Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and is most likely to have a discussion on the current state of unrest in Kashmir. This will be the first meeting between the two after unrest broke out in the valley. Ms Mufti had strongly defended security forces action during a press conference and claimed that 95 percent of people want to resolve the Kashmir issue through political means and dialogue but five percent people were resorting to agitation. Earlier, the Home Minister had asked the Chief Minister to act tough against and round up those perpetrating a deadly civilian unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister Modi had a meeting with a delegation of opposition parties from the state led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah. The Prime Minister had expressed his deep concern and pain over the situation in the valley and asked all the political parties to work together to find a permanent and lasting solution to problems in the state. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who heads the hardline Hurriyat Conference, was held outside his upscale Hyderpora residence as he defied restrictions and attempted to march to Eidgah. The moderate Hurriyat chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was also arrested near his Nigeen house. Both the separatist leaders were briefly detained at police stations near their houses. By Premji
BJP MP, Virendra Singh Mast has alleged that the US embassy had asked him to remove his turban for a photoshoot for visa. The MP from Bhardoi, said, “I was invited for a seminar in the US to address farmers there. When I went to the embassy for the visa, at the time of photoshoot, I was asked to take off my turban.” “This turban is my identity and honour. So I refused. I wouldn’t make any compromise with my honour,” he said. The US embassy denied the allegations and said that, “The United States does not discriminate on the basis of religion nor do we forbid religious dress. During the visa application process, the US embassy in New Delhi does not ask individuals to remove turbans or other religious dress. Nor do we ask individuals to remove their turbans for photos submitted in the visa application process,” The MP said that he will write to the Ministry of External Affairs on the issue and will also raise the matter in Parliament. By Premji
United States has cut down both military and economic aid to Pakistan in the recent years, reflecting the mounting frustration among a growing number of officials with the nuclear-armed country's support for the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. "We're seeing a very definitive and very sharp reorienting of US policy in South Asia away from Afghanistan-Pakistan and more towards India," said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert with the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think-tank. Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Chaudhry has said that indiscriminate action was taken against all the extremist outfits in Pakistan, including the Haqqani Network, but the United States did not acknowledge Pakistan’s efforts. Pakistan has complained to the United States against its indifference to Islamabad and halting of aid money. American civilian and military aid to Pakistan, once the third-largest recipient of US foreign assistance, is expected to total less than $1 billion in 2016, down from more than $3.5 billion, according to US government data. In March, Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he would seek to bar $430 million in US funding for Islamabad's purchase of $700 million of Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16 fighter jets. Earlier, secretary of defense Ash Carter refused to authorize $300 million in military reimbursements to Pakistan, citing the limited gains that the country has made in fighting the militant Haqqani network, which is based in the country's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. "Congress is no longer willing to fund a state that supports the Afghan Taliban, which is killing American soldiers," said Bruce Riedel, a Brookings Institution expert and former CIA officer who headed Obama's first Afghanistan policy review. The US’s tilt toward India, Pakistan's arch-foe, is likely to continue and the funding to Pakistan may go down further. By Premji
Rahul’s counsel told the Supreme Court that he had never blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as an institution for killing Mahatma Gandhi, but those associated with it who were behind the assassination. Rahul Gandhi has made a U-turn from all the heroism he has done all these days on this issue. The big climb down comes a month after apex court judges, Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Nariman had categorically told Rahul's lawyer that a "collective denunciation" without any proof of prima facie amounted to defamation and if he cannot establish that he had made such a statement "for public good", he will have to either apologise or face trial. After telling the Supreme Court that he didn’t hold RSS as a body responsible for the killing of Mahatama Gandhi during his speech in a rally, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi took a u-turn saying that he stands by every word he had said that, “I will never stop fighting hateful and divisive agenda of RSS. I stand by every single word I said,” said Gandhi. This is called pappuism. “If he now says the RSS was not involved, but the people who were involved in Gandhi’s murder were RSS-affiliate, then he must come clean on his statement that in what sense they were associated with the RSS and what was their position and credential in the organisation,” the RSS patriarch MG Vaidya said, seeking an explanation from the Congress vice president as to how the assassin was affiliated to the organisation. “RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people (BJP) talk of him. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji,” Rahul had said while addressing a public rally in Maharashtra’s Thane district in March 2014. By Premji
Ashtami rohini, birthday of Lord SriKrishna is being celebrated as the janmashtami, all over the world. The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Shravana (August–September) as per the Hindu calendar. Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions following Vaishnavism in Manipur. While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to reach a high-hanging pot of curd and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami. People all over the world, especially Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting, worshipping Krishna and staying up until midnight and offer prayers at auspicious time when Krishna is believed to have been born. Images of Krishna's infancy are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. At midnight, devotees gather around for devotional songs, dance and exchange gifts. Some temples also conduct readings of the Hindu religious scripture Bhagavad Gita. Janmaashtami or Gokulashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, is celebrated as an event which involves making a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot (handi) filled with buttermilk (dahi), which is tied at a convenient height. Places in Uttar Pradesh that are associated with Krishna's childhood, such as Mathura, Gokul and Vrindavan, attract visitors from all over India, who go there to participate in the festival celebrations. In the eastern state of Odisha, in the region around Puri and in Nabadwip, West Bengal people celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and worship until midnight. Janmaashtami is celebrated in Assam mostly at the homes. Namghars and the temples usually celebrate with pujas and sharing food as prasad. Janmaashtami, popularly known in Manipur as Krishna Janma, is a significant festival celebrated at two temples in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. In Tamil Nadu, people decorate the floor with kolams (decorative pattern drawn with rice batter). Geetha Govindam and other such devotional songs are sung in praise of Lord Krishna. Then, they draw the footprints of Lord Krishna from the threshold of the house till the pooja room, which depicts the arrival of Lord Krishna into the house. In Andhra Pradesh recitation of shlokas and devotional songs are the characteristics of this festival. Another unique feature is that, young boys are dress up as Lord Krishna and they visit neighbors and friends. By Premji
A bill proposing a complete ban on commercial surrogacy and allowing only legally wedded Indian couples to opt for children through it is approved by the government to check unethical practices. The Union Cabinet gave its nod to the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in Parliament. The bill seeks a bar on unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy. "The new bill proposes a complete ban on commercial surrogacy in the country and will allow only legally wedded Indian couples married for at least five years to have children through surrogacy. Foreigners as well as NRIs and PIOs who hold Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards have been barred from opting for surrogacy," external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said. "Unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals cannot opt for surrogacy as per the bill. Legally wedded couples who have been married for at least five years, can opt for surogacy," she said. Medical ethicist Dr Anant Bhan said, "I am totally in support of better regulation, but the blanket statement that only people from the immediate family can be surrogates or people who are not unmarried or are 'homosexual' cannot, suggests that we are making a value judgment. This seems unacceptable in today's age." By Premji
The first half of A Flying Jatt has been completely gripping, hilarious, entertaining and interesting. The interest has been managed throughout and the songs have been shot extremely well. The episodes between Tiger and his mother will bring instant smiles throughout. The narration has been decent and the action episodes take out the blow. On the whole the first half of A Flying Jatt has been well written, gripping and thoroughly entertaining.The second half of the movie takes a mighty tumble as the film offers nothing after an interesting and such gripping first half. The action episodes make the film fall flat as they have been completely meaningless. The lose screenplay and the narration too have nothing much to do during the second half. Though the songs have been decent, the action episodes and a faked out climax make the film fall flat. On the whole the second half of A Flying Jatt is a huge misfire.
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel's close aides, accused the 'quota spearhead' of "spending the community's money on furthering his personal interests" and that "he has been favouring and listening to his distant relative, rather than to his PAAS colleagues." The allegations were levelled by Hardik's close aides Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel who were co-accused in the sedition case and had spent time in jail. The two leaders wrote in a letter to Hardik, "The Patidar community had dreamt of OBC status a year ago. But, you have dashed those hopes completely. The community had come out in open to support PAAS's call, but now it feels that it had to face adversities because of your personal interests, selfishness and your desire to be rich by misusing the community." The letter goes on to say, "The way you (Hardik) have been trying to gain the community's sympathy by boasting about your nine-month jail term should be questioned. You should not forget, it was not you alone, but we too have spent jail terms as co-accused in the sedition case," claims the letter. They further alleged, "You and your Vipul Kaka (distant relative) have been enjoying a lavish lifestyle in a bungalow and spending your community's donations on being ferried in a luxurious car. This money was meant for the martyrs of our community, who had laid down their lives during the OBC quota agitation in August last year." By Premji
The NaMo tea stall, which was so named after the Chai pe Charcha session, was dismantled by the civic body officials during the sealing drive. Citing “traffic and congestion issues”, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has sealed around eight shops, including popular eatery Iskcon Ganthia, the place where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held his “Chai Pe Charcha” session during the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. Earlier, AMC tax inspectors had visited the shop requesting the owners to produce approved building plans and ownership details. "The owners could not produce any of the documents and we had to seal the premises," said a senior AMC official. As BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Modi sat outside the shop on the busy S G Highway stretch in the west Ahmedabad and in between the sips of tea from the now famous NaMo tea stall, for two hours he interacted with people who had gathered at around 1,000 tea stalls across the 300 urban centres through video conferencing on February 13, 2014. "The traffic issue was getting problematic, even though a parking zone was earmarked nearby," a senior AMC estate officer said. "The shop is located just opposite the Karnavati Club on the access lane to the service road." “The AMC officials came and dismantled NaMo tea stall, which had played host to Modi’s Chai Pe Charcha session. Our security guards help manage traffic here, but wealthy and influential guests of Karnavati Club do not pay heed to them and park vehicles near our shops. We have submitted all the land records since 1988 to the AMC, but our shops are still sealed,” said Chetanbhai J Patel, who runs Arbuda Motors in the complex and co-owns the 5,700 sq meter land on which the complex stands. Giri Goswami, the husband of Amiben who runs Iskcon Ganthia for six years, said, “We have already incurred losses up to Rs 4 to 5 lakh. As our shop is running out of a rented premises, we have to pay a steep rent and staff salaries.” AMC’s deputy estate officer of New West Zone Chaitanya Shah said, “This area is accident prone and 70 per cent of the 40-foot road is usually blocked by parked vehicles. We had warned the shop owners several times to manage their parking. The shops are also illegal as their plans have not been approved and they don’t even have the basic BU (Building Use) permission. Their impact fee has also not been regularised. The shops have been sealed indefinitely for now.” By Premji
The Olympic flame was extinguished in an colorful opening ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016 and the baton was passed to Tokyo who has promised the best best Olympics games ever in 2020. American basketball team defeated Serbia 96-66, just before the closing ceremony, to win the final gold medal in the game and finishing the camping at the first place with winning 46 golds to Great Britain and China who finished second and third with winning 27 and 26 golds respectively. Finishing its Olympic campaign at 67th spot with winning one silver and one bronze medal by PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik respectively India completed the Rio Olympics. Sakshi Malik was also the flag bearer of India at the closing ceremony as PV Sindhu returned to India on Saturday. Olympics chief Thomas Bach said, “These were marvelous Olympic games in the marvelous city. These Olympic Games are leaving a unique legacy for generations to come. History will talk about Rio de Janeiro before and much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games.” Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said, “The Japan’s government will work hard so it will be the best Olympics ever.” Michael Phelps, a swimming legend, by winning five gold at Rio Olympics and a silver and took his medal tally to 23 in his Olympic career. The host country Brazil celebrated the the famous football win when the Brazilian team defeated Germany, under Neymar, in the penalty shootout revenging their infamous 7-1 loss in World Semi finals in 2014. The fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt who has announced his retirement after the 2017 world championship, won three gold medals in Rio at 100m, 200m and 4x100m event taking his Olympic medal tally to nine after winning the same in London and Beijing Olympics. The security as well as logistical problems were at its peak during the South America’s first Olympics. But it was kept under control by the authorities as the audience saw an outstanding performance by many Olympic athletes of the different countries. Among the controversies happened in the Games, Mongolia’s Chagnaadroj Usukhbayar became the sixth weightlifter in Rio to fail a drugs test. In an another event, police raided the Irish Olympics office after the Irish International Olympic Committee chief Patrick Hickey over an alleged black market tickets scam and seized passports, phones and computers. Mongolian coach protested in a furious way when he stripped down to his underwear after an alleged wrong decision against wrestler Gazorigiin Mandakhnaran. By Prajakt K.