Friday January 19, 2018
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Slap Aamir Khan, get a lakh: What next, Shiv Sena?

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Hindu right-wing party Shiv Sena is at it again. After smearing ink on innocuous Sudhendra Kulkarni in Mumbai, the Punjab unit of the outfit announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh per slap for anyone slapping actor Aamir Khan over his remarks on “growing intolerance” in India.

Aamir is currently in Ludhiana for the shooting of his upcoming movie, Dangal.

Rajeev Tandon, Punjab chairman, Shiv Sena, while inveighing on Khan said that “any person who will slap Aamir Khan will get Rs 1 lakh for each slap from the Shiv Sena”, adding, “We give an opportunity to the manager and employees of the hotel and also the team of his film to slap Aamir and get Rs 1 lakh from us. The courageous and patriotic persons who will slap Aamir Khan in Ludhiana will get Rs 1 lakh reward per slap from us.”

Shiv Sena is no stranger to controversies. It has, in the past, dug up cricket pitches, beaten up north and south Indians in Mumbai, thrashed couples in public parks on Valentine’s Day and smeared ink on people holding contrarian point of views. Its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ does not mince words in excoriating its political opponents and a particular community, namely Muslims, in its daily harangue. To the extent that late Bal Thackeray once called upon people to form ‘Hindu suicide squads’ to counter ‘Islamic extremism’.

But as they say, barking dogs seldom bite. The bellicose Shiv Sena has weird, dangerous ideas but apparently nobody capable enough in its rank and file to carry them out. For instance, it has been over 14 years since 2002 when Thackeray issued a call for Hindu suicide squads, yet no one from his own ranks paid heed to him and stepped up to the plate. The Shiv Sena men apparently do not themselves have the gumption to ‘slap’ Aamir Khan, hence this public appeal.

But this time Shiv Sena seems to have crossed the ‘red-line’ by inciting violence against a person whose only crime was to express his point of view over an important issue plaguing the country. Shiv Sena knows India being a poor country where around 60 per cent people live below the poverty line and have to work hard to make both ends meet, Rs one lakh is no small amount to take the law into one’s own hands.

Consider a man who has to arrange for his sister’s dowry, who has to finance his children’s studies, who has to meet expenses of his father’s medical treatment, or the debt-ridden farmer who has to pay off his loans. Wouldn’t he consider Shiv Sena’s offer and slap Aamir Khan despite having no grudges against the latter.

Suppose he slaps Aamir for Rs one lakh and gets caught in flagrante delicto. He might be sent to jail for a few months and fined as well. But wouldn’t it be worth taking a risk for him? Shiv Sena, fully aware of a poor Indian’s insecurities and compulsions, has issued a call for inflicting violence upon Aamir Khan knowing that someone would eventually fall into its trap.

With this, the Marathi chauvinist party cuts a sorry figure and has stooped to a new low but nothing seems out of bounds for Shiv Sena. I mean what next? If this continues, that day is not far when Shiv Sena and its ilk, like ignoramus Mullahs, would offer bounties on people’s heads. Such venom in public discourse by those who are supposed to lead us is what perchance Aamir was referring to in his remarks, for holding a contrarian point of view does not make one ‘traitor’.

This ‘intolerance’ is scary and sends shivers down one’s spine. At the same time, we must not paint everybody with the same brush, for crude, uncouth Shiv Sena is not India.

How we deal with the likes of Shiv Sena will define us as a nation.

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India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully test fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like : Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read : Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017 .

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS