SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
RISE OF TEEN
REPORTS ON PAGE 4 & 5
The people’s President
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam and his wife Jane Ittogi being mobbed by supporters at Toa Payoh Hub on Sept 2.
PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
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September 8, 2023
A boy breaking a clay pot filled
with curd as part of a ritual on
the eve of the Krishna
Janmashtami festival celebrations
at the Sree Ayyappan
Guruvayurappan temple in
Hindus across India marked
the birth of Lord Krishna on Sept
6 and 7. The celebrations
included Lord Krishna’s favourite
activities of stealing butter, curd
and other milk products from
earthen pots. Devotees broke
pots filled with such items,
symbolically giving Lord Krishna
access to the contents.
In Mumbai, Bharatiya Janata
Party MP and veteran actress
Hema Malini performed in a play
featuring stories about Lord
Krishna, while students dressed as
Lord Krishna and his consort
Radha in celebrations at
Balurghat in West Bengal.
Devotees celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth
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(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
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Jaishankar says Xi skipping summit
has nothing to do with India
China’s President Xi Jinping skipping
this week’s G20 summit in New Delhi
was nothing out of the ordinary and
will not affect negotiations, Indian
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam
Jaishankar said on Wednesday.
He added that the leader had
skipped summits in the past and Mr Xi
doing so had nothing to do with India.
The Sept 9-10 summit of leaders of
the world’s richest countries is being
held in the context of a “very
turbulent” global environment and
expectations from G20 to find solutions
to some of the world’s pressing
problems are “very high”, he told the
ANI news agency.
Journalists charged with
Police in Manipur have filed criminal
charges against four journalists,
accusing them of misrepresenting facts
in a report about the violent clashes
between two ethnic groups earlier this
The Editors Guild Of India report
was assessing how coverage of violence
in the state was being conducted. The
report, released this month, stated that
there “are clear indications that the
leadership of the state became partisan
during the conflict”.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren
Singh on Monday accused the
journalists of trying to “provoke
clashes” with the report.
The Editors Guild urged the
government to drop the case.
India’s Russian oil import benefits
India’s imports of Russian crude is a
win-win situation for the world
economy, according to India’s No. 1 oil
company, Oil and Natural Gas
“By importing from Russia, India
helped the global economy by freeing
up some oil on the Gulf for other
countries – particularly Europe – to
source, so it was kind of a win-win
situation,” executive director K.C.
Ramesh, executive director of ONGC
said at the annual APPEC energy
conference held by S&P Global Insights
Court leaves Stalin to decide on
Balaji’s ministerial role
The Madras High Court on Tuesday
observed that Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam (DMK) leader V. Senthil
Balaji continuing in the Tamil Nadu
cabinet as minister without portfolio
did not “augur well with the principles
of Constitutional ethos on goodness,
good governance and purity in
A bench of Chief Justice SV
Gangapurwala and Justice PD
Audikesavalu “advised” Chief Minister
MK Stalin to take a decision on Balaji
continuing to be a minister despite his
arrest in a money-laundering case and
subsequent remand to judicial custody.
But the Court did not pass any
directions for removal of Balaji.
ISRO suggests use of AI
technologies to prevent ragging
A team from Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) has suggested that
artificial intelligence technologies like
video analytics and target fixing are
ideal to prevent ragging at Jadavpur
University in Kolkata.
ISRO was consulted for a solution
following the death of a freshman at
the students’ hostel on Aug 10.
On Tuesday, an internal probe
committee suggested the immediate
suspension of four students over the
incident and that a police report be
made against six former students of the
university who were at the hostel at the
time of the incident.
Over 100 buildings in Gurugram
have no permit for lifts
Lifts are running illegally in more than
100 buildings in Gurugram, a city near
New Delhi, as no-objection certificates
have not been obtained from the
This was revealed during an
inspection by the Electrical Inspector’s
Department of Registration. According
to officials, there was registration of
lifts for only 200 buildings in the last
Action will be taken against the
errant building owners.
Air India,IndiGo let passengers
change itinerary during summit
Air India and IndiGo have offered a
one-time waiver of applicable charges if
passengers holding tickets to New
Delhi from Sept 8 to 11 wish to change
the date of travel or flight due to
enhanced security restrictions in New
Delhi for the upcoming G20 Summit.
“Customers are being offered the
option of rescheduling or cancelling
their flights with refunds. Passengers
have been advanced notice about flight
cancellations and schedule changes,”
IndiGo announced on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Air India offered a
one-time waiver of applicable charges
to its passengers holding confirmed
tickets to fly to or from Delhi between
Sept 7 and 11, if they wish to change
their date of travel or flight.
Man nabbed for attempting to
Customs officials at Chennai airport
arrested a man on Tuesday for
attempting to smuggle in 12 pythons
that were concealed in his luggage.
He had arrived from Bangkok and
was behaving in a suspicious manner.
He was produced before a local court
and was remanded to a 14-day judicial
Blind elephant,rescued in 2021,
dies in hospital
Nina, the 62-year-old elephant rescued
from its abusive owner, died due to
multi-organ failure on Tuesday in
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
Nina was commercially exploited for
six decades before it was rescued by
Wildlife SOS in June 2021 and kept at
the Elephant Hospital in Mathura.
Punjab road accident victims to
get free treatment within 48 hours
The Punjab government will provide
free treatment to all road accident
victims within 48 hours as part of its
Farishtey scheme, Health Minister
Balbir Singh said on Tuesday.
“The ‘golden hour’ is the first crucial
hour after a road accident, during
which critical care can increase the
victim’s chances of survival,” he said.
Under the scheme, anyone who
takes a road accident victim to a
hospital for treatment will be honoured
and rewarded with Rs2,000 ($33).
Rajasthan woman allegedly
paraded naked by husband
The National Human Rights
Commission has issued a notice to the
Rajasthan government and the state’s
police chief following an incident of a
pregnant woman who was allegedly
stripped naked and paraded in a village
in Pratapgarh district by her husband,
The Commission on Monday also
said that it would like to know about
the health status of the woman and
compensation, if any, provided to her
by the administration.
The 21-year-old tribal woman was
allegedly mistreated after she was
found with another man in a nearby
Bengaluru man says move to
Hyderabad makes economic sense
A software engineer’s recent post on X
is going viral after he shared his
experience of moving from Bengaluru
Mr Prudhvi Reddy claimed he saved
Rs40,000 ($656) a month by the move
and that a family can live comfortably
on that amount.
Netizens are divided over the issue,
either agreeing with his views or saying
it “doesn’t seem to add up”.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
in his first reaction to the Sanatana Dhar-
ma controversy, has said the remarks of
Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin
(left) “needs proper response”.
Mr Modi’s response came a day after
Mr Udhayanidhi cited the Central go-
vernment’s omission of an invitation to
President Droupadi Murmu for the in-
auguration of the new parliament as an
example of discrimination by practitio-
ners of Sanatana dharma.
Sanatana Dharma translates to “eter-
nal law”, and can be used as an alterna-
tive name for Hinduism.
The minister, the son of Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister MK Stalin, has refused to
apologise for his comment that Sanatana
Dharma is akin to a disease and “should
He has repeatedly said he is ready to
face any legal action for his comments.
There are reports that attempts are being
made to get the Tamil Nadu Governor’s
sanction to initiate action against him.
Over the weekend, Mr Udhyanidhi
sparked controversy with his remark
that “Sanatana (Dharma) is like malaria
and dengue and so it must be eradicated
and not opposed”.
It set off massive backlash on social
media and prompted the Bharatiya Jana-
ta Party to say that it was equivalent to
“a call for genocide”, which the DMK
leader has denied.
The comment also put some allies of
the new Opposition Bloc INDIA in a del-
icate spot ahead of a series of state elec-
tions by the year-end and the general
election next year.
The Congress has taken a nuanced
stance, saying all religions should be re-
spected and people have the right to ex-
press opinions. Younger leaders of the
Congress like Priyank Kharge and Karti
Chidambaram have backed Stalin Ju-
nior. So has the Communist Party’s D.
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party
and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Con-
gress have made their disapproval clear.
The DMK leader faces heavy criti-
cism. More than 250 individuals have
written to Chief Justice of India D.Y.
Chandrachud urging him to take cogni-
sance of the “eradicate Sanatana Dhar-
ma” comment, calling it “hate speech.”
Indo-Asian News Service
Modi: ‘Sanatana remark’ needs proper response
September 8, 2023
Indian President Droupadi Murmu’s
reference to herself as the “President of
Bharat” in a dinner invitation, instead
of “President of India”, sparked contro-
versy on Tuesday, with critics saying the
name of the country is being distorted.
Ms Murmu is hosting a reception for
G20 leaders during the group’s summit
on Saturday and invitations were sent
from her office.
India is also called Bharat, Bharata,
Hindustan – its pre-colonial names – in
Indian languages and these are used in-
terchangeably by the public and official-
High offices in the country have typ-
ically stuck to titles such as President of
India, Prime Minister of India and Chief
Justice of India when communicating in
In its constitution, the world’s most
populous country is known as India and
Bharat. Hindustan (“land of the Hin-
dus” in Urdu) is another word for the
country. The three names are used inter-
changeably officially and by the public.
However, around the world, India is
the most commonly used name.
Over the years, though, Prime Minis-
ter Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) government has been
changing colonial names to “help India
move past a mentality of slavery”.
Supporters of the name change in the
invitation said British colonial rulers
had coined the name India to overshad-
ow Bharat and forge a British legacy.
“Our country’s name is Bharat and
there should be no doubt about it,” said
Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a federal
Hindu groups linked to the BJP said
the G20 summit provided the best op-
portunity to shed India’s colonial bag-
On Tuesday, a senior BJP spokesman
posted on X that Mr Modi was attending
a summit of the Association of South-
east Asian Nations in Indonesia as the
“prime minister of Bharat”.
Opposition leaders were, however,
critical of the change, with some saying
it aimed to eclipse their two-month-old
political alliance, which is also called
“We all say ‘Bharat’, what is new in
this? But the name ‘India’ is known to
the world. What happened that the go-
vernment had to change the name of the
country?” asked top opposition leader
Shashi Tharoor of the opposition
Congress party posted on X: “I hope the
government will not be so foolish as to
completely dispense with India, which
has incalculable brand value built up
The change to “President of Bharat”
comes less than two months after oppo-
sition parties formed the INDIA alli-
ance to challenge BJP in national elec-
tions next year.
INDIA, they said, stands for Indian
National Developmental Inclusive Al-
Political analysts said it was a clever
coinage to take on the BJP’s nationalist
The Indian president is a non-party
head of state with only ceremonial
powers. She or he is traditionally
backed and elected by the party in
An official at the President’s office
said it didn’t want to comment on the
The Indian government has called a
special parliamentary session on Sept
18-22 but has not announced any agen-
da, leading to speculation that it will be
used to rename the country.
Much ado about President Murmu’s title
A couple taking a wefie in front of Bharat Mandapam, the main venue of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
“We all say ‘Bharat’, what is new in this?
But the name ‘India’ is known to the world.
What happened that the government had
to change the name of the country?”
– Top opposition leader Mamata Banerjee
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