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‘Burning Lanka’ tells all what not to do, says Uday Kotak In the backdrop of the country's economic crisis, Kotak Banker Uday Kotak has come out with an intriguing comment as an outbreak of violent civil unrest in neighbouring Sri Lanka forced a regime change in the island nation with the resignation of its Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Monday. “The Russia Ukraine war goes on and the going gets tough. True test of nations is now. Strength of institutions like the judiciary, regulators, police, government, Parliament will matter. Doing what is right and not populist is crucial. A ‘burning Lanka’ tells all what not to do!” Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO Uday Kotak said in a tweet on Tuesday. Couched in generic terms, there was no explicit indication that this was a rare bit of advice to the Modi government from one of its most ardent supporters. The Modi government has been battling a crisis on several fronts: inflation has shot through the roof and is expected to cross 7.5 per cent — an 18-month high — when the government statisticians come out with the numbers for April on Thursday. Rising food and fuel prices, surging commodity prices, a severe disruption in supply chains, and

CBI officials visited around 40 locations including in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Mysuru and some places in Rajasthan. Fourteen officials were apprehended. New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday, May 10, conducted operations at 40 locations and apprehended around 14 people including home ministry officials, NGO representatives and middlemen for allegedly facilitating the clearance of foreign donations in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. An FCRA registration or licence is mandatory for any association and NGO to receive foreign funding. In recent times, the non-renewal and cancellation of such licences by the government has made news as various NGOs and bodies have had their operations suspended as a result. “The operation was launched after a complaint from the Union home ministry to the CBI in this regards,” a home ministry spokesperson was quoted by news agency PTI as having said. The coordinated operation took place at around 40 locations including in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Mysuru and some places in Rajasthan. “Around half a dozen public servants and others are being questioned,” Indian Express quoted a CBI officer as having said. PTI reported the number as 14. Express also reported sources as having told the outlet that the agency is “likely to

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Christians falsely charged with crimes related to an act of vandalism in central India five years ago spent five days in jail and are fighting the case anew after it mysteriously resurfaced, sources said. The 18 Christians, including a widow, in Chhattisgarh state’s Bhelwapal village, Sukma District, were jailed March 9-14 even though one of the traditional tribal animists who falsely accused them in 2017 has since become a Christian and has explained how they were framed. Tribal villagers who damaged a pastor’s house and church building in 2017 smashed a Hindu idol and told officers the pastor had done it in an effort to justify why they had vandalized his property, according to the church leader, Pastor Hidma Sodi. “A family that was hand-in-glove with the ones who brought the idol and broke it but blamed the Christians for the same has come to the Christian faith,” Pastor Sodi told Morning Star News. “They not only told us how this conspiracy was planned and executed to frame the Christians but are also willing to speak as witnesses before the court.” As the Christians had registered a complaint with police, the tribal animists then planned to assault the

May 4, 2022 -Christians falsely charged with crimes related to an act of vandalism in central India five years ago spent five days in jail and are fighting the case anew after it mysteriously resurfaced, sources said. The 18 Christians, including a widow, in Chhattisgarh state’s Bhelwapal village, Sukma District, were jailed March 9-14 even though one of the traditional tribal animists who falsely accused them in 2017 has since become a Christian and has explained how they were framed. Tribal villagers who damaged a pastor’s house and church building in 2017 smashed a Hindu idol and told officers the pastor had done it in an effort to justify why they had vandalized his property, according to the church leader, Pastor Hidma Sodi. “A family that was hand-in-glove with the ones who brought the idol and broke it but blamed the Christians for the same has come to the Christian faith,” Pastor Sodi told Morning Star News. “They not only told us how this conspiracy was planned and executed to frame the Christians but are also willing to speak as witnesses before the court.” As the Christians had registered a complaint with police, the tribal animists then planned to assault the pastor and three

A Timely Warning by Over 100 Very Senior Ex-Bureaucrats On 26 April over 100 former senior civil servants of India belonging to the Constitutional Conduct Group sent a letter to the Prime Minister drawing attention to the shocking increase in communal violence and government response to this. What is stated in this letter is so important that this should be taken to be a very timely warning to protect the country and its constitution by deeply concerned, extremely sincere and highly well-informed persons. While all the nearly 108 signatories earlier held very senior positions in the government, what further increases the importance of this letter is that the signatories include those officials (retired) who held very senior positions in the security establishment. The signatories include, for example, such names as Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Adviser; G.K.Pillai, former Home Secretary, Government of India and Shyam Saran, former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board. When some important events take place, we need very senior and experienced persons with inside knowledge of systems to provide us a proper understanding of these events and what is unfolding. In the present context we could not have asked for a more experienced and better qualified group than this Constitutional

USCIRF religious freedom report recommended designating India as "country of particular concern" Washington:  A Hindu body in Washington has called the USCIRF report on religious freedom a work of "Hinduphobic" commission members while Muslim and Christian groups hailed the observations made in it, demanding that the US declare India as a "country of particular concern". The US Commission for International Religious Freedom or USCIRF report recommended to the Biden Administration to designate India, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and 11 other nations as "countries of particular concern" in the context of religious freedom. The recommendations are not binding on the US government. HinduPACT, an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America, in a statement alleged that the USCIRF has been taken over by "Indophobic and Hinduphobic members". The American Muslim Institution (AMI) and its associate organisations applaud the USCIRF recommendation, saying religious freedom conditions in India "significantly worsened" in 2021. The Federation of Indian-American Christian Organisations and the Indian-American Muslim Council in separate statements reportedly applauded the USCIRF recommendation. During a special virtual congressional briefing, a day after the release of the report, USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava had alleged that Indian government officials were tolerating and engaging in religious persecution of Muslims and Christians with prolific mob violence. India has

While it awaits the school’s response, the government has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools for religious teachings and issue notices The state government has issued a notice to Clarence High School in Richards Town in East Bengaluru to explain its decision to mandate teaching of the Bible. Considering complaints from parents and media reports, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education issued a notice to the school on Tuesday, with Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh confirming that the government will take confirming that the government will take action after the school’s response. The minister told a press conference on Tuesday that the school’s action is a violation of the Karnataka Education Act. “While issuing a No Objection Certificate to other board schools, we insist that they stick to the provisions of the act,” he said. Although minority educational institutions may get administrative relaxations, they are not allowed to teach religious books. “There will be no special provisions in the curriculum to teach or preach religious books in schools. All these were mentioned while issuing the No Objection Certificate,” Nagesh added. While it awaits the school’s response, the department has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools

Father Stan Swamy, who stood with tribal people to oppose exploitative policies, died in judicial custody in 2021 Indian Jesuit's martyrdom recalled on his birth anniversary Father Denzil Fernandes, director of the Jesuit-run Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, garlands the bust of Father Stan Swamy on his birth anniversary in Ranchi, Jharkhand, on April 26. (Photo supplied) The 85th birth anniversary of Father Stan Swamy, the first since his death, was observed with the release of a book and unveiling of his bust at Bagaicha, a training and social action center he founded in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Elsewhere in the country, members of the Indian Church and civil society remembered the martyred Jesuit’s contributions to upholding the human rights of the most marginalized sections of society. The main event was held at Bagaicha in Namkum, Ranchi, on April 26 where the two-foot-high bust of Father Stan stands tall overlooking the institution he founded in 2006. Keeping his memory alive, Bagaicha continues to empower individuals and organizations working against the displacement of marginalized people, human rights violations, illegal land acquisition and confinement of tribal people by branding them as Maoists. Also released on the occasion was the Hindi version of the priest’s memoir

For the third straight year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended to the state department that it designate India as a “country of particular concern”, where the government “engages in or tolerates ‘particularly severe’ violations of religious freedom”. The designation is reserved for the worst violators of religious freedom; Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea and Russia are also designated as CPCs Both the Joe Biden and Donald Trump administrations had in 2021 and 2020, respectively, ignored the commission’s recommendation to designate India as a country of particular concern (CPC). The commission is an independent, bipartisan US federal government agency created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). India did not react immediately to the latest recommendation, made in the commission’s annual report for 2022, released on Monday. The designation “CPC” is reserved for the worst violators of religious freedom. Currently, 10 countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea and Russia are designated as CPCs. Four other countries have received the CPC recommendation along with India: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and Vietnam. The purpose of such a recommendation is to focus US policymakers’ attention on the worst violators of religious freedom globally. For countries designated as CPCs, the IRFA provides the US

FIACONA WELCOMES THE USCIRF REPORT ON INDIA. April 25, 2022, Washington DC. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations applauds the designation of India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for the 3rd consecutive year in its 2022 Report released today. India has been going through tumultuous upheavals caused by the rise of Hindu nationalism in recent years. The formation of a Union (Federal) government by Hindu nationalists in 2014 and their re-election in 2019 under Mr. Narendra Modi has seriously jeopardized the foundational framework for a functioning democracy in India. 2021 has been the most violent year on record for the Christians in India. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has documented an unprecedented 761 violent acts against Christians[i] in India by the groups directly affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Modi government. The attacks against other religious minorities in India have also gone up several-fold in the last 7 years. These attacks are motivated in part by the perceived protection provided for the attackers by the government officials. The Modi government has maintained an eerie silence against such attacks giving the impression that the government tacitly supports such attacks. While we are appreciative of

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