The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 11:45 am
In a landmark decision, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has directed various ministries to use gender-neutral terms from the next Parliament session.The decision came in response to a letter written by Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi seeking to change the usage of phrases such as ‘no sir’ which is often used in replies in the House.In her letter dated September 8, the Maharashtra MP had said that it was “concerning to observe institutional gender mainstreaming” by Parliament, which is a “temple of democracy”.Small step, big difference. Thank the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for correcting the anomaly in parliament question responses from ministries to women MPs. Henceforth the replies will be gender neutral from the ministries. pic.twitter.com/1m0hxBGmvn— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) September 21, 2022She urged the minister to issue appropriate directions on addressing the concerned parliamentarians as per their respective gender. “Although this may seem like a small change, it will go a long way in giving women their due representation in the Parliamentary process,” she said.To this letter, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat replied, “as per conventions and rules of procedure and conduct of business in Rajya Sabha, all the proceedings of the House are addressed to the Chair, and replies to Parliamentary questions being a part of proceedings are also addressed to the chairperson only. However, the ministries will be informed to furnish gender-neutral replies to the Parliamentary questions from the next session of Rajya Sabha onwards.”In a tweet thanking the Rajya Sabha for the initiative, Chaturvedi said it will make a big difference even though it’s a small step.“Small step, big difference. Thank the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for correcting the anomaly in Parliament question responses from ministries to women MPs. Henceforth the replies will be gender neutral from the ministries (sic),” she tweeted.
Kolhapur: The Kolhapur civil court on Monday shot down the decision of the Paschim Maharashtra Devasthan Samiti’s (PMDS) to start paid pass facility at the Mahalaxmi temple during the Navaratra festival.As per the scheme, devotees paying Rs 200 would have saved time by skipping the long queue. The decision, however, was challenged in court by Gajanan Munishwar — a priest at Mahalaxmi temple.On Friday, while hearing Munishwar’s petition, third joint civil judge (senior division) K R Singhel had put a temporary stay on this new initiative.The court on Monday issued the order stating: “The sale of VIP Passes and arrangement of separate lane for a particular class of people on receipt of fee or otherwise, in contravention of notification dated September 7, 2010, be forthwith stopped.”The court has also advised Kolhapur district collector to be careful while making a statement about the court order in the press conference and to verify the fact whether the court has actually passed an order or not.
Nashik: Thousands of devotees thronged the Saptashrungi Devi temple at Kalwan taluka on Monday — the first day of Navaratra, when ghatasthapana rituals are performed. The puja at the temple began early in the morning with principal district and sessions judge Shrichand Jagmalani performing the rituals. Vardhan Desai, the president of Shree Saptashrung Devi Niwasini Trust, district guardian minister Dada Bhuse, MP Shashikant Shinde and others were also present. They too performed the puja.Thousands of devotees from across Maharashtra and other states visited the temple during the day. The temple will remain open 24x7 during the entire Navaratra period.“I cannot put in words my feelings while visiting the shrine during the auspicious ghatasthapana,” said Vivek Shastri, a resident of Aurangabad. His family members visit the shrine every year, though they had to break the tradition in the past two years due to Covid restrictions. Ramesh Chheda, who came from Ahmedabad for a darshan, said, “I feel blessed. I brought along my one-year-old granddaughter with me to the shrine.” There are 501 steps to the temple located on the steep slope of the Saptashrungi Gad. The steps were packed with the devotees waiting for their turn to get into the temple. The security personnel have installed barricades to space out the pilgrims on the steep stops to avoid any untoward incident. The authorities said they have deployed huge manpower for security and disaster management activities. They also have a network of about 200 CCTV cameras to keep watch on the movement of devotees.
MUMBAI: The placement of a 'kalash' bearing a coconut and mango leaves before Goddess Durga will mark the 'ghatsthapna' ceremony at the nine-day celebration of Ashwin Navratra on Monday. Temples, Devi pandals and devotees' homes will be bedecked with flowers and lights in joy and relief after a two-year gap caused by the pandemic lockdown. Garba dancers have purchased fancy 'chania choli' and 'kedia' with matching accessories to put their best foot forward at high profile venues. Indoor events are safe from the vagaries of the weather, but outdoor revellers will also enjoy the expected thunderstorms like a joyous rain dance. Mumbadevi temple will open at 5.30am with mangala aarti followed by 'ghatsthapna'' from 6.30-7.00am by its priests and trustees. Manager Hemant Jadhav said, "During this utsav 25 different pujaris engaged by the temple will perform Shree Durga Saptshati Path on all nine days. The temple will be open from 5.30am to 11.00pm. The Navmi Chandi havan on October 4 will start at 6.00am and 'poornahuti' will be done between 1.00-1.30pm." Jadhav said throngs of devotees have been visiting Mumbadevi since the pandemic ended. He said, "Given that numbers swell during Navratra, we have erected a big mandap on the road, arranged drinking water and sherbet, a medical centre with ambulance and 15 doctors. A hundred volunteers will control crowds while LT Marg police station provides extra forces every year." Over in Malad, the stage is set for the annual Ramlila with Ram-Sita, Ravan-Mandodari, Khar-Dooshan, Jatayu and scores of ace performers sharpening their act for the grand opening on Monday evening. Devkinandan Jindal, founder trustee of the Ramlila Prachar Samiti, has been organising this event at Zakaria Maidan since 41 years along with amateur artistes of the Ram Manas Manch of Moradabad, UP. "All the members of the troupe are well educated, established professionals or businessmen while founder Rajesh Rastogi owns two pharmaceutical companies. They perform out of sheer devotion," said Jindal.
NASHIK: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has planned to run 250 additional buses from various parts of Nashik to Saptashrungi Gad in view of the Navaratra festival that starts on September 26. The administration has planned to release one bus every five minutes from the foothills at Nanduri village to the temple shrine of Saptashrungi devi during the festival period. The buses will depart in the opposite direction every five minutes too. Every year, during the festivities, the administration bans the movement of private vehicles, including twowheelers, on the 8km ghat that connects the Nanduri village at the foothills and the temple shrine atop the hills. “On average, more than 60,000 people visit the shrine on a daily basis during the festival when the temple is open for round the clock for the devotees. There is a huge traffic problem on the narrow road up the steep hills and, therefore, the private vehicles are banned from entering the ghat during the period,” said a senior officer from the district collectorate. The temple is located at Saptashrungi Hills, one of the seven hills in the region. The Nashik division MSRTC officials have decided to deploy 90 buses that will ply between the foothills and the temple shrine and another 160 buses will be deployed for the movement of pilgrims from the various parts of the city and the district to the foothills.
Making an apparent U-turn, a Rajasthan minister who was till now counted as a supporter of chief minister Ashok Gehlot, has come out in support of former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot for the post of CM on Friday.“In my understanding, after Gehlot sahab, there is no alternative in Rajasthan apart from Sachin Pilot sahab,” MoS Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Rajendra Singh Gudha told reporters on Friday.Gudha, who is considered the leader of the six BSP MLAs who had switched to the Congress in 2019 also met Pilot on Saturday.A day earlier, Gudha had said that the six former BSP MLAs will support anybody who is Congress high command’s choice for the top post.Gudha’s support for Pilot is significant because the six MLAs who had switched to the Congress from the BSP, had supported Gehlot during the Rajasthan political crisis in 2020 and had strengthened Gehlot’s position as a leader who has the support of independent MLAs and legislators who joined Congress from BSP.However, since a long time, the BSP MLAs were unhappy with the Gehlot government.In July this year, in an interview with The Indian Express, Gudha had said that CM Gehlot had not fulfilled the promises that were made at the time of the merger of the BSP MLAs into the Congress.Gudha had back then said that there were anger and insecurity among the six former BSP MLAs who were unsure if they will get a Congress ticket in the 2023 Assembly elections.Speculations have been rife in recent times that in the event of Gehlot becoming the national president of Congress, Pilot may be the high command’s choice for the CM post.Meanwhile, Pilot on Friday met Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, amid speculations of the change of guard in the state as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cleared that he will be running for the post of the Congress’ national president.Pilot met Joshi in his chamber in the Assembly, where several party MLAs were present.According to party sources, Pilot is the frontrunner for the CM’s post but Speaker Joshi’s name is also doing rounds. Joshi is a former state Congress president and was a contender for the post in 2008 but lost the Assembly elections by one vote at that time.Earlier in the day, both Gehlot and Pilot reached Jaipur after meeting the party high command. However, none of the leaders commented on the latest developments.Gehlot, who was out of the state capital for three days, returned to Jaipur on Friday evening with Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra. He went straight from the airport to the chief minister’s residence.Gehlot had gone to Delhi on Wednesday. From there he went to Kochi and met Rahul Gandhi. He was in Maharashtra on Friday and visited the Shirdi’s Sai Baba temple.Pilot, who also in Kochi, reached Jaipur on Friday and went to the state Assembly. Many MLAs also met him there.— With PTI Inputs