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SC did not take tradition into consideration: Bhagwat on Sabarimala row

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Sabarimala

Nagpur: Amid ongoing protests at Sabarimala, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said the Supreme Court verdict has not taken into consideration the nature and premise of the tradition that has been accepted by society and has given rise to “divisiveness” in society. He said questions such as why only the Hindu society experiences such repeated and brazen onslaughts on its symbols of faith, obviously arise in the public’s mind and lead to unrest.

“This situation is not at all conducive for the peace and healthiness of the society,” the Sarsanghchalak said in his annual Vijayadashmi address, the last before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, at the RSS headquarters here. Decisions taken without considering all aspects and patiently creating a mindset of the society will neither be adopted in actual practice nor will they help in creating a new social order, in tune with changing times and positions, he said. “The situation arising out of the recent verdict on Sabarimala temple shows a similar predicament. The nature and premise of the tradition that has been accepted by society and continuously followed for years together were not taken into consideration,” Bhagwat said. “The version of heads of religious denominations and faith of crores of devotees was not taken into account. The plea by a large section of women, who follow this tradition, was not heard too,” he noted.

The verdict has given rise to unrest, turmoil and divisiveness in the society in place of peace, stability and equality, the RSS chief said. Bhagwat said, “Nowhere in the world, healthy and peaceful social life has ever thrived and can thrive merely based on laws and fear of punishment.”

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice Dipak Misra, lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine located in Kerala. The iron gates of the temple opened Wednesday for the first time since the court order, but none from the “banned” age group could make it to its hallowed precincts amid a welter of protests and violent clashes. Women journalists were heckled, their vehicles smashed and young female devotees turned back as hordes of Hindu right activists besieged the road leading to the hilltop temple, abode to Lord Ayyappa.

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Court takes cognisance of defamation plea against Shashi Tharoor for remark against PM Modi

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Tharoor

New Delhi | A Delhi court on Friday took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal fixed December 22 for recording the statement of the complainant, Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar. The complaint alleged that Tharoor, with “mala fide intention, made the statement which is not only abuse of the Hindu deity but also defamatory”.

In his complaint, Babbar said being a vice-president of the BJP’s Delhi unit, he was “identified as a worker/supporter of Narendra Modi and BJP” and that Tharoor’s statement hurt his religious sentiment.  The complaint termed the statement “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of the people.

Tharoor stoked a controversy last month while speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, claiming that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Modi to “a scorpion sitting on a Shivling”. The complaint has been filed under sections 499 and 500 of IPC relating to defamation. If convicted, Tharoor may face a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

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Uttar Pradesh: Thakur leader Raja Bhaiya launched new political party

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Raja Bhaiya

Lucknow | Six-time MLA and Thakur community Raghunath Pratap Singh on Friday announced the launch of his new political party called ‘Jan Satta Party’.

Addressing the media during the launch Singh said,”I have completed 25 years in politics, have been an Independent politician and MLA, so now have decided to form a political party.” He further added that he has approached Election Commision for registration.

Popularly known by the name Raja Bhaiya, Singh is currently an MLA from Kunda in Uttar Pradesh. He was a cabinet minister of Food and Civil Supplies Department during the Samajwadi Party government. He has also served as a minister in the cabinet of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh’s government.

According to political pundits, the formation of a new political party by Raja Bhaiya is an attempt to influence the upper caste of voters in Uttar Pradesh which will indirectly help the BJP in the upcoming elections against the possible SP-BSP alliance. Earlier a close aide of the Samajwadi party, Raja Bhaiya in the last Rajya Sabha elections voted for the BJP candidate. He clearly stated that he won’t be voting in favour of the BSP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls due to his differences with BSP supremo Mayawati.

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Afridi’s comments on Kashmir endorsed by Pakistan citizens: Shiv Sena

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Kashmir

Mumbai | The Shiv Sena Friday latched on to former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi’s remarks that his country “does not want Kashmir” and said all sane Pakistanis would endorse the view.

The Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said Pakistan’s government and military chief gave more impetus on trying to harm India than governing the country as a result of which it has to seek external financial aid even 70 years after Independence.

In a video that has gone viral, Afridi is heard saying, “I believe that Pakistan does not want Kashmir, and India too should not be given the state. Kashmir should be an independent country.” He went on add that “humanity” or “insaniyat” should be prioritised.

In a swipe at the affairs of his own country battling financial woes and sectarian strife, the Pakistani all-rounder added, “Pakistan can’t handle its four provinces”. Afridi, while speaking on the matter later, however, has blamed the Indian media for quoting him out of context. Making a U-turn, Afridi has now said that “Kashmir belongs to Pakistan”.

The Sena’s editorial Friday stated, “Pakistan has become so poor in trying to support terrorism and corruption that it now is left with only the option of selling cattle and vehicles from the Prime Minister’s residence.”  It claimed that Pakistan was on the verge of a financial breakdown and it had been relegated to begging for a bailout from countries like China, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) turned down its aid request.

“If the country needs financial oxygen to keep its economy going, alive, how will it take care of Kashmir? Not just Afridi, every sane Pakistani will hold the same view. However, who asks the common man there?” the editorial questioned. “The government and the military chief there give more impetus on harming India than doing good for its people. Therefore, they have to beg for aid even 70 years after Independence,” it said.

The Sena further dubbed Afridi as “anti-Indian” and said he has, in the past, made derogatory statements against India. Citing examples, it said Afridi had shown a soft corner for 13 terrorists eliminated by Indian security forces, and has been repeatedly advocating Independence for Kashmir.

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