New Delhi, Jan 19, 2017: Inequality is an issue that has grappled India, be it human beings or animals the unequal treatment is highly prevailing. To sort this out Supreme court came up with the verdict that “Stray dogs have a right to live”. This sharply came up today when a submission was made that such canines should be completely destroyed across the country.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi have observed that though culling of stray dogs was permissible, there has to be a balance and a proper method for this. When one of the petitioners told the apex court that he wanted to “totally destroy” stray dogs across India, the bench said “nobody can destroy stray dogs in entirety”. They also have a right to live”. Concurring with the observations of apex court, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand said that stray dogs have a right to live and there has to be a balance.
There has been many petitions put forward to the apex court on issues relating to orders passed by various civic bodies on culling of stray dogs which have become a menace, especially in Kerala and Mumbai. The Kerala bench said during the hearing that there were issues of human concern but for this all stray dogs cannot be killed. “A person can die due to dog bite. It is an accident and for that, we cannot say kill all the stray dogs,” it said.
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The bench was also informed that a panel headed by former Kerala High Court judge Sri Jagan had received around 400 matters related to dog bites and it was working on it. The apex court had set up a panel to inquire into incidents where people and even children killed stray dogs and these acts were supported by several vigilante groups in Kerala.
A counsel told the bench, which listed the matter for further hearing on March 1 that “The panel has received around 400 applications out of which 24 have been settled. The committee is working on it”, mentioned PTI.
When an advocate told the court that people have died due to dog bites in Kerala and children were unable to go to school due to this menace, the bench said, “just because there are some stray dogs in a field or a school, they cannot be killed”.
The court also said that “They (stray dogs) have to be taken to shelter homes ….if there is no way out, they have to be culled and not killed. But there has to be a method for it”. Reacting to the proposal one of the petitioners said he would construct shelter homes for dogs in his area in Kerala. However, the apex court asked him to submit a concrete proposal and prepare a road map.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan was slammed by the Supreme Court (SC) after his offensive remarks against the Union Minister Prakash Javedkar who had earlier shared a picture of him watching the Hindu mythological show ‘Ramayana’ amid the nationwide lockdown.
The lawyer had tweeted: “As crores starve and walk hundreds of miles home due to the lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming and feeding the opium of Ramayana & Mahabharata to the people!”
The SC replied to Bhushan by saying that people can watch whatever they wish to on television.
After Prashant Bhushan’s critical Anti-Hindu comments, Jaidev Rajnikant Joshi, a former army personnel from Rajasthan filed an FIR claiming that the lawyer has been insensitive with his comments and had hurt religious sentiments.
According to an OpIndia report, “The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Advocate Prashant Bhushan in FIR registered against him by Gujarat police alleging hurting of religious sentiments. Posting the matter to be heard after two weeks, the court issued a notice to the Gujarat Government, ordering them to not take any coercive action against the defendant till the next day of the hearing.”
The question that arises in the minds of many is that why the lawyer has a problem with people watching Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. His words are equal to spitting venom on Hindus.
This isn’t the first time the lawyer has made such inconsiderate anti-Hindu comments. Let us have a look at some of his tweets that prove he is callous and insensitive.
On Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary, recall he was shot by a Hindu communal bigot& RSS member because he opposed the communal violence fanned by them. Today, Godse’s communal progeny, in charge of govt, seek to use Ayodhya temple to cynically fan communal hatred for electoral gain
Dr. Munish Raizada from Chicago- who too had been part of anti-corruption party Aam Aadmi party along with Prashant Bhushan- says, “People have the right to practice the religion of their choice or be an atheist. That is fine! However, that does not give people the right to demean or mock people having religious or cultural faiths and preferences. There have been instances when these (Indian) communists and atheists have disrespected people of the Hindu religion but they seem to be blissfully blind when it comes to Islamic and Christian practices.”
According to Raizada, Prashant Bhushan isn’t the only hypocrite out there. There are many people like him with the same mindset. It is interesting to observe that AAP has been sheltering a bunch of left loonies right from the beginning in various shades. He points out that reflecting back, the very first National Executive committee of AAP has at least 50 % members as communists or a paler shades of that. Was it a trap in the name of anti-corruption? Bhushan is on records while being a part of AAP saying that if AAp comes to power, the industry would be under state control (typical communist economic mind set, where as it is well know that this economic theory has miserably failed).
Here are a few questions to reflect upon. Why don’t the leftists and communists speak about incidents when they are wrong? Why did they not speak up against the wrongdoings of the attendees of Tablighi Jamaat? Is this a conspiracy? What are these people trying to hide behind their Hindu-phobic words?
The Supreme Court, modifying its order on free coronavirus test at private labs, on Monday said that free testing for COVID-19 shall be available to persons eligible under Ayushman Bharat scheme as already implemented by Centre and any other category of economically weaker sections of the society as notified by the government for free testing.
The apex court insisted that it never intended to make testing free for those who can afford it and asked the government to issue rules to reimburse private labs for free tests.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Ravindra Bhat said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare may consider as to whether any other categories of the weaker sections of the society e.g. workers belonging to low-income groups in the informal sectors, beneficiaries of Direct Benefit Transfer, etc. apart from those covered under Ayushman Bharat are also eligible for the benefit of free testing and issue appropriate guidelines in the above regard also within a period of one week.
“We further clarify that the order never intended to make testing free for those who can afford the payment of a testing fee fixed by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) for COVID-19,” said the bench.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, contended that under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, about 10.7 crore poor and vulnerable families, which means approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, are covered under the scheme and they can avail the benefit of free of cost COVID-19 test even in the private labs. He submitted that beneficiaries under the scheme would get a cashless COVID-19 test in private labs.
The top court noted that the April 8 order intended to make testing in private labs of COVID-19 free for economically weaker sections of the society who were unable to afford the payment of testing fee as fixed by ICMR — Rs 1,500 for screening and Rs 3,000 for confirmative tests.
“Ministry of Health and Family Welfare may issue necessary guidelines for reimbursement of the cost of free testing of COVID-19 undertaken by private labs and necessary mechanism to defray expenses and reimbursement to the private labs,” said the court.
The court said the private labs can continue to charge the payment for testing of COVID-19 from persons who are able to pay the testing fee as fixed by ICMR.
The ICMR on Monday had urged the court to withdraw its free coronavirus test order, contending that the interim order passed on April 8, may work to the detriment of the cause the country is fighting.
The ICMR said the decision to involve private labs in the process of testing was taken after extensive deliberation with the national task force on all aspects. “The Central government, after elaborate and extensive discussions and deliberation with subject experts from various fields, took an administrative decision to involve private labs while imposing price cap for them to ensure that they do not charge more and cannot exploit the citizens,” it said in its affidavit.
“It is, therefore, submitted that final relief is incapable of being granted and only on this ground the ad-interim order deserves not to be continued,” the ICMR added, seeking dismissal of the petition seeking free tests for all citizens.
The apex body for the formulation and promotion of biomedical research insisted, while keeping factor of the resources not being unlimited as a pre-dominant factor, the government also considered the hardship which can be faced by the poor section of the country in the process of testing. ICMR informed the top court that unlike other routine tests being conducted in labs at the will and wish of the citizens, these tests would be conducted only after a qualified physician certifies need for such a test, and this protocol applies to both government and private labs.
The ICMR informed the court that some of the components which are essential parts of the kits like primer probes, master mix are patent protected products, and therefore, cannot be manufactured indigenously without importing these components. It contended the resources cannot be unlimited and the government is bound to prioritise the resources in public interest.
“In view of this position, our country will have to depend upon the import of all these components. This is the problem faced by most of the countries in the world and these patent components are manufactured by few countries only which are out of India”, said ICMR.
Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi had filed a plea in the court contending there are large sections of society who at present are unable to afford the payment of Rs of 4,500 for testing. He submitted that the government has to take responsibility for getting every person tested. In the event that one person in a family tests positive, the entire family requires testing. He submitted that government hospitals are overcrowded; hence, such persons may be permitted testing of Covid-19 in private labs free of cost. (IANS)
Protests in India over the Citizenship Amendment Act, a law Muslims claim discriminates against them, led to violent sectarian clashes in Delhi last week, killing dozens of Muslims and Hindus. This is a breaking news.
Experts warn the controversial law, passed by India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in December 2019, is taking India to a point of no return, marked by a major shift away from the country’s secular and religiously tolerant system. The bill could further widen the gap between Hindus and minority Muslims in the country, leading to a dangerous escalation in communal violence, they said.
“The CAA has fostered both pro and anti-CAA protests, with the state and the ruling party offering a measure of support in favor of the former. The atmosphere in Delhi, which has seen sustained protests for weeks, has become exceptionally polarized on religious grounds,” Milan Vaishnav, an India expert at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told VOA.
Vaishnav said the Muslim population in India has felt increasingly marginalized over the years as the country’s political landscape was overrun by Hindutva, a hard-line Hindu ideology fostered by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Hindutva is, quite literally, ‘Hindu-ness.’ It is shorthand for the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda in that the party is premised on the notion that India is culturally a Hindu nation,” Vaishnav said.
There are an estimated 200 million Muslims in India. Considered a minority community, Muslims say the December citizenship law targets them by granting citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from neighboring countries.
The CAA law gives fast-tracked citizenship to undocumented migrants from the “Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from neighboring Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014,” the law states. Indian officials say Muslim immigrants are excluded from the law because they constitute a majority in all the countries listed in the CAA.
Clashes between Hindu mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) and mostly Muslim anti-CAA protesters left at least 46 people dead. Hundreds more were injured during the fighting as schools, businesses, properties and places of worship were torched.
Babbu, a Muslim auto driver, was one of the 46 victims of the riots. His brother Pappu told VOA that Babbu was out working when a Hindu mob surrounded his rickshaw.
“I got a call from someone telling me that they saw my brother being beaten by a mob. When I reached to where he was, I found him lying on a cart severely injured. I rushed him to the hospital. He died this morning,” Pappu told VOA.
Videos and images of mosques being vandalized and Muslims being beaten by Hindu mobs have circulated on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, causing international concerns about the safety of Muslims in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week called for calm, urging both sides to end days of violent clashes.
“Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest,” Modi said in a tweet responding to riots in the capital city of more than 18 million people.
However, the opposition party, Indian National Congress, is holding the BJP responsible for the violence, and has called on Home Minister Amit Shah to resign for instigating sectarian divide in India.
“There is a conspiracy behind the violence; [the] country also saw this during Delhi elections. Many BJP leaders made inciting comments creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred,” opposition leader Sonia Gandhi said, speaking of February local legislative election in Delhi in which the BJP suffered a major loss to Aam Aadmi Party.
Muqtedar Khan, a professor of Islamic political philosophy at the University of Delaware and India expert at the Center for Global Policy, told VOA that policies endorsed by the current government are seen by many Indians as divisive and destructive to centuries-old communal bonds in the country.
“This has been an extremely egregious and atrocious display of communal politics from police and leaders. And it has put the fear of God in the Muslim minority. … They are living in terror,” Khan said. He added the Hindutva movement was comparable to radical Islamic movements that want to establish their own state with Sharia laws.
The term Hindutva, or the essence of Hinduism, was coined in the 1920s by Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and adopted by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). RSS is a hard-line Hindu organization closely affiliated with Modi and the BJP.
“RSS is not like ISIS and the BJP is certainly not like al-Qaida. They may be like the Muslim Brotherhood or the Freedom and Justice Party [in Egypt].” Khan told VOA, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.
He warned that further isolation of the Muslim minority could be exploited by jihadist groups like IS to recruit members of the community.
Last week, pro-IS outlet al-Qitaal Media Center reportedly launched a publication titled “Voice of Hind,” calling on Indian Muslims to join the group. The publication said there was no place for nationalism in Islam and that Indian Muslims had to join “the caliphate” in response to the violence again them.
Abhijit Iyer Mitra, a senior analyst at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, the outbreak of the Hindu-Muslim violence cannot be exclusively blamed on the CAA law. He stated the Indian government over the years has introduced several social reforms seen by Muslims as targeting their religious practices.
“In addition to the salience of Hindutva, the BJP’s agenda has also been to sharpen substance through progressive social legislation,” Mitra said.
Indian Muslims have protested several decisions by the BJP government, including the cattle purchase and sale ban, Muslim instant divorce or “triple talaq” ban, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the revoking of article 370 in Kashmir coupled with an internet shutdown in the region. (VOA)