Islam and Christianity too have practices like 'untouchability': Romila Thapar

[email protected] (CD Network)
January 22, 2015

Mangaluru, Jan 21: “We are witnessing and continuing to witness excesses of religious extremism that is encouraged by some religious groups in this country. It is becoming very difficult to advocate a secular society given the looming presence of this extremism. However, we cannot have a democracy with laws that revert back to religion,” said eminent historian and Prof Emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Prof Romila Thapar.

romila
Delivering the B V Kakkilaya Inspired Oration – 2015 on ‘Indian Society and Secularism’ organised by Hosatu, Bengaluru, M S Krishnan Memorial Trust, Bengaluru and Samadarshi Vedike, Mangaluru in association with Department of History at University College, Mangaluru here on Wednesday, she strongly advocated the need to have a new civil law in the country which was applicable to all Indian citizens rising above all religious differences. Laws that legalize a differentiated status with some being given more rights, are defective and not secular, she said, adding that the civil laws should be above the laws of a particular community.

“Being a multi-religious society, secularism should be an important component if we are to support proper democratic functioning in this country. And social justice should be an important component of a secular society. As long as we have the freedom to choose the values that should govern our society, we can choose to secularise our society. We need to redefine the secular move for India to shift the focus from co-existence of religions to equality of all people belonging to different religions,” she said.

Prof. Thapar also said that conversion to Hinduism is invented recently and the phenomenon was problematic because of the caste system. Referring to the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, she said that those converting into Hinduism are put through “purification”, thereby suggesting that they were from lower castes.

She said conversions were not a problem in Christianity or Islam for which it was not modern phenomenon. Pointing at the practice of untouchability, she said Islam and Christianity too had similar practices.

Prof Thapar also said that religion was a matter of faith and it was essential to speak up when it was used as an instrument of politics. Most people in India value their religion, looking at religion and worship as a personal experience. Such people also find that using religion for political purposes is not acceptable,” she said.

Former professor of History, Mangaluru University Prof B Surendra Rao introduced the keynote speaker and presided over the function. Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya and other dignitaries were present.

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News Network
September 7,2021

Mangaluru: In the wake of the resurfacing of Nipah virus in Kerala, an alert has been declared in Karnataka's coastal district of Dakshina Kannada. Deputy commissioner 
KV Rajendra has appealed to people to be cautious.

"A 12-year-old boy died of Nipah virus infection in Kozhokode district of Kerala on September 3. Since Dakshina Kannada district shares its border with Kerala and a large number of people commute for health and education purposes, a Nipah alert has been announced. Officials concerned should take all necessary precautionary measures,” the DC said.

Nipah is a zoonotic virus transmitted from animals to humans and can also be transmitted directly between people. 

It can cause a range of illnesses from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis besides fever, headache, cough and throat pain. Wash hands using detergents frequently and stay away from bats and pigs that cause the spread of virus. 

Do not use fruits that were partly eaten by birds and animals. Inform the health department immediately if any person was found experiencing symptoms of Nipah, the DC said.

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News Network
September 9,2021

owasi.jpg

Hubballi, Sept 9: Asaduddin Owaisi led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has managed to snatch Congress votes in the recent Hubballi-Dharwad municipal corporation. The MIM has three seats in the Hubballi-Dharwad East Assembly constituency, known as Congress bastion. 

Being represented by Prasad Abbayya since 2013, Hubballi-Dharwad East constituency is often considered as a Congress stronghold. The Congress was expecting a resounding victory, if not a clean sweep, in the recently concluded Palike elections. But, MIM, which fielded its candidates mainly in wards with sizable Muslim presence, ate into Congress votes.

The last-minute campaigning by Owaisi swung the tide in MIM’s favour in three wards, where it managed to stave off the Congress.

The MIM had fielded its candidates in 12 wards in its electoral debut in the Hubballi-Dharwad Palike elections. Nazeer Ahmed Honyal has won from Ward No 71, with a margin of 1,694 votes against the Congress candidate Mohammad Halwoor, who is the son of Congress city district unit president. Waheeda Khannum Kittur (Ward No 76), and Hussainbi Nalvatwad (Ward No 77) also emerged victorious defeating Congress candidates.

In Ward Nos 61, 79 and 81, AIMIM candidates finished second. Also, AIMIM candidates secured more than 1,000 votes in two wards where independents won, resulting in the defeat of Congress.

In Ward No 69, an independent candidate (BJP rebel) has won, while the number of votes secured by Congress and AIMIM candidates together was more than the votes bagged by the winner. After the results, family members of the AIMIM candidate alleged that relatives of the Congress candidate attacked them, blaming them for the Congress’ defeat.

Defeating three Congress candidates, finishing second in three wards, and eating into Congress votes to facilitate the victory of independents in two wards, the MIM certainly created hurdles for the Congress in its quest to wrest power from the saffron party in Hubballi-Dharwad Palike. 

Though Congress leaders allege that the AIMIM is the B team of the BJP, they admit that it has prevented the Congress candidates from winning in several wards.

Belagavi and Kalaburagi

In Belagavi City Corporation (BCC), MIM fielded seven candidates and managed to open its account in Ward 18, where Shahidkhan Pathan defeated Congress’ Abdulkhader Gheewale by a margin of 52 votes. Pathan polled 949 votes against Gheewale’s 897 votes. 

The remaining MIM candidates, however, failed to make any impact on the outcome.

Interestingly, the MIM fared poorly in the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike elections, where it was expected to make inroads. The party drew blank but managed a second-place finish in six wards, where Congress candidates crossed the line. 

The Congress, despite MIM's presence, has managed to secure 26 seats in 55-member strong Kalaburagi Palike.

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News Network
September 17,2021

Ahmedabad, Sept 17: Enacting Uniform Civil Code and amending the system of appointment of judges are some of the major reforms that are still pending, national president of the BJP Yuva Morcha Tejasvi Surya said here on Friday.

As in the case of abrogation of Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deal with these issues successfully, he said during an interactive session at a `Youth Conclave'' organized to mark Modi''s 71st birthday.

"Many legal reforms are yet to be carried out. The BJP tried to bring in judicial reforms in 2014. Neither the Constitution nor the founding fathers had envisioned a system where judges will appoint judges in a very opaque system. No country in the world has an opaque system like this," Surya said in response to a question.

"The PM and then law minister Arun Jaitley made an attempt to change this system and bring in a bill for judicial reforms, which was passed but was later struck down. That is a very important pending reform," said the MP from Karnataka.

"Uniform Civil Code is a very important commitment of this country and our constitutional promise from a very long time, which is also pending," he said.

Electoral reforms were also necessary, Surya said, asking why there could not be a "more foolproof system of voting" based on electronic methods which will "enhance the voting percentage".

There was a proposal that Indians living abroad should be able to vote, he said.

Congress will oppose this because it knows that prime minister Modi is popular among non-resident Indians too, the BJP leader said.

"Imagine if they are also given voting rights, what will be the margin of our victories," Surya said, adding that "revisiting the wrong interpretation of our Constitution" was also needed.

"A lot of civilisational issues need to be addressed," the BJP youth wing chief said, urging filmmakers to indigenize film-making and highlight "local heroes" such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Rana Pratap.

"Please tell the stories which are integrated with the culture of this land. How many more movies will you do about Jodha-Akbar?...Why can''t we make a Rs 100 crore movie on Birsa Munda?" he asked.

"A deeply ingrained colonial consciousness" is troubling all our film-makers, Surya claimed.

"While we see 100 movies showcasing love in the Taj Mahal, why can''t we celebrate the architecture of Bhadreshwara temple or the great temples of Hampi in Karnataka," he asked.

He also slammed Rahul Gandhi about his recent comments where the Congress leader accused the RSS and BJP of not giving women their due.

Modi was the first prime minister to stress the importance of sanitation and "started a movement" of building toilets so that women can attend nature''s call with dignity, Surya said, also mentioning schemes such as Ujala, Ujjwala, priority for women in the Mudra scheme and in house registration under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna.

"These are the important steps the PM has taken to ensure that women are respected, empowered....Our PM feels that the real way to empower is to give highest representation to women in the Union cabinet," Surya added.

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