No Hindu idols inside 'locked rooms' of Taj Majal, clarifies Archaeological Survey of India

News Network
May 13, 2022

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Officials from the Archaeological Survey of India have rejected rumours of "Hindu idols from ancient times" being present inside 22 "permanently locked rooms" inside the Taj Mahal.

The statements came in the wake of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court rejecting a petition seeking a directive to the ASI to open the closed rooms inside the mausoleum.

Officials of the ASI told The Times of India that the contention in the plea is wrong on both counts. One, these rooms - officially called "cells" - are "not permanently closed" and they were only recently opened for conservation work. And two, being that all records scrutinised so far over the years "have not pointed to the presence of any idols".

"Various records and reports that have been reviewed till now haven't shown the existence of any idols," a senior official privy to the restoration work done three months ago told the publication.

"The petitioner's claim of 22 rooms being permanently locked is factually incorrect as conservation work, including filling of cracks, re-plastering and anti-ageing treatments, are periodically done. In fact, the most recent work cost us Rs 6 lakh," a senior ASI official said.

Another senior ASI official added that 100 cells in the complex that remain locked to the public are located in the basement, the upper storeys of the main mausoleum, the four minarets, inside the baolis (near the mosque) and on the Chameli floor on east, west and north sides. Besides these, several portions of the other world heritage sites in the region - Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri - have also remained closed to the public for years due to security reasons.

Several Hindutva outfits have claimed in the past that the Mughal-era mausoleum was a Shiva temple.

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News Network
May 9,2022

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Bengaluru, May 9: The Hanuman Chalisa campaign against Azaan today reverberated across Karnataka as activists of Sri Ram Sene in Belagavi began chanting Hanuman Chalisa at 5 am from temples. 

According to the police, the incidents were reported in places including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya, Belgaum, Dharwad and Kalaburagi. Some of the Sri Ram Sene activists were briefly detained by cops. 

Muthalik, who was in Mysuru, played the Hanuman Chalisa and other devotional hymns at a temple. “It is not a symbolic protest or just for a day. This will continue till the government initiates action against loudspeakers installed at mosques,” he said.

“We have launched the campaign against the state government and members of the Muslim community who are not following the Supreme Court order. In future, we will file a contempt case against all deputy commissioners for failing to implement the Supreme Court’s order,” Muthalik told media persons.

Along the lines of a similar call by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, Muthalik had on Sunday exhorted Sene activists to play Hanuman Chalisa and Suprabhata hymn from loudspeakers across temples in Karnataka from Monday if the BJP-led state government failed to act against loudspeakers installed in mosques.

Muthalik claimed several right-wing organisations have extended support to Sri Rama Sene. According to him, the organisation has contacted more than 1,000 temples across the state already.

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HANEEF HASSAN
 - 
Monday, 9 May 2022

Let them play what they need we have benefits only let them play every five times prayer

Farooq Portfolio
 - 
Monday, 9 May 2022

Why do news channels give so much publicity for this? These people don't believe in God. They are just destroying peace and harmony in society.

Will they continue do chant Hunman chalisa or do other pooja 5 times to counter azan, offer special prayer once a week and fasting during Ramadan etc?

Azaan started over 1400 years ago and since the invention of microphone it is being used for azaan. Azaan will continue till the end of this world.

Our faith in Almighty is very strong and we are always praying every day for our country's betterment. May Almighty protect citizens of India from evil forces

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News Network
May 10,2022

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New York, May 10: Slain photojournalist Danish Siddiqui is among four Indians honoured with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize 2022 in the feature photography category.

Siddiqui and his colleagues Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo and Amit Dave from the Reuters news agency won the award, announced on Monday, for "images of Covid's toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place", according to The Pulitzer Prizes website.

Their work was moved from the breaking news photography category by the judges.

Siddiqui, 38, was on assignment in Afghanistan last year when he died. The award-winning journalist was killed in July last while covering clashes between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city.

This is for the second time that Siddiqui has won the Pulitzer Prize. He was honoured with the prestigious award in 2018 as part of the Reuters team for their coverage of the Rohingya crisis. He had extensively covered the Afghanistan conflict, the Hong Kong protests and other major events in Asia, Middle East, and Europe.

Siddiqui graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. He had a degree in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia in 2007.

He started his career as a television news correspondent, switched to photojournalism, and joined Reuters as an intern in 2010.

Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times bagged the award in the Breaking News photography category "for raw and urgent images of the US departure from Afghanistan that capture the human cost of the historic change in the country".

Yam's work was moved from Feature Photography by the jury.

Win McNamee, Drew Angerer, Spencer Platt, Samuel Corum and Jon Cherry of Getty Images also won the award in the Breaking News photography category for their "comprehensive and consistently riveting photos of the attack on the US Capitol".

The Washington Post bagged the Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism for its coverage of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

According to the award committee, the newspaper "compellingly told and vividly presented account of the assault on Washington on January 6, 2021, providing the public with a thorough and unflinching understanding of one of the nation's darkest days".

The Pulitzer Board awarded a special citation to the journalists of Ukraine for their "courage, endurance, and commitment to truthful reporting during (President) Vladimir Putin’s ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda war in Russia".

"Despite bombardment, abductions, occupation, and even deaths in their ranks, they have persisted in their effort to provide an accurate picture of a terrible reality, doing honour to Ukraine and to journalists around the world," the committee said.

The Pulitzer Prizes were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 19-member Pulitzer Board is composed of leading journalists and news executives from media outlets across the US, as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are non-voting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members.

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News Network
May 15,2022

A new initiative may soon be taken to promote Vedic education in the country. The Union Education Ministry is going to recognise the Veda-based education board, which would work like any other education board. Experts of Sanskrit language and mathematics will also be involved in the process.

Though there is no degree level course on Vedic education so far, the ministry is in favour of providing Vedic education and Veda-based knowledge to the students. In view of this, the government is mulling linking the Veda system with the modern education system and the process of establishing a dedicated education board has started.

Under the National Education Policy (NEP), a special Vedic education board will come into existence to maintain the relevance of the text of Vedas in modern society.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that a special Vedic Education Board will come into existence to maintain the relevance of recitation of Vedas in modern society. The Education Ministry is of the view that the Vedas are the basis of Indian culture.

According to the ministry, in order to make the Vedas a subject of public practice with scholarship, the government has decided to establish five Veda Vidyapeeths led by Maharishi Sandipani Pratishthan at the 'Char Dhams' and Kamakhya Devi's place.

Ved Shankar Lal Chaturvedi, who has been associated with Veda Vidya, said that under the NEP, Veda education can play a crucial role in taking forward the Indian traditional knowledge. Veda education is not a subject of any religious system, but it contains the knowledge and science of living a better life.

According to Chaturvedi, the knowledge of Vedas can prove beneficial for all sections of the society. Vedic Mathematics is a living example of this. Almost all the students of the society are getting the benefits of Vedic Mathematics, he asserted.

At the same time, a few reputed institutes are providing Veda education to students. Maharishi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan is imparting education to more than 6,000 students across the country to maintain the relevance of recitation of Vedas in modern society and to preserve and promote the Vedas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also discussed Vedic Mathematics recently during the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme. It is worth mentioning that during the programme, the Prime Minister said, "For the people of India, who made the world aware of the most important laws of mathematics, mathematics should not be a problem but an easy subject. If we teach Vedic maths to our children, then their fear about maths will also end."

The ministry wants the country's youth to be guided by India's rich mathematical traditions nurtured by mathematicians like Acharya Pingala, Acharya Aryabhatta, Ramanujan and former Shankaracharya of Puri Jagadguru Swami Bharatikrishna Tirtha Maharaj.

During the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, the Prime Minister said, "With Vedic Maths, you can even solve big scientific problems. I would like all parents to teach Vedic Maths to their children."

Hemnagar Koti, a famous educationist of Sanskrit Vedic education, agreed with the statement of the Prime Minister. He said that by learning Vedic Maths, the confidence of the students will increase as well as the analytical power of their brain will also improve.

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