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The biases and misconceptions about conversions and population growth have been used by communal forces to divide the society. This became apparent once again when Minister of state of Home, Kiren Rijuju tweeted that that Hindu population is decreasing in the country as Hindus don’t convert and that minorities in India are flourishing unlike in the neighboring countries.

Threat of decline in Hindu population and increase in population of minorities in India is being propagated time and over again by Hindutva groups. The propaganda has nothing to do with reality of society and deeper causes of the same.

Witness. The name itself revels the meaning. It is witnessing Kashmir, known to be the world’s most militarised zone, a part of geopolitical faultline between India and Pakistan since 1947. 
Witness/Kashmir 1986-2016 features nine Kashmiri photographers from different eras, who have put together their version of the Kashmir they grew up and has been compiled by Sanjay Kak. The book features the work of Meraj Ud din, Javeed Shah, Dar Yasin, Javed Dar, Altaf Qadri, Sumit Dayal, Showkat Nanda, Syed Shahriyar and Azaan Shah.

saarcA panel discussion on “SAARC: Its Impediments and Way Forward”, was organised by the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka and the premier national security think tank, Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) as their first ever joint venture. This event was held at Hotel Galadari last evening (6 February).

The panel of speakers comprised of several high profile Sri Lankan and Pakistani experts including Secretary Defence Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Former Secretary General of SAARC Ambassador Nihal Rodrigo, Director General of INSSSL Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Dr. Syed Rifaat Hussain, Mr. Ikram Sehgal and His Excellency the High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain.

BJP VHP leadersSanjay Leela Bhansali’s (SLB) unit filming the period film, Padmavati was attacked recently (January 2017) near Jaipur in Rajasthan. The pretext was that there is a dream sequence in the film which depicts Alauddin Khilji, the Muslim King and the Rajput Princess Padmavati. The attack was organized by one Karni Sena which claims to be working for preservation of Rajput honor and which felt that the film is an insult on the community honor of Rajputs. Interestingly the film is at the shooting stage and the Karni Sena has no access to the script of the film. The rumor about the dream sequence made them launch the attack against the film unit. It was not surprising that the state sat back, no condemnation of the attack by the state leadership was there.

Nawaz SharifPrime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the dream of peace and prosperity of the people of Pakistan and India will remain elusive unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“We urge India to stop bloodbath in occupied Jammu & Kashmir andallow the holding of free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a message on the Kashmir Solidarity Day being observed on February 5.