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American India Foundation expands reach

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Washington: The American India Foundation, dedicated to catalysing social and economic change in India, launched its eleventh chapter in the historic city of Philadelphia. The foundation is one of the largest development organisations in the US dedicated to helping poor and marginalised people in India.

AIF was founded by the initiative of former President Bill Clinton after the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake following a suggestion from then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Nearly a hundred people from the Greater Philadelphia region attended the event held at the downtown Loews Philadelphia Hotel Oct 2, according to the American Bazaar.

In the keynote address Al Jazeera America host Ali Velshi, whose great grandparents moved to Africa from Gujarat a century ago, recalled the struggles his forefathers had to endure in their adopted land.

He praised the work AIF is doing to provide opportunities the less privileged in the Indian society.

Chief guest Raj Gupta, chairman of the board of directors of Delphi Automotive, stressed the importance of philanthropic work organizations such as AIF is doing in the US and India.

“A dollar and 25 cents can make a difference,” he said, urging everyone to share their wealth.

AIF CEO MA Ravi Kumar spoke about the mission of the organization.

Other speakers included the chapter founding members Sanjay Gupta and Kavita Gupta, AIF Senior Director of Philanthropy and Development Venky Raghavendra, and Deepak Jolly, a vice president at Coca-Cola India.

Philadelphia being the city of firsts and with the huge potential that it holds, it is important to have a strong presence and chapter here,” Sanjay Gupta told the American Bazaar.

Greater Philadelphia region, comprising of City of Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware, is home to leading universities, businesses and a population that has strong ties to India. AIF hopes to tap these resources.

The ten other cities and regions AIF has chapters are Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New England, New York Tristate Area, Orange County, Richmond VA and Washington DC.

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Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15 Year Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi

The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Aug 28

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Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim
Self-proclaimed spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Wikimedia
  • Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim was held guilty in the 2002 rape case by a CBI court
  • The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Aug 28
  • Ram Rahim was taken to Rohtak jail through a chopper

Chandigarh, Aug 25, 2017: Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim was held guilty in the 2002 rape case by a CBI court today. He was convicted of raping his female followers, the court stated. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Aug 28. Ram Rahim was taken to Rohtak jail through a chopper.

Tensions in the air were flowing since few days before the verdict, as around 200,000 blind supporters of the self-styled godman seized the Tricity. The protestors were seen threatening to incite violence in the city a day before the verdict.

All the educational institutions and government offices remained shut. Also, buses and trains service was halted. The parliamentary forces and police were patrolling on the risk prone areas while the army was on standby. Data services and the internet was suspended in Chandigarh, Haryana, and Punjab for three days.
Till now 17 people have died in the furious demonstration by the supporters. Many media vehicles were set on fire, and army forces were pelted stones, leaving some of them wounded. The Punjab government also imposed section 144. However, it was not successfully implemented.

Ram Rahim Rape Case: What happened 15 years back?

Ram Rahim was convicted in a 15 years old rape case by a CBI court today.
In 2002, his female follower wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Judges of Haryana and Punjab court. The girl alleged that she and other females at the ‘Dera’ are a victim of sexual exploitation. The court instructed a detailed CBI investigation concerning the issue.
In 2007, Ram Rahim was convicted under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code by CBI court.
 The anonymous letter from a Sadhvi revealed by Aaj Tak reads:
I am from Punjab and now I am presently working as a sadhu girl in Sirsa (Haryana, Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera Asara), for the last five years. Hundreds of girls also serve 16 to 18 hours in the camp. We are being physically exploited here. I am a BA graduate. Members of my family are blind devotees of Shri Maharaj, whose influence made a saint in the camp. Two years after becoming a saint, one-day Maharaj Gurmeet’s famous Sadhu Gurjot told me at 10 o’ clock in the night that Maharaj has called me in the cave (place of residence of Maharaj). Because I was going there for the first time, I was very happy, grasping that God himself has called me today. When I got up in the cave, I saw Maharaj sitting on the bed. There was remote in hand, a blue film was running on the front TV and a revolver on the bed side. I was shocked to see all this … the ground beneath my feet slipped. What is this happening? Maharaj would be like this, I did not even dream about this. Maharaj stopped the TV and made me sit with water and said that I have called you as my special beloved. Taking me in the arms, Maharaj said that I like you with all my heart. I want to love you because you have devoted your soul, wealth, and body to Satguru Ji when you became a sadhu. Hence, this body and soul is all mine. On my opposition, he said that there is no doubt that I am God. When I asked if this is how a God works, he said: Lord Krishna was God, he had 360 Gopis from whom he used to love every day, yet people consider him as divine. This is not a new thing. If I want, then you can cremate your life with this revolver. Your house believes in us by all means and is our slave. They can not go out of us, you know this thing well. I have a good stand in our government. The Chief Minister of Haryana and Punjab, the Union Minister touches my feets. The leaders support us, take the money, and will never go against us. I will expell the members of your family from the service. We will kill all the members without leaving any evidence, you know very well that we had already destroyed the manager of the dera, who have not been found till today. Nor has there been any evidence left outstanding. With the help of money, we will buy politicians and police and justice. In this way, my face was blackened and I have been raped for 20-30 times in the last three months. I was ordered to wear white clothes, keep sardine on the head, not to lift the eye on a man, and keep the distance of five to ten feet from the man. I am a goddess in the show, but my condition is like a prostitute. I once told my family that everything is not right in the tent here, so my people reprimanded me by saying that if it is not right with God, then where is it?. Bad thoughts have started coming to your mind. Adhere yourself to Satguru. I am compelled. Here the order of Satguru says that no two girls can talk to each other, can not talk to house holders by telephone. In the past, when a Bathinda girl revealed the black act of Maharaj before all the girls, many sadhu girls shunned her by whipping her together….. A girl from Sangrur district when came home and told the neighbors about the dirty activities of the camp, the attendants of the dera came to the girl’s house with guns inside the house, and threatened her by putting a pistol. So along with all these girls, I will also be killed with my family, if I will write my name in it. I would request you to examine our bodies with the help of doctors so that our parents and you will know that whether we are Kumari Devi or Not? If not then by whom ruined. 

ALSO READ: Indian Gurus-Preaching Spiritualism or Business? 

It is frightening to see that someone in this country with gigantic backing, despite the criminal accusations, can shake up the whole scenario. Army wounded, media injured, open firing and burning places for the rape trial of an accused shows that 60 million in this country are living in denial. Distortion of religion and faith is a common sight in India.

Personages like Ram Rahim who win over people by misguiding them are a threat to the entire human race. The man who claimed himself a godman devasted the parts of Punjab and Haryana, however, this is an alarming situation for the nation for the nation as well.


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India and Pakistan have to become Peaceful Neighbours, says Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti

“Jaise ki Vajpayee ji ke time par tha, Jaise ek dusre ke hamsaye hai, hume miljul ke rehne ki aadat dalni padegi aur aman se rehni ki aadat dalni padegi (Like it was during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time, we should learn to live peacefully as neighbours,”

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Facebook

Jammu and Kashmir, May 15, 2017: J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti spoke to media on Saturday after the meeting of youth delegations at her hometown Srinagar.
CM said that India and Pakistan have to learn how to be good and peaceful neighbors.

Mehbooba further expressed her grief over the killings on the border after two civilians lost their lives on Saturday during a shootout between Indian and Pakistani troops on LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, mentioned HT report.

The CM said “It is very unfortunate that the firing which is going on for past few days has led to deaths. First a lady died. Today there have been more deaths. Our stand has always remained that war and confrontation (between the two countries) has always affected (Kashmir) Valley and our people.”

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She added, “That is why I will ask both nations; Pakistan should think that this type of shelling leads to killings of people in Jammu and Kashmir. I believe there will be deaths on the other side as well because in retaliatory fire people were killed there also and here also they are killed.”

Mufti said that no one will benefit from these exchanges of fire. Only the innocent people will lose their lives and that is the last thing any nation wants.

Remembering the time of BJP government under former PM Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she said “Jaise ki Vajpayee ji ke time par tha, Jaise ek dusre ke hamsaye hai, hume miljul ke rehne ki aadat dalni padegi aur aman se rehni ki aadat dalni padegi (Like it was during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time, we should learn to live peacefully as neighbours.”

The CM ensured the state of security and said that the state government will consider any request for security from separatist leaders following a threat by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat.

“When somebody will seek security from us, we will think over it,” Mufti told reporters.
It is to be noted here that Zakir had earlier threatened Hurriyat leaders if they “create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic State,” she further added.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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US President Donald Trump thanks his predecessor Barack Obama for ‘beautiful’ Letter

Donald Trump thanked his predecessor Barack Obama for his letter

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US President Donald Trump. VOA

Washington, Jan 23, 2017: Newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump thanked his predecessor Barack Obama for a letter for him in the Oval Office but said he will not be divulging its contents to the media.

“I just went to the Oval Office and found this beautiful letter from President Obama,” Trump said on Sunday, addressing senior staff members before they were sworn-in.

“It was really very nice of him to do that and we will cherish that. We will keep that and we won’t even tell the press what’s in that letter.”

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In the letter President George W. Bush left for Obama, Bush said there would be “trying moments” during his presidency and warned Obama that “critics will rage” and said your “‘friends’ will disappoint you”, The Hill magazine reported.

“But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me,” Bush wrote.

In the letter President Bill Clinton wrote to Bush in 2001, Clinton saluted and wished him “success and much happiness”.

“The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible,” Clinton wrote. (IANS)