Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on 31st October

Observance of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on 31st October

The Government has decided to observe the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day) on 31st October every year. This occasion will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country.
Saradar Ballav bai Pattel
All the Government Offices, Public Sector Undertakings and other Public Institutions will arrange a pledge taking ceremony to observe the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been requested to issue suitable instructions that the students of Schools and Colleges may be administered the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Pledge to motivate them to strive to maintain the unity and integrity of the country.

All Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and all the State Governments/Administrators of all the Union Territories have been requested to organize appropriate programmes on the occasion in a befitting manner, including the ‘Pledge-taking Ceremony’, ‘Run for Unity’ involving people from all sections of society, March-Past in the evening by the Police, the Central Armed Police Forces and other organizations like the National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS), Scouts and Guides, Home Guards etc.


Notes of a Jihadi

Covers of books authored by Maulana Asim Umar. His Dajjal, printed on high-quality paper, has run into eight print editions in Pakistan.
Written by Praveen Swami | Posted: October 19, 2014 12:00 am
Coca-Cola’s bright red logo, splashed across half a page. That’s the image that screams out from the dense exegesis on global jihad that is Maulana Asim Umar’s book Blackwater: The Army of Antichrist. Just below is the logo again, this time as its mirror image. “Look,” writes the cleric who heads al-Qaeda’s branch in the Indian subcontinent, “it reads, ‘Without Muhammad’, and ‘Without Mecca’.”
Maulana Umar’s writing, arguably the largest body of intellectual work by a South Asian jihadist, does not contain exhortations to become suicide bombers, or to behead unbelievers. Instead, it calls for the dismemberment of the modern world itself.
Early on September 4, India time, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had issued a video announcing the formation of a new wing of his terror group, dedicated to waging jihad in the subcontinent. The Jamaat Qaidat al-jihad fi’Shibhi al-Qarrat al-Hindiya, or Organisation of The Base of Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent, would be led by Maulana Umar, al-Zawahiri announced.

Last month, The Indian Express was the first to report that Maulana Umar could be an Indian national. He is said to have studied at the famous Dar-ul-Uloom in Deoband — the seminary, however, said its records don’t show him as a student — before emigrating from the country in the late-1990s. As his books show, for Maulana Umar, the Apocalypse is upon us — it is an experienced reality, not a metaphor. In The Third World War and the Dajjal, or Antichrist, he describes omens of the reign of the Devil, a time that he says has crept up on us: “The propaganda during his time would be so ghastly that the truth would be presented as falsehood and the falsehood would be presented as the truth, and this twisted reality broadcast to the entire world.” The Dajjal, Maulana Umar continues, obtains power by obscuring the truth of our condition from us. “This so-called civilised world,” he writes, “is built on lies; so much so that even educated people take these lies to be the truth. Even if entire books were to be written about lies, propounded through the media of the disbelievers, their authors would soon tire”. He notes that the “gravity of the Dajjal’s strife can be realised from the fact that even Prophet Muhammad used to seek refuge from his deceptive ability”. Maulana Umar cites prophecy that the Apocalypse would be preceded by a time when “the sky would rain and the earth yield crops, but neither would benefit the people, who would face drought”. This, he says, is precisely what is happening, as a result of “policies concocted by the Jews”. It is clear that there is an audience for Maulana Umar’s vision of the modern world as deceit: Dajjal, printed on high-quality paper, has run into eight print editions in Pakistan. Pirated reprints are on sale in several Urdu book shops in Delhi. The case for jihad How then ought the believer to address the age of the Dajjal? In an essay in the Summer 2013 issue of the Taliban magazine Azan, Maulana Umar answered that question by laying out his utopian Islamist vision. “My Lord,” he wrote, “has declared that if jihad was not carried out, the earth would be filled with fasaad, meaning that everything would cease to be at its fitrah (natural state).” “There is no fasaad greater than the world being ruled by man-made law instead of Allah’s law! When this happens, the world is filled with fasaad! Even the animals and birds start crying out; the earth stops growing its produce.” The action needed to secure this utopia was jihad, Maulana Umar said: “Whatever system dares to stand against the word of Allah, and whatever way of life is implemented contrary to it, must be destroyed… This earth belongs to Allah, so only Allah’s system will be implemented upon it.” For Umar, democracy is a din, a system of faith, and thus in irreducible opposition to Islam. In Adyan ka Jang (War of Faiths): Islam aur Democracy, he wrote: “Democracy is one of the evils that has had a bad impact on the Muslim nation, replacing the system of Allah with an alternative that gives power to human beings, who are merely the creation of Allah. Democracy is evil and if you want to fight it, you have to destroy its four essential pillars: parliament, judiciary, civil bureaucracy and media.” Ideas such as these are, in fact, rooted in the Islamist intellectual tradition. In 1939, the patriarch of South Asian Islamism, Abul Ala Maududi, argued that the existence of Allah meant “no one has the right to appoint himself ruler of men, (or) to issue orders and prohibitions on his own authority. To acknowledge the personal authority of a human being as the source of commands and prohibitions is tantamount to admitting him as a partner in the power and authority of Allah.” Maududi argued that the pursuit of political power — rather than what he called “a hotchpotch of beliefs, prayers and rituals” — was integral to Islam. “Islam,” he wrote, “is a revolutionary ideology which seeks to alter the social order of the entire world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals.” It was, therefore, imperative for Muslims to “seize the authority of state, for an evil system takes root and flourishes under the patronage of an evil government and a pious cultural order can never be established until the authority of government is wrested from the wicked”. Populist Pamphleteer Maulana Umar’s success has been to make these ideas accessible to a conservative middle-class audience alarmed at the cultural strains imposed by modernity. In Dajjal, he wrote, “the tragedy of all Islamic societies is that they grow watching devilish Christian, Jewish and Hindu media… From childhood, our children are taught to dance to English and Hindi music. In fact, small children who are brothers and sisters are made to act in plays as husband and wife”. It is necessary, Umar wrote, for parents to ask “why they are educating their children in these Christian schools, instead of Islamic schools”. The maulana has been adroit, too, in utilising the religious chauvinism within Islam. He cites an article by Jaish-e-Muhammad propagandist Ismail Sagar blaming a Shi’a soldier for abandoning his post during the Kargil war. He describes Karachi’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement as agent of the Dajjal, for supporting the right of Ahmadis to preach and pray. Finally, there’s paranoic nationalism: Umar claims the US is using the security firm Blackwater to fulfil a secret Jewish agenda to destroy Pakistan, which he claims was authored by the Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion. DIGITAL MASK Experts say there is enough in Maulana Umar’s work to suggest it has been written by an Indian, or by someone who has lived in India for long. All his images online are digitally masked, suggesting, according to experts, a desire to hide — an impulse that is generally missing in the rest of the top jihadist leadership in Pakistan. ASIM UMAR, WHO? On September 4, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a video announcing the formation of the Jamaat Qaidat al-jihad fi’Shibhi al-Qarrat al-Hindiya, or Organisation of The Base of Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent, a new wing of his terror group dedicated to waging jihad in the subcontinent. The new wing, he said, would be led by Asim Umar. TERROR CAREER Investigators running checks on Asim Umar’s background have questioned several figures linked to the Islamist movement in India in the 1990s, specifically the now proscribed SIMI. He is believed to have reached Pakistan in the late-1990s, where he joined the Jamia Uloom-e-Islamia, a Karachi seminary, which counts among its alumni Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, who headed the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, and Fazl-ur-Rehman Khalil, the leader of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. Asim Umar was mentored by Nizamuddin Shamzai, a cleric closely linked to the Taliban. After finishing his studies, Maulana Umar is believed to have joined the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and served at its training camps in PoK, and taught at the Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary in Peshawar. He lived again in Karachi from 2004 to 2006, and wrote a lot of his bestselling jihadi literature. After General Pervez Musharraf stormed Islamabad’s Lal Masjid, run by Umar’s old friend Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the maulana shifted allegiance to al-Qaeda, and established links with Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri. TARGETING INDIA In 2013, Maulana Umar spoke directly to Muslims in India. In an essay in the jihadist magazine Azan, he said: “The global jihad leadership feels justified in asking Indian Muslim scholars and masses as to why the jihad battlefields remain deprived of their blessed presence — especially when history shows that their ancestors always raised the banner of jihad against the enemies of Islam. “The Red Fort in front of the mosque cries tears of blood at your slavery and mass killing at the hands of the Hindus… Is there no mother left in UP who can sing to her sons the songs that would inspire them to decorate the battlefield of Shamli instead of wasting their times in marketplaces, parks and sports fields? Have the inheritors of Shaykh-ul-Hind left out hijrah and jihad from their lives forever? Has the land of Bihar become so barren that it is unable to produce even one jama’ah of the likes of the Mujahideen of Azeemabad? And which Kafir’s evil sight affected the land of Bengal that the eyes of history became weary awaiting another Siraj-ud-Daulah?” FIRST ATTACK Days after it was formed, al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent claimed credit for its first operation: an audacious bid — which was ultimately repelled — to hijack a Pakistani warship at the naval base in Karachi, and to turn the vessel against a US warship in the open seas. According to reports, four men, including one recently-sacked and two serving naval personnel, were killed in an intense firefight on or around the warship, PNS Zulfiqar. In a statement, al-Qaeda said, “The naval officers who died on Saturday in the attack in Karachi were al-Qaeda members. They were trying to attack American marines and their cronies. It was after they read the Quran that they agreed to leave the Pakistan military, which is a crony of the US, and undertake jihad. They were trained in training centres of the Qaidat al-Jihad in the Indian subcontinent, and given a plan to attack (the ship) al-Zulfiqar and take the missiles, with which they were to attack an American carrier


Wednesday, 15 October 2014 | Ashok K Mehta
Prime Minister Modi has given a massive push to India-Nepal relations with his successful visit to the neighbouring country. Now it is for the political leadership in Nepal to build on that momentum
One country in the neighbourhood where the Modi magic has worked dramatically is Nepal. With his marvel of oratory and a few symbolically-choreographed acts in Kathmandu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conquered the hearts and minds of most Nepalis. This near-miracle was reflected late last month by a number of Nepalis I met in Nepalgunj, Dang-Ghorai and Kathmandu.
Nepalgunj was the venue of the Nepal-Bharat Awadh Maitri Samaj conference organised to highlight the problems confronted by residents living astride the India-Nepal open border, against the uptick in relations catalysed by Mr Modi. Reacting to Mr Modi’s Kathmandu visit, Ran Bahadur Shah (Goteh Babu), a veteran of the first revolution in 1950 who helped capture Dang, says, “Seventy five per cent of Nepal’s problems with India are over…the rest will settle…” Laxman Thapa a social activist from Ghorai, living in Kathmandu is completely bowled over Mr Modi. “After Nehru he is India’s tallest leader”. There is no one I met who was not a Modi fan. For someone visiting remote areas of Nepal since 1959, I found the Modi wave unprecedented. Does this mean the long-nurtured anti-India sentiment has evaporated? Not quite — that is why the 75 per cent quantification!

Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae fanned a euphoria at the conference, calling the post-Modi era a period of transformation. He added, “What could not be done in 60 years has been achieved in four months”. He was referring to the Power Trade Agreement, the Power Development Agreement on Upper Karnali bagged by GMR following a global tender involving 11 companies, and the PDA for Pancheswor Dam signed during Mr Modi’s visit. These events and the upswing in India Nepal relations were endorsed by former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who shrewdly acknowledged the fruits of border connectivity: The help given by BJP MP from Balrampur, Ajay Misra, who was present at the conference, in facilitating his election victory.

Mr Rae echoed the point I have always made: That of Nepal’s strategic centrality to the security of the Indian sub-continent; hence its great importance for India. Nepalis have to be frequently reminded of their own country’s geo-strategic primacy due to geography, history, open borders and their sons sacrificing their blood for protection of India’s sovereignty. No other relationship is remotely comparable to what is called in the borderland as roti, beti and khoon ka rishta. Still, there was one sceptic, a seasoned Nepal-watcher at the conference who must go unnamed, who confided: “Six months and the Modi tamasha will be over”. But another expert noted that these dramatic mood-changes and quick gains must be preserved and the momentum of the new-found faith in India backed by commitments turning into reality.
Mr Jagdambika Pal, former Congress leader and now BJP Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh, eulogised the Modi mantra of “finding samadhan for every samasya”. Hridayesh Tripathi and Ishwar Dayal Sharma, both former Nepal Government Ministers and now with the Tarai-Madhesh Loktantrik Party, ably steered the conference that yielded many instructive lessons which BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh and their counterparts from west Nepal promised to address. The young Sadhvi Savitri Phule, first-time BJP MP from Bahraich, said: “One hears about holes in roads; the Bahraich-Nepalgunj road is a big hole with a road in it”. She promised to set it right in quick time. Other issues discussed were perennials like border connectivity, police, customs, trans-border movement and trade, especially in herbal products, ban on Rs500 and Rs1,000 Indian currency notes, water and flood control measures and hydropower. Many innovative solutions were offered to more effectively regulate cross-border activities.
It is a shame that Nepal, which has the potential of 83,000 MW, of which at least half is commercial, suffers from 12 hours to 14 hours load shedding. It is only now that agreements with India as well as China have materialised. The anti-India Maoist faction — the so-called untransformed and undemocratised Baidya group, among which like every other party, fissures have appeared — was protesting with a bandh last September 23 across Nepal against the power-sharing agreements with India. “They don’t matter any more, having marginalised themselves”, observed Vikas Agarwal, a Nepali businessman and politician from Ghorai. This leads to the larger question: What next in Nepal?
Sadly, the biggest deficit in this high season of post Dashain-Tihar festivities is leadership. After a 10-year drought in New Delhi, Mr Modi was discovered. In Kathmandu, just when you needed someone like GP Koirala, you get a well-meaning, scrupulously honest but a weak Koirala cousin, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. The second attempt at writing the Constitution is going nowhere. Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who was billed as a star speaker at the Nepalgunj conference but didn’t turn up, heads the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee. He announced recently that a Constitution by the promised deadline of January 22, 2015, is not possible — though the Government insists it will be delivered. A Constitution means fresh elections and none of the legislators wants one!

Political stability flowing from a new Constitution over which the country has fought a decade-long civil war, appears a bridge too far. A Modi intervention, strictly by invitation, may be one way out of the current impasse. Many Nepalis have suggested that India broker another landmark peace agreement to help overcome the tricky issues like federalism, form of government, judicial system and election system. New Delhi’s peace agenda has been one of mainstreaming the Maoists and the democratisation of Nepal. In Dang district, Maoists had won all five electoral seats in the 2008 election. In 2013, they lost all to the Nepali Congress. In these areas, and I am told elsewhere too, the byword for corruption regrettably is the transformed Maoists. I asked Mr Naresh Thapa, a political commentator from Ghorai what to make of this. His reply: “Janata le bujhiyo” (people have understood the Maoists). What he did not say was that the transformation of romantic revolutionaries to reasonably honest politicians will take time. While the Constitution will get written and border region problems get resolved the hope of people-first politics is fading away.
All the promises made by Mr Modi in Kathmandu are being delivered. Nepal’s political ruling class keeps signing five and six- point agreements at the drop of a hat without delivering any economic dividend to the people. That is the tragedy of Nepal.

Allahabad HC issues notice to makers of Haider, Censor Board

PTI New Delhi, October 15, 2014
– See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/allahabad-hc-issues-notice-to-makers-of-haider-censor-board/article1-1275641.aspx#sthash.N2Q0spmE.dpuf

The Allahabad High Court todayissued notice to makers of the film Haider and Censor Board on a PIL seeking direction to restrain exhibiting of the movie in any cinema hall or through any other means on the grounds that it was against national interest. The order was passed by the Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices V K Shukla and B K Srivastava on the PIL filed by Hindu Front for Justice, a group of local lawyers.

The court issued notice to Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Pvt Ltd, director and producer Vishal Bhardwaj, co-producer Siddharth Roy Kapur and co-writer Basharat Peer to file their reply to the allegations made by the petitioner in four weeks.

Union of India through Secretary Information and Broadcasting, UP government through principal secretary (home), Board of Film Certification, Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Private Ltd, director, producer and script writer Vishal Bhardwaj, the co-producer, the co-writer, actors Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and District Magistrate Lucknow have been made the opposite party in the PIL.

The petitioners alleged that Haider harmed the sovereignty, integrity and unity of India and no film could be displayed which harms national interest.

They alleged that religious feelings of Hindus have been hurt as Shahid Kapoor and his associates were seen dancing with footwear at the Martand Sun Temple in the song Bismil.

The petition also alleged that the film has been picturised in a manner as if the Indian Army has committed atrocities on Kashmiris. The petitioners have requested the court to issue directions quashing the order granting certificate for exhibiting the film.

They also urged the court to issue directions commanding the central and the state government to initiate appropriate criminal proceeding against the director, producers, script writers and actors, who they alleged were liable for committing the acts of sedition.

The court directed that the case be listed after four weeks.

Kailash Satyarthi’s Nobel Prize decoded

The verdict is still out on Satyarthi but we should take our newly minted hero with a grain of salt.
The announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize for Kailash Satyarthi was somewhat of a shock. Firstly he was practically unknown within India with journalists and others all shaking their heads and asking “Satyarthi who?” Secondly, the announcement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee was both politically charged and condescending:
Kailash Satyarthi
The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.

The announcement draws on the old theme of Western “parity” between India and Pakistan, and then calls out the purportedly “Hindu” and “Muslim” affiliations of the awardees. Now, going back at least 10 years we did not find the religion of the awardees mentioned in the Nobel Peace Prize announcement. Barack Obama is not called out as a Christian, nor are the affiliations of Marti Ahtisaari, Al Gore, Mohammad Yunus, or any of the other awardees called out. Why the necessity to call out Satyarthi as a Hindu?

Not that Satyarthi is, by any stretch, a Hindu leader. In fact, Ellen Barry, writing in the New York Times, explicitly points out that he is a Marxist. Here is my exchange with her:

Mamata Banerjee stoking Jihadi fires at West Bengal’s own risk

By Priyadarshi Dutta
Niti Central
Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mamata Banerjee’s secularism has nothing to do with
promoting enlightenment or liberal tendencies amongst
Mamata Banarjee
The revelations in Burdwan blast have heaped more
ignominy on the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The exposé of
links between Saradha Group and Jamaat-e-Islami were
already damning for the party. The suspicion that Mamata
Banerjee is lording over a Government not merely pro-
Muslim but Jihad-friendly is gaining ground. And it has
the potential to split the party wide open on communal

The TMC, not the BJP, was the refuge of genuine
nationalists in West Bengal desiring to overthrow the
pernicious Left Front. Mamata Banerjee tapped the
indigenous cultural elements of Bengal. Her symbol –
grass and flower – was highly rooted. She used the slogan
‘Ma-Maati-Manush’ i.e Mother (land), Soil (or land) and
People. She quoted from Rabindranath Tagore. With her
poems and paintings, she refurbished her image. She
cultivated cultural personalities of Bengal – dramatists,
artists, painters – and even gave them
Parliamentary/Legislative Assembly tickets. The
pictures/photographs of national leaders, especially
Bengali leaders, are garlanded in Writers’ Building on
their respective births and deaths. Hindu TMC supporters
even chant ‘Vande Mataram’.

She thus created a cultural space in the politics of
Bengal. The West Bengal BJP never even thought about it.
They mistakenly thought a few slogans of nationalism and
a few faces borrowed from northern India would do the
trick. Mamata outwitted them by tapping the cultural
roots of nationalism. But ironically she also pampered
the typecast Muslims at the same time. The Muslims,
disgruntled with Left Front rule and desirous of wearing
their religious identity on their sleeves, joined her. So
for Hasibul, Rakibul, Animul, Riazul – Trinamool became
their party. Even Mamata Banerjee herself posed as
tendering Namaz (a photo her critics on Facebook have
made famous). The Burdwan blasts took place in the rented
accommodation a floor above a TMC office. Interestingly,
the TMC office was a busy hub of many Muslim TMC leaders
during Lok Sabha elections. Following the blast, the TMC
office has quietly been shut down.

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