Saffron activists chase away Muslim trader from temple fair in Kodagu

News Network
November 30, 2022

Madikeri, Nov 30: Activists of Hindutva outfits affiliated to BJP reportedly chased away a Muslim trader who had arrived to do business during the 'Shashti Utsava' at the Harihara Subrahmanyeshwara Temple at Kogadu's Gonikoppal Tuesday.

It is said that a gang of saffron shawl-clad men started verifying identity cards of traders to find out if any non-Hindus were doing business. 

When they came to know that one of the traders who had set up a petty stall belonged to Muslim community, they threatened and chased him away, sources said.  

Police said that neither the temple trustees nor traders filed any complaint. The temple had recently clarified that traders from all faiths were allowed during the 'Shashti Utsav'.

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News Network
January 27,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 27: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appeared to have lost his cool as he snatched a microphone from the hands of a seer seated beside him during a public event on Thursday in Bengaluru's Mahadevapura to respond to criticism.

During the event, seer Eshwaranandapuri Swami raised the issue of flooding and poor infrastructure in the constituency and blamed politicians for the trouble.

Bommai responded saying that he is not someone who only gives assurances but someone gets work done. He added that he has released funds to find a solution to these problems.

A few months back, the residents of Mahadevapura were ravaged by floods following heavy rainfall affecting normal life. 

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News Network
January 16,2023

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The richest one per cent in India now own more than 40 per cent of the country's total wealth, while the bottom half of the population together share just 3 per cent of wealth, a new study showed on Monday.

Releasing the India supplement of its annual inequality report on the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here, rights group Oxfam International said that taxing India's ten-richest at 5 per cent can fetch entire money to bring children back to school.

"A one-off tax on unrealized gains from 2017–2021 on just one billionaire, Gautam Adani, could have raised Rs 1.79 lakh crore, enough to employ more than five million Indian primary school teachers for a year," it added.

The report titled 'Survival of the Richest' further said that if India's billionaires are taxed once at 2 per cent on their entire wealth, it would support the requirement of Rs 40,423 crore for the nutrition of malnourished in the country for the next three years.

"A one-time tax of 5 per cent on the 10 richest billionaires in the country (Rs 1.37 lakh crore) is more than 1.5 times the funds estimated by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry (Rs 86,200 crore) and the Ministry of Ayush (Rs 3,050 crore) for the year 2022-23," it added.

On gender inequality, the report said that female workers earned only 63 paise for every 1 rupee a male worker earned.

For Scheduled Castes and rural workers, the difference is even starker -- the former earned 55 per cent of what the advantaged social groups earned, and the latter earned only half of the urban earnings between 2018 and 2019.

"Taxing the top 100 Indian billionaires at 2.5 per cent, or taxing the top 10 Indian billionaires at 5 per cent would nearly cover the entire amount required to bring the children back into school," it added.

Oxfam said the report is a mix of qualitative and quantitative information to explore the impact of inequality in India.

Secondary sources like Forbes and Credit Suisse have been used to look at the wealth inequality and billionaire wealth in the country, while government sources like NSS, Union budget documents, parliamentary questions, etc have been used to corroborate arguments made through out the report.

Since the pandemic begun to Nov 2022, billionaires in India have seen their wealth surge by 121 per cent or Rs 3,608 crore per day in real terms, Oxfam said.

On the other hand, approximately 64 per cent of the total Rs 14.83 lakh crore in Goods and Services Tax (GST) came from bottom 50 per cent of the population in 2021-22, with only 3 per cent of GST coming from the top 10 per cent.

Oxfam said the total number of billionaires in India increased from 102 in 2020 to 166 in 2022.

The combined wealth of India's 100 richest has touched USD 660 billion (Rs 54.12 lakh crore) -– an amount that could fund the entire Union Budget for more than 18 months, it added.

Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said, "The country's marginalised – Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, Women and informal sector workers are continuing to suffer in a system which ensures the survival of the richest.

"The poor are paying disproportionately higher taxes, spending more on essentials items and services when compared to the rich. The time has come to tax the rich and ensure they pay their fair share."

Behar urged the Union finance minister to implement progressive tax measures such as wealth tax and inheritance tax, which he said have been historically proven to be effective in tackling inequality.

Citing a nationwide survey by Fight Inequality Alliance India (FIA India) in 2021, Oxfam said it found that more than 80 per cent of people in India support tax on the rich and corporations who earned record profits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"More than 90 per cent participants demanded budget measures to combat inequality such as universal social security, right to health and expansion of budget to prevent gender-based violence," it added.

"It's time we demolish the convenient myth that tax cuts for the richest result in their wealth somehow 'trickling down' to everyone else. Taxing the super-rich is the strategic precondition to reducing inequality and resuscitating democracy.

"We need to do this for innovation. For stronger public services and for happier and healthier societies," said Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

Oxfam India urged the Union finance minister to introduce one-off solidarity wealth taxes and windfall taxes to end crisis profiteering. It also demanded a permanent increase in taxes on the richest 1 per cent and especially raise taxes on capital gains, which are subject to lower tax rates than other forms of income.

Oxfam also called for inheritance, property, and land taxes, as well as net wealth taxes, while enhancing the budgetary allocation of the health sector to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025, as envisaged in the National Health Policy. Oxfam said it also wants public health systems to be strengthened and budgetary allocation for education to be enhanced to the global benchmark of 6 per cent of GDP.

"Ensure workers in formal and informal sector are paid basic minimum wages. The minimum wages should be at par with living wages which is essential for living a life with dignity," it added. 

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News Network
January 28,2023

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Udupi, Jan 28: The Parashuram theme park, with a 33-foot-bronze statue of Lord Parashuram, was inaugurated atop Umikal hill at Bailur in Karnataka's Udupi district by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Speaking after the inauguration on Friday evening in Karkala taluk, the chief minister said a masterplan will be drawn to promote culture and temple tourism in coastal Karnataka. Bommai said the coastal region has immense potential for attracting tourists and the government is chalking out a number of schemes to promote tourism.

The government aims to bring in overall development in the region by developing ports and roads. The government does not want to offer promises on packages, but is trying to improve the lives of the people, he said.

Bommai added that the inauguration of the park is historic as Lord Parashuram is said to be the creator of Tulunadu. He was brave and strong and received the blessings of Lord Shiva, the chief minister said. 

State Minister for Kannada and Culture V Sunil Kumar, who represents Karkala in the assembly, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Shobha Karandlaje who represents Udupi-Chikkamagaluru in the Lok Sabha, Fisheries Minister S Angara, MLAs Lalji Mendon and Raghupati Bhat and noted actor Rishabh Shetty were present on the occasion.

The Parashuram statue installed atop Umikal hill in Bailur, located by the side of National Highway between Udupi and Karkala, is already attracting thousands of tourists from various parts of the country. The theme park has a bhajan mandir, museum, open air amphitheatre, drawings depicting life of Lord Parashuram, audio-visual gallery and a restaurant. The park was set up by the Nirmiti Kendra in Udupi district.

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