The US State Department has asked a court in NewYork to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Sikh rights group for declaring RSS as a "terror group" saying it has no standing.

    In an 18-page motion filed Tuesday before judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York, US attorney Preet Bharara said Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) lacks standing to bring such claims.

    Even if SFJ had standing, the political question doctrine bars judicial review where the Secretary of State has not designated an organization, it said.

    "Neither SFJ nor this Court possesses authority to compel the Secretary to designate an entity as a foreign terrorist organization-a discretionary action that implicates important foreign affairs and national security considerations, and which is entrusted to the political branches," the motion added.

    SFJ has filed a lawsuit in the US court to label the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a foreign terrorist organization.

    It accuses RSS of "believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a 'Hindu' nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity".

    "Political question doctrine cannot trump the fundamental human rights of protection of life and liberty which are embedded in the American constitution," SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S Pannun said.

    SFJ will challenge the US Government's bid to block the labelling of RSS as "terror group", he said.

71% Indian tourists spent their summer soaking up the sun

Indians prefer to spend their summers vacationing at beach destinations and the number of holidaymakers soaking up the sun has risen by 12%, from 59% in 2012 to 71% this year.

Of the 71% beach travellers from India, most beach-friendly were from Mumbai (79%).

A survey of 8,600 people from 21 countries has also revealed that 56% of Indian travellers took to beach vacations in foreign countries during this summer as compared to 43% in 2012.

The survey by travel portal Expedia also showed that more than seven out of 10 Indians visited at least one beach destination in the past year. Only Malaysian and Brazilian tourists took to more beach vacations than Indians. 

“The survey shows a clear evolution of Indian travellers with respect to planning and booking behaviour. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) vacationers who visited international beach destinations learnt about the local culture and history of those destinations,” said Vikram Malhi, general manager, south and southeast Asia (Expedia).

According to the survey, Indian tourists were extremely conscious about their physique and the wardrobe they wore to a beach.

While 40% went to the gym to get in shape before a beach holiday, 37% went for a new hairdo and 27% got themselves tanned. More than half the Indians polled said they bought a new beach outfit before the vacation.

A significant number of Indian tourists read travellers’ reviews, discussed destinations on social networking websites and also looked up travel blogs for choosing a beach vacation, the survey added.

 

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