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Indian writers have done country proud: CPI-M

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New Delhi: The CPI-M on Thursday hailed Indian writers for doing the country proud by standing up to condemn what it said were rising attacks on freedom of expression.

“What is heartening about the writers’ protest action is the range and variety of the writers who have stood up to be counted,” an editorial in the CPI-M organ “People’s Democracy” said, referring to the decision by many writers across the country to return their awards.

“What binds them is their deep moorings in secular and democratic values. It is a clear and bold expression of how the country will not succumb to Hindutva authoritarianism,” it said.

The writers’ protest was sparked off by the August 30 killing of MM Kalburgi in Karnataka.

“Irrespective of the language they write in, or, the region they belong to, creative writers have registered a powerful protest at the supine and craven attitude of the Sahitya Akademi in not responding to the killing of one of its awardees and a former member of its council,” the CPI-M said, referring to Kalburgi.

“By returning the awards bestowed on them and by resigning from the positions they hold in the Akademi, they have also spoken out against the growing attacks on plurality and cultural diversity by the Hindutva forces,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

It said the protest began with important Kannada writers returning their awards to the Kannada Sahitya Parishat on the slow progress in the Kalburgi murder investigation.

Chandrasekhar Patil returned the highest literary award given by the Karnataka government, the Pampa award, in protest against this “vicious attack on freedom of expression”.

Soon after, noted Hindi writer Uday Prakash returned his award and prize money over the Sahitya Akademi’s silence on the assault on writers.

“This has now snowballed into a powerful collective voice of protest with scores of prominent writers in major Indian languages, either returning their awards or resigning from their position in the Akademi.

(IANS)

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Lingayats in Karnataka to form Forum, Demand Separate Religion Status

The squabble between the two seers has witnessed several turns past few days

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Lingayats against Veerashaivas
An important center of pilgrimage for people of the Lingayat faith in India. Wikimedia
  • The Lingayat community leaders are planning to form a forum to up the ante on their demand for separate religion status
  • The leaders hold that Lingayats and Veerashaivas are different 
  • Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha meeting is scheduled on August 10 to reach a final decision 

New Delhi, August 9, 2017: The Lingayat community leaders in Karnataka are planning to float an all India front, which will be an umbrella body for all Lingayat outfits in the country. It is an attempt to further up the ante on their demand for a separate religion status.

According to The Hindu report, Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha meeting has been scheduled on August 10, in Bengaluru, where further discussion will take place to evolve a consensus and reach a conclusive decision.

The leaders, at a press conference in Kalaburgi stated, that contrary to the opinion of the Mahasabha, they do not consider Lingayats and Veerashaivas as the same. “We hold that Veerashaiva and Lingayat are different and hence demand independent status for the Lingayat community. A meeting of leaders representing both will be convened in Bengaluru on August 10. If the Veerashaiva Mahasabha continues to adhere to its stand, we will begin to float an Akhila Bharata Linghayat Mahasabha bringing all Lingayat organisations and religious institutions together,” said Sanjay Makal, a Lingayat leader, during the press conference.

“Veerashaiva upholds and practises the principles advocated by the vedas, aagamas, shastras, puranas and other texts that are part of Hindu religion. Based on this, earlier applications for religion tag to Veerashaiva/Lingayat were rejected outright. If we demand independent religion status to Lingayat alone, we will be successful as the demand has solid material base,” he added.

Also read: First Hindi and now English, the Language War in Karnataka Continues

The squabble between the two seers has witnessed several turns past few days. Recently, Lingayat Mahasabha filed a defamation complaint against the Rambhapuri Jagadguru Prasannarenuka Veera Someshwara Rajadeshikendra Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, the head of the Veerashaiva math based out of Chikamagaluru. He had taken a stand that Veershaivas and Lingayats are the same.

On August 2, Sharana Chandramouli, Lingayat Mahasabha State President, filed a complaint against the Rambhapuri Pontiff for allegedly making defamatory statements against Mate Mahadevi, the head of the Lingayat mutt Basava Dharma Peetha.

According to Chandramouli, the Rambhapuri pontiff had issued a statement stating that Mate Mahadevi had, in 1962, written a love letter to Lingananda Swami, the religious head who initiated Mate Mahadevi into the mutt.

The Rambhapuri seer’s statement was followed by protests, with the followers of Mate Mahadevi shouting slogans against the Rambhapuri seer demanding him to tender an apology to the woman seer.

An effigy of the Rambhapuri pontiff was also burnt during the protests.

In reaction to this, on August 1, an effigy of Mate Mahadevi was also burnt, by thousands of followers of the Rambhapuri seer from Gadag, Dharwad and Bidar, who staged a protest in Hubballi.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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In last 3 Years, there is a Significant Rise in Chamundeshwari Temple’s Income

The income rise is seen as there have been donations by devotees collected in the temple hundi and from various sources also.

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Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari Temple. Wikimedia commons
  • The income of Chamundeshwari Temple has registered a notable increase over a period of three years
  • During the Ashada Shukravaras, private vehicles are prohibited on the road to Chamundi Hills by the administration
  • This temple is around 1,000 years old

Karnataka, July 31, 2017: On top of Chamundi Hills in Karnataka, there lies the famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple. The hills are about 13 km from Mysore, Karnataka and globally famous for its beauty. The temple is named Chamudeshwari as in it resides goddess Durga, the word Chamundi means Durga itself. She is the fierce form of Shakti (power). She is known as the slayer of demons- Chanda, Munda and also Mahishasura, (buffalo-headed monster).

This temple is around 1,000 years old and, what was a small shrine initially, gained importance over the centuries and today it has become a big temple. The temple saw its first share of significance after the Maharajas of Mysore known as Wodeyars came to power in 1399 A.D., they were known to be great devotees and worshippers of the Devi Chamundeshwari. She became their home deity and thus assumed religious prominence at that time and it has only seen rise since then.

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The income of Chamundeshwari Temple has registered a notable increase over a period of three years. According to a statement issued by Deputy Commissioner D. Randeep, the temple’s total income between April to July when Ashada Shukravara’s (Fridays) are observed was: in 2015- ₹5.98 crore, in 2016- ₹7.86 crore and reached a height of ₹11.08 crore in 2017.

The total income came from various sources such as pujas and offerings and also the donations collected in the temple hundi. The hundi collection between April and July 2015 was ₹1.63 crore and during the corresponding period in 2016, it was ₹3.51. It increased to ₹3.86 crore in the following year.

The temple income though marginally dipped from ₹4, 35, 29,205 during 2015 (April to July) to ₹4, 35, 08,507 during 2016, it went up significantly to ₹7.22 crore during 2017.As per a statement from the Deputy Commissioner, the Ashada hundi collection alone during 2017 was a surprising ₹1.74 crore and he added that the hundi counting was carried out on July 26 and 27.

A noteworthy point is that there’s a large volume of traffic on the road to Chamundi Hills especially during the auspicious occasions and on weekends.

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During the Ashada Shukravaras, private vehicles are prohibited on the road to Chamundi Hills by the administration. As a solution, alternative arrangements are made for the transport by KSRTC buses. Such is the popularity of this big temple filled with devotees.

As traffic on the road to the hilltop grows dense on weekends and auspicious days, there is big chaos at the last stretch of the road leading to the area around Mahisasura statue owing to haphazard parking.

Whenever the flow of traffic increases, the traffic police halt vehicles near the Mysore City viewing point in order to prevent congestion at the hilltop. The halted vehicles are allowed to proceed only after sufficient parking space is created at the hilltop when the parked vehicles leave the area.

Apart from Chamundeshwari Temple, there are some other wealthy temples in India- Sai Baba Temple of Shirdi and Tirumala Tirupati.

The renowned Sai Baba Temple of Shirdi, managed by Shree Saibaba Sansthan Trust is one of the wealthiest temples in the country. As per official records, from January to December 2016, the revered Sai Baba temple managed to accumulate a received income of ₹403.75 crore. When compared to the previous year’s income (₹393.72 crore), it’s a massive gain. Of the total income gained in the year 2016 ₹258.42 crore was in the form of donations. The temple earned a whopping cash donation of ₹258.42 crore. To make things more golden, it fetched ₹6.74 crore and ₹1.10 crore from 28 kg gold ornaments and silver jewellery, respectively.

When we speak of wealthy temples, how can we not mention Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam? Fondly known as Tirumala, the temple of Lord Venkateswara attained a massive wealth of ₹1,018 in 2016. Adding to the ever-increasing wealth, approximately 10 crore pieces of the iconic Tirupati Laddoo prasadam was sold. Not only this, ₹201 crore was generated by the online business. Each year the temple sells the online-ticket for darshan. In the said year too, more than 67 lakh Hindu devotees bought the online darshan tickets.

prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08

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Kerala Emerging as Epitome of Red Terror in India

Political clashes and the frequent approach of aggressiveness and extremism adopted by the leftists need to be addressed bringing all stakeholders together

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RSS Activist
Communism flag in Kerala. Wikimedia Commons
  • Rajesh, an activist for the RSS, was brutally murdered in Thiruvananthapuram
  • The Bharatiya Janta Party’s Kerala Unit has alleged Community Party of India’s members and followers for the red terror
  • Both the parties have a history of being in physical conflict frequently in the state

July 30, 2017: On Saturday, RSS Activist Rajesh Edvakode was found critically injured in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Hours after the attack, Rajesh’s body gave up and he died. The victim’s hand was chopped off allegedly by workers and followers of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M). This incident has once again highlighted the constant red terror crimes in India at the hands of the aggressive left ideology.

Also Read: The Dangerous Ideology behind Communism: Why is it a Delusion?

BJP has reacted by calling a state-wide strike. The Kerala unit of the party has alleged the CPI-M members of committing the gruesome murder and given the history of conflict between the two parties, it is understandable why. Also given the fact that Kerala is haunted by the red terror propagandists who admire the hammer and sickle too much, the BJP was quick to respond. Eight suspects have been arrested by the police and it has been revealed that they have links with the Communist Party.

Along the political violence, Rajesh, a 34-year-old follower of the RSS on which the BJP has founded its principles, has been murdered.

In the press statement, Manoj Abraham, Inspector General of Police stated, “The attack was by a gang of men involving CPM (Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists. However, there was a long history of enmity between one of the accused and the victim. We are also probing any angle of a political motive.”

Two days ago, there was a violent conflict between the CPI and BJP members. On Thursday evening, an incident broke out into a fight between the two parties. The left ideology adherents were triggered by an assault to a left wing youth flag. The triggered leftists then vandalized residences of BJP members. Initially, six RSS members were arrested by the police. Further, four CPI-M members were also arrested.

Left wing youth members and the CPI-M counselor was caught on CCTV footage throwing stones at the BJP office. They too have been arrested.

The Communist Party in a press release denied any such accusations and allegations. However, given the political clashes in the past and the frequent approach of aggressiveness and extremism adopted by the leftists, the red terror problem, particularly in Kerala, needs to be addressed bringing all stakeholders together.

Kerala’s remarkable achievements as a forceful Indian state have been overshadowed by the rising political violence. Left wing aggressiveness is a reality in India, especially in certain states.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394