Tag Archives: Hindu

Chennai: A case was filed against veteran film actor Kamal Haasan in a court in Varanasi on Friday for his comments on "Hindu terror".

The case has been filed under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that pertain to defamation, attempt to cause offence, intent to hurt religious feelings and to incite communal disharmony.


In an article in a Tamil magazine that came into public domain on Thursday, the film actor has observed that "Hindu right-wing groups have unprecedentedly started indulging in acts of violence".

The court has listed the case for hearing on Saturday.





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New Delhi: Mamata Banerjee may be accused of minority appeasement once again, but the Bengal Chief Minister could not let this occasion pass. Asked to comment on BJP lawmaker Sangeet Som's comment that the Taj Mahal was built by "traitors", Ms Banerjee said, "I am ashamed to comment. In the British period, so many things were built. They are heritage."

The Chief Minister said India is proud of Taj Mahal. "In our state, we have the Victoria Memorial. We are proud of that. Even Parliament was built in the British period. The offices of the ministers -- North Block, South Block - were built by them..."

Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, the Taj had been dragged into a huge political row after it was dropped from a brochure of the Uttar Pradesh tourism. Earlier, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said the monument does not reflect Indian culture.

Today, Ms Banerjee said it was a "political agenda" of the BJP. "I strongly condemn it. And how a government can exclude Taj Mahal from its tourism brochure, I do not know," she said.

The Chief Minister expressed her ire about the change of names "everywhere". "Like Mughal Sarai has now been named after a BJP leader... I have no disrespect for any leader. That is not our culture. But if they next want to change the name of India, where will we go?"

Broadening her attack on the BJP, Ms Banerjee said, "Their ministers are talking big. They are criticising, threatening. Anyone opposed to them will be given the treatment, they say. What is the treatment? CBI and ED will arrest them," she added.


The reference is seen to be to the frequent questioning of her party leaders in connection with the Narada sting operation in the recent weeks. "They (the BJP) are behaving like we are fools and they are the clever people. This is not democracy. This is dictatorship, autocracy," she said.







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Noida:  BJP leader Sangeet Som has triggered controversy by saying the Taj Mahal is a "blot" on Indian culture and misquoted history by saying that Shah Jahan, builder of the 17th century marble mausoleum, had jailed his father and wanted to wipe out Hindus from the country.

The remarks by the Sardhana MLA in Meerut came after the Uttar Pradesh government removed the Taj Mahal from the list of attractions in its tourism booklet.

"Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? Whose history? 

"The creator of the Taj Mahal (Shah Jahan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out all Hindus from India. If these people are part of our history, then it is very unfortunate. 

"I guarantee you that we will change this history," Som was shown saying in an undated viral video, apparently addressing a public gathering.

TV reports said the BJP leader was addressing a gathering in Meerut.

Som wrongly quoted history saying Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had jailed his father. It was Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb who had dethroned and jailed his father inside the Agra Fort.

The Taj, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. 




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New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday emphasised on country's unity and a distinct nationality among diversity of languages and communities.

He said India does not believe in "one language-one nation, one community-one nation". Quoting Sister Nivedita, he said: "Reconstitution of a nation has to begin with its ideals."


According to him, when the Ramayana serial was telecast, every household used to watch it and the same also happened in Pakistan when the serial was telecast there.

"This is because this land since the early ages through its experience created a consciousness," he said at a programme organised to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita.

"There is no need to fight," Bhagwat said, adding that people of different languages, ethnicities and religions were respected and recognised in India

He called Bharat Mata "the base of the unity".

Being a geographically distinct nation, India had the capability of giving birth to nationality and the country considered the world as its relative, he said, adding that "despite people wanting to be our foes, we (India) do not have enemies".

Dwelling on why he opposed the Sachar Committee recommendations, Bhagwat said one of his Muslim friends appreciated the Hindu lineage of Indian Muslims, but the community he represented largely did not believe that.

"Over the years there has been so many outside influences in Bharat and we assimilated all, we digested all. It is true. So many rivers have flowed into Ganga, but Ganga remained Ganga. I told him once they educate themselves and understand the fact, we are ready to withdraw our opposition."

"Once Rabindranath Tagore said that these two communities will not die while fighting with each other but they will find a way to stay together...that will be the Hindu way," Bhagwat said.





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New Delhi: Cow protection goes beyond religion and "pious" Gau Rakshaks, or cow protectors, needn't worry or get distracted due to "well-intentioned statements" by highly-placed persons in the government or the Supreme Court, Mohan Bhagwat, who heads the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or RSS, said on Saturday. He suggested that PM Narendra Modi and the top court's strong remarks against violence had been "misinterpreted" to point fingers at genuine cow protectors as well.

"People who are criminals and involved in violent activities should be bothered about that," he added, a reference to strong messages from PM Modi as well as the top court against cow vigilantes taking law into their hands.


Speaking on the foundation day of the RSS, Mr Bhagwat stressed that probes into recent incidents of violence had made it "amply clear" that cow protectors were not involved.

On the contrary, the RSS chief said, "many activists who were peacefully involved in cow protection were attacked and killed" and lamented that this issue was "neither discussed nor being inquired".

"It is unfair to link cow protectors or entire activity of cow protection with violent incidents," he said, addressing a crowd of RSS activists at his annual Vijaya Dashami speech in Nagpur.


However, he underlined that the activities of cow protection and promotion had become "more valuable" due to cow smuggling, especially on the Bangladesh border.

Self-declared gau rakshaks or squads of cow protectors, have been accused of thrashing people on suspicion of cow slaughter which have inflamed tensions between religions and castes in parts of the country.

Asserting that people from communities across religions were associated with cow protection, Mr Bhagwat said many Muslims involved in cow promotion had told him that a "nefarious campaign" was being run to create tension among the people of different religions in India.

"The legal and virtuous work of cow protection and cow promotion will go on in the interest of the people and will increase in the coming days. It will also be the apt answer to the situation," the RSS chief said.









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New Delhi: The season of festivals is here and there is a lot of excitement in the air. The first in the line-up of festivals is Navratri which began on 21st September 2017 and will go on for 9 days till 29th September 2017. Navratri is regarded as the most significant of all the four Navratris commemorated in a year as per Hindu belief. It is celebrated in the holy month of Ashwin, and is also known as Maha Navaratri. Devotees worship the nine forms of Durga also called the Nav Durga during this period with plenty of offerings and bhog and observe special fasts to seek her blessings.

It is believed that during these 9 days, Goddess Durga descends from the heavens above and takes shelter amongst her devotees to bless them with strength, power and prosperity. During the Navratri fasts, people follow a strict vegetarian diet and refrain from consuming certain foods like cereals, grains, non-vegetarian food, regular salt and alcohol. They prepare their daily meals with vrat ingredients like Singhara atta, buckwheat flour, sabudana,fresh fruits, sendha namak and samak ke chaawal. If you happen to observe these ritualistic fasts, or know someone who is keeping them, you may know of the practice of not including onions and garlic in the special Vrat ka Khana or fasting meal. In fact, people who do not observe these fasts also refrain from consuming onion, garlic, non-vegetarian food and alcohol during the nine days of Navratri.

But, do you know why you are told to avoid onion and garlic even though they are categorised as vegetarian foods? Let's find out.

According to Hindu and ancient Ayurvedic understanding, foods can be divided into three categories, depending upon their nature and the response they trigger in the body after consumption. These three categories are as follows.

1.Raajasic food

2.Taamasic food

3.Saatvik food

While fasting for Navratri, people opt to go for saatvik food. Besides the religious aspect, there is a scientific reason for this too. Sharad Navratri falls around the months of October-November which usually mark the transition period from autumn to winter. During this time of seasonal change, our immunity tends to decline and therefore, it helps to switch to light saatvik food that does not burden your digestive system. It may also help in keeping away from toxins that may breed in greasy, heavy or unhealthy food, and thus, cleanses your body of all impurities.

The word Saatvik comes from the word, Sattva - which means the one that is pure, natural, vital, energetic, clean and conscious. Saatvik foods include most of your vrat ingredients like fresh fruits, cooling curd, pure rock salt, like pumpkin and lauki and subtle spices like cumin, coriander and black pepper. On the other hand, the words 'Rajas' and 'Tamas' refer to something that is destructive, resentful, unripe and weak. During this period of Navratri fasting when you are supposed to denounce worldly pleasures and adopt a simple and pure state of life to show your devotion, it is believed that Raajasic and Taamasic food may distract your mental focus.


Read more: Navratri Special: The Science Of Fasting On Shardiya Navratri

Onion and garlic are categorized as Taamasic in nature, and have been linked to invoke carnal energies in the body. Onions are also said to produce heat in the body. Therefore, they are avoided during the Navratri fasts. Onion along with garlic is also known as 'Rajogini' that refers to substances that make one lose grip over their instincts, making it difficult to distinguish between your desires and priorities.

Ancient Vedic texts also regard salty, spicy, strong and pungent foods to take away one's focus from the devotion of the Lord. According to Vaishnav tradition, people are weary of eating anything that grows underground and therefore, Vaishnav-Hindus particularly refrain from eating onions. Along with onion and garlic, there are a few spices too that are avoided during Navratri fasting like turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and garam masala. You can use Cumin (jeera), green chillies, black pepper and ajwain instead to flavour your food.

Happy Sharad Navratri 2017!






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New Delhi:  The day after the high court cancelled unusual restrictions imposed in West Bengal on Puja processions, the Mamata Banerjee government on Friday decided that people will need to have police permission for immersion of Durga idols on Muharram, the Muslim day of mourning.

"Depending on circumstances and situation, wherever found fit permission will be granted and wherever there are problems permission will not be granted," the state's Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya announced after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Chief Minister Banerjee had earlier controversially banned puja processions for immersion of Durga idols on October 1, reportedly on advice of the police. Under this order, immersions wouldn't be allowed on 30 September after 10 pm and 1t October. The Chief Minister did not want any situation to arise that leads to a communal clash, angering many Hindu groups.

This diktat was, however, was voided by the Calcutta High Court yesterday that appeared to reprimand the government for what the court called "drawing a line between Hindus and Muslims" and "exercising extreme power without any basis".
A defiant Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declared soon after that she wouldn't back down, irrespective of the court verdict.

"Slit my throat but no one tells me what to do," Ms Banerjee retorted, asserting that she would do "what I can to keep the peace".

Friday's meeting with top bureaucrats came up with the way out.

Since the high court had objected to a blanket ban on immersion of Durga idols on Muharram, top bureaucrats told the Chief Minister that the government would be well within the boundaries of law and the court verdict to take a decision on individual requests for the idol immersion.

Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya said the court order had clearly provided for the state government to grant permissions for immersion "after the state government assesses the situation".

Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said they hadn't received any request for immersion of idols on Ekadashi, 1 October. When someone does, he said, "standard procedures will be followed".

Three petitions had challenged the restrictions on the immersion of idols at the end of the five-day Durga Puja, which coincides with Muharram this year. During arguments, the court had said a state "cannot hinder a citizen's right to practice religion assuming that there will be law and order problems".

"I think every resident of West Bengal should cooperate in such a manner that both the communities may celebrate their festivals in their own way peacefully in a cooperative spirit. There is no question of any tension and conflict between the two communities," Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi later told reporters.






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Uttar Pradesh: Irked by recent controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the top body of Hindu sadhus, today released a list of 14 "fake babas" and demanded a crackdown on "rootless cult leaders" by bringing in a legislation.

Giving out the list, which includes names like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Rampal, Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, the parishad's president Swami Narendra Giri said, "We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis."

The parishad is a council of akharas, which are monastic orders drawing their spiritual lineage from 8th-century seer Adi Shankara, who is said to have established orders of martial monks with the aim of defending the Hindu Dharma. The development comes close on the heels of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Haryana sentencing Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim to 20 years in prison for the rape of two of his former disciples.

Large-scale violence took place in various parts of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan following his conviction by the court in the two cases.

Forty-one people were killed in Haryana in the clashes. However, no death was reported from Punjab and Rajasthan. While Asaram is in jail in connection with a sexual assault case, his son Narayan Sai, also booked in a similar case, is out on bail.
Rampal is behind bars, facing trial in a number of cases relating to violence.

"We are going to send copies of this list to the Centre, the state governments as well as all the opposition parties with the demand that a strong legislation be brought to check the activities of these self-styled cult leaders," Giri told reporters here.

He also claimed that he had yesterday received a phone call from a person claiming to be a devotee of Asaram, who "threatened to kill me if a mention was made of his guru in the list of fake babas we planned to bring out today".

"An FIR has been lodged at the Daryaganj police station in the city, based on a complaint of Giri. The matter is being investigated," Senior Superintendent of Police of Allahabad Anand Kulkarni said.




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New Delhi:  Acclaimed film actor Kamal Haasan on Friday hinted that he may form a political party but made it clear he won't ally with "saffron" -- the Hindu Right.

The 62-year-old superstar, who has acted in more than 220 films, made the announcement after meeting Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here.


And stating that he won't align with any political party in Tamil Nadu, he told the media that he would be on his own politically.

"My colour is definitely not saffron. That much I can say now," Kamal Haasan said, in a clear reference to the BJP and RSS.

"I have got huge support from people as an artiste. If I am able to get half of this in politics, then I will be successful."

Asked if he would discuss his political moves with the AIADMK, he said: "If I had to do that, then I did not have to wait. All that I needed to do was to clap my hands."

Replying to a question on why he chose to make this statement after meeting Kerala's Marxist Chief Minister, he said Communist leaders had always been his heroes.

"You just look at the statistics (social indicators) of Kerala and it's comparable to any European country," he said.

When journalists persisted and asked if he would align with the Left, he shot back: "I want to be in the middle of things and do not want to lean to any side."

On the political situation in Tamil Nadu, he said the Governor should intervene -- a demand also voiced by the opposition in the state.

The Tamil Nadu opposition wants Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy, who critics say has lost majority support, to prove his legislative strength in the Assembly.

Earlier, Vijayan said in a Facebook post that he and Kamal Haasan have known each other for long and they always meet whenever the actor visits Kerala.

"Today's meeting was the first one after I became Chief Minister. Even though the visit was personal in nature, we discussed south Indian politics and also the overall political situation in Tamil Nadu," Vijayan said.

The CPI-M leader received the acclaimed actor, dressed in a black shirt and dhoti, at the car porch. Also present at the meeting were Vijayan's wife Kamala and other family members.

Kamal Haasan has in recent times made comments critical of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK party. He also recently shared a stage with DMK leader M.K. Stalin.





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Symantec, a digital security company, says it has identified a sustained cyber spying campaign, likely state-sponsored, against Indian and Pakistani entities involved in regional security issues.

In a threat intelligence report that was sent to clients in July, Symantec said the online espionage effort dated back to October 2016, according to news agency Reuters.

The campaign appeared to be the work of several groups, but tactics and techniques used suggest that the groups were operating with "similar goals or under the same sponsor", probably a nation state, according to the threat report, which was reviewed by Reuters. It did not name a state.

The detailed report on the cyber spying comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region.

The Indian military had raised operational readiness along its border with China following a face-off near the border in Sikkim, while Indo-Pakistan tensions are also simmering over Islamabad's support to terror groups that operate in Kashmir.

A spokesman for Symantec said the company does not comment publicly on the malware analysis, investigations and incident response services it provides clients.

Symantec did not identify the likely sponsor of the attack. But it said that governments and militaries with operations in South Asia and interests in regional security issues would likely be at risk from the malware. The malware utilises the so-called "Ehdoor" backdoor to access files on computers.

"There was a similar campaign that targeted Qatar using programs called Spynote and Revokery," said a security expert, who requested anonymity. "They were backdoors just like Ehdoor, which is a targeted effort for South Asia."

To install the malware, Symantec found, the attackers used decoy documents related to security issues in South Asia. The documents included reports from Reuters, Zee News, and the Hindu, and were related to military issues and Kashmir.

The malware allows spies to upload and download files, carry out processes, log keystrokes, identify the target's location, steal personal data, and take screenshots, Symantec said, adding that the malware was also being used to target Android devices.

In response to frequent cyber-security incidents, India in February established a center to help companies and individuals detect and remove malware. The center is operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

Gulshan Rai, the director general of CERT-In, declined to comment specifically on the attack cited in the Symantec report, but added: "We took prompt action when we discovered a backdoor last October after a group in Singapore alerted us." He did not elaborate.

Symantec's report said an investigation into the backdoor showed that it was constantly being modified to provide "additional capabilities" for spying operations.

A senior official with Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency said it had not received any reports of malware incidents from government information technology departments. He asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

A spokesman for Fire Eye, another cyber-security company, said that based on an initial review of the malware, it had concluded that an internet protocol address in Pakistan had submitted the malware to a testing service. The spokesman requested anonymity, citing company policy.

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