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Rahul speaks to Mamata, expresses support to sit-in against Centre



Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Feb 4 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and expressed his support to her sit-in against the Centre over CBI move in the state, saying the happenings in Bengal “were part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.

Gandhi said in a tweet that the “entire opposition will stand together and defeat these fascist forces.”

“I spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her. The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Modi and the BJP. The entire opposition will stand together and defeat these fascist forces,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also expressed solidarity with Banerjee.

“Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy,” he said.

However, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury attacked both Banerjee and the BJP accusing both of “drama”.

“Corruption cases against TMC govt in chit fund scam have been public for years but Modi govt chose to stay quiet as top mastermind of the scam joined BJP. It does a drama to act now, after 5 years, and TMC leadership responds by staging a drama to protect its corrupt.

“This drama in Kolkata by BJP and TMC is not a fight for any principle but only to save their corrupt and hide their corruption. CPI(M) has fought both these undemocratic, corrupt, communal and dictatorial regimes in the Centre and the state and will continue to do so,” he said in tweets.

In an unprecedented confrontation with the Modi government, Banerjee began a sit-in on Sunday in Kolkata accusing the Centre of trying to run a parallel administration in states, saying there is a “constitutional break-down” after an ugly face-off between the CBI and the state police.

The showdown started after the federal probe agency’s officers showed up near the residence of Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who has been under the scanner in connection with the CBI probe into the ponzi scheme scam case.

The events are expected to cast a shadow on the budget session of parliament on Monday with the opposition expected to vociferously raise the issue.


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AIMIM denied permission for anti-CAA march in Hyderabad




asaduddin owaisi

Hyderabad, Jan 3 : Hyderabad police have denied permission to the United Muslim Action Committee, led by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, to organise a march here against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Owaisi, who is also Member of Parliament from Hyderabad, had sought police permission for the march on January 4 or 5. He had made an application to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar.

Reacting to denial of permission, Owaisi said the United Muslim Action Committee would approach Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President said that protest against the black legislation is democratic right of citizens.

Urdu daily ‘Etemaad’, run by the AIMIM, quoted Owaisi as saying that the Police Commissioner is taking away the democratic rights of people. He pointed out that Action Committee has prepared a plan for a long programme against CAA.

Owaisi will be addressing a public meeting against CAA at Sangareddy town of Telangana on Saturday. The meeting is being jointly organised by United Muslim Action Commitee and Samvidhan Raksha Committee

AIMIM is the biggest constituent of the Action Committee, an umbrella body of various Muslim groups. It had held a massive public meeting at AIMIM headquarters Darussalam on December 22 to oppose CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The MP had also led a delegation of Muslim leaders to meet the Telangana Chief Minister on December 25, urging him to not to conduct National Population Register (NPR) process in the state.

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of various Muslim groups are going ahead with the ‘Million March’ against CAA, NRC and NPR in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The march will be organised at Dharna Chowk in the heart of the city. The JAC had earlier planned to hold the protest at Necklace Road on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake but the police asked them to shift the venue.

The JAC had originally planned the march on December 28 but the police denied permission for the same. It had then approached the High Court, challenging the police action.

JAC Convenor Mushtaq Malik said the High Court directed the police to consider a fresh request for permission for the march.

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Israel election: Netanyahu and Gantz both vow to form next government



Benjamin Netanyahu and the opposition leader, Benny Gantz, have begun what could be a prolonged period of high-stakes political bartering after an inconclusive election in Israel showed neither had a clear path to form a coalition.

Many Israelis hoped the poll, the second in five months, would provide clarity and pull the nation out of a political crisis. But the muddy results that trickled in on Wednesday appeared to deadlock the country instead.

With Israeli media reporting more than 90% of the vote counted, Gantz’s Blue and White party had 32 seats while its rival Likud had 31.

Both leaders have vowed to lead Israel’s next government, but would need to form unlikely alliances with smaller parties to do so.

Netanyahu wants to extend his record-breaking stretch as prime minister by forging pacts with religious politicians and far-right ultra-nationalists.

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‘Music festivals are a joyful, shared experience’




Folk musicians Mehrangarh Fort
Folk musicians performing in the Mehrangarh Fort (Photo by Jodhpur RIFF)

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANSlife) The desert of Rajasthan is home to a plethora of folk arts, and public festivals celebrating these folk forms are growing by the day. One such event, the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), in its 12th edition between October 10 and 14, will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience.

The Jodhpur RIFF, as it is called, takes place annually at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and is curated by Divya Bhatia, who feels music events or festivals are “among the few forums left that allow for a joyful, shared experience for all, irrespective of background or social standing. One needs no prior knowledge or understanding to lose oneself in the art form, he added.

Bhatia also gave IANS a sneak peek into the lineup of the upcoming festival. “We have a new thrust on original and contemporary writing in the regional traditions and will be exploring some new lyrics and poetry from Rajasthan and Punjab,” he said.

The festival will also feature a collaboration between Rajasthani and Irish musicians and new work with Ballake Sissoko from Senegal, with the Authentic Light Orchestra from Switzerland and with the master of the Armenian duduk, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan.

Living Legends at Jodhpur RIFF (Photo by Jodhpur RIFF)

Yissy Garcia from Cuba will be at the gala as first woman ‘Rustler’ — an artiste who collaborates with musicians of diverse forms. Ghatam maestro and Grammy-winning Vikku Vinayakram is also scheduled to perform, along with a performance by wonderful Punjabi singer Bir Singh, Afrobrat DJ Jose Marquez and some legendary Rajasthani music.

“Jodhpur RIFF recognises and celebrates our Rajasthani intangible heritage. Moreover, it creates opportunities and facilitates the judicious use of resources for the revitalisation of this heritage – providing inspiration, engagement and livelihood for traditional artists.

“Today, because of the festival, our international collaborations and presentations across the world, Jodhpur RIFF has become the consistent single largest employer of Rajasthani folk musicians,” said Bhatia.

Does he find folk musicians stable and secure in their practice and livelihood?

“Folk musicians across India can do with much more stability and security. As listeners, I would encourage us to learn about them, discover them, buy their music, invite them to perform for us and attend all their live concerts,” he said.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])
(This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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