run at 400 kmph. But in India trains were not running even at 160 kmph, he said.

“To compete with the world, we have to opt for investment from many sources. When a private company or people comes and invests in railways, it will create opportunities to develop economy,” he had said.

The railways had last year proposed to corporatise Rae Bareli Modern Rail Coach factory in UP.

On opposition of the Congress and other parties to corporatisation and privatisation of railways’ manufacturing units, the Minister said, “The Congress never thought about development. It has always opposed development.”

“We have not got to think of the Congress, but development and competition, and let the economy grow and create employment opportunities,” Angadi said.

Citing examples, he had said, the national highways remained undeveloped till the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government took it up and today even foreign countries were appreciating them.

Angadi in the railway ministry was also known as one of the most punctual minister. He always came to the ministry on time and ensured that the press briefing started on time.

Angadi represented Belagavi constituency of Karnataka in Lok Sabha.

He first won from the seat in 2004 and remained undefeated from the seat till 2019.

He was also known as a media man, who always remained responsive to the queries of media even late in night.

Following the news of gis death, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadiji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment and dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti.”

Angadi Angadi admitted at AIIMS on September 11 after testing positive for Covid-19. He breathed his last on Wednesday evening.

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It was all about being ruthless: MI skipper Rohit Sharma




Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi, Sep 24 : Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.

Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.

“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.

As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.

“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.

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