After Rahul Gandhi’s ‘PM Modi not OBC’ claim, BJP says Cong gave OBC status to his caste

News Network
February 8, 2024


New Delhi, Feb 8: The BJP government on Thursday afternoon hit back at Rahul Gandhi after the Congress Lok Sabha MP's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not born into an Other Backward Class community.

Mr Gandhi, in Odisha with his 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra', accused the Prime Minister of "misleading" people by identifying himself as an OBC member. He said Mr Modi "was born in (to) a family of the Ghanchi caste... which was included in the OBC list during the BJP government's tenure in Gujarat".

In a brief note titled "facts regarding Rahul Gandhi's statement on PM's caste", the government said the Modh Ghanchi caste (and the sub-group to which Mr Modi belongs) "stands included in the Gujarat government's list... of socially (and) educationally backward class and OBCs".

"...after a survey in Gujarat, Mandal Commission prepared a list of OBCs under Index 91(A),, which included the Modh Ghanchi caste. The Indian government's list (of) 105 OBC castes for Gujarat has also included Modh Ghanchi..." it said.

The government has also reminded Mr Gandhi the notification to include the sub-group in the list of OBCs was issued on July 25, 1994 - when Gujarat, Mr Modi's home state, was ruled by the Congress.

"The same sub-group was included (in) OBC (list) as per a Government of India notification dated April 4, 2000. When both notifications were released Shri Narendra Modi was not in power, and was not holding an executive office at the time," the government has said.

Rahul Gandhi's jab at the Prime Minister's caste comes as the government and the opposition squabble over a national caste census - to which the ruling BJP, in the past, has been averse.

The topic made headlines - and upped pressure on the BJP - last year after the Bihar government's statewide caste survey, which confirmed that OBC and EBC, or Extremely Backward Classes, accounted for over 60 per cent of the state's population, making them big vote banks.

This week Mr Gandhi vowed to hold the nationwide caste census and remove the Supreme Court-ordered 50 per cent cap on reservations if the Congress wins the Lok Sabha election.

Mr Gandhi on Monday attacked Mr Modi declaring, "When time comes to give rights to OBCs, Dalits, tribals, Modiji says there are no castes. But when it is time to get votes, he says he is an OBC."

The Prime Minister responded Wednesday during a speech in the Rajya Sabha, in which he said Congress stalwart and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not support reservations.

"Nehruji used to say that if SC, ST or OBCs get reservation in jobs, then government work standards will fall. He even stopped recruitment. What Nehruji said has been pathhar ki lakeer ('set in stone') for the Congress since. Your mindset can be understood through such examples," the PM lashed out.

"The party has always been against the interest of SC and ST communities."

"But we have always prioritised them... first Dalits and now Adivasis. Who are the beneficiaries of our schemes? All our works are for the SC, ST, and OBC communities," he said.


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News Network
February 27,2024


Abu Dhabi, Feb 27: The first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, will be opened to the public from March 1, according to the temple authorities.

The temple has been built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

The grand temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on February 14 during a dedication ceremony attended by over 5,000 invitees. From February 15 to 29, overseas devotees who had registered in advance or VIP guests were allowed to visit the temple.

“The temple will be open to the public from March 1 from 9 AM to 8 PM. The temple will remain closed for visitors every Monday,” a temple spokesperson said.

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan, the temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the recently inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

According to the temple authorities, the grand temple has been built as per an ancient style of construction and creation mentioned in the Shilpa and Sthapathya Shastras, Hindu scriptures which describe the art for mandir design and construction.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the largest in the entire Gulf region. The UAE has three other Hindu temples in Dubai.

Seven spires representing the seven Emirates of the UAE, carvings of camels, and national bird falcon, are part of the architecture of the stone temple, to give equal representation to the host country.

“The seven spires have idols of deities, including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven Emirates of the UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations for BAPS, had told PTI.

To give equal representation to the host country, along with animals like elephants, camels and lions that occupy an important place in Indian mythology, the UAE’s national bird, the falcon, has also been included in the temple design.

Apart from 15 tales from India, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories from Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African civilisations have also been depicted in the temple.

While the outer walls of the temple are made using sandstone from India, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately designed and carved columns and walls.

Other noteworthy architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars. The two ghumats are the “Dome of Peace” and “Dome of Harmony”.
On the two sides of the temple, holy water flows from Ganga and Yamuna, which was brought from India in huge containers.

The temple’s facade features exquisite marble carvings set against a sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. A substantial number of pink sandstone were transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.


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News Network
February 20,2024


United Nation's (UN) experts have raised concern over reports of human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza and the occupied West Bank since Israel launched its war on Gaza on October 7.

In a statement on Monday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it had received information that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault at the hands of Israeli army officers, reported Al Jazeera.

"We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence," the UN experts said.

The experts also said that the OHCHR has received reports of 'arbitrary execution' of Palestinian women and girls, often with their families.

"We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces", they said.

Israel waged a brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 29,092 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 69,028 others.

In the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem too, Israeli forces intensified raids, killing hundreds of Palestinians and detaining thousand others.

UN experts raised alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers in Gaza and West Bank.

Many women have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment, denied menstrual pads, medicine and food. The OHCHR said that they have also suffered severe beatings and on at least one occasion. Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.

UN experts noted that photos of the detainees in 'degrading circumstances' were taken by Israeli forces and then posted online.

An unknown number of Palestinian women and children have gone missing since Israel began its war on Gaza, the experts said.

“There are disturbing reports of at least one female infant forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel, and of children being separated from their parents, whose whereabouts remain unknown,” they said.

The experts have called for an 'impartial, independent and effective' investigation into the allegations and for Israel to cooperate.

The experts further expressed, "taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute."

"Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice."


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February 28,2024


Mangaluru, Feb 28: Four high school students who were reported missing after appearing for the English paper in the ongoing Class 10 preparatory examination on February 27, were found dead in Nandini river at Haleangady, on the outskirts of Mangaluru. 

The deceased have been identified as Yashwith (15) of Agaramelu,  Niroopa (15) Guddekoppa, Raghavendra (15) of Thokur, and Anvith (15) of Anwith of Chitrapura. 

All four students were studying 10th standard at Vidyadayini High School. In in Surathkal. 

Police suspect that they might have got into the river to swim after appearing for the exam, and subsequently drowned.

On Tuesday, February 27, the four students wrote their exam and they did not return home. After searching for them at their friends’ places, the parents filed a missing complaint at Surathkal Police Station.

The police checked the CCTV footage and found that the students had boarded a bus for Haleyangadi. After tracing the tower location of a mobile carried by one of the students the police found the school bag and shoes of students near a river.

With the help of the locals, the search operation began and found the bodies of four students. The police suspect that the students might have entered the river to swim and drowned.

The police are questioning their classmates and the school authorities to find more details related to the four students. 

According to reports, only one of the four students knew swimming. The police claim that students might have drowned while trying to rescue a student. Surthkal Police have registered a case and the probe is underway.


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