All India Catholic Union demands action on vigilantes, cops for harassing nuns in train

Media Release
March 26, 2021

The All India Catholic Union has called upon the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of India to take exemplary action against the vigilante group and the police involved in the harassment of two Sacred Heart Nuns and two student Nuns in a moving train near Jhansi. In Uttar Pradesh. The police, instead of warding off and arresting the men, instead forced the women off the train, and took them to the police station.

Two of the women are from Kerala. The chief minister of Kerala has also written to the Central government on the issue. The Union Home Minister, Mr Amit Shah, who was campaigning in Kerala, said the criminals “will be brought to justice.’

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The following is the full text of the AICU’s letter

Mr Amit Shah
Honourable Union Home Minister
Government of India, New Delhi

Re: Harassment of Nuns in train in Uttar Pradesh by vigilantes
Dear Sir

Greetings from the All India Catholic Union [AICU].

AICU, the 101 year old Laity movement in the country, thanks you for assuring that the culprits who harassed four Nuns during their train journey via Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh this week will be brought to justice at the earliest. Although you made the assurance to the people of Kerala where you were campaigning in the state assembly elections, we hope the assurance is to the entire community in India which has been shocked by the vigilante persecution of religious women of the community in public transport with the active participation of policemen.

Such incidents, you will agree, bring India to shame in the eyes of the world and prompt United Nations and other international human rights groups to mention them in their reports.

We hope the government of India has written strongly to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh as also to the Union Railways minister in whose jurisdiction this crime took place. There is no place in any civilised and tolerant democracy for such vigilante harassment.

As you know, the Christian community the world over is currently observing the holy season of Lent which will conclude with Good Friday, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ about two millennium ago in Jerusalem, and then His Resurrection three days later on Easter, which this year falls on 4th April. That such incidents take place at all is a matter of deep concern, and that such targeted hate amounting to violence and gender harassment happen now is extremely alarming and of great concern.

As has been brought to your notice, two nuns and two postulants [trainee sisters] of the Sacred Hearts Congregation of Delhi Province were forced to get off a train by the Railway police in Jhansi after a group of men in the train, who claimed to be working for the “Hindu Samaj” accosted them in the moving train. They accused the sisters of trying forceful conversion. This was a blatant lie. The young women were going home for Easter holidays and the seniors accompanied them for safety. The video, which has gone viral, shows the men started chanting Jai Shriram and Jai Hanuman accusing the Sisters of conversions. The 19-year-old students repeatedly told them that they are Christians, showing their identity proof, but the men would not leave them.

The police who came showed little respect for the law of the land, and instead of restraining the men, forced the nuns to get down at the Jhansi railway station. At the railway platform, more than 150 men surrounded the sisters, shouting slogans. The nuns were taken to the police station and the mob followed them shouting slogans.

We expect the Honourable Prime Minister of India, and you, to assure the minority communities in the country that vigilante groups will not be allowed a free hand in terrorising helpless people who cannot defend themselves. We also expect that the police forces of the states and particularly those in the control of the Central will be cautioned they will invite severe disciplinary action if seen abetting such crimes, or remaining bystanders when self-appointed vigilantes take the law in their own hands.

Thank you
God bless India
Lancy D Cunha
National President, All India Catholic Union
John Dayal
Spokesperson, AICU

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News Network
April 1,2021

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has granted three more weeks to government authorities to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the introduction of Islamic banking in the Union Territory (UT).

A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma Chief while hearing the PIL filed by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) granted three more weeks to the Union Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the UT government to respond to the contents of the PIL.

Advocate Zaffar Shah representing the J&K Bank informed the court that already a response has been filed by the bank with respect to the litigation.

Currently, there are no guidelines for Islamic banking, which is based on the principles of not charging interest.

The PIL filed in 2018 is seeking directions upon the union finance ministry for issuing necessary notification for the introduction of Sharia compliant windows (Islamic banking) as recommended by Deepak Mohanty Committee as well as in the light of a report of the inter-departmental group of the RBI.

The NGO, in its petition, submits that “majority of the citizens in Jammu and Kashmir are Muslims by faith and thus have a constitutional right to enjoy all avenues of development provided the same do not contravene the article of their faith”.

It has also sought direction to J&K Bank to take immediate steps for opening of Shariah compliant windows to accomplish the object of mass-level participation in Shariah banking.

“The J&K Bank Limited be directed to place the entire details of non-performing accounts (NPAs) before this court and the steps taken for recovery of the outstanding amount as the same is public money which cannot be allowed to be misappropriated either by the account holders or by the management of the said bank,” the plea reads.

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Muhammad Abdullah Javed
April 12,2021

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With the advent of Ramadan a glittering change all around can be witnessed, as if darkness in the ambiance has experienced a precipitous illumination. Ramadan is a spring month that nourishes virtues in the heart as rain helps vegetation grows from the earth.

It’s a month of the Quran, a Book that leads human kind from the depth of darkness (ظلمات) to the light of guidance (نور), beyond that….rejuvenates the human life itself. It’s the month of fasting that helps realize the bounties (نعمہ) of the Creator and overcome the weaknesses. It’s the month of awards and rewards, the fasting, the prayers, the remembrance of Allah, the alms and charity…all have their own multifold rewards as compared to what one gets in normal days. It’s the month of mercy, love, and feeling ones’ pain, as fasting demands abstinence from food, water and sexual desires. 

Being conscious of pains and problems, the Muslims form a versatile relationship with the human beings. It becomes moral and religious responsibility of each and every one to fulfill the need of any person who experiences hunger and thirst. If one goes with this spirit of Ramadan, the progress can be seen both at individual and societal planes.

The blessed month Ramadan revolves around the dignity and reverence of the Quran. Just look at the sequence, the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan (Surah Al-Baqarah: 183), it’s a month of fastings, the fastings have been prescribed to cultivate piety (تقوی) and piety has been made obligatory to understand and get acquaint with Quranic guidance.

The one, who gets to depth of its spirit, tries for self-purification and understanding of the Quran is truly blessed. Just ponder, is it possible to reach to desired levels of understanding the Quran through prayers, fastings (صیام), standing in the night (قیام اللیل) and recitation of the Quran (تلاوت) ? For a fair understanding of the Book, try and find perfect answers for the following: 

(1) How the Quran deals with its subject “man” - and what is its view point about the society?

(2) How the Quran formulates the tenets of faith along with expressing the ideas and views that are essential for a man?

(3) How this Holy Book explains the principles of moral and ethical values for the purpose of social and familial existence?

(4) What is the message for humanity that the Quran conveys?

(5) What is the outlook of the Quran regarding the world, universe, life and death?

(6) How it elaborates the concepts of success and failure?

(7) How it elucidates the conceptual details pertaining to virtues and vices?

(8) What criteria and standards should be used to judge the authenticity and genuineness of the Quran?

(9) What are the Quranic ideas of propagation of virtues and eradication of evils?

(10) How Quran can be a Book of Guidance for the entire humanity?

If given serious thought to these queries and ensure a regular sitting for individual and collective studies of the Quran, a vibrant and lively relation with the Book is bound to happen. Recitation, memorization and application of the verses help understand the distinguished features of the Quran. With its unique style of proclamation, admiration, negation and addressing the human intellect, the Quran stands tall as the only source of guidance for the humanity. Its teachings help understand that the Quran:

• Introduces the Creator through His creatures.
• Describes the Blessings of God.
• Cultivates both fear and love of the Creator in the heart.
• Introduces those whom God loves.
• Introduces those whom God does not like
• Presents the words of God that help understand the forms of worship.
• Provides means to obey the Creator with intense love.
• Refreshes thoughts and keeps the hopes alive.
• Inspires to be good and do good.
• Develops personality with a balanced approach for nourishment of the traits.
• Offers guidance for the business and transactions.
• Tells how to behave with parents, children, and neighbors.
• Unveils the secrets of happy married life.
• Helps society scale heights of peace and progress.
• Inculcates a burning desire for promotion of virtues and eradication of evils from the society.
• Presents solutions for the burning issues.
• Suggests methods for fulfilling the necessities of life.
• Teaches the secrets of success and failure.
• Reveals hard realities of life.
• Carries the readers along with the discussion to be its part.
• Puts analytical discussion to distinguish between true and false god.
• Poses questions.
• Develops a sense of superior being in every individual.
• Invites to think over the self and the entire universe.
• Discusses the lives of the Prophets with emphasis on the behavioral attitudes of their followers.
• Takes on a journey of the past.
• Explains the rise and fall of the nations.
• Prepares for the next life.
• Explains the ways of admission in paradise.
• Suggests ways for protection from hell.

Gear up for an absolute understanding of the Quran this Ramadan. Ensure that the queries and the distinguished features accompany you and become a part of your intellect, should create interest while reading the Book and inspire to be an ardent follower of its teachings, all the way, all the time.

 

The author is the Director of AJ Academy For Research and Development, Raichur, Karnataka. He can be reached at [email protected]

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 8,2021

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Varanasi, Apr 8: In a controversial decision, a local court in Varanasi has ruled in favour of excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the adjacent Gyanvapi Masjid. The ASI is likely to set up a five-member team that will visit the campus soon. 

A petition was filed in December 2019 by advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in the court of civil judge. The petitioner requested for a survey of the entire Gyanvapi compound by the ASI. He had filed the petition as the 'next friend' of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar. In January 2020, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had filed an objection against the petition.

The petitioner had contended that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was built by Maharaja Vikramaditya about 2,050 years ago, but Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple in 1664 and used its remains to construct a mosque, which is known as Gyanvapi masjid, on a portion of the temple land. The petitioner requested the court to issue directions for the removal of the mosque from the temple land and give back its possession to the temple trust.

The first petition was filed in the Varanasi civil court in 1991 on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar seeking permission for worship in Gyanvapi.

The petition contended that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act was not applicable on the suit as the mosque was constructed over a partly demolished temple and many parts of the temple exist even today. In 1998, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee moved the high court contending that the mandir-masjid dispute could not be adjudicated by a civil court as it was barred by the law. The high court stayed the proceedings in the lower court which had continued for the past 22 years.

In February 2020, the petitioners approached the lower court again with a plea to resume the hearing as the high court had not extended the stay in the past six months. The Gyanvapi mosque shares a boundary wall with Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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