Dealing a severe blow to the so-called ‘social engineering’ concepts of political parties, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed with immediate effect caste-based rallies throughout Uttar Pradesh. It issued notices to the Central and State Governments, the Election Commission and the four major political parties in the State — SP, BSP, BJP, Congress — asking them to present their views.
“We stay caste-based rallies throughout the State of UP,” the Lucknow Bench of the High Court comprising justices Uma Nath Singh and Mahendra Dayal said on a PIL filed by a local lawyer Motilal Yadav.
Caste-based rallies have come to become one of the mainstays of parties in Uttar Pradesh. With 2014 general elections in mind, the four major players had already been on an overdrive to conduct such rallies across the State.
Recently, the BSP finished the first phases of Brahmin Bhaichara Sammelans in 40 districts of the State, including one addressed by party supremo Mayawati at Lucknow. Having lost out to the SP, the BSP has been aiming to revive its Brahmin-Dalit formula.
Its archrival and ruling party, SP, too had organised a similar event in Lucknow recently besides a Muslim Sammelan and those for the Backward Classes and Dalits. The BJP and the Congress have also been holding such caste-based public meetings and conventions.
The litigant submitted that there was a spurt of caste-based political rallies in the State. He said political parties were organising caste-based rallies in the name of different castes like Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya among others.
Yadav maintained that while such events were causing damage to social unity and harmony, they were also vitiating the society which was against the spirit of the Constitution.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced waiver of entertainment tax on the Bollywood film ‘Mary Kom’ in the state. The decision was takenon Sunday though Priyanka Chopra, who played the role of Olympic silver medalist boxer Mary Kom, during her promotional visit to Lucknow on Friday last had demanded the same...
Neither had I asked the Army to intervene nor had the Armed Forces sought a role in the present political crisis in the country.
I did not have preconceived notions about Bollywood. There was nervousness as I was to be part of a different world of entertainment.
A much fuller response is demanded from the world. We need to support Iraqi forces that are facing Islamic State threats on the front lines.