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Bengal bypoll: Ward-based responsibilities given to TMC leaders in Bhabanipur

Arup Kali

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Ward-based responsibilities for the Bhabanipur assembly by-election have been given to top Trinamool leaders. The ruling party is unwilling to take any risks regarding the Covid-19 protocols. Because, by issuing a notification in this by-election, the Election Commission has informed that if the code of conduct is violated in any way in during the conduction of the polls, including campaigning, then the candidate of the concerned party will not be allowed to campaign. Therefore, it has been decided to give ward-based responsibilities, from campaigning to counting, to the top leaders of the party.

Bhabanipur of Calcutta Municipality consists of eight wards. In addition to giving responsibilities to the leaders, the Trinamool leadership are vigilant so that the workers and leaders of one ward do not go to another ward and preach. Even leaders from other districts who were willing to come to the Chief Minister’s campaign have been barred from coming.

Subrata Mukherjee, a veteran leader of the state and panchayat minister, has been given charge of ward 63. Firhad Hakim, the city administrator and transport minister of Kolkata municipality, has been given charge of a maximum of three wards. He has been given the responsibility of his own ward 72 as well as wards 64 and 6. Ward No. 60 is in charge of South Kolkata District Trinamool President and Rasbihari MLA Debashis Kumar. Trinamool secretary general Perth Chatterjee will be in charge of wards 61 and 72. Her brother Kartik Bandyopadhyay will be in charge of Ward 63 of the Chief Minister’s house.

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INDIA SHOULD UPHOLD INDIAN LIFESTYLE & CULTURE EVEN IN JHATKA VS HALAL DEBATE

Only those religious codes which don’t intervene with the lifestyle of other religious groups would be feasible in a democracy like India. As long as Muslims practise or prefer it in their private lives, there aren’t reasons to complain. However, when such practices enter the public domain and question the Indian system and Constitution, these should enter wider public scrutiny and consensus.

Shweta Shalini

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“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last,” warned Winston Churchill. Indian politics has a long history of appeasement. The pandering to the wishes of a small minority who vote en bloc has been a lucrative career choice for decades until PM Modi arrived at the scene and gave a reality check. In many ways, the Indian situation of appeasing the Muslims is more ridiculous than other nations. Just a few generations ago, India was divided on cultural lines and the Indian society had clear ideas of the choices. Muslims who chose to stay back in India have exercised that choice by saying No to an Islamic nation. Given this historical and cultural background, under no circumstances do Muslims expect or require special treatment or religious code. Yet, religious codes exist and demand for Sharia and other Islamic practices find many takers in secular parties and in the Muslim community. The outright appeasement in the Shah Bano case was a defining case in point when the Indian masses said enough of it and rallied behind the nationalists.

Like Sharia law, halal is also one of the core principles of the Islamic way of life. Halal—an Arabic word that means “permissible” runs completely in contrast to the system India has adopted. If an ancient religious code can dictate what is permissible (halal) or forbidden (haram) in India today, it’s a challenge to every legal system which isn’t an Islamic one. But then, the target of those promoting such concepts is precisely to introduce foreign cultural influences to subvert our national life. Strangely, the usual proponents of halal and Sharia are the same set of people who harp on secularism. It’s clear from this double-standard of theirs that what they actually seek is pick-and-choose. They want an Indian secular state to protect where they find themselves weak while also weakening the superstructure by insisting on exclusive religious codes.

The halal and jhatka food debate is part of this larger debate on how many religious sanctions of earlier eras should apply to modern India. One is about sticking to religious dogma while another is a question of a more humane approach to slaughter. The proponents of halal claim that the halal lifestyle is mandated for Muslims. In a practical sense, no religious mandates should be allowed to subvert the lifestyle of anyone else except followers of the specific religion. In the case of halal, it ain’t so. Halal food is food that is slaughtered by Muslims only which makes it a clear case of discrimination and runs counter to our system. Secondly, the brutality incurred on the animal needs to be reduced as much as practical. That’s a humanitarian argument devoid of any religious bias. The Sikhs and others who support Jhatka are taking a better approach when they insist on minimum suffering. Numerous western countries practice stunning the animal to instant death than incurring the woes which it would otherwise suffer. However, halal in Islam isn’t simply about food but encompasses many aspects of the life of which food is just one element. Beginning with halal food, the aim is to introduce halal finance, halal lifestyle and many other aspects which is nothing but a red herring for Sharia. All these tendencies should be nipped in the bud and a strong legal framework should be brought to ensure to avoid pandering to any segment of the society. 

As a final word, only those religious codes which don’t intervene with the lifestyle of other religious groups would be feasible in a democracy like India. As long as Muslims practice or prefer it in their private lives, there aren’t reasons to complain. However, when such practices enter the public domain and question the Indian system and constitution, these should enter wider public scrutiny and consensus. As long as nationalists like PM Modi occupy the seat of power, such appeasement won’t ever happen. It’s up to the Indian system to guard against any attempt to push agendas. In the New India of today, primacy will be to Indian culture and the Indian way of life and nobody has any reason to complain. 

Shweta Shalini is BJP spokesperson and advisor to former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. She is also state-in-charge of the BJP North Indian Cell.

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STATE NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU MULLING OVER A PLAN TO OPEN 17 BRANCHES AT DISTRICT LEVEL IN HARYANA

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Drug menace continues to prevail in the state, particularly in areas adjoining to neighbouring state of Punjab.

In wake of this, the state government has taken several steps to curb the drug menace and the issue has been raised by the legislators of ruling and opposite factions so many times. In continuation to this, it is worth mentioning that branches of the Narcotics Control Bureau have been established in 12 districts. These districts include Hisar, Fatehabad, Karnal, Sirsa, Kaithal, Ambala, Panchkula, Kurukshetra, Faridabad, Rohtak, Gurugram and Rewari. The State Narcotics Control Bureau has been established in Haryana on the pattern of the Centre (MHA), and is the first State Narcotics Control Bureau in the country.

In view of the ongoing scenario, the state government is mulling over a plan to open 17 branches at the district level all over Haryana. A sub-inspector level officer has been made in-charge of toll free number, who will immediately inform the units of the respective districts. Any person can give information on toll free numbers. The name of the person giving information will be kept strictly confidential.

In this series and while talking to ADGP, State Narcotics Control Bureau, Shrikant Jadhav, Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya has stressed the need of involving public and private universities and other educational institutions in wiping out the crime of drug trafficking from Haryana. Dattatraya said that youths will be effective in checking the use of illegal substances and preventing drug trafficking effectively. He said the officers of the Bureau should coordinate with educational institutions and make youths aware of drug prohibition in rural and urban areas.

The Governor said, “The university administrations can play a better role in preventing drug trafficking and illegal use through their own information system, social media and other means of media including street plays, rallies and other such activities. Students in the universities can create awareness against drugs in urban, village and other far-flung areas by giving effective messages through the above media tools. He also said that NCC Scouts and students associated with NSS can play an important role as well. Along with this, the cooperation of the Red Cross and other social, government and non-governmental organizations can also be taken into consideration to make people aware.”

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PGIMER TO HOST 5TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TOBACCO OR HEALTH

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National level experts, policymakers, implementers, academia, researchers and civil society advocates will assemble at the 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health hosted at PGIMER, Chandigarh. All of them are concerned on one single issue i.e. increasing tobacco addiction in this particular region. Appallingly, kids and adolescents are not even escaped from this vicious circle. PGIMER Chandigarh different departments like Cardiac, Pulmonary medicine, community medicine, psychiatry happen to see kids getting admitted with tobacco addiction.

Dr. Sonu Goel, the Organizing Secretary and Professor at PGIMER exhorted, “Its not about the numbers of kids suffering from tobacco addiction, its about why anyone; be it a kid, adolescent or adult shall suffer from this poison. Appallingly, Adolescents are suffering from such addiction due to easy availability of tobacco in many forms”.

A 3-day virtual 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) scheduled from 25th – 27th September 2021 shall be hosted by the Department of Community Medicine & School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

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HC GIVES NOD TO DELHI GOVERNMENT’S HPC FOR COMPENSATION OF DEATH DUE TO OXYGEN SHORTAGE

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plea in Delhi High Court seeking repatriation of 56 pregnant nurses

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday gave a nod to the functioning of the High Power Committee (HPC) to look into the matter of providing compensation to people who died due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hearing the case, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, “We see no difficulty in the High Power Committee (HPC) constituted by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) in discharging its assigned role.” The court’s remark came after the Delhi government took the stand that the committee would not fix any liability on the hospitals and the government would pay the amount of the compensation.

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had earlier put the committee, constituted by the Delhi government in abeyance.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Riti Singh Verma, whose husband died on May 14, 2021, due to COVID-19 in a hospital in Delhi’s Nehru Nagar.

The petitioner has sought direction from the Delhi government to operationalise the High-Power Committee it constituted and commence its functioning forthwith.

The petitioner told the Court that her husband died at the young age of 34, and he was the

only earning member of the family. She said that she has two small children to look after along with her parents.

“The untimely death of her husband due to COVID-19 has caused great financial hardship. That the deceased was working in a private company and his annual income was approx. 8 Lakh rupees,” read the petition filed by advocates Yogesh Aggarwal and Kamal Jindal.

The petitioner said that her husband was admitted in a normal and not very severe condition and was a healthy 34-year-old with no other co-morbidities and died due to cardiac arrest as per the discharge summary.

“The discharge summary appears to be copy paste job on the part of the hospital as the deceased was a male and referred to as a lady. The manner in which the petitioner’s husband case was handled casts doubt on the hospital dealing with the COVID-19 patients and also the death summary does not mention if the Oxygen was administered at any point in time when his condition started deteriorating,” the plea said.

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SHIV SENA’S ANANT GEETE SAYS ‘BACKSTABBER’ SHARAD PAWAR CAN’T BE OUR LEADER

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Former union minister and Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete on Monday called Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar a “backstabber” and referred to the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government an “adjustment”.

Addressing a public rally at Raigad, Geete said, “Sharad Pawar cannot ever be our leader as this government (MVA) is mere an adjustment. Let people use as many accolades for Pawar but our ‘guru’ is only (late) Balasaheb Thackeray.” “The NCP was formed by backstabbing Congress. When 2 Congress parties cannot become a single party, how can Shiv Sena become Congress? Even if the MVA government comes at Centre and State, we can’t be Aghadi Sainiks. We will remain Shiv Sainiks,” he added.

Speaking further, the former union minister said, “What is Shiv Sena? What is the responsibility of Shiv Sainiks today? While we have a Chief Minister [from Shiv Sena], we [Shiv Sainiks] cannot regard the rest of the government in which the Congress and the NCP are part of as ours.”

After the fallout between Shiv Sena and BJP in the 2019 Assembly elections over the chief ministerial post, Uddhav Thackeray’s party joined hands with Congress and the NCP to form the government in the state.

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Himachal CM Thakur reviews preparations for launch of third and fourth phases of PMGKAY

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On Tuesday, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur held virtual meetings with the MLAs and Deputy Commissioners of the state to take stock of the preparations for launch of the third and fourth phases of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in the state on 25 September, 2021.

The Chief Minister said that the state level function would be organised at Shimla on this occasion to have interaction with the beneficiaries of this scheme, which would be presided over by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal. Similarly, functions would also be organised at district headquarters, sub-division, block, panchayat and fair price shop level, in which few beneficiaries would also be provided ration bags.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to preside over this function but due to committed engagements, he would not be able to join this event.

The Chief Minister said that the MLA’s would also participate in the function from one of the place in their respective Assembly constituency. However, the functions would not be organised in the blocks where model code of conduct has been enforced due to by-elections to the PRI’s. As many as 140 LED screens would be set up at prominent locations across the state to enable people to participate and see the live telecast of the State level function which would also be telecast at district, sub-division, block, panchayat and fair price shop level through virtual mode.

Jai Ram Thakur said the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was a major initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the challenging Covid-19 times to provide food security to the poor, migrant labourers and unemployed. He said that Himachal Pradesh had more than 7.18 lakh ration card holders being covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA) covering a population of above 29 lakh, who would be provided free ration bag by the end of October, 2021.

He said the main objective of orgavnising function was to ensure maximum participation of the beneficiaries in it so that they could be made aware about this special scheme launched by the Centre last year to give relief to the NFSA families of the state. He added that 25 September was also birth anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay, who gave the concept of Antodaya and it was a relevant day to carry forward his message.

The Chief Minister also directed the DC’s to take effective steps for checking spread of the Covid pandemic, especially focusing on contact tracing so that the appropriate Covid behaviour could be followed. He asked them to monitor the progress of second phase of vaccination against Covid so that the cent-percent target could be achieved by the end of November, 2021 adding that till now, 23.10 lakh people had been administered second dose of the vaccine.

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