An orchestrated attempt to hurt India’s relations with Muslim countries has been thwarted by the Modi Government’s matured handling of the situation. Our Cover Story this week is about the furore caused over some intemperate remarks about Prophet Muhammad, a sinister bid to blow these out of proportions and the Government’s swift and decisive action in the matter. It not only disassociated itself from the comments and axed the ruling party functionaries to whom the alleged remarks were attributed, but also launched criminal prosecution against them. The multipronged action, says our story, has brought an end to the controversy as is evident from the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to India where it was not discussed.
‘LiFE’, or ‘Lifestyle for the Environment’, is another global initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the World Environment Day and that makes our Centrespread. Through this initiative, India has invited ideas and suggestions from around the globe on ways to adapt an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Launching the initiative at an online event, PM Modi said LiFe will promote the environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on “mindful and deliberate utilisation” instead of “mindless and destructive consumption”. At a programme hosted by the volunteers of ‘Save Soil Movement’ on the same day, PM Modi briefed a galaxy of world leaders on his Government’s policies that have enabled environmental protection in various ways.
Our story elaborates these multifaceted steps, which the PM enunciated in his address. Another story on the subject explains how India is a victim of climate change and not a culprit, as some sections in the developed world would like to portray it. Extending our coverage of the World Environment Day, we carry a report on another page, in which the UN Secretary-General warns that the earth’s natural systems “cannot keep up with our demands”.
The Globetrotting focus-country this week is South Africa with which India’s relationship is both fundamental and unique. Though dating back to centuries, the ties between the two remained frozen for decades because of the apartheid and were revived only in the early nineties. Our story deals with the growing trade and investment portfolio between the two countries. It details India’s current strategy and lists the guiding principles and areas of focus. The private sector, it says, is the key to this strategy, particularly in the areas of skill and capacity-building initiatives, healthcare, agriculture, and the digital revolution. The box story on the page focuses on the Indian diaspora, which is one of the most developed ethnic communities in South Africa.
In our constant effort to add value to our content, we introduce two new columns – Golden Eye and Reality Check – beginning this week. Contributed by senior journalists of repute, we are sure you’ll relish our new offerings.