NCERT textbook omits Babri Masjid name; calls it ‘3-domed structure’; praises 2019 SC ruling

News Network
June 16, 2024

In a move indicative of further saffronisation of Indian textbooks, the new NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook has removed the name of the historic Babri Masjid, referring to it instead as a "three-domed structure." The section on the demolition of the mosque by Hindu nationalist mobs has been reduced from four to two pages, with significant details omitted.

According to the Indian Express, the revised parts include the BJP rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya, the role of kar sevaks, anti-Muslim violence following the demolition on December 6, 1992, the imposition of President’s rule in BJP-ruled states, and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya.”

The old textbook described the Babri Masjid as a 16th-century mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur’s General Mir Baqi. The new version, released this week, refers to it as "a three-dome structure built at the site of Shri Ram’s birthplace in 1528," and claims it had visible displays of Hindu symbols and relics.

The new textbook also praises the 2019 Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya dispute, despite criticisms from legal experts and Muslim leaders. The chapter describes the ruling as a 'classic example' of consensus, stating:

“The verdict allotted the disputed site to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust for the construction of a Ram temple and directed the government to provide an appropriate site for the construction of a mosque for the Sunni Central Waqf Board. This resolution through the due process of law, based on archaeological and historical evidence, was celebrated by society. It exemplifies consensus building on a sensitive issue and showcases the maturity of India's democratic ethos.”

The changes in the textbook have sparked controversy, with critics viewing them as an attempt to rewrite history and promote a particular ideological narrative.

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News Network
July 16,2024

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Bengaluru: Dengue cases in Karnataka are inching closer to the 10,000-mark, with the total positive cases as of Monday reaching 9,962 according to the health department's bulletin.

Another death in Shivamogga has brought the total fatalities due to dengue to eight. This is, however, not inclusive of the death of an 11-year-old boy in Bengaluru on July 5 that BBMP officials later confirmed was due to dengue.

Nearly 37 per cent of the all dengue positive cases reported across the state till Monday evening were among those aged up to 18 years. The number of dengue cases among children aged 0-1 years has also been on the rise, with 176 cases reported across the state.

The health department has tested over 73,900 blood samples for dengue so far, testing a few thousand samples every day.

A total of 363 cases were recorded in Bengaluru on Monday, with 35 hospitalisations. This brings the total number of positive cases in the city to 3,487. Suspected dengue cases, where people might be displaying similar symptoms as dengue but would not have yet tested positive for the infection, stood at 19,066 cases.

Between January 1 and July 1, the city recorded 1,563 positive cases with 6,443 suspected cases, according to the bulletin. Within the next two weeks, these numbers doubled to 3,124 and 14,281, respectively.

This, according to Dr Savitha S K, programme head of the vector-borne disease control programme wing of the BBMP, was not any cause for alarm. "We are actively searching for cases during our door-to-door surveys and also passively collecting data from hospitals. Last year, data was lost or not captured accurately, particularly in private hospitals, which did not record the addresses of patients. This impacted our total numbers but we are documenting cases better this year," she said.

Sources in the health department who wished to maintain anonymity noted that some of the underreporting at the city level was also in a bid to avoid panic among residents. Therefore, comparison with data from the previous year would not yield accurate results, they noted.

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News Network
July 8,2024

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Moscow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Monday on a two-day high-profile visit to Russia during which he will hold summit talks with President Vladimir Putin to review all aspects of bilateral ties and explore opportunities to further boost cooperation in sectors like trade, energy and defence.

It is Modi's first trip to Russia in nearly five years. His last visit to Russia was in 2019 when he attended an economic conclave in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

During the 22nd India-Russia annual summit on Tuesday, Modi and Putin are expected to explore ways to further expand bilateral relations in diverse areas, including trade, energy and defence.

"The special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia has advanced over the past 10 years, including in areas of energy, security, trade, investment, health, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges," Modi said in his departure statement.

"I look forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with my friend President Vladimir Putin and sharing perspectives on various regional and global issues," he said.

"We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region," he said without making any specific references.

The annual summit between the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternatively in India and Russia.

The last summit was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi. President Putin had visited India to attend the summit. Putin, as head of the Russian state, has visited India nine times.

Prime Minister Modi and President Putin last held bilateral talks on the margins of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022.

In the meeting, Modi had famously pressed Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine saying, "Today's era is not of war".

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Modi has held several telephonic conversations with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In reflection of its strong friendship with Russia, India has not yet condemned Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

In Russia, the prime minister will also meet the vibrant Indian community.

From Russia, Modi will travel to Austria on Tuesday in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to that country in over 40 years.

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News Network
July 15,2024

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The Karnataka Congress on Monday junked reports that the State Road Transport Corporation would be hiking bus fares. The party on X noted that transport minister has not placed any such proposals before the government.

The party's account further noted that BJP leaders should 'stop spreading lies' and rather answer about the increase in auto part prices, fuel prices, and train fares in the last ten years.

Karnataka Congress, in the post, continued that people should be allowed to answer about the burden on state governments due to the central government's price hike policy.

BJP leaders like Tejasvi Surya took potshots at the Congress government over news of the alleged fare hike, attributing it to the party's 'Khatakhat Model of Governance.'

KSRTC chairperson, S R Srinivas, however said on Sunday that the body has submitted a proposal to the government to hike the fare by 15 to 20 per cent.

"We had a board meeting two days ago. We have proposed a hike of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. The rest is up to the discretion of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. If KSRTC is to survive, fare hike is inevitable," he said.

The chairperson also noted that fuel and auto parts have seen prices go up substantially, but there has been no increase in bus fares since 2019.

"The salary revision of the KSRTC employees has not been done since 2020. Hence, increasing the ticket price is necessary," Srinivas added.

As per the chairperson, the corporation has suffered a loss of Rs 295 crore in the last three months.

To a question on whether the hike would burden male passengers since women are allowed to travel free of cost under the 'Shakti' scheme, Srinivas said there is no question of putting burden only on men. He noted that the state government continues to bear the expenses for women travelling in buses.

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