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It’s Modi’s Hindustan, not Gandhi’s India: Engineer Rashid

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New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir legislator Engineer Rashid blames the growing intolerance in the country on Prime Minister Narendra “Modi’s Hindustan”, not Mahatma Gandhi’s India.

Sheikh Abdul Rashid, better known as Engineer Rashid, has been attacked twice this month after he hosted a beef party in Srinagar — first by BJP legislators in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly who beat him up and then by Hindu activists in Delhi who smeared ink on his face.

Rashid, an independent legislator, told IANS that “everything is possible in this country as this is now Modi’s Hindustan, not a tolerant (Mahatma) Gandhi’s India”.

The attack in New Delhi took place outside the Press Club shortly after he had addressed the media on the October 9 attack on a truck in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir that eventually killed its cleaner.

The Hindu Sena activists not only blackened Rashid’s face with ink and Mobil oil, but shockingly also threw ink on the families of the victims of the Udhampur attack.

Asked why he violated religious sentiments by hosting a beef party, Rashid explained: “I never eat non-vegetarian food in my constituency. But it hurts me when people like Sakshi Maharaj or Haryana Chief Minister (M.L.) Khattar dictate me what to eat and what not to eat.”

Speaking at the Jammu and Kashmir House here, Rashid hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for making controversial comments on Muslims as well as issues related to beef consumption.

On Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah told four party leaders, including Sakshi Maharaj and Khattar, that Prime Minister Modi was very upset with the kind of hate comments made by them.

While Rashid is ready to respect others’ religious sentiments, he has his own questions.

“Cow can be their mother, but what relation do they have with buffalo?” he asked. Buffalo meat is also widely known as beef.

“Let me accept that Sakshi Maharaj’s cow can be his mother. What relation he has with my cow that I raised at my home?

“My cow is my cow, and I decide what I do with it.”

Rashid also urged India and Pakistan to shun the politics of hatred and resolve the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir according to the aspirations of the people of the state.

“I always believe India and Pakistan should have been one country. But the recent attacks by right-wing activists are proving Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory correct,” Rashid said.

Asking Modi to apologize over rising intolerance in the country, the legislator from Langate said: “The BJP has already divided the entire country. Please don’t divide Jammu and Kashmir.

“By doing this, you are proving Jinnah’s two-nation theory absolutely right. Modi should apologize for Godhra, Akhlaq and every other such incident,” he said, referring to the 2002 Gujarat riots that began with a train burning at Godhra.

Rashid branded Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed a “puppet CM” and blamed him for the poor state of affairs in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

“Kashmir has become a lawless island, and Mufti Sayeed is solely responsible for that.

“People voted for him so that he can put the BJP and RSS out of the state. But he created an unholy coalition with them, providing a platform to the RSS and other extremists to interfere in our state.”

(Aadil Mir, IANS)

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‘Black Day’ Protests : Restrictions Imposed in Srinagar to keep security in check

Separatists leaders have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

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restrictions
police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in parts of Kashmir. (Representative image) VOA

Srinagar, October 27, 2017 : Authorities imposed restrictions in various areas on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests to mark the Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

Joint resistance leadership (JRL) of separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik — have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

It was on this day in 1947 that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar Airport following the accession of the state.

“Restrictions under section 144 of CrPC will remain in force in Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Khanyar, Kralkhud and Maisuma,” a police officer said.

Heavy contingents of the state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in these areas.

Railway services in the valley have also been suspended on Friday as a precautionary measure. (IANS)

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PM Modi Appoints New Envoy to Kashmir

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Kashmiri protesters
Kashmiri protesters run for cover as police use tear smoke to disperse protesters during a clash in Srinagar,Jammu and Kashmir. VOA

New Delhi, October 24: The center has appointed a new envoy to Kashmir in the hope of promoting peace in the troubled region.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been designated to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions – the first such appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“As a representative of the government of India, … Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Singh said in New Delhi.

Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.

Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an attack in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.(VOA)

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Modi pens foreword for Hema Malini’s biography

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Hema Malini

New Delhi, Oct 13 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has penned a “short, crisp and sweet” foreword for “Beyond The Dreamgirl”, an authorised biography of actress and BJP MP Hema Malini.

The book, by former editor of Stardust and producer Ram Kamal Mukherjee, will be launched on October 16, when the “evergreen beauty” turns 69. Its launch also marks the celebration of Hema Malini’s glorious run of 50 years in Indian showbiz.

“Our PM has written very briefly in the book about his feelings for Hemaji. It’s short, crisp and sweet, not rubble and bubble. It’s an honour for me as an author and for Hemaji also that it is perhaps the first time that an active Prime Minister has written a foreword for a book on a Bollywood actor,” Mukherjee told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.

Having started her film career in 1968 with Raj Kapoor-starrer “Sapno Ka Saudagar”, she regaled movie buffs with roles in films like “Seeta Aur Geeta”, “Sholay”, “Dream Girl” and “Satte Pe Satta”. An accomplished classical dancer, Hema Malini earned the epithet of ‘Dreamgirl’ for her flawless beauty, and became a pioneering female superstar in an otherwise male-oriented film industry.

In 1999, Hema Malini campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in the Lok Sabha elections in Gurdaspur, Punjab. She is now a BJP MP from Mathura constituency.

“I guess it’s all because of Hemaji’s credentials and contribution to art and cinema that Mr Modi agreed to pen the foreword. When I was interacting with his office, they were very happy that Hemaji did not just limit her talk in the book to Bollywood,” said Mukherjee, who had in 2005 released a coffee table book called “Hema Malini Diva Unveiled”.

“Beyond The Dreamgirl”, published by HarperCollins India, will give readers an in-depth look into her life.

“It is divided into 23 chapters, covering her childhood, teens, Bollywood, rise as an actor, romance, colleagues, marriage, her second innings, launching Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Dil Aashna Hai’ — which she directed — her ballet, her political journey and spiritual journey. There are two chapters dedicated to her daughters Esha and Ahana.

“She has also spoken about her Agra accident and her singing career. We have summed it all up with a chapter called ‘Bliss’. This book will also have Hemaji’s family tree, which has not been published earlier, and there will be a lot of exclusive unseen photographs from her personal, professional and political spheres,” Mukherjee said.

The ageless talent has shared an insight into her life with Dharmendra as well as spoken on political figures like Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj.

How did Mukherjee get Modi to pen the foreword?

“It was not something thought of when I started writing the book two years ago. I started my research and wanted somebody else to do the foreword,” he said, without naming the film industry person whom he had approached.

“It was almost like a miracle to have Mr Modi write for us. When I discussed it with Hemaji, her first expression was, ‘I hope you know what you’re saying. I know you’re under pressure, but I think you’re losing your mind’.

“When I said there’s no harm in trying, she said, ‘You try and do whatever you want to do’. Then it was a process.”

The writer feels it’s the actress’ constant effort in promoting Indian classical music and dance through her ballets on Hindu mythological characters like Durga and Meera, which Modi appreciates.

“I think Mr Modi liked her inclination towards classical dance and music and how she promotes it at international platforms. I think this is a USP of Hema Maliniji, apart from she being Hema Malini. And I guess that’s also what justifies the title of the book.”(IANS)