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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his promises: The done, undone and in-betweens

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By Ishan Kukreti

M_Id_442951_Narendra_Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed into the Parliament last year with many promises. He offered something for everyone, from improved job opportunities to the youth, better agricultural policies for farmers to a Ram Mandir for the devout and a home for Kashmiri Pandits.

His watchwords, development, and good governance gripped the populace of an economically crawling nation with running rampant corruption, almost in a frenzy.

It’s been more than a year since, and the search for Acche Din is still on. Here is a list of promises made in the BJP manifesto of 2014 elections and the presence or absence of their development.

Ram Mandir (Promise unfulfilled)

The NDA victory raised the hopes of Mandir seekers to abnormal levels. However, Narendra Modi, after coming to power, has shown that steely, irritating silence on the topic which he has started employing for a range of other issues. No temple has been built so far, but a ‘Ram Museum’ might see the light of day, some time in the future.

muslims-will-soon-give-nod-to-ram-temple-in-ayodhya-vhp_080614102107

P.S: The disputed site did have a temple before Babri Mosque. But is that land/temple really the birth place of Lord Ram? There is no way of knowing.

Black Money (Promise unfulfilled)

The kind of gusto shown by BJP during election rallies and the promise of Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account within 100 days seem nothing more than gas, passed for vote bank rather than actual bank. Now the government is down to giving threats to defaulters which sound more childish and desperate than dead serious.

Money

Abrogation of Article 370 and the return of Kashmiri pandit (Promise unfulfilled)

Both the issues are pregnant with passionate nationalistic sentiments. And both have been raised time and again with not much on to show for delivery. The words on BJP’s manifesto on the issues were –

“Ensuring return of Kashmiri pandits (KP) to Jammu and Kashmir and establishing Good Governance in the State while abrogating article 370.”5000Plus at Jantar Mantar - By Ishan Kukreti

On the issue of KP rehabilitation, talks between BJP and PDP in May this year could offer nothing substantial. And what was offered was opposed by the separatists. So, as of now, the better off KPs are in their ‘homes’ and the not so better off are languishing in camps.

On the other hand, or rather the same, question of abrogation Article 370 was done away in the Common Minimum Program signed between BJP and PDP after the J&K elections. The issue has not been raised by anyone who is someone in the present NDA government.

Unbundling Food Corporation of India (Promise dropped)

perspective-2To improve the rot in FCI and improve its efficiency, the manifesto had promised the division of its operations into separate procurement, storage and distribution parts. However, the High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by BJP leader Shanta Kumar appointed to look into the matter recommended against it and the matter was conveniently dropped.

Improvement of housing and infrastructure (Promise in-between)

For infrastructure, this graph speaks louder than words:


source: tradingeconomics.com

For housing, NLUM Scam presents a grim picture, but the data is promising.


source: tradingeconomics.com

Corruption (Promise not kept)

The to be government had taken a tough and uncompromising stand on corruption before the election. After the elections, well, its stance is not just lenient and compromising, but encouraging too. Here is a graph:


source: tradingeconomics.com

Promise to the ex-servicemen (Promise not kept)

The words from the manifesto 2014 say “Appoint a Veterans Commission to address the grievances of veterans.” No such commission has been appointed so far. However, the ongoing hunger strike at Jantar Mantar for the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) by the same veterans, makes it clear that they have a major grievance. Whether the government is planning to set up the commission first and then address it or not address it at all, is something only time or maybe a war can tell.

Any government’s performance is judged by the various socio-economic indicators and they, under Modi government are not something to be very proud of right now.

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Ram Janmabhoobi : Why building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya is the only way to end ongoing dispute since centuries?

"Ram lalla hum aayenge, mandir wahin banayenge", why can't all communities come together and demand religious heritage of our motherland to be restored in Ayodhya?

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Ram Mandir Ayodhya
Ram Mandir Ayodhya (Graphical Representation)
  • The land on which the Babri mosque was built in 1528 is the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ (birthplace of Bhagwan Rama). The existing Ram Mandir Ayodhya was destroyed by Mughal King Babur’s general Mir Baqi and subsequently a mosque called Babri Masjid was built at the site.

    It has been 25 years since the disputed Babri Masjid structure was demolished by Kar sevaks but no government so far could start Ram Mandir construction. In the 1980s, the Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP) began a campaign for the construction of Ram Mandir Ayodhya dedicated to Bhagwan Rama at the site, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its political voice. Many rallies and marches were held as a part of this movement, including the famous Ram Rath Yatra led by Shri. Lal Krishna Advani.

Demolition of disputed Babri Masjid

On 6 December 1992, the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and its affiliates organised a rally involving 150,000 kar sevaks at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. The ceremonies included speeches by BJP leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti. At 11am, the first group of kar sevaks broke through the barricades. It was 1.55pm, when the first dome of the Babri Masjid met the ground, along with about 25 kar sevaks. At 3.30pm, the second dome came down. The central dome is demolished at 4.49pm. In about six hours, all that remained of the Babri Masjid, was demolished. After news of the Babri Masjid demolition broke in world, riots erupted all across the country. Even the neighbouring countries were affected as Hindus were slaughtered in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mumbai experienced one of the worst incidents of communal violence in the history of modern India. In March 1993, a series of bomb blasts happened in Mumbai killing hundreds, this was the way of Islamists to retaliate against Babri Masjid demolition.

Ram Mandir Ayodhya
A day after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, a makeshift Ram temple was hastily put in place. Here, a paramilitary soldier is seen offering his prayers at this temple on December 7, 1992. Credit: T. Narayan

Archaeological Survey of India & Historical Surveys

In 1767, Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler recorded Hindus worshiping and celebrating Ramnavmi at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. In 1788, Tieffenthaler’s French works were published in Paris, the first to suggest that the Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Rama.

The Archaeological Survey of India has reported to the high court that its excavations found distinctive features of a 10th century temple beneath the Babri Mosque site. The report revealed that there was archaeological evidence of a massive Ram Mandir just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural activities from the 10th century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure (Babri Masjid). Among the excavation yields ASI report mentioned were stone and decorated bricks, mutilated sculpture of divine couple, carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapotapali, doorjamb with semi-circular shrine pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranjala (watershute) in the north and 50 pillar bases in association with a huge Ram Mandir structure. The ASI report said there is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50×30 metres in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure. The ASI report said the human activity at the site dates back to 13th century BC on the basis of the scientific dating method providing the only archaeological evidence of such an early date of the occupation of the site. The report concluded that it was over the top of this construction during the early 16th century that the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it. So, there was no confusion that the Babri Masjid was built over after demolishing Ram Mandir Ayodhya.

Ram Mandir Ayodhya
Veteren VHP leader Late Ashok Singhal injured during Ram Janmbhoomi movement

The Million Dollar question : Why Ram Mandir Ayodhya?

India’s independence did not bring about the long sought for return of Rama Rajya and the light of dharma that the independence movement aspired to. The continuation of the darkness of adharma shifted from colonial rule to a new self-imposed and self-perpetuated colonial type exploitation by an arrogant socialist elite who had little understanding or appreciation of their own culture. – Dr David Frawley

Ram Mandir Ayodhya is not anti-muslim sentiment for Hindus, its rather an emotional connect with divine. What Muslims should understand is that, Ram Mandir Ayodhya to Hindus is what Mecca to them, or what Vatican is to Christians. It has been decades of dispute and political parties has been using the dispute to fuel their politics. but its high time both Hindus and Muslims should come together for Ram Mandir Ayodhya. Its not a matter of win or lose, it is a matter of national pride. Ram, is the soul of India and Ram-Rajya is what we should aspire for. Hindu community is not the one who keep historical grudge, Muslim rulers demolished over 44000 Temples (as per Known History, actual Figures be More), but Hindus are demanding only few of their holiest sites, in no condition Hindus should compromise of highest order in this country. Meanwhile, Indian Muslims are facing the situation today which Kauravs faced in Mahabharta when Pandavs requested them for just four Villages and asked them to Keep rest of the Kingdom. But Kauravs denied, which led to the bloodiest Dharam-Yudh in history of mankind. Babar built the Mosque by demolishing Ram Mandir, the ASI report ended the debate by confirming the existence of Ram Mandir.  It is really ridiculous that we have to beg to restore Ram Mandir at one of Hinduism’s greatest sites. A grander mosque can be made nearby as proposed, or even right next door. Isn’t that a reasonable appeal Muslim community should accept and give a message of communal harmony? I have no doubt that majority of the Muslims of this country will accept it, only those who have their sinister political agenda will oppose Ram Mandir to create communal tensions. Ram Mandir can be a symbol of harmony between the two important religious communities of India. Restoring one temple as it is holy site of Lord Ram’s birthplace and shifting mosque to a nearby location (and making it grander) will not demean the glory of Islam in any manner.

  • Even The Shia Central Waqf Board has offered a new solution to the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi conflict in Ayodhya. According to the proposal of the board, a Ram temple can be built in Ayodhya while a mosque can be constructed in Lucknow.

As Dr. David Frawley says,”Time to return Ayodhya back to the Hindus and allow Ram Mandir to come up. All Hindus feel importance of Ram Janmabhoomi. The region does not figure among any important sacred sites of Islam. Time for India to honor its own heritage, heroes and avatars.”

That day will really be exemplary for world when all communities in India will come together for a grand Ram Mandir Ayodhya, and I am sure that day will soon come. We must overcome our past for a glorious future. Lastly I will like to remember words of famous Muslim poet Allama Iqbal, “है राम के वजूद पे हिन्दोस्ताँ को नाज़, अहले-नज़र समझते हैं उसको इमामे-हिन्द ।”

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Kashmiri Pandits not Willing to Return to their Jobs in Kashmir Valley

The ongoing protests by Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu, are threatening mass resignations.

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Kashmiri Hindu Pandits
Kashmiri Pandits are not returning to their jobs. Wikimedia
  • The situation since last year is a clear indicator of rising threat in Kashmir as people are coming on the roads and pelting stones
  • After the government asked them to rejoin their duties in Kashmir valley, they are threatening mass resignations
  • Most of the Kashmiri Pandit employees left the valley last year only and now, 500 of them are refusing to return

Jammu, August 10, 2017: There were many Kashmiri Pandit employees who left the Kashmir valley last year after witnessing continual unrest following the encounter of terrorist Burhan Wani.

One of the residents, Sonia Bhat, who is a government teacher by profession, left the Kashmir valley last year (days after Burhan Wani got killed) and came to Jammu. She is a Kashmiri Pandit who returned to the Kashmir valley around seven years back, before which she migrated from the valley in the early 90s. Her reason for return was the government job she got, said that the cause of worry is the security concerns, apart from many problems they have to face on a day to day basis.

She said that the situation since last year is a clear indicator of rising threat in Kashmir as people are coming on the roads and pelting stones.  She feels that there is not a safe atmosphere to live in Kashmir.

ALSO READ:  Kashmiri Pandits Demand The Status of “Internally Displaced People”

Kashmiri Pandits have gathered in large numbers and are protesting in Jammu. After the government asked them to rejoin their duties in Kashmir valley, they are threatening mass resignations. Under the provision of Prime Minister’s special package for settling Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir- the government had given around 3,000 jobs to them in the valley.  But, most of the Kashmiri Pandit employees had no option but to leave the valley last year due to unrest and now, 500 of them are not willing to come back.

According to the NDTV report, RK Bhat, President Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj said, “The ongoing proxy war in Kashmir is against India and nationalist forces, why are you forcing us to go back to Kashmir in such an atmosphere?”

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The government assures that the Pandit employees can be moved to safe locations within the valley and things will be done to ensure their safety. But, they can’t give in to the demands of transferring them out of the valley. Thus, the government has given a 15-day ultimatum to Pandit employees to return to their duties.

Altaf Bukhari, Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister said, “There is no way that their jobs can continue while they remain outside Kashmir, they will have to come back, I do sympathize with them if they have any concern we will address it. We will keep them in and around Srinagar.”

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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Kashmiri Pandits Demand The Status of “Internally Displaced People”

Kashmiri Pandits want to ensure the preservation of their culture in the valley, as per the memorandum

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Kashmiri Pandits Community
Kashmiri Hindu Foundation head, Deepak Ganju spoke in the Indian community event held in honour of PM Modi. VOA
  • The Kashmiri Hindu Foundation has passed a memorandum concerning the community of Kashmiri Pandits 
  • The Foundation has demanded that the Kashmiri Pandits be given the status of “internally displaced people”
  • The memorandum states several demands by the community to ensure preservation of their culture

Washington, June 25, 2017: The Kashmiri Hindu Foundation has passed a memorandum urging PM Modi to recognise Kashmiri Pandits as internally displaced people. They also wanted the government to ensure that the illegal occupants in the area be removed. The foundation also wanted an assurance that their property (left behind by them) will be protected.

In the memorandum submitted, the Foundation has said, “If Kashmiri Hindus lose their temples, houses and property, their ethnic cleansing will become permanent,”
The memorandum further stated,”Kashmiri Hindus should be recognised as internally displaced people and a declaration should be made to this effect. Implement a plan to ensure that property left behind by the refugees is preserved and protected and illegal occupants removed.”

ALSO READ: Dream of developed India will be fulfilled: PM Narendra Modi tells Indian diaspora

The foundation also wanted to ensure that the grievances of those Kashmiri Hindus will also be addressed who have signed the contract for the sale of property under any duress.

Deepak Ganju, the head of the foundation said, “Our places of worship have been burnt, vandalised and damaged. We strongly urge the government of India and the state government that our temples and cultural institutions in the Valley be secured, preserved and protected,”
Florida-based Deepak was here to attend the community event being held in the honour of PM Modi. She said that about 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave Valley en-masse.

Ganju said, “About 1,200 killed and it goes on with just a few thousand remaining in the Valley.”

“Financial and state support for our socio-cultural- religious organisations, that we have managed to run even in our exile, is required urgently. State recognition should be given to Kashmiri Pandit writers, artists and social activists and grants should be provided for them to further their work. Centres need to be built for the preservation of thousands of years of our history, culture, tradition and works of art.”, the foundation demanded in the memorandum.

prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6