Can't ignore religion-based population while framing policy: RSS chief at 'Vijaya Dashami' rally

News Network
October 5, 2022

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Nagpur, Oct 5: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said that population control and religion-based population balance is an important subject that can no longer be ignored while framing policy.

Dwelling on the population explosion, he said that in 2000, the Government of India after multi-stakeholder consultations had framed a population policy. 

"One key goal was to obtain a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1. Recently, in 2022, the NFHS report, which comes out every five years, has been published. Due to social awareness and constructive co-operative efforts by the central and state governments the TFR has come down below the targeted 2.1 to 2.0. While we are continuously progressing on the front of public awareness and the goals of population control, two more questions are emerging for consideration," Dr Bhagwat said addressing the annual 'Vijaya Dashami' rally in Nagpur.

According to him, social scientists and mental health experts opine that ultra-nuclear families are posing challenges for the all-around development of young girls and boys, families are feeling a sense of insecurity, social tensions, loneliness etc are presenting testing times and a question mark hangs over the central edifice of our society – the 'family system'.

"In the 21st century, the three new countries that have come into existence, East Timor, South Sudan and Kosovo, have been the result of population imbalance in certain territories of Indonesia, Sudan and Serbia. Population imbalances lead to changes in geographical boundaries," he said.

It may, however, be mentioned, that in May, when the BJP-led NDA government released the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 5), the data showed that the fertility rate of Muslims registered the sharpest ever decline over the past 20 years as compared to that of other religious groups, including Hindus.The fertility rate among Muslims dropped to 2.3 in 2019-20 from a high of 4.4 in 1992-93.

"Alongside the differences in birth rate, conversions by force, lure or greed and infiltration are also big reasons. All these factors have to be mulled over. Population control and religion-based population balance is an important subject that can no longer be ignored," Bhagwat said.

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News Network
May 18,2024

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Bengaluru, May 18: JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda, who turned 92 on Saturday, broke his silence on the sexual abuse charges leveled against his grandson and MP Prajwal Revanna. He stated that he has no objection to the action taken against him if found guilty. However, he mentioned that the cases against his son, JD(S) MLA HD Revanna, who is facing charges of sexual harassment and kidnapping of a woman, were 'created'. He refrained from further commenting as the matter is sub judice.

Recently, Gowda announced his decision not to celebrate his birthday and requested well-wishers and party workers to wish him from wherever they are.

"... I don't want to comment on things that are going on in the court regarding Revanna. Prajwal Revanna has gone abroad. Regarding that, Kumaraswamy (Gowda's other son and state JD(S) chief) has, on behalf of our family, said it is the duty of the government to take action in accordance with the law of the land," Gowda said.

Addressing reporters, the former PM said, "There are several people connected to these sexual abuse cases. I don't want to mention anyone's names. Kumaraswamy has stated that those involved in this matter should face action, and the affected women should get justice and compensation."

"There is no objection from us to taking action against Prajwal. But people have come to know the facts about the allegations made against Revanna, how the case has been created. In one case, he has been granted bail, and in another case, the judgment is expected day after tomorrow... I don't want to comment on it," he said, concurring with Kumaraswamy's statement that if found guilty, no one should be spared.

Prajwal (33) is facing charges of multiple instances of sexually abusing women. The scandal has sparked a political storm with the ruling Congress and BJP-JD(S) engaged in a slugfest.

Prajwal reportedly left for Germany on April 27 and is still at large. An Interpol Blue Corner Notice has been issued against him in an effort to bring him back.

He was the BJP-JD(S) alliance's joint candidate from the Hassan Lok Sabha segment, which went to polls on April 26.

Meanwhile, Gowda's 66-year-old son, Revanna, a former Minister, has been granted interim anticipatory bail from a court here in a sexual harassment case in which his son Prajwal is also an accused.

Asked whether there was a conspiracy to defame and politically scuttle his family, Gowda said, "It is true... considering all that has happened, several people are involved. I won't mention names. Kumaraswamy will address what action needs to be taken."

Responding to a query on BJP leader and advocate G Devaraje Gowda's allegations that Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar is behind the circulation of a pen drive containing explicit videos involving Prajwal Revanna, Gowda said Kumaraswamy will respond to all of this.

"We have seen in the media what Devaraje Gowda has said. Kumaraswamy, as the party's state President, has been actively responding to all this. He will speak. I won't at this point. I had campaigned for the Lok Sabha polls. On June 4, after the Lok Sabha poll results are announced, I will meet with you (media)," he added.

Gowda also appealed to media persons campaigning near his house to end it. "I also appeal to your owners."

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News Network
May 22,2024

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Ireland, Norway and Spain have formally recognized the Palestinian state, angering the Israeli regime that recalled its ambassadors from the two European states.

“Today Ireland, Norway and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine, each of us will undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision," Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said at a news conference in Dublin on Wednesday.

“I am confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

He added that the move was a statement of "unequivocal support" for the so-called two-state solution, which he described as "the only credible path to peace and security."

Shortly after Harris's statement, his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said both countries will recognize the Palestine state from May 28.

Sanchez said it is clear is that “[Israeli] prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have a project of peace for Palestine.”

Store, for his part, noted that there cannot be peace in the West Asia region if there is no recognition.

"Norway’s formal recognition of Palestine as a state will enter into force on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. A number of other like-minded European countries will also formally recognize Palestine on that same date. These countries will be making their own announcements," added a statement by the Norwegian prime minister.

Palestine welcomes recognition 

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hussein al-Sheikh, welcomed the decision by Norway, Spain and Ireland to recognize the state of Palestine, calling it a “historical moment.”

“Historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice after long decades of Palestinian national struggle, suffering, pain, occupation, racism, murder, oppression, abuse and destruction to which the people of Palestine were subjected to,” he said in a post on social media platform X, describing the recognition as a path to stability, security and peace.

“We thank the countries of the world that have recognized and will recognize the independent State of Palestine. We affirm that this is the path to stability, security and peace in the region.”

In reaction, Israeli authorities have ordered the regime’s ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to immediately return, and said they would do the same for Spain.

The Spanish prime minister has been one of the most outspoken European leaders when it comes to criticism of the Israeli regime’s genocidal war on Gaza. He has also repeatedly asserted that the so-called two-state solution remains the only answer to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This comes amid Israel's brutal war on Gaza, which was launched on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Concomitantly with the war, the regime has been enforcing a near-total siege on the coastal territory, which has reduced the flow of foodstuffs, medicine, electricity, and water into the Palestinian territory into a trickle.

So far during the military onslaught, the regime has killed at least 35,456 Gazans, most of them women, children, and adolescents. Another 79,476 Palestinians have sustained injuries as well.

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News Network
May 20,2024

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Hopes are fading that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have survived a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday after search teams located the wreckage.

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash ... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," the official told Reuters.

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province in the early hours of Monday.

“We can see the wreckage and the situation does not look good,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a crackdown US-Israel backed anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

A Turkish drone identified a source of heat suspected to be the helicopter's wreckage and had shared the coordinates of the possible crash site with Iranian authorities, Anadolu news agency said earlier on X.

State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

The chief of staff of Iran's army ordered all resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to use in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had stopped all regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

“We are thoroughly searching every inch of the general area of the crash," state media quoted a regional army commander as saying. "The area has very cold, rainy, and foggy weather conditions. The rain is gradually turning into snow."

Several countries expressed concern and offered assistance in any rescue.

The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden had been briefed on reports about the crash. China said it was deeply concerned. The European Union offered emergency satellite mapping technology.

Possible successor to Khamenei

The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises. Iran's clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

Since Iran’s open support to Hamas’ resistance against Israeli aggression, US and Israel have harshly criticised the President Raisi. 

In Iran's dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi's 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who holds decision-making power on all major policies.

For years many have seen Raisi as a strong contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi's main policies. Raisi's victory in 2021 elections brought all branches of power under the control of revolutionaries, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with powers including Washington.

Raisi had been at the Azerbaijani border on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint project. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, who said he had bid a "friendly farewell" to Raisi earlier in the day, offered assistance in the rescue.

The chopper that was transporting President Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and their companions encountered some difficulties and was forced to make a "hard landing".

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