Pawar clarifies stand on controversial rejection of ‘Puneri pagdi’, says it was not rejection of any section of society
Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, on Saturday, sought to clarify on his recent decision to not wear the ‘Puneri Pagdi’ (turban) which provoked strong criticism on social media.
Speaking on the occasion of the party’s 19th foundation day rally in the city, recently, Pawar had asked party workers to shun the Puneri pagdi and opt for the Phule pagadi, associated with social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.
“The party’s city unit has greeted me and Chhagan Bhujbal with the Puneri pagdi. However, from now on, party workers will offer only the Phule pagdi whenever they have to greet someone on the party platform,” Pawar had said.
While the Puneri pagdi is historically associated with the Peshwas- the Brahmin prime ministers of the Maratha empire- the Phule pagadi, associated with Mahatma Phule, is seen as a symbol of “bahujans” - Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC.
Pawar’s rejection of the Puneri pagdi was seen as his political attempt to whip up anti-Brahmin sentiments and appease the Dalits. This provoked considerable criticism in political circles and social media.
Pawar, on Saturday, sought to clarify his stand on the matter. Speaking at the inauguration of a medical facility at a Pune Municipal Corporation hospital at Padmavati, on Saturday, Pawar said his choice of the Phule pagdi was not intended to “reject any particular section of society.”
“As I am a follower of Shahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s philosophy of equality, I wanted to convey that through action. He said, while Ambedkar did not use any turban, the one worn by Shahu Maharaj was not practical. He therefore, chose the Phule turban.
The Delhi Commission for Women conducted a surprise check of civic body-run schools in the national capital to look into safety and security measures in place for girl students in wake of recent reports of molestation. DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal, who led the team, called the condition of some of these schools “pathetic, unsafe and deeply disturbing”.
Pune: For over two months now, some of the big municipal corporations in the state, including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Nashik, are under administrator's rule. Same goes with illegal encroachments and other civic inconveniences. In Pune, municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar, who is also serving as the administrator, has been pushing for expediting projects, some unpopular and seemingly difficult to be executed, if public representatives are in the game.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday directed the state civil aviation department to immediately tie up with the Centre for direct flights to countries such as the US and Canada from the international airport in Mohali. Also read: Rain brings respite from heat wave in Punjab, Haryana At present, only two international flights are operational from the airport to Dubai and Sharjah.
The Char Dham Yatra to Kedarnath was halted on Monday amid gusty winds, heavy rain and snowfall in Uttarakhand even as the pilgrimage to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Hemkund Sahib, and Badrinath continued as usual. “Hemkund Sahib experienced light snow on the day the portals of the shrine were opened but it has not affected the yatra,” said Hemkund Sahib Management Trust vice president NS Bindra. Over 10,000 pilgrims were waiting for the yatra to resume.
At least four persons drowned and two others were rescued after a boat capsized near Prabhu Ghat in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi on Monday. Police rushed to the spot and an NDRF team was also called to help in rescue efforts. According to officials, the six people were sailing on the Ganga river near the ghat when water started filling up through a hole in the boat. Soon after, the boat capsized.