AMID GROWING CHORUS IN GULF, INDIA SLAMS ‘UNWARRANTED’ OIC ATTACKS
India on Monday slammed the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and Pakistan for their attacks over the controversial remarks made by BJP spokespersons against Prophet Muhammad even as the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan joined the chorus of denunciation.
While India was silent on the condemnation by Gulf countries, it attacked the OIC and Pakistan for wading into the fracas. On Pakistan, the foreign ministry said that the absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation was not lost on anyone. India also rejected the OIC’s “unwarranted and narrow-minded” comments on the issue, accusing it of pursuing a divisive agenda at the behest of “vested interests”. India believes that the OIC has allowed its agenda to be hijacked by Pakistan. Importantly, many of the countries critical of India are OIC members.
“The world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas, by Pakistan. The government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogised and monuments built in their honour,” said the government, while calling upon Pakistan to focus on the safety and security of its minority communities instead of engaging in alarmist propaganda and attempting to foment communal disharmony in India.
The Indian government said the offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals and that these did not, in any manner, reflect its views. “Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by the relevant bodies. “It is regrettable that the OIC secretariat has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments. This only exposes its divisive agenda being pursued at the behest of vested interests,” said the government.
There was little sign though of the outrage in the Gulf abating.
OPPN DEMANDS ARREST OF SHARMA, JINDAL AS MORE ISLAMIC NATIONS FLAY PROPHET REMARK
Stepping up pressure for legal action against Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, opposition parties on Monday demanded that they be arrested for their controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad and accused the BJP of denting the image of the country.
While the ruling party faced more criticism at home, the diplomatic fallout of the row continued as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Indonesia, Jordan, UAE, Maldives, Oman and Afghanistan joined several Muslim nations in condemning the alleged derogatory remarks.
The BJP had on Monday suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal, its Delhi media head, in a fire-fighting exercise, but the opposition parties like the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Left dismissed it as mere "drama" and "sham" and demanded strict legal action against the two.
While Sharma is facing cases in various cities over her remarks, the Delhi Police has now registered an FIR on her complaint that she is receiving death threats.
Sharma will be summoned by the Mumbai police to record her statement in connection with an FIR against her on a complaint by Muslim outfit Raza Academyover her remarks, according to Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Panday.
The Congress hit out at the BJP, demanding the immediate arrest of those who have defamed India at the international level instead of enacting a “drama of action”. Asking why those responsible for putting out offensive comments had not been arrested yet, the Congress said it was unacceptable for the nation to apologise for such mistakes.
"Divided internally, India becomes weak externally. BJP's shameful bigotry has not only isolated us but also damaged India's standing globally," Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged the BJP has led the country to such a situation that even "small countries are now challenging the great nation of India".
SHARMA, JINDAL IGNORED WARNINGS, DENTED IMAGE, ACTION TO DRAW THE LINE: BJP
There may be rumblings in a section of the rank and file of the local Delhi BJP but in the party’s senior level, most leaders say that the suspension of the two spokespersons for their derogatory references to Islam that set off outrage in some Gulf capitals, was a “well thought-out decision.”
Leaders said the party was busy with its activities for the Modi government’s eighth anniversary celebrations “showcasing its Garib Kalyan programmes”, and both Nupur Sharma, its national spokesperson, and Naveen Kumar Jindal, head of the Delhi BJP’s media unit, had “dwelt” on their remarks against the Prophet and Islam for days “ignoring” warnings from the party’s central office.
“The party is clear on this, the Prime Minister created a narrative on development and the party’s role is to work on it and support it. Anything that hurts this process would be considered as indiscipline,” said a senior party leader.
“Being a spokesperson for the party for the national media, Nupur Sharma should know that the BJP sets its agenda and narrative around ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas’. The controversy over her remarks and Jindal’s tweets has not only hurt our development agenda but also dented the image of the government and Prime Minister at the international level,” the leader said.
Sources in the central BJP said while Jindal’s tweets came to the leadership’s attention later, it had given “enough warnings” and “cautionary advice” to Sharma, but she “went on and on, giving impetus to all kinds of elements to keep the issue alive”.
COVID DASHBOARD – INDIA
As of 0800 IST / June 7
from mohfw.gov.in ,
New Cases on Monday 3,714
Active Cases 26,976 (+1,194)
Total Deaths (Deaths Yesterday) 5,24,708 (1)
BORIS JOHNSON SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote on Monday but a rebellion by 148 of his 359 Conservative Party lawmakers dealt a serious blow to his authority.
A majority of the Conservatives’ lawmakers – at least 180 – would have had to vote against Johnson for him to be removed.
The result means Johnson secured the backing of 59% of his lawmakers, lower than the support given to his predecessor Theresa May in a confidence vote she faced in 2018.
Having scored a sweeping election victory in 2019, the prime minister has been under mounting pressure after he and staff held alcohol-fuelled parties in his Downing Street office and residence when Britain was under strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
Such is the anger that the party triggered a challenge, forcing an anonymous vote of confidence in a leader who had once seemed unassailable.
The move led to lawmakers from different wings of the party revealing that they had turned against their leader. One former ally accused the prime minister of insulting both the electorate and the party by staying in power.
RUSSIAN ARTILLERY ATTACKS ERASE UKRAINE GAINS IN SIEVIERODONETSK
A day after Russia President Putin threatened to attack new targets if Western nations supplied Ukraine with long-range missile systems, Britain announced on Monday that it would join the US in providing the advanced weapons to help Ukraine hold off Russia’s assault in the east. “As Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine,” defence secretary Ben Wallace said in announcing that Britain would supply rocket systems that can hit targets up to 50 miles (80 km) away.
President Biden said last week that the US would soon deliver a precision rocket system with a similar range, far beyond what Ukraine currently has in its arsenal, as the fighting in eastern Ukraine increasingly becomes an artillery war. President Zelensky and other top Ukrainian officials have pleaded for such weapons for months, but it could be weeks longer before they make an impact on the battlefield. Ukrainian soldiers must be trained to use the systems.
The use of overwhelming and often indiscriminate force has allowed the Russians to make limited gains in eastern Ukraine. Moscow’s forces on Monday pounded targets across the 75-mile eastern front line, according to the Ukrainian military. At the moment, Russian artillery can reach further than the weapons that the Ukrainians have at their disposal, allowing Russian forces to rain down rounds day and night, without the Ukrainians being able to effectively strike back.
As Russia presses its campaign to seize all of Donbas, the longer-range, precision Western rockets could dent Moscow’s advantage. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, questioned whether the Ukrainian government could restrain itself from using the weapons to strike targets inside Russia. The longer the range of weapons provided to Ukraine, he said a news conference Monday, the farther back Russia will push Ukraine’s army.
Meanwhile, President Zelensky met soldiers and handed out military awards near the frontline in eastern Ukraine, in a visit highlighting his role as a wartime leader and aimed at boosting morale. He travelled to the frontline city of Lysychansk, perhaps the closest he has come to active fighting in the east since the war began. It’s a perilous journey to reach Lysychansk. A highway and several back roads pass through farm fields pocked with artillery craters. Along the way, an oil refinery that has been on fire for weeks smoulders. Officials offered few details of how Zelensky reached the city, which has been bombarded by artillery and is at risk of being surrounded by Russian forces.
INDIA TEST-FIRES NIGHT LAUNCH OF NUCLEAR-CAPABLE AGNI 4 BALLISTIC MISSILE
India on Monday successfully carried out a night launch of the nuclear-capable Agni-4 ballistic missile from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha, marking a significant boost to the country's military capabilities.
In a brief statement, the defence ministry said the "training launch" of the missile was carried out at around 7:30 pm. It is learnt that the missile has a range of around 4,000 kilometres, and it is largely seen as part of India's deterrence against China.
The defence ministry said the successful test of Agni-4 reaffirms India's policy of having a 'credible minimum deterrence capability'.
OMAR ABDULLAH: ‘EVERY SINGLE (PANDIT) EMPLOYEE WHO GOES BACK, I CONSIDER IT MY PERSONAL FAILURE’
Referring to the recent spate of civilian killings in the Kashmir Valley, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that he considers the failure of the Prime Minister’s employment package for migrant Kashmiri Pandits a personal failure. He also told The Indian Express in an interview that though the current security situation might give him a short-term political handle “with which to beat the BJP”, not everything in J&K should be weighed in terms of its “political benefits and costs”. “There are some things that are far more important. This is one of those,” he added.
Following prolonged protests against the killings and the administration’s alleged “failure” to protect them from targeted attacks, several Kashmiri Pandit government employees have started leaving the Valley. “I was part of the government that brought this (PM’s employment) package in and implemented it. Its failure, I will consider my failure,” Abdullah said. “Every single one of the employees who goes back from here, I consider a personal failure on my part. I would be the last person who would want to see them leave.”
JAMIAT ULAMA-I-HIND SEEKS DISMISSAL OF PETITIONS CHALLENGING 1991 ACT
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking dismissal of petitions challenging the validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, saying it will open floodgates of litigation against countless mosques across India.
“There is a list of numerous mosques which is doing the rounds on social media, alleging that the mosques were built allegedly by destroying Hindu places of worship. Needless to say that if the present petition is entertained, it will open floodgates of litigation against countless mosques in the country and the religious divide from which the country is recovering in the aftermath of the Ayodhya dispute will only be widened,” the Muslim body said.
In an intervention application filed in the top court, it said even if all the allegations of petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay were assumed to be true, it’s nothing but seeking a correction of historical wrongs.
“This court has categorically held that the law cannot be used as a device to reach back in time and provide a legal remedy to every person who disagrees with the course which history has taken and that the courts of today cannot take cognizance of historical rights and wrongs unless it is shown that their legal consequences are enforceable in the present,” Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind said.
‘HINDI LANGUAGE OF UNDERDEVELOPED STATES, WILL MAKE US SHUDRAS’
DMK MP TKS Elangovan has been accused of making a casteist remark at a public gathering held against alleged attempts to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu. “Hindi will make us shudras. It will do no good to us. If it enters our land, it will cause harm and spoil our rich culture, and our existing brotherhood will be destroyed,” he said on Saturday.
Elangovan said that before Independence, if a person wanted to become a king in the northern parts of India, he had to be a Kshatriya as they believed in the varnashrama dharma. However, that was not the case in southern states, he said. “If ever there was one civilisation in the world that treated everyone equally, it was Tamil culture and now they are planning to destroy it. They are trying to impose Hindi to bring the manu dharma here. We should not allow this. If we allow it, we will become slaves—shudras,” he said.
rn Hindi, the DMK leader identified a few “developed” states where Hindi is not the first language and compared them with the “underdeveloped” and Hindi-speaking states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. “Why should I learn Hindi then?” he asked. On his list of developed states were West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Punjab.
HOPE TO HAVE 1ST BULLET TRAIN BY 2026: VAISHNAW
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday said he was confident of achieving the target of running the country’s first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in 2026 as good progress has been made in this direction.
Vaishnaw was in Surat to inspect the progress of the government’s ambitious Ahmedbad–Mumbai bullet train project.
“We are keeping the target of running the first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in 2026. The progress is very good, and we are confident of running the train by that time,” he told reporters.
The project is aimed at running the bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai on a high speed rail corridor at a speed of 320 kmph, covering a distance of 508 km and 12 stations.
SENSEX VALUATION FALLS TO NEARLY 5-YEAR LOW WITH EXCEPTION OF MAR-JUN 2020
The valuation of the Sensex has declined to its lowest level in nearly five years with the exception of March-June 2020. The benchmark index is trading at a trailing P/E (price/earnings) of 22.74X, down from nearly 31.3X at end of May 2021 and a five-year average P/E multiple of 26X.
Analysts say the “low valuation” explains the resilience in the broader market despite a challenging domestic and global macroeconomic environment.
“Stock valuations are reasonable and lower than what we have seen in the past four years. This has attracted value buyers, especially domestic investors, and explains the current stability in the market,” said Shailendra Kumar, chief investment officer, Narnolia Securities.
ELON MUSK THREATENS TO WALK AWAY FROM TWITTER DEAL
Elon Musk is threatening to end his $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter, accusing the company of refusing to give him information about its spam bot accounts. Lawyers for the Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the threat in a letter to Twitter dated Monday that the social platform included in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” the letter says.
APPLE UNVEILS M2 CHIPSET WITH 18% FASTER CPU, 35% FASTER GPU COMPARED TO THE M1
At its WWDC event yesterday, Apple announced the M2 chipset, the successor to the M1, its first custom designed ARM-based computer chip which was unveiled back in November 2020.
The M2 is at the heart of the new MacBook Air and the new 13" MacBook Pro. The new chip is built on a second-generation 5nm process, and compared to the M1, its 8-core CPU delivers 18% better performance. This is due to the performance cores being faster and paired with a larger cache, while the efficiency cores have also been "significantly enhanced for even greater performance gains", Apple says.
Compared to the Intel Core i7-1255U in the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360, the CPU in the M2 provides "nearly twice the performance at the same power level", and also delivers the peak performance of the Intel chip while using just a quarter of power, Apple boasts. Compared to the 12-core Intel Core i7-1260P in the MSI Prestige 14Evo, the M2 "provides nearly 90% of the peak performance" while using just one-fourth the power.
The chipset has over 20 billion transistors (that's 25% more than the M1), supports 6K external displays, as well as ProRes encode and decode, 8K H.264, and HEVC video.
Sensex 55,675 (-94), Nifty 16,569 (-15), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 42,253
Nasdaq 12,061 (+49) Dow 32,916 (+16), S&P 4,121 (+13)
US$-Rs. 77.60 GBP-Rs. 97.22, Euro-Rs. 83.14, UAE Dhm-Rs.21.12, Can$-Rs. 61.72, Aus$- Rs. 55.91
GBP 0.79 /US$, Euro 0.93 /US$, Jap.Yen 131.12 /US$, Aus$ 1.38 /US$, Sing 1.37 /US$, Bang Taka 88.21 /US$, Can$ 1.25 /US$, Mal Ring 4.38 /US$,
Pak Re 198.37 /US$, Phil Peso 52.87 /US$, Russian Rouble 61.49 /US$, NZ$ 1.53 /US$, Thai Baht 34.34 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 29.22 /US$
Bitcoin - USD 29,367
Dollar Index 102.64 Brent Crude 120.34 BDI 2,560
Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,841 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 5,220 / 4,785, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 67,500
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. - Barbara Bloom
A woman phones up her husband at work for a chat.
HIM "I'm sorry dear but I'm up to my neck in work today."
HER "But I've got some good news and some bad news for you dear."
HIM "OK darling, but as I've got no time now, just give me the good news."
HER "Well, the air bag in our car works."