Advisory issued on hoisting tricolour

The Indian Express | 1 month ago | 12-08-2022 | 03:50 am

Advisory issued on hoisting tricolour

As the central government has announced Har Ghar Tiranga campaign between August 13 and 15, the Gujarat government Thursday issued a statement highlighting the points to be taken care of while hoisting the tricolour at home and offices under the campaign.The official statement said that hoisting/use/exhibition of the tricolour is governed by the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971 and Flag Code of India, 2002.As per the amended Flag Code, hand-made or machine made tricolour of polyster, cotton, wool, silk and khadi can be hoisted, the release stated.It added that a citizen can hoist the tricolour during day and night.The statement further said that the national flag must be rectangle in shape and of any size, but its length and height must be in the ratio of 3:2.Whenever the national flag is exhibited then it has to be hoisted clearly at a respectable place. A damaged flag cannot be hoisted. Also, the national flag must not be hoisted with any other flag on the same masthead. As per the flag code, except for the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Governor, the national flag cannot be hoisted by anyone on a vehicle.No other flag or its cloth can be put besides or higher than the national flag.

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Muslim leaders split over RSS chief meetings, from persons he met, to issues they chose
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:50 pm
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:50 pm

Muslim organisations are split over the recent meeting between RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and representatives of the community. While some have welcomed the chance at increased dialogue, calling it the need of the hour, others feel the meeting was no more than “optics”.Last month, five eminent members of the Muslim community — former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi, former Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, RLD vice-president Shaheed Siddiqui, former AMU Vice Chancellor and Lt General (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, and businessman Saeed Shervani – had met Bhagwat, where the two sides took up each other’s concerns and resolved to have periodic such meetings.Last week, Bhagwat followed this up with a meeting with the Chief Imam of the All India Imam Organisation(AIIO), Umer Ilyasi, at a mosque. Ilyasi, who referred to Bhagwat as “rashtra pita” after the meeting, told The Indian Express that the talks hoped to create “communal harmony”.Questioning these gestures, the executive member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Qasim Rasool Ilyas, told The Indian Express that if Bhagwat and the RSS really wanted to reach out to the Muslim community, they would get in touch with organisations that actually have influence and following — such as the AIMPLB or the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind or the Jamaat-e-Islami.“Bhagwat has never got in touch with us or any of these organisations in the past 20 years,” Ilyas said.He also questioned the issues raised at the meetings with the RSS. “All those who have met Bhagwat from the Muslim community have said that these meetings have been convivial. But the fact is that in the past eight years (of the Modi government), there have been hate speeches against Muslims in India, open calls for Muslim genocide, threats of rape against Mulsim women, as well as a controversy surrounding the hijab and issues around mosques like Gyanvapi. Bhagwat has never issued statements around these issues. Nor has the BJP-led government, to which the RSS is a mentor. The RSS has not instructed that these activities against the Muslim community stop, nor has it instructed the government to take any action. In that case, these goodwill meetings are just hollow gestures,” Ilyas said, adding: “Its (the RSS’s) silence is louder than its so-called outreach.”Members across organisations also point out that Chief Imam Umer Ilyas, with whom Bhagwat met, has little standing within the Muslim community. One member said Ilyas was not even a recognised Islamic scholar. Another said he has always been “pro-government” so as to ensure perks and benefits for imams.The AIIO claims to be “the largest Muslim organisation in India”, representing half-a-million imams across three lakh mosques in India.A Muslim leader who did not want to be identified said: “When the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, the Muslim community across India that had always supported the Congress, boycotted the party. In order to bring the community back within its fold, then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao approached Ilyasi’s father Jamil Ahmed Ilyasi, who formed the AIIO. It was Jamil Ahmed who got the government to give salaries to imams. Otherwise these salaries were given by foundations and through donations. Ever since, the AIIO has always been close to the ruling party. They don’t hold a standing in the community.”Umer Ilyas, in fact, has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi too on several occasions, after their first meeting in 2018, as well as Home Minister Amit Shah. He has shared the platform with movie star Amitabh Bachhan and met prominent Hindu spiritual leaders including Jagadish Vasudev (Sadhguru) and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.Other leaders, however, feel that raising doubts about Ilyas’s credentials is missing the point, and that building bridges with the RSS is much-needed for a community that now feels constantly under attack.Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind secretary Niaz Ahmed Farooqui said they “welcome Bhagwat’s initiative”. “The RSS should have reached out earlier. The RSS has a strong influence in the country; whether this influence is right or wrong is another matter. But we don’t believe that even the RSS wants the country to be divided, disunited.’’Farooqui added that the Muslim community needs to focus on “real” issues. “One of our main concerns in recent times has been the backwardness of Muslims, and the lack of opportunities for the community, especially in terms of education and employment. The community is so distracted and occupied with other issues that it is not concentrating on what is important. Even if the meeting was simply symbolic, it was still a step forward,” he said.Darul Uloom Deoband’s Arshad Madani, who is also the president of one of the two factions of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, himself met Bhagwat three years ago. “These meetings have always taken place, there is nothing new,’’ he said, adding that his meeting with the RSS chief was also held in a “good atmosphere’’. Bhagwat has “nothing against Muslims”.However, Madani refused to disclose the specifics of his meeting with Bhagwat.Among the Muslim leaders who has been the most vocal against the recent RSS meeting is AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. He called the five who met Bhagwat “Muslim elites’’ out of touch with reality.Addressing some of the accusations against the five of them in an opinion piece in The Indian Express, Quraishi wrote: “Do we represent the community? Maybe not. Nobody has elected or selected us. But we are also the community. We have our perceptions and observations. It was our individual initiative. Are we elitist? Possibly… We are not illiterate. We are equally aware of the ground realities: Incidents of lynching; calls for genocide; rapes; economic boycott; questioning of voting rights, and discrimination in getting houses or jobs.”Sources in the RSS say similar meetings are planned in the coming days. A source said: “The RSS has been reaching out to the Muslim community since 2002, so there is nothing new in that (that was the year, post the Gujarat riots, that the Muslim Rashtriya Manch was started by the RSS). What you are seeing now is the impact of 20 years of work. Of course, both the RSS and Muslim organisations feel the need for dialogue more now, which is why we are seeing increased meetings by the RSS chief. When problems arise, then dialogue is the only way to resolve them. Unless you meet, how can you resolve issues?”About what had changed, the RSS source said: “The RSS now represents a large section of the Hindu society. Earlier, the Hindus were disorganised and disunited, unlike the Muslim community which was very organised. The priority for the RSS then was to organise the Hindus. Only after that could we hold meetings and conduct dialogues with other communities – only once we had sufficient strength.”

Muslim leaders split over RSS chief meetings, from persons he met, to issues they chose
Why PM Narendra Modi is attending the funeral of former Japan PM Shinzo Abe
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:50 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Tokyo to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Modi had tweeted on Monday, “I will be conveying heartfelt condolences to Prime Minister Kishida and Mrs Abe on behalf of all Indians. We will continue working to further strengthen India-Japan relations as envisioned by Abe San.”India had announced one-day national mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead while making a campaign speech three months ago.On July 8, describing Shinzo as one of his “dearest friends”, PM Modi said he was a “towering global statesman”, an “outstanding leader”, and a “remarkable administrator”.“I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place..Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment,” Modi tweeted.Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on July 8, was one of the most consequential leaders of Japan in it’s post-war history. He was Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, having served two terms from 2006 to 2007 and then from 2012 to 2020. He announced in August 2020 that he would step down from his post following the resurfacing of a chronic illness. Abe, who was then 65, was due to be in office until September 2021.During his time in office, Abe was a great friend of India, and a relationship that he invested personally in. He also had a special rapport with PM Modi, which came out on multiple occasions.After Abe announced his decision to step down in 2020, Modi had tweeted: “Pained to hear about your ill health, my dear friend @AbeShinzo. In recent years, with your wise leadership and personal commitment, the India-Japan partnership has become deeper and stronger than ever before. I wish and pray for your speedy recovery.”Transformation in India-Japan tiesDuring his first stint in 2006-07, Abe visited India and addressed Parliament. During his second stint — during which he overtook the record set by Eisaku Sato, his great-uncle, of the number of days spent consecutively in office — he visited India thrice, in January 2014, December 2015, and September 2017. No other Prime Minister of Japan has made so many visits to India.He was the first Japanese PM to be Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade in 2014. This reflected his commitment towards an India relationship — he was being hosted by a government that would be facing elections in May 2014. As Japan’s leader, he was wooed both by the UPA under Dr Manmohan Singh and the NDA under Modi.While the foundation for “Global Partnership between Japan and India” was laid in 2001, and annual bilateral summits were agreed in 2005, Abe accelerated the pace of ties since 2012.In August 2007, when Abe visited India for the first time as PM, he delivered the now-famous “Confluence of the Two Seas” speech — laying the foundation for his concept of Indo-Pacific. This concept has now become mainstream and one of the main pillars of India-Japan ties.During his second term, Abe helped build the relationship further.Having visited Japan several times as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi as PM chose Japan for his first bilateral visit outside the neighbourhood, in September 2014. Modi and Abe agreed to upgrade the bilateral relationship to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”. The relationship grew and encompassed issues from civilian nuclear energy to maritime security, bullet trains to quality infrastructure, Act East policy to Indo-Pacific strategy.When Modi went to Japan in 2014, the Indo-Japan nuclear deal was still uncertain, with Tokyo sensitive about a pact with a non-Nuclear-Proliferation-Treaty member country. Abe’s government convinced the anti-nuclear hawks in Japan to sign the agreement in 2016. The pact was key to India’s deals with US and French nuclear firms, which were either owned by or had stakes in Japanese firms.Defence cooperation and Indo-PacificWhile the security agreement was in place since 2008, under Abe the two sides decided to have Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting (2+2), and started negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement — a kind of military logistics support pact. In November 2019, the first Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting was held in New Delhi. A pact for transfer of defence equipment and technology was also signed in 2015, an uncommon agreement for post-War Japan.During Abe’s tenure, India and Japan came closer in the Indo-Pacific architecture. Abe had spelt out his vision of the Confluence of the Two Seas in his 2007 speech when the Quad was formed. It collapsed soon, but in October 2017, as Chinese aggression grew in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and India’s borders in Doklam, it was Abe’s Japan that really mooted the idea of reviving the Quad. In November 2017, it was revived as Indian, Japanese, Australia and US officials met in Manila on the sidelines of the East Asia summit.Stood by India on stand-offs with ChinaSince 2013, Indian and Chinese soldiers have had four publicly known border-stand-offs — April 2013, September 2014, June-August 2017, and the ongoing one since May 2020. Abe’s Japan has stood with India through each of them. During the Doklam crisis and the current stand-off, Japan has made statements against China for changing the status quo.Infrastructure cooperationDuring Abe’s visit in 2015, India decided to introduce the Shinkansen system (bullet train). Under Abe’s leadership, India and Japan also formed the Act East Forum and are engaged in projects in the Northeast, closely watched by China. The two countries also planned joint projects in Maldives and Sri Lanka among others to counter Beijing’s influence.A leader India always missedAbe was a valuable G-7 leader for India, focused on strategic, economic and political deliverables, and not getting distracted by India’s domestic developments — much to New Delhi’s comfort.Having hosted Modi at his ancestral home in Yamanashi, the first such reception extended to a foreign leader, Abe was feted at a roadshow in Ahmedabad. His planned visit to India in December 2020 in Guwahati, however, was cancelled due to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.When Abe announced he had decided to step down, a South Block official said his successor would “have big shoes to fill”.Quite befittingly, the Indian government — in January’ 2021 — announced Padma Vibhushan, country’s second-highest civilian award, for Abe.Such was their friendship, Modi’s last meeting with Abe was on May 24 this year, when the Prime Minister met him on the sidelines of the Quad summit in Tokyo.Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said PM Modi and Abe had developed a “personal bond of trust and friendship” through their numerous meetings and interactions spanning over a decade beginning from Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan in 2007 as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.The Foreign Secretary said Abe made “significant contribution” to deepening India-Japan relations, turning largely economic relationship into a broad, Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership, making it pivotal for the security of both our countries and also for regions security.“Prime Minister Abe’s famous ‘Confluence of two Seas’ speech in the Indian Parliament in 2007, laid the ground for the emergence of Indo-Pacific region as a contemporary political, strategic and economic reality….[his] contribution to India-Japan relations was recognized by the conferment upon him of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021,” Kwatra said.

Why PM Narendra Modi is attending the funeral of former Japan PM Shinzo Abe
Punjab Assembly Session Today: House set for stormy affair as AAP govt silent on SYL, sacrilege; trust motion still on radar
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:50 am

The Punjab Cabinet Monday discussed issues, including stubble burning, industry and bills related to GST and excise, which will be taken up during the assembly session beginning Tuesday, The Cabinet, however, did not discuss the issue of tabling a confidence motion in the House even as the AAP called a meeting of all its MLAs before the House assembles for the day’s proceedings.The meeting would be chaired by Chief minister Bhagwant Mann in Vidhan Sabha at 9:30 am. The session starts at 11 am.While a few MLAs told The Indian Express that they have been asked to ensure their presence in the meeting, AAP’s chief whip Baljinder Kaur said that no whip has been issued to the legislators. “They will make sure that they are present in the session. They are all responsible. They know we all have to take up people’s issues,” she said.Interestingly, last week, when the government had called a special session to table a confidence motion, the AAP had nominated Baljinder Kaur as chief whip. She had issued a three-line whip to the legislators to ensure their presence in the session and vote for the party. Governor Banwarilal Purohit, however, had withdrew his permission for convening the special sitting citing rules.The government has now called the session on “issues like GST, power and stubble burning.” The schedule issued by Vidhan Sabha mentioned obituary references, legislative business and motion under Rule 16 regarding adjournment of the House sine-die.The meeting of business advisory committee would take place after the obituary references and before the House gathers again to take up the legislative business. While the Cabinet meeting Monday gave its nod to amendment in state GST Act, it was silent on power and stubble burning issues.Sources said there were deliberations on whether the session can be extended. The government and AAP is also maintaining silence on tabling the confidence motion. A party MLA said, “They (government) may want to bring it at any cost to criticise the BJP’s Operation Lotus. We have heard that the CM may table the motion”.Cabinet minister Aman Arora, while briefing the media after the Cabinet feigned ignorance on confidence motion, said, “I do not know anything. The business advisory committee will decide tomorrow.”Interestingly, the BJP has not been invited in the BAC, the invite for which has been sent to member representatives of every political party. The BJP has already stated that it would be holding a parallel mock session at their office.Leader of Opposition, Partap Singh Bajwa said, “The session is going to be a total fraud with the people of Punjab. There is not going to be any discussion on people’s issues. Basically, the session is being organised in Punjab but it would be to address the voters in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.”He targeted the AAP government, saying no Question Hour or Zero Hour will be allowed during the session for raising public issues.To a question on Bajwa seeking discussion on various issues, including Sutlej Yamuna Link canal and sacrilege, Arora replied that Congress leader could raise these matters in the BAC.To a question about BJP deciding to hold a “mock” session on Tuesday, Arora took a swipe at the saffron party, saying they should have at least three members for such session. “For running a mock session, there is a need for Speaker, treasury and opposition and they (BJP) just have two members,” said Arora.The session is likely to be a stormy affair with the opposition parties set to corner the government on various issues, including alleged illegal sand mining, the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and law and order.Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira called the session a “joke” and said it should have been summoned to discuss burning issues such as the SYL canal, sacrilege and crop damage due to untimely rains.“Tomorrow’s session of Vidhan Sabha is a joke as after spending 1 Cr of people’s money, there’s no question-hour as govt needs 15 days notice to answer them! It should have been summoned appropriately to discuss burning issues like Syl, Beadbi, Crop damage etc instead of merely 2 issues,” the Bholath MLA said in a tweet.Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Daljit Singh Cheema said the session should be held for a longer duration to discuss important issues, including “corruption, illegal sand mining, deteriorating law and order and the excise policy”.There is no point in holding the session if the AAP wants to enact a “drama” by bringing a confidence motion, Cheema said.

Punjab Assembly Session Today: House set for stormy affair as AAP govt silent on SYL, sacrilege; trust motion still on radar
Protest over quota for non-Gujarat students
Times of India | 5 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:07 am
Times of India
5 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 11:07 am

VADODARA: Upset with the decision of opening up the state quota of postgraduate (PG) medical seats for MBBS graduates from other states, students in Vadodara staged a protest at the GMERS Medical College, Gotri on Monday. Addressing their concerns, the Gujarat Intern Doctors’ Association and the Gujarat MBBS Students’ Association have chalked out a plan of action which includes filing a writ petition in the Gujarat high court, making representation to the state government, and creating awareness among the masses. The NEET-PG aspirants said that students who completed MBBS in Gujarat and had domicile were eligible for the state quota PG counselling. But from this year the state has opened the doors for the state quota PG medical seats (both government and private) for MBBS graduates from outside Gujarat as well. After registration for NEET PG 2022 started on September 15, the guidelines put on the admission committee’s website mentions that – “Anyone who completed MBBS outside Gujarat (either FMGs or candidates completed MBBS outside Gujarat but in India) who completed 12th in Gujarat and have domicile of Gujarat are now eligible for government and private PG seats of Gujarat state.” The students said that changing the rules all of sudden will be an injustice for MBBS students of the state. The students have demanded that if the government wants to implement such a rule, it should be implemented from the MBBS admission batch 2022-23, who will eventually take admission in PG seats in 2028-29. The PG aspirants argued that even meritorious students who had received good ranks in AIPMT/ NEET did not take admission to premier institutions outside Gujarat because of the state quota.

Protest over quota for non-Gujarat students
Gujarat: Cos struggle to pitch for Ayush exports HQ
Times of India | 5 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 10:42 am
Times of India
5 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 10:42 am

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat-based Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) companies are finding it difficult to press for the establishment of the proposed Ayush Export Promotion Council (AEPC) headquarters in the state. Fifteen directors willing to give Rs 5 lakh each to set up the council are needed. Only five are ready so far. The central government has decided to create AEPC to ensure that ayurvedic medicines get access to global markets. Jaman Malviya, the president of Gujarat Ayurvedic Aushadh Manufacturers Association (GAAMA), said: “Gujarat is a leading manufacturer of ayurvedic medicines but we are not getting the confirmation from 10 entrepreneurs for Rs 5 lakh each to set up AEPC headquarters in Gujarat.” Malviya added: “Till now, we have received the confirmation from only five entrepreneurs. We will hold a meeting of the association to ensure that AEPC headquarters comes up in Gujarat.” He said five government-appointed directors will be part of the council. Malviya said that the central government wants the headquarters of the council in a state which has a strong Ayush presence. It is believed that the government has plans to take a decision about setting up of the headquarters by December this year. Telangana is also in the race to get the AEPC headquarters, Malviya said. Gujarat is recording rapid growth in investments in ayurvedic medicines and in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the state saw 126 companies getting licences to manufacture ayurvedic formulations, according to the data of Gujarat Food & Drugs Control Administration (FDCA). Gujarat has currently more than 820 functional ayurvedic manufacturing units.

Gujarat: Cos struggle to pitch for Ayush exports HQ