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Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait breaks down, draws truckloads of farmers back to Delhi border, farmer mahapanchayat in western UP today

On Thursday, the tension rose at Ghazipur border as Delhi police in anti-riot gear started arriving at the site to remove the protesting farmers, the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Rakesh Tikait said they would not budge. Tikait then broke down on stage as he appealed to farmers not to leave the protest site.

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rakesh Tikait

After the Uttar Pradesh government issued orders for removal of the protesting farmers camping at various Delhi borders, a standoff was built up between the Delhi police and protesting farmers at Ghazipur border on Thursday night. A major group of protesters have called a Mahapanchayat meeting in Muzaffarnagar to decide the future course of action on Friday.

Some parts of the Delhi border has been closed to traffic. The other two-key borders- Tikri and Singhu, the epicenters of farmers’ protest have also been placed under tight security.

On Thursday, the tension rose at Ghazipur border as Delhi police in anti-riot gear started arriving at the site to remove the protesting farmers, the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Rakesh Tikait said they would not budge. Tikait then broke down on stage as he appealed to farmers not to leave the protest site and said the agitation would continue. He also declared that if needed he is ready to face bullets.

This is a conspiracy against farmers and if the three farm laws will not be repealed they will not go anywhere, said emotional Tikait adding that this is a betrayal of farmers. Amid continuous sloganeering of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan by protesters waving the tricolour, farmer leader Jagat Singh Rathi said, he can protest while standing up instead of the sit-in protest at the site. 

The Ghaziabad police officer said that the excess security force from the protest site has been withdrawn and only a minimal deployment of personnel remains there, since the tension was building at UP Gate due to excessive deployment of force last night.

As soon as the video of the emotional Tikait surfaced online, more farmers started to join the sit-in protest at Ghazipur border late at night. Several appeals have also been made by the leaders in Western UP urging others to join the protest today. The farmers in Haryana blocked the Chandigarh national Highway near Kandela Village of Jind district.

Also Read: Farmers protest: Delhi police serves notice to 20 farm leaders, Amit Shah meets injured cops

Tikait told the reporters that the Supreme Court has justified the peaceful sit-in, there has been no violence on the Ghazipur border. Despite this, the government has adopted a repressive policy, it is the face of the Uttar Pradesh government, said Tikait. There has been no power at the site since Wednesday afternoon, and they have not got any water supply through tankers, added Tikait.

Meanwhile, the Ghazipur border had been sealed since the farmers started their protest on November 26. On Republic Day, the farmers had broken barricades and taken out their tractor rally. The farmers have allegedly carried out violence at the iconic Red Fort on Tuesday. More than 25 cases over the violence have been filed against the farmer union leaders, 19 people have been arrested by the Delhi police.

However, the farmers have said the violence on Republic Day was the result of a conspiracy to malign them. The government was trying to break their peaceful protest. Rakesh Tikait has demanded a judicial inquiry into the events at the Red Fort.

Also Read: Farmer unions stick to protest site as police try to muscle them out, Bengal resolution asks Centre to revoke farm laws

Thousands of protesting farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders for almost two months, demanding the rollback of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre. The farmers and the government have involved in several round of talks in an attempt to end the deadlock, but they were inconclusive. The farmers have been adamant on their demands to repeal the three laws, while government has offered to postpone the enactment of laws to one and half years.

Book reviews

The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

The book not only delineates Ruskin Bond’s journey as a writer but also depicts the changing literary landscape from the 1950s to recent times.

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The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

India’s most loved and prolific writer from the hill, who wrote his first book when he was around 17, Ruskin Bond, turned 90 this year. In his seven decade literary journey, the author has written more than 500 novels, short stories, and poems set mostly in the hills and mountains of India. 

The Hill Of Enchantment published by Aleph Book Company, is a memoir of his writing journey, with the subtitle, the story of my life as a writer. Bond revisits the people, mountains, railway stations, rooms, and markets that shaped him as an author. He says, characters in his novels and short stories are mostly inspired by the people he met in his life. The author confesses that some characters also portray his adopted family, friends and colleagues. 

Expressing that if a writer wishes to create a little magic with his pen he must find a little magic in his life, Ruskin Bond shares that he only has to open his window to see a magical world – clouds racing across the sky. In the book, the author mentioned how Pari Tibba, Fairy Hill, which he could see from his window, and solitude has influenced his books.

In The Hill of Enchantment, Ruskin Bond pens about how his need for privacy and solitude have inspired his first work, The Room on the Roof, published in 1956. He also portrayed how his frequent visits to a railway station led to the story, Time Stops At Shamli and others. Sharing an anecdote, Bond wrote that his frequent visits to railway stations made him so popular, just like a coolie, he did not have to buy a platform ticket to sit at the railway station.

The book also highlights the ordeal of Indian writers in the days dating back to 1950s to get published as compared to modern writers. It pointed out the change in the literary scene in the twenty-first century, which brought literary festivals along with online forums for writers and publishers. The author says, “writers were becoming faces and mini celebrities”. 

Ruskin Bond’s book not only delineates his journey as a writer but also stresses on the changing literary landscape from 1950s to recent times. The book is an utter testament for the aspiring writers. 

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that the NDA has already bagged 310 seats after the completion of 5 phases of the Lok Sabha polls. He urged the people of Odisha to free the state from babu-raj and allow the BJP to form government at the Centre and also in the state.  Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Shah claimed after the 5th phase of elections, the NDA has already got 310 seats and they will secure 400 plus seats after the 6th and 7th rounds of elections. The union home minister added that Odisha has been ruled by a handful of officers and this election will end the ongoing babu raj in the state.

He said that the tribals of Keonjhar get no benefit even though most of the mines and mineral reserves of the country are located in Keonjhar district. Shah enlisted Modi government’s achievements and said that the prime minister has ensured that there is no terrorism across the country. He added that PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) was with India and it would remain with India.

Shah criticized Congress of being frightened over Pakistan possessing an atom bomb and said PM Modi has given a befitting reply to Pakistan’s terror activities and he does not fear such threat of nuclear bombs. He attacked the previous Congress government for doing nothing for tribals. Shah pointed out that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a separate ministry for tribal affairs while Narendra Modi as the PM has worked to eliminate Naxalism in Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Home Minister said PM Modi has constituted District Mineral Foundation and given crores of rupees for the development of the tribal region. Shah said the budgetary allocation for tribal affairs has been increased to Rs 1.25 lakh crore during Modi government from Rs 25,000 crore given during the previous UPA regime.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Congress accuses PM Modi of communal campaigning, questions his silence on key issues like caste census, reservations

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s attack came over Modi’s remarks in an interview to the media in which he had said that he has never uttered a word against minorities, and the BJP has not just today but never acted against them.

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Congress accuses PM Modi of communal campaigning, questions his silence on key issues like caste census, reservations

The Congress on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been indulging in polarisation throughout the election and has prepared a communal pitch, but Congress refused to play on that and pursued its paach nyay agenda. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s attack came over Modi’s remarks in an interview to the media in which he had said that he has never uttered a word against minorities, and the BJP has not just today but never acted against them.

Jairam Ramesh said that PM Modi’s entire campaign from April 19 has been based on communalisation with the Hindu-Muslim rhetoric throughout and has not talked about Viksit Bharat, issues of the farmers, Modi ki guarantee, women, youth workers, SCs, STs and OBCs.

Speaking about the remarks made by PM Modi on minorities, Ramesh said what nonsense was he talking about?  He further added the prime minister is fast losing his memory and he has never had any adherence to truth. Ramesh called PM Modi a jhoothjeevi and said PM Modi does not remember what he said the day before and then claims that he never said it.

Ramesh said the prime minister had raised the issue of Muslim League imprint on the Congress manifesto, the mangalsutra remarks and the allegation that the Congress will give reservations on the basis of religion, which are all bogus statements.

He said this is the prime minister who, when asked some years ago whether he had any remorse at the killings during the Gujarat riots, said even when a small puppy comes under a car, one feels bad. This is the language that he had been using. Ramesh claimed that when Atal Bihari Vajapayee became the prime minister, L K Advani and company wanted a committee to review the basic structure of the Constitution. Ramesh said Congress boycotted that commission and this has always been the objective of the BJP and the RSS.

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