Opposition parties protest in Parliament complex against suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs

News Network
December 1, 2021

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New Delhi, Dec 1: Opposition parties put up a united front and staged a joint protest in front of the Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex on Wednesday against the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi joined the protest and so did the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which had so far been staying away from Opposition meets.

Holding placards, the protesting MPs raised slogans against the government and demanded that the suspension of the Rajya Sabha members be revoked.

Leaders of several parties, including the Congress, TMC, SP, DMK, Shiv Sena, TRS, NCP, CPI(M), CPI, RJD, IUML, NC, LJD, RSP and Kerala Congress took part in the protest.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the suspension of the MPs was undemocratic and demanded that it be revoked.

TMC's Saugata Roy said the government has lowered the dignity of Parliament. "Unless it withdraws the suspension, our protests will continue," he added.

The 12 suspended MPs will sit in protest in front of the Gandhi statue for the entire day against their suspension from the Upper House of Parliament.

The Opposition leaders said they would decide their future course of action on the issue jointly in a meeting, which was held in Kharge's chamber.

The Opposition MPs boycotted Tuesday's proceedings in the Rajya Sabha after staging a walkout. Opposition MPs in the Lok Sabha also staged a walkout, but later joined the proceedings.

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News Network
January 11,2022

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Chikkamagaluru, Jan 11: The saffron shawl versus hijab row ended at the Balagadi First Grade College in Koppa taluk of Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka as students and parents called a truce and agreed not to wear either a hijab or a saffron shawl along with the uniform to the college from Tuesday.

However, the girls will be allowed to wear veils along with uniform. The decision was made at the parents meeting held in the college.

Principal S Ananth addressing the meeting stated that a similar controversy erupted in 2018. Then, a decision was taken to only cover the face with a veil. This time also consent has been taken from all the parents and a decision on veils has been taken.

The college authorities will take strict measures to see that students do not violate discipline on the campus. He also warned that if any student violates the decision taken in the meeting, their parents would be called and they would be issued a transfer certificate.

MLA Raje Gowda, who also attended the meeting, said the students must maintain discipline on the campus. The behaviour should not be provoking and students must focus on studies and follow the decision taken at the meeting.

The row erupted recently when a group of students started attending classes in hijabs. In retaliation to this, another group of students started wearing saffron scarves and shawls to the college.

The students last week staged a protest by boycotting classes for allowing some of the students to wear a hijab. The students said that uniform norms were violated by some students who wear a hijab along with the uniform. If they are allowed to wear hijabs, then they must also be allowed to come with saffron scarves and shawls, the agitating students demanded. 

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News Network
January 9,2022

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Google is celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of Indian educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh, who is widely considered to be India’s first Muslim woman teacher, by featuring a doodle for her. Alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima was born on this day in 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The Indigenous Library opened under the Sheikhs’ roof.

Here, Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught communities of marginalized Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied education based on class, religion, or gender.

The Phules’ efforts to provide educational opportunities to those born into lower castes became known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door to invite the downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the caste system.

She met great resistance from the dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.

Although Sheikh’s story has been historically overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators.

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News Network
January 11,2022

Lucknow/New Delhi: In a massive jolt to the BJP and Yogi Adityanath just before the Uttar Pradesh election, a minister and three MLAs quit and joined the party's main challenger, Akhilesh Yadav. Swami Prasad Maurya, a top minister and backward caste leader in the Yogi Adityanath government, posted his resignation letter on Twitter.

Soon after he went public, three more MLAs, Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Sagar announced their resignations.

Reports suggest Mr Maurya may take a few more ministers and MLAs with him.

"Despite a divergent ideology, I worked with dedication in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. But because of the grave oppression of Dalits, OBCs, farmers, unemployed and small businessmen, I am resigning," Swami Prasad Maurya wrote in the stinging resignation letter.

He told reporters: "What impact my exit will have on the BJP will be obvious after the 2022 assembly election."

As his letter emerged on Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photograph with Mr Maurya, welcoming him and his supporters to the Samajwadi Party. "I warmly welcome Swami Prasad Maurya, a leader who fights for social justice and equality, and all his supporters. There will be a revolution in social justice. Chang is coming in 2022," Mr Yadav tweeted in Hindi.

On cue, Roshan Lal Verma, a three-time MLA, declared that he was leaving the BJP with Mr Maurya.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister, posted an appeal on Twitter: "I don't know why Swami Prasad Maurya quit but I appeal to him, don't quit but let us talk. Decisions taken in haste can backfire."

The exits in Lucknow began as Yogi Adityanath and top BJP leaders met in Delhi to discuss Uttar Pradesh election strategy.

Mr Maurya, a powerful OBC (Other Backward Class) leader and multiple-term MLA, joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Mr Maurya is the BJP MLA from Padrauna in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His daughter Sanghamitra is a BJP MP from UP.

Uttar Pradesh, India's most politically vital state, votes from February 10 in seven rounds in an election widely seen as a semifinal of sorts before the national election of 2024. The results will be declared on March 10.

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