Citizens' Issues
Ashok Singhal, man behind Babri razing, is dead
VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who was one of the key architects of the mass campaign that led to the razing of the Babri mosque in 1992, died here on Tuesday. He was 89.
 
In an acknowledgement of his stature in the Hindutva movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Singhal’s death at a hospital here “a deep personal loss” and described him as “an institution in himself”.
 
Singhal, whose aggressive championing of a Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya helped the BJP to scale new heights, breathed his last at Medanta-The Medicity, doctor Yatin Mehta told IANS.
 
“He passed away at 2.20 despite our best efforts,” the doctor said. 
 
Singhal was admitted to the hospital on November 13 with heart and kidney problems. He was also suffering from breathlessness. He will be cremated here on Wednesday afternoon.
 
The VHP leader was earlier admitted to the hospital for a fortnight from October 20.
 
A passionate votary of Hindutva, the Agra-born Singhal, son of a government official, joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1942. 
 
He worked mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana before the RSS deputed him to one of its then lesser known affiliates, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), in 1980.
 
Singhal became its working president in 1984, the year the VHP organised a “Dharam Sansad” (Religious Parliament) which sowed the seeds for the emotive campaign to destroy the 16th century Babri mosque - that Hindutva votaries said was built at the site where Lord Rama was born.
 
1984 was also the year when the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged just two seats in the Lok Sabha after prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
 
Singhal’s aggressive promotion of the anti-Babri movement made him one of the best known faces nationally, and gave oxygen to the BJP to raise its Lok Sabha tally to 89 in 1989.
 
Even as the BJP, under L.K. Advani’s leadership, came out openly in support of the Ram Mandir movement, Singhal led a massive crowd during the first assault on the Babri Masjid on October 30, 1990.
 
That bid was beaten back by security forces. But the unrelenting VHP eventually brought down the Babri Masjid in just six hours on December 6, 1992, triggering one of the worst outbreaks of Hindu-Muslim violence.
 
Unlike most BJP leaders who distanced themselves from the Babri razing, Singhal remained proud of the destruction - and vowed to end, one day, the secular character of the country that he said must be a “Hindu Rashtra”.
 
Critics dubbed him a Hindu fundamentalist and India’s Ayatollah Khomeini. But Singhal - who held a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the Banaras Hindu University Institute of Technology - made it clear that issues related to Hindu faith cannot be decided by the judiciary.
 
At home both in English and Hindi, Singhal was widely respected for his mastery over ancient Hindu scriptures. He was at ease in the company of Hindu ascetics and was a strong votary of the movement to build a grand Rama temple on the ruins of the Babri mosque.
 
He was deeply unhappy over BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s refusal to embrace Hindutva ideology after becoming the prime minister. The VHP leader beamed when Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014.
 
On Tuesday, after Singhal’s death, Modi said he was “an inspiration for generations”.
 
“I was always fortunate to receive Ashokji’s blessings and guidance. My condolences to his family and countless supporters,” Modi tweeted.
 
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said Singhal brought about “Hindu unity” and “a great change in Hindu mentality”. The MP added: “It will be a true tribute to Singhal if (Rama) mandir is built (in Ayodhya).”
 
VHP spokesman Surendra Jain told IANS: “Singhalji was a great visionary. We will take forward his vision for fulfil his dreams.”
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

1 year ago

You mean the illegal mosque constructed by Islamic invaders after razing down Ram Janmabhoomi Temple. Is that right?

Nifty, Sensex uptrend may continue – Tuesday closing report
Nifty on track to head higher subject to dips
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex are headed higher and that Nifty seems to be headed towards 8,000 subject to dips. The major indices in the Indian stock markets opened higher on Tuesday morning based on global cues, but by the end of the day’s trading, the indices closed flat with marginal gains. The Bank Nifty however, closed with a marginal loss. In comparison with last week, the market performance on Monday and Tuesday can be viewed as a recovery rally. The trends in the indices during the day’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Key Indian equities indices opened higher on Tuesday in line with a rally in the US and a surge in Asian stocks, but sentiments remained cautious on the back of some not-too-encouraging news on factory output growth, inflation and exports. News from the agriculture sector is positive and is likely to maintain aggregate demand for the economy. Paddy arrival in Haryana is up by nearly 13 lakh tonnes compared to last year, the state's food and supplies department said on Tuesday. "During the current Kharif season, more than 52.92 lakh tonnes of paddy has arrived in the mandis (markets) of Haryana till November 16. During this period last year, 40.09 lakh tonnes of paddy had arrived in the mandis," a spokesman of the department said. Paddy procurement started on 25 September 2015 this year as against the normal procurement starting date of 1 October 2015. The state government agencies have so far procured over 42.03 lakh tonnes of paddy as against the target they had set of procuring 35 lakh tonnes over the whole season.  "Millers and dealers have purchased the remaining 10.89 lakh tonnes paddy arriving in the mandis," the spokesman added. Karnal, Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts are leading in paddy arrival and procurement.
 
Non-life insurance companies are bracing to receive heavy flood claim intimations from their customers in Tamil Nadu, senior industry officials said on Tuesday. "It is too early to give an estimate of the claims received. The rain seems to have just stopped. Only now we will be getting the claim intimations," a senior official of United India Insurance Company told IANS, preferring anonymity. According to him, United India has started getting claim intimations. Industry officials told IANS that most of the claims will be under the fire insurance policy that covers flood and inundation damage apart from fire. Industry officials said comprehensive motor insurance policies cover the risk of flood and inundation and hence those vehicle owners whose vehicles suffer damage due to flooding/inundation can also prefer a claim. For the past ten days, Tamil Nadu has been experiencing heavy rains resulting in water logging in several districts.
 
Leading tyre-maker Apollo Tyres on Monday announced buying German distributor Reifen for Rs322 crore (45.6 million euro). "The acquisition is a strategic fit in growing our European business, as it (Reifen GmbH) will enable us to improve its mix of distribution channels in Germany and Europe," Apollo managing director Neeraj Kanwar said in a statement. As one of the largest tyre distributors with 37 stores and service centres across Germany, Reifen has both offline and online presence in five other European countries -- Austria, Denmark, France, Italy and Switzerland. "Reifen will also increase visibility of Vredestein tyres and ours in the offline and the fast-growing online retail space," Kanwar said. Shares of Apollo Tyres closed at Rs161.95, up 2.69% on the BSE.
 
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the day's trade at stock exchanges, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers. According to data with stock exchanges, the FIIs sold stocks worth Rs492.45 crore, while the DIIs bought stocks worth Rs783.02 crore.
 
Sector-wise, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare and automobile shares were bullish. On the other hand, banking, consumer durables and information technology (IT) stocks fell. 
 
The S&P BSE FMCG index augmented by 169.79 points, healthcare index gained by 129.22 points and metal index was up by 72.67 points. The banking index receded by 51.38 points, consumer durables index declined by 48.21 points and IT index was lower by 35.69 points.
The top gainers and top losers of the indices are given in the table below:
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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Consolidated revenues of 1,243 companies down 5.26% in the September 2015 quarter
Despite the fall in revenues, the consolidated net profit of the 1,243 companies rose 2.64% due to improved profit margins
 
Out of Moneylife’s database of 1,368 companies, 1,243 companies (or 90%) have declared their September 2015 quarter results. The consolidated revenues (standalone) reported by the 1,200-odd companies declined by 5.26% to Rs12.76 lakh crore in Q2FY16, from Rs13.47 lakh crore in Q2FY15. The consolidated operating profit grew by 6.92% to Rs1.94 lakh crore from Rs1.81 lakh crore over the same period. Operating profit margins improved to 15% in the latest quarter from 13% a year ago. The consolidated net profit too increased by 2.64% to Rs1.01 lakh crore from Rs0.98 lakh crore. 
 
Disappointed by the poor quarterly performance and other global factors, the market-cap of these companies too has eroded. The consolidated market-cap of the 1,243 companies declined by 1.61% to Rs91.87 lakh crore as on 13 November 2015 from Rs93.38 lakh crore as on 13 November 2014. Valuations which were considerably high over the past year have eased slightly. In terms of market-cap to net-profit (MC/NP or price-to-earnings), the valuations declined to 22.71 times as on 13 November 2015 from 23.69 times a year ago.
 
Out of the 1,243 companies, as many as, 55% or 684 companies reported a growth in revenues. As many as 30% companies present in the list were able to generate a revenue growth in excess of 10% over the previous quarter.
 
Coming to the Nifty 50—the consolidated revenue of the 50 companies declined by 3.86% to Rs5.24 lakh crore in Q2FY15, from Rs5.46 lakh crore in Q2FY14. The consolidated operating profit increased by 8.84% to Rs1.08 lakh crore from Rs0.99 lakh crore over the same period. Operating profit margins improved to 21% from 18% in the quarter a year ago, thanks to lower input costs. Consolidated net profit too increased by around 6% to Rs0.68 lakh crore from Rs0.64 lakh crore over the same period.
 
Stock prices of the top 50 companies have been on a decline. The consolidated market-cap of the Nifty 50 stocks declined by 6.57% to Rs53 lakh crore as on 13 November 2015 from Rs56.73 lakh crore as on 13 November 2014. The consolidated valuations, defined by MC/NP, fell to 19.33 times from 22 times a year ago.
 
As many as 20 companies of the Nifty 50 report a revenue growth in excess of 10%. Among the pharma companies Cipla, Dr Reddy's Lab and Lupin reported a standalone revenue growth in excess of 10%. Revenue of Cipla grew by 23.4% year-on-year in the September quarter to Rs3,073 crore, while its net profit grew by 21% to Rs407 crore over the same period. Dr Reddy's Lab reported a revenue growth of 16% and a net profit growth of 49%, while Lupin reported a sales growth and profit growth of 11.9% and 7.4% respectively.
 
In the auto segment, Maruti Suzuki reported a revenue growth of 13% at Rs13,933 crore in September 2015 and a net profit growth of 42% over the same period. The operating profit margin of the car manufacturer increase to 16% in the latest quarter from 12% in the quarter a year ago.
 
In the telecom space, while the revenues of Idea Cellular grew by 15% over the year to Rs8,644 crore, the revenues of Bharti Airtel grew at a slower pace of 9.2% over the same period to Rs14,824 crore. Among the software companies, Infosys and TCS reported a revenue growth of 14% and 17.6% respectively. Infosys reported an operating profit growth of 13% while TCS reported an operating profit growth of 19%.

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