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25 years after Barbri Masjid demolition: politics changes while legal issues stay stuck



25 years after Barbri Masjid demolition: politics changes while legal issues stay stuck

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Twenty five years after a mob, safe in the knowledge of a favourable government in Uttar Pradesh, demolished the 16th century Babri Masjid, Dec 6 was celebrated as ‘shaurya divas’ by RSS-BJP and other Hindutva followers in the country.

Muslim organisation observed it as ‘Black Day’, but the voices were drowned out. ‘#ShauryaDivas’ was among the top trends on Twitter on Wednesday, the posts dominated by tweets hailing the demolition by ‘brave kar sevaks’ and a few lamenting the divide it plunged the country into. Hindutva followers mostly stayed away from another trending topic ‘#BabriMasjid’: they loathe the name and prefer ‘disputed structure’.

Only a day before, when the Supreme Court was hearing the case to decide who the land – where the demolished structure stood – belonged to, they had pre-judged the case, affirming their resolve to build a Ram temple on the spot, asserting ‘with Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath, when else would the temple be built’?

Accordingly, RSS’ extreme Hindutva wing, VHP, gave a call for starting Ram temple construction ‘from Oct 18, 2018’, at a time when the heat would be on for state Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the Lok Sabha elections just six months away.

Politics in the name of religion is there for all to see. It is another matter that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning for Gujarat Assembly elections on Wednesday, referred to Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s arguments in the court and asked, in all innocence: “No objection that Kapil Sibal is fighting on behalf of Muslim community but how can he say do not find a solution to this (Ayodhya issue) until next election? How is it connected to Lok Sabha elections?”

Meanwhile, The Hindustan Times (HT) has reported that preparations for Ram temple construction have picked up pace at its workshop, ‘Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas Karyashaala’, in Ayodhya after Yogi Aditynatah took over as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh. The workshop is located 3 km from the disputed site.

“Sixty-seven per cent of work is over. All this, when assembled, would make the ground floor of the Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Temple,” said Sharad Sharma, a spokesperson of the VHP that runs the workshop, reported HT.

The architect is Ahmedabad-based Chandrakant Bhai Sompura, whose grandfather built the Somnath Temple in Gujarat. “It will take at least one-and-a-half year for the stone carving work to finish. At least six months will go into laying the foundation for the temple,” he told HT over the phone. Sompura also said the original project cost was Rs 5.35 crore, but had ballooned four times.

While all this takes place in the background, the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition saw massive security arrangements in place in the twin towns of Faizabad and Ayodhya as the VHP and the Bajrang Dal celebrate ‘Shaurya Diwas’ and Muslim organisations observe a black day. The saffron outfits have given a call to people of Ayodhya-Faizabad to light up their homes with lamps.

Ayodhya has been divided into four zones and ten sectors and prohibitory orders under section 144 have been clamped, said media reports. Any form of protests, demonstrations have been completely banned. All areas of Ayodhya have police presence, with bomb disposal squads on alert. Security was tight and people were frisked at multiple check points across the temple town.

The Centre has asked all the states to remain cautious and ensure peace, so that no incident of communal tension is reported from anywhere in the country.

To recall, on 6 December, 1992, a movement led by RSS and affiliated outfits VHP, BJP and Bajrang built up to a rally in Ayodhya involving over 1.5 lakh volunteers, known as kar sevaks. Provocative speeches added to a charged atmosphere. The gathering turned into a violent mob that pulled down the Babri Masjid.

This was followed by communal riots all over, beginning with Ayodhya-Faizabad itself, where, according to media reports, 28 Muslims were murdered, almost all their houses and shops were torched and destroyed, including 23 local mosques. No FIR was reported to have been lodged, no cases were registered of this riot.

Present at the rally in Ayodhya that day were senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi. In 2009, a report by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan found 68 people responsible for the demolition of the mosque, which included names of Atal Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi and Vijay Raje Scindia. The case is pending disposal in a special court.

Hundreds lost their lives in the riots in the rest of the country after the demolition. This was followed by Mumbai bomb blasts, allegedly as a revenge for demolition of the mosque, sparking off the Mumbai riots of 1993.

The issue was kept simmering and boiled up again, this time in Gujarat, in 2002, when 59 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya were burnt to death when their coach was set on fire in Godhra. This, too, led to one of the worst riots in the country, under the watch of then Gujarat chief minister and current PM, Narendra Modi. That signalled Modi’s arrival on the national political scene.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

5 state elections: Exit poll projections range from a farce to the far-fetched

Pollsters run full time advisories on election management charging hundreds of crores. They can make or break political careers with their advice “based on research” leading to denial or offer of party tickets.



By Neeraj Mishra

Every year, some states have elections and every year, a farcical drama is played out on television channels, for days adding up to the actual counting hour. Familiar faces create and discuss highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters indulge in violence of words and extravagant exaggeration.

It is all aimed at creating confusion in the voter’s mind, infusing satta markets with more punters and general joy at the expense of viewers. This year is no different. India Today thinks the BJP can get 162 seats in Madhya Pradesh bettering its previous tally by more than 50. It does not pause to think why and how this is possible. The perceived anti-incumbency of 20 years has been turned on its head and a Gujarat-like result is possible without a similar communal situation or voter mindset.

At the same time, there are three other channels which think it’s a close race giving an average of only 100 seats to the BJP, 16 short of majority. Psephology is now a full time business with at least a dozen big companies that employ innumerable fake scientists.

Some of these companies have taken this to the next level like Prashant Kishor. They run full time advisories on election management charging hundreds of crores. They can make or break political careers with their advise “based on research” leading to denial or offer of party tickets. Clearly, winning is the only thing that matters as stakes are too high and the prize is control over the entire system at the state level.

Back to the exit polls though, the song on Chhattisgarh is quite identical in every channel. Every psephologist worth his salt knows that the BJP was so far behind in 2018 at 15 seats compared to the Congress’ 70 that to recover and beat it would be next to impossible, so every channel has the Congress ahead. But in a house of 90 to say that BJP will get between 36-46 seats and Congress will get 40-50 seats is a joke at the very least.

It would mean both parties are forming the government and the researcher is not sure so he has played safe. Keeping a two per cent margin in predictions is absolutely unacceptable here, since traditionally the difference between the two parties has been less than 2 per cent, except in 2018. Even a 0.75 per cent difference in votes can lead to a BJP-50 and Congress-38 situation in 2013. So to say, the BJP can get between 36 to 46 seats is absurd.

It’s the difference between losing and forming the government. After having covered more than two dozen elections, one has seen that the safest way to predict results is based on the prevailing mood about three months before the elections are announced. Barring something as drastic as Pulwama, people are unlikely to change their mind at the last moment.

So to say all along the campaign period that such and such party is improving its position is mostly low conjecture. Another noticeable thing in this elections has been the freebies on offer by sitting governments in all states. Shivraj Singh Chouhan beat them all by announcing he would give Rs 3000 per month to every married woman if voted back to power.

He even delivered two installments during the campaign period while the Election Commission did nothing about it, it did stop K. Chandrashekhar Rao from dispensing his pro-farmer cash. So have the labharthis (beneficiaries) then appropriated this round of elections? They certainly have caused a major rift among psephologists.

The wide difference in their predictions is perhaps also caused by which set of Labharthi they talked to. Labharthis also tend to aggregate their votes regionally. For instance in famine-ridden Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh, Rs 3000 means a lot but not so much in more affluent Malwa-Nimad.

The Congress’ offer of loan waiver may trump the BJP’s offer of Rs 12000 per annum to every woman over 18 in the Chhattisgarh plains but in the hilly tribal areas, it still rings a bell. Exit poll is an effective salve to pacify nervous candidates and supporters. No one really remembers or credits the channels with anything even if they were spot on. It is only a three-day carnival and should be treated as such. Real life happens on counting day.

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India News

PM Modi proposes to host COP33 in India in 2028

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.



Prime Minister Modi was addressing the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Friday, he proposed hosting COP33 in India in 2028. PM Modi said  India is committed to UN framework for climate change process. That is why, from this stage, he proposed to host COP33 Summit in India in 2028.

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.

As a special gesture by the UAE, PM Narendra Modi was given the honour of speaking at the Ceremonial opening of the summit, in which discussion will held on issues regarding climate change in the coming days. He said he announced one more pro planet, pro active and positive initiative- green credit initiative.

PM Modi said India’s goal is to bring down the emissions intensity by 45 % till 2030 and also said the country has decided to increase the share of non fossil fuel to 50%. He said India will keep going ahead towards the goal of net zero by 2070.

PM Modi will also attend three other high level events on the sidelines of the summit. Bilateral meetings with World Leaders like Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Israeli President Issac Herzog.

The COP28 conference brings together the heads of the state, climate activists, government ministers, scientists and other stake holders from all over the world so that discussion can take place and action can be taken on climate change. The key themes of the conference include slashing energy emissions before 2030 and fast tracking the energy transition, transforming climate finance, putting nature, lives, people and livelihood at the heart of climate action and mobilizing for more inclusive COP ever.

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India News

IMD says Cyclone Miachaung likely to hit coast of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh on evening of December 4

Upon formation Cyclone Miachaung will be this year’s sixth cyclone in the Indian Ocean and fourth in Bay of Bengal. The name of the cyclonic storm was given by Myanmar.



Tamil Nadu has been getting incessant rainfall over the past few days and is gearing up for an approaching cyclonic storm as per a forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Cyclone Miachaung is likely to hit the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on the evening of December 4.

IMD said that a well planned low pressure area that persisted over the Southeast Bay of Bengal and its adjoining South Andaman sea moved west – northwestwards, turned into a depression at 5:30 am on Friday.It currently lies about 800 km southeast of Chennai, and 790 km east-southeast of Puducherry. The depression will turn into a deep depression by December 2, and further intensify into cyclone Miachaung around December 4 evening.

After turning into a cyclonic storm it is going to hit the Andhra Pradesh –Tamil Nadu coast. Upon formation Cyclone Miachaung will be this year’s sixth cyclone in the Indian Ocean and fourth in Bay of Bengal. The name of the cyclonic storm was given by Myanmar. According to IMD’s forecast rain activity in several southern regions including Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands along with Odisha which is prone to cyclones.

In IMD’s morning bulletin, rainfall has been predicted in the Andaman and Nicobar islands today. Puducherry and north coastal Tamil Nadu will see isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall between December 2 and 4. A similar forecast has been made for coastal Andhra Pradesh with the state expected to see heavy to extremely heavy rainfall between December 3 and 5.

Rayalseema in Andhra Pradesh has also predicted to see very heavy downpours on December 3 and 4. Odisha in the east will also see heavy to very heavy rainfall, particularly in its south coastal and south interior regions on December 4 and 5.

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