Compromised Political Leaders – Fall Of 55 Sat, 15 Jan 2022 23:16:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Compromised Political Leaders – Fall Of 55 32 32 Northern elders reject zoning, call on FG to postpone 2022 national census Sat, 15 Jan 2022 21:08:07 +0000

Jan. 15 (THEWILL) – The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said on Saturday that the zoning of the presidency as advocated by some political parties is undemocratic.

The Elders therefore advised that the 2023 presidential contest be left open to all parts of the country for the best candidate to emerge.

The remarks were part of a statement released on Saturday after they met with other “opinion leaders from the North”.

The communiqué was signed by the Chairman of the Communiqué Editorial Board and former Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Prof. Doknan Danjuma Shenni.

The statement said in part: “The fundamental rights of all political parties to nominate candidates of their choice, and the right of voters to exercise free choice over who leads them cannot be compromised.

“Northerners have the equal right to aspire to all office, but must prioritize competence, demonstration of personal integrity and commitment to the rule of law above all other considerations. Northerners should ignore provocative statements by groups in southern Nigeria who seem to believe that ordered democracy, in which threats and hate campaigns are their hallmark or defining elements, will work in Nigeria. The North should vote for the best leader.

“The meeting notes the desperate condition of the economic existence of most northerners, which poses additional threats to security and the democratic process. He advises leaders to avoid plunging people into deeper poverty and despair with tough economic policies and a lack of empathy.

“Governments at all levels should consider some form of structured social protection system to reduce people’s poverty.

“The meeting advises the Federal Government to postpone the planned national census of 2022 given the large number of displaced Nigerians and the proximity of the census to the 2023 elections.

“The meeting urges National and State Assemblies to prioritize the constitutional amendments being processed. He further urges President Muhammadu Buhari to emphasize the proposed amendments to the electoral law as this will improve the quality of elections from 2023.

“The meeting urges major groups in the North to engage groups in the South to improve understanding, reduce tensions and help create an atmosphere that enables all Nigerians to live in peace with one another;

“The Gathering recognizes our ethno-religious diversity in the North which is a source of strength that should be celebrated. The meeting further observed that all religions teach us to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and not to hate or attack those who worship in a different way. Our religious differences should be an invaluable asset, not a liability or a powerful weapon in the hands of our desperate and failing leaders.

“The meeting advises northern groups to visit and engage President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss with him ways to improve the security and economic situation of northerners.

“The current state of insecurity in the North is unprecedented and unacceptable. While commending the efforts of the country’s defense and security forces to roll back various threats that have weakened the Nigerian state and made life almost worthless, the meeting advises the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and legislators to review and reprioritize security spending. and fight against the scourge of poverty. We recommend increasing the recruitment of security personnel.

“The meeting recognized that education in the region has never been so threatened as it is today. Insecurity has exponentially increased the number of out-of-school children. School kidnappings, closures and excruciating poverty have set back education in the region for many generations. The meeting calls on state and federal governments to protect all of our schools and save all of our children from the hands of bandits and insurgents.

“The meeting notes the disconnect between citizens and leaders: The meeting observed the growing rift and disconnect between citizens and their elected representatives as an existential threat to the security of this nation. The meeting therefore calls on all strata of our leadership to reconnect with citizens.

“The meeting notes that widespread insecurity, poverty and dissatisfaction with leadership have resulted in severe voter apathy which is not helping our fragile democracy. He calls on all Nigerians, especially the youth, not to despair but to register to vote for leadership that can change the fortunes of Nigeria.

“The meeting recommends the need to have a working partnership with government agencies and other non-governmental bodies to restore and reintegrate traumatized and displaced communities (IDPs) into their villages as we initiate trauma healing sessions to them as well as de-radicalization programs targeting young people in the affected areas.

]]> Covid News: NYC Mayor Evaluates Remote Learning Option Fri, 14 Jan 2022 06:52:00 +0000

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

A remark by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about who is most likely to die from the coronavirus has sparked an outpouring of grief and rage from people with disabilities or chronic illnesses that has not abated nearly a week later.

During a TV appearance last Friday, director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky discussed the results of a new study of 1.2 million vaccinated people, finding that only 0.003% of them died from the Covid-19.

Given the “encouraging headlines” about “this new study showing how well vaccines work to prevent serious disease,” ABC News’ Cecilia Vega asked Dr. Walensky, “is it time to start rethinking how we live with this virus, that it is potentially here to stay?”

Dr. Walensky’s response, which his agency said was poorly edited and taken out of context, angered many Americans with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Advocacy groups have requested a meeting with Dr. Walensky, which is scheduled for Friday, and released an open letter Thursday.

“The overwhelming number of deaths, more than 75%, occurred in people who had four or more comorbidities, so, really, these are people who were not well to begin with,” Dr. Walensky said in the interview. “And yes, really encouraging news within the framework of Omicron. That means not just getting your main streak, but getting your booster streak, and yes, we’re really encouraged by these results.

For many Americans with comorbidities — a term that encompasses many types of conditions, from immunosuppression to cystic fibrosis to obesity — those comments were something of a drop in the bucket, draining their patience in the face of a federal response to the pandemic they view as a cavalier disregard for their lives. When they started posting on social media using the hashtag #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy, their complaints were about more than just one comment.

The CDC said what Dr Walensky called “encouraging news” was the study’s finding that vaccines protect most people from serious illness and death, not the fact that those who died were usually people with disabilities. This week, ABC replaced its original online-edited video with a longer version in which it prefaces its comments with a brief summary of the research.

Disability advocates said the context didn’t make his remarks any less hurtful – that they still presented disability deaths as a footnote. And they said the agency’s defense also lacked context: its response to the pandemic over the past two years.

“Even including the part that was deleted, it wouldn’t make any difference,” said Imani Barbarin, who started the hashtag #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy. She added: “Even when someone speaks badly or doesn’t get their point across properly, it still hurts us.”

As for the study Dr Walensky was talking about, Ms Barbarin said it might be encouraging for generally healthy people, but “for us it’s terrifying”.

Advocates said the federal government has failed Americans with disabilities throughout the pandemic by, among other things, failing to make home testing and high-quality masks widely available, or providing clear public health advice. , or to increase global vaccinations fast enough to prevent the emergence of new variants like Omicron.

“Director Walensky’s comments aren’t some kind of off-the-cuff, off-the-cuff response,” said Maria Town, president and CEO of the Americans with Disabilities Association. “One of the reasons his comments are so concerning is that they reveal how people with disabilities have been deprioritized and seen as acceptable losses.”

A CDC spokesperson said, “Dr. Walensky did not intend the comments during a recent television appearance to be hurtful to people with disabilities. She is deeply concerned and cares about the health and well-being of people with disabilities and those with health conditions who have been affected by Covid-19.

The Eternal Spirit of Bangabandhu and Our Freedom Sat, 08 Jan 2022 13:11:24 +0000

Of course, the freedom we obtained on December 16, 1971 was the result of nine months of fighting. But the story of the Bengalis of suffering tyranny and oppression has continued through the ages.

History indicates that at different times foreign invaders came to resourceful Bengal and ruled this territory. The description of Bengal by various historians, rulers and travelers claims that this territory is teeming with resources. Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan traveler who visited Bengal in AD 1346, called Bengal “a hell of plenty.”
In the 17th century in Bargis, the Marathi invaders came to this land and plundered the resources on a large scale. In addition, the inhabitants of this territory suffered the full brunt of the oppression of the Bargis. One can just guess how they caused panic among people when a mother used to stop her baby from crying by saying that if he didn’t stop the Bargis would come. Even among children, the Bargis were a name for panic.
Over the ages, the Bengalis expected that once they were released. The nation was really lucky because the greatest leader like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in this land. He was such a leader who sacrificed his entire life to emancipate the Bengalis from hundreds of years of tyranny and oppression.
There may be many leaders who dreamed of a separate territory for the people of East Pakistan and there may be some who made gestures and signs at that time, but none were able to give shape to their dreams. But it was only Bangabandhu who materialized the dream of the Bengalis and became the architect of the nation. He is the greatest Bengali for a thousand years and the father of the nation. He had immensity at his heart with all the human qualities that created everlasting bonds with a huge population.
Bangabandhu was a charismatic leader and this quality made people bond. His attractive personal quality has made him an iconic leader before the global community. Cuban renaissance leader Fidel Castro has aptly described Bangabandhu as a charismatic leader. In his opinion, he said: “I did not see the Himalayas but I saw Sheikh Mujib. In personality and courage, this man is the Himalayas.
Bangabandhu has never compromised with any injustice which has put him in enormous suffering throughout his life. Throughout his life, he fought for the political, economic and cultural emancipation of peoples and never thought of his personal happiness. The vision of this great leader only served humanity, regardless of their caste and beliefs, which made him a man of extraordinary sensitivity. His proactive social conscience and supreme dedication to politics have made him an undisputed leader of Bangladesh.
After the end of British colonial rule in this subcontinent in 1947, Pakistan and India were born as two separate countries. The partition of the two countries was mainly based on religion. Pakistan had two wings and Bangladesh was part of East Pakistan. Since the creation of Pakistan, the inhabitants of this territory have suffered another episode of repression and subjugation from its western counterpart. The clairvoyant Bangabandhu realized that Pakistan could never speak of the interests of the majority Bengalis.
West Pakistanis’ malice worsened when they tried to wrest the mother tongue of the Bengalis. Protests have spread among the mass population of East Pakistan against this decision. The young Bangabandhu and his many supporters strongly protested against the decision of the leaders of West Pakistan to impose Urdu as the official language of Pakistan. It is true that we obtained our right to speak Bengali in 1952 by sacrificing the lives of many heroic sons of this land. But could we stop the antagonistic attitudes of West Pakistan? Certainly not, the rather endless tortures and the different types of misdeeds against the Bengalis have gradually diminished.
After the death of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took over the leadership of the Awami League. In 1966, Bangabandhu proposed the historic six-point claims at the head of the Awami League. The six points were the freedom charter for the Bengalis. It was a comprehensive roadmap for the emancipation of the people of East Pakistan. Political analysts have said that after the partition of 1947, politicians in different neighborhoods raised certain questions at different times, but our freedom architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came up with six points which all combined into one platform. Mainly, the six-point demand bridged the gap with the demand for autonomy.
The six points became so popular among the Bengalis, but as soon as it turned into a strong movement and made the Bengalis aware of their rights, Bangabandhu was sent to jail accusing him of Agartala Conspiracy Case.
Meanwhile, people from all walks of life had been energized by the charismatic essence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The entire nation demonstrated to release Bangabandhu from the trial. In a short time, the popular mass movement gained momentum. To avoid the impending civil war, the Ayub government withdrew the case and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was released. Over time, Cheikh Mujib was not only a leader but an existence of the Bengalis.
The capital popularity of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave the Awami League 167 seats out of the 169 seats allocated to East Pakistan in the 1970 general election, while the People’s Party led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto won 81 of the 144 seats. The Awami League of Bangabandhu got the mandate from the majority people, but they were not allowed to form the government. Instead, Ayub’s government launched a conspiracy against Bangabandhu and his people.
Bangabandhu was clearly aware that without walking the path of strife, the nation would never achieve its freedom. On March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu gave a historic speech at Maidan Racecourse in front of thousands of people. This speech was a turning point. Through his speech, he alluded to the responsibilities of the nation for their liberation.
The great speaker Bangabndhu with his charismatic ability inspired the Bengalis by infusing them with patriotic feelings. Implicitly, he not only advised people to go into the liberation war, but also gave a comprehensive directive which helped people achieve freedom in a relatively short time.
However, Bangabandhu endured prison terms of around 12 years during the 23 years of Pakistani rule to claim the rights of the people of Bangladesh and to materialize the dream of the Bengalis that they would see for years. He not only emancipated the Bengalis from injustice and oppressions, after giving independence to the nation, he worked tirelessly to change the fortunes of the people. He wanted to make Bangladesh “Sonar Bangla”. But his assassination along with members of his family on August 15, 1975 brought the darkest episode in Bengali life.
Bangabandhu is not physically with us but his presence in the nation will be felt through the ages. His ideology and vision will continue to regenerate in the hearts of every Bengladeshi. Anandashankar Ray rightly wrote: “As long as Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna continue, your fulfillment will also live on, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. ”

The writer teaches at Prime University. He is also a researcher at the IBS. E-mail: [email protected]

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Even after the Capitol riot, violence isn’t the only way Christian nationalism endangers democracy Thu, 06 Jan 2022 23:11:49 +0000

A year ago, during the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021, the world witnessed a way in which Christian nationalism is jeopardizing American democracy. We have all seen photos and images of mob violence perpetrated by Americans waving Christian flags, dressed in Christian clothing, reciting Christian prayers. As some increasingly isolated and radicalized religious conservatives react to their loss of power, the threat of their political violence is real. But that’s not the only way Christian nationalism is jeopardizing our democracy.

The point is, Christian nationalist ideology – especially when championed by white Americans – is fundamentally undemocratic because its goal is not “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Its goal is power. Specifically, power for “real Americans like us”, Christians in an almost ethnic sense, those who belong – the worthy. Hence, the most significant threat that white Christian nationalism poses to democracy is that it seeks to undermine the very foundation of democracy itself: the vote.

We can see this connection long before the 2020 presidential election or recent efforts to restrict access to voters across the country. As historian Anthea Butler recounts, at a conference in 1980, Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the Moral Majority, spoke about electoral strategy to leaders of the Christian right, including Tim LaHaye, Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Robertson. , Jerry Falwell Sr. and then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. .

Weyrich explained:

“Many of our Christians suffer from what I call goo-goo syndrome. Good government. They want everyone to vote. I don’t want everyone to vote. Elections are not won by the majority of people. They have never been since the beginning of our country and they are not now. In fact, our influence in elections increases quite frankly as the number of voters decreases. “

In Weyrich’s own words, the goal of these Christian right-wing leaders was not more Americans exercising their democratic rights. The goal is “leverage” and, with it, victory. Over the following decades, Weyrich and other organizations he co-founded, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, tirelessly promoted legislation to restrict voter access, guided by the belief that the vote should be controlled. , lest the wrong people determine the outcome.

In a recent study I conducted with co-authors Andrew Whitehead and Josh Grubbs, we documented this same strong connection between Christian nationalist ideology and the desire to limit voter access. We polled Americans just before the November 2020 election and therefore before Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” began to dominate the narrative on the right. We use a scale to measure Christian nationalism which includes questions about the extent to which Americans think the government should declare the United States a Christian nation, that America’s success is part of God’s plan and of other similar opinions.

Even after accounting for political partisanship, ideological conservatism, and a host of other religious and socio-demographic characteristics, Christian nationalist ideology was the primary predictor that Americans thought we were already making it “too easy to vote.”

You may ask, “Who exactly votes too easily?” The obvious answer is the bogeyman trope of fraudulent voters – those pets, those dead, and those undocumented immigrants that Trump warned about in the spring of 2020. This myth of widespread voter fraud dates back decades and has been completely debunked on several occasions. Yet, unsurprisingly, we have also found that Christian nationalism is the primary predictor of Americans believing that “voter fraud in presidential elections is becoming more and more prevalent these days.” And it bears repeating: Americans who assert Christian nationalism already felt it before the 2020 presidential election.

But other evidence suggests that Christian nationalism doesn’t just hope to exclude fraudulent voters. For adults who believe America should be a “Christian nation,” their understanding of who should vote is even closer. For example, we asked Americans if they would support a policy requiring people to take a basic civic education test to vote or a law that would deny some criminal offenders the right to vote for life. These questions relate to Jim Crow’s arbitrary restrictions that white Southerners used before the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Once again, Christian nationalism is the primary predictor that Americans would prefer both restrictions.

But why?

Part of the reason is, as Weyrich explained in 1980, electoral influence. Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalism likely assume that those excluded by civic education tests and life deprivation (young Americans and ex-convicts who are disproportionately black) would be political threats. , not allies.

Yet another reason also involves the way white Christian nationalists view voting in general. In the data we collected in August 2021, we asked Americans to indicate whether they thought voting was a right or a privilege. Although constitutional language repeatedly states that voting is a citizens’ right, Americans are still debating the issue. The more Americans embrace Christian nationalism, the more likely they are to view the vote as a privilege (something that can be extended or taken away) rather than a right (something that should not be violated). Indeed, at the extreme extremity of Christian nationalism, the majority hold this view.

Other evidence beyond voter access suggests that Christian nationalism inclines Americans to favor institutional arrangements that preserve their political power. In the same October 2020 poll that we used for the previous study, we found that the more white Americans asserted Christian nationalist ideology, the more likely they were to reject the popular vote as a means of choosing the president, favor the Electoral College and disagree that gerrymandering should be addressed to ensure fairer congressional elections. Why? Almost certainly because these arrangements currently give white, rural, and conservative Americans an electoral advantage even when they are digital minorities. Again, the goal is power, not fairness or democracy.

As scholars of right-wing political movements point out, democracy is gradually eroding under a certain ideological cover, which stokes populist anxiety with threatening tropes on cultural decline and justifies anti-democratic tactics to “save” or “restore” the nation – to make the nation become great again. In the United States, white Christian nationalism is that ideological cover. In the minds of white Americans who believe America should be for “Christians like us”, growing ethnic and religious diversity is a threat that must be overcome for God to “return His grace to you.”

Moreover, Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalism already believed that electoral fraud was rampant before November 2020. Today, in the aftermath of Trump’s “Big Lie” on a stolen election, which is still believed by over 80% of the most fervent supporters of Christian nationalism. , electoral integrity is seen as hopelessly compromised. Thus, they see restricting voters’ access to those who prove worthy, and maintaining the institutional advantages provided by the electoral college and gerrymandering, as necessary strategies to preserve power and prevent what they see. as their own looming persecution under Democratic administration.

The threat of Christian nationalist violence like the one we saw on January 6 is real. Yet, because such threats are so obvious and shocking, and the role of Christian nationalism in them is so blatant, they make it harder to bring them to light (although Republican leaders are certainly trying, just the same.) In contrast, the threat of Christian nationalism as an ideological cover for voter suppression is perhaps more destructive because its influence is more subtle and its effects (electoral results) are more substantial. Demagogues like Trump will no longer need to mobilize Christian nationalist violence after an election defeat once they make sure they never lose in the first place.

Samuel L. Perry is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of two books on Christian nationalism, including the award-winning “Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States” (with Andrew L. Whitehead) and the forthcoming “The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the threat to American democracy. ”(with Philip Gorski) The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.

This article is part of Ahead of the Trend is a collaborative effort between Religion News Service and the Association of Religion Data Archives made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. See other Ahead of the Trend articles here.

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Parties prepare for new dawn of J&K assembly Tue, 04 Jan 2022 18:59:00 +0000 Jammu and Kashmir’s political parties have been out of their hiatus since August 5, 2019, ending the BJP government’s more than two-year decree of an informal and selective shutdown of major political activities in Union territory . All eyes are on the Boundaries Commission report which should pave the way for the first elections in UT.

The committee’s proposal to increase six seats for the Jammu division and one for the Kashmir division drew strong reactions from regional parties. Yet all, including three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – are bracing for the 2022 electoral battle, despite the fact that this assembly will be weaker than that of the former J&K state.

According to the Union’s Interior Minister, Amit Shah, the state will be restored once the delimitation process is completed and the elections organized. The abnormal nature of the situation on the ground in Kashmir could come as a surprise in 2022.

“The elections for J&K are expected to take place around September or October of next year, as the BJP would be busy with elections in other states, in particular the UP, then the Amarnath Yatra is scheduled in Kashmir from June to August” said a senior administration official. said ET.

The People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a grouping of regional parties like the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party and the CPM, which was formed in October 2020 and led by Farooq Abdullah to fight for recovery J&K Special Status and State Status, planned to fight together. But their experience in the District Development Council elections in 2020 was not perfect. In several places, parties fought against each other by fielding independent candidates or providing technical support to the opposition.

Outside this group are the Congress, the Apni Party of Altaf Bukhari launched in March 2020 and the People’s Conference of Sajad Lone, which split from the PAGD after the SDC elections. The PAGD often portrays the Apni Party and the PC as “outsiders” to J & K’s natural electoral ecosystem, but both parties have been successful in removing candidates from PAGD voters.

What does the data reflect?

According to data from the 2014 legislative elections in the J&K, the PDP won a majority of 28 seats, followed by the BJP with 25, NC (15), Congress (12), PC (2), independents (3), CPM (1) and People’s Front Démocratique (1). On the percentage of votes of 65.91%, the BJP obtained 23%, the PDP 22.7%, the NC 20.8% and the Congress 18%.


In Kashmir, the situation has changed dramatically as at least 16 of the PDP’s winning candidates in 2014 were sacked, resigned or deserted the party. At least 10 of them joined Bukhari, while four joined Lone’s PC.

The National Conference has problems in two of its strongholds in Kashmir as former lawmakers like Aga Ruhullah of Budgam and Ishfaq Jabbar of Ganderbal are not happy within the party and have expressed their concerns vehemently.

Congress is grappling with infighting within the party and has lost at least three assembly seats to Ladakh UT and in the Valley some promising candidates are expressing their allegiance to Ghulam Nabi Azad.


In Jammu, where the BJP won 25 seats in previous elections, the party consolidated its position by rallying the National Conference’s Devinder Singh Rana and two others. This will help the BJP to increase their count in Jammu. If the final delineation report maintains the draft proposal suggestions, the BJP’s dream of having a chief minister from Jammu may not be too far off. In October 2020, around 20 political and religious parties in Jammu joined forces to sign a “Jammu Declaration” document demanding a “state” for the Jammu region. They deplored the continued neglect and deprivation of the Jammu region with Union territory, despite the repeal of the special statute.

Azad’s independent appointment in Jammu has compromised the position of Congress, which will benefit the BJP. “Azad’s understanding of congressional politics across the country is phenomenal. His break with the party would always be of great help to the BJP not only here but also elsewhere in the country,” Prof Dipankar Sengupta said. , who teaches economics in Jammu. University. “These political parties don’t want grassroots empowerment and that’s why they don’t want to empower the SDC,” Sengupta said.

What the SDC surveys reflect

In the DDC elections, the BJP became the largest individual party winning 75 of the 278 seats, followed by 67 from the NC and 50 by the independents. However, the PAGD has won over 110 seats and chairs eight of the 20 DDCs while the BJP has six, the Apni Party and the People’s Conference have two each and the other two are led by independents. “No party will win a majority on its own,” Sengupta said.

What political parties say

Political parties frequently raise the issue of the regional divide between Jammu and Srinagar and all except the BJP speak of the restoration of the state and the special status of the J&K. However, no one denies the possibility of an alliance government.

“This unity of J&K is a myth. The two regions have never been emotionally together, at least since 1931. In 1983, Rajiv Gandhi came to Jammu and told voters that if they vote for NC, Jammu will become the Pakistan, so nothing new is happening here. The end of the old is not necessarily the start of the new, “said Zafar Manhas of J&K Apni Party.

“Everyone wants to be part of the electoral process despite the shock of August 5, 2019 and knowing that elected officials will have no power. It is about the day-to-day survival of politicians,” added Manhas. He said there would be huge fragmentation of votes in Kashmir but consolidation in Jammu.

“The boycott of the elections will also play a role in Kashmir. There should be no unfounded optimism. There is no promised land waiting for us,” he said.

PDP chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said: “August 5, 2019 has added another layer of complexity to this region. Our cause is bigger than the elections and we will work for the goals that the PAGD has set, ”Bukhari said.

NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said J&K faces serious challenges and is fighting for the reinstatement of Articles 370 and 35 (A). “We have momentarily lost an important member in Jammu, but it happens in politics. The SDC elections have proven that we are a force to be reckoned with,” Dar said.

People’s Conference spokesman Adnan Ashraf said: “Development cannot be the only element in elections. A struggle between two regions of Kashmir and Jammu has arisen, especially after the report of the delimitation commission (proposals). 2014. The center of identity and governance evolves. ”

“There is no possibility of a boycott and we are occupying this space. But we oppose the decisions of August 5, 2019 and the laws adopted after that. This delimitation exercise will have an impact on our future generations,” he said. he declares. He claims that the PAGD is non-existent on the ground. “NC leaders are already criticizing their PAGD colleagues at public gatherings,” he said.

Senior BJP official at J&K, Arun Gupta, said Kashmir-based politicians were citing regional division for their survival. “People who have not obtained justice in their governments are witnessing development and obtaining justice,” Gupta said.

He is convinced that the BJP will win important seats in the next elections in the Valley. “Let’s not talk about parties. We need to focus on the next government that cares about the welfare of the people. Under the central government led by the BJP, the people are gaining power at the grassroots. The people of J&K will grant recognition. wanted at BJP, ”Gupta says.

“The formation of government does not belong to any family or region. Our constitution gives equal opportunities to all,” he said. “The BJP does not have a hidden agenda and we do not work with anyone in a particularly clandestine manner (including Ghulab Nabi Azad),” he said.

“The parties in Kashmir are following a set program to stay in power. They will not do anything different if elections are held in 2022. It is not an ideological group and cannot emerge under a new avatar,” Khalid said. Wasim Hassan, assistant professor in the department. of Political Science and Governance at the Central University of Kashmir. Hassan believes that the boundary commission’s proposal is “a program offered by the Indian government to these parties, so that they can go out to the people and succeed in getting some traction. Otherwise, they have lost their bargaining power.” .

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Hinduism vs Hindutva: the contradiction in Congress Sun, 02 Jan 2022 21:29:51 +0000

Rahul Gandhi’s critical intervention in Indian political discourse to differentiate between Hindutva and Hinduism has divided both observers and congressional leaders, as many believe the strategy is fraught with risk and difficult to understand. maintain long term.

The party itself is divided probably because Rahul went public without any structured consultation within the organization and no follow-up action was taken to move the rhetoric forward.

Majority of leaders see merit in Rahul’s argument, conceding that people need to be told how the RSS-BJP abused Hinduism for political gain, but others believe Congress should have first do your homework before embarking on this adventure.

Even the communications department has not had a serious discussion on the matter, and spokespersons are relying on Rahul’s speech at a public meeting in Jaipur earlier in December as their only resource.

Some leaders insist that there should be a well-researched document that will help party workers express their position without any major blunder. Others believe that it is better not to carry the fight on the ground of the RSS-BJP and that maximum energy should be expended to expose the failures of governance of Narendra Modi.

Although spokespersons have defended Rahul’s argument by focusing on the obvious flaws of Project Hindutva, no top leader except Salman Khurshid has spoken about them so far. This lack of planning in Congress has prompted many inside and outside the party to question whether Rahul will be able to muster the intellectual and political support required to sustain the dialogue.

Khurshid himself spoke of the confusion and doubts within the party while insisting that the risk was worth taking. He wrote in an article: “Hindutva could continue to resonate with the common person without careful analysis of its misuse. Hinduism is under attack, they shout, when Hindutva is questioned. We must tell them, as well as the ordinary Hindu, that neither Hinduism nor Hindutva is attacked. What is and must be attacked is the improper and indecent use of the term Hindutva to serve dishonorable political purposes. “

Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar said The telegraph: “Rahul has effectively neutralized the BJP’s vicious campaign that Congress is anti-Hindu. He pushed the BJP on the defensive by explaining the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism. It is high time that we convey this message to every citizen that Hindu is civilizational in nature while Hindutva is political like Nazism. Hindutva has nothing in common with liberal Hindu philosophy.

When asked if this difference could be explained to the masses, Ketkar replied, “Intellectuals already know that. It should be explained to the masses only. This is what Rahul does

People are also familiar with Hindu philosophy and the Congress. But they were wronged by the BJP’s bogus campaign. The RSS-BJP will now have to explain why Nathuram Godse killed a devout Hindu. Congress should aggressively explain that secularism and the idea of ​​India were not compromised in this analysis. “

Political scientist Zoya Hasan, however, believes Congress is taking avoidable risks. She said, “Hindutva and Hinduism are of course different. Hindutva is a political ideology, while Hinduism is a religion. But political mobilization through this strategy can be difficult. This difference is meaningful to people who are knowledgeable and understand Hindutva politics. It is true that the RSS-BJP takes advantage of this confusion but confronting them on this issue will not be easy. The academic debate is different.

Hasan continued, “The competition should not be between Hinduism and Hindutva. Instead of drifting into this territory, the opposition should question the Modi government on economic and social rights, democracy and justice. The political attack must be simple. Instead of constructing a Hindutva counter-narrative, Congress should focus on the SSR exclusionary policy which is contrary to constitutional principles.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who worked as an advisor to both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani and is now opposed to Modi’s regime, sees Rahul’s intervention as significant.

“What Rahul said is absolutely correct and there should be a serious national debate on the matter because the brazen exploitation of religion has posed a serious threat to democracy. While Hinduism emphasizes human unity and freedom, the Hindutva not only violates constitutional principles, but also launches open calls for genocide. His intolerance has no place even for Mahatma Gandhi, ”Kulkarni said.

He added: “Some countries have exploited Islam and used it for coercion against other religions. It is a national tragedy that the same is being done by the forces of the Hindutva in the Modi-Shah regime. It is the duty of all patriots to support Rahul Gandhi in this task of distinguishing Hinduism from Hindutva, both within Congress and outside. “

“The intelligentsia and activists should also strengthen the hands of Rahul and all right-thinking citizens should join hands in isolating and cornering the forces that threaten the constitutional culture in our country.”

Kulkarni insisted that a clear message should be that Hinduism cannot be the monopoly of any political party. Congressional leaders support this view, but there are dilemmas and confusion over how to articulate this concern.

Some leaders have suggested an internal brainstorming session to create a document that will formally present to the nation what Congress’ point of view on Hindutva is and how this tactical positioning does not harm the cause of secularism.

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Leaders must make deliberate efforts to promote fairness and justice – Nigeria – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News Sat, 01 Jan 2022 02:53:00 +0000

Former Enugu State Governor Senator Chimaroke Nnamani said peace and unity among the various segments of the country would be guaranteed if deliberate efforts were made to promote fairness, justice and justice. equity in the allocation and management of national resources.

In his goodwill message to Nigerians to usher in the new year, Nnamani, who represents the Enugu East senatorial district in the Senate, noted that perceived injustices in the country could be reversed if political leaders show fairness, of justice and equity the cardinal principle of governance. .

He described Nigerians as good followers who need their leaders to lead by example.

He urged leaders at all levels to make conscious efforts to contain the growing insecurity and unrest in the country by doing the right thing.

“All of this can be accomplished if the allocation and distribution of resources and appointments to key government positions reflect the federal character and the geopolitical balance of the country,” he said.

He expressed hope that the implementation of the 2022 national budget would correct the previous gaps and imbalances in the country.

He said the National Assembly would be more diligent in carrying out its oversight duties in the new year to ensure that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) comply with the appropriations law.

He reassured his constituents of quality representation, saying that not everything they were owed would be in jeopardy, although he urged them to play their role by remaining law-abiding.

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What to watch on New Years Eve: movies, TV shows, live events Thu, 30 Dec 2021 14:18:00 +0000

Start with a pair of NYC roaming movies. “Little Fugitive” (1953) is a rambling fable about a boy who leaves home to spend the day exploring Coney Island. “Downtown 81”, shot in the early 1980s but released in 2000, stars Jean-Michel Basquiat as an artist wandering the streets of Lower Manhattan, where he meets legends of the early 1980s in New York City. Yes, it’s Debbie Harry as a fairy princess.

Or try two films that reflect on what it means to be young and self-righteous. In “Brother to Brother” (2004), the character of Anthony Mackie develops a friendship with another black gay artist whose life was shaped by the Harlem Renaissance. In the dry comedy “Frances Ha” by Noah Baumbach (2013), Greta Gerwig plays a young dancer struggling with ambition, friendship and elusive happiness – Manhattan style.

“Lego Masters” is a family-friendly reality TV contest, aired on Hulu, in which teams of two are invited to create artistically fantastic and architecturally demanding Lego structures.

Kids will have fun with how Lego are transformed into wearable hats, cuddly animals and explosive vehicles. Adults, especially those who grew up as Lego builders, will appreciate the engineering skills required for structures to withstand high winds and even tremors. Expect creative and thrilling entertainment no matter the episode, especially with the charming goofball Will Arnett as the host.

Head over to IMDb TV to watch “All in the Family,” the CBS sitcom that ran from 1971 to 1979. When Archie, Edith, and their neighbors in Queens argue over race, feminism, and politics, resentment rings today’s headlines. Season 2 features several very funny episodes, including “Sammy’s Visit”, in which Sammy Davis Jr. gives Archie a memorable kiss.

For a darker day of retro TV, tune in to Decades for a three-day “Twilight Zone” marathon starting on New Year’s Eve. Friday’s schedule features two of the series’ best episodes: “The After Hours”, about a woman wandering through a strange department store, and “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”, about a neighborhood that becomes paranoid in the midst of a possible alien invasion.

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Election Law Bill (Amendment): Senate overturns action to override Buhari Thu, 23 Dec 2021 07:12:21 +0000

The PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said on Wednesday that the Senate would consult with the House of Representatives on how to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter on the draft (amendment) of the electoral law.

Lawan made this known after the upper house rose from a closed-door session held to deliberate on the president’s decision to withhold assent to the bill as passed by the assembly. national.

He said the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) do not allow the upper house to take action exclusively on such matters without the involvement of the House of Representatives.

Lawan, however, assured that a common position would be reached with the House when the two chambers reconvene after the Christmas recess, after proper consultation with Nigerians.

Speaking about what happened in the closed session, Lawan said: “The Senate, in a closed session, deliberated on matters relating to its operation in particular and to the National Assembly in general.

“The Senate also discussed how to respond to President Buhari’s letter on the Election Law Amendment Bill.

“The Senate has therefore decided to consult the House of Representatives in January when the Senate and the House are in session.

“The Senate has also decided to consult our constituents during our vacation. ”

Reacting, former Senate Speaker Dr Bukola Saraki urged the National Assembly to act quickly, adding that a contentious clause should not be a reason to reject all positive aspects of the (amendment) bill on the electoral law.

He said the two options open to the National Assembly are either to overturn the president’s denial of assent or to remove the contentious provision on direct primaries and send the bill back to the president for his assent.

“Whatever option our legislators choose, it can be achieved as quickly as possible. We could have a new electoral law in January 2022.

“Anyone who has followed the mood of the nation knows that Nigerians want a new electoral law that will lead to a credible, free, fair and peaceful process for electing our leaders.

“This proposed electoral law should reassure young people, many of whom stand aside from the political process because they have no confidence in the system. They believe that the system is generally rigged and compromised.

“One way to bring this active demographics into the political system is to enact a new law that will give them hope in our nation. This electoral law [Amendment] Bill serves that purpose, ”he said.

He called on members of the National Assembly to make a decision in the interest of the nation and its long-term democracy.

Civil society partners on electoral reform on Wednesday called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, to step down, accusing him of betraying Nigerians and using the House to serve “political interests. personal and close ”.

CSOs said the president’s action in passing the 2022 finance law and adjourning the session until next year amounted to a betrayal of trust and a twist of the arms of the Senate to stop all further action on The law project.

They recalled that the Senate had adopted a version of the electoral bill that accommodated the two choices of party primaries, but wondered why Gbajabiamila, which single-handedly led the National Assembly and Nigerians to adopt and appreciate the importance of direct primaries, will be the first to deflate.

According to the statement signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye, Executive Director of the Adopt A Goal for Development initiative, Ken Eze of Speak Out Africa Initiative, Jude Feranmi of Raising New Voices and Obinna Eze Nwagbara, Executive Director, Youth and Students Advocates for Development Initiative, CSOs said they expected some legislative activism in the House over the president’s letter, but the president made it impossible.

“Remember, keeping the direct primaries exclusively in the electoral law was first his idea, so why did Gbajabiamila deliberately refuse to consult the Senate to adopt a common position before adjourning on a bill? also sensitive who has benefited from the cooperation and support of both chambers?

“Nigerians have lost complete confidence in Gbajabiamila as speaker of the House of Representatives. Now is the time for him to step aside and stop using national legislative affairs to serve narrow partisan interests, ”the CSOs said.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of defeating the signing of the Election Law Amendment Bill, alleging that some of its key provisions “will not allow grand design to rig the elections. general election of 2023 “.

In a statement issued by Debo Ologunagba, its national publicity secretary, the party alleged that the APC feared the amendment to the electoral law, due to the provision of electronic transmission of election results. According to the PDP, it was evident that the APC and the Presidency never committed to changing the electoral law to ensure credible elections and, as such, sparked the controversy over the mode of primaries by political parties like a cover-up to scuttle the Complete procedure.

“The main reason for the manipulation of the legislative process by the PCA is to prevent the electronic transmission of results so that it can continue in its culture of rigging and electoral impunity, including the alteration of results during the election. snacking, tearing up the ballot boxes, destroying data. , among other things, just to cling to power against the will of Nigerians.

“After being rejected for its failures and having also self-decimated its structure across the country, the APC has completely lost the capacity and goodwill for electoral competition and, as such, is seeking all means to reverse any process. that can guarantee credible elections in 2023.

“The subversion of the adoption of the bill amending the electoral law by the APC further validates the fact that the APC is opposed to the aspirations of Nigerians and does not believe in the democratic principles of credible elections,” said the PDP .

The Southwest Zone leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) instructed the National Assembly to override President Buhari’s veto and pass the bill amending the electoral law of 2021. Coordinator, NANS South West, Mr. Adegboye Emmanuel, alongside other members of his executive board, made the appeal at a press conference in Ibadan, Oyo state, on Wednesday.

The student body described direct primaries as the best process for selecting political party flag bearers and urged the Senate and House of Representatives to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill.

Adegboye further argued that the rejection of direct primaries in the bill was tantamount to denying the mass of Nigerians the opportunity to decide who would become the standard bearer for their parties of choice.

The former commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, however, justified the reasons given by President Buhari for refusing assent to the bill.

Osaze said the direct primaries clause does not require parties to provide an updated membership register, which is an essential part of the exercise for political parties. He also said that the financial implication of the direct primaries for INEC and the country’s security agencies would be too heavy to bear.


Lagos is the second least livable city in the world for 2021

Lagos is the second least livable city in the world for the year 2021. This is according to the most recent annual ranking established by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) …

FACT CHECK: Has UNICEF declared that blocking children’s access to pornography is a human rights violation?

ALLEGATION 1: A Twitter user claims that UNICEF has said that any effort to prevent children from accessing pornography could violate their human rights.


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Election Law Amendment Bill: Center dismisses concerns, says reforms need hour | Latest India News Tue, 21 Dec 2021 18:49:36 +0000

The government on Tuesday defended the Election Law Amendment Bill, dismissed various concerns about it, and highlighted the demand, in the past, by various political parties, including Congress, to link Aadhaar to Voter ID. , even as opposition parties argued the decision would deny voters the right to vote, put critical data at risk of being violated by non-state actors and lead to voter profiling.

The bill proposes to voluntarily link Aadhaar’s data to the electoral rolls and to make the language of the 1950 Law on the Representation of the People (PR Law of 1950) gender neutral, the first provision being particularly controversial, opposition leaders claiming that this will lead to “massive deprivation of the right to vote”. It was adopted by the Rajya Sabha a day after authorizing the Lok Sabha amid fierce protests and demands for division, and will come into effect once it gets the approval of the president.

Government officials claimed that the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 incorporates various electoral reforms that have been discussed for a long time. “Registration on the electoral roll is made on the basis of a request from a person eligible for registration on the electoral roll. This bill contains a provision that the new applicant can voluntarily provide an Aadhaar number with the application for identity purposes. No request will be rejected on the grounds that the Aadhaar number has not been provided, ”a government official said on condition of anonymity. “Linking Aadhaar with the voter lists will solve one of the major problems in managing electoral databases, which is multiple registration of the same person in different places. “

The official added that the decision will help clean up the electoral rolls and make it easier to register voters where they “usually reside”.

The official also referred to a press release from the Election Commission of August 27, 2018, which said that “political parties urged the Commission to link Aadhaar figures to voter details for better management of voter lists.” A second official pointed to information, also from 2018, which indicated that representatives of the Congressional Unity in Madhya Pradesh met with the chief electoral commissioner and requested a re-verification of the electoral roll in the state in linking Aadhaar numbers to voter ID cards. This request came months before the state went to the polls.

While the government emphasized the wording of the bill, according to which the link would be voluntary, privacy activists said the exceptions to not providing an Aadhaar number would only be clear when the government would have set the rules under the law.

Potential for data breach

Lok Sabha opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told HT that when the government cannot prevent the Prime Minister’s account from being hacked, it cannot be expected to protect the data of all citizens, an reference to PM’s Twitter account is temporarily compromised, although it is not clear whether this was caused by a hack or a security breach. “There are so many problems with the bill in its current form and we wanted it to be examined in more detail by a standing committee. India does not yet have a data protection law, how can such legislation be introduced? Even the Prime Minister’s Twitter account is not secure. How will the government ensure the confidentiality of this critical data? “

He added that the link would open the ecosystem to the possibility of a data breach by an agency or non-state actors, a claim that Biju MP Janata Dal Amar Patnaik endorsed.

“Linking the identification of Aadhaar to the creation or revision of voters lists with the stated purpose of eliminating duplication is good legislative intent and is welcome. Patnaik told HT. “But the method of achieving this by connecting it to the entire Aadhaar ecosystem system is problematic. The government must first make the system more robust.

If citizens’ data is breached, Patnaik added, they would have no recourse to their right to privacy in the absence of a data privacy law.

No stakeholder consultation

Senior leaders from all opposition parties criticized the government on Tuesday for failing to hold any stakeholder consultations before introducing the bill.

Chowdhury said the government had not held any consultations regarding the contentious provision of the bill.

“Congress has not been summoned by the government for any consultation,” he said.

Patnaik also said that no consultation was held by the government before the draft was presented to the House. He added, however, that during a consultation with the Election Commission, political parties agreed to link Aadhaar numbers to voter ID cards.

“Based on that consultation, when the ECI went ahead, SC canceled it saying that a law had to be presented to Parliament,” he said. “The problem can be solved by linking the Aadhaar numbers, why the need to link the whole ecosystem? “

Profiling of voters, deprivation of the right to vote

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi highlighted how the link could lead to voter profiling. “In 26 minutes, an electoral law was passed in LS to connect Aadhar with voter identification. Aadhar data has address, cell phone numbers and financial details. Can help map political preferences via social media connected to phone number, deprive voters of the right to vote, ”she tweeted.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi told HT the decision would have a negative impact on both universal adult voting rights and the secret ballot. “The secret ballot will suffer because of the government’s decision,” he said. “Empirical studies show that there are 1.5 times more errors in Aadhaar than in the voters list. Moreover, if the government’s argument is based on ending false votes, then they cast doubts on the fairness of elections in the country. Let EC answer it.

Taking the example of Telangana, Owaisi added that the details of Aadhaar were used to systematically remove voters from the voters list.

According to Jagdeep Chokkar of the Association of Democratic Reforms, no consultation has been held with the government on the issue. “If the government has consulted with stakeholders, let them say with whom,” he said. “There are so many mistakes with the Aadhaar system itself, how will it correct the voter identification errors? The SC specifically as CE to shut down the link immediately because Aadhaar was for benefits and services. Even in the nation’s capital, often the Aadhaar system does not match my fingerprints, how will the poor use it to vote in rural areas? Rather, this decision creates the potential to deny people in remote areas the right to vote. “

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