IRS |Institute of Regional Studies

Islamabad

Contemporary Regional Developments in India

12th May - 18th May
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the Russian seaside resort of Sochi to meet President Vladimir Putin on 21st May. (The Hindu, 17 May, 2018)
  • Pakistan Army ready to join dialogue process with India.(The Hindu, 16 May, 2018)
  • Congress used most abusive language against Modi: BJP
    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reeled out a number of “abusive” terms such as ‘maut ka saudagar’ (merchant of death) and ‘neech’ (lowly), various Congress leaders had used to attack Modi earlier. “Congress leaders led by Manmohan Singh, who have complained misleadingly about language of Narendra Modi should check their own record of repeated denigration of a popular leader like Modi with most abusive language,” he said. It was former Congress president Sonia Gandhi who had called Modi a ‘maut ka saudagar’ while another party leader dubbed him lowly and advised him to open a tea shop, Prasad said. The senior BJP leader also referred to the coinage of ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in this regard. Mr. Gandhi had used the term to take a dig at the Modi government over the Goods and Services Tax (GST).(14 May, 2018)
  • 550 Indians stranded in Qatar
    “About 116 staff members have not received their salary since last September. The 1,100-odd personnel in the labour wing have not received their salary since January, and overtime since December. Assurances that the dues will be settled have not been honoured. We are like refugees,” an HKH W.L.L. employee from Kerala told The Hindu over the phone on Monday. Of the stranded Indians, 526 fall under the category of labourers. (The Hindu, May 14, 2018)
3rd May - 11th May
  • 24 killed, over 100 injured as dust storm wreaks havoc in Rajasthan.( Hindustan Times, May 3, 2018)
  • Row over Jinnah’s portrait at Aligarh Muslim University:
    By all accounts, the violence at Aligarh Muslim University was twofold. First, intruders who were allegedly from the Hindu Yuva Vahini barged in and reportedly tried to disrupt a ceremony at which former vice president Hamid Ansari was to be granted lifetime membership of the university students’ union. Hindutva groups maintain that the real object of their ire was a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, which has hung in the students’ union building since 1938. Second, when students of the university tried to file a first information report, they were lathi-charged and tear gassed by the police. The first is alarming in itself, part of an epidemic of hooliganism, a growing trend of reacting to ideas that one does not like with physical force. The second is also frightening, for it suggests that those protesting against such hooliganism will have no recourse to law; that they will, in fact, be punished. Why should a portrait that has hung in the university halls for 80 years suddenly draw anger? It betrays a new fragility in our national ego, which thrives on a virulent anti-intellectualism. Educational institutions, it seems, must conform to prescriptive nationalist histories or pay the price. The Aligarh Muslim University was founded in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. Modelled on the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, it was aimed at establishing a modern system of education for Muslims in British India. It became an important centre of thought during the freedom movement and played a key role in fashioning a modern Muslim identity in the subcontinent. The portrait of Jinnah, who was made lifetime member of the university students’ union, belongs to this particular past. It was put up long before Indian and Pakistani histories were bifurcated. To erase this past is regressive.(Scroll.in, May 4, 2018)
  • 28 civilians killed in Kashmir
    All mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir, including the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Wednesday asked the Centre to declare “a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramzan and the period of the Amarnath Yatra.” “There was a unanimous decision of all the parties at the meeting that the Government of India consider a unilateral ceasefire in view of the coming month of Ramadhan and Amarnath Yatra to extend relief to the masses. The parties suggested that the Centre offer the ceasefire as former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in [November] 2000,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said after the meeting of all regional parties at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre here. She had called for an all-party meeting in the wake of growing encounters and civilian casualties in street protests, especially in the past 40 days, leaving 69 people, including 28 civilians and a Chennai tourist, dead.(The Hindu May 10, 2018)

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