Starting 2018, Government of India has stopped the nearly Rs. 1,000 crore annual Haj subsidy that was used to support the nearly 1.75 lakh Muslims – both men and women to complete the once in a lifetime Haj pilgrimage. This subsidy will now be used for the education empowerment and welfare of girls and women of the Muslim Community – another great development to assist in progress of this community. Some complain that the subsidy was used to support Air India’s high ticket prices. But whatever one may say, this government subsidy was critical in lowering travel costs and assist those with lower income levels to complete this pilgrimage. With the end of this subsidy, could we expect more support by the richly endowed AIMPLB (All India Muslim Personal Law Board), the many Waqf Boards around the country and even well to do Muslim to support their community for this pilgrimage?
Source: Zee News
- 17 Jan 2018
Crude posters in Amethi, UP which is Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency came up showing PM Modi in Ravan’s avatar. While a few do worship Ravan, a brahmin for his valor and intellect, he is considered a villan by the vast majority. So naturally given the popular view of Ravan, such posters serve to insult both PM Modi and his lakhs and crores of his followers. Nobody or group has claimed responsibility – but fingers are pointed towards Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. While most free speech is protected by our constitution, and those behind these posters have clearly got the attention they were seeking, what else was the purpose of such posters? Are you trying to win votes?
Source: One India
- 16 Jan 2018
Based on a Allahabad High Court’s order, Uttar Pradesh now will require loudspeakers in public places to get prior permission and follow strict rules. No Loudspeakers can be used between 10pm to 6am without prior permission after 15 January 2018. Localities will be assigned as residential or commercial place and rules will vary. There will now be strict noise level limits at the edge of such places. The order applies to ALL religious places – masjids, temples, churches, gurudwaras, etc – and PRIOR PERMISSION WILL BE REQUIRED.
Loudspeaker serial numbers are to noted and tracked. THIS HAS TO BE A BIG RELIEF FOR ALL CITIZENS and there is one thing that has become uncontrollable and many might save even unbearable, but due to vote-bank politics nothing could be done. Almost any citizen is aware who the real culprits are. So it was quite funny to hear one Muslim cleric who welcomes this much needed Loudspeaker Ban Court order. But he noted further that “the government has to act to first check on the loudspeakers used in private functions such as marriages and political rallies. The use of loudspeakers at religious places is done for a very limited period of time.” Well you decide? But I think most would disagree with this cleric.
Source: India TV News
- 15 Jan 2018
Our belief system is that visiting temples is considered auspicious where we seek the Lord’s blessings and guidance. But when secular politicians, suddenly start visiting temples as a public statement and start courting the Hindu vote bank, this shows they are probably really afraid or are in deep trouble. Rahul Gandhi was publicly visiting temples before the Gujarat elections which he has not done for a long time. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of Bengal for more than 6 years was so busy courting the minority and/or Muslim vote bank that, that visiting temples are other religious duties was not on her priority. But suddenly, with growing competition from BJP even if at an early stage, Mamata has suddenly started visiting temples and performing pujas & rituals, organizing a gathering of the state’s purohits, amongst others. It has to be seen as to how long such antics last? Surely the citizens of these states are smart and cannot be easily fooled.
Source: Daily Pioneer
- 12 Jan 2018
An experienced air hostess of Jet Airways was caught with over Rs. 30o lakhs in foreign currency hidden in her luggage below shoes and cosmetics. These were $100 US currency notes which authorities believe were being smuggled out of the country. Somehow customs and revenue officials in Delhi airport got wind of this and held up the Hong Kong based flight and made the discovery followed by arrest. This air hostess was working for a Delhi based money and jewelry smuggler – where foreign currency was smuggled out of India and gold bars were smuggled in.
- 11 Jan 2018
In a possible first for India, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) now has banned the display of raw and cooked meat outside of their shops – done to draw customers. Meat should now be kept in inside shelves. This ruling was done keeping in mind food hygience and safety but also to respect sentiments of communities at large who don’t to see large dead meat hanging around openly in shopping areas. In certain shopping centers, all one can see is rows and rows of meat shops and restaurants and meat is boldly displayed outside. The commissioner will review this resolution passed by the SDMC before it becomes Law.
Source: Business Standard
- 10 Jan 2018
Given the “near” perpetual state of war along the line of control in Jammu, government will construct 13,000 soldier bunkers and over 1,400 community bunkers. Soldier bunkers would be 160 square feet and can hold 4 to 8 people while community bunkers would be 800 square feet and can hold 40 people. These would cost nearly Rs. 500 crores. While more might be needed, these would bring much needed relief to soldiers and the citizens of Jammu, who sometimes and suddenly have to endure days and weeks of shelling and damage to life and property.
- 9 Jan 2018
The current US government is drafting new rules to prevent or limit in a big way current H1B work visa holders from extending their visa status which allows them to continue their employment and stay in USA as they wait for their permanent residency green cards. While citizens of many countries would be hard by this, this hits Indians hardest ==> nearly 5 Lac to 7.5 Lac Indians and an equal number of their spouses and even children. If the rumored harsh rules become law, potentially nearly 10 to 15 Lakh Indians including families may have to suddenly leave or be deported from USA. Most are likely to be mid-career so they are likely to face a harsh and uncertain future… We all are hoping for the best…
- 8 Jan 2018
Recently, it is learned that Chinese – both military and civilian personnel entered more than 1 kilometer inside Arunachal Pradesh in the Tuting for rail track building and alignment. They brought bull dozers, excavators and other heavy machinery to begin their work. Both villagers and Indian ITBP and army personnel noticed the intrusion per news reports. So after the nearly 75 day long and tense standoff in Doklam, what were the Chinese thinking: that this is their territory and they can come and go as they please, or Indian don’t want any confrontation and would be passive or do nothing, or possibly they may be testing how much and how far can they push Indians – as an offensive strategy? Our forces have been neither passive or looked the other way. During this intrusion, Indian forces have already confiscated their equipment.
In Doklam, China ended up looking as the loser, and may see the same result again and again and again.
- 5 Jan 2018
A dalit youth was killed during the 200 anniversary celebrations of the victory of the British and Dalits in the Battle of Koregaon in Pune. Without a doubt, celebrating the victory of British forces by some of your country citizens (Dalits in this case) over Indias (especially the Marathas) is doubly painful to swallow. But that was then, and now times have changed. Further, as is the case with most celebrations, most attendees are unlikely to know or even care about the historical significance of such events. Hence, it soooooooooo terrible that our anger has led to deaths, leading to waves of protests in Mumbai, Pune and other parts of the Maharashtra, leading to more bandhs, burning of public properties, buses and trains. Most of Mumbai came to a standstill. Each of us needs to think if such disturbances can be avoided?
Source: Daily Pioneer
- 4 Jan 2018