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Terming drugs a national problem, the second Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of the northern states on Thursday decided to set up a joint working group, involving officials of the Health and Social Justice Departments of all states, to share experiences and best practices in their respective campaigns against drugs.
The states expressed concern over the inflow of drugs from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other countries, and called for closer collaboration to battle the menace and make the region “Nasha Mukt”.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the conference, the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, joined by top officials from Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, agreed on a series of powerful measures to eradicate the drugs scourge from the region.
These included joint operations at the inter-state borders, information sharing and implementation of the best practices of the participating states.
There was consensus among the states on the importance of strengthening the information sharing mechanism on drugs and drug dealers and smugglers, for a more effective crackdown against them.
It was also agreed that all the states would launch major awareness programs and strive to make eradication of drugs a peoples’ movement.
The conference recognised drugs as a national problem, requiring collective efforts of all the states for its successful eradication.
It proposed, therefore, to jointly press the Government of India to come out with a National Drugs Policy in order to effectively tackle the menace.
It agreed to consider opening of a Regional Training Centre for Training of Investigators for proper investigation of NDPS cases at Chandigarh.
The states also agreed to take up with the government of India a proposal to establish a Regional Drug Dependence Treatment Centre in Chandigarh Tricity area, on the lines of National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) AIIMS, New Delhi.
“We believe that these efforts will go a long way in eradicating this scourge from the region, thus protecting our youth and our future generations, and ensuring a safe, secure and healthy society,” said the joint statement.
The states further said they were committed to “continuing and strengthening the process of consultation and cooperation, to collaborate even more closely and actively for making the region ‘Nasha Mukt’.”
The conference, which opened with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh suggesting some tough measures to tackle the problem, was attended by officials of IB, NCB and other central agencies.
Underscoring the growing threat from ISI’s narco terrorism game-plan, Amarinder Singh said the money from the drug trade was being used by Pakistan to carry on its nefarious and divisive activities in India.
The ISI was trying to play on the sympathies of the Sikhs through steps like the Kartarur Corridor while, at the same time, trying to destabilise Punjab by backing SFJ’s Referendum 2020, he said.
The ISI continued to back terror groups, with Pak factory-made grenades found to have been used for terror activities in Punjab, he added.
Describing the conference as a red letter-day for mutual cooperation among the state, the Chief Minister, however, called for closer examination of laws like MCOCA before implementing them in other states as they had a lot of scope for misuse.
He, however, agreed on the need to further strengthen the NDPS Act.
Haryana presented an action taken report on decisions taken at the last meeting.
Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar called for a comprehensive joint programme to tackle the problem of drugs, which he described as a social rather than a political issue.
He stressed the need to cut off drugs supply to prevent youth from getting addicted, and also advocated an inter-state cell phone base of live data of absconding offenders and to keep track of dealers and their associates.
Khattar also underlined the need to strengthen investigations to prevent acquittal of offenders and suggested stringent laws and training programmes for investigators.
Haryana, he said, was all set to enact HCOCA (Haryana Control of Organised Crime Act) to prevent organised crime, on the lines of POCA.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said his state was at the receiving end of drug smuggling due to its shared border with Pakistan.
Supporting Amarinder Singh’s demand for a National Drugs Policy, he called for strong steps to destroy the parallel economy being run by drug smugglers.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also called for a policy and plan to further strengthen the efforts of the northern states, with a public movement to create awareness and reverse the trend.
He appreciated Punjab’s Buddy Programme and said his government will try to replicate it in his state. He also said Himachal Pradesh was considering a legislation on lines of HCOCA and MCOCA to tackle drugs.
Thakur said in continuation of the decisions taken at the first conference, all the participating states will post their officers for coordination, at the common secretariat being set up for the purpose in Panchkula, by August 15.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was of the opinion that the awareness campaign against drugs should be made a part of school education, especially in view of the growing use of women and children as couriers.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said Attari border was being used actively to smuggle drugs that go to all states, and called for proper infrastructure, with full truck body scanners and canine units, to check the same. He mooted creation of a separate central agency only for drugs, on the lines of NIA, to probe national and international links of drug smugglers, or alternatively the strengthening of the investigation wing of NCB.
It was announced that Himachal Pradesh will host the next regional conference on drugs in Shimla early next year. (IANS)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery