Punjab CM visits WWI memorial in Turkey

The centenary of the end of World War I is round the corner. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, a former army officer, on Tuesday visited the historic World War-I Helles Memorial in Turkey to pay homage to the Commonwealth soldiers, including Indians, who were killed in the Gallipoli campaign.

The CM also visited the Turkish memorial in memory of Seyit Ali Váabuk, usually called Corporal Seyit, a World War I gunner in the Ottoman army. He was known for having carried three shells to an artillery piece during the Allied attempt to force its way through the Dardanelles on 18 March 1915.

Singh saluted and spent some time at the Helles Memorial, or the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial, near Sedd el Bahr. He placed a wreath on behalf of the “People of Punjab” at the memorial and then placed flowers at the graves of some of the soldiers.

The memorial is also a tribute to the 20,956 Commonwealth servicemen with no known graves who died in the campaign. The British and Indian forces named on the memorial were those who had died in operations throughout the peninsula. The Helles Memorial has the names of the Indian soldiers.

The 29th Indian Infantry Brigade comprised 14th Ferozepur Sikhs and was part of the 10th division on the Suez. The brigade was detached and sent to reinforce 29 British Infantry Division that had suffered heavy casualties. The 29th Indian Infantry brigade comprised 14 Ferozepur Sikhs, 1/6th Gurkha Rifle, 69 Punjabi and 89 Punjabi. By the time their detachment was over, 1,530 were killed and 3,413 wounded. The 1st Patiala took part in the third battle of Krithia, where they lost the entire force—280 dead and 800 plus wounded.

Singh also paid floral tributes at the graves of 60,000 Turkish soldiers buried there.

Rajasthan minister asks Hindus to vote for BJP

“If all Muslims can vote en masse for Congress, all Hindus should do so for BJP and help the party win with a huge majority.” For this kind of campaign, Rajasthan Minister of State for Rural Development Dhan Singh Rawat has landed in trouble. An FIR has been registered against Rawat for this “religious speech” in his Banswara constituency on 26 October. After approval by the State Chief Election Officer following a report submitted by the Returning Officer and District Magistrate of Banswara, the tehsildar filed the FIR against Rawat under Section 125 of the Rajasthan Representative (Lokpratinidhi) Act at the Kotwali. The BJP media in charge, Vimal Katiyar told The Sunday Guardian that it was Rawat’s “personal viewpoint” and that the party was not responsible in any way. “The BJP does not do politics in the name of religion, caste and creed.” he said.

Rao Inderjit wants to be Haryana CM

Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh wants to be Chief Minister of Haryana after the 2019 Assembly elections there. On Tuesday, he told a public gathering in Ferozpur Jhirka, “Southern Haryana will decide the next CM. My voters want me to run the state.”Lok Sabha Member from Gurugram, Singh is the son of former Haryana CM Rao Birender Singh. “In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, people voted with the hope that I would be CM.” He had quit the Congress to join the saffron camp.

“I have been active in politics for 40 years and have been a public representative for more than a decade. To become CM is every leader’s aspiration. I want and deserve to be the captain of a development-driven team,” the Ahirwal leader said.

On allegations of “indifferent” treatment towards Mewat, which is part of his constituency, Singh said, “I brought development projects to Mewat and made sure the works were completed. I believe that more than my presence my words should speak for me. I ask people of Mewat to vote for those who talk about development.”

Sibal is singing sad songs

Why is Kapil Sibal singing sad songs? On Monday, Sibal made a soft online launch of a Punjabi song, “Kyun russ gaya”. It clocked over one lakh hits within seconds of its launch on YouTube under the “Sad Songs 2018” category. “This song is about pathos, about the nuances of love, longing and parting. There are all kinds of relationships. You can stay together or apart. How you handle the situation is important. My first Punjabi song is essentially about parting with love and civility,” Sibal told The Sunday Guardian. Sibal is author of “I-witness” and “My World Within” (books of poems). Asked whether as a poet he would pen slogans for Congress, Sibal said, “If my party asks me to do so, it will be an honour.”

Sonia visits Maneka ministry fest

New Delhi’s political circles on Wednesday were wondering if Sonia Gandhi and her sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi, had resumed their social ties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after years of estrangement.

The flutter started when Sonia Gandhi visited the national festival of organic materials being hosted by Maneka Gandhi’s Ministry of Women and Child Development. Sonia is known to visit exhibitions of natural and organic products and fabrics. The UPA chairperson was seen halting at various stalls. But sources close to Maneka said that Sonia’s visit had no political or other overtones.

In 2017 also, there was speculation on the eve of Uttar Pradesh elections about a certain “private meeting” between Sonia and Maneka, followed by buzz around Maneka’s son and BJP MP Varun Gandhi possibly joining the Congress. It turned out to be a bubble.

So far, both sisters-in-law have maintained a safe distance from each other though their children do exchange greetings on occasions.

BJD MP brings global congress on Anthropology to India

Dr Achyutananda Samanta, BJD member of the Rajya Sabha, is an excited man. His baby, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), deemed to be University, which is regarded as the world’s largest anthropological laboratory, has been awarded the privilege to host the XIXth World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) in 2023 (15-19 January). Represented by KISS, India won the bid against Croatia by a huge margin to host this prestigious conference in collaboration with Utkal University and Sambalpur University. There will be pre and post congresses in different parts of India. Over 15,000 delegates from 150 countries are expected to participate in the congress, which is held every five years in different parts of the world. Samanta said, “India will host this meet after a gap of 45 years. The country hosted the congress only once, in Delhi in 1978.”

KISS, which is believed to be the first tribal university of the world, won the competitive bidding process after hectic efforts from Samanta. “KISS had applied earlier in 2014 but lost the bid to Brazil. This time, during the congress held in Brazil from 16-20 July this year, the final bidding was held between KISS and Croatia. We got 234 votes, while Croatia managed to get only 89 votes,” Samanta said.

Man Mohan can be contacted at rovingeditor@gmail.com

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