Updated: September 4, 2021 9:37:36 am
After controversies over spread of coronavirus at the Kumbh Mela and the Tablighi Jamaat, there has not been many vocal demands for opening up worshiping places. But former Supreme Court judge, Justice Kurian Joseph, has taken the cause to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Justice Joseph has written to “immediately permit worship and services in religious places in Delhi, respecting Covid-19 protocols”. Pointing out that the pandemic has “thinned down significantly”, and that “relaxations were allowed for many of the activities”, he wrote that “allowing people to attend religious worships and services would only help in alleviating their deep stress (and)…infuse them with positivity, hope, inner strength and confidence”. He also mentioned that prohibition of services in places of public worship will be discriminatory and may amount to denial of Constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality before law) 19 (freedom of speech and expression), 21 (life and liberty), and 25 (freedom to practice, profess and propagate).
Riding On The Rath
The Rath Yatra undertaken by veteran BJP leader L K Advani in 1990 has inspired many politicians to name their political campaigns after that. But now it seems bureaucrats have also started using the phrase Rath Yatra to launch official campaigns. The Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation under the Jal Shakti Ministry, for instance, has sent an advisory to state governments to launch a ‘Satyagrah Se Swachhagrah Rath Yatra’ from September 15 to October 2 as part of commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Independence. It says states and Union Territories may like to organise ‘Rath Yatra’ with Covid-appropriate behaviour. Thirty-six “Swatantrata Raths” may move from state capitals to all districts, and after spreading the message of swachhata and satyagrah, assemble at a place of importance in the Independence movement, says the advisory, sent on August 25.
Biting The Big Apple
Minister of State in the MEA, Meenakshi Lekhi, is in New York to take part in the United Nations meetings. After New York, she will go to Colombia on a bilateral visit. Lekhi is visiting the US for the first time since she became a Union minister.
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