The psychological barrier between people of J&K and rest of the country must go
ABVP seminar on benefits and harms of Article 370
Jammu & Kashmir unit of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a seminar on ‘Benefits and Harms of Article 370’ in Jammu on December 18. Former Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Justice GD Sharma presided over the seminar. The speakers were of the unanimous opinion that the Article is a psychological barrier between people of Jammu & Kashmir and rest of the country and it must go.
Initiating the discussion, eminent columnist Daya Sagar said Article 370 is a barrier in the total constitutional integration of J&K with India. “There are some who advocate and contest that it is only through this article that J&K is linked with India. These people simply brush aside the fact that all the states of India are linked with Union of India through articles of Constitution of India,” he said.
Eminent historian Prof Hari Om demanded abrogation of Article 370 and full constitutional integration of the State with the rest of India. Prof Varinder Gupta said Article 370 gives special status only to those who are already enjoying power. He said this Article was main cause of discrimination with Jammu & Ladakh region. Dr Jatinder Singh, Sunil Ambardar and others also spoke on the occasion.
Justice G D Sharma also supported the demand of abrogation of Article 370 and said this Article is harmful for the common masses of Jammu & Kashmir. National vice president of ABVP Dr Narinder Singh said since 1990 ABVP has been holding debates all over the country on Article 370.
VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia questioned the UPA Government’s commitment to securing the interests of Indians in Bharat and abroad. “A bright and brave woman diplomat from the Scheduled Caste, Devyani Khobragade served the nation attending duties in difficult countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, etc and when she is now serving in the USA, our Government cannot even protect her human rights. Law may take its own course, but a women being handcuffed on the New York streets while dropping her little daughter to school and then being stripped for the search shows that the Indian Government cannot even protect its own diplomats abroad. How will the Government protect other Indians abroad? The same UPA Government had sent a team of lawyers for one Dr Haneef to Australia. We demand immediate strict Government action while we appreciate the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s stand of not meeting the American delegation in the wake of such human and body rights violations of an Indian woman in the US,” Dr Togadia said.
RSS, VHP pay tribute to Maharaja Marthanda Verma
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) paid tribute to Maharaja of Travancore Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Verma, who passed away on December 16. He was suffering from age related ailments. He was 91.
In a condolence message the VHP said the Travancore Royal Family has lost its patriarch, the Hindu society has lost a leading champion and Maa Bharati has lost one of Her illustrious sons. The Hindu Samaj would miss him. He had endeared himself to men and women of letters by virtue of his erudition and to the common man and needy people by virtue of his compassion and philanthropy as patron of numerous hospitals and charities.
With urging from the then Chief Justice of India K Subba Rao, the scholars of Sanskrit, Economics, Politics and History in Maharaja Saheb invested four years of combined diligent efforts to produce a new English commentary on the widely celebrated and chanted Vishnu Sahasranama containing 1,000 names of Bhagwan Vishnu. This interpretation and English translation is a whole wealth of knowledge and research and has become a veritable treatise on the subject for the benefit of the crores of Vishnu devotees, Bharatiya Vaangmay and knowledge on religion, spiritualism and Hindu world view. “We can imagine how intensely all the members of the royal family would be feeling his absence!,” the VHP said in the condolence message.
Condolence message by Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat
“The news of the sad demise of HH Maharaja of Travancore Raja Shree Utradom Thirunal Marthanda Verma filled my heart with deep sorrow and a sense of loss. During the last few years I was fortunate to come in his contact which was gradually growing. Even in the fragile state of health laiden with long and eventful years of life he aroused and commanded respect from his acquaintances due to his humility. His devotion towards Lord Padmanabha and his simplicity coupled with a kingly demeanour. Such man provides great and silent sustenance to the values in a society. Fate has taken away one more of such a stalwart from among us. I pray for courage to bear the loss on his family and supporters. On behalf of RSS and personally I offer hearty condolence to the family.”
BMS rally at Parliament in Delhi
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) along with 11 Central Trade Unions held a massive rally outside the Parliament on December 12. Later a delegation led by BMS general secretary Shri Baij Nath Rai and comprising of all other Central Trade Unions met Defence Minister and Chairman Group of Ministers Shri AK Antony and also the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to raise their issues.
The unions demanded minimum wages of Rs 10,000 with dearness allowance and universal social security for all. Regularisation of contract labour on the jobs of perennial nature was also demanded. They said minimum pension of Rs 3,000 with DA to all must be ensured by the Government. Prime Minister assured the delegation to fulfill at least two third demands of the workers within one month. Shri Baijnath Rai declared that if all the demands are not fulfilled within a month the workers would be forced to launch more agitations including strike and for which Government would be fully responsible.
All India strike by bank workers
About ten lakh bank employees and officers of 26 Public Sector Banks, 12 Private Banks and 6 Foriegn Banks observed All India Bank strike on December 18 under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of 9 bank employees and officers unions for the demand of wage revision. More than 70,000 branches and offices of all Public Sector, Private Sector Banks were closed and demonstrations took place all over the country.
The bank employees’ wage revision is due since November 1, 2012. The Unions had submitted their Charter of Demands in October, 2012. So far 4 rounds of discussion were held but no wage revision was offered by Indian Bank Association (IBA). After the strike call given by UFBU, IBA invited UFBU for discussions on December 14, 2013. After lot of discussions, IBA stated that they would be able to offer only an increase of 5 per cent over the wage expenses.
Homecoming in Varanasi
About 80 persons belonging to 18 families returned to their Hindu roots on December 6 at a function held at the Dr Ambedkar Junior High School at Chapartala Village under Meja Road Block in Varanasi. The function was organised by the Sant Ravidas Dharma Raksha Samiti. All the people who returned home had embraced Christianity due to various reasons.
Matri Sammelan in Jaipur
Swami Vivekananda 150th birth anniversary celebration committee organised a Matri Sammelan in Jaipur on December 15. More than 2,000 women from different parts of Jaipur attended the Sammelan, which was presided over by Rajmata Smt Padmini Devi. Social activist Smt Asha Gokchha and full time activist of Vivekananda Kendra Sushri Rachna Didi were also present on the occasion. Sushri Alka Gauri Joshi delivered the keynote address. Rajmata Padmini Devi said all should resolve and ensure that there is no cruelty against women anywhere in the country. On this occasion 13 women were felicitated who have done outstanding work in social service.
Janjati Sammelan to celebrate Vivekananda Birth Sardhshati
A grand Janajati Sammelan was organised at Birpara in Odisha to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The gathering was addressed by Shri Sunilpada Goswami, Bharat Das Muni from Patna and Saraswati Devi Sastri of Arya Samaj. Industrialist Shri Sher Singh Choudhury of Damdim presided over the meeting at Sarna ST Club Maidan. Most of the participants were teenage girls and boys who came from various tea garden areas of Duars. More than 3,000 janjati people of all age groups participated in Sammelan in their traditional dresses.