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  • Beheading of Sikh youth: SDPI urges Pak Govt. to inflict exemplary punishment The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), is shocked to learn the dastardly act of the so called Taliban activists in Pakistan wherein they reportedly beheaded two innocent Sikhs in North-West province.

    The brutal killings like these can never be justified by anyone, whatsoever logic one may put forward. Safeguarding the lives of its minorities from lawlessness, mayhem and protecting their lives and property is the paramount duty of any State.

    The SDPI demands Pakistan Government to rise to the occasion and inflict severest exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the crime so that such heinous crime is never repeated in future. This would help Sikhs, who are in minorities in Pakistan, to have faith in the administration of the country.

    New Delhi 

    23 February 2010

  • Militants threat to sporting events reprehensible, Chidambaram's commitment towards sportspersons’ safety laudable
    The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), appreciates Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram for allaying fears of world's sporting fraternity of security fears in the upcoming major sports events in India in the backdrop of bombing in Pune on February 13 and alleged new threats which raised fresh concerns over security.
    The reported statement of Chidamabaram that India will provide full protection to every player, every coach, every official who participates in the forthcoming World Cup Hockey, IPL cricket and Commonwealth Games should reassure the sporting nations who are scheduled to send their teams in these events.

    The reported warning of Pakistan-based extremist Al-Qaeda-linked militant Ilyas Kashmiri about attacking sports events in India is most reprehensible and will be condemned by one and all. It should be remembered that international sport events are medium of forging peace, coordination and cooperation between nations since time immemorial. The Government's resolve to provide fool-proof security to one and all connected with these sporting events is laudable and should be supported so that the image of India remains untarnished.

    Meanwhile, the SDPI is happy to note that Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is satisfied with the security measures taken by India to ensure the safety of Australian players during the forthcoming Commonwealth Games following terror threats by Al-Qaeda-linked militants. Similarly, Pakistan security agencies have given a thumbs up to the security arrangements made for the World Cup Hockey tournament in New Delhi beginning on February 28. These indicators go on to show Chidambaram's commitment towards sportspersons’ safety and his allaying of fears are not mere words.

    The SDPI hopes and prays to the Almighty that everything passes off peacefully without any untoward incident so that the so-called designs of militants are frustrated.

    New Delhi
    19 February 2010

  • SDPI calls Pune blast a cowardly act, demands fair probe
    Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), is aghast to learn the deadly blast in Pune on Saturday which claimed nine innocent lives and left 50 injured. This cowardly act is the handiwork of anti-national forces which are bent upon to disturb communal harmony of the nation and bring bad name to it in the eyes of the world. These forces with vested interests want to derail India from the path of progress so that it does not stand among the developed nations.
    The SDPI condemns the blast in the strongest term possible and hopes that the investigating agencies’ probe into the case would not be on beaten track of charging Muslim youth immediately for the heinous crime. The investigations should be with an open mind and fair taking into account all leads in the case.

  • Govt. should order CBI probe into Adv. Shahid Azmi’s murder: SDPI
    Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), is stunned at the brutal murder of Advocate Shahid Azmi of Mumbai, who was defending one of the co-accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the accused in the Mumbai train serial blasts and other terror related cases in which Muslim youths have been arrested.

    The SDPI believes that Shahid Azmi was bumped off for being ‘anti-establishment’ and ‘anti-police’. It allegedly seems that the only people who could have had a motive in getting rid of Azmi were the police. He was the only lawyer who had the maximum cases showing that the police were fabricating evidence against Muslim community, especially the youth. 

    It is unfortunate to state that a prominent lawyer who worked selflessly, tirelessly for the cause of oppressed Muslims was under threat for over a year but he was not provided security cover by the Maharashtra Government. It is a murder most foul.

    The prophecy that he would die a martyr came true as Shahid himself used to say to his family and friends: "I would die a shaheed”.

    It would be in the fitness of things that the Maharashtra Government should order for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and approach the Central Government for the same. The accused should be nabbed at the earliest and handed over exemplary punishment. This would re-instill confidence among the minorities who are disillusioned by the present regime’s uncaring attitude towards it.

  • SDPI feels greatly relieved at Govt. decision over Bt. Brinjal issue
    The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), feels greatly relieved that at long last saner counsel has prevailed over the issue of commercial release of genetically modified, (GM), Bt. Brinjal with the Indian Government saying a big no to it. Kudos to the Union Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh who took the "precautionary approach" because of sharp divisions among Indian scientists.

    The SDPI hails this step and congratulates Ramesh to impose a moratorium on the release of Bt. Brinjal till independent scientific studies satisfy both public and professionals "the safety of the product from the point of view of long-term impact on human health and environment”.

    It is good to observe that the minister has given due thought to the deep concerns expressed not only of green activists and farmers but the governments of 11 states which account for most of India's Brinjal output. These state governments had bitterly opposed the introduction of Bt. Brinjal.

    The SDPI was very much opposed to Bt. Brinjal being introduced commercially. it SDPI hopes that this good step towards charting the path for sustainable agriculture and food security for our country would be honored in letter and spirit and no spurious Bt. Brinjal seeds make their way into India.

  • SDPI Condemns Outburst Against Shah Rukh Khan
    The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), castigates Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray for ridiculing the superstars of Indian cinema namely Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan for supporting inclusion of Pakistani cricketers over in the IPL. It seems the senior Thackeray has lost balance of mind in censuring the two big Bollywood stars and calling them the “two idiots”. He went on to suggest sarcastically that Shah Rukh Khan, the Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner, deserved Nishaan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award of the neighbouring country.
    The outrageous comment in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece “Saamna” about Shah Rukh Khan is most reprehensible and should be castigated by all right thinking people of the country.

    It should be noted that in games and sports it is the excellence in performance that counts and not the nationality. If Pakistani cricketers are good and measure up to the standard of the IPL tournament then there is no harm in picking them and cannot be kept out due to their nationality.

    The temerity of Bal Thackeray to hold the society at ransom in the name of “Mumbai for Mumbaikars”  with none in the whole political spectrum  to challenge his whimsical stand has emboldened him and his cronies manifolds. The Shiv Sena and its off-shoot MNS  have held complete sway in Mumbai calling the shots as its activists indulge in not only brow-beating but physically assaulting non-Maharashtrians while the district and police administration look the other way umpteen times whenever the issue boils over and spills on to the streets of the metropolis.

    However, now a good development for the health of the country is taking shape   over the “Mumbai for Mumbaikars” issue. The Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh, (RSS), and its political progeny Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), have openly come together against Shiv Sena to isolate it on the issue with the former declaring Mumbai is for all Indians irrespective of linguistic, caste, creed or religious diversity. The ruling Congress at the Centre and in Maharashtra also seem to have fallen in line to confront Shiv Sena over the issue. 

    The SDPI is of the firm belief that it’s wrong to discriminate people on basis of caste, religion, language or regionalism. Every Indian has the right to reside and work in any part of the country including Mumbai. It hopes that better counsel will prevail and the initiative taken by the RSS-BJP combine over the issue is brought to its logical end to provide relief to one and all in Mumbai and the country at large.

  • UPA Govt. should desist from introducing Bt. Brinjal: SDPI
    The Social Democratic of India, (SDPI), is pained to learn the rumblings going on in the country over the genetically modified, (GM), Bt. Brinjal being given go-ahead green signal for commercial cultivation by the Congress-led UPA Government. It is most reprehensible act and should be condemned in most strongest terms from all quarters.
          The UPA Government should know that any decision permitting the environmental release and sale of Bt. Brinjal in India is fraught with the most serious, far-reaching and irreversible consequences affecting our land and her inhabitants – human and non-human – for generations to come. With over 50 more GM crops reportedly in the Indian pipeline, we must exercise utmost caution. Once released, these cannot ever be recalled, nor can the chain reactions they unleash be stopped.
          The UPA Government  is well aware that a broad cross-section of Indian citizens – including outstanding scientists of undisputable integrity, as also large numbers of farmers and consumers – have opposed the sanctioning of Bt. Brinjal, expressing grave concern for the potential hazards posed to human, animal and environmental health, and to the very food security and sovereignty of India. These are certainly not trivial matters permitting any foolhardy haste in pushing Bt. Brinjal down the throat of this nation.
          The central environment ministry is holding public consultations in various Indian cities to decide if they will allow commercial release of Bt. Brinjal. Last October, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, (GEAC), of the government had cleared it. But a member of the committee, Pushpa Bhargava, has alleged that all necessary tests were not carried out before the decision was taken. As things stand, Union Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh is holding his public consultation process and has so far covered Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur and Ahmedabad. He will hold consultations in Bangalore, Chandigarh and Hyderabad too.
          However, even as Jairam Ramesh is on the job, two of his ministerial colleagues Sharad Pawar and Prithviraj Chavan have already supported Bt brinjal. Pawar has washed the Centre’s hands off the issue maintaining it has no say on the issue since the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee has given its go-ahead to its commercial production. And Chavan has termed it as safe. The GEAC had given its go-ahead to the GM vegetable in October last year leading to vehement protests from across the country.
          The SDPI is also concerned about the implications for food security for the country. It is not desirable to hand over the control of seeds to transnational monopolies. To ensure that access to seed is ensured, the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime must retain farmer’s rights and must not reduce flexibilities in Indian law.
          As per the Cartagena protocol, to which India is a signatory, transgenic versions of crops for which we are the country of origin should not be permitted. Mexico, China and Peru follow this protocol. Thus transgenic varieties of Bt brinjal cannot be permitted in India.
          The people of India have the right to safe food and the Bt Brinjal violates that. The multinationals have been wooing the farmers saying that GM seeds would give good produce and will not be infested by insects." Can anyone imagine how poisonous those seeds must be that not even insects can infest them.
          The SDPI is of the opinion that prudence demands that all the above burning concerns should first be rigorously addressed and satisfactorily resolved, before a highly controversial crop like Bt. Brinjal is even considered an option. The people of India refuse to be anyone’s ‘lab-rats’ or sacrificial goats.
          It is clear beyond doubt that the people of the states of Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal – that produce 60 per cent of all the brinjal grown in India – overwhelmingly oppose the release of Bt. Brinjal. The Chief Ministers of these 3 States have reportedly written to the Union Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh recording their opposition, and have pointed out that since agriculture is a state subject, the Centre should not impose the unwanted Bt. Brinjal on them, even ‘unofficially’ via a neighbouring state, as would inevitably happen if Bt. Brinjal is at all permitted anywhere in India.
          At least 5 more States, including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, have also opposed the release of Bt. Brinjal – to protect their citizens and the natural wealth of their land. Indeed, several of these States are in favour of a total ban or moratorium on GM crops.
    The SDPI fails to comprehend as to what is this unseemly rush for Indians to be the world’s first guinea-pigs for Bt. Brinjal, bearing a bacterial gene of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt.) that secretes its own pesticide? A baingan (aka brinjal/eggplant/aubergine) engineered to be pregnant with poison!
          GM crops are totally prohibited in most nations. In much of Europe, including UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the ban continues in defiance of WTO directives. Over 85 per cent of global GM cultivation is confined to just 4 countries: US, Canada, Argentine and Brazil; and to a mere 4 crops – corn, soya bean, cotton and canola.
          There is growing evidence of Bt toxins entering, lingering, and accumulating in the food chain, thereby posing a grave hazard to humans, animals, aquatic life and soil organisms. Furthermore, the medicinal use of various native brinjal varieties (uncooked) in Ayurveda is seriously threatened through contamination by Bt. Brinjal, rendering toxic the intended medicines.
          The SDPI hopes that seeing the futility of the GM seeds wisdom prevails on the UPA Government and it steadfastly refuses to grant sanction for the release of Bt. Brinjal or any other GM crop in India. Thus, the Government should desist from the move.