Answer calls with 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello': Maha govt to employees

News Network
October 2, 2022

New Delhi, Oct 2: The Maharashtra government on Sunday launched a campaign appealing to people to say “Vande Mataram” while receiving phone calls instead of “Hello”.

“Vande Mataram means we are bowing before our mother. Hence, it is our appeal to the people to say Vande Mataram instead of Hello,” state cultural affairs minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said at a rally held in Wardha district on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

A Government Resolution (GR) issued on Saturday appealed to Maharashtra government employees and officers to greet people by saying “Vande Mataram” instead of “Hello” during official or personal phone calls.

It is not mandatory, but the heads of departments should encourage their staff to do so, the GR said.

It said ‘hello’ is borrowed from Western culture and the word did not have any specific meaning. “The word is just a formality which does not arouse any emotion,” the GR said.

Greeting people by saying “Vande Mataram” will create a feeling of affection, it said, adding that an awareness campaign should be conducted to promote it.

At the event in Wadha on Sunday, Mungantiwar said, “If people want to say ‘Jai Bhim’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’, or even mention their parents’ names while answering a phone call all forms are ok with us. Our appeal is to avoid saying Hello while receiving a call.”

During the independence movement, a slogan like “Inquilab Zindabad” (long live the revolution) was banned by the British rulers, he said.

“But, it inspired many people to join the (freedom) movement and eventually we got independence. Even Mahatma Gandhi had supported (chanting of) Vande Mataram and he had written so in a column published at that time,” he said.

The proposal was first made by Mngantiwar soon after being sworn in as a minister in August.

Mungantiwar also said the state government will come up with an audiobook on 850 key personalities from Maharashtra who played a major role in the formation of the state.

“Like the audiobook, we will also come up with MaharashtraTel, where stories and information about key personalities and their contribution will be available in audio format. People can listen to it while travelling as well,” he said. 

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News Network
November 15,2022

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) on Monday announced a Rs 3 hike in the per-litre prices of Nandini milk and curd that was to take effect on Tuesday but withdrew the decision after prodding from the chief minister's office. 

The KMF cited the increase in processing and maintenance costs in dairy farming in the last two years to announce the hike. Officials said the cost of materials used to prepare cattle fodder had shot up by at least 30 per cent. “By June 2022, we collected close to 94.20 lakh litres of milk a day. But this has come down to 78.80 lakh litres because many small farmers have given up dairy farming due to rising costs," a KMF official said. 

Transport, packaging and electricity costs have also shot up by 20 per cent to 35 per cent, the KMF statement said. Lumpy skin disease and adverse weather conditions also added to farmers’ woes, it added, giving reasons for the hike that had been in the pipeline for nearly a year.

A source in the KMF said farmers had demanded a hike of Rs 5 per litre. “With mounting costs, farmers were demanding a Rs 5 hike. Many unions pay farmers Rs 2 to Rs 3 more from their reserve fund so that they don't drop out. The price rise was necessary to prevent losses to farmers and Rs 3 will be given entirely to farmers,” a senior KMF official said. 

By Monday evening, however, the hike was put on hold, ostensibly because the government was wary of public backlash with assembly elections just seven months away.

Speaking to reporters in Sedam, Kalaburagi district, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that a final decision on the milk price hike would be taken after November 20 by convening a meeting of the KMF chairman and senior officials. 

Following the chief minister's statement, an official confirmed that the KMF chairman had withdrawn the order. 

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News Network
November 18,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism, which cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality or group.

He also said that terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalise youth and raise financial resources and the darknet is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities.

"Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security. But I believe that the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself because the 'means and methods' of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world," Shah said addressing the third 'No Money for Terror Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing' hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs here.

He said, "We also recognise that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group".

"To confront terrorism, we have made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems," the Union home minister said.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Shah said there are countries that "seek to undermine or even hinder, our collective resolve to fight terrorism".

"We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions," he said. 

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News Network
November 23,2022

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A gunman shot and killed multiple people in a Walmart store late Tuesday (November 22) in the US state of Virginia, police and city officials said, adding that the shooter too is dead.

"We were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties," Chesapeake Police Department officer Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene, saying rapid response officers entered the store "immediately" as they arrived.

"We believe it is a single shooter and that single shooter is deceased at this time," he added.

The City of Chesapeake also said on Twitter that police did "confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam's Circle.

"Our first responders are well-trained and prepared to respond; please give them space to do so," it added.

News footage showed a major police presence at the scene, with Kosinski saying several officers and investigators were combing through the store and securing the area.

The exact number of fatalities remained unclear, but CBS affiliate WUSA said police said they believed no more than 10 people were killed.

In a statement, Walmart said it was "shocked" by the mass shooting at its store.

"We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We're praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We're working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates," the company said on Twitter. 

Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents the region, said she was "absolutely heartbroken that America's latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight."

"I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives," she said on Twitter.

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