Taapsee Talks About Marital Rape

Actor Taapsee Pannu, who is usually vocal about women-related issues, has shared her opinion on marital rape and abuse after watching the recent Hotstar special show ‘Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors.’

She took to Instagram and put out a video in which she spoke about the courtroom drama, and also shared views on the importance of consent.

“Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors portrays the grim reality faced by a lot of women in our country. It has addressed a topic shunned for far too long, that of marital rape,” the ‘Thappad’ actor said.

“The show addresses the issue quite sensitively and intelligently and has come at a time when we have seen an alarming rise in the domestic abuse cases faced by women in lockdown,” she added.

The actor, whose superhit film ‘Pink’ gave the country the strong phrase of “No means No,” went on to reiterate the same about marital rape.

“I firmly believe that No means No; whether you are married or not – consent is paramount. I hope that this show builds confidence in women so they can speak against such acts of crime, and not keep quiet because of societal pressures,” she said.

Pannu went on to laud the show and its cast in the caption of the video.

“NO means NO, Shaadi ke baad bhi! What a powerful show #CriminalJustice! Kudos @tripathipankaj @iamkirtikulhari, loved watching it,” she wrote.

Hotstar based show ‘Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors’ stars actor Pankaj Tripathi and Pannu’s ‘Pink’ co-star Kirti Kulhari. It started streaming on the platform on December 24. (ANI)

Hindu Temple Destroyed, Set Ablaze In Pak Khyber Province

A mob of over hundred people led by local Muslim clerics reportedly destroyed and set on fire a Hindu temple in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

A video clip is going viral on social media, in which a violent mob is seen destroying the walls and roof of the temple. The act against Hindu minority community is widely condemned by human rights activists based in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist), a journalist based in Karachi tweeted, “#BREAKING…A mob led by local clerics destroyed Hindu temple in Karak district of KP. Hindus obtained permission from the administration to extend the temple but local clerics arranged a mob to destroy the temple. Police & administration remained silent spectators @ImranKhanPTI”

Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo), a London-based human rights activist tweeted, “This is new Pakistan! A Hindu Temple was destroyed today in Karak, a city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, governed by PTI Govt. Police or forces didn’t stop the mob because they were chanting Allah-o-Akbar. A shameful day, Beyond condemnation indeed!”

Rabia Mehmood (@Rabail26), a researcher and journalist also condemned the attack on religious sites. She tweeted, “2020 in Pakistan: Hindu temple in Karak, KP brutally vandalized and demolished by a violent mob. While the Pakistan government is fixated on the rise of hindutva in India, the fascists at home continue attacking non Muslim Pakistanis with impunity”.

Ihtesham Afghan (@IhteshamAfghan), a human rights activist tweeted, “A hindu temple was demolished by religious extremists in karak today. It is a very shameful moment for us because it reflects the way we treat minorities in our country. You can’t run a federation unless and until the rights of minorities are protected. Strongly condemnable”.

According to Daily Times, a rally was organised by Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a Sunni Deobandi political party in Pakistan nearby where speakers delivered fiery speeches after which the charged crowd stormed the temple, set it ablaze and razed it to the ground.

It quoted JUI-F KP Amir Maulana Ataur Rahman who said his party has nothing to do with the burning down of the temple as it happened after their party’s rally. (ANI)

China Waiting For Dalai Lama’s Death To Usurp Tibet Religious Seat

China feels that it should control religious institution in Tibet and due to this a greater crisis will emerge with the eventual demise of 14th Dalai Lama as there will be a major power struggle over who will get to choose the religious leaders of Tibet, according to a report in Taiwan Times.

China, which had installed their puppet Panchen Lama in 90s to control Tibet, is expected to use him to legitimise the appointment of their own selected Chinese candidate as the next leader of Tibetan Buddhism (the 15th Dalai Lama), write Tsewang Paljor in Taiwan Times.

Ninety-nine per cent of Tibetans do not accept Chinese appointed Panchen Lama as the real or true Panchen Lama, Paljor stated. They regard him as false Panchen Lama.

The Chinese government occupied Tibet in 1950 and has ever since tried to control the region.

The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959 and the 10the Panchen Lama (Lobsang Trinley Lhundrup Choekyi Gyaltsen) stayed behind in Tibet. He spoke against Chinese rule many times and wrote a report chronicling Tibet’s famines in the 1960s.

He was then arrested and spent more than eight years in jail. He died in 1989, due to the atrocities committed by the Chinese authorities, said Paljor

As per the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama was requested by the search team of the 11th Panchen Lama headed by Chadrel Rinpoche to identify the (reincarnated) Panchen Lama from a list of possible candidates.

On May 15, 1995, the Dalai Lama announced Gedhun as the 11th Panchen Lama. Two days later, the Chinese government abducted the child and his family.

“None of them have ever been seen or heard from again. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who had just turned six, became the world’s youngest political prisoner. Chinese authorities even arrested Chadrel Rinpoche and his assistant Jampa Chung for finding Gedhun and disclosing his information to the Dalai Lama. They were imprisoned for six – and four years respectively for ‘selling state secrets’ and ‘colluding with separatist forces abroad,” he wrote.

The Chinese government rejected the Dalai Lama’s choice of Panchen Lama stating that his ascendance was “illegal and invalid” and, six months after Gedhun’s abduction, China announced that it had found the “real” reincarnation of 10th Panchen Lama named Gyaltsen Norbu, a Tibetan boy – the son of two Communist Party members – as the 11th Panchen Lama.

However, Tibetans have not accepted the Chinese appointed Panchen Lama. ‘Tashi Lhunpo’ monastery University is the real seat of Panchen Lamas but Gyaltsen Norbu never stays in Tashi Lhunpo”.

Defying government orders, local Tibetan officials refused to participate in preparations for the visit. This was not the first time Gyaltsen Norbu had faced popular boycotts by Tibetans.

Similar mass public boycotts were witnessed a few years ago when the Chinese authorities brought Gyaltsen Norbu to Labrang monastery.

Time and again, Tibetans have also proved that they are not going to accept him as their religious leader, Paljor noted.

“Chinese now feel that Tibet is a part of China and that the control of its religious institutions should be in their hands. It is a major power struggle over who will get to choose the religious leaders of Tibet. And, of course, the greater crisis will emerge with the eventual demise of the 14th Dalai Lama,” he wrote.

“However, in order to checkmate China, the Dalai Lama has declared that he will be reborn outside Tibet in exile. And so on his demise, there will be a massive search by the Chinese and a massive search by the exile community held simultaneously to find a new Dalai Lama,” he added. (ANI)

BJP MP To Restore Brig Mohammad Usman’s Grave

Taking note of the ‘bad condition’ of the grave of Brigadier Mohammad Usman at the Jamia graveyard, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Syed Zafar Islam has said he will personally get it renovated. The Brigadier led the recapture of Jhangar and Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir from Pak army and Pak tribals in 1948.

“I will get the grave of true patriotic and great Indian soldier Brigadier Mohammad Usman renovated, which is a revered site in the Batla House graveyard,” said Islam.

“Since my party has always respected our martyrs who made supreme sacrifices for our motherland, I as an MP of BJP, am committed to follow the philosophy of my party. I am grateful to the people who brought the matter to my attention,” he added.

“Brigadier Mohammad Usman was a true patriot. It is said that after the formation of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah invited Brigadier Mohammad Usman to join the Pakistan army,” he added.

“But Usman, who was born in 1912 in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, flatly declined the offer. The Brigadier later dealt a blow to Pakistan when he led his 50th Parachute Brigade to recapture Jhangar and Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir from Pak army and Pak tribals in 1948,” said Islam.

“It was in this battle that Brig Usman was martyred. He was buried at Batla House graveyard near Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and the grave has been a revered site ever since,” he added. (ANI)

Shilpa Shetty ‘Weekends’ On Wednesday

Weekending on Wednesday, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty Kundra flaunted her toned body in a black figure-hugging dress amid her vacation in Goa.

The ‘Life In A Metro’ star hopped on to Instagram and shared a sun-kissed photograph that features herself effortlessly posing for the lens. Jacqueline Fernandez chimed into the comments section, writing,” Oh my god!!! You are a goddess!!!”

Choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant commented, “Jaala Mukhi (fire emoticon) @theshilpashetty

In the snap, the ‘Apne’ star is seen folding her arms behind her head while her luscious locks fare left open in the air, and she stunningly poses amid her vacation.

The ‘Dhadkan’ star captioned the post as, “In the mood to beat every age-old cliche…So, I’m weekending on a Wednesday. #vacationtime #familytime #goadiaries #gratitude #blessed #vacay.” With the post hitting the photo-sharing platform celebrity followers including Riddhima Kapoor Sahni and more than 2 lakh fans liked it.

Earlier, Shilpa Shetty Kundra shared a boomerang video of herself and her sister Shamita Shetty posing in front of an aeroplane before flying off to Goa on vacation. (ANI)

India Can Smash Terror Targets Across LoC: Rajnath

India has the capability to hit terrorist targets across the border if the need arises, Defence Minster Rajanth Singh has said and noted that Pakistan has been indulging in notorious actions along the border since its creation.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, the minister said Pakistan has been resorting to 300-400 ceasefire violations in a few months but the Army gives a befitting reply.

“Ever since its existence, Pakistan has been indulging in notorious actions along the border,” he said.

The minister said the troops were working to eradicate terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The country’s soldiers have proved that not only this side, but to eliminate terrorism they can go to the other side and attack terrorist hideouts if the need arises. India has that capability, that power,” he said.

India had carried out surgical strike on terror launch pads across the border in 2016 after Uri terror attack. It had carried out an aerial strike on terror camp in Balakot in 2019 following terror attack Pulwama.

The minister had slammed Pakistan during the graduation parade at Airforce Academy in Dundigal earlier this month and said that the neighbouring country has continued with its “nefarious acts” on the border, even after losing four wars. (ANI)

Singer Jazzy B To Celebrate New Year With Farmers

By Sahil Pandey

Punjabi Singer Jazzy B on Wednesday reached Singhu border here to express solidarity with the farmers, who are protesting for over a month against the new agriculture laws, and to celebrate New Year with them.

“I am going to celebrate New Year here with the farmers. This is a great place to be here. I want to feel their energy. We will begin the new year with new resolutions,” Jazzy B told ANI here.

As many Punjabi artists have shown their support to the farmers’ protest, many have visited the protest site at Singhu border.

Speaking about the role of artists in the agitation, the singer said, “Any type of artist needs to convey the message he wants to send out. Being an artist it is our privilege that we have a good life but how can you not repay those who make up the society. I am more shocked by those who are not supporting this, it is my humble request to them to come here.”

On being asked what drew him to the ongoing protest, Jazzy B said “There was no way I couldn’t be here. I used to watch videos from here in Canada and it brought me to tears. Old generation people are sitting and sleeping on the streets in such cold weather.”

“I am nothing more than a singer from Punjab and I wanted to convey my solidarity,” he added.

The Punjabi singer also requested the government to give New Year gifts to farmers by repealing the three farm laws.

“They are saying that the three bills are pro-farmers but farmers don’t want them then why are they forcing these legislations on them. There are thousands of people on the roads and the whole world is watching. The government should give a New Year gift to them and take back the bill,” he said.

The singer was also seen doing langar Sewa at Singhu border by distributing dal and roti to people.

Earlier, A meeting between the Union government and farmer leaders concluded at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi on Wednesday with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that a consensus was reached on two out of four issues on the agenda.

He also said that the next meeting will be held on January 4. The government told farmer leaders during the meeting on Wednesday that a committee could be formed to deliberate on their demands.

This is the seventh round of talks with government with farmers, including one with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

Heavy Chinese Missile & Radar Deployment At LAC: IAF

The Chinese Air Force has conducted heavy deployment of missiles and radars in support of the aggression by their Army along the Eastern Ladakh border, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday adding that his service has taken all the required actions to handle the situation.

IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria was addressing a webinar on ‘National Security Challenges and Air Power’ organised by Vivekanand International Foundation.

Bhadauria said, “China has deployed heavily along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in support of their army. They have a large presence of radars, surface to air missiles and surface to surface missiles. Their deployment has been strong.”

The Chinese Air Force has deployed its indigenous fighter jets including J-20 and J-10 along with the Russian-origin SU-30 close to Indian territory in Tibet. They have also activated their air defence systems including the S-400 acquired from Russia.The Indian Air Force has deployed its frontline fighters including the Rafale and the MiG-29 in the Ladakh sector at multiple bases and is ready to respond to any misadventure by the Chinese side.

The Indian Air Force swift action has acted as a strong deterrent against the Chinese and Pakistan both as they had flown sorties in the Ladakh sector around the time a Chinese aircraft was trying to violate Indian airspace in May when the conflict had started to be noticed by people in general.

On the counteraction from the Indian side, the IAF Chief emphasised, “We have taken all actions required to be taken.”

Bhadauria said any serious India-China conflict is not good for China on the global front. If Chinese aspirations are global then it does not suit their grand plan. (ANI)

US VP-Elect Kamala Harris Gets Vaccinated For Covid-19

US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday received on live television the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, making her the latest high-level official to do so as the incoming Trump administration seeks to instil confidence in the vaccination process.

“That was easy!” Harris said after receiving her first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the United Medical Center (UMC) in Washington DC.

“I want to thank the United Medical Center for the work that you do in southeast DC, serving our community that is often overlooked,” Harris said. “So, it is good to be here and I’ve now been vaccinated,” she said.

“There is a big difference between the vaccine and vaccination. I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. It is relatively painless. It happens really quickly. It is safe,” Harris, wearing a black face mask, said in brief remarks after receiving the vaccine, encouraging Americans to get it, as reported by The Hill.

“I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. Literally, this is about saving lives,” she continued. “I trust the scientists, and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine. I look forward to getting the second dose,” she added

The Hill further reported that the Vice-President-elect received a dose of the Moderna vaccine from clinical nurse Patricia Cummings at United Medical Center, which is located in Southeast Washington, D.C.

Her husband, Doug Emhoff, also received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday, she said.

Vice President Mike Pence received the vaccine publicly a week after it received approval and President-elect Joe Biden did so the following week, as did top health officials like Anthony Fauci and Health and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Last Monday, US President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, also on live television, to assure Americans of its safety. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both administered in two shots with a required interval of several weeks between them, Sputnik reported. (ANI)

Limited Visitor Passes For R-Day Parade Due To Covid-19

The government is likely to scale down the number of visitors at the Republic Day parade 2021 to avoid overcrowding and ensure social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak and concerns over the new virus strains.

“Due to COVID-19, the number of visitors to witness the Republic Day parade 2021 would be curtailed as seating arrangements are being made keeping in mind social distancing norms,” government sources said.

Many other proposals are under consideration at the moment to ensure safety, they added.

In 2020, the country witnessed a relatively muted Independence Day function at Red Fort in terms of participation of people in view of the situation created by COVID-19.

With weeks left for the Republic Day, Indian Army continues its rehearsal for the parade on Sunday amid cold conditions in the national capital.

Recently, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had confirmed that United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be attending India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021, as the chief guest, adding that it is symbolic of a new era of India-UK ties.

Meanwhile, several countries including India have banned all travel from the UK following the discovery of the more “transmissible” strain of COVID-19, which has been reported to have caused a spike in infections in London and southeast England. Six UK returnees have been found positive in India for the new coronavirus variant detected in Britain.India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on January 26 next year, honouring the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after the Constitution came into effect.

With 16,432 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India has reported a total of 1,02,24,303 cases so far, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informed on Tuesday.

As many as 24,900 recoveries and 252 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of active cases stands at 2,68,581 while the total recoveries are at 98,07,569, while the total death toll has reached 1,48,153, the Ministry said. (ANI)