RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday told a group of diplomats that his organisation would be bound by the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid issue in Ayodhya. Bhagwat also said he had “good contact” with PM Narendra Modi and had “independent discussions” on a range of issues, according to sources present at the meeting.
The final hearing in the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya case is slated for December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the Babri masjid demolition. The RSS chief also said that his organisation does not support trolls on social media. According to a tweet by Prasar Bharati chief A Surya Prakash, Bhagwat said: “Trolling amounts to hitting below the belt. We don’t support those who display such aggressive nature”, and “We don’t support trolling & aggressive behavior on the net.”
Bhagwat was interacting with diplomats from over 50 countries, excluding Pakistan High Commission, organised by India Foundation. The seventh in a series of such sessions, it was attended by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, one of its directors, and moderated by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
According to a diplomat who attended the event, Bhagwat spoke for 20 minutes and then took questions. “When asked if he could see a resolution to the Ayodhya dispute by the next elections and whether he would consider it being a shared site, he replied that the Supreme Court would be ruling on the issue and the RSS would be bound by the order,” he told The Indian Express.
There were questions on the RSS’s role in the government and Bhagwat’s relation with the PM. “Sangh doesn’t run BJP; BJP doesn’t run Sangh. As Swayamsevaks, v consult n exchange notes bt independent in functioning-Bhagwatji to diplomats,” Surya Prakash tweeted.
According to a source who attended the meeting, Bhagwat maintained that the RSS stayed away from politics but the government could be influenced by it as many of the ministers were part of the Sangh. On his relationship with Modi, Bhagwat reportedly said he was an authority in his field and the PM in his. He said both had been in “good contact” and discussed a range of issues independently.
When asked what kind of changes he would like to bring in society, sources said, the RSS chief listed oneness of society, maintenance of composite culture, discipline, patriotism, eradication of social evils like dowry.
Asked about Hinduism, he reportedly said that Hinduness was different from Hinduism. “With time, we change. When someone says I am a Hindu it is not about religion or how one lives. It is about accepting others as they are. It is not about wearing this, eating this. That imposition is an ‘ism’. Hinduness is free from this ‘ism’. Hinduness is the ever changing quality of Hinduism,” he said according to tweets of those who attended the event.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be arriving in Ahmedabad this afternoon for a two-day visit to attend the annual summit between the two countries.
This is the fourth summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Modi and Abe altogether met 10 times. This is the 12th edition of India-Japan annual summit. Prime Minister’s home state Gujarat is leaving no stone un-turned to welcome Abe.
Here are the six things you need to know about the visit:
1) Public reception- all planning overseen by PM to the minute detail
Two years after Prime Minister Modi hosted Chinese president in Ahmedabad, Japanese prime minister Abe is being given a public reception. From the airport Abe will be taken on a roadshow, rarest of rare welcome, accorded to a visiting dignitary. The 8-km route has been decked up to welcome the two leaders. And roadshow goes beyond things Gujarat. Over 25 stages have been installed throughout the stretch for performances by artistes from various states donning their traditional attire. Modi will host Abe and his wife at terrace restaurant Agashiye, at the heritage hotel House of Mangaldas and Girdhardas. It is located across the road of Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jali, a monument which has become identity of Ahmedabad. The PM has overseen the planning of the programme and the almost all of government’s protocol machinery is in town to prepare the visit.
2) Bullet train
India’s ambitious High Speed Rail (HSR) project is now at the take-off stage, coinciding with the visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone of the 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmadabad High Speed Rail in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Once complete (scheduled in December 2023) the train which will have a top speed of 350 km per hour will reduce travel time between the two cities to around 2 hours from the existing 7 hours. The project is mostly on Japanese soft loan. But Japanese would also be happy as their high technology is under stiff competition from China and South Korea, who are trying to build similar rail corridors across the world
3) Expanding development cooperation
An ambitious agenda is on the cards at the summit, with Japan expressing its willingness to scale up its partnership in key flagship projects such as Make in India, Skill India and the Clean Ganga Mission. Most of it would be in continuation of the developmental-cooperation trajectory the two leaders had arrived at in 2015. India would benefit from Japanese technology on various sectors and now focus is on expanding the Japanese aid to India in areas such enviornment protection, sewage building, forest protection. Japanese are also keen on expanding the development cooperation to the north eastern parts of India
4) International cooperation/third country projects
Both the sides will also strive to enhance their international cooperation in Asian and African countries, with a sharp focus on infrastructural projects. This development comes in the wake of China aggressively pushing ahead with its one-road-one-belt connectivity project, which was boycotted by India but endorsed by its South-Asian neighbours like Sri Lanka and Nepal. “While Indian companies enjoy a large presence in Africa, Japanese companies possess advanced technologies. If we come together there, it could be a win-win situation for both countries,” Kenji Hiramatsu, the Japanese ambassador to India, told Hindustan Times in a recent interview.
Incidentally, the fact that the African Union has 54 members – one-third of the United Nations’ total membership – can even help India and Japan achieve their dream of becoming permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. China is already expanding its economic and strategic influence in the resource-rich continent. Its new military base in Djibouti — the first in the region — has raised global concerns over the Xi Jinping government’s strategic intentions for Africa.
5) Expanding strategic and military cooperation.
Japan has remained a key strategic partner for India. The two countries also part of a trilateral military exercise with US (malabar exercise). Efforts are on to expand the cooperation into joint defence production-- a topic under discussion for years but needs a definite boost at the high level.
6) Benefit for Gujarat.
An agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Gujarat Maritime Board for developing the Alang shipbuilding yard, besides the establishment of two industrial parks, will be on the table during Abe’s visit.
According to Gujarat Chief Secretary, J N Singh, 15 Japanese companies are keen to invest in Gujarat and will be signing agreements with the state government. Some of these companies include Moresco, Toyoda Gosei, Topre and Murakami.
NEW DELHI: Although he didn't name him, BJP president Amit Shah yesterday suggested that nobody in India listens to anything that "failed leader" Congressvice president Rahul Gandhi has to say.
That he was referring to Rahul became clear when Shah said further that these "failed leaders run off to the US to lecture, as no one listens to them back home".
The BJP president made these remarks on a day that Rahul delivered a speech in the US at the University of California, Berkeley. It was a speech that led to a day-long slugfest between the BJP and the Congress.
In his speech, Rahul attacked the Centre for creating an atmosphere in India where "violence, anger and the politics of polarisation have raised their ugly head". He called this development "new to the country", indicating that he squarely blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for it. The Congress vice president also said Modi's move to scrap high-value currency notes last November "cost us two percent loss in GDP".
BJP president Shah begged to differ. He said the government believes in performance, unlike the previous Congress-led UPA government.
"BJP has heralded an era of 'politics of performance'. But some leaders go to the US and lecture because no one listens to them at home," said Shah, during an interaction on the second day of his three-day visit to Kolkata.
Shah also linked performance to the removal of dynastic succession in politics. That was a clear reference to the Congress vice president's comment - in an interaction after his speech - that dynastic succession is the way "most of India runs".
Shah said the BJP has removed dynastic politics from the country.
"We do not believe in the politics of appeasement which is vote bank politics. We have removed dynastic politics from India. We believe in the politics of performance," said Shah, reported ANI.
To be sure, Rahul wasn't endorsing dynastic succession, which he called a "problem" in India.
"It's a problem in all political parties in India. Most of the country runs like this, so don't go after me, Akhilesh Yadav a dynast, Mr. Stalin a dynast, Mr. (Prem Kumar) Dhumal's son a dynast, so don't just go after me...Even Mr. Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast, also Mr Ambani, that's what happens in India," is what the Congress vice president said.
Still, the BJP called these comments an "anomaly", termed Rahul "a failed dynast" and said Indian democracy runs on merit.
"That fact that he says dynasty is a fulcrum of India is an anomaly. Not surprising that a dynast has no good words to speak about cooperative federalism which is evident in today's India," said BJP leader Smriti Irani.
The general council meeting of two factions of AIADMK on Tuesday removed party’s interim general secretary V K Sasikala from the top post, taking the political crisis into the next level at a time when the government doesn’t have the majority. While the general council announced late J Jayalalithaa as the permanent general secretary, paving way to cancel the appointment of Sasikala as the party chief, the powers of general secretary has been handed over to a steering committee consisting a convenor and a joint convenor. A senior leader said O Panneerselvam will be the Chief Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will be the joint coordinator.
The General Council meeting has also cancelled the appointment of TTV Dinakaran and all the appointments made by him. The meeting ratified a number of changes in bylaws and sub-clauses, handing over all the powers of General Secretary to the coordination and joint coordinator, who are Panneerselvam and CM Palaniswami. Reacting to the decisions taken at the general council meeting, Dinakaran said the time has come to topple this government. “Its time, this government has to go,” he said, speaking to media at Madurai immediately after the ruling faction removed Sasikala and Dinakaran from party posts.
“I am repeating, only the General Secretary can call a GC meeting. Whatever happened at a marriage hall at Vanagaram today was not a General Council meeting but a mere meeting. This government has to fall,” said Dinakaran, adding that if the government falls, all of them supporting CM Palaniswami will join him.
Delhi is the capital of India and thus one of the most important cities of the nation. Many of the happenings and decisions that shape the course of the country are taken here and that is why the complete nation is always interested in knowing the Delhi news.