BJP attacks Mayawati brother

BJP today targeted Mayawati brother Anand Kumar for his alleged role in acquiring wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. 

The party accused kumar of receiving Rs. 757 crores in the five years from 2007-2012 when Ms. Mayawati was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

BJP claimed to have had submitted reports to the authorities during assembly elections in 2011 about Anand Kumar’s 76 companies and his fraudulent acquisition of money through these companies.

Kumar is believed to have unfairly and illegally exploited his relation with the Chief Minister.

National party alleged that Kumar’s companies had unexplained cash induction and he earned huge profits through sale of undisclosed and unidentified properties and sale of shares at premium rates of tinsel worth companies.

BJP raised questions as to how he got huge dividend payments on investments as low as one lakh.

Party also accused Bhartiya Samaj Party’s chief Mayawati of double speak during the debate in parliament on FDI in multi brand.

BJP demanded an enquiry into allegations on companies which are incorporated all over the country.

It also demanded Finance Ministry to issue notices to these companies and also Companies Affairs Ministry to search and seal documents of these companies.

Khurshid to visit Germany and Belgium, 28-31 Jan

The External Affairs Minister, Shri Salman Khurshid, is going to pay an official visit to Germany from 28-29 January 2013 and to Belgium on 30-31 January 2013.

During his visit to Germany, External Affairs Minister will hold bilateral discussions with German Foreign Minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle and would call on the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs. Angela Merkel. He will also be meeting Dr. AnnetteSchavan, Minister of Education and Research and Mr. Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin.
India and Germany are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.

During his visit to Belgium, External Affairs Minister will have bilateral discussions with the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Didier Reynders and with European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Discussions will focus on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

India and the European Union are bound by strong and friendly ties. India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community. Today, EU is one of our largest trading partners, and an important source of technology and home to a large and influential Indian Diaspora. Both sides endeavour to develop common approaches to address new and emerging challenges.

Germany, strategic partner of India since the year 2000, enjoys long-standing friendly relations based on common values of democracy, respect for fundamental rights and mutual trust.

India and Belgium share warm and friendly diplomatic relations, established in 1948. Bilateral relations are strengthened by regular interactions at high levels.

DAMANI -- shine on

December 16. An ordinary day. Wheels turned, horns blared and people lived yet another day. Celebrations for the upcoming Christmas day was being planned and of course the Mayans prophecy in December 2012 as end of the world was a lively debated topic.

In Delhi a young medical student and her friend watched the 'Life of Pi', window shopped in a mall and decided to head home. At the bus stop they waited. It was night time. Finally a bus pulled in. And, then the world came to a horrendous halt. A young woman's life was brutally ripped apart by 6 dastardly rapists and then thrown out on the road. Minutes agonizingly ticked by. Damini as she was later called by candle vigil holders, activists, newspapers and world over, suffered her ordeal and later in Singapore drew her last breath.

Actors, writers, poets expressed their anguish, penning lines in Damini's name. The call for justice was echoed around the world. The incident impacted strongly. Male students are still showing solidarity and making their voices heard on the pitiable plight of Indian women who live their lives in the ominous shadow of misogyny and harassment. Rapes are reported every 25 minutes in Delhi, every 1.3 minutes on an average in India. Of course, this figure does not include the unreported ones which are way too many.

Well known film celebrities, social workers, news reporters and authors have analyzed the topic underpinning the social and economic causes. Some brave young male students recently wore skirts to demonstrate their support for the Indian women protesting against the rampant rape culture. In New York the Indian community expressed support for reform. World over individuals are raising awareness on the issue of women empowerment and hoping for transformation to occur via new laws in the Indian society.

Preet Singh, a young independent artist (New Delhi) who is an underrated lyricist, music composer and a vocalist protested by doing what he knows best: released a music single 'daMANi...A Tribute. Intro lines of this song are penned by Sanjay Grover and the verses by Preet. Through music he created a powerful but needed message that behind every man's success is a woman. But behind a woman and especially an Indian woman, such as Damani, there are men thirsting for her downfall. And, brutal one at that.

Preet deliberately uses the word Damani instead of Damini. The word 'man' juxtaposed between 'da' and 'ini' eloquently underlines the stifling role of the man in a society like India's. Specifically the misogynistic Indian man who becomes an obstruction in a woman's way of life, freedom and success.

Will this song enable the harbinger of change that is required in the Indian society? Time will tell. But, if everyone reflects and becomes a channel to fight for the women who have been raped or brutalized in any form, then there's light.

On December 16, the young woman whose name was Jyoti meaning 'light' faded away. Initiatives, action, strength -- call it different ways but turning inward and becoming a strong source in enabling change will ensure that Jyoti's last moments are not forgotten.

King and Queen of Bhutan arrive in India

On an invitation by the Peresident of India, The King and Queen of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Ashi Jetsun Pema have arrived in India today. They are on a State Visit to India from 23-30 January 2013. They are invited to be the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations of 2013. 

While in India, the King of Bhutan will meet with the President of India- Pranab Mukherjee, The Vice President of India - Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister - Manmohan Singh, Chairperson of the UPA - Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister - P Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister - Salman Khurshid, Home Minister - Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha - Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor - Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary - Ranjan Mathai will be calling on the King of Bhutan.

“The unique and special relations between India and Bhutan are characterized by everlasting friendship, deep understanding and mutual trust. The visit of HM the King of Bhutan will contribute to further strengthening and expanding the close bilateral relations between our two countries,” said press release issued by Ministry of Home Affairs.