1. FOR INDIA, PEACE IS NOT A WORD; IT IS IN OUR VEINS- PRIME MINISTER
Highlighting India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister spoke of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition of peace.
In a meeting with the non-resident Indian community, he said that India has sacrificed lives for the peace of the world even as he informed U.S. President Donald Trump that India will play a role for the welfare of humanity.
“History does not show us a single incident in which India has done bad things to anyone. During the World War I and the World War II, we did not have any territorial ambition, yet more than 1.5 lakh soldiers of my country sacrificed lives in quest for peace. Because of this sacrifice, any Indian can say with pride that we contribute to the world and do not take anything from the world. For India, the land of Buddha and Gandhi, peace is not just a word, peace is in our veins. And, we certainly have never snatched anything from anybody in the past,” said Prime Minister to a gathering of non-resident Indians living in Philippines
“I have come to a nation and a region that is very important to India,” he said to a cheering crowd. His comment sets the backdrop of the quadrilateral dialogue that is being interpreted as a move to counter China’s growing might, PM indicated India’s growing ambition to emerge as a global peacekeeping and peace-enforcing power reminding that India recognizes the need for peace in the global order.“If any country in the world is the largest contributor to global peacekeeping, then it is India. In many restive areas of the world, Indian peacekeepers are present,” he said.
2. STUDY INDICATES HIGH LEVEL OF MERCURY IN FISH AT KODAI LAKE
Relying on findings from an expert team from IIT-Hyderabad, environmental activists have alleged that Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) presence from the mid-80s to the beginning of the millennium had polluted the Kodaikanal lake and the surrounding Periyakulam pond.
Claiming that the mercury levels in fish in the region were high, activists under the banner ‘Campaign to Cleanup Kodaikanal Mercury Pollution,’ including members of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and CPI (ML), urged the government on Monday to share vital information with the people and prevent spread of diseases. The fish were tested in December 2016.
The activists displayed a few photographs to show how people in the hilly region had been at the receiving end due to pollution and contamination of the environment beyond permissible levels.
Accusing the government and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) of being dormant in the past, activist Nityanand Jayaraman said that the study had found high levels of mercury in fish from Kodai lake and ponds fed by the Pambar stream in Periyakulam plains.
He said that, in a letter written to Theni and Dindigul District Collectors and Kodaikanal Municipal Commissioner on August 2, 2017, IIT-Hyderabad scientist Asif Qureshihe had urged the administration to advise people, particularly, pregnant women, to limit their consumption of fish from these water bodies.