Tuesday January 16, 2018
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‘Growing intolerance’ overhyped by award wapsi, Anupam Kher

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New Delhi: The ‘award wapsi’ fiasco escalated to new heights with Anupam Kher giving a clarion call to uphold the fabric of secularism through his anti-award wapsi march from the National Museum to Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

The star-studded rally which included at least 30 top actors, writers and poets, marched to submit a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee urging him not to accept the returned awards.

Lambasting a media report which branded India as an ‘intolerable’ country, Anupam Kher stated, “no foreign country has the right to call India ‘intolerant’.”

“It is the people of India who are sending the wrong message”, lamented Kher.

“There was no sign of religious intolerance in India, award wapsi has overhyped the issue”, Kher said.

He further said, returning the awards had sent a wrong message to the world that ‘growing intolerance’ had plagued India. Hitting out at the ‘award wapsi’ phenomenon, the veteran actor stated that returning the honour would not solve the issue but upholding peaceful co-existence, secularism and an united stand would address the debacle.

Madhur Bhandarkar, who also joined the rally, said returning awards tantamount to disrespecting the whole country as an award is the recognition that the citizens confer for works of the artists.

However, the rally called by Anupam Kher, echoed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that ‘intolerance’ was a ‘manufactured outrage’.

Rejecting allegation that the rally was influenced by the BJP-led government, Anupam Kher stated that, the returning of awards have tarnished the image of the country globally and hyped the ‘intolerance’ issue.

“The rally is a forum to uphold the unity of India and was not influenced by any political wing”, claimed Anupam Kher, adding, “returning an award does not make anybody less Indian but such a gesture does adversely affect the country’s reputation globally”.

Anupam Kher is also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the evening today.

The organisers of the rally had used social media platform to apprise people about the event.

However, people of India are still contemplating whether ‘march against march’ will address the tension which has definitely created a rift between the rebel group and the non-rebel group of award winners.

(Picture Courtesy: www.shongram.com)

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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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