FRONT PAGE NEWS
30 December 2019
INDIAN YOUTH HATE ANARCHY, NARENDRA MODI SAYS IN MANN KI BAAT
In his last 'Mann ki Baat' radio address of 2019, the Prime Minister said
the youth hate anarchy and disorder and dislike casteism, nepotism and
favouritism, remarks that come in the backdrop of recent violent protests on
various university campuses over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the
"According to me, they appreciate the system. Not just that, they prefer to
follow the system. And in the event of the system not responding properly,
they get restless and even courageously question the system itself! I
consider this attribute as a virtue.
"One can even say with certitude here, that the country's youth detests
anarchy of any sort. They despise any element of lack of governance and
instability; abhorring any shades of nepotism, casteism, favouritism or
gender discrimination," he said.
PRIYANKA; BJP TRADE CHARGES OVER UNREST IN UP
Taking on the Yogi Adityanath government over handling of protests against
the amended Citizenship Act, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday
said it has "crossed all limits of inhumanity" and claimed party worker
Sadaf Zafar was arrested on "baseless" charges.
"This insensitive government has separated children from their mother and
the older generation from their children," the Congress general secretary
said, a day after she had accused the UP Police of manhandling her when she
resisted their attempts to stop her from visiting the residence of retired
IPS officer SR Darapuri, who was also arrested in connection with the recent
Zafar was arrested here on December 19 while she was live on Facebook from
the spot where protests against the amended citizenship law had gone
violent. Police had said she was arrested for her involvement in clashes.
"The Uttar Pradesh government has crossed all limits of inhumanity. Congress
worker Sadaf Zafar in a video can be clearly seen telling policemen to
arrest those indulging in violence. The police have levelled baseless
allegations on Sadaf and put her in jail," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
Hitting back at the Congress leader, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister
Keshav Prasad Maurya said that such 'nautanki' (theatrics) will not fetch
votes for the Congress and what's left of the party will also be finished.
In a Hindi tweet late on Saturday night, Maurya said that it seemed by
Priyanka Gandhi's behaviour that her party has become a 'danga karao party'
and it cannot tolerate the peaceful atmosphere and development in Uttar
Pradesh. He said the state was a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity and added that
the Congress and the Samajwadi Party were getting disturbed, seeing their
dark political future.
NRC INDIA'S INTERNAL AFFAIR: BORDER GUARDS BANGLADESH CHIEF
The creation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is completely an
"internal affair" of India and the cooperation between the border guarding
forces of the two countries is very good, the visiting chief of Border
Guards Bangladesh (BGB) said in New Delhi on Sunday.
Director-General (DG) Maj Gen Shafeenul Islam told reporters during a press
conference that the BGB will continue to do its work of preventing illegal
border crossings as per its mandate.
A BGB delegation, led by Islam, is on a bilateral visit to India to hold
DG-level border talks with its counterparts, the Border Security Force
The talks took place from December 26-29, during which a host of issues
related to cross-border smuggling and activities of criminals and others
along the 4,096-km-long front were discussed, a senior BSF officer said.
"This is completely an internal affair of the Indian government," the BGB DG
said when asked to comment on the NRC issue.
Asked about the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that seeks
to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from three
neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Islam said he would not like
to make any comments. "I would say the cooperation and relationship between
the two forces (BSF and BGB) are very good. Beyond that I cannot say
anything...," he said when asked to comment on the developments in India
after the passing of the CAA in Parliament.
'MODI GOVT WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS': HRD MINISTER TO UNIVERSITIES AGAINST CAA
As anti-citizenship law protests in various universities showed no signs of
let up, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Sunday said the central
government will not tolerate educational institutions turning into hubs of
politicking "at any cost".
He said that anyone is free to engage in political activities, but colleges
and universities should be kept out of it, as many students come to study
from far-off places.
"The Narendra Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost," he
Scores of students from universities across the country, including
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University,
Jadavpur University and Presidency University, have been protesting against
the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Pokhriyal accused the opposition parties of deliberately spreading
misinformation over the CAA. "It is the Congress, which is responsible for
the country's division on religious grounds, that is spreading
misinformation about CAA," he said.
S ARABIA TO CONVENE OIC MEET ON K-ISSUE
Saudi Arabia has agreed to convene a meeting of foreign ministers of the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Kashmir, according to reports
in the Pakistan media.
The move is being seen as Saudi Arabia's attempt to balance ties between
India and Pakistan as well as reward Islamabad for not attending a
multination summit in Kuala Lumpur that was being seen as an attempt to
rival the Saudi-led OIC.
According to media reports, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan
conveyed the message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi
during a meeting in Islamabad.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said "the two foreign ministers discussed OIC's
role in the advancement of the cause of Kashmir" and Qureshi "highlighted
the Indian Government's actions with regard to CAA and NRC and the
systematic targeting of minorities in India, particularly Muslims".
The 57-member grouping is largely seen as a talking shop, especially on
Palestine, but its statements provide a face-safer to member-governments in
front of their domestic audience on issues they haven't been able to resolve
on their own.
PUTIN THANKS TRUMP FOR TIP RUSSIA SAYS FOILED ATTACKS
Russia said on Sunday it had thwarted terrorism attacks reportedly planned
in St. Petersburg thanks to a tip from Washington, bringing personal thanks
again from President Vladimir Putin to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
Russian news agencies cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying
that thanks to the information, two Russians were detained on Dec. 27 on
suspicion of plotting attacks during New Year festivities in St. Petersburg.
The Kremlin said Putin passed on his gratitude to Trump during a phone call
on Sunday for the tip from U.S. special services. It gave no more details.
TALIBAN COUNCIL AGREES TO CEASE-FIRE IN AFGHANISTAN
The Taliban's ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in
Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United
States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn't
say when it would begin.
A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement
could be signed. A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops
from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America's
There was no immediate response from Washington.
The U.S. wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that
Afghanistan would not be used as a base by terrorist groups. The U.S.
currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.
NATIONAL OPPOSITION CHEERS AS HEMANT SOREN TAKES OATH
JMM leader Hemant Soren was sworn in as the 11th Jharkhand chief minister on
Sunday in a ceremony at the Morabadi ground in Ranchi attended by a slew of
national Opposition leaders in a show of anti-BJP unity in which the
bonhomie was evident and enveloped even traditional arch-rivals.
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee chatted smilingly with CPI
general-secretary D. Raja for around five minutes. Hemant escorted Mamata
and Rahul Gandhi on stage, and the new chief minister took the Congress
leader around the stage holding his hand.
Also present were Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh chief ministers Ashok Gehlot
and Bhupesh Baghel, CPM general-secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader M.K.
Stalin and his sister Kanimozhi, the RJD's Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, JVM chief
Babulal Marandi, senior Bihar socialist leader Sharad Yadav, and CPI senior
leader Atul Kumar Anjan.
Governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Hemant, 44.
ON THE GROUND IN UP, PROTEST DIVIDE ALONG RELIGION, NOT POLITICS - AN IE
Invoking the Constitution and waving the Tricolour to widen the base of the
CAA-NRC protests don't seem to be working in large parts of Uttar Pradesh.
In a state deeply divided on caste lines, support for the protests is split
more on the lines of religion than politics.
The state's main Opposition parties - SP, BSP and Congress - in UP have
unequivocally opposed the move. But across the constituencies of Baghpat,
Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal and Rampur, many Hindus who voted for
Opposition parties during the Lok Sabha elections support the government's
Their response to the police crackdown in the state - 19 deaths and over
1,100 arrests - is muted, and hardly anyone is willing to declare that the
citizenship move should be rolled back.
All of them say fears over the new law are misplaced, an assert that no
Muslim from their neighbourhood, village or taluka will be evicted. They
also endorse communal amity and blame politics for the protests.
Despite criticism from Opposition parties, the ruling establishment's
arguments against the protests and for the crackdown find resonance among
Hindus in this region. Many believe the allegations that these protests are
instigated by the Opposition and that those resorting to vandalism include
elements that stand to lose from the new law.
"They are needlessly rioting. They are fearful that they will be kicked out.
Nothing like that is going to happen. No Hindu is opposing it, only Muslims
are," says Ravinder Kumar, a Jat in Kurri waiting to unload his sugarcane
stock, as other community members nod in support.
Most of them claim to have voted for RLD candidate and Ajit Singh's son
Jayant Chaudhari in the Lok Sabha elections. When it is pointed out that the
RLD leadership is critical of the government's move, Ajay Singh, a Jat,
chuckles in response. "This is politics. He needs to secure his votes as
well," he says.
KERALA JAMIA STUDENT FACES CPM IRE FOR CRITICISING CM PINARAYI VIJAYAN
Ayesha Renna, a student from Kerala who became the face of the agitation
against the new citizenship law at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, faced the
ire of the CPM in her hometown Kondotty in Malappuram district after she
criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with regard to the recent arrest
Renna has been widely praised for her courage after a video showing her
stopping police from attacking fellow protesters in Delhi went viral on the
In Kondotty on Saturday night, she was invited for a public function
organised to protest against the new citizenship law. During her address,
Renna criticised the arrest of Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar Azad. She
also mentioned the arrest of protesters in Kerala and demanded that the
Pinarayi Vijayan-led government release them.
Soon, a section from the crowd, later identified as CPM workers, started
protesting against the mention of Vijayan and his government. They demanded
that Renna tender an apology.
As the commotion continued, Renna said she had only aired her personal
opinion. But the CPM men said the place to voice her personal opinion was
Later, she tendered an apology, and only then was she allowed to leave.
CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF CAN SERVE UP TO MAXIMUM AGE OF 65 YEARS
The Defence Ministry has amended rules to allow the Chief of Defence Staff
to serve up to a maximum age limit of 65 years.
The changes have been made in the services rules of the Army, Navy and the
Indian Air Force for extension of retirement age of the Chief of Defence
Staff to a maximum of 65 years if a service chief is appointed to the post.
However, the tenure of the CDS is yet to be announced.
In a landmark decision, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday
approved the creation of the CDS who will act as the principal military
adviser to the defence minister on all matters relating to tri-services.
According to existing rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum
period of three years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
WIKIPEDIA WRITES TO GOVT: NEW GUIDELINES WILL SEVERELY DISRUPT OUR MODEL
The nonprofit that funds Wikipedia has said its model would be "severely
disrupted" by the intermediary guidelines that India intends to institute by
the middle of next month.
Automated filtering and quick takedown requirements would disrupt the
volunteer model of real-time editing of information followed by the online
encyclopaedia, the Wikimedia Foundation has said in a letter to Information
Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Because the resource is curated by language and not geographic market, the
rules would change the entire website, not just Indians' access to the
knowledge, the Foundation said.
The "collaborative system of people would be severely disrupted by
obligatory filtering systems that monitor for and automatically remove
illegal content across the website. Short response times for removals that
would essentially require the use of automatic systems would interfere with
people's ability to collaborate in real time on Wiki, the collaborative,
open editing model that has been crucial to Wikipedia's growth," the letter
"It is impossible to restrict changes inside a Wikipedia article from being
visible in one country and not another. Fulfilling mandatory content removal
requirements from one country would leave problematic gaps in Wikipedia for
the whole world, break apart highly context-specific encyclopedic articles,
and prevent people from accessing information that may be legal in their
Wikipedia is very popular in India. Users in the country visited the
encyclopedia 771 million times last month, the fifth highest in the world,
the letter said. It urged the Minister to release the latest draft of the
guidelines, and suggested a layered definition to social media
intermediaries similar to The Personal Data Protection Bill, which was
introduced in Lok Sabha earlier this month. The letter also expressed
concern over the "unrealistic burden" on nonprofits, and said that
traceability requirements were a "serious threat to freedom of expression".
WOULD TRULY APPRECIATE IF THE GANDHIS JUST RETIRED: ANURAG KASHYAP
"I would truly appreciate if the Gandhis just retire", replied filmmaker
Anurag Kashyap when an incident surfaced of a 13-year-old boy allegedly
beaten brutally by the Uttar Pradesh police.
Kashyap has vocally opposed the new Citizenship Amendment Act.
In a tweet, the director spoke about the issue and shared his point of view.
He wrote: "I would truly appreciate if the Gandhis just retire. Privilege
politics is not going to cut through with people. People see/hear them and
want to vote for Modi. They should be on a permanent vacation. That will
actually give us a fighting chance against fascism".
PRESIDENT HONOURS AMITABH BACHCHAN WITH DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday presented megastar Amitabh Bachchan with
Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema's highest honour, at a special
ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Bachchan was earlier supposed to receive the honour at the National Film
Awards ceremony last Monday, but the 77-year-old actor was unable to attend
the event due to ill health.
information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced at the
awards the Hindi cinema veteran will be bestowed with the honour in a
special ceremony hosted by the President on Sunday.
The award, named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke who is revered as the Father
of Indian cinema, was instituted in 1969, the year Bachchan made his debut
in Hindi film industry with "Saat Hindustani".
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus)
medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs 10,00,000.
SOURAV GANGULY CALLS SEHWAG THE BIGGEST MATCH-WINNER OF HIS GENERATION
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who is regarded as one of India's best
captains, played with some of India's greatest cricketers during his time.
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman,
Ganguly formed India's batting line-up, rated as one of the best during the
early 2000s. But according to Ganguly, the biggest match-winner of that
generation was former India opener Virender Sehwag.
"Sehwag was the biggest match-winner in that generation as an opener,"
Sourav Ganguly told India Today.
Ganguly revealed how he pushed Sehwag to come out of his comfort zone. "I
had my own belief. I told him listen 'Nobody comes with a batting position.
It's how you adjust'. The best players are made when they come out of their
comfort zone," Ganguly added.
"If I had batted at No. 4 or No. 5 in one-day cricket, I would have been
half the player. The same with Sachin, he would have scored half the runs he
scored if he had batted in the middle. I said 'just get out of this comfort
zone and go and play," he said.
Ganguly also went on to state Sehwag was not far behind the legendary Sunil
Gavaskar as an opener in Test cricket.
"He was special, one of the best. India rates Sunil Gavaskar as the best
opening batsman, very rightly. This man was not far behind. They played
differently. One fellow believed in letting the ball go outside the
off-stump and making it old. The other one believed in hitting the ball and
making it old. But the impact was remarkable," Ganguly said.
Sehwag finished his career with 8536 runs in 104 Tests and with 8273 runs in