Rajat Sharma

My Opinion

Do not misguide Muslims on Vande Mataram

The unsavoury incident that took place in Meerut Municipal Corporation over the singing of national song, Vande Mataram, by councillors makes all of us hang our heads in shame. A section of councillors refused to sing the song and stayed away from the meeting, citing religious reasons. It is really surprising that people who live in India are openly opposing Vande Mataram, the song that fired up several generations of Indians during the freedom movement. Such persons should emulate revolutionaries like Ashfaqullah Khan and Ghaus Khan who chanted Vande Mataram during the freedom struggle. Param Vir Chakra awardee Abdul Hamid laid his life for the nation during the 1965 War. Were they not Indians? Actually, the majority of Muslims have no objection to the song Vande Mataram, per se, but some of their leaders are indulging in vote bank politics. The Meerut civic body polls are due after four months, and Vande Mataram is being leveraged as an issue to polarize the voters. The sorry part is that the Samajwadi Party is yet to learn its lessons from the UP assembly poll rout. What Muslims really need are education, employment and a better life. Raking up religious issues will not benefit anybody in the least.

UP leaders should learn austerity from Yogi Adityanath

On Tuesday, Yogi Adityanath began his stay at the official residence of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. The residence at 5, Kalidas Marg, which had an opulent look during the regimes of his predecessors, is now completely austere. Gone are the plush leather sofas, costly furniture and crockery items and airconditioners. The king-size bed, on which the UP CM sleeps, has been removed. Yogi will now sleep on a wooden plank put inside his bedroom. Such is the austere lifestyle of a yogi, and the ministers and MLAs of UP government should learn a lesson or two from their chief minister. Yogi’s message is clear and unambiguous. No more splurge and wasteful expenditure. Normally, whenever a change of government takes place in India, ministers splurge on redecorating their offices and residences. It will be good for the people of Uttar Pradesh, if the ministers follow their CM and promote austerity.

Separatists using stone pelters to shield terrorists during encounter

The sordid incident in Kashmir’s Budgam, where stone pelters were openly used by separatists to target security forces, at a time when they were busy fighting terrorists hiding inside a building, clearly shows the unholy nexus between terrorists, stone pelters and their masters sitting across the border.

The diabolical plan of terrorists and their handlers sitting in Pakistan is to create frenzy in the Valley so that security forces are forced to open fire on crowds of stone pelters. The ground reality is that sons and daughters of most of the separatist leaders in Kashmir are studying outside the state.

These pro-Pakistan leaders are misguiding gullible youths by asking them to pelt stones, and when firing takes place, they give calls for strike in the Valley. The day the common people of the Valley understand the nefarious motives of these leaders, most of their prob

Kejriwal has not learnt any lesson from Punjab, Goa defeats

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal has come out with a pre-poll promise to discontinue house tax in the capital, days ahead of the MCD polls. Till last year, he was seeking hike in house tax rates in Delhi, but has now changed his tune.

It seems Kejriwal is daydreaming. He thinks voters are gullible, but the common man has the power to give him a stinging reply.

The Delhi CM has not learnt any lesson from his party’s ignominous defeats in Punjab and Goa assembly polls. It is because of his attitude and the coterie that surrounds him that his colleagues have begun deserting him. On Monday, an AAP MLA in Delhi resigned and joined BJP.

He was among those who had joined Kejriwal’s bandwagon and had high hopes from AAP brand of ‘aam aadmi’ politics.

Normally, an MLA of a ruling party never resigns with nearly three years of tenure remaining, but this MLA disclosed one significant fact. He said, AAP ministers including Kejriwal have stopped taking even telephone calls from their own MLAs.

Let PM appoint a mediator for Ayodhya dispute

On the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, there are still diverse opinions. Some want the matter to be sorted out through negotiations, while others want the Supreme Court to have the final say. But on one point, all parties to the dispute are unanimous. They want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appoint a mediator. If all parties do not agree on resolving the dispute, the apex court should start a day-to-day- hearing and decide. The issue now before the court is: who should be given the ownership title right. It has been established that Babri mosque was built after demolishing a temple. The Supreme Court has to decide about the title issue. Even now, if all parties agree, the Prime Minister should appoint a mediator, and all parties should accept his/her decision.

Stringest action must be taken against Shiv Sena MP

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad not only thrashed an Air India staffer with his sandal 25 times, but openly boasted in front of media that he had done the right thing. The reason: he had a business class ticket, but was given a seat in an all-economy flight. One should praise the Managing Director of Air India Ashwini Lohani who stood with his staff and directed them to contact his office immediately if any passenger misbehaved. Nobody, whether he is a leader, an MP or a minister, has the right to beat any airline staffer. Stringest action must be taken against the Shiv Sena MP. The action should be such that it should act as a deterrent and a lesson for such unruly people.

Let’s discard the habit of chewing pan masala, gutkha

Like tobacco products, pan masala and gutkha are injurious to health, and yet, a large section of people are unable to discontinue the habit of chewing gutkha and pan masala. People who chew these products, more often than not, spit on roadside, on staircases, on walls, inside washrooms and in public places. With Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in place, it is the duty of every citizen to contribute towards cleanliness, and the decision of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to ban the use of pan masala and gutkha in government offices and hospitals is a welcome step. I appeal to the people of India to discard the habit of chewing pan masala and gutkha. This would be their greatest contribution to cleanliness in public places, and would definitely make our Prime Minister’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan a success.

Reconciliation only way out to resolve Ayodhya dispute

The Ayodhya dispute lingering over last several decades, can be resolved only if all parties read the underlying message behind the Supreme Court’s advice given to all parties on Tuesday. The stand taken by Chief Justice J S Khehar is truly praiseworthy. He did not speak on legal issues, nor stood his ground on technicalities, but called for reconciliation through talks. The apex court has correctly understood the sensitivity of the people at large. The most important part of Tuesday’s proceedings was that the Chief Justice of India himself offered mediation. Chief Justice Khehar’s observation that “all must adopt a ‘give a bit and take a bit’ approach to find a solution”, is indeed praiseworthy. He also observed that “this is not one of those issues which can be decided in a huff. Given the sensitivity attached to the issues in question, it is better to settle the differences through negotiations between parties.” It is now time that the government, leaders and religious heads from both sides sit together and find an amicable way out, so that brotherhood among communities can prevail.

Let’s give time to UP CM Yogi to perform

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is still to take complete charge of his government, but some Opposition politicians, notably Mayawati, have already started criticizing him. In my view, one should give at least six to eight months to the new government to work, and then analyze and raise questions. Already questions are being raised about Yogi’s incendiary comments made about minorities in the past. People have also raised questions about the special “purification” pooja conducted at the UP chief minister’s official residence. One should understand that Adityanath is a yogi and pooja is part of his daily routine. Nobody should object to this. Critics have begun predicting that Muslims during Yogi’s rule in UP, will have to live in fear, but the fact remains that in Yogi’s own workplace in Gorakhpur, a large number of Muslims flock to him daily to get their grievances addressed. It will be unfair to level charges against Yogi without giving him time to perform. He is on record of having said that he would implement Modi’s ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ vision in UP. So give him a chance.

Sidhu must understand, he has now become a minister

Navjot Singh Sidhu is not only a politician. He has been quite popular as a cricketer, as a cricket commentator and has achieved fame on TV shows.

Nobody should question if one makes earnings from TV shows through talent and merit, but Sidhu should understand that he is no more an MLA or an MP, he is now a minister in the Punjab government.

He will be getting the salary and allowances given to a minister and he will be getting government accommodation and all other perks. Naturally, the people and the government of Punjab will expect Sidhu to serve the public in the post of a minister.

A minister appearing on TV comedy shows by taking fees will go against established traditions of governance. It may be that Sidhu lacks experience, as he has made his debut as a minister. He should think over it and understand that appearing on shows without charging fees would be better.

PM Modi is in fast active mode for 2019 LS polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told his party MPs ‘na baithoonga, na baithne doonga’, meaning neither he would sit and take rest, nor would he allow party leaders to become complacent after the unprecedented poll successes. The BJP not only swept to power in UP and Uttarakhand, but also formed governments in Manipur and Goa, where it was not the single largest party. The party acted swiftly and decisively at lightning speed. So, it was no surprise when he was welcomed in Parliament on Thursday with slogans from party MPs. It has to be noted that PM Modi has already begun preparing to face the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. One marvels at his speed and ceaseless and untiring work. This has put the Opposition in quandary. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has already left for the US, and his party’s work will remain at a standstill till he returns.

Everybody should condemn fatwa against singer Nahid Afrin

It is really shocking that a group of 45 Muslim clerics have issued a fatwa against a 16-year old female singer from Assam, Nahid Afrin, raising objections to her singing at public concerts. What was Nahid Afrin’s sin? She sang patriotic and religious songs.

Instead of praising her, the clerics have issued an injunction against her. However, senior Islamic scholars say that there is ‘qawaali’ (singing of religious songs) singing every day at dargahs. Then why was this injunction issued? Is it justice? This should not be tolerated by all right-thinking people.

One should praise Nahid Afrin for standing up against this injunction and giving the clerics a resounding reply. One should also ask all those intellectuals who were raising their voice against so-called intolerance and had returned their awards to the government.

We are waiting for these so-called secular intellectuals to speak up against the Muslim clerics.