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Shimla BJP & Youth Congress clash – who started it?

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SHIMLA-The clash between Youth Congress and BJP workers in Shimla made headlines in most of the dailies. So far, we know that it happened outside the BJP office at Chakkar in Shimla when the Youth Congress (YC), led by its president Vikramaditya Singh, marched here to stage protest against land acquisition ordinance promulgated by the BJP Govt. in the Centre. While, the event is making headlines, the actual cause for which it happened did not find much space in dailies.

Protest March, slogan shouting, heavy stone pelting, assaults with sticks, rods, and even some sharp edged weapons, that’s what happened. Four people were seriously injured including Rajesh Sharda, who has been referred to PGI after he sustained heavy damage in one of his eyes. It is feared that he has lost vision permanently. The number of injured including minor injuries is said to be about 25-30.

Today, BJP staged a protest in front of the Shimla DC office and burned Virbhadra Singh’s effigy. BJP wants to take full advantage of this opportunity and is making all the noise it can.

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Both parties are blaming each other for creating hostile condition. The question is what actually happened. So far, we know that YC marched to BJP office in Chakkar in Govt. vehicles (as accused by BJP) to stage a protest against the central ordinance regarding 2013 Land Acquisition.

First of all, BJP members and ABVP activists have assembled there to hold a meeting discussing BJYM membership drive and had nothing to do with the Central Ordinance. Why the hell YC marched with over hundred of its men to oppositions office.

Shimla BJP & Youth Congress clash – who started it

We guess, The YC weren’t able to find more appropriate venue to hold a protests.

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Secondly, if the YC had arrived to stage a protest outside on the public road, then why BJP members came out to block their way, shouting anti-congress slogans against the YC. Everyone has the right to peacefully protest against the anti-people acts of the Govt. There was no trespassing by the YC, rather, the BJYM including senior party members like Ganesh Dutt came out to create resistance to the protest.

Third, Shimla Police SP, DW Negi, was informed regarding the circumstances, but still he did not act or say, he was helpless against these political goons. The ferocity and hate that he had displayed towards HPU students, was missing here. The Boileauganj station is just 5 minutes away from Chakkar. Still, the police waited until the damage was done. Here, the goons hit back even the police, caused chaos in a public place, they damaged cars and scared local residents, and yet no arrest is made because the men on both sides belonged to powerful political parties.

Clipboard Image – Indian Express

At HPU, Shimla police and QRF lead by SP DW Negi left no stone unturned to abuse, beat and imprison students for about three months for protesting against heavy fee hikes. These students, young blood, never even hit back at Police. However, during this clash we wonder what happened to the police. The SP didn’t convey the message to higher officials even after he had prior information regarding the probability of a clash.

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Anyway, the monkey gangs from both parties kept quarreling and pelting stones for half-an-hour in the presence of Shimla police. The BJP had even accused fours CID personals and some cops of accompanying the YC in attack.

We have a few video clips, one of which was posted on Vikramaditya’s FB page explaining how BJP started the fight, while the YC was holding peaceful protest. Indeed, the video supports the arguments of YC. BJP members had come out to block the way for protest march. Why? Let them protest. It’s their right. If they had entered the building or pelted stones when BJP was holding its meeting inside, then it would have counted as trespassing.

Both parties have filed cross FIRs at the Boileauganj Police Station accusing each other and BJP ran to newly appointed Governor of Himachal demanding dismissal of Congress Govt.

It yielded nothing more than blood and major injuries to people.

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This clash had no intentions of public welfare or to protect their rights or anything of that nature. Central Land Acquisition Ordinance initiated by the BJP Govt. at Center goes long way to snatch rights of farmers or landowners to favor the industries, NGO, and private builders. The sections that stated it mandatory to get consent of 80% of land owners for private projects and that the consent of 70% of land owners be obtained for PPP projects inhibiting area in which land to be acquired by Govt. was removed from the act. That means, now the Govt. need not to take permission from landowners while acquiring their land for mining or for building commercial infrastructure.

Then, the 2013 Act asked for a Social Impact Assessment be conducted to identify affected families and calculate the social impact when land is acquired before proceeding to land acquisition, which has also been removed. There are no changes in the rate of compensation.

While the LARR Act 2013 was applicable for the acquisition of land for private companies, the Ordinance changes this to acquisition for private entities. A private entity is an entity other than a government entity, and could include a proprietorship, partnership, company, corporation, non-profit organisation, or other entity under any other law.

The LARR Act 2013 stated that if an offence is committed by the government, the head of the department would be deemed guilty unless he could show that the offence was committed without his knowledge, or that he had exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

The Ordinance replaces this provision and states that if an offence is committed by a government official, he cannot be prosecuted without the prior sanction of the government.

The ordinance has received highly negative comments from many politicians, activists from various parts of India and from political parties like AAP.

So, was that the issue for which the YC and BJP clashed? No, we guess. It was all about ugly, self-eccentric, and egoistically motivated fight between two rival political parties. The most unfortunate part of miserable Indian democracy is that the people consider these gangs of political goons as their representatives.

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Image Credits – Images collected from various sources including social media sites

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Campus Watch

Bahra University and Siemens to run engineering course jointly

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SHIMLA- Solan based privately owned Bahra University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with industrial giant Siemens Industry Software India Private Limited (SISW). The tie up will enable University to set up Siemens Certified Professional Learning Center at its campus.

Suman Bose, Managing Director & CEO for Siemens and Dr. SK Bansal, Vice-Chancellor Bahra University signed the MoU at University campus.

Elaborating on the benefits of the MoU Dr. Bansal said the University will start a new batch of 4-year integrated B.Tech, Mechanical with specialization in Design and Development program at their campus.

Dr. Bansal said the above course will be driven to produce industry ready engineers around broad specializations in industry 4.0 and Smart Factory, design and development, manufacturing and computer aided analysis. He said

Students successfully completing the course per stipulated guidelines will be awarded B.Tech Mechanical degree through the University and Certificate of Merit for the opted specialization in Design and Development through Siemens Industry Software India Private Limited,

Suman Bose assured to provide assistance to arrange for internship for students of University and also promised to assist in arranging industry projects for the students and endeavor to conduct conference and seminars in the University.

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Creative Corner

Himachal’s award winning filmmaker Ajay Saklani shares his journey with Himachal Watcher

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SHIMLA- It is often said, every great dream begins with a dreamer. One must always remember that one has within self the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Keeping in mind the same talented Ajay Saklani hailing from a remote village Sihan, district Mandi of Himachal Pradesh, made the state proud not at national but even at international level by bagging two international awards during screening of his film Saanjh – a Himachali feature film at THE BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL (held in California, USA) where it was chosen as the Best Feature Film among 750 other entries from around the globe was and “Award of merit” at Accolade Global Film Competition.

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Ajay hails from a very humble background and showed people that one should be the flame and not the moth as having passed out from a government school his dream to achieve recognition not just for self but even for state and country.

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Sharing his journey to fame he with Himachal Watcher’s Community Member, Ritanjali Hastir, Ajay said,

My father was in army and he dreamt about me too following his footsteps. However, I was more inclined towards filmmaking that led me to taste the magic of theatre world.

As they say follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams so without any knowledge and guidance on filmmaking, Ajay shifted to Delhi in 2005.

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There he joined RGB 4:3 Productions and learned the basics of filmmaking from Surender Sagar. He started his career as an editor and worked with some more production houses and few TV channels like Shakti TV, MH One Music, PTC Punjabi, Day & Night News to name.

His first documentary ‘Dyalee – a fading glory’ in 2006 in my village which helped him learn filmmaking basics. His second documentary ‘Upaasmar – The Taste of Hunger’ in 2011 was shot in the tribal areas of Maharashtra raising the issue of Malnutrition deaths in India and finally in 2014 after coming back to Himachal his own production company Silent Hills Studio in Hamirpur came into existence.
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“With ‘Saanjh’ production I wanted to make a technical sound film that can compete with other films in the cinema halls. I hope that my work can inspire other filmmakers too and together we can promote Himachali cinema by providing with the quality work in future,” he shared.

“I feel that it was a film that fell in Art as well as Entertainment genre that made it touch hearts at the international level. As normally if we talk about Himachali Cinema, there is no such Cinema as of today in Himachal. Only a few films were produced till now and because of poor technical and creative work, those films could not make it to cinema halls or any film festivals around the country or world”, he expresses.

“Many people outside the state felt embarrassed considering the sad quality of music videos which fail to ravish visual or hearing senses; as they are also judged with the same rod. Recently some singers have given a ray of hope as they came forward with different music and quality videos. Many other singers from the state but they are all focused on Hindi and Punjabi music”, Ajay added as he contemplated on the situations one has to face considering the previous track records.

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He further feels, “Cinema on the other hand is still untouched. As in 2011 Sanjeev Rattan’s ‘Dil Ch Vaseya Koi’ even won the National Award but due to the technical issues, the film failed to make it to cinema halls.Some filmmakers are coming up with great ideas for short films but again they are also focused on Hindi language. I believe until all these people don’t start making Pahari(Himachali)language films, there is no support for any kind of cinematic development in Himachal. Recently Siddarth Chauhan made a mark with his latest work and I feel happy that his next project is in Himachali language. It seems like a beginning of a new era for Himachali Cinema that has been neglected from a long time.”

“There is a great potential in Himachal and I receive a lots of calls everyday where people want to enter into acting or filmmaking and looking for guidance. But to their eagerness alone won’t do wonders we do need government support as well like in other states. The only exciting announcement is the financial support upto 10 lakh for filmmakers but only for short films and documentaries which again needs running from pillar to post and I can say is a herculean task. Exempting new cinema halls from tax for first three years is not taking filmmakers anywhere but support for film production in the state is better option which will also help in generating more and more tourism revenue.”

“Talking about my experience while making ‘Saanjh’ was a very difficult journey. Finding a producer or financier for a film in Himachali dialect was most difficult part. On the other hand our Himachal government doesn’t provide any kind of support for filmmaking in the state but expect a lot for the youth. Making people believe in me our project wasn’t easy,” shared Ajay as he keeps his view on talent promotion.

“As per his message he says My upbringing gave me deep insight into our culture and after coming back I realized a drastic change people in my village were trying to talk to in Hindi and the kids were being taught the Hindi and English words and were given punishment for talking in their own language. All our festivals were in disappearing stage and people had surrendered their traditions in the name of development. Actors feel ashamed to work in a Himachali film so very few actors turned out for auditions and they are happy to become part of crowd when a director from Mumbai.”

“I feel that as we don’t have a recognized language and we don’t have our own script to preserve the sounds of our language so there seems no way for the development of literature in our state. But yes, Cinema and Music can help in development of language & culture and it can take forward our traditional heritage. So this is very much important for us to have our own cinema and quality music. In all these years I learned the cinema, music and literature play a significant role in the development of language and culture and so we need to come forward and give Himachal its due respect,” he concludes.

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Himachal now ahead of Kerala in quality education in Govt schools: ASE Report 2016

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SHIMLA- Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2016 in its 11th Annual Report released in New Delhi confirmed that Himachal Pradesh now stood ahead of Kerala in the field of quality education in schools. The survey indicated that government schools of the state were leading and doing better than other states in terms of learning outcomes.

State Project Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan,Ghanshyam Chand said that ASER was the largest annual household survey of the children in India that focused on status of schooling and basic learning. ASER visited almost 15,630 government schools in rural India. In Himachal Pradesh 283 schools were visited during the survey. As many as 15 organizations participated in ASER-2016 across the state.

The report ASER-2016 found enrolment rate of students in the age group 6 to 14 in Himachal Pradesh to be 99.8 per cent. The State secured first rank in achieving learning outcomes in basic reading and mathematics across the country.

In language category the achievement level of government schools of Himachal Pradesh was 65.3 per cent as compared to the national level of 41.6 per cent. In mathematics the achievement level of the state was 47.4 per cent as compared to the national level of 21.1 per cent. The government schools have performed better than private schools throughout the state in mathematics.

In learning of English language, significant improvement was observed in the State. At national level the achievement status is 15.3 per cent whereas it is 44 per cent in case of Himachal Pradesh. In English the State stands at 5th position.

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