Hindus most decent and tolerant majority in the world, says Javed Akhtar after bashing hardline outfits

News Network
September 15, 2021

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Days after his Taliban-RSS remark sparked a row, screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that ‘Hindus are the most tolerant majority in the world’ in Shiv-Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.

In his earlier statement, Akhtar had said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) were similar to the Taliban in their form of extremism.

Clarifying his remarks, Akhtor wrote, “Actually, in the recent interview, I have said ‘Hindus are the most decent and tolerant majority’ in the world. I have repeated this time and again and also emphasised that India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature are not extremists. It is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road.”

Further, Akhtar went on to explain what according to him was similar between the Taliban and Hindu right-wing. 

“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s rights and put them on the margin, the Hindutva right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls,” he said.

Akhtar was earlier criticised by the Shiv-Sena for his controversial comment. An editorial in Saamna said that even though Akhtar was secular and spoke against fundamentalism in general, he was completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

In his piece, Akhtar praised Uddhav Thackeray and said that even Thackeray's worst critics could not accuse the chief minister of discrimination and injustice -- so it was beyond his understanding why the Thackeray government might be referred to as ‘Talibani’.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he also said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 22: The fee for undergraduate medical and dental courses in the state is likely to go up by 15% this academic year.

Sources in the Department of Medical Education said the government was mulling continuing the previous year's decision on fee hike. This means 15% hike for government seats and 25% for private seats. 

A meeting on the issue between the Medical Education minister and the private medical college representatives on Thursday was cancelled last minute as the minister was busy with his pre-scheduled engagements.

"It was the first meeting convened and it got cancelled. We have not officially received any requests from them about the fee hike, but the same will be discussed in the meeting with the minister and we are planning to decide on it in the first sitting itself," said an official from the Department of Medical Education. 

According to the sources, the private medical college managements are demanding  a hike of 25% to 30%. A representative of a private medical college from Bengaluru said, "The deemed-to-be universities and private universities have the privilege to charge around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. We want the fee to be increased on par with them."

Officials said that this is the last year that the state government will bargain with the medical colleges. "From next year, the matter would be left to all-India level counseling by the Directorate General of Health Services, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Since this is the last year, in all probability, we are doing this, we might consider their demand and increase the fee in line with the previous year's agreement," added an official.

The existing fee structure for medical courses for government quota seats at a private medical college is Rs 1,28,746 and for private quota seats is Rs 9,81,956. This is as per the hike made during 2020-2021 academic year. 

Similarly, the fee in private dental colleges stands at Rs 83,356 and Rs 6,66,023 for government and private quota seats, respectively. 

It can be recalled that the fee for undergraduate medical courses has increased by 200% in the last 10 years. The fee charged during 2006-07 academic year for government quota seats at private medical colleges was Rs 42,000. 

In the academic year 2018-19, even the fees at government medical colleges increased significantly from Rs 16,700 to Rs 59,800.

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News Network
October 16,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 16: A young man was brutally murdered by his friends-turned-instant enemies during a party at a lodge in the coastal city in the wee hours of Saturday, Oct 16.

The deceased has been identified as Dhanush (20), a resident of Pachchanadi area of Mangaluru.  

It is learnt that six friends – Prameet, Jaison, Karthik, Durgesh, Prajwal and Dhanush – were having a party at a lodge near Pumpwell last night to celebrate Dasara festival.

At around 2:30 a.m. a fight broke out between Jaison Surathkal and Dhanush. When the verbal clash turned into physical fight Jaison reportedly stabbed Dhanush with a sharp weapon. 

Dhanush suffered deep injury in the attack. He was taken to a private hospital for treatment but the doctors confirmed that he was brought dead.

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News Network
October 22,2021

New Delhi, Oct 22: As India breached the landmark of administering one billion Covid vaccine doses, the experts around the globe are positive about the country’s economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.

“Experts in India and abroad are very positive about India’s economy. Today, not only record investment is coming to Indian companies but new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth...Positive activities are accelerating in every field with increasing coverage of the vaccine,” Modi said during his address to the nation.

Modi noted that the agriculture sector kept India’s economy “firmly in place” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today, food grains are being procured at a record level. The money is going directly into the bank account of the farmers,” he said.

Talking about other sectors of the economy, the Modi said that today, Indian companies aren’t just getting record investments, but employment generation is also taking place.

“Along with record investment in start-ups, record start-up unicorns are also being developed,” he said.

He reiterated his clarion call of 'Vocal For Local' and appealed to people to buy ‘Made in India’ products during the festival season.

“Emphasis should be given to buying made in India products. This will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. We have to put buying things made by Indians, being Vocal For Local, into practice,” he stated.

Modi also urged people to celebrate the upcoming festivals with utmost caution.

“I appeal to all those who have not taken the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine yet should be given utmost priority to getting vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others,” he said.

Urging people to keep following Covid protocols, Modi added: “No matter how good the armour is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour guarantees complete protection, weapons are not thrown while the battle is on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care.”

Meanwhile, more than one billion vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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