Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnett”

It was probably late sixties or early seventies – when a gentleman called P N Oak started appearing in Marathi magazines peddling his weird theories about well known monuments in and outside India. An article which made lot of news then was centred around Taj Mahal where it was claimed that it was ‘Tejo Maha Aalay’ or hindu god Shiva’s abode. It tried to establish through various ‘explanations’ that a Shiva Temple was destroyed to build Taj Mahal and if we dig deep we can find ‘remnants’ of the earlier structure. Mr Vinay Katiyar’s latest advice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that he “should go into the Taj Mahal and see the Hindu signs inside it” reminded one of P N Oak. Continue reading “Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnett””

Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !

( This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’)

(Photo Courtesy : jansatta)

 

 ..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian society as “envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyayaji”… The Congress took umbrage at the way Kovind mentioned Upadhyaya in the same breath as the Mahatma. “The President should remember that he is not a BJP candidate any more. He is the President of India. He has to… rise above and think beyond party politics,” Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170726/jsp/frontpage/story_163934.jsp)

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In Search of an Icon

Fighters for Hindu Rashtra who have reached topmost echleons of power in this part of South Asia and are expected to extend and deepen their influence in coming times – if secular and democratic and left forces do not act together now – find themselves in a typical quandary. Continue reading “Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !”

The Bharatiya Janta Party has issues with Rohingyas – Indians don’t: Nabanipa Bhattacharjee

Guest post by Nabanipa Bhattacharjee

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Image by Dan Kitwood / Getty

On 13 September 2017 the Union Home Ministry, following the 2015 order of the Supreme Court, decided to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees. Victims of religious persecution in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, the predominantly Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs began immigrating to the north eastern region of India 1960s onwards. The then central government, eventually, moved a large number of these refugees to Arunachal Pradesh; while Arunachal Pradesh is their zone of concentration, a considerable number of Chakmas and Hajongs live in Mizoram and Meghalaya too. The decision of the Home Ministry, however, did not go down well with the indigenous tribal population of Arunachal Pradesh; the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union protested against the move citing threats to life and livelihood of the native inhabitants of the state. On 14 September 2017 the Union government assured the protesters that a middle-ground – between honouring the law and commitment towards protecting the rights of the people of Arunachal Pradesh – would be found.

Continue reading “The Bharatiya Janta Party has issues with Rohingyas – Indians don’t: Nabanipa Bhattacharjee”

एक  नायक की तलाश में भाजपा 

दीनदयाल उपाध्याय: भाजपा के ‘गांधी’

Image result for deendayal upadhyaya

( Photo Courtesy : thewire.in)

एक पेड़विहीन देश में एक एरंड भी बड़ा पेड़ कहलाता है – एक  संस्कृत सुभाषित का रूपांतरण

/In a treeless country even castor counts for a big tree/

/संदर्भ: http://www.epw.in/journal/2006/12/

 

राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द ने इस बात को स्वीकारा कि ‘‘भारत की कामयाबी की कंुजी उसकी विविधता में है’’ और ‘‘हमारी विविधता ही वह केन्द्र है जो हमें इतना अनोखा बनाती है’’। अपने भाषण का अन्त उन्होंने समतामूलक समाज बनाने के आवाहन के साथ किया जैसी ‘‘कल्पना महात्मा गांधी और दीनदयाल उपाध्यायजी’’ ने की थी।… महात्मा गांधी के साथ दीनदयाल उपाध्याय का नाम लेने पर कांग्रेस ने एतराज जाहिर किया। कांग्रेस के नेता गुलाम नबी आज़ाद ने कहा कि ‘‘राष्टपति को यह याद रखना चाहिए कि वह अब भाजपा के प्रत्याशी नहीं हैं। वह भारत के राष्ट्रपति हैं। उन्होंने दलीय राजनीति से ऊपर  उठना चाहिए।’’

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170726/jsp/frontpage/story_163934.jsp मूल अंग्रेजी से अनूदित )

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एक प्रतीक की खोज़

हिन्दु राष्ट्र के निर्माण के लिए प्रयासरत जमातें – जो फिलवक्त़ दक्षिण एशिया के इस हिस्से में हुकूमत के सबसे उंचे मुक़ाम पर पहुंची है – वह अपने आप को एक विचित्र दुविधा में फंसी पाती है। Continue reading “एक  नायक की तलाश में भाजपा “

Modi mocks ‘pessimists’, but RBI says a whole lot of Indians are pretty pessimistic about the economy

Last week, Prime Minister Modi gave an hour long speech denouncing ‘pessimists’ who refused to see the bright side of demonetisation and other transformations that his government’s able management had visited upon the economy.

We at Kafila, did a quick fact-check offering many reasons for pessimism, but as they say in Delhi – humari kya aukaat hai?

Now, a set of surveys by the Reserve Bank of India have concluded that 65% of the 5100 metropolitan households polled feel the economic situation has either worsened or stayed the same. It’s a small sample, but the results are revealing.  To quote :

Households’ current perceptions on the general economic situation remained in the pessimistic zone for four successive quarters, with the outlook worsening — RBI

For those you wondering – “four successive quarters” is a full year.

I would urge most readers to read the report in full, but here are some key takeaways:

Continue reading “Modi mocks ‘pessimists’, but RBI says a whole lot of Indians are pretty pessimistic about the economy”

Defend the tradition of fighting for the oppressed: Sohail Hashmi writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

(This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent left cultural activist Sohail Hashmi to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan on the Hadiya case)

Continue reading “Defend the tradition of fighting for the oppressed: Sohail Hashmi writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala”

Modi says the economy isn’t so bad; He’s right – it’s worse

by Samarth Bansal and Aman Sethi

On October 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered a robust defence of his government’s management of the economy, shortly after the Reserve Bank of India lowered its Gross Value Added (GVA) growth estimates for the current fiscal year from 7.3% to 6.7%.

Since then, the ruling party has been pains to push a positive narrative on the economy,  extent of emailing clips of the speech to journalists who write about the economy.

So, what is the current state of the economy? Here’s a reality check.

How many jobs has the economy created?

Modi said: “Upto March 2014, the subscriber base of the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) stood at 3.26 crore. Over the last three years, the numbers increased to 4.8 crore. Some people forget that this number can’t increased without a corresponding increase in employment.”

Reality Check: EPFO numbers have increased, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that total employment has increased. In July this year, this jump in EPFO subscribers was attributed to a government amnesty scheme which allowed firms to come clean on their actual staff strength without being penalized. In a detailed note, Mahesh Vyas, Managing Director and CEO of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), explained why using EPFO data as a proxy for job creation is “fraught with danger.”

Referring to the jump in the subscriber base, Vyas wrote: “This is not new employment. It is merely enrollment of employed persons into EPFO.”

Continue reading “Modi says the economy isn’t so bad; He’s right – it’s worse”