Karnataka okays reopening of amusement parks, activities at places of worship

News Network
July 24, 2021

Bengaluru, July 24: Further easing Covid-19 restrictions, the Karnataka government on Saturday permitted reopening of amusement parks and similar places, and allowed places of worship to carry out related religious activities from July 25.

"Amusement Parks and similar places permitted to reopen strictly adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour and following guidelines issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department," an order issued by Principal Secretary to Revenue Department (Disaster Management) N Manjunatha Prasad said.

However, water sports and water related adventure activities are not allowed, it said.

Also, places of worship (Temples, Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras, and other religious places) are allowed to open and related activities pertaining to the places of worship are permitted from July 25, strictly adhering to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and SOP issued by the department concerned.

However, temple festivals, processions, and congregations are not allowed, the order added.

Earlier this month the government had allowed places of worship to open only for darshan, and no other special seva or other activities were permitted. 

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News Network
September 9,2021

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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 15,2021

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Bengaluru, Sept 15: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the state government is ready to have a debate on NEP 2020 with an open mind and nobody should get anxious about it.

"The government is ready to deliberate on the New Education Policy (NEP) with an open mind. We will make students understand that NEP is a revolutionary step and good for the future of the youth. Therefore, nobody should be anxious about NEP," he told reporters after paying tributes to Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya's statue on the occasion of Engineers's Day celebrations.

He was replying to a query on police lathicharge on students protesting against NEP on Tuesday. Campus Front of India (CFI) had spearheaded the protest.

The police lathicharge the students after they started to march onto the middle of the road that resulted in heavy traffic jam at ever-busy road leading to Majestic.

The students were carrying placards conveying the message that the NEP breaks the unity in diversity and encourages commercialisation of education.

Taking to Twitter today, former chief minister Siddaramaiah condemned the lathicharge on students and demanded an apology from Bommai.

"I condemn the lathicharge on students in Bengaluru for protesting against the implementation of New National Education Policy. Basavaraj Bommai should immediately withdraw NEP and apologise to the students," he tweeted.

The NEP was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government last August.

According to the PM, the NEP promises to provide students various avenues to upskill and train themselves for jobs and vocations in India.

It also promises to teach students coding in schools from Class 6 onwards to equip them with the skills required to succeed in the 21st century.

The new policy also gives students the flexibility to choose subjects from both Science and Humanities, which will bring the Indian education system on par with the rest of the world.

It also ensures that students grasp at least one vocational skill by the end of their education so that they are job ready in the market.

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News Network
September 15,2021

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Days after his Taliban-RSS remark sparked a row, screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that ‘Hindus are the most tolerant majority in the world’ in Shiv-Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.

In his earlier statement, Akhtar had said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) were similar to the Taliban in their form of extremism.

Clarifying his remarks, Akhtor wrote, “Actually, in the recent interview, I have said ‘Hindus are the most decent and tolerant majority’ in the world. I have repeated this time and again and also emphasised that India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature are not extremists. It is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road.”

Further, Akhtar went on to explain what according to him was similar between the Taliban and Hindu right-wing. 

“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s rights and put them on the margin, the Hindutva right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls,” he said.

Akhtar was earlier criticised by the Shiv-Sena for his controversial comment. An editorial in Saamna said that even though Akhtar was secular and spoke against fundamentalism in general, he was completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

In his piece, Akhtar praised Uddhav Thackeray and said that even Thackeray's worst critics could not accuse the chief minister of discrimination and injustice -- so it was beyond his understanding why the Thackeray government might be referred to as ‘Talibani’.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he also said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.

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