RSS organisation of nationalists, not Pakistan’s ISI: Gadkari on Pranab accepting invite

first_imgUnion minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday welcomed former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to accept an invitation to attend an RSS event, saying it is a “good start” and “political untouchability” is an outdated concept.Mr. Gadkari, the Lok Sabha MP from Nagpur, also said the RSS was not Pakistan’s ISI, but an organisation of nationalists.Mr. Mukherjee has been invited to be the chief guest at the valedictory function of Sangh Shiksha Varg — a training camp for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers — at its headquarters in Nagpur. The event is to be held on June 7 and a senior RSS functionary had said on Monday that Mr. Mukherjee has accepted the invitation.“Mukherjee’s acceptance of the invitation is a good start. Political untouchability is not good,” Mr. Gadkari told reporters here when asked about reported reservations in the Congress over the former President accepting the RSS invite.“It is the prerogative of the organisers to invite someone and it is the prerogative of those invited to accept it or not,” he added. Calling political untouchability “outdated”, Mr. Gadkari said, “I believe political untouchability in a democracy is not good. We should meet each other, discuss each others’ views. If we don’t agree with the views, we should express it.” Citing an example, Mr. Gadkari said, “When I became BJP national president, I went to the CPM headquarters to seek the blessings of A. B. Bardhan, who hails from Nagpur and whom I consider an icon.” Hitting out at opponents who often refer to the BJP as a “communal” party, Mr. Gadkari said that such people themselves were “small hearted”.“Those calling others communal are communal themselves and small hearted people,” Mr. Gadkari said. Even though there has been no official reaction from the Congress on Mr. Mukherjee’s decision, several party leaders had expressed surprise over the development.last_img read more

Antipathy towards the Patriots’ Super Bowl juggernaut is a form of self-hate

first_imgWhen Brady arrived at the Patriots, the starting quarterback was Drew Bledsoe, the No1 pick in the 1993 draft. Brady entered the Patriots as the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. Then, in Brady’s second season, Bledsoe got injured; Brady, still lightly regarded, took his place; with Brady calling the shots, the Patriots won the 2001 Super Bowl. If ever a moment summed up everything the Patriots have gone on to achieve in the 17 years since, it was that shift from a record of underachievement with a star quarterback to almost total domination of the sport with a refitted draft also-ran at the helm of the team’s play. Bledsoe left for the Bills the season after that first Super Bowl win, and the Patriots have not looked back. Belichick continues to have a knack for getting the best out of the league’s tired, its poor, its huddled masses yearning to breathe free. In this post-season Danny Amendola, a player who once languished unwanted in the practice squads of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, has emerged as a clutch performer of rare nerve and determination – a classic Belichick find, the good-not-great receiver turned master of the pattern play. Since you’re here… Read more Memory Lane: the Super Bowl down the years – in pictures The Patriots have dominated football since the turn of the century in two main phases: the first lasting from 2001 to the almost-perfect season of 2007, and the second starting in 2014 and stretching to today. What makes all this so profoundly irritating for non-Pats fans is that the Patriots have forged dynastic success despite a system that’s designed, at least in part, to prevent it. The draft (introduced in 1936) and the salary cap (1994) are supposed to ensure parity between the teams, on both the field and the balance sheet. The loot is supposed to be shared. New England have exploded that schema of enforced equality through a strategy in which canny recruitment, the subordination of talent to data, luck, expert man management, and the simple dynamic of success feeding on success have all played a role. Other franchises are free to copy that model – indeed, many have tried – but none have succeeded. The Patriots are simply too good, but no element of their success is closed, in theory at least, to any other team in the NFL.Arrivistes, when they arrive, are supposed to be gauche and gaudy. Sure, there have been some minor on-field infractions for the critics to gripe about as the Pats have taken their tricorne hat to the top. But they haven’t made it there with the help of a sugar daddy, or thanks to some chronic institutional distortion of the rules of financial fair play. They’re not like Chelsea in the English Premier League, financially doping their way to the top, or Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, a monarch the system is specifically tilted to keep in power. They’re not easy to hate like that. Hating them is much harder, because for every non-Patriots fan, it’s really a form of self-hate: if only we could be like them. Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest 1:34 … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Tom Brady A Philadelphia Super Bowl victory would counter two centuries of US history New England Patriots Super Bowl LII: Patriots and Eagles set for showdown – video Share on Facebook The American people are uniquely triggered by traits of physiognomy, so let’s start with that dimple. In the face of every one of America’s most hated men there’s a feature that provides the lodestar for a nation’s rage. But neither Donald Trump’s flame-head nor Martin Shkreli’s tripod nose comes close to matching the torrents of bile and resentment generated by Tom Brady’s chin dimple. Faced with a smorgasbord of options on which to home its Brady-hate – his Cristiano Ronaldo-like habit of referring to himself as “TB12”, his marriage to a supermodel, his $180m personal fortune, his on-again, off-again bromance with the president, his many crimes, both documented and undocumented, against ice cream – America has instead focused on a small, button-like depression in the flesh of Brady’s chin.It’s a non-verifiable fact that close to 90% of media previews of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, which most people agree the New England Patriots will win for the sixth time in 17 years, have included some reference to that dimple. A dimple that sums up everything non-Patriots fans (ie every part of America that’s not within a 100-mile radius of Boston) find so detestable about the most successful NFL franchise of our time.center_img Share on Messenger Super Bowl LII American sporting heroes aren’t supposed to look this good. Joe DiMaggio had bug eyes and funny teeth. Joe Montana looked like he should be running a sandwich shop. But Brady is altogether too perfect, too handsome, too successful, and too good. How can anyone like this attract anything but a nation’s hatred?There are, of course, myriad other explanations for the unique antipathy that so many in this country feel for the Patriots. There’s the long history of (alleged!) cheating, from Spygate to Deflategate; the gruff spikiness of coach Bill Belichick; the retirement (Deion Branch, Tedy Bruschi) or departure (Adam Vinatieri) of all the vaguely likable players from the Patriots’ first rush of early-century success; the bitter spectacle of a team that’s from the city that gave American independence its initial spark thickening into its own kind of evil empire. Mostly, though, it’s about the winning. And it’s not just the fact the Patriots have won so much that makes them a magnet for a million jealousies and resentments. It’s the way they’ve done it, with a formula for success that should be replicable but is somehow not, and therefore all the more unique and providential, almost religious. Their success is a mystery of timing and luck; a mystery of nature. Things were not always this way. In the early 1990s the Patriots were something like the Buffalo Bills today: the perennial underdog (or the butt of the league-wide joke, however you prefer to look at it), a hardscrabble team of mostly clueless pluggers and journeymen (yes, they’d reached the Super Bowl in 1986, but they’d been destroyed by the Bears). When Belichick arrived as head coach on the stroke of the new century, the Patriots had momentum – they’d been to the Super Bowl again under Bill “The Big Tuna” Parcells in 1996 – but were still, largely, a work in progress. Belichick threw away the manual on how to win in the NFL, ignoring the received wisdom that said teams needed to pick high in the draft or build their core axis around a star quarterback and a star receiver. Instead, the Patriots became something like value investors in the NFL draft – cleverly going after down-round picks they felt were undervalued, instead of splashing their cash on razzmatazz first-round names – and Belichick set about building a team in which the system, the pattern, were far more important than the individual virtuosity of its brightest lights. This approach was part of a shift across all sports to place data and pattern analysis, rather than a simple reliance on raw talent, at the center of coaching – a shift that included Sabermetrics in baseball, Phil Jackson’s triangle offense in basketball, and today’s fashion for pressing in soccer. The Patriots were the first team in the NFL to fully embrace this analytical turn, and no player better encapsulates it than Brady. View gallery Share on Twitter features US sports Play Video Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Super Bowl NFL Topics Reuse this contentlast_img read more

OPP has arrived in Attawapiskat Chief Spence

first_img(Attawapiskat ice road diamond mine blockade. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Nakogee)By Jorge Barrera APTN National News ATTAWAPISKAT–Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says the OPP have arrived in the community and the people blockading an ice road leading to a De Beers diamond mine would likely be served with an injunction ordering them off the site on Saturday evening.Spence said the band received a call from De Beers saying a sheriff would be flying into the community and then escorted to the ice road blockade to serve the people at the site with the injunction notice.“We had a call from De Beers saying the sheriff is coming in town,” said Spence. “Two OPP are in town and they are the ones who are going to escort the sheriff to hand over the notice to the blockaders.”Spence said she was trying to confirm a rumour that the OPP would also be escorting De Beers-bound trucks toward the Victor mine site later Saturday.“I have to go find out,” said Spence.The blockade outside Attawapiskat on the ice road leading to the mine has been in place since last Sunday.De Beers obtained an injunction against the blockaders on read more

Hamiltons Native Womens Centre shuts down transitional housing program

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Native Women’s Centre in Hamilton has been forced to make the tough decision to close its transitional housing program.Now, it is scrambling to find housing for its clients.APTN’s Delany Windigo has this story.last_img

AFN releases election priorities for federal parties

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA—Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Wednesday unveiled a list of priorities he’d like to see the next governing party focus on after it achieves power at the ballot box on Oct. 19.Bellegarde said the next federal government needed to “close the gap” between First Nations and the rest of Canada.“First Nations priorities are Canada’s priorities,” said Bellegarde, during a press conference in Ottawa.The national chief admitted he hasn’t voted in previous federal elections and wasn’t sure if he was going to vote in this one. Bellegarde said Elders had advised him against voting in federal elections because, as treaty people, First Nations have a direct relationship with the Crown, regardless of what party holds the reins of power.Bellegarde, however, said First Nation people should cast a vote to influence the outcome of the election and force the next federal government to act on dealing with long-standing First Nation issues.Bellegarde said the AFN’s priorities touch on six themes, including strengthening First Nation families and communities, achieving equitable funding, asserting rights, the environment, protecting Indigenous languages and implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.“When the gap closes, Canada wins,” said Bellegarde.Bellegarde said the AFN would like the next federal government to commit within the first 100 days of taking power to a process aimed at improving on-reserve education by increasing funding and giving communities control over their schools.The next federal government should also establish a national inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls within the same time span.The AFN is also looking for the next federal government to lift the two per cent cap on First Nation funding by the federal Liberals in the 1990s. Bellegarde said it should be replaced with a “new fiscal relationship.” The new fiscal relationship should include new fiscal transfer arrangements, the creation of a multi-party process to create resource-revenue sharing frameworks and restored funding to First Nation political organizations, according to the AFN.Bellegarde said the AFN wants the anti-terror law, Bill C-51, repealed along with changes to environmental regulations contained in the Harper government’s Bill C-38 and Bill C-45, which sparked the Idle No More movement.Bellegarde said the AFN wants to help create a joint AFN-cabinet committee to deal with and monitor the Crown-First Nation relationship.The AFN also wants increased funding for and a focus on preserving and promoting Indigenous languages.Bellegarde said he did not have a dollar figure in mind, but said it would take billions of dollars to get First Nation communities on par with the rest of Canada when it comes to such basics as housing and access to clean water.The situation facing many First Nation communities and people is dire. The life expectancy of a First Nation person is five to seven years lower than the national average. The infant mortality rate is 1.5 times higher than the national average and half of First Nation children live in poverty. There are currently 40,000 Indigenous children in the care of the state and youth suicide rates are five to seven times higher than the national average.Bellegarde said NDP leader Thomas Mulcair phoned him his morning before the announcement and the NDP has already committed to holding a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.Liberal leader Justin Trudeau tweeted that he supported Bellegarde’s call to “Close the Gap.” Trudeau has pledged to invest $2.6 billion in new money over four years for core education funding.The Conservative party issued as statement saying it believes “that increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy is the most effective way to improve the well-being and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Canada.”The Conservatives said its government increased education funding by 25 per cent, constructed 41 schools and invested in 500 school projects along with renovating 22,000 existing homes. The party also said that it brought in the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which is being challenged by 200 First Nations.“The NDP and Liberals favour irresponsible spending over concrete and financial accountability,” said the statement.The Harper government has already rejected calls for a public inquiry and the implementation of the TRC’s recommendations. The Harper government has also refused to increase funding for First Nation education because chiefs rejected the proposed First Nations Control of First Nations Education read more