Bharatiya Janata Party president J.P. Nadda spoke to The Sunday Guardian amid a busy election campaigning day. While leading a rally of the party, Nadda spoke about the BJP’s chances in West Bengal and the ongoing “scandal” in Maharashtra. Excerpts:
Q: Three phases of the election are now going to be over. How confident is the BJP about wresting West Bengal?
A: More than us, it’s the people of Bengal who are confident and have decided that BJP will cross the 200-mark in the state. They have decided to vote against the corrupt, inept, violent and dismal rule of Mamata Banerjee. Look at our rallies, people have come out in this heat in such large numbers and that certainly sends the message that the BJP will cross the 200-mark in Bengal.
Q: Last time around, the BJP was a nobody in the state; now it’s the biggest threat to the ruling government. What is the reason behind this?
A: We had, under the leadership of Amit Shah, made our strategy and put a lot of our plans to action on the ground. We have shown what we can offer to the people of Bengal. We have 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state and we will only grow from there.
Q: There is an audio clip that has gone viral of the TMC that you have termed as “cut money”. What do you have to say about that?
A: Syndicate governance, cut money, corruption etc. are all part of the TMC and such skeletons will keep tumbling out of their closets.
Q: Talking about Maharashtra, the High Court has handed over the Param Bir Singh matter to the CBI. What do you have to say about that?
A: I had said it 2-3 years back that unholy alliances lead to unholy deeds. This is just the result of all of that. You can’t expect mangoes if you’ve planted a banyan tree.
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.
Manmohan Singh writes letter to PM with 5-point Covid advice
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a two-page letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, highlighting five suggestions for tackling the second and more severe Covid-19 wave in India.
In the letter, Dr Singh emphasised on the vaccination programme and urged PM Modi to focus on the percentage of the population vaccinated and allow states more flexibility to plan vaccination rollouts.
His first suggestion was to publicise Covid vaccine orders placed for the next six months. “The government should publicise what are the firm orders for doses placed on different vaccine producers and accepted for delivery over the next six months. If we want to vaccinate a target number in this period, we should place enough orders in advance so that producers can adhere to an agreed schedule of supply,” said the ex-PM.
After this, he suggested that PM Modi’s government indicate how the expected supply would be distributed across the states based on “a transparent formula”. “The central government could retain 10 per cent for distribution based on emergency needs, but other than that, states should have a clear signal of likely availability so that they can plan their roll out,” he said.
The third piece of advice was to give states more flexibility in aspects like defining frontline workers and deciding who is to be vaccinated, even if they are under 45 years of age. “For example, states may want to designate school teachers, bus, three-wheeler and taxi drivers, municipal and panchayat staff, and possibly lawyers who have to attend courts as frontline workers. They can then be vaccinated even if they are below 45,” wrote Dr Singh in the letter.
He then advised the PM to proactively support vaccine producers to expand their manufacturing facilities rapidly by providing them with funds and other concessions. “I believe this is the time to invoke the compulsory licensing provisions in the law, so that a number of companies are able to produce the vaccines under a licence. This, I recall, had happened earlier in the case of medicines to deal with the HIV/AIDS disease,” he said, also supporting his point with the example of Israel, which has invoked compulsory licensing.
Finally, in light of limited supply of domestic vaccines, Dr Singh suggested that any vaccine that has been cleared for use by credible authorities such as the European Medical Agency or the USFDA should be allowed to be imported without insisting on domestic bridging trials. Those who would opt for such vaccines should be disclosed of this fact. He assured that experts believe such a relaxation is justified in case of an emergency.
“I am certain that with the right policy design, we can do much better and very quickly,” he added.
PM Modi takes stock of pandemic situation in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed Covid-19 situation in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi through video conferencing and directed the officials to provide all possible assistance to the public.
During the discussion, PM Modi once again reiterated the need for “do gaz doori, mask hai zaroori” (two yards distance, and mask is necessary). He also asked the administration to make all people above 45 years of age aware of the vaccination campaign.
PM Modi thanked all the doctors and medical staff of the country and said that even in this hour of crisis, they are doing their duty sincerely. He asserted that we have to learn from last year’s experiences and move forward cautiously.
The Prime Minister said that the expansion and modernization of medical infrastructure in Varanasi in the last 5-6 years has helped in fighting Covid-19. Simultaneously, the availability of beds, ICU and oxygen in Varanasi is being augmented. The Prime Minister focused on the need to increase efforts at all levels in view of the stress due to the increased number of patients. He said that the Varanasi administration should step up the pace of work in all the fields in the same way it has rapidly set up the ‘Kashi Covid Response Centre’, according to the PMO.
PM Modi also emphasised on “Test, Track and Treat” and said that like the first wave, the same strategy has to be adopted to win over viruses. “He also emphasised on providing contract tracing and test reports of infected persons at the earliest. He also directed the administration to discharge all responsibilities towards the patients and their families living in home isolation in a sensitive manner,” PMO said. PM Modi praised the voluntary organisations of Varanasi for working closely with the government and said they should be further encouraged.
Lockdowns, curfews should not affect vaccination drive: Centre to states, UTs
India becomes fastest country to administer 12 crore coronavirus vaccinations.
The Union Health Ministry has written to states/UTs to ensure that movement restriction imposed by them for curbing Covid-19 spread does not adversely impact the vaccination exercise, by restricting access of beneficiaries to the vaccination centres.
In the letter to states/UTs, the ministry said it is being advised that the vaccination services should not be affected by coronavirus curfews, lockdowns and the movement of beneficiaries to and from Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CNCs) should not be restricted during such interventions. “Similarly those CVCs which have been identified as dedicated Covid-19 hospitals should continue providing uninterrupted Covid-19 vaccination services,” the order said. The ministry also said that vaccination services should be provided in a separate building/block in these hospitals that are distinctly separated from the building block where management of Covid-19 patients is being done.
“This will ensure that beneficiaries of vaccination are not inadvertently exposed to Covid-19 these hospitals,” read the letter.
India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of Covid-19 cases with over 2.61 lakh new cases and 1,501 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry on Sunday. The active number of cases in the country stands at 18,01,316.
In the meantime, India took only 92 days to administer 12 crore Covid-19 vaccinations, the fastest country to do so across the world, reported the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
The United States is at the second position as it managed to reach the 12 crore mark in 97 days, followed by China, which took 108 days to reach the same target. As per a provisional report put together till 7am on Sunday, India has administered 12,26,22,590 vaccine doses.
These include 91,28,146 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the 1st dose and 57,08,223 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 1,12,33,415 frontline workers (FLWs) (1stdose), 55,10,238 FLWs (2nddose), 4,55,94,522 1st dose beneficiaries and 38,91,294 2nd dose beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 4,04,74,993 (1st dose) and 10,81,759 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged 45 to 60 years.
In India, states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have alone managed to give more than 1 crore doses each to their population. Gujarat completed 1 crore vaccinations on the 16 April, while the other three states achieved it on 14 April.
In a press statement, PIB revealed that “eight states account for 59.5% of the total doses given so far in the country”.
It also states that in the last 24 hours, 26 lakh people were vaccinated.
Corona situation ‘serious’, Delhi’s oxygen quota diverted to other states: CM Kejriwal
Delhi on Sunday reported an upsurge of 25,462 fresh coronavirus cases, besides 161 fatalities, in 24 hours, making it the highest single-day tally for the national capital since the beginning of the pandemic.
As cases rose exponentially across the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday informed that Delhi is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen and other important life-saving resources like Remdesivir and tocilizumab are rapidly depleting.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal also claimed that instead of increasing the oxygen supply, Delhi’s quota is being diverted to other states. “Delhi facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Delhi needs much more than the normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states. OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DELHI,” he said in a tweet.
In a news briefing, Kejriwal said, “The bigger worry is that in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate has increased to around 30% from 24% … The cases are rising very rapidly. The beds are filling fast,” Kejriwal told a news briefing.
In another statement, Kejriwal said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask for more support. “Delhi’s situation of Covid-19 has become very serious. There is a grave shortage of Covid beds and oxygen supply. We are doing everything we can at our level. Your help would be needed,” Kejriwal stated.
In his appeal, Kejriwal also requested for the reservation of at least 7,000 hospital beds out of Central Government’s 10,000 beds for Covid-infected patients. “Delhi has around 10,000 beds in Central Government hospitals. Out of these, only 1,800 have been reserved for Covid-19 patients. Taking note of the seriousness of this situation, it is my request to you, to reserve at least 7,000 beds for Covid-infected patients,” wrote the CM, adding, “Delhi is also facing a grave shortage of oxygen. Provide us oxygen on an urgent basis.”
“I had informed Dr Harsh Vardhan yesterday (Union Health and Family Welfare Minister), and Amit Shah (Union Home Minister) today morning, about the same…Till now, we have received a lot of support from the Central Government during this pandemic. I hope that you surely would help us on the aforementioned subjects,” he added.
Kejriwal along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also visited a school in Rouse Avenue that has been converted into a Covid centre. After the visit, the Chief Minister said that 1,500 more oxygen beds will become functional between Monday and the day after in three places in Delhi. “Visited Commonwealth Games Village, Yamuna sports complex, and Government school at Rouse Avenue. 1500 oxygen beds will become functional between tomorrow and the day after in these three places,” he said in another tweet.
Sisodia also visited Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) upcoming Covid hospital near the Delhi airport and said that the new centre will add 250 ICU beds for the city’s patients. “Visited DRDO’s upcoming Covid Hospital near the airport. Salute to DRDO for creating this facility within 5 days’ time. With this centre, 250 ICU beds with ventilators will be added for critically ill patients from tomorrow. Another 250 beds would be operational in the next 4-5 days,” Sisodia said after his visit. In a tweet, Kejriwal also thanked the DRDO for its help and requested to increase the capacity to 1,000 beds.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also informed citizens through Twitter that to tackle the Covid situation in Delhi, the government has added 1,979 normal oxygen-supported Covid beds, 219 ICU beds with ventilator, and 696 ICU beds without ventilator in hospitals.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police filed an FIR against Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Janakpuri for displaying wrong information about the availability of Covid beds on the Delhi government’s website. The police said a team was formed to verify the complaints received against the hospital.
Delhi CM Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal will hold a meeting with senior government officers on Monday over the situation in the national capital.
CENTRE BANS SUPPLY OF OXYGEN FOR INDUSTRIAL USE AMID COVID-19 SPIKE
Indian Railways to run ‘Oxygen Express’ for rapid transport of liquid oxygen across the country; daily coronavirus cases in India surpass 2.61 lakh in record high.
As India reported yet another record single-day spike in Covid-19 cases, the Centre prohibited the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes to meet the current shortage in medical oxygen in the country.
On Sunday, in a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote, “In view of the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases and resultant rapid demand for medical oxygen, particularly in high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the central government-constituted Empowered Group-II has reviewed the supply of oxygen for industrial use in order to divert the same to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen in the country and save precious lives.”
The decision will come into effect from 22 April and will be applicable for all except nine specified industries.
Oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of Covid-affected patients and many states and UTs are falling short of adequate supplies due to the unprecedented rise in cases. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday also said the national capital is facing an “acute shortage” of oxygen for Covid-19 patients and alleged that the quota of the city has been diverted to other states.
Amid the hike in demand, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade conveyed that it has already reached about “60 percent of the total daily oxygen production”, and is expected to rise further.
To ensure supply of oxygen in bulk rapidly, the Railways will also run “Oxygen Express” over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country. A Green Corridor is being created for the fast movement of these trains. Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments had earlier approached the Railways Ministry to explore whether liquid medical oxygen tankers could be moved by the rail network.
The industries which have been exempted are ampoules and vials, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants, food and water purification, and process Industries that require the uninterrupted operation of furnaces, and others as approved by the respective authority.
The Central government on Saturday also issued an emergency order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen cylinders across state borders. This was the third such order in 24 hours, and is supposed to enable manufacturers and suppliers to supply medical oxygen to hospitals anywhere in the country.
The decision came as India recorded a new high in daily cases with at least 2,61,500 new cases and more than 1,500 deaths in 24 hours, as per data released by the Union Health Ministry on Sunday.
The country’s death toll now stands at 1,77,150 and the total number of cases has gone up to 1,47,88,109. The active number of cases in the country stands at 18,01,316.
This is the fourth day India has registered a spike of over two lakh Covid-19 cases. On Saturday, India had seen a surge of 2.34 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi continue to contribute the highest load in the total Covid-19 caseload in India. All the states have been registering a record number of cases, every day.
The top five states that have registered maximum cases in the past 24 hours are Maharashtra (67,123 cases), Uttar Pradesh (27,334 cases), Delhi (24,375 cases), Karnataka (17,489 cases) and Chhattisgarh (16,083 cases). About 58.28 per cent of the new cases are reported from these five states, with Maharashtra alone responsible for 25.67 per cent of the new cases.
West Bengal, which is witnessing assembly election, has registered its highest single-day spike of 7,713 coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 6,51,508. The death toll rose to 10,540 after 34 Covid-19 fatalities were registered in the state.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said in a meeting with the health ministers of 11 states and UTs that the death rate has grown to 10.2 percent.
“India is currently reporting the sharpest growth rate of 7.6 percent in new Covid cases, which is 1.3 times higher than case growth rate of 5.5 percent reported in June 2020. This is leading to an alarming rise in the daily number of active cases, which currently stand at 16,79,000. There is also a sharp growth of 10.2 percent in the number of deaths,” he said on Saturday.
In the 24-hour period, 1,38,423 people also recovered from the disease, taking total recoveries to 1,28,09,643.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 15,66,394 samples were tested on Saturday. As many as 26,65,38,416 samples have been tested across the country till April 17.
Several cities across the country, especially Mumbai and Delhi, have ordered weekend lockdowns, night curfews and lockdown-like restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Uttar Pradesh has also imposed strict lockdown on Sundays which will remain in force till May 15.
Meanwhile, India has administered 12,26,22,590 doses of the Covid vaccines till date, including 26,84,956 in the past 24 hours.
THE TRANSFORMATIVE NATURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS ENERGIES
The individual consciousness can never live independently of other energies. Do we have experience of any energy being independent? In the current material circumstances of consciousness, as soon as the current situation terminates the consciousness, particles must associate themselves immediately with another energy, either, according to the Vedas, as energies made of the same conscious constituents or be embedded within substances that are of an entirely different nature to itself. So, consciousness must find another shelter. Even when the consciousness particles are seen to transform themselves within consciousness energies, it is not a guarantee of a permanent home because within consciousness energies there are places where the consciousness particles can be seen taking a long rest from activities, bearing in mind that consciousness is always active, apart from the state of deep sleep.
Our Vaishnava acharyas have compared the state of motionlessness in the consciousness energies, known as the Brahmajyoti, with a kind of deep sleep; one could say peace and harmony. But the teachers of Vedic knowledge bring to the attention of the reader that the inherent need of consciousness to exchange with another consciousness and engage in activities eventually leads consciousness out of this deep sleep of harmony. And because of a lack of knowledge of the activities of the origins of consciousness, the consciousness particles find themselves back in the atmosphere of an ethereal, and eventually a devolved, quantum and classical plane in order to exhibit activities.
It is a scientific fact that energies are never destroyed, but transform themselves. It is also a fact that the energy source for this earth is the sun, and the Vedas indicate the sun is a devolved or transformed energy from the light of the Brahmajyoti. And the Brahmajyoti is a transformed energy from the natural effulgence of the body of divinity, who is described in the Vedas as the original cause of all causes. The sun transforms its energies through photosynthesis and heats the atmosphere and causes air movements. The moon’s energies are confirmed in the Vedas, as the moonbeams strike the planet, giving it flavour. This is not understood by modern science.
Srila Prabhupada makes the following statements:
Prabhupada: It is better. [break]…the influence of the moon planet, the vegetation grows. Do they accept, the modern botanists, influence of moon planet?
Parivrajakacarya: All the farmers, they…
Prabhupada: They do believe?
Parivrajakacarya: They believe that. They plant certain seeds according to the moon.
Prabhupada: Just see.
Pradyumna: Even in the West, they only plant certain things on the waxing moon, not on the waning moon. On Sukla-Paksa.
Prabhupada: And the moon is vacant. By the influence of the moon, other vegetation is growing, and it cannot grow itself.
Hari-sauri: They admit that the moon rays have some kind of potency. They know that.
Prabhupada: No, it is stated in the Bhagavatam.
Consciousness energies are transformed, in the sense that their circumstances transform and bring them into new environments as different combinations of matter and ethereal energies. This transition happens on account of the consciousness association with matter and an ethereal plane, or in some cases a superior plane beyond the ethereal plane. But in the case of the former, the ethereal plane connects to the quantum plane of many possibilities, that eventually devolve into the classical four-dimensional space we inhabit which includes time, as former reactions to classical, quantum and ethereal connections play out for a given period of time.
Devotee (3): Srila Prabhupada, is the subtle bodies in the subtle world, are they made up of subtle atoms?
Prabhupada: Subtle body means subtle atoms. So, if we are in subtle body, whatever there is in the subtle body, everything is there.
The permanent shelter for consciousness, the Vedas indicate, is a world of quality and variety, with beauty and love and attraction, where consciousness expands in a form that is fit for a particular display of loving exchange. The ultimate transformation and sharing of experiences, which the Vedas call rasa, is of both the consciousness of the supreme consciousness and His other parts and parcels. This exchange takes place primarily between the origins of form and beauty, divinity Himself. He is a Personality who displays a full, unlimited and ever-increasing form and personality, which forever draws His parts, who now display the beauty of love toward Him in their respective forms, in ever increasing service and qualities.
Nothing is static here, the highest of all planes, where any of the consciousness particles can reside. The immaculate senses and beauty of divinity captivates the transcendental senses of His fully transcendentally formed parts, which take up residence, along with those who have never left His association, under the guidance of the personification of Divinities’ pleasure potency and Her expansions, or under the guidance and care of others who exhibit fully the five types of loving exchanges with divinity.
How it is possible for a tiny particle to reside with the supreme consciousness is explained by the founder and acharya of ISKCON Inc., A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
“So, in the animal life it is not possible to change one’s nature, which is given by the material energy, prakrti. Prakrteh kriyamanani [Bg. 3.27]. Karanam guna-sango ‘sya… Karanam guna-sangah asya sad-asad-janma-yonisu [Bg. 13.22]. Why? All living entities are part and parcel of God. Therefore, originally, the characteristic of a living entity is as good as God. Simply it is a question of quantity. Quality is the same. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. For example, if you take a drop of seawater, the quality, the chemical composition, is the same, but the quantity is different. It is a drop, and the sea is the vast ocean. Similarly, we are exactly of the same quality as Krishna.”
Our acharyas also indicate that in Krishna’s personal abode, His sweetness increases and His Majesty diminishes, thus enabling full, loving exchanges between the origins of consciousness and all His parts. This indeed is another inconceivable aspect of the Inconceivable Lord and Master of Consciousness.
Gauranga Sundar Das is Iskcon Inc Communication Director and SM IT Head.
Opinion6 months ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports9 months ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News12 months ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
News10 months ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Sports9 months ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219
Spiritually Speaking8 months ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
Defence10 months ago
GALWAN: CHINA’S INFORMATION WAR
Legally Speaking11 months ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail