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Why do people love to hate?

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Bengal Riots

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ranjona Banerji

And once again, India is heading towards what journalists of old used to call a “communal tinderbox”. Sectarian hatred, which sadly simmers below the surface across pockets of India, has once again started to find violent expression. This expression is usually related to political patronage – some Hindus feel that majoritarian rule is the answer for India whenever the BJP is in power. And in Bengal, there are claims that Mamata Banerjee’s Muslim appeasement policy has given strength to Islamist feelings in some areas of Bengal. Kerala is also going through some churn between the CPM and the BJP and once again the accusation is that various Islamic groups have free rein there: Hatred growing on hatred to destroy us all.

It is convenient for us to get stuck in the politics of it. That as if, had politicians not existed or did not pit one cause against the other, we would have loved each other desperately. The politics of it allows us to escape from the reality: That there is hatred, there is fear, there is a sense of historical injustice and there is insecurity. Almost all of it is illogical and unreasonable, almost all of it stems from ignorance and bigotry and all of it makes a mockery of our humanity.

History will show us that there is no one answer, there is no easy answer. Anthropologists will point to ancient atavistic impulses. Archaeologists will find old bones with evidence of extreme violence. Sociologists and psychologists will examine chinks in our relationships with others and with ourselves. They will all be correct. There is hatred in us and it will continue.

Do upbringing and experience play a role? Yet there are people who have suffered after the Partition riots and have tried to build bridges and there are those who have suffered and become filled with thoughts of revenge. The way some soldiers who have seen fighting and death become pacifists and others become even more dogged about military solutions to a conflict over all other ones. Does education make a difference? Clearly it does not, when you consider the number of educated terrorists of all political hues. Does being religious make a difference? This is the most tragic of all human beliefs when you consider that most extremist behaviour is justified in the name of religion.

We can accept that this is how we are and move on. Let law and order take each individual case and let the human constructs of evidence and justice deal with the consequences of human iniquity. Small individual steps to offset our human flaws. But this does not work on any grand scale.

The only thing that will make a difference is if law is matched with societal determination. Look at how Germany has tackled its anti-Semitic past. It was not the only nation in Europe which has persecuted Jews. The word “pogrom”, used loosely today for rioting and ethnic cleansing, is a Russian word meaning to “wreak havoc, demolish violently”, was specifically used for attacks on Jews. Across Europe, Jews faced everything from social discrimination to outright violence. Every kind of justification and lie to persecute any minority group today was used then.

But what happened in Nazi Germany with the cruel genocide of 6 million Jews in concentration camps was so bad, so horrific, that it became too much for the collective conscience of the Germans and of much of the world. Germany more than any other nation follows a very strict policy when it comes to anti-Semitism because it is always aware of its past. No solution is perfect but this is the one solution which has stood out as a beacon of hope and so it must.

Racism has not found such an easy solution nor has gender equity. Here in India, apart from the anger with minority religions that some of the majority Hindus have, we have still not managed as a society to acknowledge the terrible damage done to our fellow humans by the strictures of caste. We still look for justifications for dehumanisation, against and above the law of the land.

There is no easy answer and as long as we don’t honestly search for some as a society, we shall continue to be victim to politicians, religious clerics and other vested interests, to those whose power flows from creating and fostering hatred amongst us. We have reached that crossroads yet again. The last time someone tried to appeal to our collective conscience, we killed him. There is no Mahatma Gandhi today. There is only us. And we don’t look pretty.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Watch: Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok performs puja for his new car, video goes viral

In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26

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Watch:  Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok performs puja for his new car, video goes viral

South Korean Embassy in India held a special puja ceremony to mark the arrival of a new vehicle for Ambassador Chang Jae-bok. The official took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a video of the pooja ceremony. He wrote he was delighted to have new Hyundai Genesis GV80 as the ambassador’s official vehicle. He also held a puja ceremony for good luck.

In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26. The video has been viewed close to 80,000 times. The post has more than 1700 likes.

Variety of comments started coming on Twitter. Many social media users were happy on seeing the video and wished Ambassador for the new car. One social media user said Good Luck and safe driving Ambassador Chang. One X user wrote that is the way to appreciate someone’s culture and wished the Ambassador best of Luck.

One social media user thanked the ambassador for embracing the culture. He said good luck for the new vehicle. Another X user said nice looking car. One user wrote performing puja is a very heartwarming. He assured the Ambassador that positive forces will bring much more glory to South Korea and India’s relations. One social media user said great to see this and respect for him. Another X user said India’s culture was the pride of India.

Another social media user said this is a great gesture by the Korean ambassador.

One X user said happy driving and safe journeys.

Another user found the video beautiful.

Another social media user said this will be a good beginning for the car of the ambassador.  

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Haryana news

Watch: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar reaches Karnal airport on bike, video went viral

On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal.

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Watch: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar reaches Karnal airport on bike, video went viral

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday took a bike rike to Karnal airport in an attempt to support the car free day initiative in the state. Earlier, the chief minister announced that every Tuesday would be a car-free day in Karnal, where all government officials would travel by bicycle only.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, CM Manohar Lal Khattar wrote that be it Car Free Day or the resolve to make Drug-free Haryana, it cannot be accomplished without public cooperation. He expressed that he also made a small cooperation to reduce car traffic today by travelling to Karnal Airport by bike on Car Free Day. He added that he hopes the aware people of the state will take this message forward and inspire people to give up their cars just for a day. 

On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal. Under the aegis of this initiative, all government officials will be required to travel by bicycle on Tuesdays.

Meanwhile on Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off a cyclothon in Haryana’s Yamunanagar to promote the initiative of drug-free Haryana. The campaign titled Cyclothon for a Drug-Free Haryana witnessed the first cyclothon on September 1 and Monday, September 25.

Speaking about drug-free Haryana, the Chief Minister noted that their goal will not be achieved by mere march against drug addiction. He added that in order to eradicate it from its roots they will have to create public awareness continuously. He underlined that to eliminate drug addiction, they have to break the drug supply chain for which the government is taking action against the drug smugglers with great responsibility. 

The Chief Minister further remarked that during Cyclothon Yatra Closing Ceremony in Karnal, all the people present there took many resolutions to eradicate drug addiction from the society. 

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India News

Cauvery water dispute: Bengaluru bandh evokes partial response as public services function normally

Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services.

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Cauvery water dispute: Bengaluru bandh evokes partial response as public services function normally

The Bengaluru bandh summoned by farmers and Kannada organisations on Tuesday and supported by the BJP and JD(S) in protest against the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu evoked partial response as most of the public services were functioning normally. However, very few people ventured out in the streets.

Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services. In Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and Metro rail services, the usual rush was not seen. In addition, Ola-Uber Drivers Association and Hotel Owners Association have said that their services will be normal today.

On the other hand, Bengaluru Urban district Deputy Commissioner Dayananda K A has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the city on Tuesday, in wake of the bandh. Several private companies and firms, including those in the IT sector have asked their employees to work from home. Some shopping malls in the city have decided to remain shut. Many shops and establishments were also seen not functioning as usual in the morning hours.

Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti, which is an umbrella outfit of farmers’ associations and other organisations headed by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, has given the call for today’s dawn-to-dusk (6 am to 6 pm) Bengaluru shutdown. Shanthakumar and other leaders of the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti were arrested by the police at the Mysuru Bank circle, as they were trying to hold a protest march towards Town Hall.

In addition, multiple activists of Kannada organisations were also whisked away by the police at Town Hall, as they gathered there to demonstrate a protest. Farmers’ leaders and Kannada activists slammed the government for allegedly using police force to curtail the protests and bandh. Farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are further expected to stage a protest at the Freedom Park, which is a designated place for such demonstrations.

According to reports, city police have taken adequate security measures to respond to any violence that may happen during the protests. Nearly 100 platoons have been deployed. Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda stated that prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place across the city from midnight on Monday to midnight on Tuesday in the view of the bandh.

According to existing restrictions and court orders, there is no permission for any bandh or procession in the city, he added. On the other hand, a Karnataka bandh, a state-wide shutdown, was called on September 29 by Kannada Okkuta, an umbrella organisation for Kannada organisations, led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj. They are not supporting today’s bandh.

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