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India Reacts

“Surgical Strike Day”: Display of patriotism or Political move?

Arti Ghargi



surgical strike

What is the aim of “Surgical Strike Day” exactly? Is UGC notification a move inspired by patriotism or is it politically motivated?


On Thursday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued a notice to all the universities in the country asking to celebrate September 29th as ‘Surgical Strike Day’.  The Modi government wants to celebrate the day in remembrance of the Surgical Strike conducted by Indian Army after the attacks of Uri. However, as several opposition parties called the move politically motivated, HRD minister Prakash Javdekar issued a clarification. He said that the decision was motivated by patriotism and is not politically motivated. He further said, “We have not done any compulsion on institutions or students. We have released the program after suggestions of many students and teachers needing to celebrate the second anniversary of the surgical strike.”


UGC notification

On the other hand, while responding to the instructions of the UGC, JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said that we will celebrate Surgical Strike Day in JNU. He further said that JNU is very close to the defense forces.

What is the aim of “Surgical Strike Day” exactly? Is UGC notification a move inspired by patriotism or is it politically motivated? HW News brings you reactions from across party lines:

Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:


“First of all, earlier surgical strikes which are claimed now, they were not made public at that time and even military officials of that time, they are also saying that those were not surgical strikes, so those surgical strikes are controversial. Secondly, this surgical strike was a big activity, it was a big strike, it was successful and it has been held everywhere in the world. Government is saying to maintain that stay.”

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:


“The entire BJP, Modi government is very much frightened that the country will not vote for them. That is why they want to grab every opportunity. UGC using only one incident in university curriculum is not fair, they want to introduce any curriculum they should include entire Indian army and one of the incidents can be a surgical strike. A lot of the things have been done by Indian Army, they had defeated the Pakistan two times, they had created Bangladesh, where surrendered more than one lakh soldiers from Pakistan in the battle of 1971. These all things are done by Indian Army. By only introducing Surgical Strike, BJP wants to insult Indian army, I think they don’t understand what Indian army is.”

Preeti Sharma Menon, AAP Spokesperson:


“This is a completely political decision. Not only there have been surgical strikes in the past, but we have won many wars. I don’t remember any of those war celebrations of those victories. So to try and gain the political advantage of the one effort which is done under the Modi regime, this is been done. The sad part is instead of trying for peace the M0di government is more interested in making a spectacle of small acts of aggression. They have no long-term plan for the valley. Today situation in Kashmir is worst, it has been in decades. In 2017, more people died in Kashmir than they have died in a decade. They include civilian, police and armed forces people. So the death count is piling up. Every day the policemen are attacked by the terrorists in the valley. So there is no solution to the hostilities. No steps have been taken to achieve any peace, but there is a lot of tom-tomming and swashbuckling, which I think is really sad. But now people are seeing through it, the Modi regime is over. Now people know that this is all tom-tomming and no concrete, a cohesive policy even for Kashmir or Pakistan. It’s quite sad. Its just political propaganda and now people see through to it.”

Prithviraj Chavan, former Maharashtra CM:


“The decision is completely politically motivated. The point the government has nothing to show as far the relationship with Pakistan is concerned. They were complete blank as far as Prime Ministers initiative meeting with Nawaz Sharif going to uninvited and that has backfired and after every government initiative, Pakistan has replied by kicking us in the shin. Therefore I think, the whole point is there is nothing to show, and that’s why they are suddenly woken up after two years and want to celebrate surgical strike which is a routine operation during previous governments. Such kind of this has happened. and there is nothing wrong with doing internal discussion. Whatever they want to call it, it was an incursion by Indian armed forces to the Pakistan territory. This has happened many times in the past but we never advertised this. Now they have nothing else to say that’s why they are making a deal out of it. We are proud of our jawan but ultimately who leads them the political leadership the really is the issue. our jawans are being sailed by our political leadership.”

India Reacts

Should MJ Akbar step down as a minister following sexual harassment allegation?

Arti Ghargi



MJ Akbar

In the lights of these allegations, should MJ Akbar step down as a minister? HW News brings you reactions from across the people.


India’s #MeToo movement that started with Tanushree Dutta breaking her silence on workplace harassment on the sets of the film ‘Horn Ok Please’ at the hands of actor Nana Patekar, has hit the Indian politics and media too.

In a slew of accounts that came out as a part of #MeToo movement recounted some horrifying incidents where women were sexually harassed at the workplace. While women in media have named a number of male journalists/media persons breaking their silence, scores of women have named journalist turned politician and now MoS External Affairs in the Modi government-MJ Akbar as a sexual predator.

As many as 9 women from different media organization have accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment. These survivors’ accounts paint a stomach-churning pattern to his sexual abuse – set up job interviews with aspiring women journalists in hotel rooms, repeatedly call them to his office cabin for meaningless conversation and chatter, entice them with major stories, send them out of the workplace and meet them at a hotel at odd hours.

In the lights of these allegations, should MJ Akbar step down as a minister? HW News brings you reactions from across the people:

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, Journalist:




“He should absolutely step down from the post. This casts a big shadow on the Modi government which boasts of campaigns like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. The women’s accounts need to be heard.”


Seshadri Chari, BJP NEC:


“The allegations made against the MoS for External Affairs Mr MJ Akbar are of very serious nature. So going by these allegations and given the fact that Narendra Modi govt is seriously engaged in maintaining the decorum and dignity of the government, it would be in the best interest of the govt that Mr MJ Akbar should consider demitting office. The fact that allegations have been made but so far no serious charge has been framed nor any FIR been filed officially, these all the facts on the sideline. So it will take a long time for the allegations to be taken to the court of law and it will take even more time to prove. but irrespective of that the govt needs to maintain its standards of high probity and therefore in the best interest of the government and the situation,I think Mr MJ Akbar owes an explanation and subsequently it will be right on his part if he thinks he should step down and allow the matter to take a logical course.”


Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

“Those who have accused, should go to the authorities and file a lawsuit. The allegations should be taken seriously and examined. If there are so many allegations, the minister resigns. If such allegations seem to be taking place, then they should resign while taking moral responsibility. Take action by filing a lawsuit, it is our demand.”

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India Reacts

#FuelPriceCut: Is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price enough?

Arti Ghargi



₹ 2.50

With the petrol prices already breaching the ₹ 90-mark in various cities, is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price by the central government enough?


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced that the central government will reduce the excise duty on fuel prices by 1.50 rupees.

Addressing a press conference, Arun Jaitley announced that the Union government will reduce the excise duty by Rs.1.50 while the Oil manufacturing Companies will also absorb a reduction of 1 rupee.” The announcement of the Finance minister will lead the rising fuel prices in the country to decrease by 2.50 rupees.

The Union Finance minister further added that the Union government will be writing to the state government to also reduce the VAT on the fuel prices similar to the central governments. Arun Jaitley further informed that cut in excise duty will be applicable immediately.

Petrol on Thursday was being sold at Rs 84 per litre in Delhi while diesel is being sold at Rs 75.45 per liter. In Mumbai on Thursday petrol is being sold at Rs 91.34 per liter and diesel at Rs 80.10 per liter.

With the petrol prices already breaching the ₹ 90-mark in various cities, is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price by the central govt. enough? HW News brings you reactions from across the political parties:


Sachin Sawant, Congress Spokesperson:

Triple talaq


“First burden people with tons of weight, then remove few grams and start patting own backs claiming concern about people. This is BJP’s strategy. The government should answer why have they kept RS 9 drought cess even when there is no drought for 3 years? Why only petrol and not diesel? The government should put petrol and diesel under GST.”


Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:


“The government has taken the decision of reducing the price of petrol and diesel by ₹ 2.50. It is nothing but misleading the people. During the UPA government, the excise duty on petrol was ₹ 9. This government increased it to ₹ 19.48. The excise duty on fuel was increased from ₹ 3 to ₹15.33. We challenge the BJP government, if it is serious about giving the people relief then it should implement the UPA-era excise duty on fuel again.”


Sambit Patra, BJP Spokesperson:


“The Modi government is fully sensitive towards the problem of rising petrol and diesel prices. The government cares for Common man and thus has reduced up to ₹5 on Petrol and Diesel. Even the BJP-ruled states are now cutting down on the prices. The Prime Minister himself is monitoring the situation.”


Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP, AAP:

fuel price


“It is good that the government decided to reduce the fuel prices by ₹2.50. But Mr. Jaitley should first clarify that from tomorrow the prices won’t again rise by 10 paise, 25 paise, 45 paise, and 50 paise etc.  It shouldn’t be like “Chaar din ki Chandani aur fir andheri raat”. In the last four years, the Modi government has increased 443% tax on diesel and 213% tax on petrol. Now that elections are around the corner in three states, the government is cutting on the taxes. A similar thing also happened during Gujarat elections as well.”

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India Reacts

Is the Modi government Anti-farmer?

Arti Ghargi




With the farmers’ protest growing across the country and farm distress reaching new heights, should the Modi government review its farm policies?

A massive protest march by farmers from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi with a charter of 15 demands including loan waiver and fair prices for crops turned violent at the border on Tuesday, with police using water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

Led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), thousands of farmers on their way to Kisan Ghat in the national capital were stopped at the Delhi border by the police. The farmers then tried to forcibly break barricades and defy prohibitory orders. Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more persons have been clamped in several areas near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border and will continue till October 8. The police even lathicharged and unleashed water cannons on the protesting farmers after they tried to evade the barricades.

The farmers’ demands include complete loan waiver, revoking the ban on 10-year-old tractors in the National Capital Region, reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears among others. The police crackdown was denounced by opposition parties.

With the farmer’s protest growing across the country and farm distress reaching new heights, should the Modi govt. review its farm policies? or Is the Modi government Anti-farmer? HW News brings you reactions from across political parties:

Ashok Gehlot, AICC General Secretary:

Ashok Gehlot

“The BJP government says they will celebrate the 150th “Gandhi Jayanti” in a grand way throughout the year. Mahatma Gandhi was an advocate of Non-Violence and the entire world on 2nd October celebrated the International Non-violence Day. But this government destroyed the idea of non-violence day. Be it UP or Delhi, wherever the lathicharge has happened, I strongly condemn it. They could have talked to farmers, have had a dialogue with them but instead, they brutally unleashed violence on them.”

Raju Shetty, Lok Sabha MP:

“The farmers were going to ask for justice and their rights in Delhi. They were not going to attack. They are not terrorists. Who gave them the right to stop farmers? Everyone has the right to go to the capital. The Mahatma who taught non-violence to the entire world placed his demands in front of the government in a non-violent manner presented an example. These people who come to power in the name of Mahatma ji, who have come to power on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, throw stones on farmers, shed pellets, they should be ashamed. I strongly condemn it. Its response will come from the entire country and the farmers.”

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:


“The farmers wanted to go to Rajghat in Delhi. Farmers were Indian citizens, what big storm came upon them when they went there. The real face of BJP came out when lathi charge was done on the farmers, the tear gas shells were pressed. It was the birth anniversary of the leader who gave us the slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, It is the birth anniversary of the leader who gave us a message of non-violence and the Modi government is unleashing violence on farmer on the same day. Modiji is only giving the slogan “Mar Jawan, Mar Kisan”. We feel that the real face of BJP has come in front of people. Anti-farmer mentality, oppressive mentality is exposed.”

D Raja, Rajya Sabha MP, CPI:


“Government just make tall claims. Mr. Modi talks about doubling the income of the farmers, Mr. Modi talks about the increasing the MSP, Mr. Modi claims his govt. is “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”. But farmers are in an unprecedented distress and debt. They are committing suicides across the country and are protesting and agitating. Farmers even marched from Nashik to Mumbai. Everyone knows Mr. Fadnavis gave them a lot of assurances. Finally, nothing happened. Now, farmers marched from Varanasi to Delhi. Delhi is the capital of the country and they must have allowed the farmers to come to Delhi where our parliament is situated. They should have allowed them to express their grievances.”

“They must have been allowed to protest. So that the government understands their grievances. This government is so insensitive that they did not allow them to enter the national capital. It is atrocious how they used the might of the police and other security forces to unleash violence on the farmers. What happened yesterday was nothing but state-sponsored violence against farmers. That could have been avoided. The protest is a form of democracy and farmers wanted to come to Delhi and express their grievances. Why they were not allowed? And the police is under Home Ministry, the violence happened under the nose of Home Ministry and the government. We strongly condemned the violence unleashed against the farmers.”

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