3:26 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

AAP to hold state convention on Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary

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AAP_PTI

Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) newly appointed Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur said his party would hold a state-level convention at Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr district on September 28, on the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Chhotepur said the party’s four members of Parliament— Bhagwant Mann, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, Harinder Singh Khalsa, Prof Sadhu Singh— state party leaders, district conveners and a national leader who is yet to be named would attend the convention.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader said he will visit every district of the state in the next 15 days to strengthen the party and make the leaders united at all levels. He said after taking feedback from them, he would talk with national party leaders to make future policies in the state.

Chhotepur further said the party has also planned to prepare volunteers and workers for the upcoming elections of municipal bodies due in November.

He said the party would also chalk out strategy to counter the Shiromani Akali Dal- Bharatiya Janata Party alliance government as it has failed to fulfil promises made to people during the 2012 assembly elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader said meetings are part of their strategy to create a strong base in the state. He claimed that their party would soon correct its mistakes and put up a strong fight against SAD- BJP and the Congress.

He also inducted Jagtar Singh Sanghera, retired deputy chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, into the party and hoped that AAP leadership will get more boost after this.

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After U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue of religious intolerance in India, The New York Times published a very strong editorial criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what it calls his “dangerous silence” on a series of communal events in the country.The editorial, by the NYT editorial board, lists recent attacks on churches and reports of Ghar Vapsi or conversion and marks out the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for its proposed conversions programme in Ayodhya in March this year, saying the group “was playing with fire.” “Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right,” the NYT editorial surmised.Full text of the Editorial published in the New York Times on February 6, 2015:What will it take for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities? Attacks at Christian places of worship have prompted no response from the man elected to represent and to protect all of India’s citizens. Nor has he addressed the mass conversion to Hinduism of Christians and Muslims who have been coerced or promised money. Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right.Recently, a number of Christian churches in India have been burned and ransacked. Last December, St. Sebastian’s Church in East Delhi was engulfed in fire. Its pastor reported a strong smell of kerosene after the blaze was put out. On Monday, St. Alphonsa’s Church in New Delhi was vandalised. Ceremonial vessels were taken, yet collection boxes full of cash were untouched. Alarmed by the attacks, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has urged the government to uphold the secular nature of India and to assure its Christians they are “protected and secure” in their own country.There is also concern about the mass conversions. Last December, about 200 Muslims were converted to Hinduism in Agra. In January, up to 100 Christians in West Bengal “reconverted” to Hinduism. Hard-line Hindu nationalist groups, like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), make no secret of their support for a “homecoming” campaign designed to “return” non-Hindus to the fold. More than 80 per cent of Indians are Hindu, but Pravin Togadia of the VHP says his organisation’s goal is a country that is 100 per cent Hindu. The only way to achieve that is to deny religious minorities their faith.The VHP is reportedly planning a mass conversion of 3,000 Muslims in Ayodhya this month. The destruction of the Babri Mosque there in 1992 by Hindu militants touched off riots between Hindus and Muslims across India that left more than 2,000 people dead. The VHP knows it is playing with fire.Mr. Modi has promised an ambitious agenda for India’s development. But, as President Obama observed in a speech in New Delhi last month: “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith.” Mr. Modi needs to break his deafening silence on religious intolerance.

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