West Bengal Assembly polls is what the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) next aims for. After the success of AIMIM in the Bihar Election with five seats, is all set to expand to other regions of the country. The next most anticipated elections are that of West Bengal election which is scheduled for next year. AIMIM, along its Chief Asaduddin Owaisi, is seen to be warming up to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee.
The Hyderabad based party lead by Mr Owaisi has chalked out a well-thought plan for the Bengal elections wherein he has proposed a pre-poll pact with Trinamool National Congress (TMC), claiming that his party shall help the ruling party TMC in driving out the slight possibility of saffron brigade to set its flag in the West Bengal in the upcoming state Assembly elections.
US-educated lawyer and four-time MP from Hyderabad is seen to have hurt the Mahagathbandhan of Bihar majorly in the recent state elections and is said to have been gearing up for a damage to Ms Banerjee in West Bengal, as observed by many analysts.
Mr Owaisi’s statement makes the news at the time when West Bengal Chief Minister openly criticized AIMIM and called it an ‘outsider’ who are about to ‘harass’ and ‘terrorize’ the people of the state. She has profoundly urged the people to ‘resist outsiders’ in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Advantage & Strategy of AIMIM in West Bengal:
The main advantage of AIMIM in West Bengal could be the substantial Muslim majority of the state, for whom Mr Owaisi can be labelled as a ‘messiah’. In one of the statements by him, he vehemently highlighted the social and economic conditions of Muslims of Bengal and said it was ‘worse than many places in the country’, he further added that the community is almost alienated under Ms Banerjee’s government.
AIMIM has not contested elections in Bengal previously; evidently, it seems confident about fair chances in the state after winning five seats in Bihar’s Seemanchal region, which borders West Bengal.
Here is why the geographical location is important, as the adjoining districts of Bengal, like Seemanchal, have a high concentration of Muslims – Uttar Dinajpur (49.9 per cent), Maldah (51.3 per cent), Dakshin Dinajpur (24.6 per cent) and Murshidabad (66.3 per cent).
According to the linguistic survey of India, there is also cultural similarity in the places chosen by Mr Owaisi in the past and the ones he has chosen for the future. Surjapuris form a big chunk of the Muslims in Seemanchal of Koch Rajbonshi origin and speak a dialect similar to the Koch Bengali of Maldah.
The unwavering support of Surajpuri Muslims paved AIMIM’s path into the corners of Bihar. The hero of this wave is in the Bihar elections, Akhtarul Iman, the AIMIM Bihar President, is himself a Surjapuri and has won from the Amour seat in Purnea district. Mr Iman is most likely to play a vital role in AIMIM’s campaign in West Bengal.
When seen discretely the regions opted by Mr Owaisi are nearer to the Bangladesh border along with Assam, the running fear of a National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise has grappled the region.
Difference being that the TMC has been more enthusiastic about speaking against the CAA-NRC where Ms Banerjee had also led a march against it, herself.
Challenges in front of AIMIM:
The difficulty that might cross AIMIM is the absence of a robust local face in the region as they had in Bihar election like Mr Iman.
Congress has a firm grip on North Bengal. The TMC has been trying to make inroads here and expects to do well in the 2021 polls in this particular area. Anti-incumbency against the TMC is comparatively less in the region.
AIMIM is trying to collect candidates in West Bengal while elaborating more about their support base in the state. A member of AIMIM said, “There are good leaders from Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Welfare Party of India (WPI), State Muslim League, Indian National League and other Dalit organizations (which contested the 2016 assembly polls) who extended their support to us. We are going to play a crucial role in the assembly polls in Bengal. We will try to bring the minorities and Dalits under one umbrella, and our slogan will be ‘Jai Meem, Jai Bhim’.”
It was known that the West Bengal unit of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) was dissolved by the central committee four years ago, but its members are still active in Bengal’s politics. Likewise, small parties like the Indian Unity Centre (IUC), Bahujan Mukti Party and Party for Democratic Socialism contested the 2016 assembly polls.
Though the West Bengal elections are scheduled for 2021 but the cross swords has made its way already. ‘Hyderabad party is taking money from BJP’: Ms Banerjee’s remarks on AIMIM to which Mr Owaisi said ‘I have empirical evidence to prove that. And I also have statistics to say this,’
After the recently concluded Bihar Elections, Mr Owaisi’s party has been subject to attacks from multiple quarters. It is called a ‘vote cutter’ and ‘B-team of the BJP’ whose aim is to divide Muslim votes and damage other ‘secular parties’.
It is seen through decades that West Bengal has been rejecting the politics of polarization and communalism.
On Tuesday night the CPM and Congress held a two-hour to plan its strategy as the news of AIMIM contesting in the West Bengal elections broke out.
Through his speeches which are widely shared on social media, Mr Owaisi has achieved a great deal of popularity, especially among younger Muslims across India. However, will this lead to electoral success in West Bengal like it did in Bihar?
Mr Owaisi’s party has been trendy in Telangana; it is fascinating to see it grow in other parts of the regions and changing the political demographics of these. The 2021 elections alone can decide whether the expansion of AIMIM is going to be a relief to the minority or a curse to Left parties as seen in Bihar.
All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021
On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.
Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)
With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.
Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.
The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.
लोकसभा में आज, राष्ट्रीय खाद्य प्रौद्योगिकी, उद्यमिता और प्रबंध संस्थान विधेयक, 2021 (निफ्टेम विधेयक, 2021) को पारित किया गया।
इस विधेयक के पारित होने पर इससे जुड़े हर व्यक्ति को बधाई देता हूँ और साथ ही खाद्य प्रसंस्करण से जुड़े छात्रों को भी बधाई देता हूँ। @MOFPI_GOI
— Pashupati Kumar Paras (@PashupatiParas) July 26, 2021
Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations
Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.
Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.
Fake News Stories
- On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
- On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
- Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
- On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
- In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.
Need of Accountability
False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.
If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.
Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained
Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.
The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.
Pegasus Spyware and India
According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.
This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.
Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.
According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.
The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’
This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.
Pegasus Spyware and World.
In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.
At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden. After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.
If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.
जम्मू-कश्मीर में गैर-कश्मीरी नागरिकों पर आतंकियों का बढता अत्याचार!
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