CITIZENS OF 83 COUNTRIES ARE STILL SLAVES - The Daily Guardian
Connect with us

Policy & Politics

CITIZENS OF 83 COUNTRIES ARE STILL SLAVES

We are lucky to be born in a free country. Ask about the value of freedom to the people living under dictatorship.

Vijay Darda

Published

on

I hope we haven’t forgotten China’s business mogul Jack Ma, who until a year and a half back was a big name in the world. At the time, his fortune was estimated at around USD 2,370 crore. Jack Ma is missing today. He was last seen in public in November 2020. There are rumours that he was seen in Hong Kong in 2021, but the claims have not been confirmed.

You must be wondering why I am talking about Jack Ma on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of India’s independence. In fact, this is a glaring example of stifling liberty by those in power. Actually, Jack Ma has been trapped by the Chinese government. He was growing unbridled in wealth and power. And wherever there is a dictatorship, no one is allowed to become stronger except for those in power. Even prominent businessmen like Jack Ma are not spared as those in power are always afraid of such people. If Jack Ma could suffer such a sad fate, can you imagine what the state of the common man out there would be like? About 10,000 Muslims have been put in prisons called correctional institutions in the name of new education in Xinjiang province. There are no mosques, no churches, no temples! China also destroyed pious Tibet. China is now trying to annex Taiwan as well.

This story is not unique to China. There are about 83 countries across the world where dictators are in power directly or in the name of religion. Before the arrival of Vladimir Putin, there used to be many big industrialists in Russia, but today there is no trace of them. All stand devastated. Everyone is familiar with the situation in Iran and the Middle East. In Pakistan, there is democracy for name’s sake but the real power lies with the military. Last year, you saw how the army seized power in Myanmar. It’s anybody’s guess as to how many people were killed by the Myanmar army. You already know the stories of the coup in Pakistan. We are witnessing the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka. I had also written about the dictatorship of the Rajapaksa family in Sri Lanka in these columns. The painful story of North Korea keeps filtering out as to how a cynical dictator Kim Jong-un has enslaved millions of people. People just exist there. They can’t even sport their favourite hairstyle! If they do not display picture of the dictator in their homes, capital punishment is a certainty. In sharp contrast, the neighbouring democratic South Korea is progressing fast. And if there are dictators in some African countries, the fanatics opposing them are no less than the dictators themselves.

I am telling these stories to you so that you can understand the meaning and importance of freedom. We should bow to our ancestors who did not even care for their lives so that we could breathe freely. I always say that my Diwali is Mahatma Gandhi, my Holi is Pandit Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and thousands of revolutionaries like them reside in my heart. I have faith in Lord Mahavir and Gautam Buddha. I have the spirit of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj because I was born in the family of a freedom fighter. My Babuji, veteran freedom fighter Shri Jawaharlal Darda, was also imprisoned in Jabalpur jail for about one year and nine months. He suffered the torture of the Britishers for the sake of freedom.

So if we are immersed in the celebration of 75 years of India’s independence today, it is only because of the non-violent struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and the sacrifice of many great revolutionaries. It is not known how many mothers lost their sons, how many women lost their husbands and how many sisters kept waiting in vain for their brothers to return home. The country had to make a lot of sacrifices to attain this freedom. People of every community, sect, religion and caste have made sacrifices. Countless people were imprisoned in the British jails for years. A long period of 75 years has passed since independence. The generation of freedom fighters has almost passed away. The third generation after independence has now taken over the command. Social feelings have weakened a little, relationships and associations have taken a beating and the bond of love has become weak too, but I feel proud that the feeling of patriotism continues to grow. I am thankful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who made the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav such a grand affair and launched the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. I have consistently tried in the Rajya Sabha to get the common man the right to hoist the tricolour every day. Getting this right is like giving more scope for freedom. We have to maintain the glory of the tricolour which has been handed over to us by our freedom fighters. So, let us make ourselves proud by hoisting the tricolour every day. I returned last month after meeting the soldiers of the Indian Army stationed on the border in the difficult valleys of Kashmir. The tricolour is our identity. There, I was humming Kaifi Azmi’s song: Ab tumhare hawale watan sathiyo..!

I would like to say one more thing; though we have made a lot of progress, even today there are people who do not get two square meals a day. Many are still looking for employment. The sad sight of a man or a woman carrying the body of their loved ones on their shoulders or bicycles is seen. Sisters and daughters are still becoming victims of cruelty. Tribal communities still have a long way to go. We have to get rid of all these social ills. We cannot depend on the government alone to achieve this goal. Along with the government, we too have to work with all our strength so that we can share the fruits of freedom with the weak and enjoy the true freedom ourselves. It is only then that we will be able to say even more happily… Saare Jahan Se Achha, Hindustan Hamara! Jai Hind!

The author is the chairman, Editorial Board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha.

We are truly blessed. We are celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, and we are living in a democracy. But are you aware that there are still at least 83 countries around the world where citizens live like slaves? While the dictators are in direct control in some countries, they are wielding authority in the garb of democracy in others!

The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.

For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.

Nation

Bombay High Court grants bail to Anil Deskmukh, remains in jail

Published

on

By

In a money laundering case brought by the Enforcement Directorate, the Bombay high court on Tuesday granted bail to former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh.

The bail was granted on a surety amount of Rs 1 lakh. The ED has asked for a two-week delay in the order’s implementation.

Deshmukh was arrested in November of last year and moved the high court after his bail request was rejected earlier this year by a special PMLA court.

Deshmukh has been given bail in the ED case, but he will continue to be held in relation to the CBI case that was brought against him in April of last year.

The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the High Court to quickly hear and resolve the NCP leader’s case because it had been pending for six months.

Deshmukh’s lawyers, Vikram Chaudhari and Aniket Nikam, argued that the senior NCP politician ought to be given bail in light of his age (72), good health, and lack of prior convictions.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia inaugurates direct flights between Bilaspur to Indore

Enhanced air connectivity between these cities will help bolster tourism and trade activities in the region: Scindia

Published

on

Jyotiraditya Scindia

Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia along with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated a direct flight from Bilaspur to Indore, today, on 03rd October 2022.
The flight will operate between Bilaspur-Indore-Bilaspur effective 3rd October 2022 (Today). It will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday on this route.
In his address, Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia said “this new air connectivity will facilitate people of both the states and contribute to the economic development of the regions. The Minister further added that the Ministry is working to operationalise 200 destinations including heliports and water aerodromes by 2026. The central government is committed to take the civil aviation sector to newer heights and improve air connectivity in every part of the country.
Bilaspur and Indore are prominent cities in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Enhanced air connectivity between these cities will help bolster tourism and trade activities in the region and contribute to their overall economic development.
Alliance Air’s Flight 9I 691 will depart from Bilaspur at 1135 hrs. and arrive in Indore at 1325 hrs. with an introductory all-inclusive fare of INR 2,847/-. Flight 9I 692 will depart from Indore at 1355 hrs. and arrive in Bilaspur at 1545 hrs. with an introductory all-inclusive fare of INR 3,218/-.
The inauguration was graced by Shri Tulsi Silawat, Minister of Water, Resources of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Jaisingh Agrawal, Minister in charge of District Bilaspur, Arun Sao, MP (LS) Bilaspur, Shankar Lalwani, MP (LS) Indore, Shailesh Pandey, MLA Bilaspur, Dharamlal Kaushik, MLA Bilha, Ramcharan Yadav, Mayor Municipal Corporation, Bilaspur, Smt. Rashmi Ashish Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh. Besides, Usha Padhee, Addl. Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, Vikramdev Dutt, CMD, AIAHL, Vineet Sood, CEO, Alliance Air, and other dignitaries from MoCA, AAI, Alliance Air, and local administration from Bilaspur, and Indore were also present.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Inter-ministerial meeting to review progress of biomass co-firing in thermal power plants held in New Delhi today

Published

on

Inter-ministerial meeting to review progress of biomass co-firing in thermal power plants held in New Delhi today

An Inter-ministerial meeting to review progress of biomass co-firing in thermal power plants was held in New Delhi today. The meeting was co-chaired by Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav and Union Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh. The meeting was held in the backdrop of the onset of the harvesting season for Kharif crops in the country. The meeting was also attended by Secretary (Power / Environment, Forest &CC / MOA&FW) and senior officials from the state governments of Haryana, Punjab & Uttar Pradesh and heads of all power utilities in the NCR region, as well. The meeting also drew participation from important government bodies like CAQM, CEA, CPCB etc.
The SAMARTH Mission presented the details of Biomass cofired in different NCR plants, Purchase orders placed, action on short term and long term tenders in process vis -a-vis the quantity required by NCR GENCOs as well. Regarding the quantity of biomass co-fired till date, it was mentioned that while till FY 2020-21, only 8 power plants had co-fired biomass pellets, the corresponding number has increased to 39 as on date. In the NCR region, 10 TPPs have started co-firing. However, the amount of biomass co-fired is still lagging. As on date, 83066 MT of biomass has been co-fired in 39 thermal power plants across the country totalling to a capacity of 55390 MW. In NCR region, the biomass co-fired is 22,696 MT out of which 95% has been done by NTPC. Further, 99% of the PO in place has been contributed by NTPC Ltd. Action by NTPC for both Biomass cofiring and procurement initiative was praised and it was mentioned that other GENCOs should follow the footstep of NTPC for successful implementation of Biomass cofiring in the country.
Different activities undertaken by MOP to expand Biomass co-firing in the country were discussed. Among the prominent activities are issue of revised Biomass policy, long term model contract, model SOP, Database development of Biomass stakeholders, lab development for testing of Biomass, initiation of R&D projects on Biomass, development of Biomass Mission website etc. It was also discussed that 25 number of offline and online training cum awareness programmes for various stakeholders in the sector including farmers, pellet manufacturers and power plant officials were held. While in the FY 2021-22, 10 such programs were held in a period of six months, 15 events have already been held in a period of six months in this Financial Year. Mission also highlighted various advertisements given in national &regional dailies for stopping stubble burning and raising awareness about SAMARTH mission in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) & Power Foundation of India (PFI).
On the biomass pellet procurement side, a large no. of tenders have been floated by several power plants. Around 106 MMT of biomass tenders are at various stages of the tendering process. Out of these, order has already been placed for 43.47 Lac MT of biomass tenders by 35 power plants while tendering process is ongoing for 1064 Lac MT.
During the review, it was observed that the target of 5% co-firing of biomass along with coal in TPPs in the country was still far off. However, most power plants have issued long term tenders and the situation is expected to improve when the supply will start in those tenders. Meanwhile, Union Power Minister directed that till the time supply from the tenders is not started, power utilities should start procurement for the short term via alternate methods like spot market or commission agents as the harvesting season has already started.
All TPPs were directed that they should issue enough tenders to cover 5% requirement of biomass with special emphasis on plants located in Punjab and Haryana. It was also directed that power utilities should make all out efforts to complete the procurement process for existing tenders as soon as possible.
Direction was given to all thermal power plants in NCR region to install biomass pellet manufacturing plants (torrefied / non-torrefied) in their premises, including the private power companies. GENCOs may also explore to put up plant through Consortium. It was further highlighted that the non-compliance in this regard would be viewed very strictly. He further directed that Principal Secretary (Environment) from each State should act as nodal person for Biomass co-firing in the state.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had accepted the suggestion. He further communicated that MOP may think of giving Must Run status for the thermal power stations co-firing Biomass. He has praised the initiative by MOP and remarked that all should support Biomass Mission objective, which is a Mission of Prime minister of the country.
CAQM was also communicated to start considering penal provisions on Thermal Power Plants which are not taking enough steps to curb emissions and not co-firing sufficient quantity of biomass.
Ministry of Agriculture apprised that the Govt. has distributed Rs 600 crore worth of machinery to the Custom Hiring Centres of state governments under its scheme. Union minister requested that MoA should monitor whether the scheme is benefiting the intended beneficiary and that machines for stubble collection are made available in the vicinity of thermal power plants.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had further taken a review meeting for Financial support methodology. Union Environment Minister directed CPCB to also disseminate the information about the projects and organise workshop regarding the same.
It was also emphasised that the Power ministry would consider reduction in coal supply of those thermal power plants that do not comply with the MoP’s policy on biomass co-firing. Sufficient emphasis was given on the fact that the health and safety of the citizens was topmost priority and no one has the right to put innocent lives in danger.
Union Minister (Power and New & Renewable Energy) lauded the efforts of the SAMARTH Mission and directed it to continue its good efforts and hoped that the measures of the government in transforming the problem of stubble burning into a solution of power production would bear fruit with the cooperation of state governments.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Inter- Ministerial meeting held to review Parali management in NCR and adjoining States

Published

on

Inter- Ministerial meeting held to review Parali management in NCR and adjoining States

A high level Inter-Ministerial meeting under the co-chairmanship of R.K Singh , Union Minister of Power & NRE and Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change was held today to review the progress of biomass co-firing in thermal power plants along with Parali management in NCR and adjoining states.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of the onset of the harvesting season for Kharif crops in the country. Secretaries of Ministries of Power and MOEF&CC, senior officials from MoA&FW, Chief Secretaries of governments of Punjab, Haryana & UP, Chairman-Commission of Air Quality of NCR along with officials of these ministries as well as heads of all power utilities in the NCR region attended the meeting. The meeting also drew participation from important government bodies like CAQM, CEA, CPCB etc.
R.K. Singh emphasised that orders for procurement & use of biomass pellets in TPPs must be expedited and at least 5% Co-firing is to be ensured.
Singh highlighted that power utilities should make all out efforts to complete the procurement process for existing tenders as soon as possible. He further underlined that till the time supply from the long term tenders is not started, power utilities should start procurement for the short term via alternate methods like commission agents as the harvesting season has already started.
R.K Singh also stressed that measures should be taken for expeditious setting up of manufacturing facilities for torrification of biomass pellets in different locations to overcome the challenges of supply of biomass’s pellets.
Singh further suggested that Principal Secretary (Environment) from each State should act as nodal person for Biomass cofiring in the state.
Singh emphasised that the ministry would put penal provisions on those thermal power plants that do not comply with the MoP’s policy on biomass co-firing. Sufficient emphasis was given on the fact that the health and safety of the citizens was topmost priority and no one has the right to put innocent lives in danger.
Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change welcomed the suggestions. He further communicated that Ministry of Power ( MOP) may think of giving Must Run status for the thermal power stations co-firing biomass. He praised the initiative by MOP in mission mode and remarked that all should support Biomass Mission objective, which is a Mission of Hon’ble Prime minister of the country.
It is to be noted that while till FY 2020-21, only 8 power plants had co-fired biomass pellets, the corresponding number has increased to 39 as on date. In the NCR region, 10 TPPs have started co-firing. As on date, 83066 MT of biomass has been co-fired in 39 thermal power plants across the country totalling to a capacity of 55390 MW. In NCR region, the biomass co-fired is 22,696 MT out of which 95% has been done by NTPC. Further, 99% of the PO in place has been contributed by NTPC Ltd. It was suggested that other GENCOs should follow the footstep of NTPC for successful implementation of Biomass co-firing in the country.
On the biomass pellet procurement side, a large no. of tenders have been floated by several power plants. Around 106 MMT of biomass tenders are at various stages of the tendering process. Out of these, order has already been placed for 43.47 Lac MT of biomass tenders by 35 power plants while tendering process is ongoing for 1064 Lac MT.
It was informed that 25 number of offline and online training cum awareness programmes for various stakeholders in the sector including farmers, pellet manufacturers and power plant officials were held. While in the FY 2021-22, 10 such programs were held in a period of six months, 15 events have already been held in a period of six months in this Financial Year.
During the review, it was observed that the target of 5% co-firing of biomass along with coal in TPPs in the country was still far off. However, most power plants have issued long term tenders and the situation is expected to improve when the supply will start in those tenders. Direction was given to all thermal power plants in NCR region to install biomass pellet manufacturing plants (torrefied / non-torrefied) in their premises, including the private power companies. GENCOs may also explore to put up plant through Consortium. It was further highlighted that the non-compliance in this regard would be viewed very strictly.
CAQM was also communicated to start considering penal provisions on Thermal Power Plants which are not taking enough steps to curb emissions and not co-firing sufficient quantity of biomass. CPCB informed that financial incentives are to going to be provided for setting up pellet manufacturing plants in the NCR region.
Ministry of Agriculture apprised that the central government has distributed Rs 600 crore worth of machinery to the Custom Hiring Centres of state governments under its scheme which can be used for stubble collection.

Continue Reading

Legally Speaking

Court sends Waqf Board scam co-accused to 14 day judicial custody

Published

on

A Delhi court on Monday remanded Kausar Imran Siddiqui alias Laddan, co-accused in Delhi Waqf board scam case, to 14 days custody.  

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan is the primary accused in the case and is out on bail. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has stated that Laddan is a fund manager for Khan. The Duty Sessions Judge at Rouse Avenue Court also expressed its displeasure over the non-presence of ACB on the previous date.  

ACB had submitted to the court Ladan’s “handwriting sample” and sought 7 days of custody for him.

The court observed that the agency had not given any reasonable answer for its absence on previous occasion. Thereafter, he was sent to 14 day judicial custody.

AAP MLA was arrested for alleged irregularities in appointment in Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship.
Accused Kausar Imran Siddiqui alias Laddan was produced on a production warrant before the court on 27th September. He was interrogated and arrested with the permission of the court.

Laddan’s name came into the frame, when additional public prosecutor Anil Srivastava opposed Khan’s bail plea. He stated that a diary was recovered from Ladan’s house.  It was alleged that he was Khan’s fund manager.  Earlier, the (ACB) had said that money was sent to Dubai and other money transactions need to be investigated. It also stated that a large amount of money was transferred to a party via Dubai. There were 100 people who either received or paid money to Laddan. Out of these 37 people have transactions of crores of rupees.                                                                                                                                                                          

This diary also has an entry about one Zeeshan Haider, who received crores of rupees. He is also a close associate of the accused, ACB had argued. The ACB has also submitted that Laddan is a nominated functionary of a political party. He has photographs with the accused during an iftar party. Additionally, 14 crores sale deed is recovered, which is said to be a ‘Benami property’.

Previously, Ladan was in judicial custody in another case lodged at Jamia Nagar police station. He was arrested from Telangana.

Continue Reading

Nation

Sonia arrives in Mysuru to join ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’

Published

on

All India Congress Interim president Sonia Gandhi is set to be a part of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ as she arrived in Mysuru on Monday.

Sources have said that Gandhi will stay at a resort in the Kodagu district for two days, before joining the Yatra on 6th October, which is currently in it’s Karnataka leg.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadhra will take part in the event, the next day, according to the Karnataka Congress.

This will be the first time that all the members of the Gandhi family will be present in the Yatra that began on 7th September from Kanyakumari  and has covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala and will finish up 511 kilometres of the area in 21 days.

The march was aimed at covering as many as 12 states in five months. It recently reached Karnataka on Friday (30th September) and will be here for the next 21 days before moving north. A distance of 25 km is covered every day in the Padyatra (march).

According to the Congress, the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is being held to combat the divisive policies of the BJP-led central government and to make people aware of the dangers of economic inequality, social polarisation, and political centralisation. It includes marches, rallies, and public meetings.

The Congress suffered a debacle in the assembly polls held earlier this year, and the Yatra is seen as an attempt to increase the party’s outreach to the public and prepare it for the upcoming polls.

Continue Reading

Trending