PM Modi condemns cow-vigilantism in Sabarmati Ashram speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on the recent issues of cow-vigilantism in his speech in Sabarmati Ashram on June 29, 2017.

While addressing a centenary celebration, the PM condemned the violence across the country in the name of “Gau-Raksha”. Modi said, “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve”. He also mentioned that India is a land of non-violence and as a society there is no place for the same.

Modi’s message comes the day after India saw nation-wide protests, #NotInMyName, condemning the lynching of 16-year old Junaid Khan. A series of tweets also flowed out of his Twitter handle stating that violence never has and never will solve any problem.

Late Junaid Khan’s family were skeptical about the statement, but welcomed the initiative. Junaid’s brother, who was also beaten up severely, gave an interview to News18 saying that they will never be fully convinced unless such incidents stop.

After Modi’s swearing-in as Prime Minister in 2014, multiple attacks in the name of religion have taken place across India, where out of 28 Indians, 24 were Muslim.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Hukum Singh Savla reacting to Modi’s statement did not mince any words. “What he (PM) has said is not for us. We have been in this (cow protection) since the time Modi was not even in the BJP. So, this vigilantism charge does not apply to us.”

Sources: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

Healthy growth rate ahead, GST on track; assures Jaitley

Arun Jaitley at Petrotech, 2016 heaped praise on Prime Minister Modi for implementing demonetization, whose fruitful effects will be borne by the economy in the future, albeit with some short-lived pain. He further mooted that this policy would strengthen the banking system of the country as more high money transactions will come under taxation.

This mega move is supposed to establish a cleaner economy with a better GDP in the upcoming fiscal quarters. Jaitley said that this move is the stepping stone for a macro vision of the policy makers, while other major reforms are queued up.

He also took a dig at the opposition for continuously disrupting the procedures of the parliament, in spite of the PM being present to hold a debate. He said,” I have got an audience here, unlike in parliament, where you don’t get an audience.”

He admitted that with GST, cross-empowerment issue which deals with the proportionate distribution of tax between central and state authorities is still hanging in the air. But he remained confident that all “political logjams” will be successfully negotiated and GST will roll out as per schedule.

SOURCES : Economic Times , New Indian Express

Image Source : TOI

Weaving ways to revive Handloom

In 1905, August 7thwas the day the Swadeshi movement was officially launched in India. The movement focused on the removal of British Empire and improving the country’s economic conditions by boycotting British goods and production of local products. Today, over a century later,the country celebrates this day as National Handloom day. The day marks the importance of Handloom weavers in India whose unique and exceptional skill set form a huge part of pride for the nation.

From Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram silk sarees to Jammu and Kashmir’s pashmina, handloom in the most basic sense is a hand woven fabric, the industry encompasses almost one tenth of the India’s complete production of textile. Having the world’s largest weaver industry, it is a significant part of the rich heritage and culture of the nation.Mahatma Gandhi who chose the chakra to weave his own clothes as a manner rejection to the factory made British goods is another testimony of the valuable history attached to Khadi and hand spun clothes in India. Over the years, large varieties of indigenous cotton, suitable raw materials, age old techniques and skills have died down with the introduction to newrange of American cotton and westernised preferences in clothes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra at the first town hall on National Handloom day this year, “Khadi for fashion and Khadi for nation” is an attempt to revive and revolutionize the Handloom sector in the national as well as the international space. The campaignis also aims atincreasing the awareness of Handloom industry among the youth who have largely been influenced by modernization and western standards. The ultimate goal is to increase the use of indigenous handloom and handicraft products. Thiswill snowball job opportunities and ensure stable livelihoods for the weaver community and bring Handloom to the foreground, which has been a long promise of the Prime minster in his constituency, Varnasi.

In a bid to keep up to its promises seven days before the National Handloom day, BJP government’s 20 days old Textile Minister, SmritiIrani also started a #IwearHandloom campaign on social media. The campaign went viral within 24 hours and garnered attention from several handloom enthusiasts across ages. However, Irani’s agenda to modernize the sector while retaining its sensitivity and traditional approach of the weavers is the tricky task which the ministry has to tackle.

Some people feel that a mere campaign exhibiting handlooms won’t lead to any change or bring a difference in the life of the weaver community. But increasing dialogues on creating, savouring and embracing indigenous hand woven goods is also encouraging many to invest, understand and provide a market for this sector. Last few seasons of the Amazon Fashion week and India Couture Week are good examples to explain how high-end designers are growing tounderstand the beauty, pride and uniqueness that is Handloom. The coming years will show if efforts by the government have been concrete enough to provide employment to vast majority of craftsmen who await their return in the mainstream market.


Disputed Waters: 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested

Sixteen fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by Sri Lankan naval forces and were taken under custody on Thursday, reported The Indian Expess. The fishermen belonged to a village near Rameshwaram and were captured when they ventured into the waters for the catch of the day near Katchatheevu.

Accused of allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line(IMBL), the fishermen were arrested and taken to Kangesanthurai by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.

Fisheries Department Assistant Director K D Gopinath told the Economic Times that the Lankan Navy snapped 50 fishing nets of the boats. Stones were hurled which forced several of them to retreat.

This is the fourth such incident of arrest in international waters over maritime borders. Initial arrests over this issue were made on July 3 2016. A total of 44 fishermen have been arrested over the last three days.

Expressing concerns over the growing arrests and the increasing difficulties faced by the fishing community, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to PM Narendra Modi for the fishermen’s release. The Chief Minister alleged the arrests as an “unconstitutional” act by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The two neighbouring states are yet to start a negotiations over the issue.

Union Budget and the many U-turns of the Modi government

The Union Budget came as a real surprise to the 125 crore people who were ‘testing’ the Modi government.  The budget, presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, exposes the many U-turns taken by the Narendra Modi Government in terms of its policies and ideologies.

One of the most striking contrasts is the shift from a pro-corporates budget in 2015 to a pro-poor budget in 2016. While India Inc lauded Jaitely for announcing a 5 per cent reduction in corporate tax over four years in 2015, the same India Inc was unhappy with the minister for the inaction on the corporate tax front. FICCI( Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) President Harshvardhan Neotia expressed his dissatisfaction and said, “ Corporate tax reduction was something that we were looking at… going forward, we expect some clarity on how the exemptions will be eased out.”

The budget has given a great push to the agricultural and rural sectors- two of the nine pillars of Jaitley’s budget. And this move has given the critics enough reasons to call it a ‘political budget’. The election results of Bihar and Mission Uttar Pradesh 2017 could be the possible reasons for this policy reversal. The BJP has learnt its lesson- Rural India is a bigger vote bank than a handful of rich corporates.

Another reason that can substantiate the above mentioned statement is the fund allocation for the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act ) scheme, a brainchild of the UPA government. The Modi government in 2014 had talked about diluting the scheme and this decision drew a lot of flak, especially from opposition parties and celebrated economists. While speaking at a function organised to mark the completion of 10 years of the MNREGA scheme, Jaitley had dismissed all doubts surrounding the fate of the scheme and said that the BJP has transformed the scheme, which was in a pitiable condition during the UPA regime. A highest ever allocation of Rs 38,500 crores for the scheme proves Jaitley’s claims and it could help the BJP win brownie points in the upcoming elections. As a matter of fact, MNREGA was one of the main reasons for the popularity of UPA I regime and its re-election in 2009.

The government’s stand on Aadhar card is another notable U-turn. According to the budget, the Aadhar card will now get a statutory backing. While in opposition, the BJP had called the Aadhar card programme as a “fraud” perpetrated on the people of the country and had promised to review it, if voted to power. The same BJP government, probably after “reviewing” the programme, has now suggested ways to strengthen and popularize the use of Aadhar cards. A programme which was considered as a “dangerous programme to regularize the illegal stay of migrants in the country”, will now be used to identify the subsidy beneficiaries.

Among the many noteworthy things mentioned in the budget, one of the interesting aspects is how life changes from Opposition to Government.


Sources: The HinduZee NewsThe Times of India



PM Modi Greets citizen National Science Day

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his welcome to the citizens of the country on the event of National Science Day and recollecting the everlasting commitment of extraordinary physicist Sir CV Raman .
“Welcome to researchers and science significant others on National Science Day. Might the soul of exploration and development become further in our nation. We recollect with massive pride the rich and everlasting commitment of Sir CV Raman to science. He is an awesome motivation for youthful personalities,” Prime Minister Modi said on twitter.
National Science Day is praised everywhere throughout the nation February 28, consistently to celebrate the development of the `Raman Effect` in India by the Sir CV Raman in 1928.
Sir CV Raman was respected with the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930.The incredible physicist had worked from 1907 to 1933 at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, West Bengal in India amid which he had scrutinized on numerous themes of the Physics from which the Raman Effect  turned into his awesome achievement and disclosure which has been set apart in the Indian history.
The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) in 1986 encouraged the legislature of India to assign February 28 as National Science Day in India.
Source: Zee News

Sachin, Viswanathan Anand join PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat

Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Bharat Ratna awardee and scientist CNR Rao and chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 17th edition of Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.

The main focus of the address was on the students and the pressure they face during examinations.

PM Modi advised the students that examination should not be considered as a number game and that their life should be linked to a much larger purpose.

While Sachin Tendulkar stressed on keeping a positive attitude and achievable target, Viswanathan Anand asked the students not be over-confident, yet not be pessimistic at the same time.

Celebrated scientist CNR Rao asked the students not to get worried and advised them to decide on what they want to do in life and not give up.

Towards the end of the address, PM Modi spoke about the ‘examination’ he would be facing in the Parliament tomorrow— The Union Budget. ” I have an exam tomorrow and 125 crore people are going to test me as the budget will be presented in Parliament,” he said.

Source: TOI

Indian Express