Centre asks YouTube, Twitter to block BBC documentary critical of PM Modi

News Network
January 21, 2023

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The government of India has ordered YouTube and Twitter to take down links sharing the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’, according to multiple media reports.

It is learnt that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued directions to YouTube for blocking of multiple videos which published the first episode of the aforesaid documentary. Orders were also issued to Twitter for blocking of over 50 tweets containing the links of such YouTube videos.

The Ministry has reportedly invoked the emergency powers under IT Rules, 2021, to block the videos and tweets. Both YouTube and Twitter have taken action, the sources said, while adding that senior officials of multiple ministries, like Ministry of External Affairs, Home Affairs and I&B, had examined the documentary and found it to be an attempt to cast aspersions on the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India, sow divisions among various communities, and make unsubstantiated allegations regarding actions of foreign governments in India.

Accordingly, it was found to be “undermining sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign states”, which allows the Centre to invoke the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.

The documentary, produced by the UK’s Public Broadcaster, was earlier termed by the External Affairs Ministry as a “propaganda piece that lacks objectivity and reflects colonial mindset”.

While it was not made available in India by the BBC, several YouTube channels had uploaded it. The government has also directed YouTube to block such videos in the future if uploaded on its platform. Twitter has also been directed to identify and block the tweets containing the links to the video on other platforms.

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News Network
January 19,2023

Mangaluru, Jan 19: Dharmendra, the general secretary of the Karnataka state unit of Akhil Bharath Hindu Mahasabha, who is reportedly mulling contesting from Mangaluru North constituency in 2023 assembly polls, has raised voice against the reservation policy of Basavaraj Bommai led BJP government. 

Speaking to media persons here, the Hindutva leader said that movement against reservation will be carried out shortly. A meeting of those who oppose reservation will be convened in Mangaluru to decide on the future course of action, he added.

Already, anti-reservation committees have been constituted in 30 districts in the state and a protest is being planned at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru. He said that if the Congress divided the country on the basis of religion, the BJP is dividing Hindu society in an organised manner through reservation, which is against the constitution.

Dharmendra said: “Some mutt heads are engaged in a protest demanding reservation to a particular caste, and the BJP government is heeding to their demand and is announcing reservation.

The question is whether the act of mutt heads is justifiable.” He said the elected representatives have to be taught about reservation as envisaged by Dr B R Ambedkar in the constitution. Ambedkar wanted to give reservations only to the suppressed class for a few years to bring them to the mainstream of society.

Instead of allowing people to lead a dignified life with self-respect, the government is making them beg for quota, which is condemnable. He accused the BJP of using reservation for vote bank politics and to gain political mileage. ABHM is also considering approaching the high court in this regard.

Meanwhile, Mahasabha has decided to field candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in all constituencies in DK district. Dharmendra is likely to contest from Mangaluru North constituency.

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News Network
January 19,2023

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New Delhi, Jan 19: The country's top wrestlers on Thursday vowed to intensify their protest, saying the government has given them an assurance but no "satisfactory response" and they will lodge multiple FIRs against WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh if the Wrestling Federation of India is not disbanded immediately.

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a prominent leader of BJP and Member of the Parliament from Kaiserganj constituency.  

The wrestlers, who have accused the WFI President of sexual exploitation and intimidation, continued their dharna for the second day as more grapplers joined them in what they called was a fight to give "a new life to Indian wrestling."

Three-time CWG medallist and BJP leader Babita Phogat came to the protest site with a "message" from the government and assured the grapplers that their demands will be met as the athletes took turn to share their bad experiences.

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Dahiya pleaded for more support while young Anshu Malik narrated how WFI President's presence in the players' hotel in Bulgaria during the world junior championship last year made the women wrestlers uncomfortable.

It may be noted that 21-year-old Anshu had not competed in that championship as she was injured.

A team of wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu, Sakshi Malik, and her husband Satyawrat Kadiyan, was then called for a meeting with the government as they discussed their issues with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Director General SAI Sandip Pradhan and Joint Secretary (Sports) Kunal.

During the one-hour meeting, the wrestlers were asked to end their protest and assured that their grievances will be addressed.

However, the wresters wanted a concrete and immediate action and decided to continue their protest unless WFI President is removed and the national federation is disbanded along with all the state wrestling associations in the country.

Later addressing the media, Vinesh did not disclose what transpired at the meeting but said, "Unfortunately we did not get a satisfactory response."

"Yesterday, we had 1-2 victims amongst us but now we have 5-6 wrestlers, who were harassed (sexually). We can't name them now, after all they are daughters and sisters of somebody. But if we are forced to disclose their identity, it will be a black day," said Vinesh, the two-time World Championship medallist.

"It's not just about his (Brij Bhushan) resignation. We will send him to jail. We did not want to take the legal route, because we had hoped for resolution but if a proper solution is not provided, we will lodge FIRs against the President.

"We are World Championship and Olympic medallists, don't suspect us, we are telling the truth, believe us."

WFI Emergency General Council in Ayodhya

It has been learnt that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has called for an Emergency General Council in Ayodhya on Sunday to discuss the issue.

"Yes, a meeting has been called and future course of action will be discussed. I can't say if WFI President will resign or not. It needs to be discussed," said a WFI official.

It may be noted that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's third term as WFI President is ending soon and he is ineligible to contest again. He was elected WFI President for the third time in February 2019.

According to the National Sports Code, a person may serve as President, and thereby on the Board, of the NOC/NSF for up to three terms or 12 years with or without break, after the completion of which tenure as President, the person shall not be entitled to return as an office bearer or Board member of the NSF.

Trust us, we are not lying

Bajrang said,"The entire wrestling hub (fraternity) is here. We have proofs, we are not lying. We want wrestling to live, start a new life."

The 28-year-old Vinesh claimed that she has got calls of appreciation from Kerala and Maharashtra woman wrestlers for taking up the cause.

"At least 5-6 girls will lodge FIRs tomorrow and it will be a black day if it happens in a country like India where 'Durga' and 'Lakshmi' are worshipped. Then I would say that no woman is safe in this country and no daughter should be born to anyone."

Asked to give details of the meeting they had with the government representative, Vinesh said,"They did not give any time-frame, just gave assurances."

"Everything is at stake now. We have not even taken police protection and (are) sitting here. But where is the WFI President; his office (is) locked. Where are those eyes that used to scare us."

When reminded that London Olympics medallist Yogeshwar Dutt has backed WFI President along with Asian Championship medallist Divya Karan, Vinesh said, Yogeshwar is definitely sitting in the lap of the WFI and that Kakran herself spoke against the President in the past. We have proofs."

"All the videos (in support of WFI President) are being made where he has that "aatank ka adda' (hub of terror), people should come and make videos here at Jantar Mantar while sitting in front of the public.

"We want the government to take control of WFI and we will not compete in any competition under the current President."

Sakshi Malik said all state wrestling associations should be disbanded in the country because the WFI President has all his men in these sports bodies.

Brinda Karat asked to leave protest

Earlier in the day, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who arrived at the protest site in support of the wrestlers and wanted to speak, was asked to leave by the grapplers, saying they don't want anyone to give their campaign a political colour.

"We request you, madam, please don't make this political," Bajrang said.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said that the wrestlers can approach it with their complaints.

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News Network
January 21,2023

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A rare cloud formation resembling an unidentified flying object (UFO) was spotted floating over Bursa, Turkey, on Thursday (January 19) morning. According to The Guardian, the almost circular cloud, known as a lenticular cloud, remained intact for about an hour. Several internet users captured the rare phenomena on their phones. It appeared at sunrise and featured a large hole in the middle. 

"#Turkey an unusual dawn this morning. Footage of a rare natural phenomenon called #UFO lenticular/spying foehn clouds," one user wrote while sharing images and video of the UFO-like cloud. 

"A majestic lenticular cloud spotted over Bursa, Turkey today," said another user. 

The videos and images of the bizarre-looking cloud have gone viral across the world. Hundreds of social media users said that the cloud looked like a UFO. However, Turkey's state Meteorological Serviced reportedly explained that the rare phenomenon was simply a "lenticular cloud". 

According to The Guardian, lenticular clouds are known for their curved, flying saucer-like appearance. They are usually found at heights between 2,000 and 5,000 meters. 

As per Fox News, lenticular clouds are formed when the layer of the atmosphere is just on the cusp of saturation, meaning they are formed as a result of strong wind fluctuations over hills and mountains when the air is stable and moist. They most often form in winter, but it is still possible to see them at other times of the year. 

These types of clouds can be a signal of precipitation within the next day or so as the atmosphere moistens ahead of the incoming storm. 

In this case, a weak cold front was approaching western Turkey on Thursday. Bursa also lies at the base of a mountain range, which makes the phenomenon more likely.

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