‘Rajya Sabha Secretariat refuses to answer if Chinese have crossed LAC’

News Network
December 1, 2021

New Delhi, Dec 1: Rajya Sabha member and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday revealed that citing “national interest”, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat disallowed a question from him on whether the Chinese have crossed the LAC in Ladakh.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat said it acts on the recommendation of the "ministry concerned" when sensitive issues are involved.

The issue is also being raised by the opposition members since the clashes between the armies of India and China in June last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during an all-party meeting on the issue last year, stated that no one had entered India or occupied its territory.

The opposition has been attacking the prime minister and his government over the Indo-China face-off at the border and has demanded action against the Chinese.

"It is hilarious if not tragic for Rajya Sabha Secretariat to inform me today that my Question whether the Chinese have crossed the LAC in Ladakh, cannot be allowed, ' because of national interest' !!!," Swamy said in a tweet.

A senior official of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said, "The secretariat goes by the recommendation of ministry concerned if sensitive issues are involved."

He said this has been the convention for a long time. 


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News Network
January 9,2022


The Congress in Karnataka on Sunday began its 10 days 'padayatra' (march), demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river, despite the government's COVID-19 restrictions. Led by Congress' state president D K Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Siddaramaiah, the padayatra with the theme 'Namma Neeru Namma Hakku' (Our water, Our right) began at the Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers in Kanakapura here, which will be spanning a distance of over 100 km.

With participation from hundreds of workers, leaders and cultural groups, the principal opposition party in the state is going ahead with the march, as planned, unfazed by the government's warning of action in case of violation of COVID restrictions and rules.

It now remains to be seen what action will the government take, with a large number of people gathering in violation of rules and orders.

The Karnataka government has imposed a curfew on weekends and restricted public gatherings to fight the third wave of COVID-19, till January 19. It has also imposed night curfew, and has prohibited all rallies, dharnas, protests, among others.

Congress has maintained that it will hold the padayatra following COVID rules and guidelines

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, former Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, and almost all the senior party leaders and legislators were present at the inaugural of the padayatra, that is likely to cove a distance of about 15 km on the day one.

Some religious leaders and film personalities like actor Duniya Vijay, actor and music director Sadhu Kokila, were among others seen at the inaugural.

Projecting it as an apolitical "Walk for Water," the Congress has invited seers of various mutts, organisations, leaders of various political parties, film personalities, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, among others to take part in the march.

Accusing the BJP government of trying to scuttle the padayatra, Siddaramaiah accused the ruling BJP of colluding with Tamil Nadu in delaying the implementation of Mekedatu project.

Claiming that the project was initiated by the Congress government led by him, he alleged that the ruling BJP has betrayed the people of the state by not getting environmental clearance despite being in power for last 2.5 years, and even accused the central government of not giving clearance, as the saffron party wants to expand its base in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

"This padayatra is for getting water to Bengaluru and surrounding areas by implementing Mekedatu project, there is no stay for the project by courts or tribunals or Cauvery Water Management Authority.....Our padayatra will not stop, let how much ever the BJP try to stop it," he added.

Shivakumar, who is also MLA from Kanakapura, hitting out at Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for trying to "thwart" the padayatra by asking the district administration to issue prohibitory orders, he dared him to arrest them if he could.

"This march is not for the Congress party or for the sake of power, it is for the sake of the people.... Like Congress fought against the British then for India's freedom, today we are fighting against BJP and Janata Dal.... SP (Superintendent of Police), Home Minister- you have issued orders against the law, we will not fear it....we will peacefully march following COVID rules," he added.

The Congress' march from Mekedatu to Bengaluru, covering about 15 of the 224 Assembly constituencies in the state, is demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project, which is being opposed by neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Beginning at Sangama the padayatra is scheduled to pass through Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Bidadi, before culminating at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.

Though the padayatra is being projected as apolitical, demanding the implementation of Mekedatu project, it is also seen as Congress' attempt to mobilise its cadres and consolidate its voter base in the old Mysuru region, which is a Vokkaliga bastion, where JD(S) is its traditional rival and the ruling BJP is attempting to make inroads, ahead of 2023 assembly polls.

Much is at stake for Shivakumar, the man behind this march, as several Congress functionaries believe that it is an attempt by the KPCC chief, ahead of assembly polls, to assert his Chief Ministerial ambitions, for which Siddaramaiah is also a strong contender. The party has seen several incidents of political one-upmanship between the two leaders last year.

Shivakumar took a dip in the river and performed pooja at the Sangam ahead of the padayatra's inaugural.

Both ruling BJP and JD(S) have hit out Congress calling its march as a "political stunt" ahead of assembly election next year, and has questioned its morality, accusing the grand old party of not putting any efforts to take the project forward while in power.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has maintained that his government was committed to implement the project.

Karnataka government submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Central Water Commission (CWC) in 2019, which was then referred to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), where it is stuck currently as Tamil Nadu which is the lower riparian state, has opposed the project tooth and nail.

Karnataka has maintained that the project within its territory will benefit both states as the surplus water stored can be managed between the two during the distress year, and its implementation will in no way affect the interests of Tamil Nadu's farming communities, as there will be no impact on its share of water.

While the neighbouring state is of the view that the project would "impound and divert" the uncontrolled water flow due to Tamil Nadu from Kabini sub- basin, the catchment area below Krishnarajasagara, and also from Simsha, Arkavathy and Suvarnavathi sub-basins besides other small streams.

The Mekedatu multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district of Karnataka.

The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.


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Krupaharini M
January 11,2022


Loss, suffering, and death tallies entered the everyday vocabulary of COVID news and dinner table conversations. In this desensitised world, Mafazah Sharafuddin’s In Memoriam, with a poem by the same name as its headliner, comes as an enclave which wombs each of us to share the burden of these dark times. The poet is an enthusiastic final-year student of Journalism, Psychology, and English. 

With a staggering span of forty poems, this anthology published by The Alcove Publishers has a genealogy that sets it apart from the plethora of books being published every minute. What makes this anthology one-of-its-kind is that Mafazah’s experimental artwork, and not just poetry, is scattered across its pages. This artwork has travelled a long way to the pages of the anthology, from the ink of her pen onto the cursor of her computer. 

Candied words and ornamental language would not grasp the authenticity of emotions explored by this poet. The poetry and art in this anthology is grotesque, in-your-face, shocking, and helplessly black-and-white, just as the pandemic has been. Her works have the air of critically acclaimed composition, making In Memoriam an archive of groundbreaking originality.

This visual entry into her world-building is a sought-after experience after the success of her first anthology, Labyrinth of Emotions, which she got published at the age of sixteen. 

The poet shed any illusions of normalcy at the threshold to compile this book. To explore the erratic waves of emotions and paper cuts of the pandemic, the poet and artiste embraces the abnormal and breaks patterns of language and art. After all, would rule-obeying, syntactical art or poetry do justice to the perils of the pandemic generation? So, as the poet eloquently puts it, “The world falls apart, and all I can do is tell its story”. This anthology, then, is as much our stories, as it is hers.

Secure your copy in the below link before it is sold out. 

Paperback: In Memoriam

Kindle India: In Memoriam

Kindle International: In Memoriam


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News Network
January 14,2022

India's Covid-19 cases surged further on Friday as the nation reported 2,64,202 new Covid-19 infections, 6.7 per cent higher than yesterday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

With today's spike, the nation's total tally of Covid-19 cases jumped to 3,65,82,129 which includes 5,753 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. There has been a 4.83 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday.

The  active cases have increased to 12,72,073, the highest in 220 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,85,350 with 315 fresh fatalities.

The  active cases comprises 3.48 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 95.20 per cent, the ministry said.

A total 2,76,110 coronavirus infections were reported in a single day on May 19.

An increase of 1,54,542 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 14.78 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 11.83 per cent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,48,24,706, while the case fatality rate  was recorded at 1.33 per cent. 

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 155.39 crore.

While Omicron represents a new virus evolutionarily different from the Delta or previous variants, experts believe that the third wave is largely following the migratory pattern of the previous two waves.

Speaking on Thursday at a panel discussion titled Variants, Vaccines and Us, virologist Dr V Ravi, a member of Karnataka's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), noted that the outbreak will potentially peak in the city by the end of the month, before moving to other districts.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. 

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. 


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