Indrajit (Toy) Banerjee - Tinkerer to Vintage Car Restorer

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By A Correspondent

Indrajit (Toy) Banerjee is a Rallyist, Scrutineer, Marshall and a Vintage Car Restorer.  He was born into an aristocratic family.  The grandson of a Rai Bahadur (British administrative title conferred upon by Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India), Indrajit was a motor car enthusiast since he was a child.  While his friends enjoyed playing with toy cars, his hobby was to dismantle and fix them. 

Indrajit's father was a senior officer at the Kolkata Port Trust while his mother was a homemaker.  He studied Commerce at St. Xavier's College, Kolkata but cars were his dream and there was no other calling for him.  In fact, his interest in cars were such that he was known in college by the nickname, Dashboard.

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What Is New In Today’s New India?

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By Dr. Y. Srinivasa Rao

Now with an eye another five year term at the centre it came up with a new slogan: sankalp se sidhi, (New India Movement from 2017 to 2022). This means that the new India would be built on the foundations that are laid during 2014 to 2017. Then, one could easily guess what the BJP-RSS new India is going to be…

Change is constant and it is what history is according to Herodotus. For Greeks, it was change and for Romans it was continuity. R. G. Collingwood saw this scientificity and humanism in Greek thought were greatest contributions of Greeks to the human civilisation while substantialism and metaphysical permanency were the weaknesses of the Roman thought. The same strands of thought processes could be seen in India too.

Read the full article at:
http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/10/24/what-is-new-in-todays-new-india/

Aadhaar A Threat to National Security: Subramanian Swamy

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By Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on October 31 said that compulsory Aadhaar is a threat to the country's security and expressed hope that the Supreme Court will strike it down when its larger Constitution bench takes up the matter.

The firebrand BJP leader took to Twitter and tweeted that he will soon write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailing how compulsory Aadhaar poses a big threat to the country's security.

Read the full article at:
http://zeenews.india.com/india/aadhaar-a-threat-to-national-security-will-approach-pm-modi-subramanian-swamy-2053096.html

Bank Officers Body Files PIL Against Aadhaar Linkage

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By D. T. Franco

Making Aadhar compulsory is illegal and would virtually convert the citizens into “slaves” as they would be under the government’s surveillance all the time; apart from violating the citizens’ fundamental rights granted under the Constitution as they would be coerced to give sample of their fingerprints and iris.

In the recent times, we have seen an overdrive of threatening to freeze existing bank accounts unless the customers link to Aadhaar. They are also refusing to open new bank accounts without Aadhaar, citing GSR 538(E), the amendment to the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)(PMLA), on June 1st 2017.

Read the full article at:
http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/10/28/bank-officers-body-files-pil-against-aadhaar-linkage/

Why Science Says Astrology Lacks Meaning and Evidence

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By S.K. Arun Murthi

If astrology is about how planetary positions influence humans, then what exactly does the ‘strength’ of a planet mean as far as humans are concerned?

Vasudevan Mukunth’s article, ‘How Much of a Problem Is an Astrology Workshop at IISc?‘, urges us – rightly so – to think about what will eliminate one’s vulnerability to beliefs in astrology. The reason why such superstitious beliefs take root, even among the so called educated, is due to a fear of an uncertain and insecure future. And this fear makes one forsake evidence and meaning as a guiding principle of our thinking. This, among other reasons, makes one vulnerable to astrology.

Read the full article at:
https://thewire.in/192278/science-says-astrology-lacks-meaning-evidence/

‘Culture of Silence Makes It Difficult for Women to...

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Speak up Against Predatory Behaviour by Men’

By Namita Bhandare

The price of speaking up against sexual harassment can be high. And, yet, it’s important to speak up, to put an end to such behaviour.

Revelations of sexual misconduct, including allegations of rape, against film producer Harvey Weinstein have not come as a surprise to at least one woman: The woman researcher who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her former boss and head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Rajendra Pachauri in February 2015.

“Sexual harassment by powerful, entitled men is endemic and exists throughout the world,” the researcher who by law and media practice may not be named, told IndiaSpend. Worse, she said, predatory behaviour by men in powerful positions is enabled by a work environment that turns a blind eye to it.

Read the full article at:
https://thewire.in/192245/culture-silence-sexual-harrassment-pachauri/

Rajasthan Government Directs Universities to Install Statues of Vivekananda

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By The Wire Staff

A recent circular asks state colleges to install statues of ‘Swami Vivekananda Ji’ to inculcate nationalistic values among students.

Central and state governments have launched into a full-fledged drive to instil nationalistic fervour in colleges and universities. After proposing installation of army tanks on university campuses, next on the agenda is building statues of patriotic personalities on institution premises.

In an attempt to make students ‘patriotic’, Rajasthan government has directed all state colleges to put up statue of Vivekananda on campuses if they do not have statues of such ‘inspirational personalities’ on the premises.

Read the full article at:
https://thewire.in/192360/rajasthan-government-directs-universities-to-install-vivekananda-statue/

Gujarat: Will Disenchanted Patels Withdraw Their Long-Standing Support for the BJP?

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By Kingshuk Nag

The Patels and the saffron party have been inseparable partners since the fall of Madhavsinh Solanki government, but the community now feels sidelined.

They joined the BJP in protesting against the reservation policy of the Congress government in the mid 1980s. But 30 years later, they are threatening to quit the party if reservations are not accorded to them. This is the story of the Patels in Gujarat – the community that powered the saffron party to office and continues to be its major support group. But will the Patels desert the BJP in the forthcoming Gujarat elections? That’s the million-dollar question, the answer to which nobody has. Possibly, much will depend on whether the Congress promises them reservations.

Read the full article at:
https://thewire.in/192371/bjp-gujarat-patels/

J&K: Embryonic Investigations

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow; Institute for Conflict Management

On October 17, 2017, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in Delhi extended till November 15, 2017, the judicial custody of seven Kashmiri separatists arrested on July 24, 2017, in connection with the NIA case for funding terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). These arrested separatists included Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh Geelani, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah aka Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar aka Bitta Karate. Farooq Ahmad Dar was arrested in New Delhi and the other accused persons were arrested from Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K. Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh Geelani is the son-in-law of All Parties Hurriyat Conference-Geelani (APHC-G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Aftab Hilali Shah is a close aide of APHC-Mirwaiz (APHC-M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Ayaz Akbar Khandey is the spokesperson for the APHC-G.

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J&K: JeM Inflammation

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By Nijeesh N.
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 3, 2017, terrorists carried out a pre-dawn fidayeen (suicide) attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) camp at Gogoland near the ‘high-security’ Srinagar International Airport in Srinagar District. An Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of BSF was killed and three other Security Force (SF) personnel were injured in the attack, which ended with SFs’ killing the three terrorists involved, after a 10-hour long counter-operation.

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Kerala: Daesh's Diminishing Challenge

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By Nijeesh N.
Research Assistant; Institute for Conflict Management

On October 25, 2017, three Islamic State (IS or Daesh) cadres, identified as Midilaj K.C. (26), Rashid M.P. (23), and Abdul Razakh K. (24), were arrested by the Valapattanam Police in the Kannur District of Kerala. All three youth, who were natives of Kannur District, were arrested by the Police. They had been kept under surveillance since they returned to India some four months earlier (date not specified), from Turkey.

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JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12










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