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No Hindutva without Muslims: RSS chief

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Sep 19: Often under attack for its “exclusionary” agenda, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat  said there will be no “Hindu rashtra” without Muslims in India and Hindutva encompasses fraternity and unity in diversity.

Expounding on the Hindutva concept in his second of the three-day lecture series, he said that Hindutva was the basic thought of all communities residing in India. Bhagwat, speaking at the event “Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective” at Vigyan Bhavan here, also said that the Sangh firmly believed in the Indian Constitution and does not take part in politics.

He spent a large part of his over 80-minute speech expounding on the RSS’ adherence to the concept of Hindutva and said unity in diversity, sacrifice, self-control and a spirit of gratitude were defining characteristics of Hindutva. With the Congress and other parties accusing the RSS of following a divisive agenda and trying to impose uniformity, Bhagwat said there is no Hindutva without minorities being part of the society.

 

He said political parties follow different ideologies but if the spirit of camaraderie was forgotten, it can lead to difficulties. “The Sangh works for ‘bandhubhav’ (fraternity) and for this there is only one basis – unity in diversity. This is our thought process which the world calls as Hindutva and that’s why we say we are a Hindu rashtra (nation). It does not mean that we do not need Muslims, this does not work. The day it is said that we do not need Muslims, that day it will not be Hindutva.

“It talks of the world being a family. The day we say only Vedas will be preached and Buddhism should not be followed, then there will be no Hindutva. Because we constantly strive for truth and several religious philosophies came as a result. It is the only thought to give basis to this fraternity. It does not react,” he said.

With the Congress accusing the RSS of being an extra-constitutional authority, Bhagwat said: “Constitution is the consensus of all Indians and it is duty of all to follow it. “And what I have said so far is in accordance with the Constitution. Sangh works after accepting the primacy of the Constitution and we respect it fully.” He said the RSS worked for the country to become capable and rich.

“It should have economic capability, moral capability and strategic capability. It should be full of people with knowledge and humility, it should be egalitarian and free of exploitation.” He said the RSS wanted India to be powerful for the good of the world as people respect truth if there was power behind it.

Bhagwat said the RSS had its views on national issues but it does not interfere in the government’s policies and functioning. Since its inception, he said the RSS had abstained from electoral politics but continued to have its views on issues which affect the country.

“We don’t participate in politics, (that) doesn’t mean we don’t have any views. We do have our views on national policies, we talk about the policies with all our might,” said Bhagwat. “Sangh abstaining from politics doesn’t mean we will not talk about infiltrators. These are national issues and they affect the entire country. Sangh gives its views on all such issues,” he added. He rubbished speculation of the RSS influencing the government’s functioning.

“Often people make this speculation that a call from Nagpur (RSS headquarters) must be behind a particular decision (of the government). This is all baseless. All those working (in the government) are seniors and they are far more experienced in politics than us,” said Bhagwat.

“They don’t need Sangh’s advice. They neither depend on our advice, nor do we give any. If they need any suggestion, they ask for it, and if we have something to offer, then we give it. But we have no influence on the government’s policies. They are our Swayamsevaks, but are capable of doing their job,” he added. He also said the aim of the Sangh was to unite the entire society. “Since the birth of the Sangh, it has decided to stay away from politics. It will neither contest elections, nor participate in electoral politics. RSS functionaries cannot be office bearers of a political party.”


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Mental Health: JK puts MSF, Royal College of Psychiatrists’ recommendations on back burner

Fails to constitute crisis team in four years

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 26: Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to constitute the crisis teams to identify and treat increasing psychological illnesses in the valley even four years after the same was recommended by Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) London.

MSF and RCP, in a report to J&K in 2015, had suggested forming crisis teams in the state to deal with the psychological ailments, cases of which have lately witnessed a surge.

Director J&K Health Services, representatives of Psychiatry Disease hospital, Department of Psychology and Sociology, Kashmir University, representatives of RCP, and State Coordinator of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP) were part of the meeting when the report was submitted.

 

The concept of formation of crisis team was later incorporated into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between RCP and Jammu and Kashmir’s Health Department, which was to be assisted by the WHO.

Dr Sayeed Aqeel Hussain, Srinagar-based International Coordinator for mhGAP, said he was ready to facilitate the entire process but “the concerned government departments seemed not interested.”

“I personally appealed the RCP to visit (to help implement the suggestions), but they demanded a formal invitation from the Jammu and Kashmir government, which was not offered,” he said.

According to the MoU, a crisis team would include a group of psychiatrists, who would visit places across Kashmir and identify people with mental illness.

These patients would be provided treatment in their homes through medication and constant counseling.

“The project proposal was discussed by me in the mhGAP forum at WHO assembly in Geneva. It highlighted the need to train the psychiatrists as trainers for establishing crisis team in the community, followed by invitation to psychiatric trainers to UK, where they will have an opportunity to get an insight into the working of the crisis team in the Kingdom,” Dr Hussain said.

Director Health Services Kashmir, Kunzes Dolma said she was unaware of the programme. “I don’t have any information about it. Still, I will first confirm and then comment on it,” she said.

Head of Department, Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar, Prof Mohammad Maqbool said the department has its “own crisis teams to work on mental health.”

“We had desired to work with Royal College of Psychiatry but later the programme was not followed up by them too. We have drug de-addiction centres in SMHS, Kathidarwaza and other places which function to provide medical aid to the mentally-ill patients. The workload here is too much and the manpower is limited,” he said.

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GoI lauds JK’s performance under AB-PMJAY

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Srinagar, May 26: The Government of India Sunday appreciated the performance of Jammu and Kashmir State under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme.

In a letter addressed to Chief Secretary, J&K, B V R Subrahmanyam, Chief Executive Officer National Health Authority, GoI, Dr Indu Bhushan, lauded the efforts of the State Administration in ensuring the benefits of the AB-PMJAY to the targeted beneficiaries at the grassroots level.

The Government of India has maintained that the J&K has successfully reached out to the needy and issued e-cards covering 57 per cent of families in the state in less than six months, which is highest by any state in the country, as of now.

 

 “There has been a remarkable growth of 150% in the last couple of months in terms of utilization of services in the state,” the letter reads.

It also mentions that in J&K more than 95 per cent of the claims have been paid in time as per the defining timelines. Authorities have wished that Jammu and Kashmir would continue the momentum for this upward trajectory in terms of implementation of AB-PMJAY and will become a model state in the country.

Meanwhile, the Governor, Satya Pal Malik has also congratulated the State Administration for this ambitious achievement and hoped that the implementing agencies shall continue to maintain the tempo to achieve necessary goals in the health sector.

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Modi to be sworn in as PM on May 30

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New Delhi, May 26: Narendra Modi will be sworn in as country’s Prime Minister for the second term on May 30, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said here on Sunday. A communiqué from the President’s House said the oath taking ceremony will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.

“The President (Ram Nath Kovind) will administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the Prime Minister and other members of Union Council of Ministers on 30.05.2019 at 07.00 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the communiqué issued by President’s press secretary Ashok Malik said. Modi was elected unanimously as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance on Saturday. Later, he called on the President in his capacity as leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party, which has majority support in the House of the People following the general election to the 17th Lok Sabha.

The President, exercising powers under the Constitution, appointed Modi to the office of Prime Minister of India and sought his advice about the names of others to be appointed members of the Union Council of Ministers and indicate the date and time of the swearing-in-ceremony to be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Earlier on Saturday, a delegation of the NDA led by BJP president Amit Shah, along with Prakash Singh Badal, Rajnath Singh, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sushma Swaraj, Uddhav Thakeray, Nitin Gadkari, K Palaniswami, Conrad Sangma and Neiphiu Rio, called on the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

 

They handed over a letter to the President stating Modi has been elected the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party. Letters of support from NDA constituent parties were also handed over to the President. The NDA together has strength of 353 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha out of which the BJP has a majority of 303 Members of Parliament.

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