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Intolerance: Media conspiracy to manipulate elections, says VK Singh

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VK Singh
MoS External affairs General VK Singh

The intolerance debate in India was termed as “the unnecessary creation of very imaginative minds who are being paid with a lot of money” by Union Minister V K Singh, who called the entire hoopla a political move created to affect the Bihar assembly elections.

Singh was attending the two-day Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles in place of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had to return mid-way from Dubai due to the Paris terror attacks.

Speaking on the intolerance issue, the former army chief, Singh said that he didn’t want to comment on “how the Indian media works”. Citing “all the funny things that are being talked about intolerance”, he brought to notice the fact that just “when the Delhi (Assembly) elections took place, suddenly we found a spate of articles and a lot of hysteria that was created that churches are being attacked, the Christian community is being isolated etc.”

“A small incidence of theft in a church was depicted as an attack on church. Why? Because there was somebody who was trying to garner votes; and the media was playing the ball. Whether it was being paid or not paid, I do not know. That’s a decision or opinion that you have to make,” he added.

“I am just giving you the facts. The day that election was over all the hoopla was gone,” he alleged.

The media plays a huge role in directing the angle that a nation takes in viewing certain events. Singh drew comparison between this issue and that of the intolerance debate fizzling out after the Bihar polls.

“Same is (the case with) this intolerance debate. The moment Bihar elections are over, everything is gone! All these people who were talking of intolerance and I would like you to put it down in your papers about what happened when a Gandhian (Anna Hazare) in his 70’s protesting against corruption was picked up in the middle of a night and put into Tihar (Jail). Which was the government in place at that time?” he asked.

“Have these people got any moral authority to even speak on anything? So let’s not unnecessarily confuse ourselves with what is actually happening and the lesson is for the Indian media,” said Singh.

Singh, in his keynote address to the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles, said that the Modi Government had made “inclusiveness” its hallmark.

“Things in India have changed. Inclusiveness has become the hall mark of the government policies. The present climate that is being created in India is investor friendly, to ensure people feel confident in investing and to ensure that you reap the benefit of investing in India,” Singh said.

While the rising protests on the grounds of “growing intolerance” in India, along with the number of awards returned by various intelligentsia members speak about the fear of the Indian democracy “coming apart” in the present atmosphere, the BJP-led government has dismissed the issue as  “politically” motivated and a “manufactured rebellion”.

(Inputs from PTI, Indian Express)

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No Ransom Paid for Release of Kerala Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnallil: V.K. Singh

The priest, who was abducted by the Islamic State (IS) terrorists from Aden in March last year

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V.K. Singh
Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh. IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 13, 2017: Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh on Wednesday said no ransom was paid for the release of Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil.

The priest, who was abducted by the Islamic State (IS) terrorists from Aden in March last year, was brought to Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman on Tuesday. He has reached the Vatican, said a Church spokesperson on Wednesday.

Also Read: Kerala Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnallil Abducted by ISIS Rescued from Yemen: Sushma Swaraj

“No ransom was paid and the reason why Oman got into the efforts for release is… when direct efforts do not yield results, indirect measures are adopted and what’s important is to solve the problem,” Singh said while addressing the media here.

On a question when the priest is expected to return to India, the Minister said: “He (Tom) will have to decide that.” (IANS)

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Young Diaspora should be a part of India’s growth story by tapping opportunities, says General V.K. Singh

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Amb Rizali,& delegates of National Resilience Institute met Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V.K Singh. Twitter

Bengaluru, Jan 7, 2017: Union Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh on Saturday urged the young diaspora to be a part of India’s growth story by tapping the opportunities the country offers through various programmes.

“India offers opportunities to be part of its growth story and realise your dreams through the government’s flagship programmes launched to achieve developmental objectives,” Singh said at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, held as part of the 14th Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Day.

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He said the Smart Cities Mission, Digital India, Skill India, Start-Up India and Swacch Bharat campaign are the Centre’s flagship programmes for building a prosperous, skilful, enterprising, clean and futuristic country.

Asserting that global good could not be achieved by one country alone, as the global challenges were complicated, Singh said the Indian diaspora had to strengthen the bridges that connect it with the motherland and create new ones.

“You can transform your lives and that of India through four Ts — talent, technology, training and team work — as the Prime Minister’s vision will make India the skill capital of the world by 2022,” the minister told about 400 young members of the Indian diaspora.

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By 2020, the average age in India will be 29, making it the world’s youngest country with 64 per cent of the population in the working age group, he said.

The government had recently launched a platform for online registration of Indian students abroad, which will help the ministry estimate their exact numbers, map them and reach out.

Singh said the scholarship programme for diaspora children to pursue undergraduate courses in Indian universities and institutes had been revamped and extended to 66 countries from 44 and scholarship amount increased; besides a portal had been set up for online application and processing.

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“We will be happy to offer expertise in your areas of interest. Training can also be through internships, volunteering or even philanthropy. The choice is yours,” Singh said.

“Whether you are looking for adventure tourism, quality education, tech start-ups or even a market for novel utility products, India offers plethora of opportunities in cities and towns across the country,” the minister said.

The government had recently launched a platform for online registration of Indian students abroad, which will help the ministry estimate their exact numbers, map them and reach out.(IANS)

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More than 90,000 Indians repatriated during last 2 years, including 60,500 from Nepal

In the last 2 years, over 90,000 Indians have been repatriated, including 60,500 from Nepal, the Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday.

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Amb Rizali,& delegates of National Resilience Institute met Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V.K Singh. Twitter

New Delhi, December 8, 2016: In the last 2 years, over 90,000 Indians have been repatriated, including 60,500 from Nepal, the Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday.

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According to PTI, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said in a written reply, “From time to time, Indian Missions/Posts in various countries are approached by overseas Indians with request for assistance including in matters relating to transportation of mortal remains to India, repatriation of Indians in distress abroad, non-payment of salaries/dues by employers, cheating by recruiting agents, He said government has facilitated repatriation of 92,211 Indians nationals during 2014-2016. “

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The minister added that apart from Nepal, the other countries from where Indians were repatriated include Iraq (7,925), Yemen (4,748), Saudi Arabia (4,570), Oman (4,043), Libya (3,775) and the UK (1,305).

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“The Ambassador has already met the distressed of M/s ETA Engineering Services. It has been taken up with the employer and Qatari Government authorities by the Mission. They have been assured that all the issues being faced by the workers would be sorted out at the earliest,” Singh added

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs