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Mani Shankar Aiyar, You Are Wrong About PM Modi



(Nalin S Kohli is spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Director of the party’s Public Policy Research Centre. He is also a lawyer and has extensive experience in media and education.)

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense” wrote Lewis Carroll, 150 years ago, in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. After reading Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar’s latest opinion, the quote almost sums up the column. (Mani-Talk: Silence From Modi, Great Social Media Mogul)

It is fascinating to note Mr Aiyar’s contemptuous scorn for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Is it because Mr Aiyar firmly roots himself to an antiquated and privileged lot of young princelings who thrive on favours doled out on the basis of the politics of entitlement? How can the deserving have any place in this seemingly gentrified world of scorners?

So while Mr Aiyar questions Mr Modi’s alleged silence on recent controversies as a right, he adheres to a separate set of principles to blissfully ignore any comment about his esteemed leader Mr Rahul Gandhi’s almost decade long spell of silence as a Member of Parliament.

It’s the same mindset that propelled Mr Aiyar to infamously state in January 2014 at the AICC meeting in Delhi that “I promise you in the 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. …But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him”..!

Every hard-working Indian worth his salt knows that it is easier to speak than to perform, and that it takes time for results to show. Work is the focus of Prime Minister Modi’s government. Performance and outcome will replace the paralysed and ethically deficit governance model of the Congress-led UPA.

When Prime Minister Modi addresses the nation on 15th August from the ramparts of the Red Fort, his government will be just 80 days old.

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” says the White Queen to Alice; she might as well be writing about Mr Aiyar’s state of mind. From his article it is clear that the Gujarat riots of 2002 is the only agenda that the Congress party consistently revisits time and again. He is unable to think beyond the vitriolics of communal politics, even after the voters of India have wholesomely rejected this agenda of the Congress party.

Beyond that agenda, even the facts Mr Aiyar quotes on Gujarat are selective. He speaks of death but ignores the countless incidents of rescue including that of 5000 people from around the Noorani Mosque by the Ahmedabad Police or the one where 400 children were saved from a madrassa at Bhavnagar. He tries to quote Begum Jafri on an alleged conversation but blissfully ignores that 150 people were snatched away by the police from a mob of 15,000 at the same Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad. He refers to “the newly-married girl whose womb was sliced open and the foetus tossed into the sky” but ignores the statement of Dr J S Kanoria “After the post mortem, I found that her foetus was intact and that she had died of burns suffered during the riot.”

Mr Aiyar, riots are terrible. They cost human lives. Women and children, unfortunately, suffer the most. One constantly prays that riots don’t happen anywhere. Since 2002 Gujarat is peaceful, but the same can’t be said for many other states of the country, many including Congress-ruled ones like Assam.

Since the past is so his preference, would Mr Aiyar like to recall the infamous words of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi “when a big tree falls, the ground shakes“, shamelessly justifying the 1984 genocide of thousands of Sikhs?

It is obvious that Mr Aiyar dislikes to see Mr Modi hold the highest elected office of the land. That the voters of the world’s largest democracy, tired and appalled at the previous Congress-led government, have chosen to place Mr Modi in that seat, is a fact he conveniently ignores. Perhaps behind Mr Aiyar’s venomous verbosity, there might well be the lurking regret of a bitter man, who finally is forced to acknowledge that he has little relevance left in a world that has changed, far beyond the politics of entitlement of an erstwhile raj, where he still desperately seeks to belong.

In his article, Mr Aiyar refers to the Silence of the Lambs. He might well want to consider watching the 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Between Alice in Wonderland and this film, his worldview might just be complete. 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndoCandians is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of IndoCandians and IndoCandians does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


Canadian News

Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs



Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory take part in a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in Sunday's shooting attack, and 13 other people were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.

While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.

At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.

We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.

Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.

We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.

A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.

Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.

We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.

We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.

We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.

Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.

Our emergency services keep people safe.

Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.

Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.

Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.

We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.

With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”

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Canadian News

Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality



Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.

Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.

Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.

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Canadian News

Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?



The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture.  That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries.  Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.

Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.

Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response.  However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.

Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth.  Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.

In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide?  Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed?  However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.

The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?

Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.

Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.

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