Musharrafs former

Musharraf’s former party, The rigging of the elections was the initial motivation behind the PTI’s mobilization last week,s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude,org When a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University asked him how he should deal with ill-treatment by his loved ones over his sexual orientation,the Art of Living guru had this to say: "You treat yourself better doesn’t matter how others treat you You don’t think you are sick or something’s wrong with you If you stand up nobody can insult you… But if you feel weak and meek and if you feel bad about yourself nobody can make you feel better This is your tendency now Just acknowledge it and accept it and know that this tendency is not a permanent thing It may change I’ve seen many men who were gay later on turn into heterosexuals and there are those who are normal — what are called straight people — end up being gay later in life I want to you to focus beyond the body identity" He received a Twitter backlash for this advice Sonam Kapur wants to know "WTF is wrong with god men" Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik has pointed out that "Everything everything is temporary in this world: homosexuality HETEROsexuality marriage faith nation caste celibacy kings and even gurus" He wondered why a guru would tell a gay man that "his ‘tendency’ is transient" and whether he would ever tell a "man/woman that his/her gender is transient" Poor Sri Sri It was not the most articulate way of phrasing his idea about gender and sexual orientation fluidity but let’s look on the bright side of it all before jumping all over the Art of Lilting guru Sri Sri knows "many men who were gay" This is a marked improvement from a certain learned judge of the Supreme Court now retired who upheld the criminalisation of gay sex by saying homosexuals were anyway a "minuscule fraction" and thus somehow undeserving of protection and rights under the law Sri Sri unlike Baba Ramdev did not offer to "cure" homosexuality with yoga Patanjali potions and pranayama He did not offer anAoL workshop gay package He might have ruffled feathers by calling it a "tendency" but that is surely better than calling it an unnatural disease that had come from foreign shores as Ghulam Nabi Azad suggested when he was health minister And it’s a lot better than anything Subramanian Swamy ever calls it —a "genetic disorder" a "brain disorder" and "genetically handicapped" And worst of all in the world according to Swamy "Buddhu (aka Rahul Gandhi) has made being Gay a minimum qualification for Cong membership" A "tendency" sounds relatively harmless compared to all this Some people have a tendency towards cough and cold some have a tendency to take selfies everywhere others apparently have a tendency towards homosexuality "Accept it" While many are beating up on poor Sri Sri for calling sexuality a tendency and heterosexuals "normal" as if homosexuals are abnormal it’s worth noting he did also tell that student to "just acknowledge it and accept it" Religion is rarely very accepting of homosexuality In the universe of godmen and homophobia Sri Sri ranks fairly low In a world where the Sharia law allows men to be put to death for homosexual intercourse in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Iran Sri Sri’s advice to "acknowledge and accept" sounds almost benign The Catholic church at best tends to hate the sin but love the sinner Even the Dalai Lama the patron saint in the West for all that’s fuzzy and gentle saidthat though "mutually agreeable homosexual relations" can be harmless from society’s viewpoint "from a Buddhist point of view men-to-men and women-to-women is generally considered sexual misconduct" And let’s not forget Sri Sri did once say that to be branded a criminal for homosexuality is "absurd" and a religion where Lord Ayappa was born of Hari-Hara (Vishnu and Shiva) could not consider homosexuality a crime He did advice the student to treat himself better no matter how others treat him that if he stood up nobody could insult him That’s easier said than done in a world that stigmatises homosexuality but it’s better than those who advise gays to take all sex out of their sexuality One should be thankful for any godman who tells us to not feel bad about ourselves whether gay or not Sri Sri offered all of us hope no matter where our ideologies lie If the gay can become straight and the straight can become gay sickulars can one day become bhakts and bhakts can become sickular Temples can become mosques can become temples in Ayodhya If everything is a tendency even Subramanian Swamy can change his stripes Oh wait he’s already done that many times But even in the reaction to Sri Sri there’s a glimmer of progress Once upon a time Bollywood stars would rather die than attack a religious figure overhis statements about homosexuality Sri Sri might be taken aback by Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s angry reactions but it’s a sign that even in notoriously play-it-safe Bollywood homosexuality is losing its chhi chhi-shame-shame stigma It’s still not quite safe to come out as gay but at least it’s OK to be a gay-supporter The world is changing and Sri Sri one of the more urbane godmen is not unaware of this Even as he was advising the student at JNU 616 percent of Australians voted in favour of same-sex marriage It is a non-binding ballot but with 78 million voting in support of it as opposed to 49 million voting against it’s a fairly overwhelming ‘yes’ for marriage equality Sri Sri Ravi Shankar whose followers come from all over the world whose sermons fill convention centres in Silicon Valley has emerged as sort of the patron guru for the upwardly mobile Indian who is anxious that India be seen as a liberal modern democracy They might not be ready for same-sex marriage like the Australians but they do not want Section 377 either That’s just their tendency I can understand those who are upset at having their orientation their lives apparently dismissed as a "tendency" But let’s take a deep breath and relax All in all Sri Sri’s advice was probably well-intentioned if ill-elegantly phrased By the way in that same interaction when asked about students and the "anti-national" tag he said "Some youths have a tendency to rebel Just because they’re talking different don’t think they are anti-national" It seems Sri Sri has a tendency towards tendency A man with a big grubby beard sits cross-legged on a Central Delhi footpath When someone approaches him he pulls out a black slate-board to convey through scribbles that he hasn’t uttered a word in 12 years Newspaper cuttings which have lost its original hue due to the passing of time give out his name — Ambrose — and the fact that he was a PhD aspirant at Bangalore University before he gave up on his academic career and turned into an anshankari maun satyagrahi (one who resists in silence) for the rights of farmers He has been agitating against the commercialisation of water and wants the government to declare as a free resourceAmbrose a silent protester from Karnataka is offering Rs 25000 to the central government and demanding a loan waiver for the farmers of Karnataka in exchange Pallavi Rebbapragada/Firstpost Stationed on the footpath all around him since three months are farmers from the South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association They display a collection of skulls and bones which they quickly declare belong to family members who committed suicide Ambrose holds out a slate with demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 clipped on He is offering his life’s savings (Rs 25000) to the Central government and wanting in exchange a loan waiver for his farmer friends The sadness and madness of being Ambrose are instantly normalised by those who surround him with dismantled skeletons The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has seen straight through the symbolic nuance of Jantar Mantar by ordering a ban on all protest activities on Delhi’s two-decade-old protest site claiming that protestors violate environmental laws The authorities have been asked to shift those occupying its footpaths to the Ramlila Maidan up north near Old Delhi’s Ajmeri Gate The necessary action needs to be taken in four weeks and all stakeholders have been asked to file a compliance report within five weeks The order states: ‘NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) is directed to remove all makeshift/temporary structures loudspeakers and public address systems from the said stretch of Jantar Mantar road NDMC is also directed to remove the garbage/waste lying on the stretch of Jantar Mantar Road and clean the entire area’ The Ramlila Maidan isn’t just another public park It was the venue for Jayaprakash Narayan’s 25 June 1975 rally against the Indira Gandhi government which marked one of the biggest social movements in the history of independent India It was on its stage that the Janata Party came together and people filled up the vastness to witness those powerful addresses by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Morarji Desai The anti-corruption demonstration of Anna Hazare and the oath ceremony of the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also took place at the Ramlila Maidan This is also where Narendra Modi delivered his famous speech My Idea of India in 2014 Since the spatial arrangement is that of a singular stage and a space for a much larger audience the venue is ideal for political rallies and for uniting crowds in a singular cause Jantar Mantar is a tighter fit where all kinds of fragments of civil society can come make a noise about a cause however specific march towards the Parliament and leave Usually small groups of people with a plethora of issues from different states assemble on the street to protests and many do as loudly and as spectacularly as possible hoping that both the government and the national media would hear them Jadgish Kajla (second from right) was ostracised from his village Bhagana Haryana by the Khap Panchayat Through his Bhagana Kaand Sangarsh Samiti he agitates against land grabbing by village administration and unresolved criminal cases Pallavi Rebbapragada/Firstpost "There are two kinds of protestors at Jantar Mantar one kind comes in the form of rallies that make noise uses mics and loudspeakers and marches towards the Parliament The other kind stays here for the long haul Their method of protest is simply their presence The latter sleeps here bathes here eats here for months on end" says Sanjay Kumar who works as some sort of a freelance assistant to protestors who come to the National Capital from far-flung corners of the country in the hope to strike justice like gold "The NGT order will distance the protesters from the government not just in kilometers but also in terms of trust" he explains It is undoubtedly those who are stationed at Jantar Mantar who will be affected the most when the site of resistance shifts to Ramlila Maidan Reinstating his views is Prakash son of a farmer from Trichy "We have been protesting for three months and it is only on the first day that we used loudspeakers In the last one week there have been teachers’ association rallies and protests marches for liquor bans that have used loudspeakers and shouted slogans Why should we pay the price for their actions" But he points to a protest being quietly staged by the All India Anganwadi Employees’ Association who come here with demands like government employee status and increase the honorarium of the workers and helpers which is currently Rs 3000 Om Prakash Singh representative of this movement in Uttar Pradesh says this is only the second day of the protest and because of the order the representatives from the administration unplugged their loudspeakers He adds that if they are asked to relocate they will but their programme won’t stop "If the law is tightened discipline can be enforced The daily protestors won’t put up loudspeakers and if they’re given a set of rules they’ll follow them because it’s inconvenient to move to Ramlila Maidan Now after this order all protests including rallies that last a day or two as well as the longer protests will move to Ramlila Maidan" explains Sanjay Seven minutes and some Lutyens’ roundabouts away from the Parliament is a road that bends inwards where bright yellow barricades block out the traffic people bathe under leaky water tanks chai cola and chhola-kulcha stalls offer respite and carpets and folding cots are spread out on shaded footpaths On days when aren’t any rallies one finds protesters sitting silently on either side of the street sleeping in front of their banners Present here since 2007 is Machinder Nath who started the Rashtriya Joota Maaro Andolan in 2006 The banner has a picture of him hurling a shoe and clearly states that this movement is the solution to problems in every sector ‘from land to government jobs to private sector jobs to unresolved murder cases’ He asks the NGT why they aren’t planting trees instead of going after people like him He isn’t the only one here for reasons that seem vaguely broad Santosh Kumar who married a Dalit girl in 2003 has long been declared dead by the Uttar Pradesh government He alleges that his family removed his name from the land records to eat into his share in the property and the state authorities obliged In 2012 he also filed a nomination for the race to Raisina Hill to prove that he isn’t dead Santosh still floats about at Jantar Mantar convincing people that he is alive Madhusudan Biswas has come here all the way from Pathuria Village in 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal and is on an indefinite hunger strike until the government accepts his demand of a complete ban on plastics glass thermocol and flex "I have come here to protect the environment not to destroy it" says a frail and fatigued Biswas Madhusudan Biswas a teacher from 24 Paraganas West Bengal is on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar one of his demands is a blanket ban on plastic thermocol and glass Pallavi Rebbapragada/Firstpost The protestors wish to be heard to be written about to be photographed "This is a street people stop and talk to us At the Ramlila Maidan we won’t even be seen" says David Raja a 30-year-old national-level fencing player from Tamil Nadu who has set up a fake bar to demand a liquor ban in his state Since five months Jantar Mantar has been his home "Today the government has asked us to go to another place tomorrow it might ask us to go to Pakistan" he says repeating that he wants somebody from the government to respond if not react to his letters He shares stories of taking hundreds of alcoholics to rehabilitation centres amid rising cases of families breaking up due to domestic violence by drunken men One strange irony is that some of these protestors show photocopies of handwritten letters to the prime minister and various chief ministers instead of petitions they might have filed in the court Yet they seem to know that the Constitution guarantees them the right to protest In August 2016 a two-judge bench has held that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution but this right is subject to restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India and public order The Bench observed that holding of peaceful demonstration to air their grievances and to see that their voice is heard in the relevant quarters is the right of the people Article 19(1)(a) confers freedom of speech to the citizens of this country and thus this provision ensures that the petitioners could chant slogans in a peaceful and orderly manner without the use of offensive language Article 19(1)(b) confers the right to assemble and guarantees the right to assemble peacefully without arms However when passions are soaring civic discipline disappears in seconds At Jantar Mantar Santh Rampal the self-styled godman from Hisar has a representation of over a hundred disciples from Nepal Uttar Pradesh Rajasthan and lower middle class colonies in Delhi like Govindpuri Madangiri and Sangam Vihar At the slightest provocation they scream and howl that the CBI charges against their guru (who is accused of murder conspiracy hoarding illegal weapons among other crimes) must be dropped Some women in the group threaten to retaliate if forcibly removed them from their spot Followers of Santh Rampal have parked themselves at Jantar Mantar More than a hundred people are fed free meals at this tent daily Pallavi Rebbapragada/Firstpost Some tents away Sudesh Goyat wife of Major Ajmer Singh from Haryana who is leading the national cause of One Rank One Pension for retired servicemen since two years also refuses to leave "The authorities were so quick to react to a petition regarding pollution caused by us what about my repeated appeals to them since 2015" she asks NGT’s order will leave behind memories of social movements big and small It is hard to forget the outrage among students breaking down barricades at the Raisina Hill to demand justice for the girl who died and became Nirbhaya in 2012 or the anguish the Supreme Court’s verdict on Article 377 caused among not just the LGBT community but among activists and students from across the country The country’s psyche has changed and grown at Jantar Mantar Even if it dies as a place it will live on with time Swagata Yadavar Although Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) has sent India on a toilet construction spree 516 percent of households across the country did not use an improved sanitation facility – a system that separates human excreta from human contact–between January 2015 and December 2016 “Brother and Sisters we are living in 21st century Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open Whether dignity of women is not our collective responsibility, Related News This year, this is only slowly picking up as citizens have to yet adhere to this norm, The NCC has some unique attractions even today. “Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone 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Thus,” he said.

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