Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism’s pavilion themed on the famous snake boat race has bagged an award in the destination category along with Mexico, Japan and Nepal at FITUR, the second largest travel and tourism fair in Spain.
The Kerala pavilion won the best stand award for design, communication and professionalism at the 36th edition of the five-day FITUR that ends on Sunday.
The event was attended by 9,500 companies from 165 countries.
The Kerala pavilion, which was adorned by two replicas of the snake boat, was one of the most-photographed pavilions.
“The award for our pavilion is a huge honour for our state,” said Kerala’s Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar, who led the state delegation at FITUR.
Four co-exhibitors, representing the state’s private tourism and hospitality sector, took part in the pavilion, built on a 60 square metre area.
The pavilion was conceived and designed by Stark Communications, the marketing agency of Kerala Tourism and executed by art director Sabu Sivan and his team.
Kerala Tourism’s principal secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao termed it a “significant international honour bestowed at the world’s second most important travel and tourism industry event”.
FITUR, organised by Madrid’s trade fair organisation or IFEMA (Feria de Madrid), was held at the IFEMA Convention Centre, one of the biggest exhibition grounds in the world. (IANS)
Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.
The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.
Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.
Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.
Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.
The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.
The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”
Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.
Thiruvananthapuram | New Delhi, Sep 13, 2017: Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.
“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.
The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.
According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.
The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.
He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.
Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.
A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.
In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.
After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.
Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat. (IANS)
August 17, 2017: A Hindu girl, Ravita Meghwar living in a village in Pakistan for 16 years was recently married off to a Muslim Man. The family members of the Hindu girl believe that the kidnappers drugged them and abdicated their daughter. Ravita who was rechristened to Gulnaz says she eloped and married by her own choice.
In the recent years, case after case has been reported of Hindu girls converting to Islam in the courts in Pakistan’s southern eastern Sindh province which is also the home to the majority of Pakistani Hindus. Lower-caste and low-income Hindus in Sindh work on farmlands for powerful, rich landowners as a result of which they face discrimination and are often cut off from the Hindu community at large.
The purportedly forcible conversions of Hindus have almost similar pattern in the cases. Targeting of minor girls has deeply disturbed the Hindu population in Pakistan.
The alarming situation feeds into a wider judgment-
Today Pakistan is deemed as an Islamic nationalist state where hardline religious groups are an intimidating force, and religious minorities are voiceless.
Pakistan was established as a Muslim state in 1947 where the country’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah proclaimed that the religious minorities should have the independence to live in the nation and follow their religion, however, as the time elapsed such has not been the scenario
The prominent Islamic religious organizations are striving hard to convert Hindu girls to Islam due to which some Hindus are leaving their settlements and migrating to other cities in Pakistan, or even so leaving Pakistan completely and departing to India. The community of Hindus in Pakistan has sharply declined from roughly 23 per cent in 1947 to barely 6 per cent presently owing to coerced conversions, suppression and oppression in Pakistan, mentioned ANI.
Ravita Meghwar’s brother-in-law, Lajpat Meghwadh says with respect to the issue, “The person who Ravita has gone off with has no connection to the family, except that they had a dispute. He has never come to our house”.
There are two contradictory perceptions from both the religious groups- while the Hindu activists claim that young girls are kidnaped, forced into converting to Islam, and wedded to Muslim men in an orderly manner, the Muslim leaders are defensive about the issue saying that conversions are a way of meriting blessings. Shockingly, these conversions are often strengthened by powerful muslim clerics and local politicians which assert that the girl voluntarily flew, converted, and married.
This poses a hurdle for lawyers who have to decide the justice for such cases. And in most of the cases, the girl’s assertion to marry at her own will settles the case, whereas her parents live in denial.`
Forced conversions became the focal point of the nation in 2012 when three Hindu girls were reported to have been forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men.
Before we know what those cases were, here is a brief understanding of ‘Love Jihad’:
Where did Love Jihad come from?
In Islam, ‘Jihad’ typically means struggle or battle for a religious cause. Hence, ‘Love Jihad’ basically is a push to instill infatuation in girls of religious minorities by feigning love and hopes of marriage. In 2009, there were claims of forceful religious conversions in Kerala and Mangalore. In 2009, Justice KT Sankaran (Retd.), observed there were indications of forceful religious conversions in Kerala and that the government should mull over a law to prohibit such instances. “Under the pretext of love, there cannot be any compulsive, deceptive conversion,” the court said.
Some of the famous cases of Love Jihad:
In 2014, a case of Kaleem and Shalu Tyagi’s love affair from Meerut caught national attention which was pitched as a case of ‘Love Jihad’.
In the same year, another famous case where a national-level shooter Tara Shahdeo alleged that the person whom she thought to be a Hindu was actually a Muslim and that her in-laws were coercing her to convert to Islam.
This year, again with the Hadiya case, ‘Love Jihad’ came into recognition. The Kerala High Court declared the marriage of a Hindu girl and Muslim man null and void after the woman’s father testified that his daughter has been recruited by Islamic State (IS) in Syria. After this, the Muslim husband approached the Supreme court seeking justice. On Wednesday, NIA stated that ‘Love Jihad existed’ in a response to SC orders. The agency further claimed it was not a distinctive incident on the part of Love Jihad campaign but a ‘pattern’ that has been emerging in Kerala, mentioned PTI.
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