Dr Subramanian Swamy, who played a key role in the legal battle for the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, spoke to The Daily Guardian, about the bhoomi pujan. Swamy said that he is not bitter about not being invited, but he did what he had to do without any expectations. He also countered criticism from the Opposition on the timing of the bhoomi pujan and whether the PM should be attending the event. And of course, he gave an update on the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Excerpts:
Q: Are you upset at not being invited for the bhoomi pujan?
A: My not being invited for bhoomi pujan doesn’t matter. Frankly, I fought the fight because Ashok Singhal asked me to do so in 2015 when the case was not being heard in any court. However, I have been asking from 1 January this year that now since we have got the Ram temple clearance from the courts, Ashok Singhal should be given the Bharat Ratna. But this did not happen.
Q: How did you get involved in the case?
A: My commitment was to Ashok Singhal. I never participated in the Ram temple movement before that though when Chandrashekhar became the PM, he told me to talk to (Syed) Shahabuddin, who was the chairman of the Babri Masjid action committee, and Chandrasekhar said, the only person he thinks, as a friend is you. So, I talked to Shahabuddin and after much discussion, he agreed that if you can prove that there was a temple below, then he said that I being a good Muslim will never allow a masjid to be built on top of it. He added that I myself will go and break it. This is recorded on the white paper, which the Narasimha Rao government subsequently released.
Later, in 2015, Ashok Singhal called me. He told me that now I have come to the conclusion that Ram Temple is not going to be built in my lifetime because no hearing was held for Ram Temple in 2010 till 2015, so he said our people also don’t seem to be interested and he was very disappointed. He said that I won›t be around much longer, but you have to complete the task. He called a press conference and said I am handing all the Ram Mandir litigation to Dr Subramaniam Swamy and a year later, he passed away. So having given a promise, for me it was Jaan jaye par vachan na jaaye (My word is more valuable than my life). Then, the problem was how do I get involved in the Supreme Court case because all the other parties, including the BJP asked: Who is he? What does he have to do with all this? He has no connection to this.
It was then that a lady advocate, who wants to remain anonymous, told me that you should go by the route of fundamental rights. Until then, it was being contested as a property case between the Sunni waqf board and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Smiti. Therefore, the Allahabad High Court also divided the property and said that you take some and you take some.That’s what the Supreme Court would have also done. The matter came before Justice Chelameswar. He ordered that I should post my submission in the main matter. So that’s how we got the hearing to court. I introduced this idea of fundamental rights and the court began hearing the case on a day-to-day hearing.
However, soon after I got a call from Amit Shah that there is a meeting at his house in the evening and I should come. I went there and he said you should get out of this case now.
Q: Why would Amit Shah want you out of the Ram Janmabhoomi case?
A: He wanted me out of the case. There were other witnesses also; RSS people were there, VHP people were there, as were BJP office bearers. He said this in front of them. I asked him in what capacity are you asking me? He replied I am the president of the party. I then pointed out that Ashok Singhal told me to do it (take up the case), you never asked me to do this. So, you have no authority to tell me (to drop it). I will go according to what I promised Ashok Singhal and I am not getting out of this.
And it was this idea of fundamental rights based on faith, which cannot be questioned, which became the main argument, and that’s how we got the judgement. In the meantime, our government, acting on the advice of Gurumurthy, filed an application with the SC stating that please give the government permission to denationalise the land which Narasimha Rao had nationalised.
Q: This is fast becoming a saga of the Hindu Divided Family.
A: (laughs) Had that happened there would have been no Ram Janmabhoomi temple construction. But fortunately, the SC ignored that application and it never came up for consideration. And in the meantime, the judgement in favour of the temple came.
Q: From this conversation at least, it doesn’t look as if you are bitter at not being invited?
A: One thing I should make clear is that I have known Modi for a long time. In 2005, I was almost the first person who said you should be the PM and I still believe that he should be the PM. As far as him being the PM is concerned, he has my total support. On my last birthday, the entire sadhu community of Ayodhya and the entire city turned out for me because they all had only one hope that it is only I who can get Ram Mandir built. And it happened. Therefore, today why should I go when they are only putting up foundation stone? That’s an official function. I will wait till the temple is built and I will go there and have a look. I have a large number of friends and associates there. If today I were to go, there will be a counter demonstration of popularity, which would be very embarrassing for a lot of people.
Q: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has said this is an inauspicious time for bhoomi pujan.
A: I don’t know what philosophy Digvijaya Singh follows. I once asked Shankracharya that everybody consults the panchang (astrology) for appropriate time. Should I also consult panchang? He said if you are satisfied that you are doing a good deed, then don’t look at it.If you are doing a bad deed, any day is bad. So, I believe God will decide the date. Whatever date they have selected, I have not paid any attention to whether it is auspicious or not. There are so many sadhus involved in this and if they got it wrong and only Digvijaya Singh got it right, there is only a difference of opinion.
Q: Finally, what is the update on the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
A: I spoke to Nitish Kumar about bringing in the CBI and he agreed on one condition that if the family agrees; and the family has agreed. You have to have a CBI inquiry. After all, this is a crime that is committed in Mumbai and the police which are investigating have a very close proximity to Bollywood, they go to their parties, have fun and games there; and politicians are also involved. Why is there no FIR even 50 days after the crime? And you decided to go 11 km for postmortem when you had Leela Hospital just 2 km away? The ambulances had come from both hospitals.
Q: What about Aditya Thackeray’s involvement?
A: What about the fact that a son of a very important politician is involved in this?
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Remote work has been our culture from day one: Vipul Amler, Founder, Saeloun
Vipul Amler, Founder, Saeloun recently joined us for an insightful conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. Before diving deeper into his company Saeloun, Vipul introduced himself as saying, “I am a software developer, who works on web and mobile applications. We primarily use technology called Ruby On Rails and React JS, which are used by major companies like Facebook, Flipkart, Instagram and so forth. I have been in this industry for the last decade or so. At the same time, I also have written books on the same. Other than that, recently I have also been doing small angel investments.”
Talking about Saeloun and his journey to start the company, Vipul shared, “This is my second company in the last couple of years. Saeloun was started as a way for being a company, which is employee owned as well as having a very open transparent culture. We started off with that so that employees have more input in the growth and so forth. Saeloun specialises in the same thing- Ruby On Rails and React.Js and we help a bunch of different clients in various fields from e-commerce, healthcare and so forth. That was the primary purpose of starting Saeloun. “
When asked about the services they offer and their primary clientele, he responded, “Many clients, which are established clients, they contact us and reach out to us for our expertise on Ruby On Rails and React.Js, which I use for building applications. Like you might have seen Airbnb or Amazon or Flipkart. We help them to build the web applications. We also have expertise in helping them build mobile applications that you use. For example, if you are using PayTm or Google Pay, these kind of applications. We help our clients spread out. At the same time, when the clients were growing a lot, they come to us for helping them to scale or a bunch of different things.”
“There has been a huge growth since the last year. A lot of people last year, after the pandemic started coming up online, which for us has been a very busy time,” he added.
Speaking about the founding principles on the basis of which he started Saeloun and what sets apart Saeloun from others in the market, Vipul said, “Profit sharing was one part of the thing. This is before the pandemic. Last year, everyone started to do work from home or remote work but we have doing or I have been doing remote work since 2011 or 2012. That was the same principle as well, which sets Saeloun apart. We have been doing remote work and remote work has been our culture from day one since we started in 2019. In terms of profit sharing, we are a services company so we provide consulting with various different companies. For employees to have more ownership in the company, that was one of the ways. Whatever profits we have, we actually announce them publicly as well and share the financial data with everyone, so that they are aware of how we are doing and also equitably distribute 25% of all of our profits with our employees.”
HARYANA GOVT SETS UP 100-BED COVID CARE ICU
In order to ensure quality healthcare facilities even in the deepest pockets of the State, Government of Haryana has set up a 100-bed critical COVID ICU in Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College located in the outskirts of Nuh in Nalhar.
The hospital will cater to the medical needs of patients from adjoining NCR-region, Alwar, Mathura, Rewari and Palwal as well, easing off the burden on health institutes in this area.
Sharing information in this regard an official spokesperson of Department of Medical Education and Research said: “As per the instructions of GoI (Government of India), a triple layer oxygen planning has been done in medical colleges and the constituent hospitals. Taking steps in this regard, the State Government through the Department of Medical Education and Research has started this 100-bedded ICU where Liquid Medical oxygen tanks of 10,000 L capacity along with 3000 LPM capacity PSA plants along with 1026 D- type oxygen cylinders have been installed in Nalhar Nuh.”
The spokesperson said that the existing capacity of Gas Manifold has been augmented to cater to the need along with the medical gas pipeline work. During the second wave there was a rush of thousands of patients from Delhi-NCR region towards the State of Haryana especially in adjoining districts to seek the medical care, he elaborated. Considering such demand, the existing capacity has been augmented and a 100 bed Critical COVID care ICU has been set up to meet the rising requirements and needs of the people.
“Thus, this completes the oxygen triad for COVID patients care. First being PSA plant, second being Liquid Oxygen tank and third being D-Type cylinders. In case of demand for oxygen the same will be pressed into the service as per the need basis,” he added.
The spokesperson said that man and material is the desired combination which is required to achieve the goal of providing superlative healthcare facilities. Thus, ventilators and equipment along with drugs and consumables have been purchased to make it functional. In addition to equipment 143 SRs (Senior Resident doctors) have already joined Government medical colleges along with 54 more specialist doctors as faculty have been offered joining.
Further, as many as 275 staff nurses’ recruitment is under process and another 85 faculty of specialist doctors’ recruitment process is about to commence soon. With such a large skilled manpower the State Government is ready to meet any eventuality in days to come wherever and whenever the need arises.
HARYANA NOTIFIES WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR INDUSTRIES
Haryana Government has notified the ‘Assistance for Waste Management Scheme’ for Industrial Sector under which incentives will be provided to the industries in the state to encourage them to carry out waste management activities including collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of waste which is not just environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable but is also economically viable. Giving information in this regard an official spokesperson of Industries and Commerce Department said that the Scheme shall commence with effect from January 1, 2021 and shall remain in operation for a period of 5 years. The assistance shall be admissible on the purchase of land, machinery and equipment on or after January 1, 2021 and before December 31, 2025.
He said that under Assistance for Waste Management Scheme, a financial assistance of 50 percent of project cost (land and building subject to maximum of 25 percent of Project cost) including machinery and equipment up to Rs 50 Crore will be provided to facilitate setting up of electronic waste management and e-waste recovery projects for industries operating in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector.The spokesperson said that New Ultra-Mega Projects, Mega Projects, Large Industries, Micro, Small and Medium enterprises operating in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector anywhere in the State shall only be provided financial support by way of reimbursement of expenditure incurred.
The spokesperson said that the restrictive list of the Industries notified under HEEP-2020 shall not be applicable for this assistance. The eligible Units shall also comply with the conditions i.e. the unit shall file IEM/Udhyam Registration Certificate (URC) and Haryana Udhyam Memorandum (HUM) on the portal for the statistical purpose, at any stage. He said that the unit should have obtained NOC/CLU from Competent Authority if applicable. The unit should be in commercial production. He said that the unit should be in regular production at the time of disbursement and the subsidy shall not be released to a closed unit.
NO TREE CUTTING, SALE ALLOWED IN PUNJAB TILL FURTHER ORDERS
There would be no stumpage permission in Punjab till further orders as mentioned in the recent notification of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Punjab.
This comes after the orders issued by t the Punjab and Haryana High Court under PIL and Writ petition that the department released the notification vide no. 25/04/2020/LD-3/3994-3996. The notification said that the tree selling policy is under reconsideration and till then there would be no tree cutting and sale in the State of Punjab.
As per the Notification, there was a tree selling policy in the Panchayat area which was made in the year 2000 but the policy was never taken into action, hence the panchayat used to severe the trees and sell them at their capacity. The respected Court took the notice of the matter and has asked the respective departments to stop this practice till the policy is reconsidered.
The notification referring to the Punjab and Haryana Court order read, “On the subject of alleged illegal felling of 2,058 trees in the premises of the Faridkot Cooperative Sugar Mills Limited, we direct the PCCF (Hoff), Punjab to look into the grievance.
EC NOTIFICATION FOR BENGAL CIVIC POLLS SOON
The West Bengal Election Commission started preparations for the three municipal polls. It has recently come to light that the state government is keen to hold pre-polls in Kolkata, Howrah and Bidhannagar before Christmas in the third week of December.
However, neither the Election Commission nor any representative of the state government has publicly acknowledged this. But in the words of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, there was a hint that the vote could take place as soon as the festive season is over.
After winning the Bhabanipur by-election, she said efforts would be made to expedite the state’s municipal polls. After receiving such an indication from the Chief Minister, the State Election Commission has started tidying up the houses like themselves. According to sources, the polls of three municipalities may be held on December 12 or 19.
The Election Commission wants to end the voting in these three municipalities before the Christmas holidays. It will be able to complete a long-pending phase of the pre-vote. At the same time, the rest of the municipalities can go a long way in preparing for the polls.
According to the source, if the chatpujo is completed, the notification of voting may be issued on behalf of the commission. Incidentally, the Election Commission started preparations for the pre-poll in February 2020. But due to the corona infection, all the preparations got stuck. The pre-poll also went back. But at that time, the work of preparing for the referendum, including the rearrangement of seats, went ahead.
Therefore, according to the sources of the commission, they will not have to get too much speed in the preparation of the vote this time. “Our initial preparations were completed in March last year,” said an Election Commission official. But as the vote was delayed, we could no longer move forward. But with the vote in the third week of December, we have started preparations again. However, in the case of voting, there are some things that cannot be started unless the vote is declared. So as soon as the vote is announced, the work will start,” he said, adding,“Since the vote will be held in Kolkata, Howrah and Bidhannagar. So, it doesn’t seem like too much pressure will fall on us. I think the rest of the municipal polls will be held next year.”
It is to be noted that there are about one and a half years left for voting in Kolkata. It has been under the purview of the city administrator since May 2020. Howrah Municipality is again being managed by the Municipal Administration from October 2016.
Bengal’s former Chief Secy moves Calcutta HC after CAT transfers case to Delhi
Retired Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has approached the Calcutta High Court challenging the directive of the Principal Bench (Delhi) of the Central Administrative Tribunal. There is a possibility of that hearing to take place on Wednesday.
On October 22, the principal bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) directed the Calcutta bench to move the case to Delhi. Bandopadhyay has approached the High Court on Tuesday challenging that directive.
The Department of Personnel and Training launched an investigation into allegations of breach of discipline against Alapanbabu. He was summoned to Delhi on October 16 for a preliminary hearing. However, the hearing of his request has been postponed to November 2. He already filed an application in the High Court.
The incident dates to May 26 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a review meeting in Kalaikunda that day to assess the situation of Cyclone Yaas . Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the then Chief Secretary Alapan Banerjee were supposed to be present there. However, he did not attend the PM’s meeting as he was busy managing the damage.
Then came the question of his role. He was summoned to Delhi. He was given a letter to appear in the North Block in Delhi. But Alapana Banerjee decided to retire without appearing there.
As the Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Narendra Modi did not attend the meeting, Alapana Banerjee was accused of violating the Disaster Management Act. Why no action will be taken against him for violating the Disaster Management Act? That answer was sought from Alapana Banerjee. He then retired.
The Centre made a show-cause to Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for not attending the scheduled time in Delhi. The letter was given to him on behalf of the Centre’s staff office under the Disaster Management Act of 2005. The protest was called to find out the reason why he did not show up despite the instructions. The Department of Personnel and Training then launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct.
He recently filed a case in the Calcutta Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal seeking dismissal of the inquiry. The hearing was held on October 22. The Department of Personnel and Training had applied to the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal to move the case from Kolkata to Delhi.
On the basis of this application, the Delhi Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal directed to transfer the case from Kolkata on October 22. This time he challenged that instruction and approached the High Court.
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