Truth lives on [Gandhi , Hindu ]

On January 30, 1948, three gun shots rent the air. These shots changed the course of history and shocked the world.

An event occurred in the Indian capital on January 30, 1948. 
It was a little past 5 p.m. in Delhi, on January 30, 1948. What followed that fateful day, plunged our country in gloom, and you could say it changed the course of our history. It certainly shocked the whole world.
Before that, trouble had been brewing. Nasty, deadly trouble. Hindus and Muslims were fighting and killing each other. Mahatma Gandhi was asking for peace. India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel were quarrelling with each other; and both of them wanted to resign from their posts. Mahatma Gandhi was asking for peace.
After that terrible event on January 30, however, things settled down.
Nehru wrote to Patel, “Everything is changed and we have to face a different and more difficult world.”
They decided they had to face that world, not apart from each other, but together. All their differences had to be settled, in the interests of the country.
Hindus and Muslims were also shocked into declaring peace with each other. It had taken a horrible killing in Delhi to bring about that peace. Ever since then, January 30 has been observed in India as Martyr’s Day.
A martyr is a person who has sacrificed his life for a cause. A martyr doesn’t know he’s going to die. He only knows that he will stand firm for his cause. Without thinking of the price he has to pay. Even if it’s his own life. For instance, on January 29, 1909, Gandhiji had written to his nephew Maganlal: “I may have to meet death in South Africa at the hands of my countrymen. If that happens you should rejoice. It will unite the Hindus and Mussalmans.”
Thirty-nine years later, almost to the day, in a different continent, but in pretty much the same context, his own words came true.
Tragedy strikes
It was evening at Birla House, Delhi, and Gandhiji was late for his prayers. Leaning on the shoulders of two young girls, he was walking quickly towards the prayer hall when a man bent down to touch his feet. One of the girls tried to stop him. The man swept away her hand so that all the things she carried fell down and scattered on the ground. Then the man straightened up, and there was a pistol in his hand. He aimed it at the frail chest of the Mahatma and fired three times.
Some people say he called out “Hey Ram” as he fell. Others say he died with just a sigh. Jawaharlal Nehru said later that the “light has gone out of our lives”.
The man who shot Gandhiji was a young man named Nathuram Godse, who was immediately arrested. He had been angry because he felt that Gandhiji was helping the Muslims at the expense of the Hindus. In a letter he wrote to his parents from prison, he said he knew he would be hated by most people, but he was actually a martyr for a national cause.
He was hanged the next year, on November 15, 1949.
A newspaper correspondent, who had accompanied Gandhiji on various tours, wrote that his body had three bullet injuries. Two bullets had passed through his body, the third was still lodged in him. Gandhiji’s blood-stained body was rushed inside. A large crowd waited outside, in shock. The doctors examined his body, then looked up helplessly. The Mahatma was gone.
His body was placed on the ground. Lights were switched off, and oil lamps lit. People sat around, reciting from the Gita and singing bhajans. His body was later washed and dressed in a khadi cloth and placed on a high table for people to have a last glimpse of the Father of the Nation. The rush of people was overwhelming. An old woman fainted. Finally, the doors had to be closed. Then they took the body up to the roof, where it was displayed in bright light. Though it was a bitterly cold night, people kept coming. Nehru was weeping like a child.
In a radio broadcast, Patel told the nation not to think of revenge, but to “carry the message of love and non-violence enunciated by Mahatmaji. “We did not follow him when he was alive; let us at least follow his steps now he is dead.”
Every year, on January 30, the President of India, Vice President, Prime Minister and Home Minister, along with the three Service Chiefs, place wreaths on Gandhij’s Samadhi at Rajghat. At around eleven, the whole nation observes a two-minute silence.
It’s our way of remembering Gandhiji’s sacrifice.
When you dedicate your whole life to non-violence, you’re not afraid of violence against yourself. That’s what he showed us. Let’s try and remember that when we close our eyes this Martyr’s Day for those two minutes of silence.


UN to decide if Zika virus is a global health emergency

“The possible links, only recently suspected, have rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions,” Dr. Chan said.

The World Health Organization says it is convening an emergency committee on Monday to decide if the Zika virus outbreak should be declared an international health emergency.
At a special meeting on Thursday in Geneva, WHO Director—General Dr. Margaret Chan said the virus which has been linked to birth defects and neurological problems was “spreading explosively.”
Zika virus was first detected in 1947 and for decades, only caused mild disease. But Dr. Chan noted that “the situation today is dramatically different.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Zika virus is now in more than 20 countries, mostly in Central and South America.
Dr. Chan said although there was no definitive proof that the Zika virus was responsible for a spike in the number of babies being born with abnormally small heads in Brazil, “the level of alarm is extremely high.” She also noted a possible relationship between Zika infection and Guillain—Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis.
“The possible links, only recently suspected, have rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions,” Dr. Chan said.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for Zika, which is related to dengue scientists have struggled for years to develop a dengue vaccine but have failed to create a viable shot so far.
The U.N. health agency last declared an international emergency over the devastating 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which ended up killing more than 11,000 people.


28 January The Hindu ePaper



Zika virus : New Year, new public health threat [ Health , Hindu ]

A little-known mosquito-borne virus, and affecting children, is causing one of the most alarming health crises to hit South America in decades.

An obscure mosquito-borne virus, Zika, is on the prowl and has already caused an “unprecedent[ed] situation” in the world of scientific research. It stems from a huge surge in babies being born with microcephaly, a rare, incurable condition in which their heads are abnormally small. The disease is currently sweeping through Northeastern Brazil, with officials reporting at least 2,782 cases in 2015, as against 147 in 2014 and 167 in 2013. At least 40 infants have died so far.
What is Zika virus?
The virus gets its name from the Zika forest in Uganda, Africa, where it was first identified in rhesus monkeys in 1947. It was reported in humans in 1952 but was unknown in the Americas until last year. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for the spread of dengue and chikungunya.
In the last few years, confirmed cases have been reported from Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.
Why is this outbreak alarming?
The Zika virus was considered benign until recently when scientists, for the first time in November 2015, linked it to a surge in babies born with microcephaly — an incurable birth defect, they are born with abnormally small heads. According to Brazilian authorities, by the end of the year, Zika could infect over 1.5 million people. Further, the disease is spreading fast and experts believe it could spread to other countries in the Southern hemisphere. Puerto Rico reported its first case of Zika on Friday.
Outbreaks have also occurred in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, and the Canadian government have issued travel advisories, warning tourists to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Further, the Brazilian government is advising women to delay pregnancies till the outbreak is under control.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms include experiencing muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. The virus causes a painful but temporary rash in adults. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week but 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus become ill
How is it Zika treated?
There is no medicine as yet to treat Zika. According to the CDC, the condition can be managed and symptoms treated with patients being put on bed rest, increasing fluid intake and having fever medication.
Text by Vidya Krishnan


Editorial TH and IE 27th January zip file



Pranab gives assent to Central rule in Arunachal Pradesh

The assent was given right after he hosted the traditional ‘At Home’ or reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday evening approved the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for the imposition of President’s rule onArunachal Pradesh.

The assent was given right after he hosted the traditional ‘At Home’ or reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan for French President Francois Hollande as part of the Republic Day celebrations.

Sources at Rashtrapati Bhavan said Mr. Mukherjee signed on the dotted line after being satisfied that the law and order situation in the border State was sensitive to this uncertainty in government.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the President on Monday afternoon to explain the reasons for the recommendation. Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, told The Hindu that apart from the rule under which an Assembly has to meet every six months, the deadline for which expired in Arunachal Pradesh on January 21, there were other compelling reasons to impose President’s rule.

“The Governor [Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa] has been sending multiple reports that even the Raj Bhavan was not safe and had been seized by Congress MLAs and there was no law and order in the State,” Mr. Rijiju said. Sources said it was this argument on law and order that weighed on Mr. Mukherjee. The Ministry of Home Affairs appointed two retired civil servants — G.S Patnaik and Y.S Dadwal as advisers to the Governor.

Crisis will echo in Parliament

The political turmoil in the state is set to deepen inside Parliament with theCongress determined to stall the ratification of President’s Rule in the State.

Top party sources said here on Tuesday that a meeting was held between senior leaders of the party and Chief Minister Nabam Tuki at the residence of former Union Minister Kapil Sibal and both legal and political options to fight the imposition of President’s Rule were discussed.

“A proclamation of President’s Rule needs to be ratified in both Houses of Parliament within two months of notification or whenever the next session of Parliament is held. In this case, the budget session. The party will oppose it tooth and nail and try and build opposition unity around the issue,” said a top source in the party.

On Tuesday evening, the Janata Dal (U) also issued a statement in support of the Congress, appealing to all non-BJP parties to unite in raising the issue in Parliament.

“This decision of the NDA-led Central government is an attempt to sabotage the Constitutional mandate, which is a threat to democracy. This act also shows the BJP’s mindset towards cooperative federalism. The JD(U) calls upon all non-BJP parties including NDA partners Telugu Desam Party, People’s Democratic Party, Shiv Sena and Akali Dal to stand together in the hour of need and raise the issue in the upcoming budget session,” the statement read. The opposition enjoys comfort in numbers in the Rajya Sabha and the imposition of President’s Rule in an Opposition-run state has set the stage for a stormy Budget Session.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the imposition of President’s rule was a “disaster” in the making. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal likened the situation to the Emergency. “President’s rule in Arunachal. Advaniji was right in saying that there are Emergency-like conditions in the country,” he said.

Arunachal Pradesh plunged into a political crisis in June last year after a section of tCongress MLAs (14 of them) was suspended by Speaker Nabam Rebia, along with two Ministers. The Congress retained its majority, but very soon Deputy Speaker T.N. Thongdok cleared an impeachment motion against the Speaker “owing to his personal relationship with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki”.


27 January The Hindu ePaper



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