At a time when the Eknath Shinde faction, which has formed a government with the BJP in Maharashtra, is trying to prove its Hindutva credentials in the tussle for control of the Shiv Sena , there was a surprise development last week. The Minority Development Department of the state government announced the commissioning of a study on “the social, educational and economic status of the Muslim community” in 56 cities in six revenue divisions of the state, which have a sizeable Muslim population. The study is to be conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). State Watch | Seizing on Vedanta-Foxconn row, MVA taps into old faultlines, new rage to turn the tables on BJP-Shinde While some are seeing the move as a tentative outreach towards the Muslim community, whose support could determine the results in a substantial number of wards in the coming BMC polls soon, others see it as a balancing act at a time that the Shinde faction is trying to project … [Read more...] about Shinde Sena-BJP govt’s Muslim survey plans: Why, and is there a what next?
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At least 24 people were killed and around the same number were missing on Sunday after an overcrowded boat carrying Hindu pilgrims capsized on a river in Bangladesh, police said. Local media said at least 10 people had been rescued and sent to hospital. “Firefighters and divers are searching for more bodies,” local police official Shafiqul Islam told AFP , confirming that 24 deaths had been confirmed so far, most of them women and children. Another police officer said up to 25 people were still missing. The boat was packed with up to 50 pilgrims, police said. They were travelling to a centuries-old temple when the vessel suddenly tipped over and sank in the middle of the Karotoa river near the town of Boda in northern Bangladesh. Mobile phone footage aired by TV station Channel 24 showed the overcrowded boat suddenly flip over, spilling the passengers into the muddy brown river. Dozens of people watching from the shore around 20 m away started shouting and screaming. The … [Read more...] about Bangladesh: 24 Dead After ‘Overcrowded’ Boat Carrying Hindu Pilgrims Capsizes, 10 Rescued
Synopsis INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala and Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal, both with a long history of fighting the Congress, were on the stage with other senior leaders such as Pawar, CPM's Sitaram Yechury, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena. In a major step towards forging a united anti-BJP front, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and other prominent opposition leaders on Sunday called for a new alliance that includes the Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, stressing that a bipolar contest will ensure the BJP's defeat. "There is no question of a Third Front. There should be one front that includes the Congress. Then we can trounce the BJP in 2024," Kumar said as he joined a mega rally organised by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) here to mark former deputy prime minister Devi Lal's birth anniversary. INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala and Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir … [Read more...] about Nitish, Pawar lead call by oppn leaders for forming united anti-BJP front for 2024 polls
Singapore's East Coast Park, a green oasis that hugs the main highway to Changi Airport next to man-made beaches, was packed with families this week, enjoying a public holiday marking the Muslim festival, Hari Raya Haji. Key points: Daily cases peaked at 15,978 on July 13 after the Hari Raya Haji long weekend Singapore recommended fourth jabs for over-50s in June, a month before Australia But epidemiologists say Singapore's high vaccination rate of 92 per cent means that most restrictions are no longer necessary Little would you have known that the island state was near the peak of its second Omicron wave, according to epidemiologists. Yet, restrictions have largely disappeared in a nation renowned for its cautious approach to health — with life almost returning to pre-pandemic norms. And symbolising the resilience of Singaporeans is the nation's first female president — 67-year-old Halimah Yacob — who was back participating in community events for the … [Read more...] about Why Singaporeans are so relaxed about their latest COVID outbreak
The story so far: On Friday, September 23, the dawn-to-dusk hartal organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala in response to large-scale arrests of its leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was marked by sporadic incidents of violence, with some police officials being attacked in Kollam and interstate-buses being targeted in Kannur. In a sweeping crackdown on Thursday, the NIA, in joint operations with the Enforcement Directorate and State police departments, arrested more than 100 top leaders and functionaries of the PFI across 11 states including Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Assam, based on allegations that the accused were funding terror acts, organising weapon training camps and radicalising people to join banned outfits. Crackdown on PFI by The Hindu Graphics What is the PFI? The Popular Front of India describes itself as a non-governmental organisation and a “neo-social movement” striving for the “empowerment of marginalized”, … [Read more...] about The Popular Front of India, its origins, presence, and controversies
Synopsis Social media users were outraged after a Sikh student was arrested in the US for carrying a kirpan. The video of the incident has gone viral. In a disturbing incident that happened in the United States of America, a Sikh man studying at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was held on campus because he was carrying a kirpan . The student first made the incident known on social media when he posted a video of it on Twitter and said that the police had arrested him because he had declined to let the official remove his Kirpan from the miyaan. He expressed his anguish in the video's caption, stating he wasn't going to upload this; however, he felt @unccharlotte would not offer him any help. He was told that he had been reported to 911 by someone and was then handcuffed for "resisting" the officer by refusing to let him remove the Kirpan from his miyaan. Despite numerous global campaigns to create awareness about Sikh Kakaars, it’s … [Read more...] about Sikh student arrested for carrying kirpan at US university. This is what happened