Dr Muhammad Allama Iqbal, who wrote 'Saare Jahan Se Achha', may be dropped from DU syllabus

News Network
May 27, 2023

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New Delhi, May 27: The Academic Council of Delhi University has passed a motion to remove a chapter on globally acclaimed poet Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Allama Iqbal, from the political science syllabus, members of the statutory body confirmed.

Born in 1877 in Sialkot in undivided India, Iqbal wrote the famous song 'Saare jahan se achha'. He is also known for giving birth to the 'idea of Pakistan'.

The chapter titled 'Modern Indian Political Thought' is part of BA's sixth-semester paper, officials said, adding that the matter will now be presented before the Executive Council of the university that will take the final call.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), meanwhile, welcomed the development.

"A motion was brought regarding a change in the syllabus of political science. As per the motion, there was a chapter on Iqbal that has been removed from the syllabus," said an Academic Council member.

A unit on Iqbal titled 'Iqbal: Community', which is part of the syllabus was reviewed by news agency PTI.

There are 11 units as part of the course with the objective to study important themes through individual thinkers.

Other thinkers that are also part of the course include Rammohan Roy, Pandita Ramabai, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Bhimrao Ambedkar.

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September 15,2023

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Hubballi, Sept 15: The BJP is holding a protest here, alleging the authorities of delaying permission for holding Ganeshotsav at Idgah Maidan under pressure from the Congress government in the state.

The party accused the Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Eshwar Ullagaddi of delaying a decision to grant permission for the event.

The BJP has urged him to grant permission, as the Municipal Corporation has passed a resolution permitting the celebration of Lord Ganesh festival at the venue - Idgah Maidan at Chennamma Circle, by installing a Ganesh idol.

BJP council members, leaders and workers led by MLA Arvind Bellad met the Municipal Commissioner on Thursday and urged him to give permission for the festivities at the venue, based on the Municipal Council's resolution.

On not getting any positive response or assurance, they subsequently launched an indefinite protest in front of the Commissioner's office seeking permission to hold public celebrations for Ganesh festival at the Idgah Maidan, and even sang bhajans and played musical instruments like harmonium and tabla.

Ullagaddi, on his part, is said to have clarified he has to consider various issues, including law and order before taking any decision and that he has sought the opinion of the Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad district in this regard.

Alleging the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government's role in delaying permission, aimed at minority appeasement, the BJP leaders questioned law and order being given as a reason by the Commissioner and pointed out that the festival was celebrated peacefully last year.

The BJP continued with the protest on Friday too.

Speaking to reporters, BJP MLA Mahesh Tenginakai said, despite the Mahanagara Palike resolution, the Commissioner instead of implementing it immediately, is being adamant, with the support of the government or some one else.

Noting that the title deed of the Idgah Maidan is clear that it is the Corporation's property, he said, but still applications are being filed in the courts making claims. 'We are ready for a legal battle too.'

Urging the Commissioner to give permission without any delay, Tenginakai asked him not to give an opportunity for any untoward incident.

Pointing out that last year the High Court had ordered giving permissions to hold various celebrations and festivals including Ganeshotsav at the venue, subjected to the approval of the Mahanagara Palike, he said the government seems to be exerting pressure on the Commissioner, not to give permission to hold Ganeshotsav. 

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News Network
September 19,2023

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New Delhi, Sept 19: In a major embarrassment to India, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian parliament on Monday that his country’s security agencies had “credible” intelligence that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of India was behind the June 2023 murder of a pro-Khalistan leader in British Columbia, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Trudeau’s charge was followed up by an official announcement from foreign minister Melanie Joly that Canada had expelled a senior Indian diplomat.

“Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau told the House of Commons, adding that he raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “no uncertain terms”.

He asserted that “any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”.

So far, the Canadian government has not made public any of the evidence it has for its claim of an Indian government hand in Nijjar’s killing.

Joly’s office said that the expelled Indian diplomat is Pavan Kumar Rai, identified by them as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada. A 1997 batch Indian Police Service officer, he was posted to Ottawa as minister (eco, coordination, community affairs) in the Indian high commission.

It is likely that India will also expel a Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said it rejected the allegations made by Canada’s prime minister and foreign minister. “Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,” the statement said.

The statement also confirmed Trudeau’s claim that he had brought up this allegation with Modi. “Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” MEA’s statement said.
India also alleged that Canada had sympathised with Khalistani terrorists and was trying to deflect from the real issue with these allegations. “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern,” the statement reads. “That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.”

India’s statement 

CBC News reported that Trudeau had already briefed “the leaders of some of Canada’s closest allies about the case, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden.”

Joly also stated that she will be raising the assassination issue with her G7 counterparts at the United Nations in New York on Monday evening.

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US is “deeply concerned” about Canada’s allegations. “We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Watson said.

Before the Ministry of External Affairs’ public statement, the Globe and Mail reported that the Indian government had denied all responsibility for Nijjar’s shooting and was insisting that pro-Khalistan activists in Canada had misled Canadian investigators. The newspaper said it had learned of this Indian response from sources that it was unable to identify “as they could face prosecution under the Security of Information Act” for discussing the issue.

Earlier in June, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who headed the pro-Khalistan outfits Khalistan Tiger Force and the Canadian arm of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), was shot dead at a parking lot of a gurdwara in Surrey, Canada. He was wanted for the shooting of a priest in Punjab and was the third pro-Khalistan activist to die abroad in a month and half. Immediately after his death, his supporters had claimed that the Indian government was behind the killing.

Relations between India and Canada have been tense over the activities of pro-Khalistian groups in Canada and Ottawa’s perception that New Delhi was interfering in its internal affairs. The meeting between Trudeau and Modi last week at the G20 was visibly frosty, going by the scowls on display during the photo-op and the divergent statements each side issued.

This is the first time in recent memory that any foreign government, barring Pakistan, has directly accused New Delhi of being involved in an act of violence on their territory, let alone a murder.

At the same time, allegations that Indian security forces and intelligence agents have acted abroad in contravention of international law have been made recently in two high profile cases. 
The first concerned the capture and rendition of Sheikha Latifa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, by Indian special forces on the high seas off Goa in March 2018, and the second the attempted abduction of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in Antigua in May 2021.

Trudeau’s appeal

Government sources cited by the Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada privately ruled out the severing of diplomatic relations with India but said Ottawa was considering measures to respond to what it considers a serious violation of Canadian sovereignty.

Trudeau also told Canadian MPs that India was urged “to get to the bottom of the matter” when top Canada’s intelligence and security officials “declared [their]–  deep concerns” to New Delhi.

“I also expect it (India) to reiterate that its position on extra-judicial operations in another country is clearly and unequivocally in line with international law,” he said. “It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.”

Trudeau told parliament that he had already briefed Canada’s opposition leaders about the Indian government’s involvement. The opposition in Canada has stood by the Canadian government in its stance.

“These allegations, if true, are an outrageous violation of Canada’s sovereignty. More disturbing is that this was perpetrated by another democracy,” shadow foreign affairs minister Michael Chong said.

“If these allegations are true, they represent an outrageous affront to Canada, to Canada’s sovereignty. Our citizens must be safe from extrajudicial killings of all kinds, most of all, from foreign governments,” Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying.  “Canadians deserve to be protected on Canadian soil. We call on the Indian government to act with utmost transparency as authorities investigate this murder, because the truth must come out.” “Let us lock arms and join hands in condemning this murder, standing with the family and the friends of this victim. Let’s put aside our difference to stand up for the rule of law. One law for all our people,” CBC reported him saying.

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh reacted to Trudeau’s disclosure by saying the Modi government has pursued “division, violence, persecution” and was “attacking those who are critical” of it.

Canada’s public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc announced that David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and Trudeau’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas, had also recently visited India several times to discuss the assassination.

The Canadian prime minister was in India for the G-20 summit, during which he had short and tense meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was the only leader who didn’t attend the official banquet hosted by the Indian president on Saturday evening.

During the meeting on Sunday (September 10), the Indian readout said that Modi raised “strong concerns” over the activities of pro-Khalistan extremist groups. Trudeau told reporters that he had raised the issue of “foreign interference” with the Indian leader.

Earlier this month, the Indian ambassador to Canada had revealed that Ottawa had sought a pause “within the last month” on negotiation for a free trade agreement, but had refused to give any reasons.

Last week, Canada postponed a pre-scheduled trade mission which was to be led by Minister Mary Ng for five days from October 9 in Mumbai. There was no official explanation given for the postponement.

Quoting a Canadian government source, CBC reports that Trudeau’s NSA, who was in Delhi for the G20, “quietly” flew to London instead of Ottawa where she “informed the UK government that Canada’s relations with India were about to get worse now that Canada had credible evidence linking India’s government to Nijjar’s death, the source said.”

India has summoned the Canadian high commissioner at least twice this year to protest the activities of Khalistan activists in Canada. In March, India protested the “actions of separatist and extremist elements against our diplomatic Mission and Consulates in Canada” after rallies organised by them. In July, the Ministry of External Affairs again summoned the Canadian high commissioner over the issue of pro-Khalistan posters – bearing photos of Indian diplomats – that accused the Indian government of being behind the killing of H Nijjar.

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News Network
September 17,2023

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A Mohammed Siraj magical spell demolished Sri Lanka in the big-ticket final as India clinched the Asia Cup 2023 title with a commanding one-sided 10-wicket win in Colombo on Sunday, Sept 17.

With the easiest of wins that came in just about 2 and a half hours of play, India grabbed their 8th Asia Cup title.

The win also meant India broke their five-year title drought -- their last title was won in 2018 in Asia Cup as well, by beating Bangladesh in Dubai.

Wreaking havoc with the new ball, Siraj bowled a spell of a lifetime as Sri Lanka skittled out for a lowly 50 in 15.2 overs. Breaking a plethora of records, Siraj singlehandedly decided the outcome of the match right at the start of the contest itself.

After the Lankans folded for 50 in just 15.2 overs, India openers Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan went all guns blazing as they chased down the 51 target in just 6.1 overs.

Here's a look at the key moments of the India-Sri Lanka final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo:

Sri Lanka's wrong call at the toss

When Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first, despite heavily overcast conditions, it came as a surprise to many. Soon after the toss, heavens opened up and the match start was delayed by 40 minutes. Although there wasn't much rain, the conditions became almost perfect for the Indian seam attack. Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah gave India the start they wanted as he got rid of opener Kusal Perera for a 2-ball duck third-ball of the first over. As Perera chased a wide one from Bumrah outside off, KL Rahul grabbed the easiest of catches as Lanka suffered an early blow.

Siraj show

Under pressure Sri Lanka, who lost their first wicket in the very first over of the final, had absolutely no idea that a Mohammed Siraj storm was on its way. The lanky pacer started off beautifully with a maiden first over and then went completely berserk in his second. Siraj grabbed four wickets in the fourth over, putting Sri Lanka out of the game then and there. Pathum Nissanka (2) became Siraj's first victim off the first ball of the fourth over when he hit a length ball outside off straight to Ravindra Jadeja at backward point. 

A ball later, Sadeera Samarawickrama was trapped in front for a two-ball duck. Then the very next ball saw Charith Asalanka playing a horrendous shot straight to Ishan Kishan at covers for a golden duck. With 3 wickets in 4 balls and two in a row, Siraj was on a hat-trick. Dhananjaya de Silva did hit the hat-trick ball to the fence but on the last ball of the over, edged it straight to KL Rahul behind the stumps. The 4-wicket fourth over from Siraj meant, Lankans found themselves reeling at 12 for 5.

Lankans narrowly avoided lowest ever ODI total

With 4 wickets in an over, Siraj had his tail up and when he came out for his next over, he bowled a dream ball to skipper Dasun Shanaka. A length ball on off that just darted enough away, it missed the outside edge of Shanaka's bat and hit his off stump. As Shanaka took the long walk back for a 4-ball duck, it became clear that there was no bouncing back for the Lankans from the unprecedented collapse. 

Kusal Mendis became Siraj's next victim in the 12th over when he went for an expansive drive and missed the ball completely as it crashed onto his stumps. But before departing, Kusal's 17-run knock did allow Lanka to go past the lowest ever total of 35 in ODIs. Dushan Hemantha added 13 runs to the scoreboard but Hardik Pandya joined the party just in time, ensuring that the Lankans folded pretty quickly. With wickets of Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan and Matheesha Pathirana, Hardik helped India to bundle out Lanka in just 15.2 overs and their lowest ODI total against India.
 

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