Bhopal - The Pioneer

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Bhopal - The Pioneer
C M Y K
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C M Y K
loss of over 90 lives — 26 each
in Assam and Bihar, 36 in
Odisha, 3 in Meghalaya —
and affected lakhs of people,
the Centre on Saturday
announced it will extend all
help to the State Governments
in dealing with the crisis.
Union Home Minister
Rajnath Singh on Saturday
undertook an aerial survey of
some of the flood-hit areas in
Assam and termed the situation as "grim". Besides Assam,
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and
Bihar too are severely affected
even as the Tamil Nadu
Government issued a flood
alert in low lying areas in
Krishnagiri district.
Put together, around 80
districts and nearly 50 lakh
people are affected due to the
floods in the three States.
Meanwhile, in Odisha, at
least 30 people were reported
dead and over 36 injured due
to lightning. Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik announced Rs
50,000 as compensation to the
victims.
Singh, who arrived in
Assam along with DoNER
Minister Jitendra Singh, made
an aerial visit to the flood-hit
Morigaon, Nagaon districts
and parts of Kaziranga National
Park and reviewed the situation
with Assam Chief Minister
Sarbananda Sonowal and other
senior bureaucrats.
"We have visited some of
the flood-hit areas of Assam
today to review the situation.
been affected in 28 districts.
The Assam Government has
announced a compensation Rs
4 lakh to the flood victims, he
said even as he appreciated the
Chief Minister for handling the
situation effectively.
"The State Government
already has Rs 620 crore under
the State Disaster Response
Fund (SDRF). We are going to
give more funds upon utilization and as per the requirement," said Singh reiterating
that funds will never be a
problem for the State
Government. "The Chief
Minister has already submitted
a memorandum to me and I
am going to consider it after
returning to New Delhi," he
added.
Asked if the Centre will
consider Assam's plea to
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declare flood as a national
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calamity, Singh said it is more
X]1WPZPc6P^]X]<^aXVP^]SXbcaXRc^U0bbP\^]BPcdaSPh
?C8 important to find out the causes of the flood and to find out
After reviewing, I felt that the and Centre will extend all help
He said that a total of 26 ways to mitigate the problem
situation is very grim here. I to the State Government in this people have died in Assam than to declare Assam's flood
have urged the Chief Minister regard," Singh told the media floods in past one week and a as a national problem.
to help the marooned people before returning to Delhi.
total of 36 lakh people have
Turn to Page 4
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mid reports about nearly
800 Indian workers starvA
ing for the last three days in the
?=BQ =4F34;78
adhya Pradesh earned the
distinction of being conM
ferred five awards for excellent
performance in tourism sector
at National Tourism Award
function organised at Vigyan
Bhawan, New Delhi by Union
Ministr y of Tourism on
Saturday. These awards include
the National Award of Best
Tourism State.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan and Union Minister of
State for Tourism and Culture
(independent charge) Mahesh
Sharma presented these awards
to Madhya Pradesh Minister of
State for Culture and Tourism
(independent charge) Surendra
Patwa, Chairman of Madhya
Pradesh State Tourism
Development Corporation
Tapan Bhowmik; Managing
Director Hari Ranjan Rao and
Additional Managing Director
Tanvi Sundriyal.
The awards comprise trophies and letters of citation.
Besides, Madhya Pradesh
was also conferred with two
other tourism awards. One of
these is for making
Amarkantak disabled-friendly
and the other for best heritage
walk in Bhopal. The Best
Tourist Guide award was presented to Jeevan Jyoti Pateria.
Madhya Pradesh boasts of
unmatched historical heritage,
religious places, eco tourism
points and National Parks to
mesmerise tourists. The
Tourism Department has
developed facilities for disabled-friendly in temples at
Amarkantak. For this, wheel
chairs have been made available, notice boards and signages in Braille have been put
up and literature about these
temples has been published in
Braille. Disabled-friendly toilets
have also been constructed.
Turn to Page 4
Saudi city of Jeddah after losing their jobs, External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj
responded on Saturday and
dispatched her deputy Gen
VK Singh to the Gulf nation to
sort out the issue even as the
Indian embassy in Riyadh was
asked to provide free ration to
the unemployed workers.
Swaraj said Indians in
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were
facing various problems relat-
ing to their work and wage and
that the “matters are much
worse” in Saudi Arabia. Her
other deputy MJ Akbar will
take up the issue with Kuwait
and Saudi authorities. Both
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are hit
due to economic slowdown.
While Swaraj is monitoring
the situation on an hourly
basis, her response came following a tweet by a man who
said around 800 Indians are
starving for the last three days
in Jeddah and sought her intervention.
“We
have
asked
@IndianEmbRiyadh to provide free ration to the unemployed Indian workers in Saudi
Arabia,” she tweeted.
“My
colleagues
@Gen_VKSingh will go to
Saudi Arabia to sort out these
matters and @MJakbar will
take up with Kuwait and Saudi
authorities. I assure you that no
Indian worker rendered unem-
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ployed in Saudi
Arabia and will go without
food. I am monitoring this on
hourly basis,” she said.
Swaraj said a large number
of Indians have lost their jobs
in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and
that their employers have not
paid wages and closed down
their factories.
“As a result our brothers
and sisters in Saudi Arabia and
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78
n FIR was registered against BJP leader and
A
former Uttarakhand Minister Harak Singh
Rawat on Saturday for allegedly raping a 32-yearold woman in the national Capital on the pretext
of getting her a job.
According to police,
woman from Assam had
approached the Safdurjung
police station in South Delhi
on Saturday morning and
registered a complaint against
Rawat for allegedly raping her
at his Green Park residence.
The Delhi Police has also
recorded the woman’s statement under Section
164 of the CrPC. Similar complaints have been
registered against the leader in the past too.
Turn to Page 4
BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78
Delhi court on Saturday convicted “Peepli
Live” co-director Mahmood Farooqui of
A
raping a 30-year-old American researcher last
year. Farooqui, who was
out on bail, was taken
into custody immediately after the pronouncement of the judgment.
Additional Sessions
Judge Sanjiv Jain held
Farooqui guilty of offence
under section 376 (punishment of rape) of the
IPC. The court fixed the matter for hearing
arguments on sentence on August 2.
Turn to Page 4
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ustralia will adjust its latitude and longitude, a
Government science body says,
to put the vast country into
alignment with global navigation satellite systems.
The nation’s coordinates
are currently out by more than
a metre, Geoscience Australia
says, and the discrepancy could
cause major headaches for possible new technologies such as
driverless cars which require
precise location data.
“We have to adjust our
lines of latitude and longitude... so that the satellite navigation systems that we all use
on our smartphones these days
can align with all the digital
map information,” Geoscience’s
Dan Jaksa told the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation this
week.
A
Australia currently moves
north by about seven centimetres each year due to normal
tectonic motion and Jaksa said
the change was needed “to
keep pace with that”.
He said smartphones were
Kuwait are facing extreme
hardship,” she said, adding
while the situation in Kuwait is
“manageable”, matters are much
“worse” in Saudi Arabia.
Later, Swaraj posted pictures of food being provided to
the Indian workers.
Tumbling oil prices have
impacted the economy of the
Gulf nations, with Saudi Arabia
being the most affected.
already accurate to within 5-10
metres, but shrinking the gap
would be crucial in coming
years, particularly with greater
use of remotely-operated vehicles in farming and mining.
“(And) around the corner,
in the not too distant future, we
are going to have possibly driverless cars or at least
autonomous vehicles where,
1.5 metres, well, you’re in the
middle of the road or you’re in
another lane,” he said on
Thursday.
“So the information needs
to be as accurate as the information we are collecting.”
Australia’s local coordinate
system, the Geocentric Datum
of Australia, was last updated
in 1994 and officials believe it
will be out by 1.8 metres by
2020 unless corrected. New
data on the country’s coordinates is expected to be available
from 1 January 2017.
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CReVU+(& "!
ased on the 1982 children’s book by
Roald Dahl, The Big Friendly Giant or
B
The BFG, as he is popularly called, is a
5:[email protected]@>
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et’s get one thing clear. This is not
a John Abraham movie, although
he is in every single frame. The
fact that he doesn’t have much to say
means that there is not much that he
contributes in terms of acting. But then
Abraham has never earned the
distinction of being a great actor. His
popularity, we all know, stems from the
fact that the director ensures that he is
down to his chaddi at least once in the
film.
Dishoom is no different. This time,
the chaddi is orange and standing next
to him with his pants down is Varun
Dhawan. Of course, director Rohit
Dhawan has an explanation why the
two need to step out of their pants, and
here’s a bit of a spoiler. It is because of
Akshay Kumar who makes a special
appearance. Kumar is a man who only
likes men, sports a man-bun and wants
selfies clicked with a pout! A pout that
will put to shame the pouts of many of
L
our actresses.
Despite the fact that the film has
Abraham, it is Dhawan who sets the fast
pace of this typical masala movie, a
genre that Bollywood has managed to
perfect. It is Dhawan’s combination of
fun, quirkiness and energy that propels
the movie forward and takes the viewer
on a ride that has a sexy heroine —
Jacqueline Fernandes — who does an
item number. You have car chases, bike
chases, motorboat chases and a baddie
who kidnaps the star cricketer so that
India loses a match to Pakistan. Can one
go wrong here? Not by a long shot when
we all know the outcome of the match.
Then there is our baddie, played by
Akshaye Khanna, whom we are seeing
on the 70 mm screen after four years.
As a villain, he is not menacing enough,
though he tries to be. His face is not that
of a ‘bad man’.
Of course, the film is not without
its cliches. What with Dhawan (Junaid)
calling Abraham (Kabir) K and in turn
being referred to as J. Remember Men
In Black?
Despite its predictability, Dishoom
is an entertainer with Dhawan at the
helm.
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film that takes you to a world of magic
and makes you wonder if Gulliver was
right when he was transported to the land
of giants.
The BFG is nice because in today’s
world where people are ‘not nice’, the film
brings a breath of freshness as the giant,
played by Mark Rylance, wants Sophie,
the human he befriends, to see good
dreams not because they are scary but
because they are hurtful.
Rylance, as the giant who is bullied
by other giants and is referred to as ‘runt’,
is brilliant. Through the CGI, he brings
the giant alive under Spielberg’s direction.
In fact, Spielberg stands tall on the
shoulders of the giant. That he is a great
director is once again reiterated.
The good part is that even if one has
not read the book, one will enjoy the
progression of the film. The downer,
there is plenty of talk, introspection and
and the movie takes time to unfold. Also,
the ‘bad giants’ who eat children like jelly
beans are not menacing enough.
Over all, The BFG is a brilliant
creation and takes the viewer on a
delumptious adventure.
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hen the first Ghosbusters was
released 32 years back, almost
everyone fell in love with the ghosts and
the men chasing them. Though that was
the era when Superman and He-Man
comics were a kids’ favourite, the movie
changed everything. Ghosts were no
longer things that one had to be afraid
of — the film had plenty of wit and fun
moments.
Nothing has changed on that score.
The 2016 Ghostbusters is hilariously
funny and entertaining all through
despite the fact that we know the story.
Director Paul Feig has not deviated
from the original story that was directed
by Ivan Reitman. So there are no
surprises there.
The only thing that has changed in
the last three decades is that the men have
been replaced by women who are goofy,
quirky, loud and having fun chasing the
psychedelic hue the ghosts have taken in
this version. Of course, that there is
nothing frightening about these ghosts
makes it a fun watch for the kids too.
Our four women — Melissa
McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon
and Leslie Jones — ensure that they keep
you engaged till the very end. But it is
McKinnon who steals the show with her
whackyness.
The gizmos and the CGI-ed ghosts
are bigger and better. The fact that one
gets to see the ghostbusters of the 80s —
Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver — in
a guest appearance brings back the
nostalgia.
W
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-KDODN'LNKKOD-DDZLWK$1*(/$3$/-25
Q What made you say yes to Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa?
Dancing is something I enjoy and have been
doing non-professionally. I am in a profession
where dancing is an integral part. But due to the
hectic work schedule, one hardly gets time to go
and learn dancing. Jhalak... provides me a great
platform to enhance my dancing skills.
Q What form of dancing are you fond of?
I love Bollywood and that is what I have been
performing at award functions, where there is a
mix of Bollywood and Salsa etc. On this show, one
has to learn dance forms in a limited time frame.
Since dancing is not something that can be learnt
overnight, it is the journey that matters.
Q Who do you think is the strongest contender?
Salman Yousuf Khan, who is a choreographer
and now a contestant. Even Shantanu Maheshwari
is a great dancer. People like Nora Fatehi and him
have been dancing for years and are trained
dancers. Only Shakti Anand and I who are new.
Q What has been the hardest part?
Few days back, I was trying a stunt and landed
on my pelvic bone. I was taken to the hospital and
there were numerous bruises. But once you are
ready with your performance it nullifies
everything as it gives you a high and a
sense of satisfaction.
Q What happens if a contestant is
injured?
That depends on the injury. If the
doctor tells you not to dance, then you
can’t. The show is competitive, so one has
to manage the injuries. If one misses
rehearsals, then the performance suffers.
Q How flexible is the contract in
case a contestant wants to
quit?
In case of a serious
injury, it’s a personal
choice one has to make.
It’s not about the
contract but being
humane. The teams of
Jhalak...,
BBC
Worldwide and
Colors are always
concerned. There
is a doctor and a
physiotherapist
on call all the
time. I don’t
think that the
team would
want participants to injure
themselves
further
by
continuing.
Q How’s your experience been
with Bhawna Khanduja, your
choreographer?
She is one of the best on the show
and explains the steps at length to ensure that I
get them right. She is flexible and open to ideas.
She understands me well and trains me
accordingly. But there are times when she pushes
me as well.
Q If you win, will you follow your passion of
dancing?
It is not about winning the show. Whenever
my journey ends in Jhalak..., which I hope it will
with the trophy in my hand, I will be a better
dancer than before.
Q How do you decide the right costumes?
The designers watch the performances and
the various acts. They give costumes that
complement the performance. They use the right
fabric so that we don’t feel uncomfortable and our
dancing doesn’t get affected. Both Jerry and Ken
have been on the show for a long time and are
really experienced.
Q How do you prepare yourself for the acts?
We all work with a certain psychology and
tell ourselves that there is no choice and we have
to do it. Once we start enjoying, we want to put
up a great performance every week. The
competition gets tougher every week, so we
push ourselves. More than competing with
anybody, it is about testing one’s own limit.
Q What do you think of the judges’
decisions?
Karan Johar is very honest and looks
at a performance in totality. Ganesh
Hedge has his eye on choreography and
goes into details. Jacqueline Fernandes is
lenient and sees the performance from a
completely different angle. I don’t
think there is any bias.
Q Any other show that you’re
doing?
I want to focus on
Jhalak... and give it my best.
I have been getting offers but
if I do a show then I won’t be
able to rehearse for more
than two hours with the
shooting and travelling. I am
really happy I am not doing
any shows right now.
Q How has your experience
been so far playing very
different characters?
Acting is a bigger passion for
me than dancing. When I play
a character, I am always
working on how to make it
likable. I don’t want to look
like Arjun Bijlani in every
character but I want to look
like the character Bijlani is
playing. There are certain
similarities in ever y
character which I try and
differentiate.
[email protected][email protected]
[email protected]
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iUQbQ^TYcQ\c_g_b[Y^W_^QVY\]gYdXBU]_4µc_ejQ
Q How’s Dance+ Season 2 different from the
first?
Last year, we weren’t sure what kind of
talent would come. But after seeing the
contestants, our expectations went way up. We
feel great mentoring these extremely talented
people. But I still feel I’m a contestant and I
want to learn all the time and actually go out
there and dance. I don’t feel happy until my
body is paining because of the dance.
Q Is there pressure on you, now that two of
your contestants are already in the Top 6?
No, not at all. I don’t have to prove myself
to anyone. I work because I enjoy it. If I can
contribute to their careers in any way, I’d love
that.
Q What’s it like being a mentor on the show?
The dancers in my team are in the same
position I was in three-four years back when
I was a contestant with Terence (Lewis) sir as
my mentor — nervous about being in the
Press. So, it’s weird to be on the other side now.
I just told them what Terence sir told me then,
‘Don’t worry, main hoon’. It feels like
a big responsibility.
Q From a contestant to a
mentor, your journey
has been very fast…
I feel I’m very lucky.
Dance is not something
I was sure of when I
started off. I wanted to join
the IAS. I had never
imagined things to turn out
so well. God is making me
follow a path and I’m happy
doing it. At one point, I was
torn between my mind and my
heart. My mind told me to pursue IAS
and my heart told me to dance.
Q So what made you decide?
I had been learning Bharat
Natyam since I was a child.
Then
I
learnt
contemporary for four
years. When I came
to Mumbai for my
Master’s degree, I saw
that there’s a lot of
scope for dancing here.
Finally, I met Terence sir and he told me that
I am disciplined and dedicated and I could be
great at any profession I choose. My sister
Neeti supported me and I finally took up the
three-year scholarship he offered me.
Q Are the contestants today different from
when you were one?
All the dance styles these days are so
advanced. If you see Hip-Hop, there is a new
style within that every day. We saw a style
called Ghetto on our show, we hadn’t even
heard of it! These kids keep innovating by
themselves, and that’s why it looks very
different. It’s also something new for the
audience.
Q How’s your rapport with the other
mentors, Dharmesh and Punit?
I am very good friends with them. Both
of them started choreography much before me
and I get to learn from their experiences as
well.
Q You’re doing a film opposite Salman
Yousuf Khan with Remo D’souza…
I’m very excited about it. The film is about
ballroom dancing, which I’ve never learnt
formally. I’ve only learnt bits and pieces
while performing.
Q Do you think dancers today need to
know how to act too?
Whenever someone asks me if I’m
going to learn acting, I feel offended. An
actor is never asked if he will learn
dancing. I want to be known as a dancer
and I hope that some day, being a dancer
will be enough.
Q Do you feel learning a classical
dance form is important for a dancer?
I feel that more than dance, a
classical form teaches you
discipline, whether it is one of the
Indian styles or the western
Ballet. If you pick up the
mannerisms and body
language of a dancer as a
child, it stays with you for
the rest of your life. And
learning other styles
definitely becomes easier. If
I had a daughter, I’d make
her a pretty little ballerina.
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aarak Mehta Ka Ooltah
Chashmah (TMKOC) will
complete eight years on air on
July 28, 2016. Since the eight years it
has been on air, there has not been one
single day that the show’s loyal fans
have missed seeing their favourite
funny families at 8.30 pm every
Monday to Friday. While fans
continue to swear by how great the
show is, the makers remain equally
enthusiastic about creating something
new for their viewers each day.
Creator of the show, Asit Kumarr
Modi, who primarily designs the story
as well as produces the show, tells you
and he didn’t find it difficult to think
of the storylines. “I still have a lot of
stories to tell through TMKOC.
Sometimes, it is difficult to shoot, as
we shoot almost everyday and have
to push out 22 episodes every month,
but we are far from tired.”
Dilip Joshi, who plays the central
character of Jethalal, says what keeps
them going is that this is a comedy.
We are blessed to have a team where
everyone is humorous. The basic
premise is the same but we get to do
new things and that’s what the
audience enjoys,” Joshi says. He adds
that his biggest motivation comes
from the fact that what he does acts
as a stress-buster for his viewers who
never fail to laugh at the antics of the
characters of TMKOC.
Over the years, not only has the
fan base grown, but the show has also
won accolades in the form of awards
in various different categories. What
is a hit with the viewers is also the jodi
of Jethalal and Daya ben. For the team,
the biggest recognition was when they
T
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were nominated by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi as one of the
navratnas for his Swachh Bharat
Abhiyaan alongside other influential
personalities like Priyanka Chopra,
Salman Khan and Sachin Tendulkar.
Kumarr recalls that the team was
very surprised as they never expected
to be nominated for such a noble
cause. “It is great that the PM thought
us capable of not just entertaining
people but also doing something good
for the country. My team has been
very active for the Clean India
campaign,” he tells you. Yet, he also
says “Award mein agar kho jayenge toh
kaam bhool jayenge,” explaining why
awards are important but work is
more important.
The TMKOC has a writing team
of five to six people, some of whom
have changed over the years while
some of them have been writing for
the show since the first episode. One
of the scriptwriters explains what
makes a show like this click with the
audience and remain in their hearts.
“Each of the characters has been
accepted by the audience and they
now think of these characters as
members of their own family whom
they meet every day at 8.30 pm. We
sit with our families and watch the
show as a viewer and ask our friends
for feedback to know what is being
liked. That is what works; that and the
immense hard work that the entire
team puts in,” he says.
Director Malan Suresh Rajda
agrees. He says that all the characters
have been ingrained in the writers and
actors, so that you would never see
anyone do something out of character.
“Our talented creator and writers
work on the script many times and we
get the fourth or fifth polished draft.
That is their level of commitment,” he
says adding that when the show first
started, the story focussed on children
and targeted young audiences. “But
this is something that anyone can
enjoy, whether they are five or 85. No
one gets bored as there is something
fro everyone to enjoy,” Rajda tells you.
Each of the team members agree
heartily on one thing — that they all
work and live as a family. Like any
other family, there are sometimes
disagreements between them, but
these are resolved through discussions
and explanations. And being like a
family, they also spend their free time
on the set indulging in activities like
playing cricket or table tennis.
For now, despite having crossed
almost 2,000 episodes, the team is in
no way planning to slow down and
their only aim is to live up to the
expectations of the audience and
make them laugh.
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ 17>?0;
he Madhya Pradesh High
T
Court has on Friday dismissed a plea filed by the State’s
Water Resources Minister
Narottam Mishra questioning
the Election Commission’s
competence to inquire into a
case of paid news against him
dating back to 2008.
The dismissal of Mishra's
plea by Justice Vinod Agrawal
of the Gwalior bench of the
high court means that the
Election Commission will continue its inquiry into the
charges against the minister
who belongs to the BJP and
represents Datia constituency
in the assembly.
An adverse ruling by the
Election Commission could
imperil Mishra's membership of
the legislative assembly. He could
also be disqualified from standing in elections for six years.
The complainant in the
case is Congress leader
Rajendra Bharti whose counsel
told,
"The
Election
Commission continues to hold
hearings of the case and the
defendant's witnesses have
been deposing before it.”
Bharti complained to the
Election Commission in 2012
that Mishra paid for a series of
news reports published in various newspapers ahead of the
2008 assembly elections to
enhance his prestige among
voters without accounting for
that expense.
The Election Commission
issued a show-cause notice to
Mishra in 2013 that said, “42
news, which were published in
various newspapers between
November 8 and 27 in 2008,
appear to be advertisements in
garb of news.”
Mishra replied to the
show-cause notice, but also
got a stay from a single bench
of the high court, which was
later vacated. Mishra subsequently petitioned the Supreme
Court seeking a stay on the
proceedings of the Election
Commission which was dismissed by the court in October
last year.
Thereafter he again moved
a petition requesting the high
court to declare Section 10 (A)
of the Representation of People
Act 1951 as ultra vires (outside
the powers) of the Election
Commission.
Section 10 (A) of the
Representation of the People
Act 1951 deals with ‘disqualification for failure to lodge
account of election expenses’.
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?=BQ 8=3>A4
he MSME Tool Room
Indore on Saturday signed a
T
Memorandum of Understanding
with Center for Research &
Industrial Staff Performance
(CRISP) Bhopal. The objective of
the MOU is joint exploration of
training business opportunities
for acquiring national and international projects and assignments and to execute according
to mutual strengths.
Mukesh Sharma, CEO
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CRISP and Pramod Joshi,
General Manager of MSME
Tool Room Indore while signing the MoU said the MoU
intends setting up of a CRISP
extension centre at the MSME
Tool Room Indore, and an
MSME Tool Room extension
centre at CRISP at Bhopal.
The prime objective of the
MOU to jointly design, deliver and execute various kinds of
technical skill development
programs for students, job
seekers, Industry personnel,
prospective entrepreneurs, and
Industrial Development.
Sharma said with the signing of the MoU, both the
organisations will be benefited
with creating new horizons of
business opportunities, and
creating innovative training
programs by sharing advanced
equipment available at both the
organisations. He emphasised
on collaborations for honing
the knowledge of students, job
seekers, Industry personnel
and prospective entrepreneurs.
MSME Tool Room Indore
is engaged in manufacturing
and training of tools, other precision job works, and performs NCVT or AICTE recognised Long, Medium, and
Short-term technical training
courses for all kinds of technical, students, and industrial
teachers, while Centre for
Research and Industrial Staff
Performance (CRISP) has
established itself as one of the
most leading centres of
education and professional
training.
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any other relevant target group,
besides jointly utilise and share
resources like Machinery,
Software license and other
training facilities of each other
for conduct the trainings and
for other needs with mutual
consent. As per the MoU, it was
proposed to undertake joint
assignments and programmes
in the areas of training,
research and consultancy
(national and international),
besides Teachers Training,
Entrepreneurship
and
?=BQ B060A
ahar Regiment is celebrating its Platinum
Jubilee this year and to commemorate the saga of grit,
valor and indomitable spirit of
Mahars during its 75 glorious
years in service to the nation,
it is launching an expedition to
Mount Kamet in the Garhwal
Himalayas.
The young regiment raised
in 1941 is a radiant amalgam of
soldiers from across the country that have spun a saga of
being at the forefront forever in
all spheres, be it war or peace.
Standing tall at 7756
meters, the Mount Kamet peak
is the third highest peak in
India
after
Mount
Kanchanjunga and Mount
Nanda Devi. Mount Kamet is
considered to be a technically
difficult peak which poses great
challenge even to experienced
climbers and test their skill and
will to the Peak.
The Mahar Regiment
expedition would kick start
on Monday from Lucknow,
where it is scheduled to be
flagged off by Lt Gen Balwant
Singh Negi, UYSM, YSM, SM,
VSM, PhD, GOC-IN-C Central
M
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ 17>?0;
PS officer SL Thaosen was
0WP]PAPYP]T[TRcTSWTPSVXa[
the chief guest at the investiIture’s
ceremony for Billabong
High International School held
here on Saturday.
He addressed the students
and highlighted the values that
the youth of today should follow the path of honour, dignity and altruism. His wise words
instilled in the council a sense
of importance and a will to do
their duty.
As he bestowed upon the
council members, their badges
and sashes and the newly elected council walked of stage,
their badges gleaming in the
light, one could clearly see the
pride on the faces of the audience and the teachers. The
parents of the elected Council
Members looked on proudly
BC055A4?>AC4AQ 17>?0;
hana Rajan has been
elected as head girl by the
A
Students’ Council in Billabong
High International School for
the year 2016. On the occasion, newly elected presidents
of Students’ Council
addressed the students and
pledged to shoulder their
responsibility earnestly.
and recognized the fact that the
school had gone long way in
nurturing all Billabongers as
leaders.
The council members
marched elegantly to their
places on the stage for the oath
and after the pledge, the School
Captain was then bestowed
with the school flag by the out-
going headboy Gurwin Singh
Sahni. In their maiden address
to the school and council as the
head boy and head girl both
Saharsh Mittal and Aahna
Rajan moved the audience
with their resolute and strong
promise to the best that they
could in the capacity as the captains of the school.
Command. The expedition
team led by Colonel Amit Bisht
comprises two Officers, two
Junior Commissioned Officer
and 12 soldiers drawn from all
Battalions of the Mahar
Regiment, supported by a team
of two officers, one Junior
Commissioned Officer and
eight soldiers will undertake
this assignment over a period
of 40 days starting 01 Aug 2016.
The Mahar Regiment has
also undertaken other challenging adventure activities
during its Platinum Jubilee
year including a white water
rafting expedition through the
treacherous rapids of river
Teesta in Sikkim and West
Bengal.
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ 17>?0;
kshay Bajpai from Society
for Cyber Ethics enlightA
ened the school students regard-
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ing cyber law and cyber crimes.
He was addressing the students at Government Kamla
Nehru Girls Higher Secondary
School, where the District Legal
Services Authority convened a
workshop on ‘Gender crime
and Cyber crime: awareness
and prevention’ on Saturday.
Bajpai shed light on recent
trends of cyber bulling, cyber
stalking and cyber harassment
and advised the students that
they should not share their personal information before
strangers. Moreover, he told
them not to use their mobile
phone number and home
address on Internet through
Internet café.
These are few reasons due to
which the mobile number of girls
reaches to youth and they start
harassing the girls. Mostly, the
girls avoid approaching police for
lodging complaint in such cases,
as they fear bad name.
Bajpai also informed about
the frauds through mobile and
ATM. He advised that the
users should never use their
mobile numbers, name and
date of birth in the password.
Moreover, he stated that the
password needs to be changed
every month for security point
of view. He reiterated that people should never use mobile
number on any website at
Internet café.
School principal RN
Sharma, teachers and around
400 students remained present
on the occasion. Volunteers of
the Society Simran Singh,
Lokendra Raghuwanshi, Ashu
Pathak, Aishwarya Bajpai and
others were also present.
BC055A4?>AC4AQ 17>?0;
he Madhya Pradesh
Human
Rights
T
Commission (MPHRC) family gave warm sendoff to its outgoing Assistant Superintendent
of Police posted in the research
team SS Lalli on Saturday.
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Lalli, who completed his
superannuation age on
Saturday July 30, was given dignified farewell by the employees and officials of the
MPHRC. Lalli joined the MP
Police on August 22, 1983 at the
post of Subedar and today
after serving the department
graciously for 31 years, 11
months and 10 days he got
retired.
Addressing the gathering
on the occasion MPHRC
Chairman Virendra Mohan
Kanwar, Principal Secretary
Vinod Kumar and Additional
Director General of Police
Sushma Singh termed Lalli as
conscientious, fearless, brave,
honest and challenge accepting
officer and wished for his long
cherished and celebrated life.
MPHRC registrar (law) JP
Rao, additional director public
relations LR Sisodiya, SP
Sitaram Sasatya, DSP Atroliya
and other officers and employees of the Commission were
present on the occasion. All of
them wished for Lalli’s long
cherished and celebrated life.
The program was conducted by Commission’s
research officer Sanjay
Vishwakarma.
Lalli remained posted in
PTRI Bhopal from 1989 to
1995, there after remaining
posted in the District Police
Force Bhopal he was again
shifted to PTRI from 1998 to
2006. In 2007 he was promoted as Deputy Superintendent of
Police and he was shouldered
with the responsibility of traffic in Bhopal in that he worked
for three years and earned quiet
good name due to his fearless
style of working. During this he
carried out many works pertaining to the improvement of
city traffic. For his extinguished
services he was bestowed with
prestigious President’s Medal
and DG Medal.
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eavy rainfall across
Uttarakhand has affected
H
the mountanious regions. Due to
this, Badrinath Yatra has been
suspended temporarily. Several
roads across Dehradun district
have been blocked too following
rainfall-triggered landslides.
Some people are reported to have
been injured in the landslides.
The administration has
made relief centres for those
affected by the rains and the
landslides the rain had spawned.
Special arrangements have been
made too for the pilgrims who
are stranded midway.
It is learnt from the official
sources that Pithoragarh,
Chamoli, Pauri, Tehri,
Uttarkashi, Champawat and
Nainital districts have borne
the maximum brunt of the
recent rainy spell.
The Met office has forecast
light to moderate rain/thundershowers at many places in
Uttarakhand on Sunday.
Dehradun disaster control room
received by Saturday evening 13
phone calls related to water-logging, collapse of boundary walls,
road blocks and others over the
past 24 hours particularly from
those living in the mountainous
parts of the district.
According to disaster control room officials, the complaints came mainly from
Kotha Parli, JPRR Kanu, Goyera
Dau, Mnsi Gati dau, Quatha
Samar Jain, Gadal Chakrol,
Yamuna Hathi Pau, Saiya Alsi,
Saiya Quanu, Saiya Haripur
Ichhari, Quasi Damta,Magadu
Kala, kali Gad Sarona, Lambi
Dar Kimari and others.
In Pithoragarh district,
around 150 families have been
affected due to rainfall and landslides. Eight disaster relief centres have been made for affected people. Twelve rural roads in
Pithoragarh district have been
blocked due to the landslides.
Three important roads-
Tawaghat-Pangla motor road,
Tawaghat-Kanjyoti-Sobla
motor road, Thal-Munsiyari
motro road, were blocked in
the aftermath of the rains and
the subsequent landslides.
In Chamoli district,
Rishikesh Badrinath National
Highway, Lambagad, Bainakuli
and Tahiya bridge have been
blocked for traffic. Officials
say that Badrinath yatra has
been suspended temporarily.
Around 29 village roads have
been blocked due to landslides.
In Pauri district, 29 rural
roads have been blocked. In
Tehri district, around 45 families have been provided shelter in relief centres pitched by
the administration.
About 23 rural roads have
remained blocked for traffic
too. In Uttarkashi, RishikeshGangotri National Highway,
stretches through Helgugaad
and Gangnani have been
blocked too. Side by side, 19 vil-
lage roads were blocked.
In Champawat, four rural
roads have been blocked for
traffic. In Nainital district,
seven rural roads are blocked.
The department officials have
been pressed into service to
open the roads, officials said.
It drizzled in Dehradun
city on Saturday morning followed by an overcast sky. The
sky partially cleared by the
evening. Things were hot and
humid throughout the day.
However, the Met office said
that the maximum and the
minimum temperatures were
one notch below the normal
respectively on Saturday.
The Met office has forecast
light to moderate rain/thundershowers at many places in
Uttarakhand till August 2
starting from Sunday. Very
light to light rain/thundershowers has been forecast at a
few places with moderate rainfall at isolated places in
Uttarakhand on August 3.
The weather forecast for
Dehradun on Sunday is generally cloudy sky with possibility
of one or two spells rain/ thunder showers in some areas. The
maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around
30ºC and 22ºC respectively in
Dehradun on Sunday. Over the
past 24 hours by 8.30 am on
Saturday, rainfall of varying
degrees was reported from
some places in the state. While
55.1 mm rainfall was reported
in Dehradun it was 21.1 mm in
Tehri, 16.4 mm in Mukteshwar
and 30.8 mm in Pantnagar.
The Met centre director
Vikram Singh informed that the
maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 28.6
ºC Celsius and 22.0ºC Celsius in
Dehradun while it was 17.5ºC
and 15.1ºC in Mukteshwar,
21.6ºC and 17.1ºC in Tehri and
31.8ºC and 24.8ºC in Pantnagar
on Saturday.
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trooper of CRPF’s elite
'Commando Battalion for
A
Resolute Action' (CoBRA) was
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killed and another injured in a
fierce gun battle with Maoists
in a dense forest pocket of
Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit
Sukma district on Saturday,
police said.
"The incident happened
when a team of the 208th battalion of CoBRA was undertaking a search operation in the
jungles under Bheji police station about 200 km from district
headquarters
Sukma,"
Additional Superintendent of
Police (ASP) Sukma, Jitendra
Shukla said.
Based on the inputs provided by intelligence agencies
about presence of Naxals in the
jungle, the force had reached in
the
forest
between
Gacchanpalli and Irgapal under
Bheji police station limits, he
said.
The security forces had
undertaken the operation
based on specific inputs about
the movement of dreaded
Maoist Commander Hidma
with his group in the region,
Shukla said.
When the CoBRA troopers were patrolling the forest
between Ettrajpad and
Gachonpally villages, a group
of Maoists opened indiscriminate fire on them leading to a heavy gun-battle, he
said.
As per preliminary information, a constable-rank
trooper was killed and another injured, the official said,
adding reinforcement was
immediately rushed to the
spot.
Efforts are on to take the
deceased and injured personnel out of the forests, he added.
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?=BQ 270=3860A7
day after Delhi Chief
Minister appeared in a
Amritsar court in a defamation
case, Punjab Revenue Minister
Bikram Singh Majithia challenged the AAP Convener to
show moral and political
courage to agree to a day-to-day
hearing in the defamation suit
filed against him by the Akali
leader in an Amritsar court.
Majithia said it had taken
just one appearance before the
A
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From Page 1
Rawat was among the
Congress leaders who had
rebelled against Harish Rawat’s
Government in Uttarakhand
and had joined the BJP in
May 2016 after the political crisis along with several party
MLAs.
He was Agriculture
Minister in Vijay Bahuguna’s
Cabinet, continued as Minister
when Bahuguna was succeeded by Harish Rawat. Rawat was
suspended from Congress earlier in May this year. He was
one of the primary rebel
Congress leaders, leading
against Uttarakhand Chief
Minister Harish Rawat. After
his suspension, he joined the
BJP.
Earlier in February 2014,
an FIR was registered against
Rawat for allegedly molesting
a 30-year-old woman in New
Delhi. Investigation is still on
in the case. The woman, who
was a resident of Meerut, had
submitted a written complaint
at Safdarjung Enclave Police
Station alleging that Rawat had
molested her at a house in
South Delhi’s Green Park area
in September 2013.
Although the woman
could not explain the delay in
reporting the case, police had
registered an FIR in that
regard.
court to expose Kejriwal as a
thorough coward and his daily
boasts against senior statesmen in the country as mere
nautanki.
“From a wild accuser, he
has been reduced to a mere
accused. The accused is now
running for cover like a frightened hare. Will he like to tell
the people why did he enter the
court from the back door.
Instead of showing the confidence to ask for speedy trial as
an accused, he is seeking long
gaps between hearings in this
defamation case in which he
faces certain jail," Majithia
said.
The Punjab Minister
added, “This must have been a
huge let down for volunteers
who expected him to act like a
hero and to throw some bombshell against me in the very first
hearing. They went back badly
shaken and disheartened,
watching their hero pulled
down from high tower to be
named an accused , and liter-
ally begging for delays in proceedings in the case.”
On the statement of
Kejriwal that he would put
Majithia behind bars in six
months, the Minister said,
“Why wait for six months
even? You do not have to wait
for that long to put me behind
bars. You can achieve that goal
in a matter of weeks. All you
have to do is to agree to a dayto-day hearing in this case,
prove your charges on drugtrade and open the doors for a
FWhfPXcU^abXg\^]cWbTeT].H^dS^]^cWPeT
c^fPXcU^acWPc[^]Vc^_dc\TQTWX]SQPabH^d
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court conviction against me."
In a statement, Majithia
said, “But this time, I won’t let
him wriggle out with this
hypocrisy. I will pin him down.
Only one of us will remain free
and in politics now. Its either
him or me.”
Majithia said that the Delhi
Chief Minister had gotten into
the habit playing cheap theatrical somersaults as he had
been emboldened by the
decency and civility shown to
him by senior and respected
statesmen in the country
despite his wild and reckless
allegations.
6PaWfP[86) ?a^eXST
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?=BQ 347A03D=
arhwal Range IG Sanjay
Kumar Gunjyal has
G
directed district police heads
to make proper arrangements
of food for the pilgrims stranded along the Char Dham Yatra
routes with several roads along
this route being closed due to
rain-triggered landslides.
Police have been directed
to make arrangement for the
pilgrims to be given shelter at
proper places. Besides, they
must be provided with food
and drinking water, the senior
cop ordered.
It is learnt that the State
Government would bear the
expenses on this count. The
district officers have been
directed to inform the pilgrims
about the same arrangement
through SMSs.
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he Central University of
Orissa (CUO), Koraput in
T
collaboration with the
Hindustan
Aeronautics
Limited (HAL), Sunabeda
organised
CUO-HAL
Distinguished Lecture on
‘Cultural Diplomacy in a
Changing World’ at HAL
Township, Sunabeda on
Friday.
Former
Indian
Ambassador to Hungary Malay
Mishra joined the event as
chief speaker. University ViceChancellor Prof Sachidananda
Mohanty delivered the inaugural address.
Prof Mohanty explained
various aspects of cultural
diplomacy and the role of
diplomats in the changing
world. He said, “Culture is a
driving force which brings the
world together and diplomats,
who represent country outside,
are holding the countries
together”. He also said everyone
is a cultural ambassador and
must value their culture and
tradition. He described Yoga as
the cultural product of India.
While defining the cultural diplomacy and its importance in Indian context,
Ambassador Malay Mishra
said, “We Indian are known to
be grounded and our culture is
very rich and widely accepted.
One must know the correct
sense of culture to make the
appeal and it has to be well
packaged.”
HAL General Manager
(Engine Division) JK Mohanty
said, “An industry can’t develop at the cost of the cultural
values of its locality as the success of the industry is co-related with the cultural background of the region”.
$GD\DIWHUGHOXJH*XUJDRQOLPSLQJEDFNWRQRUPDOF\
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fter torrential rains and
massive gridlock due to
A
severe waterlogging on
National Highway-8 paralysed
Delhi’s satellite city for two
days, Gurgaon is limping back
to normalcy as the chock-ablock situation in Gurgaon
eased on Saturday with police
officials deployed at 14 crucial
points in the city, including
Hero Honda Chowk, to ensure
smooth flow of traffic.
However, the rain fury has left
a trail of potholes for commuters to battle with. Besides,
$[PZW\Pa^^]TS
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From Page 1
He said the Centre has
already asked the State
Government to prepare an
action plan to end the problem
and stressed on strengthening
and repairing of embankments
along the rivers and tributaries.
Flood situation in Uttar
Pradesh too remained a cause
of concern as all major rivers of
Terai region continued to flow
above or near the danger mark
due to continuous downpour in
the upper Himalayan reaches
and excess water release from
barrages. In all, over two lakh
people in around 52 Tehsils of
city is facing shortage of essential food items especially vegetables, milk, fruits due diversion of vehicles, ferrying grocery items like vegetables midway, sources said.
In the nation Capital, continuous downpour slowed vehicular movement at various locations, including South Delhi.
The situation was worsened
due to movement of Kanwarias
across the city and waterlogging,
mainly in the peak hours.
Gurgaon police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk
claimed there were no traffic
jams in the city but the traffic
movement was slow.
“There is no jam but traffic movement is slow. ACP and
other officers are present on the
spot. All media persons are
requested to cooperate so that
there is no panic among citizens,” said Virk. However, traffic jams on account of waterlogging were reported from
Sohna Road and other major
roads. A 5 km long jam has
been
reported
from
Badshahpur Vatika Chowk.
Gurgaon administration started repair works of damaged
roads on Expressway near Hero
Honda chowk, Old Delhi road,
20 districts are affected with
most of them being in
Siddharthanagar, Pilibhit,
Barabanki, Basti, Kushinagar
and Badaun. The administration has established 41 relief
camps in the affected districts.
In Bihar, the flood situation
showed no signs of improvement with 26 people reported
to have died in flood related
incidents in the State. Surging
water of Mahananda River is
spreading in Katihar, Purnia
and Kishanganj following
heavy rain in catchment areas
of Nepal. Supaul, Purnia and
Kishanganj too are hit. Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar said
that the embankments would
be constructed on river
Mahananda in five phases and
that the Principal Secretary of
Agriculture Department has
been made the Special
Commissioner in Katihar to
oversee the relief operation.
He has also instructed distribution of 2,000 quintals of
food grains among flood victims every day. Down South, in
Tamil Nadu, flood alert has
been issued in low lying areas
near south Pennai River in
Krishnagiri district even as
heavy rains hit normal life in
many parts of Salem district.
Chennai MeT office said the
south west monsoon has been
vigorous over north Tamil Nadu.
Heavy rain in neighbouring Karnataka has led to an
increased inflow of water into
rivers and lakes in Krishnagiri
and Salem districts of Tamil
Nadu.
to 8 am. These duties will continue till further orders,” he
added.
The 14 crucial points are
Hero Honda Chowk, Rajiv
Chowk, Jharsa Chowk,
Signature Tower Chowk,
IFFCO Chowk, Shankar
Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Golf
Course Extension Road intersection on Sohna Road, Main
Chowk in Sohna, Maharana
Pratap Chowk, Atul Kataria
Chowk, IMT Manesar Chowk,
HUDA City Center Station
and sector 31 redlight and
their vicinity.
Virk said officials have
been ordered to keep a watch
on the situation and ensure
smooth movement of traffic in
their areas. In case of any
adverse situation, they should
rush to the spot and take control. PCR will take hourly
updates 24 hours a day on the
traffic and flooding situation
till further orders. In case of any
disruption in traffic, the Police
Commissioner would be
informed.
Meanwhile, a top official
scotched rumours that Virk has
been shunted out for failure to
tackle the traffic situation in
Gurgaon.
Sipla Mata road, GurgaonPataudi road, Gurgaon -Sohna
road on Saturday. “Most of the
potholes have been fixed,”
claimed officials.
The prohibitory order
imposed near Hero Honda
Chowk was lifted after the situation on the roads normalised. However, Schools and
most of the Government and
private
establishments
remained closed on Saturday.
Virk also said that detailed
plans have been made to avert
any jam-like situation during
rainy season due to flooding of
roads, including NH8 & 248A.
Gurgaon traffic police also
suggested that heavy transport
vehicle to take alternative route
and not enter from Delhi side.
Virk said 14 crucial points
have been identified on the
NH-8 and other parts of the
city where round-the-clock
forces have been deployed
including SHOs, four ACPs at
west, east, south zones and
Sohna road.
“At each point, inspectorrank officers have been deputed along with police personnel.
Duty has been divided in two
shifts, day shift from 8 am to 8
pm and night shift from 8 pm
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From Page 1
In Bhopal a number of
paths have been developed for
heritage walk. Through this the
history of architecture of Bhopal
has been shown. The first path
starts from Kamlapati Mahal
and via Upper Lake towards Sufi
masjid and Sadar Manzil and
the second path showcases the
history of Taj-ul-Masajid.
It may be mentioned that
Madhya Pradesh has bagged
national awards in tourism
sector for two years in a row.
Last year the State had bagged
six national awards and other
awards.
From Page 1
The offence of rape entails
a minimum of seven years rigorous jail and a maximum of
imprisonment for life.
Farooqui was present in the
courtroom with his wife, film
director and screenwriter
Anusha Rizvi, and his friends
when the judgment was
pronounced. The woman, in
her complaint, had alleged that
Farooqui was drunk when he
raped her at his house where
she had gone to get his help for
her research work last year. The
police had on June 19, 2015,
lodged the FIR against Farooqui
on the woman’s complaint after
which he was arrested.
Police had on July 29 last
year filed a chargesheet against
Farooqui alleging that he had
raped the research scholar from
Colombia University at his
Sukhdev Vihar house in South
Delhi on March 28 last year.
The court had on
September 9, 2015, started the
trial in the case after framing
rape charge against Farooqui.
According
to
the
chargesheet, the woman, who
reached his house at 9 pm,
found Farooqui intoxicated.
He asked her to go in the other
room which was his office.
After 20 minutes, she left the
office room to smoke on the
porch when he told her to
come in and sit down, it said.
After talking with her for a
while, he suddenly kissed her
and forced himself on her, the
prosecution said. During the
trial, the American researcher
stood by her complaint and
alleged that Farooqui had raped
her, while he denied the allegations, and claimed he was
falsely implicated.
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ausing major embarrassC
ment to the ruling dispensation both in the State and the
Centre, J&K Deputy Chief
Minister Prof Nirmal Singh on
Saturday claimed Hizbul
Mujahideen's poster boy
Burhan Wani was killed 'accidentally' in the routine anti-terrorist operation.
Interacting with the media
persons on the sidelines of a
function in the Katra base
camp of Mata Vaishno Devi
shrine, Prof Singh said,
"Burhan Wani was killed accidentally during a routine antiterrorist operation".
"It was a routine anti-terrorist operation in which three
terrorists were killed. The security forces were not aware
Burhan Wani was present
inside the hideout. They had
information about the presence
of three terrorists when the
routine operation was
launched. The identity of the
terrorists was not known to
them. This is what the police
officers and security forces
briefed us. It is only after the
operation was over they came
to know about the identity of
the slain terrorists," said Prof
Singh, adding recently when
four Pakistani terrorists were
eliminated by the security
forces in the Valley their iden-
tity was ascertained only after
the operation was over. In this
case too identity of Burhan
Wani was established after he
was killed accidentally", Prof
Singh told reporters.
Defending the State
Governments response to the
volatile situation in different
parts of Kashmir Valley, Prof
Singh claimed there was no
delay on the part of the State
Government to control the law
and order situation in the
aftermath of killing of Hizbul
Mujahideen's poster boy
Burhan Wani on July 8".
Prof Singh claimed such
operations would continue to
eliminate gun-totting terrorists
in the State. "If they will not
surrender there is no other way
to deal with them but to eliminate them in this fashion", he
added.
Since July 8 different parts
of Kashmir Valley have been
witnessing 'endless' cycle of violence in which around 50 people have lost their lives and several hundred were left injured,
including security personnel.
Earlier, on July 28 Chief
Minister Mehbooba Mufti had
created a piquant situation for
the security forces by claiming
security forces were unaware
about the presence of Burhan
Wani inside the hideout.
"If security forces were
aware about the presence of
Burhan Wani he would have
been given a 'chance',
Mehbooba had said in response
to a straight question whether
security forces knew about his
whereabouts at the time of the
operation.
Meanwhile,
official
spokesperson of the State BJP
Unit Sunil Sethi in a written
statement on July 28, had
claimed "security forces have
achieved major success by
killing Burhan Wani and all
nationalists are proud of ".
"No repentance was ever
exhibited by Burhan Wani nor
there is anything to indicate that
he wanted to leave the path of
violence and terrorism and as
such there was neither scope nor
question of any second chance
or mercy being shown to him
and if security forces would not
have killed him he would have
continued his terrorist activities," Sethi had stated in his written statement to the Press.
Responding to the statement of Prof Singh, Congress
spokesperson in Jammu
Ravinder Sharma said, “It is very
unfortunate instead of boosting
the morale of the security forces
the State Government is sending a wrong message to them
and emboldening the separatist
forces.” He said such irresponsible statements would further
aggravate the ground situation
across Kashmir Valley.
0a\h_Tab^]]T[cPZTb_^bXcX^]Pc
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ven as protests and shutdown continued in Kashmir
E
Valley, the Line of Control
(LoC) in north Kashmir still
remained a tough challenge for
the security forces as two more
infiltrators were gunned down
on Saturday.
Two terrorists were killed
in a prolonged gunfight in
Nowgam sector of Kupwara
district in which two soldiers
were also martyred. The
encounter took place five
days after four infiltrators
were gunned down by the
ith an estimated 60 million people suffering
W
from viral Hepatitis and facing
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IADMK MP Sasikala
A
Pushpa and DMK MP
Tiruchi Siva reportedly
engaged in a face-off at the
Indira Gandhi International
Airport in New Delhi on
Saturday.
Pushpa, on her arrival in
Chennai, told The Pioneer
that the fighting between
them was a result of Siva
blaming the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa. "I will not
allow anyone in this world to
speak ill of my leader Puratchi
Thalaivi
Amma
(as
Jayalalithaa is addressed by
party members)," she said.
Siva (62) was not available
for comments. The duo was in
the news recently when a
photograph of them together
was posted on the social
media. Since it was rare for the
leaders of the DMK and
AIADMK to come together
for even photo sessions, this
picture had aroused curiosity
among political circles in
Tamil Nadu. Later, it was
found that the picture was a
morphed one.
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n a great relief to the vehicle
owners driving in the State,
IGujarat
Government on
Saturday has decided not to
take toll tax from cars and small
vehicles for using highways.
"Happy to announce that
from August 15, cars and small
vehicles will be exempted from
paying toll tax in Gujarat,"
Anandiben Patel she tweeted.
In fact Patel herself at a
function hinted that surveys
were carried out to know the
exact amount the State would
have to shell out as compensation to toll road operators
due the important decision.
The
Maharashtra
Government had recently shut
down around dozen toll plazas
and gave more than C800 crore
as compensation to the toll
road operators. It is worth
mentioning that in the 201617 State Budget, the Gujarat
Government had proposed an
increase in taxes to the tune of
C195 crores. The State Finance
Minister offered tax relief of
C251 crores, taking the overall
estimated surplus to C189
crores for the fiscal.
“The State would bear the
entire cost due to exemption
for small vehicle owners. The
commercial and heavier vehicles would, however, continue
to pay the usual toll tax. The
decision on taxis would be
taken later,” said an official.
As national highways out
of the purview of the State
Government, clarity with
regards to the decision being
effective for the toll booths on
national highways could not be
ascertained. In the past,
Gujarat Government had
mulled removing toll tax on all
national and State highways,
bypass roads and bridges in the
State.
It had instead mulled
replacing toll tax with ‘betterment charge’ and ‘betterment
tax’, which could be a one-time
levy on those setting up commercial establishments along
highways and form those
already operating existing
roadside business.
The entire area continued
to be under cordon as security
forces suspect presence of more
militants in the area. The search
operations have been aided by
helicopter surveillance in the
vast jungle area.
The identity of the slain
militants and soldiers was not
immediately known. Two AKseries rifles, one uni-barrel
grenade launcher and several
warlike stores have been recovered from the encounter site. A
soldier has been injured in the
encounter, who was later evacuated from the area.
This was the second major
risk of serious liver disease,
liver cancer, and even death, the
Union Health Ministry is
mulling developing a national
action plan for treatment, care
and prevention of the disease.
Acknowledging the health
needs of the patients infected
with the disease, CK Mishra,
Health Secretary said that a
national action plan to combat
hepatitis is needed and
resources should not be a limiting factor for the success of
the cause.
"There was a unanimity
that India should develop a
'National Action Plan on Viral
Hepatitis (NAP-VH)' within
the next 6 to 12 months," he
said assuring that antiviral
drugs are likely to be included
in the essential drug list to be
provided free to the sector.
Mishra was speaking at
the3rdNationalconsultative
meeting on Viral Hepatitis on
Friday organised by the WHO
Global Office and Health
Ministry in partnership with
Delhi-based Institute of Liver
and Biliary Sciences here.
ILBS, organised Viral
hepatitis is caused by infection
with any of at least five distinct
viruses — hepatitis A virus
(HAV), HBV, HCV, hepatitis D
virus (HDV), and hepatitis E
virus (HEV). HBV and HCV
can progress to chronic infections, but many who are
chronically infected manifest
no obvious signs or symptoms
for decades-until they present with cirrhosis, end-stage
liver disease, or hepatocellular
carcinoma (a type of liver
cancer).
Because chronic viral
hepatitis B and C infection can
persist for decades without
symptoms, 65-75 per cent of
infected Indians remain
unaware of their infection status and are not receiving necessary care and treatment.
Soumya Swaminathan,
Secretary Health Research
stressed on importance of
screening and surveillance and
need to standardise hepatitis
tests in the country and providing safe blood and water.
Dr Gottfried Hirnschall,
Global lead from WHO on
viral hepatitis discussed how
India, the pharmacy of the
world can eliminate hepatitis B
and C faster than other countries while Dr HenkBekedam,
Country head WHO, said India
should have more and more
hepatitis testing and treatment
centers, like ART centers.
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xpressing concern over frequent disruptions of
E
Parliament proceedings, Vice
President and Chairman Rajya
Sabha Hamid Ansari said on
Saturday such acts amounted to
holding the House to "ransom."
He also said the two Houses of
Parliament are equal adding the
Upper House was a chamber to
check "haste, cool passion and
control legislation."
Airing this opinion while
addressing an orientation programme for newly elected Rajya
Sabha members, he said the
House highlights the concerns
of the States. The Chairman's
remarks came in the backdrop
of an ongoing debate about the
344?0::D?A4C8Q =4F34;78
s against the BJP which
"remained rooted to its
A
basic ideology" and received
people's "acceptance and mandate" at the Centre and ten
States, the Congress, socialists
and communists in the country, "without an ideology", have
"disintegrated" and virtually
turned into "dynastic" ,
"casteist" or "personality based
" parties, emerging increasingly
irrelevant.
Stating this at 'National
Writer's Meet', organised by Dr
Syama Pradad Mookerjee
Foundation, BJP president
Amit Shah Saturday asked
whether anyone in the audience has any doubt as who
would be "the next President of
?aPQWd[Phbbc^]T^U8\_WP[a[hbcPcX^]PcHdaT\QP\
nion Minister of Railways,
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
U
on Saturday formally
announced commencement of
the work of the longest tunnel
of Indian Railway on the
Jiribam–Tupul–Imphal new
broad gauge railway line and
laid the foundation stone of the
proposed Imphal Railway
Station at Yurembam village,
located 8 km from Manipur’s
Capital, Imphal.
The Railway Minister created a history on Sunday as the
proposed tunnel on the Jiribam
–Tupul–Imphal stretch will be
the longest tunnel of Indian
railway covering 11.55 km
(tunnel no. T-12). It may be
mentioned here that the
111-km
long
Jiribam
–Tupul–Imphal is no less an
engineering marvel due to the
two striking feature — the first
is the tallest bridge of the
world being constructed over
Irang river with a pier height of
141 metres (almost equal to
two Qutub Minar stacked over
each other) and the second is
the tunnel No. 12 with a length
of 11.55 km, which would be
the longest tunnel in India.
“Connectivity is the prime
driver of development and the
Railway Ministry would not
spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of
rail connectivity in the region,”
said the Union Minister while
addressing an impressive gathering at the proposed site for
the new railway station.
“Indian Railways have
taken a holistic approach
towards development and the
111-km long new broad gauge
railway line from Jiribam to
Imphal and this will not only
connect Imphal to the rest of
the country but also open up
role and importance of the
Upper House in India.
Unlike the Russian
Federation, India is a Union of
States which is "indestructible," he said. "So under the
Union of States, purposes are
specified, the intentions of
specified. But because it is a
Union, the States have certain
interests which are not necessarily reflected in the other
House of the Parliament.
Therefore it is expected
and happens on many occasions that individual states
interests are flagged in Rajya
Sabha," Ansari said.
Peeved over frequent disruptions, he said disagreement
can be conveyed through a
brief walk out as storming into
the well of the House created
bad impression amongst the
masses. Disruptions mean losing precious time and also
amount to "impinging on the
privileges of the other members," the Chairman said.
On reduced duration of
Parliament sessions over the
years, Ansari said he had
shared this with successive
Prime Ministers. "Earlier,
Parliament used to sit for 100110 days. There was sufficient
time, both for discussion and
debate and all other activities.
Now the average is 70 days plus
or minus. There is a much
greater requirement for time
management," he said.
Deputy Chairman of Rajya
Sabha PJ Kurien said proceedings of last couple of years show
that the MPs have "failed" to
make the Government
accountable. Observing that it
was the duty of the
Parliamentarians to highlight
the grievances of the public and
make the Government
accountable, Kurien said "MPs
are failing in doing so."
He urged the new
Members to take parliamentary
work seriously and for that they
need to study the rules and
make effective speeches.
Quoting the earlier views of the
President of India that
Parliament performs three 'D'
— Discussion, Debate and
Decision, Kurien appealed that
"we should not add the fourth
'D' — Disruption."
3_^WQ`QbdigYdX_edYTU_\_Wi*CXQX
the Congress Party" and amid
laughter, he went on to quiz
"could anyone now tell who
would take over the reins of the
BJP after me ?" "No, no one can
tell that in the BJP", Shah said
and sought to differentiate
BJP's "democratic and ideological character" that trains,
selects and elects a common
party man to "the highest post"
vis-à-vis the Congress party's
total dependence on "one personality".
Speaking on the subject of
"Ideology and Politics Today',
the BJP president described
Congress as party "without an
ideology." He said during
Independence struggle everyone joined the Congress —
from Swami Shradhanand to
Mohammad Ali Jinnah — with
the sole aim of gaining freedom
from the British.
"All were together from
1900 to 1047 not because of an
ideology. Congress was then an
Special Purpose Vehicle meant
for Independence but not driven by an ideology...", said
Shah, adding he has gone
minutely through all Congress
resolutions but could not ferret out any ideology thining in
them. " They are only comments on the incidents of the
day", he said.
He said besides Congress,
communist and socialist parties
are "big example" of how
absence of core ideologies disintegrated them as they could
not face challenges of their
times. Shah said socialists in UP
and Bihar have turned either
H`c\`_]`_XVdecRZ]hRjef__V]SVXZ_dZ_>R_Zafc
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forces have shot dead 48 persons including three women
during a sustained campaign to
quell the protests while more
than 2,000 civilians have been
injured, 200 of them with pellets damaging their eyesight.
Two policemen have died and
more than 2,500 police and
paramilitary personnel injured
in attacks from the protesters.
The local newspapers report
that 52 civilians have been
killed in the Valley so far.
A civilian riding on a bike
was killed when he rammed
into a wire tightly fastened with
two poles to block traffic in
central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The biker’s throat was slit
and he died on the spot. His
son, who was riding pillion,
was critically injured.
Meanwhile, unknown gunmen shot dead a shopkeeper
Fayaz Ahmad Rather at
Saidpora village in north
Kashmir’s Sopore sub-division.
The militants barged into
Rather’s house and fired upon
him from point blank range.
He died on the spot.
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security forces in the same
sector while another militant
was captured alive.
Defence sources in
Srinagar said the gunfight
erupted late on Friday night
when security forces guarding
the LoC traced suspicious
movement in the forested area
of Tutmar Gali, one of the highly active sectors in the region.
The security forces cordoned off the suspected area
that resulted into heavy
exchange of fire. The firing
continued throughout the night
resulting to death of two militants and two soldiers.
gunfight in the sector in past
three days. On July 26, four
militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba
were killed and another militant Bahadur Ali alias Saifullah
was captured in an injured
state when a gunfight triggered off in the sector.
Saifullah’s interrogation has
revealed that is a resident of
Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s
Punjab province. Before the
July 26 infiltration, a soldier
was killed in the north Kashmir
region when infiltrators opened
fire before fleeing back to
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The operation was underway in the region till last
reports came in.
Meanwhile, the normal life
remained crippled in Kashmir
Valley on the 22nd consecutive
day as protests, shutdown and
clashes continued in the region.
The protests broke out after the
killing of 22-year-old Hizbul
Mujahideen commander
Burhan Wani on July 8. The
separatist groups call shutdown to perpetuate an antiIndia uprising. The security
new vistas for economic development of the region,” he said
adding that the proposed
Imphal railway station has
been designed incorporating
the architectural elements of
Kangla Fort Gate and Shri
Govindji Temple — two historical monuments of Manipur.
While announcing the
commencement of the work of
tunnel No 12, the Union
Minister said that the tunnel
would connect two parts of
Manipur by rail but would
also be a symbolic representation of the State getting connected to the Indian mainland.
Manipur Chief Minister
Okram Ibobi Singh, who was
also present on the occasion
thanked the Indian Railway’s
initiatives for bringing in better connectivity to the region
and requested the Central
Government to consider
extending the railway line to
Moreh from Imphal.
It may be mentioned here
that The 111-km long Jiribam
–Tupul–Imphal new broad
gauge railway project was taken
up in 2008 and was declared a
National Project because of its
importance. The 12.5–km
Jiribam to Dholakhal section
has been completed and commissioned for freight train in
March 2016. On the 84–km
Jiribam — Tupul section, out of
the 37 tunnels, 25 have been
completed as on 30th April
2016 and the works for the rest
are also progressing well.
The overall cost of construction of the station
Building will be around C8.7
crores. It will be terminating
station with all facilities including three passenger platforms
and coach maintenance shed.
"casteiest or dynastic parties".
"Samajwadi kunbe mein
kuch bhi nahin bacha sivay
parivarvad ke", he said.
In clear contrast, Shah
asserted, Bhartiya Jan Sangh
(BJPS) which was borne to a
commitment to "an alternative
ideology". It was an antidote to
Jawahar Lal Nehru's policies on
economy, agriculture , education , culture etc which were
huge impacted by western
thinking and did not carry
"sweetness of Indian soil". " It
needed to be challenged", he
said and was done by ten young
people by founding BJS.
He said post-Independent
Nehru intended to do country's "Navnirman" as against
BJS's aim for "Punar Nirman"
of the country reviving "the
best we had from our great
heritage ". The BJS believed that
this country was once 'World
Guru' and can again be so.
Shah said all policies and
plans of the BJP government
have originated in original
thinking and asked people to
compare governance in the
BJP-led states like Gujarat,
Madhya Pradesh or Chattisgarh
with other parties ruled Kerala,
West Bengal or UP.
During Question answer
session, some one asked as why
BJP is seen to be doing 'a
complete U turn' in some of its
stated agendas. To that, BJP
Chief said " some flexibility"
was needed to implement the
ideology. This he said can be
done without making any
compromise the basisc.
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tate Bank of India (SBI)
Chairperson Arundhati
Bhattacharya has said that
there is no reason for the bank
employees to be apprehensive
of the upcoming mergers as
there will be no losses of jobs
or salaries in the process.
“There are no losses of jobs or
salary. There only might be a
few transfers, that’s it. There is
no reason for strike,”
Bhattarcharya told IANS,
adding that the bank is apprehensive of change.
Even as bank employees
struck work on Friday on the
issue, Bhattacharya said the
process of the merger of five
associate banks and Bhartiya
Mahila Bank with the SBI
should be over by next March.
“Timeline for the merger is
S
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around by the end of the
financial year,” she said.
Banking operations across
the country were hit on Friday
as nearly a million employees
of private and state-run banks
struck work for a day to
protest the proposed merger
with SBI and the privatisation
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NEW DELHI: A delegation of
revenue officers on Saturday
asked Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley to ensure that Central
Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
gets it 'due importance and
respect' even as it advised its
Mumbai unit to suspend the
ongoing agitation over alleged
interference by Central
Revenue Department in 'operational matters'.
The delegation discussed
various issues with the Finance
Minister and conveyed the deep
sense of deprivation and injustice
amongst IRS officers leading to
severe discontent and demoralisation, the association said in a
press release issued on Saturday.
The association highlighted
the operational difficulties of
the IRS officers including role and
authority of CBDT, it said. “The
FM may kindly ensure that the
CBDT, whose powers and functions emanate from Central
Board of Revenue Act, 1963 and
Income Tax Act, 1961, be allowed
to administer Direct Tax policies
of the Government, as per the
said Acts,” the release said. PTI
of the IDBI Bank.
The unions are opposed to
the Government’s decision to
merge the State Bank of
Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank
of Travancore, State Bank of
Patiala, State Bank of Mysore
and State Bank of Hyderabad
with the SBI. The merger will
create a giant entity with an
asset base of C37 lakh crore.
On being asked if C7,575
crore earmarked for the country’s largest lender by the
Finance Ministry for re-capitalisation was enough, she
said, “All capital depends upon
growth, profitability, provision requirements, which
change from quarter to quarter. There are several scenarios.
We have discussed with the
financial services department
our requirement.”
The Finance Ministry on
July 19 had announced the
much-awaited capital infusion
of C22,915 crore towards the
recapitalisation of 13 public
sector banks during 2016-17.
The capital infusion exercise for the current year is
based on an assessment of
need as calculated from the
compounded annual growth
rate of credit for the last five
years, banks’ projections of
credit growth and an objective
assessment of the growth
potential of each and every
public sector bank.
Following this assessment,
75 per cent of the amount collected for each bank is being
released now to provide liquidity support for lending
operations as also to enable
banks to raise funds from the
market, the Finance Ministry
had said.
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NEW DELHI: The Government
has realised C919 crore through
the fourth tranche of its Sovereign
Gold Bond scheme — the highest so far. “Collections under the
Sovereign Gold Bond scheme
reached a new high. The amount
realised through the fourth
tranche, at around C919 crore,
is the highest achieved as yet,”
the Finance Ministry said in a
release.
The previous highest was
C746 crore, which was realised
in the second tranche, when the
issue price was C2,600 per
gram of gold. In the latest subscription, the issue price was
fixed at C3,119. This time
around, the amount was
mobilised over 1.95 lakh applications representing around 2.95
tonnes of gold. These numbers
are likely to go up as receiving
offices are keying in data for
huge number of applications
received on the last day. PNS
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esidents of Assam and
Meghalaya would not be
R
required to submit Aadhar
card for getting benefits under
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala
Yojana, Union Minister
Dharmendra Pradhan
said on Saturday. “For
Assam and Meghalaya,
Aadhar cards will not be
required for getting
enrolled in the PMUY,”
the Petroleum and
Natural Gas Minister
said at a meeting of
DNOs (district nodal officers)
of the eastern states here.
He said 82 per cent of the
LPG connections have been
linked with Aadhar card. “We
are making efforts to bring the
remaining 18 per cent in its
fold,” Pradhan said at the meet
also attended by IOC
Chairman B Ashok and Joint
Secretary (marketing) Oil ministry Ashutosh Jindal among
others. Pradhan claimed that
since the launch of the PMUY
project, 23 lakh BPL households have got ‘free connections’ in the states where it had
been rolled out since May 1.
He said the project would be
launched in West
Bengal before August
15. In the Budget for
2016-17,
the
Government had
allocated C8000 crore
to provide LPG connections to five crore BPL
women in three years.
The selection of the BPL
women would be done from
the Socio-Economic Caste
Census-2011. Several DNOs
complained that many women,
despite being in the BPL category, did not figure in the
SECC list.
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s the Government gears up
for a fresh push to get the
A
long-pending GST law passed,
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
on Saturday said the ‘one
nation, one tax’ regime will
reduce the taxation levels and
also eliminate corruption.
Stressing that India cannot
afford the kind of spectrum or
coal mines controversies of the
past, he said, “This whole idea
of one nation, one tax is
extremely important for India,
in not only reducing the level
of tax but also for providing an
ease of doing business and
eliminating any forms of corruption.”
He said India cannot afford
to have an indirect tax system
where one is taxed at every
point. Jaitley was delivering the
1st Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Memorial Lecture at India
Islamic Cultural Centre here.
The proposed Goods and
Services Tax (GST) will subsume most of the indirect
taxes. Government has listed
the Constitutional Amendment
Bill for introduction of GST in
Rajya Sabha for consideration
and passage next week.
The Finance Minister further said India will need all
forms of investments. “Now
investment from private sector
will come only if India
becomes best possible investment destination. For that
India has to get rid of corruption, India has to have a quicker decision making process,
India has to have business
environment which is extremely easy,” he said.
He also further said that
despite easing foreign investment process, there are delays at
states level. “Every time we
delay a project, every time we
put hurdles, you create an
adverse environment where you
lose jobs, ancillary units, and
revenue which sends a bad picture of India to other future
investments,” Jaitley added.
NEW DELHI: Calling India
a ‘haven of safety and security’ despite past problems in
Punjab and Kashmir, Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley today
cautioned that any ‘social
strife’ in the name of caste
and religion can stir emotions
and deflect the country from
its developmental agenda.
“We saw insurgency in
Punjab, in Kashmir and
North-East, but fortunately if
we see rest of the world, we
are still haven of safety and
security,” he said.
Delivering a lecture at
India Islamic Cultural Centre
here, Jaitley also said the
resources need to be spent on
poverty elimination and
infrastructure development
to become a developed society, rather than ‘lopsided
expenditure only on the security’.
“The faster we become a
safer. Insurgency-free society,
the better it is for us. Any
form of social strife, I think
in a race to become a developed society, we have to
avoid, he said.
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NEW DELHI: An apex tea body
under Ministry of Commerce,
Tea Board of India, has partnered with World Tea and Coffee
Expo (WTCE), a move to promote domestic and global tea
trade aggressively. “This move
reflects not only the strong
growth potential of the Indian
markets but also of the board’s
commitment to ensure healthy
growth of the tea sector,” said a
Government official. The two
day event of WTCE is scheduled
to be held in Mumbai from
October 20-22, 2016. The Tea
Board is at the forefront of making India the leading producer
and supplier of quality tea in the
global market and also works
towards the upliftment of this
vital sector that encourages the
use of latest technology, devising
export policies, ensuring labor
welfare and spreading awareness on sustainability issues.
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fter two weeks of sabre-rattling at their back-to-back
party conventions, Donald
Trump and Hillary Clinton
have formally kicked off their
three-month presidential campaign, with the former threatening to take the gloves off and
the latter hoping to neutralise
the offence with a new-found
momentum.
Under a ceaseless attack for
four days from the entire
Democratic establishment,
Trump announced that he is all
set to return the fire. Hopping
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across to Colorado, the New
York billionaire, derided by
President Barack Obama as a
“homegrown demagogue”,
sought to tell Clinton that he
won’t play “Mr Nice Guy” any
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S Democrats said they
had been targeted by yet
U
another cyber attack, while
Hillary Clinton’s campaign
confirmed that an analytics
programme it used was
breached in an earlier
intrusion.
A hack on Democratic
National Committee servers
resulted in last week’s embarrassing leak of emails that
revealed how party leaders
sought to undermine Clinton’s
Democratic White House rival
Bernie Sanders.
Clinton’s campaign has
blamed Russia for hacking the
emails, which were made public by anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks.
The Kremlin dismissed
the allegations as absurd, but
President Barack Obama has
refused to rule out the possibility that Russia is trying to
sway the presidential election
in favor of Republican Donald
Trump.
Clinton’s campaign said
yesterday the hack on the
DNC had accessed an analytics data program that it used.
The programme was maintained by the DNC, it said.
“Our campaign computer
system has been under review
by outside cyber security
experts,” campaign spokesman
Nick Merrill said in a statement.
“To date, they have found
no evidence that our internal
systems have been compromised.”
Meanwhile,
the
Democratic Congressional
Campaign
Committee
(DCCC) said yesterday it was
the target of a “cyber security
incident.”
“The investigation is ongoing. Based on the information
we have to date, we’ve been
advised by investigators that
this is similar to other recent
incidents, including the DNC
breach,” national press secretary Meredith Kelly said in a
statement.
more.
Clinton herself, accompanied by husband Bill and her
vice-presidential running mate
Tim Kaine, began a bus tour of
Pennsylvania and Ohio, two of
a handful of critical battleground States that will decide
the presidential race.
Dismissing Clinton’s acceptance speech as “so average”,
Trump has sought to specifically target her on national
security, jobs and taxes, attacking her for not making any reference to the dangers posed to
America by radical Islamic terrorism.
“Hillary’s refusal to mention Radical Islam, as she
spushes a 550 per cent increase
in refugees, is more proof that
she is unfit to lead the country,”
Trump said in a series of tweets.
“Our way of life is under threat
by Radical Islam and Hillary
Clinton cannot even bring herself to say the words,” he said.
Questioning her assertions
that she will reform Wall Street
and see to it that the big corporations pay their fair share of
taxes, Trump said she will do
nothing of the kind since “she
is owned by Wall Street”.
The Trump campaign
sought to dismiss Clinton’s
speech as an “insulting collection of clichés and recycled
rhetoric”, saying: “She spent the
evening talking down to the
American people she’s looked
down on her whole life.”
In a new video, the Trump
campaign claimed: “In Hillary
Clinton’s America, things get
worse. Under her dishonest
plan: Taxes keep rising.
Terrorism spreads. Washington
insiders remain in control.
Americans, losing their jobs,
homes - and hope.”
Clinton herself kept firing
salvoes at Trump, saying that
for his claims about making
America great again, the billionaire businessman “doesn’t
make a thing in America except
bankruptcies”.
stances inside the Intensive Care
Unit of a civil hospital in Karachi.
Dr Anil Kumar was found
dead inside the ICU of the surgical wing of the hospital where
he was performing his duty,
said Eidgah Station House
Office (SHO) Naeemudin.
Kumar went inside ICU
around 5:30 am and was found
dead three hours later, the
police official said.
He said the doctor did not
answer a knock on the door.
The door was broken and
Kumar was found dead sitting
D_\\bYcUcd_(TUQTY^TUQT\YUcd 2WXYR_T]VcZTRccVdeVU
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05?Q 0=:0A0
ight Turkish soldiers were
killed in clashes with
Kurdish militants in the country’s restive Southeast, the
Army said on Saturday, raising
the toll from the deadliest such
attack on the military since the
failed coup.
The soldiers were performing a security check when
they were attacked by militants
from the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) in
Hakkari province on the road
near Cukurca late on Friday.
The Army said in a state-
E
ment another 25 soldiers were
injured during the clashes in
the area close to northern Iraq.
Previous reports late yesterday had said that five soldiers were killed.
Eight militants were “neutralised” in the area after an air
force operation, the Army
added.
Fighting between the military and the PKK has continued since the July 15 failed
putsch in which a rogue group
within the armed forces tried to
oust President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan from power.
Turkey has blamed the
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slamic State (ISIS) terrorists
are training the children of
Iforeign
fighters in Syria and
Iraq to create the “next generation” of militants, according to
a latest European report.
In its annual report on
terrorism in the European
Union (EU), Europol said children raised under the group’s
rule are of “particular concern”.
“In their propaganda, ISIS
has often shown that they train
these minors to become the
next generation of foreign ter-
rorist fighters, which may pose
a future security threat to
member
States,”
the
report said.
“Some returnees will perpetuate the terrorist threat to
the EU via facilitation,
fundraising, recruitment and
radicalisation activities.
They may also serve as role
models for future would-be
violent jihadists,” the
Independent newspaper said,
citing the report.
More than 50 children
from the UK are living in the
so-called “caliphate”.
coup on followers of the USbased cleric Fethullah Gulen
and officials have made no
attempt to link the plot with
the PKK.
Hundreds of Turkish security force members have been
killed by the PKK in attacks
since the collapse of a two-year
ceasefire in July last year.
In response, the government has launched military
operations against the Kurdish
militant group, killing thousands of militants. Activists
claim innocent civilians have
also been killed in the military
offensives.
05?Q :01D;
n elderly Afghan cleric has
been arrested after he marA
ried a six-year-old girl, officials
said, in the case highlighting
the scourge of child marriages
in the war-battered country.
Mohammad Karim, said to
be aged around 60, was held in
central Ghor province as he
claimed her parents gave him
the girl as a “religious offering”,
officials said.
But they cited the family of
the girl, believed to be in shock,
as saying that she was abducted from western Herat
province, bordering Iran.
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Brasilia: Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva will stand trial on charges that he
attempted to obstruct a giant corruption probe
at Petrobras oil company, officials said today.
“The charge is obstruction of justice” linked
to the Petrobras oil company embezzlement
probe, named Operation Car Wash, a spokesman
for the justice ministry told AFP.
Lula was formally charged along with six others, including former senator Delcidio do
Amaral, a former ally in Lula’s leftist Workers’
Party who is accused of Petrobras-related corruption and has turned State’s witness.
Lula, as he is universally known in Brazil, was
president from 2003-2010 and left office with
massive popularity for social programs that lifted tens of millions of Brazilians from poverty.
However, his legacy has been badly tainted
by the emergence of the Petrobras scandal in
which dozens of politicians and executives are
accused of having embezzled from the huge state
oil company in a bribes-for-contracts network
that lasted much of his presidency.
AFP
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ne of the jihadists who
murdered an elderly
O
French priest smiled as he carried out the attack, and nuns
who witnessed the grisly murder said the killers spoke about
a holy book.
The two nuns who were in
the church when Father
Jacques Hamel was killed, his
throat slit on the altar, said the
men appeared aggressive and
nervous during the attack at the
Eglise Saint-Etienne in
Normandy on July 26.
Then, one of the attackers
seemed pleased.
“I got a smile from the second (man). Not a smile of triumph, but a soft smile, that of
someone who is happy,” nun
Sister Huguette Peron told
Catholic newspaper La Vie on
Friday. Abdel Malik Petitjean
and Adel Kermiche, both 19,
had pledged allegiance to the
Islamic State group and both
were killed by police in the
shock attack.
The men stormed the
17th-century stone church during mass in the town of SaintEtienne-du-Rouvray, taking
several hostages before killing
the priest and seriously wounding another captive.
One nun fled the scene and
alerted the police, leaving Sister
Huguette and Sister Helene
Decaux, both in their 80s, in
the church with the jihadists.
At one point, Sister Helene
got tired and asked to sit down.
“I asked for my cane, he gave
it to me,” she said.
Then the men started talking about religion, asking the
nun if she was familiar with the
Quran. “Yes, I respect it like I
respect the Bible, I’ve read several suras, Sister Helene
responded.
C M Y K
32-year-old Hindu doctor in
Pakistan has been found
A
dead under mysterious circum-
on his chair. A syringe was
found from the spot.
“His death is being investigated as he was found dead in
mysterious circumstances,” he
said. “It appears he had administered an injection on his
hand as it was bandaged,”
Naeemuddin said.
Kumar’s body was shifted
to the hospital’s mortuary where
doctors reserved his cause of
death for chemical examination
while the syringe has also been
sent to a forensic laboratory for
examination.
Earlier this week, a Hindu
businessman was killed and his
Hindu friend injured by a mob
during protests over the desecration of a holy book.
“This girl does not speak,
but repeats only one thing: ‘I
am afraid of this man’,” said
Masoom Anwari, head of the
women affairs department in
Ghor. The girl is currently in a
woman’s shelter in Ghor and
her parents are on their way to
the province to collect her, the
local Governor’s office said.
“Karim has been jailed and
our investigation is ongoing,”
said Abdul Hai Khatibi, the
Governor’s spokesman. The
arrest comes just days after a
14-year-old pregnant girl was
burned to death in Ghor, in a
case that sparked shock waves
in Afghanistan.
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Beijing: Undergoing radical transformation to
increase its combat capability amid rising tensions over the disputed South China Sea,
President Xi Jinping is pushing China’s 2.3 million-strong PLA, which turns 89 on Sunday to
train hard to win wars as it expands its high
tech arsenal.
Reorganised from top to bottom by Xi in
the last four years, the People’s Liberation Army
(PLA) — the world’s largest — is bracing for
major showdowns in its increasingly volatile
neighbourhood triggered by the international
tribunal verdict quashing China’s expansive
claims over the resource-rich South China
Sea (SCS).
Reform is a comprehensive and revolutionary change, and obstacles and policy issues
that may hold back reform measures must be
addressed so as to build a strong armed forces
commensurate with China’s international status, Xi has said as he consolidated his hold over
the military to emerge as the most powerful
Chinese leader in recent times.
PTI
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n important district in
Afghanistan’s southern
A
poppy-growing province of
Helmand has fallen to Taliban
control after heavy fighting
that killed or wounded up to 20
police officers, an official said
on Saturday.
Abdul Majeed Akhonzada,
deputy director of the provincial council, said Kanashin district has “fallen into Taliban
hands.”
The fall of the district,
which borders Pakistan and
major poppy-producing districts, means “Taliban are in
control of 60 per cent of
Helmand,” Akhonzada said.
Much of the area of
Marjah, Sangin, Garmser and
Dishu districts have already
fallen to the Taliban, he said.
The district police chief
and deputy head of the local
branch of the national intelligence agency were critically
wounded in clashes that began
late on Friday, he said.
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ess than a week before the opening
of the Olympics, IOC leaders will
meet in Rio de Janeiro this weekend to review the final preparations for
the games and deal with the fallout from
the doping scandal that has led to the
exclusion of more than 100 Russian athletes.
The International Olympic
Committee's ruling executive board
opens a two-day meeting on Saturday, its
last formal gathering before next Friday
night's opening ceremony at the
Maracana stadium.
The meeting comes less than a week
after the IOC board decided not to ban
Russia's entire team from the games
because of state-sponsored doping.
Rejecting calls by more than a dozen
anti-doping agencies for a complete
ban on Russia, the IOC left it to individual sports federations to vet which athletes could compete or not.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly
Mutko said Friday that, so far, 272 of the
country's athletes had been cleared by
international federations, out of an original team of 387.
More than 100, however, have been
barred, including the track and field team
banned by the IAAF and more than 30
other athletes rejected under new IOC
eligibility criteria.
Russia's eight-member weightlifting
team was kicked out of the games on
Friday for what the international federation called "extremely shocking" doping results that brought the sport into
"disrepute."
The IOC has been roundly criticized
by anti-doping bodies, athletes groups
and Western media for not imposing a
total ban on Russia. Pressure for the full
sanction followed a World Anti-Doping
Agency report by Canadian lawyer
Richard McLaren that accused Russia's
sports ministry of overseeing a vast doping conspiracy involving the country's
summer and winter sports athletes.
Bach has defended the decision as
protecting individual athletes from collective punishment.
"This is a decision we just had the
opportunity to discuss with some athletes," Bach said in Rio. "I think the general feeling is that it is appreciated that,
on the one hand, we are sanctioning a
(doping) system, but on the other hand
L
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ow big a threat is genetic doping to clean
competition in sport?
H"It's
a bit like sea serpent," mythologised,
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we have given athletes who were not part
of the system the opportunity to demonstrate this and then to be allowed to take
part in the Olympic Games."
Rio's preparations, meanwhile,
remain clouded on several fronts, including budget cuts, raw sewage that pollutes
the sites of rowing, sailing, canoeing,
open water swimming and triathlon,
slow ticket sales, and concerns over crime
and the Zika virus. The games come with
the president awaiting an impeachment
trial and the country gripped by a
severe recession.
The Australians and at least eight
other Olympic teams complained this
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week about their accommodations in
the athletes' village, citing plumbing
leaks, electrical faults and dirty conditions. On Friday, Australian athletes and
staff had to be evacuated from their
building after a small fire broke out in
the basement. They returned safely after
about 20 minutes.
Bach remains publicly upbeat.
"In the end you will see a fantastic
Olympic Village and great games," he
said. "The Brazilians will overwhelm all
of us with their passion, with their joy
of life, their great hospitality, and with
their energy."
The full IOC will hold a three-day
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ussia's eight-strong Olympic
Games weightlifting team
was banned from the Rio
Games in the latest dopingrelated blow to the sporting
powerhouse.
"The integrity of the
weightlifting sport has been
seriously damaged on multiple
times and levels by the Russians,
therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport,"
said a statement by the
International Weightlifting
Federation (IWF).
There are now 117 Russian
competitors banned from the
Games — including 67 track
and field athletes — from the
387 initially nominated by the
Russian Olympic Committee.
The eight weightlifters originally selected were Oleg Chen,
Adam Maligov, Ruslan Albegov,
David Bedzhanyan and Artem
Okulov in the men's competition and Tatiana Kashirina,
Tima Turieva and Anastasia
Romanova in the women's.
Okulov is a world champi-
R
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n Olympic medal winning
swimmer linked to Russia's
A
state-run doping scandal has tested
positive for the banned meldonium,
the US Anti-Doping Agency
announced.
Nikita Lobintsev was already one
of seven Russian swimmers banned
from competing in the Rio Olympics
by the International Swimming
Federation (FINA) and USADA did
not impose a new ban over the case.
USADA said the 27-year-old
Lobintsev had been using meldonium
for the past seven years. It was prescribed by Russia team doctors, who
told him it would help strengthen his
heart. Meldonium was added the
World Anti-Doping Agency's banned
list at the beginning of 2016.
"The disturbing pattern of use
associated with this performanceenhancing drug appears to be one
more example of growing practice in
sport in which coaches ask for,
physicians prescribe, and athletes use
pharmaceuticals not for their primary purpose of health and wellness but
to enhance athletic performance,"
said USADA chief executive Travis
Tygart in a statement.
Lobintsev, who told USADA he
stopped using the drug 10 months
ago, tested positive for meldonium
on June 16 in an out-of-competition test.
"Based on the latest guidance
offered by WADA on June 30, 2016,
for cases involving meldonium,
Lobintsev will not face a period of
ineligibility or loss of results," the
statement said.
on while at the London Games
in 2012, Albegov claimed a
bronze medal and Kashirina
took home a silver.
Kashirina and Romanova
both had their nominations
withdrawn by the Russian
Olympic Committee due to
prior anti-doping rule violations, added the IWF statement.
In the aftermath of that
report, the International
Olympic Committee (IOC)
resisted huge pressure to
impose a blanket ban on Russia
from the Olympics which get
underway on August 5.
Instead, they asked individual federations to make the call
on who should be cleared for
the Games.
"Under these exceptional
circumstances, Russian athletes
in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the
consequences of what amounts
to a collective responsibility in
order to protect the credibility
of the Olympic competitions,
and the 'presumption of innocence' cannot be applied to
them," added the IWF.
session next week, starting Tuesday. A
top item on the agenda is Wednesday's
vote on a recommendation to add five
sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo
Olympics — baseball/softball, surfing,
karate, skate boarding and sport climbing.
The proposed sports — backed by
the executive board and to be voted on
as a package — would add 18 events and
474 athletes to the program.
An IOC program commission report
released on Friday said the five sports are
a blend of the traditional and emerging,
youth-focused events, and all have international and local appeal.
B\P[[UXaTU^aRTb
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ustralian athletes briefly had
A
to evacuate their apartments
after a small fire in the troubled
Rio Olympics Village.
The Australian delegation,
preparing to compete in the
Games that start August 5 in Rio
de Janeiro, went into the street
until given the all clear. No one
was hurt and there was no serious
damage.
"There has been a small fire in
the basement of the team building in the Olympic Village. All
athletes and staff were evacuated
and are fine," the team said in a
Tweet yesterday.
Team spokesman Mike
Tancred told AFP "there was a lot
of smoke and we had to evacuate.
The fire fighters came, it was controlled and we returned."
"There was no big drama," he
said on Saturday.
Tancred did not know the
cause of the fire. The Australian
team initially refused to move into
its Village accommodations last
weekend, citing shoddy conditions, including blocked toilets
and dangerous wiring.
Workers have been fixing the
defects all week and the Australian
team chief, Kitty Chiller, has said
the site is now in good shape.
potentially capable of causing serious harm, "but
not so present", said Martial Saugy, former director of the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses.
The lab is in Lausanne, near the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee,
which put Saugy on the frontline of efforts to
purge drug cheats from global sport.
In an interview with AFP ahead of the
August 5 start of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics,
Saugy said anti-doping labs had to keep pace with
new methods developed by doping cheats that
multiple scandals involving Russia have proved are
still a major threat.
Doctors have for years been experimenting
with ways to inject synthetic genes into patients,
altering an individual's genome to enhance muscle recovery or stem muscle deterioration, among
other benefits.
Should such treatments be taken up by athletes, anti-doping efforts could be set back years.
"We've been talking about it since the creation
of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999," Saugy
said, adding that the goal for labs is to find a way
to detect "the indicators of genetic doping."
But he noted that since the world's best doctors are struggling to use the technology to treat
sick children, athletes and trainers seeking to cheat
with genetic doping are inevitably facing similar
difficulties. "We need to put things in perspective.
Genetic therapy in the medical domaine has difficulty getting its place because it's very complicated," he said.
Asked if there was a testing system for
genetic doping in place for Rio, Saugy, who
stepped down from the Lausanne lab last month,
said: "There may well be tests but I'm not sure of
their relevance. The biggest problem at the
moment are microdoses," Saugy said.
CfddZRe`RcXfVdfdaV_dZ`_
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80=BQ <>B2>F
ussia will argue in the civil courts
the suspension of its athletes from
R
the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko said on
Saturday.
"We shall apply to civil courts, that
would be for protection of honour, dignity and for moral damage," he told
Tass. "We should do so after the
Olympic Games."
WADA urged the International
Olympic Committee to ban the entire
Olympic contingent from the Rio Games
starting from August 5 after an
Independent Commission, chaired by
Canadian law professor Richard
McLaren, stated in particular that the
commission's investigation registered a
total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive
Test Results in Russia between 2012 and
2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.
But the IOC refused to effect a blanket ban and instead insisted that the
entry of Russian sportspersons will
depend on the decision of the individual global federations. Among those
who denied an entry to the Russians
was world athletics body IAAF, that also
rejected the individual applications of
68 athletes.
Mutko on August 1 will present to
Unesco a report on doping, where he
7_\VUb<QXYbY]YccUcXQ\VgQi
[email protected]]`Y_^cXY`
80=BQ B?A8=6584;3
ndian golfer Anirban Lahiri failed to
make the halfway cut at the PGA
IChampionship
as he scored a second
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consecutive three-over 73 at the
Baltusrol Golf Club here.
The 29-year-old, who was tied
107th after the first round, on Friday
took his total of six-over 146 while the
weekend cut was decided at two-over
142. Lahiri got off to a poor start by getting bogeys on the par-four holes of
first and third.
The world No.64 then made par
efforts on the rest of the holes till the
11th hole, which he again bogeyed.
Another bogey on the following hole
made it four bogeys for the day and
Lahiri seriously needed to recover with
a couple of birdies. He did find one on
the concluding, par-four 18th hole but
it was just not enough.
Last year at the PGA Championship,
0]XaQP];PWXaXX]PUX[T_W^c^
Lahiri had finished tied fifth, becoming
India's best ever performer at a major
golf championship.
The Bengaluru golfer underwent
a tough year as far as his performance
at the majors is concerned. He finished
tied 42nd in the Masters
Championship before missing the cut
at the US Open. Then at the British
Open, he was tied 68th. And his performance here just extended the frustration before the Rio Olympic Games
starting on August 5.
Meanwhile, American Jimmy
Walker posted a second consecutive
strong round, but countryman Robert
Streb shot a remarkable seven-under
63 to grab a share of the lead at the
halfway point of the tournament,
reports Efe.
The 37-year-old Walker, who shot
a 65 on Thursday, backed it up with a
66 in the second round of the final
major on the 2016 calendar. Streb, however, joined him at the top of the leaderboard at nine-under 131 by shooting
the low round of the tournament thus
far, with eight birdies. His lone slip-up
was a bogey on the par-three 16th hole.
The two-day leading total of 131 ties the
PGA Championship record for the low
first 36 holes.
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will comment on the work of the
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"On Monday, I am leaving for Paris,
where I will speak at the Unesco commission on doping," he said.
A^bQTaVcPZTb
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ico Rosberg beat Mercedes teammate
and Formula One championship
N
leader Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for Sunday's
German GP.
Rosberg was
the fastest in all
three practice
runs and set the
pace again in the
final of the three
qualifying sessions Saturday, putting
together just one late lap after experiencing problems with the throttle.
Hamilton was .107 seconds behind
Rosberg, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max
Verstappen taking the second row on the
grid in their Red Bulls. The Ferraris of Kimi
Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will be in
the third row. Three-time world champion Hamilton, winner of the last two titles,
has won five of the last six races and leads
Rosberg by six points in the standings.
The Red Bulls managed to finish
ahead of the two Ferraris.
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n April 25, at 5.15 pm,
the first team of National
Disaster Response Force
(NDRF), under the leadership of Kuleesh Anand,
arrived at Kathmandu. While establishing the base camp at Jwala Dal
battalion of Nepal Army, the team
was informed by the commander of
the battalion that a teenage girl was
trapped under a collapsed building.
They were also told that she was
probably still alive.
Anand, Assistant Commandant,
along with his four subordinate officers and 34 other ranked officials,
reached the site around midnight and
learned that under the debris of a fourstorey building, a girl was indeed
trapped. Her exact position was located through a narrow fox hole dug up
by the local authorities. As the debris
was unstable and tremors were still
coming, the local authorities were not
sure of working on an unstable heap.
The site was adjoining three badly
damaged multi-storey buildings. It
took the team four hours to create
another fox hole to reach the girl, to
stabilise debris and chop out wood
which was obstructing the legs of the
victim. The survivor was successfully
brought out by 4 in the morning.
This is one of the many cases where
the NDRF saved lives under the most
difficult circumstances and against all
odds. In 2015 alone, it rescued more
than 50,000 people. Today, in case of
any disaster, no matter how small it is,
the NDRF is the go-to authority.
In 2005, the Disaster Management
Act was passed with the provision for
an apex body under the chairmanship
of the then Prime Minister, Dr
Manmohan Singh, that called for creation of a disaster response force. The
next year, eight battalions of central
forces were brought together to constitute the NDRF; the force strength
has increased to 12 battalions since —
a 50 per cent increase in manpower
within a decade.
It’s one of the newest forces of the
Central Government. Earlier, disaster
management in India was relief-centric but it follows a more holistic policy today. In a short journey, the NDRF
has responded to 1,121 operations
O
across the country and beyond the
boundaries, rescued 4,73,594 victims,
and retrieved 2,296 bodies.
Some of its major rescue and relief
operations include the Koshi floods
(2008), chlorine leakage at Shiwadi,
Mumbai, (2010), cloudburst in Leh
(2010), the Mayapuri radiation (2010),
Sikkim earthquake (2011), Japan triple
disaster (2011), Assam floods (2012),
Uttarakhand floods (2013), Cyclone
Phailin (2013), J&K floods (2014),
Cyclone Hudhud (2014), Gujarat floods
(2014), Nepal earthquake (2015), and
Chennai urban floods (2015).
The NDRF was made the dedicated force for disaster response related
duties on February 14, 2008. Since
then, there has been no looking back
as from one disaster to another, the
force has been saving precious lives
and acquiring new skills. It is also
helping the States prepare for impending disasters and is providing muchneeded training to local authorities.
The general perception about
disaster relief is that it is about saving lives and evacuating people
beforehand in case of, say, a cyclone.
But in reality it’s an all-the-yearround process of public awareness,
risk assessment, risk mapping, simulation, and drills.
OP Singh, DG, NDRF, says: “The
NDRF personnel undergo training
within the country as well as in premier disaster management training
institutes abroad to chisel their skills.
The NDRF Academy has come up at
Nagpur, Maharashtra, for all specialised and advanced courses for its
own personnel as well as those of
SDRF and other stakeholders. The
National Civil Defense College Nagpur
has been merged into it and this will
strengthen the Academy. To tackle
flood-related disasters and as a part of
preparation, NDRF teams are prepositioned in vulnerable parts of the
country well before the monsoon season. These teams are self-contained
and able to deal with any emergency.
Besides that, NDRF teams are also
deployed permanently in 23 Regional
Response Centres (RRCs) across the
country. All battalion commanders
remain in close touch with the State
administration in their respective Area
of Responsibility (AOR). The NDRF
teams are also kept in alert mode in
each unit to respond quickly at the
time of eventuality.”
India is one of the most geographically complex and diverse
nations and disaster-prone as well.
Being one of the most densely populated countries and with poor infrastructure, it also lacks life-saving
equipment and properly trained staff
at the local level, which makes the 12
battalions of NDRF appear inadequate for the whole nation.
Armed forces and paramilitary
organisations have always conducted
relief and rescue operations, and they
still form a major part of any such
operation. Yet since the NDRF has
been designated as the dedicated force,
it is expected that sooner or later the
NDRF and State disaster relief forces
(NDMA Act requires States to have
one) should completely take over.
Singh explains, “Force strength
depends on requirement and in our
case it depends on the vulnerability
profile of the area. I prefer more battalions for faster response. Area mapping is a significant part of our background work and more battalions will
maximise our efficiency. The
Northeast has two battalions, one in
Arunachal Pradesh and another in
Assam. I would like to have more units
there. There is need for expansion of
the force in future.
“The NDMA is the apex body
which formulates policies and guidelines for disaster Management. The
NDRF is a specialised response force
mandated to respond to all kinds of
disasters. We are well in coordination
with the NDMA.”
Being a purely deputational force,
the men in NDRF come with basic
training required for rescue and relief.
Post induction, they are trained keeping in line the specialised requirements of the force. The force has been
collaborating with some of the finest
institutions for super specialised
training and for training the master
trainers for the organisation.
Currently, the NDRF has 364 master
trainers and 1,940 trainers. At the
NDRF Academy, all specialised training will be conducted within the
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organisation and it will be training
the State organisations as well.
Singh says they have 18 specialist teams in each battalion, of which
two specialist teams are mandated
for Chemical Biological
Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN)
emergencies. In addition, some
teams are trained and equipped to
respond to mountain disasters.
There is a professional contingent
of specialists that responds to different disasters, such as hydro
metrological disaster response,
CBRN, rescue from deep trenches,
mountain and avalanche rescue,
animal disaster management etc.
Not only that, the battalions
conduct recce and resource mapping in non-disaster period in their
respective areas. For instance, during Famex and community capacity-building programmes, a detailed
analysis of geography, access route
to disaster-prone areas, availability
of resources and most vulnerable
areas are identified. Mock drills are
also organised regularly.
Speaking on the rationale for
keeping such highly trained people
for just five years within the organisation, who subsequently go back
to parent cadres, the DG opines
that the NDRF being a specialised
force, it makes sense to be a deputational force. “All special purpose
organisations are like that: the SPG,
NSG etc. It keeps the force lean and
focussed; one can’t sit idle, there is
no loss of capability, and the force
remains much organised,” he adds.
But a question remains — when
these highly trained personnel go
back to their parent organisations,
will they ever be properly utilised
and won’t they lose the muchdesired skills? In most parts of the
world, this duty has generally been
ascribed to the fire departments.
State DRFs in India are mostly
drawn from fire services.
On the other hand, an NDRF
case study by IIT Delhi states that
so far, it has evacuated/rescued
4,22,327 disaster victims, and
retrieved 2,116 bodies during various response operations. It has not
only been operating in India but
also abroad. In 2011 (Japanese
nuclear disaster), the NDRF won a
lot of appreciation, including from
the Japanese Prime Minister. But
due to bureaucratic hindrances, the
Indian contingent reached Japan in
14 days, when most of the global
teams were ready to move.
Singh feels that such delays are
in the past. “We have the latest
example of the Nepal earthquake
where our first team landed within
five and a half hours. Yes, there was
a delay in Japan, but since 2011 we
have come a long way.”
The Koshi flood was its first
major operation and the force handled the situation on war footing,
lifting 153 high-speed boats with
780 flood rescuers drawn from
three battalions to affected districts.
As a result, over a lakh people were
rescued in the initial phases of the
operations. The NDRF is also active
in the flood of Purnia in Bihar, rescuing people and livestock.
India has stated an objective of
providing humanitarian assistance
in disasters to its neighbours and
extended neighbourhood. In every
major disaster in South Asia, India
has always provided assistance. But
our NDRF battalions lack the global certification, a desired requirement for international operations,
which is based on compliance to
the guidelines provided by the
International Search and Rescue
Advisory Group (INSARAG).
The purpose is to facilitate
coordination between various international rescue teams which make
themselves available for deployment to countries. How these teams
would work together is stated in the
guidelines, and since the NDRF is
yet to become compliant, it will
never be the first to be called for
disaster relief by global bodies.
The DG informs that the matter
is under process, and a proposal was
sent for consideration to the
Government a year and a half ago. If
the proposal gets accepted, two
things would be required:
Infrastructure for training and to
procure equipment. This will bring
enhancement and standardisation in
the NDRF’s capabilities. “We are
quite capable of handling things in
India and this is only required for
operations abroad. After INSARAG,
our capabilities will be in line with
global standards,” Singh says.
//a#
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5 A > < ?0 6 4 he NDRF is in line
with the current trends
in governance and is
also active on social media. It
has an effective communication system, which keeps its
control room connected with
all State Capitals and relief
commissioners on a 24x7
basis. The men in grey are
active across India, providing
relief and rescuing people
from manmade and natural
T
disasters every day somewhere or the other. Some
make news, some don’t.
On how urban planners
can avoid natural disasters,
Singh suggests, “Cities need
to rework their urban planning; there is an urgent need
to think of resilient planning along low-lying areas.
The water channels, that can
be made encroachment-free,
should be restored at war
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footing. Proper drainage
system is required to avoid
such disasters.”
In the recent past,
Uttarakhand and Kashmir
were the two main disasters
that the NDRF responded to
effectively and saved thousands of lives. Both scenarios were quite different as
Uttarakhand is a hilly
region, whereas Kashmir
witnessed an urban flood,
providing the team its first
experience in responding to
urban flooding at such a
huge scale.
About what they learned
from the crisis, Singh says,
“There were some common
issues which affected the
Humanitarian Assistance
and Disaster Relief (HADR)
operation in these States.
Advance early information,
accessibility to disasterprone area, terrain and communications affect the overall rescue and relief operation, and also create panic
and chaos among victims as
well as responding agencies.
Now, forecasting agencies in
India are providing accurate
information and the States
concerned are acting quickly and utilising all resources
to minimise loss of men and
material.”
He adds, “Every country
has its own challenges.
India is a large country with
more than 1.25 billion population. We have challenges
of poverty, education, and
lack of awareness about disaster mitigation, lack of
resources to sustain the
brunt of disasters etc. Being
a responsible and dedicated
Government organisation,
we are on our mission to
make the community disaster resilient by imparting
response training to various
sections of society. The
NDRF is committed to its
motto: Aapda Seva Sadaiv.”
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[email protected]
[email protected]?2:C
=:76DEJ=6
ou don’t need to know
Western classical music or the
tradition of Philharmonic
orchestras to acknowledge the
greatness of Zubin Mehta, so
long as you are tuned in to his accomplishments. Similarly, you don’t need to
be an expert on the subject to write about
the life and music of this living legend, so
long as you are innately convinced about
the virtuosity of the performer as a professional. Bakhtiar K Dadabhoy is a selfconfessed ignoramus on Western classical
music, though a vehement admirer of
Zubin Mehta. He has meticulously
tracked the legendary musician’s career
over the decades, and his lack of understanding of the creativity that has made a
‘Bombay boy’ an international celebrity,
was not allowed to come in the way.
Instead, it appears to have strengthened
the author’s resolve. After all, he had
chronicled the lives and achievement of
the greats from the Parsee community —
JRD Tata and Nani Palkhivala, for
instance, on whom he has written books.
It would be not just silly but even a literary blasphemy if Dadabhoy had to give
Zubin Mehta a miss.
Given the handicaps of not being an
expert, of not enjoying unrestricted
access to many of the papers and documents that could throw greater light on
the man and his work, and of not having
“more than peripheral contact with the
subject of the biography”, in the author’s
own words, what Dadabhoy has crafted
by way of an ‘authorised’ biography is a
remarkable piece of writing by any yardstick. It’s never easy to tell the story of a
person who does not need an introduction, but then stories are told more often
about people who don’t need an introduction. The difficulty for the biographer
lies in the balance he needs to strike in
being good to his subject and honest to
his craft. This can be conflicting; while
the dominance of the first can degenerate
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into hagiography, an over-emphasis on
the latter can result in a lopsided account
that seeks more to establish the author’s,
rather than his (or her) subject’s credentials. Dadabhoy has done wonderfully
here. While he has recorded unfettered
praise for Zubin Mehta, he has not
glossed over criticism. This is just as well,
because a sanitised version of the legendary musician and conductor would
have done grave injustice to a man who
has lived by his terms, faced adversities
and rose to convert them into glittering
opportunities. Zubin Mehta has every
reason to feel good about this book. The
author too must be ecstatic. Not only has
he successfully chronicled another Parsee
legend from Mumbai but has also in the
process learnt in a few years far more
than what he knew over the past decades
+DUU\3RWWHU C
5(78516
rom bookstores bedecked to mark the
launch of the book, to fan events, parties
and activities in bookstores and other
popular hubs in each Indian metro, this is an
experience like no other. Hachette India has a
fantastic contest to delight Indian fans of JK
Rowling’s Wizarding World: two lucky fans
will each win an authentic limited edition
author-signed copy of Harry Potter and the
Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2. The contest began
on July 22 at 2pm and will end on August 5.
For more details on the contest visit Hachette
India on Facebook.
Based on an original new story by JK
Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry
Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack
Thorne, is the
first official
Harry Potter
story to be
presented on
stage. It
received its
world premiere in
London’s
Palace Theatre
yesterday. The
script book
will go on sale
at bookstores
across India at
11.30 am (IST)
today.
The eighth
story begins
where the seventh book concludes. It was always difficult
being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier
now that he is an overworked employee of
the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father
of three school-age children. While Harry
grapples with a past that refuses to stay
where it belongs, his youngest son Albus
must struggle with the weight of a family
legacy he never wanted. As past and present
fuse ominously, both father and son learn the
uncomfortable truth: Sometimes darkness
comes from unexpected places.
JK Rowling’s bestselling Harry Potter series
of seven books, published between 1997 and
2007, have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, are translated into 79 languages, and have
been turned into eight blockbuster films.
F
olleen Taylor Sen makes
you think about many
things — What is Indian
Cuisine? What is so ‘Indian’
about it? Is it an authentic cuisine or an amalgamation of
flavours, recipes and ingredients from around the world?
The book is like an Indian
thali, mélange of various ingredients — anecdotes, recipes,
funny and interesting stories. It
is a complete book, a whole
compendium of many small
and big facts related to foods of
India. It talks about how Indian
food travelled to the world —
and still exists in different parts
in veiled forms.
The title makes you think,
the two words ‘feasts’ and ‘fasts’
are used together despite being
contradictory terms. Just like
these two words, India is also a
land of contrast, in its seasons/climate, soil, ideas and rituals, attitudes and taboos
regarding food and cuisine.
Food and its history cannot be seen in isolation — it
has to be seen in relation to
the climate, seasons, crops,
trade and availability of the
raw materials. Sen goes deep
into the history of food, delving not only into ancient practices, techniques of cooking
but also the etymology of
words related to food which
reveal a lot about their origin.
This well researched book
is a collection of various food
trends starting from ancient
India right up to the 21st century. It is a compilation of odes
to food, extracts from various
ancient treatises to recipes
from modern India and different trends like the rise of vegetarianism. This book has interesting information for everyone — the lay critic, the foodie,
the gourmet, the aspiring food
historian and the lovers and
the connoisseurs of food.
It never gets dull or boring
despite the sort of dissertation
research it proves to be. This
is because the information is
often interspersed with
recipes, facts, theories and
of his life about the world of Western
classical music.
Zubin Mehta grew up in what was
then Bombay in a musical family; many
others too have. He had the opportunity
to go abroad and be trained by masters;
others too have benefited similarly. He
was fortunate to have been spotted by
influential people who guided his destiny;
others also have been lucky in a similar
manner. He got breaks, often out of the
blue; this is not uncommon, as others too
have enjoyed the privilege. Mehta went
on to become a legend while others
ended up being good or very good, or
even outstanding at best. None, like him,
has had the honour to simultaneously
conduct two major orchestras in North
America (Montreal and Los Angeles).
None has bonded so closely and in so
sustained a fashion as him, with the
world-renowned Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra (it’s become life-long). None
can come close to him when it comes to
reflecting the music of central Europe —
of Vienna, for instance. The book charts
the progress Mehta has made, tentatively
to begin with, and then rapidly expanding his footprints across the world, taking
the musical world by storm. Needless to
say, he has had his detractors, his bad
moments, misunderstandings with people, and his share of condemnation and
criticism in the course of the journey.
There are personal issues as well (such as
his failed first marriage and a flamboyant,
supposedly debonair life-style. One of his
friends is quoted in the book as saying
that his interest in Los Angeles, apart
from his parents and music, was girls,
girls and girls). The book reflects on
these, puts them in perspective, and offers
a holistic persona.
There has been a great deal of
debate on whether Zubin Mehta has
done enough to promote Indian music
too, through experiments in fusion with
Indian artistes. His critics point out that
the maestro has done little in this direction. But the author debunks the
thought, saying that Mehta shared sitar
legend Ravi Shankar’s passion to bridge
the musical divide between the East and
the West. (They even played together on
occasions, became close friends, and
hoped to together perform in the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra.) But
Dadabhoy also adds that “he (Zubin)
was well aware of the perils of mixing
the two. Zubin told The New York Times
that ‘this isn’t so much East meets West
as Bombay meets Benares’”. In other
words, Mehta felt that the proposed mix
was about two Indian varieties. Implicit
in this remark was an acknowledgement
of the vast repertoire and variety that
existed in Indian music itself.
If Zubin Mehta was apprehensive
about the mix of two different kinds of
music, he was opposed to the mix of politics and music — although he held strong
views on the atrocities the Jews had suffered across the world in the first half of
the nineties and has been always supportive of their cause. His show in Malaysia
was once cancelled because the Malaysian
regime objected to Jewish compositions
which were to be played. But the Israeli
Philharmonic did play alongside the
Bavarian State Orchestra of Germany,
hours after accompanying the Bavarian
orchestra musicians to a former Nazi
camp. His belief, the author states, is that
if the Germans and the Jews could come
together in the spirit of music, someday
the Arabs and the Jews too could unite.
This happened to some extent under the
baton of another conductor and Mehta’s
friend, Daniel Barenboim, in 2005, when
the latter brought together Israeli and
Arab musicians for a concert in Ramallah.
There are interesting stories in the
book about how Zubin Mehta, for all his
greatness, failed to click with the audience
and more so with music critics, in Los
Angeles, whereas he was an instant hit in
New York. The Los Angeles Times was
unsparing, accusing the maestro of
“superficial performances which stressed
bombast over subtlety and revealed
impetuosity rather than maturity”. Other
critics found in his music conducting,
sparks of genius but seldom a “mellow
glow”. As the director of the New York
Philharmonic, however, he seemed to be
in his elements. His first concert was an
outdoor one before an estimate crowd of
1,40,000. The author says that the audience gave the performance a “rousing
ovation”, and that the orchestra had taken
a liking to its new conductor. He quotes
Newsweek as writing that the “New
Yorkers may have been expecting arrogance and erratic temperament; what
they got was good humour — and musical authority”. The ‘expectation’ the magazine refers to, is a reflection of the stereotyping that Zubin Mehta had to endure.
Although India’s son of the soil has
performed in his native country, including most recently in Kashmir, those performances have been few and far
between — and certainly nothing compared to the frequency abroad. Now in
his early eighties, he is unlikely to have
the time to make up for that loss.
Nevertheless, Zubin Mehta remains
arguably the most recognised, the most
respected and the most colourful Indianborn musician on the global stage.
DY]UdbQfU\\Y^WdQcdUc
DXYcR__[YcdXUe\dY]QdUc_ebSUd_e^TUbcdQ^TdXUb__dc_V_ebUfUbiTQi
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enticing food pictures.
She describes various significant Indian festivals where
fasting and feasting are both
integral to the celebration
such as Navratris where fasting serves the double purpose
of detoxification and consuming healthy food. She also
describes the origin of fasting
and the various reasons for its
popularity today. It is not
only a form of worship but is
also performed out of a sense
of gratitude, a petition to God
for a favour (Monday fasts for
a good husband, Karva
Chauth for husband’s long life
and many more in different
parts of the country). Fasting
is an instrument of self discipline and a method of physical cleansing. In India,
women usually fasts more
than men. Her perspective
seems to be that fasting is not
very different from feasting as
it is just a restricted way of
eating vegetarian food.
Sen explains how food is
central to many important
events in life — marriage, pregnancy, birth, death and funeral
rites. She also makes a connection between food and medicine, contradictory food ideologies and the great science of
Ayurveda which recommends
certain foods and beverage
pairings according to body
types. She mentions turmeric
(haldi) as an ancient Indian
spice that has medicinal properties. She also discusses various ancient medical theories
associated with food. The book
elucidates on dietary rules and
restriction of different regional
cuisine — northern, eastern,
western, southern and Islamic.
The author tackles the subject of ‘food snobbery’ while
talking about the great cuisine
of the Mughal emperors by
describing food etiquette of the
royals, the position and status
derived from the quality of
food served in court. She elaborates on the European influence on food in India — how
the British in India avoided
local cuisine out of a sense of
superiority. The famous ‘stiff
upper lip’ applied to Indian
food cooked by Indian servants. She describes other
European influences on Indian
food such as the Portuguese
invasion which led to the intro-
duction of various new fruits
and vegetables like potatoes,
chilies, okra, papaya, guava and
custard apple.
The dietary changes
accompanying economic
growth have led to many life
style diseases which she calls
diseases of ‘affluence’ — diabetes, high blood pressure,
obesity, thyroid etc. She analyses new trends in Indian food
extremely well linking the
emergence of a new middle
class with larger disposable
income to the change in dining at home and in restaurants. The increase in meat
eating despite the deep rooted
vegetarian ethos in Indian
society is a result of the globalisation, liberalisation and
privatisation policies.
The culture of restaurants
and public dining is a recent
phenomena as is the trend of
sanitised street food making
its presence felt in malls and
food courts. She gives credit
to Kundan Lal Gujral, a
Punjabi refugee for not only
inventing Tandoori and
Butter chicken, but also for
pioneering the pleasant family friendly restaurant — Moti
Mahal, the success of which
led to a series of such clones
namely Quality’s, Embassy
and Gaylord’s.
She talks about globalisation of food with coming up
of American fast food chains
and proliferation of Thai,
Italian, Chinese, Mexican and
African restaurants. She
dwells on the growth of food
culture in India starting from
the recipe columns in newspapers, restaurant reviews to present day blogs and restaurant
review platforms like Zomato.
In the final chapter she goes
beyond the foods of India to
talk about the food of the Indian
Diaspora, comparing their foods
and explaining the reasons
behind the common roots.
The system of Indian cuisine has been perfectly
described by Nobel Laureate
Octavio Paz: “In India, the various dishes come together on a
single large plate, neither a succession nor a parade, but a
conglomeration and super
imposition of things and tastes:
a synchronic cuisine, a fusion
of flavours, a fusion of times.”
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n a report filed from Patna, the
news wire service PTI informs us
that Rashtriya Janata Dal
president Lalu Prasad Yadav on
Saturday demanded that “80 per cent
of Bihar’s jobs and seats in educational institutions should be reserved for
the residents of Bihar — as is prevalent in other States”. This momentous
‘demand’ by the senior co-sharer of
power in Bihar where Nitish Kumar
increasingly appears to be the notional Chief Minister busy implementing
prohibition while bootleggers and
liquor smugglers rake in windfall
profits and hoodlums make up for
the wasted decade when RJD was
forced to sit out, was expectedly
made at a media briefing of sorts.
“Like other States, namely
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West
Bengal and Kerala, which have a provision of reservation for their students, Bihar should also reserve 80
per cent for locals in jobs and admission in educational institutions under
State Government control... I’ll take
up the matter with Nitish Kumar,”
Yadav said. He elaborated his reason
with what was part truthful admission and part exaggeration: “The
shortage of higher education institutions in Bihar has forced its students
to move to other States, where they
have failed to find jobs due to the
reservation system in place there.”
There’s something naively telling
in what he had to say: “Due to a lack
of such provisions (reservations) in
Bihar, candidates from other States
grabbed a majority of jobs in the
State... In an ongoing examination
conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission for Assistant Professor of English, 80 per cent candidates
were from other States... In States like
Kerala and West Bengal, the marking
pattern in school and college examinations are different from Bihar. As a
result, their students score high
marks. In such a situation, they grab a
major portion of employment,
depriving students of Bihar... A similar situation was prevalent in the
recruitment of lecturers in other subjects like Science and Philosophy,
where almost 80-90 per cent of successful candidates are outsiders”.
There’s no point in even reminding Lalu Prasad Yadav that the marking or grading system that exists in
Bihar is best exemplified by the higher secondary examination scandal
that came to light this year. In RJD’s
Bihar, the topper in social sciences
thinks political science is “prodigal
science” while the topper in science is
clueless what H2O is all about. This
is not about shortage of schools and
institutions, it is about a severe shortage of ethics and morals. But Yadav
would not understand such shortages, so why bother?
Instead, it would be useful to
view his statement from the perspective of ‘Bihar for Biharis’, the outing
of the deeply held faith of Bihar’s
politicians, whose existence is dependent on identity politics, in the
nativist ‘son of the soil’ policy which
they otherwise denounce when it
impacts Bihari immigrants in other
States. Among all the States, Bihar
has always had the most rigorous and
tough-to-meet (for non-Biharis who
may have migrated to the State)
domiciliary rules.
I grew up in undivided Bihar
and went to high school in Patna,
but found myself disqualified from
applying for admission to medical
colleges in the State. Bars that were
imposed on me, a Bengali, did not
exist for Yadav’s daughters. ‘Bihar for
Biharis’ is not a new theme; its
appeal has existed all along, subcutaneous at best. It has now begun
coming out in the open, with
JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar leading the
way — and guiding the State
towards parochial provincialism.
One of the recurring themes of
the campaign speeches of Nitish
Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, the
two leading lights of the Maha Gathbandhan, during the Bihar Assembly
election, was “Bihari versus Bahari”.
This went largely unreported by the
mainstream media and has remained
uncommented upon by the Commentariat. The overt reference was to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
BJP president Amit Shah, both from
Gujarat, who led the NDA campaign
in Bihar from the front.
On the face of it, there was nothing particularly exceptionable about
entrenched Bihari politicians like
Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav
reminding voters that a Bihari, and
not a ‘bahari’, would ultimately be
presiding over the Government of
I
Bihar. That was a no-brainer;
although not particularly appealing
to the ears, it wasn’t outrageously
objectionable either.
But the overt reference was
unimportant, what was important
was the covert messaging aimed at
latent Bihari parochialism: That they
alone, more so Nitish Kumar, not
only prescribe to and believe in the
‘son of the soil’ principle of Bihar for
Biharis, but also shall shut Bihar’s
doors to non-Biharis. It would be
silly to suggest that latent Bihari
parochialism does not exist. It always
did and has acquired a sharper edge
as India moves on while Bihar lags
behind. Shrinking opportunities spur
hatred for the outsider. Moreover,
majoritarianism comes in many
shades and flavours, of which religion
is only one. The once prosperous
Bengalis of Bihar who have moved
out of the State, or their descendants
now settled in West Bengal and elsewhere, will tell you that’s true.
It’s not the ‘outsider’ alone who
has left Bihar. Biharis have left Bihar
too, seeking opportunities, jobs and
homes in other States, which is perfectly fine. India is a seamless
Republic that does not discriminate
between citizens. State boundaries
cannot become impenetrable barriers. The restrictions that exist, for
instance in Jammu & Kashmir,
some hill States and in the NorthEast, are exceptions and not the
rule; even these must go, as should
imposed bhumiputra policies that
are born of politics of linguistic and
regional exclusivism.
The Shiv Sena, of course, is the
original sinner: ‘Maharashtra for
Maharashtrians’ is not only a slogan
for the Sainiks, but also the raison
d’être of the deeply parochial organisation Balasaheb Thackeray founded
in 1966 to combat “Marathi marginalisation”. That was six years after
Maharashtra’s formation following an
often violent agitation by Samyukta
Maharashtra Samiti, culminating in
the infamous police firing on agitators at Mumbai’s Flora Fountain in
which 105 people were killed, forcing
a cussed Morarji Desai to climb
down from his high horse. Strangely
though, Balasaheb Thackeray did not
unleash the city’s lumpen proletariat
on Gujarati traders and businessmen,
who stayed put after Bombay State
was carved into Maharashtra and
Gujarat, but immigrant Tamilians
and their eateries. Later it was the
turn of ‘North Indians’.
Much has been said and written
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to denounce the violence against ‘outsiders’; the Thackeray cousins, who
now head their own Senas, deserve
much of the castigation that has come
their way. But in our haste to criticise
their noxious politics of nativism, let
us not forget that parochialism is the
other name for regionalism. Nor
should we lose sight of the fact that
‘State politics’ across India, as
opposed to ‘national politics’, is largely
based on pandering to parochial
pride and provincial sentiments camouflaged as regional aspirations.
In Tamil Nadu, the idea of a
‘Dravida Desam’ where Brahmins —
described as “agents of North India”
in DMK pamphlets — shall have no
place, continues to titillate popular
imagination. In Andhra Pradesh, NT
Rama Rao made ‘Telugu Desam’ the
platform of his politics; his political
heir, Chandrababu Naidu, who now
heads the Telugu Desam Party and
the State Government, continues to
build on it.
Shibu Soren, who heads the
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, as well as
his son and political heir Hemant
Soren make no effort to hide their
view that Jharkhand is the “sole preserve” of Adivasis and moolvasis.
Reminding his Adivasi audience that
Jharkhand was created for the “rights
of tribals and not non-tribals”, Shibu
Soren, in his active days, was fond of
saying, “What we wanted was the
rapid development of Jharkhand...
(for) the actual sons of the soil. We
(Adivasis) helped create Jharkhand,
but we are yet to taste its fruits.” That
did not stop Shibu Soren from joining hands with Dikus to feather his
own nest, though.
A similar sentiment is cited to
justify violence against nonAssamese in Assam where migrant
labourers and traders from Bihar
continue to be targeted by ‘sons-ofthe-soil’ seeking to assert their rights
in their State. Many would still recall
the anti-foreigners agitation that was
triggered by the discovery of voters in
Mongoldoi having multiplied several
times over, thanks to illegal immigration from Bangladesh, when a byelection was necessitated following
the death of Hiralal Patwa on March
28, 1979.
Till the signing of the Assam
Accord in 1985, the All-Assam Students Union, which organised the
‘Bangaal kheda’ agitation, held the
State, and the country, to ransom. It
is another matter that despite being
in power twice, the Asom Gana
Parishad has failed miserably in
tracking down and deporting
Bangladeshis; the Illegal Migrants
(Determination by Tribunals) Act,
1983 was not alone to blame for
this failure.
Few remember today that the
seeds of the anti-foreigners agitation
were sown during an earlier virulently parochial agitation against ‘outsiders’, disparagingly referred to as
“Ali-Kuli-Bangaali”. Very few Bengalis
now remain in Assam, most having
migrated back to West Bengal, while
Kulis — tribals from what was once
known as Chhota Nagpur —
employed in tea gardens continue to
face the wrath of the ‘sons of the soil’.
It would, however, be incorrect to
believe that the perceived rights of
‘sons of the soil’ over those of ‘outsiders’ followed the creation of linguistic States. TN Joseph and SN
Sangita, in their research paper, ‘Preferential Politics and Sons of the Soil
Demands: The Indian Experience’,
have pointed out how the ‘sons of the
soil’ demands were advocated by
leaders of the nationalist movement.
“For instance, a report prepared
by Rajendra Prasad for the Working
Committee of the Indian National
Congress presents an extensive survey of the Bihar situation as of 1938.
This report, endorsed by the Indian
National Congress, uses the term
provincials to refer to the sons of the
soil and declares that their ‘desire to
seek employment in their own locality is natural and not reprehensible,
and rules providing for such employment to them are not inconsistent
with the high ideals of the Congress’.
Rajendra Prasad argued in the
report that it is ‘just and proper that
the residents of a province should get
preference in their own province in
the matter of public services and educational facilities... It is neither possible nor wise to ignore these demands,
and it must be recognised that in
regard to services and like matters the
people of a province have a certain
claim which cannot be overlooked’.”
Between 1938 and 2016, India
has travelled a long distance and the
national economy is now vastly different from what it was 25 years ago.
But provincialism — or call it what
you may — remains as deeply
ingrained as ever. ‘Cosmopolitan
India’ is a figment of fashionable
South Delhi’s imagination, as is the
bogus ‘Idea of India’ of sanctimonious Left-liberals.
(The writer is commissioning
editor and commentator at ABP
News TV)
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T
he CM candidate of the
Congress in UP needs advice
from an astrologer — that is
the general feeling among
State leaders of the party.
There is a story behind this and it goes
thus: After becoming the face of the
party, when Sheila Dikshit reached
Lucknow, the Congress had organised a
show of strength. But when she went on
stage, it collapsed and she got injured.
After that, she was shifted to a closed
car from an open one. At that time, president of UP Congress, Raj Babbar, led the
show of strength. Recently, when Dikshit
left for a bus yatra to lead the election campaign in UP, she became ill at Ghaziabad.
She was suffering from fever and had to
return to Delhi. This bus yatra was flagged
off by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi from the
party headquarters in Delhi.
This series of unfortunate events have
led some Congress leaders to believe that
Dikshit must consult an astrologer. A
senior leader says she also needs good
political advisors and workers.
People are saying that there is a
dearth of leaders in UP Congress who
can extend full cooperation to Dikshit.
Most UP Brahmin leaders will not rally
behind any other leader. Teams of young
leaders are also restricted to their own
areas. Probably Rahul will take an initiative to make them active and will accommodate some of them in his own team.
=8C8B7´B³8=C4;;42CD0;´<44C
o realise his dream for 2019, Nitish
Kumar is trying to connect with
T
Hindi intellectuals. He has already
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joined hands with those who returned
their awards in the name of ‘intolerance’
just before Bihar elections.
Recently, Nitish had a meeting with
renowned Hindi poet and former IPS
officer, Ashok Vajpeyi. Some other intellectuals with Left ideology were also present in the meeting. Since they are Hindispeaking intellectuals, they don’t get much
space in Left politics. So, they are seeing
their messiah in Nitish. Apoorvanand Jha,
who teaches at DU; Purushottam
Agrawal, former UPSC member; Om
Thanvi, former editor and supporter of
AAP; Manglesh Dabral, journalist and
poet; and Priyadarshan, a TV journalist,
were also present at the meeting.
Some say Nitish wants similar intellectuals’ meet in other parts of the country too. He knows the power of this clan
well. This group had created a suffocating
scenario just before the Bihar elections.
So, the advisors of Nitish feel that in the
next three years, an anti-BJP wave can be
created with the help of these intellectuals
and Nitish can ride that very wave.
In 2015, the award-returning movement was spearheaded by Hindi intellec-
and many other leaders are also not
comfortable with the new party chief.
In Delhi, Ajay Maken is Rahul’s most
trusted leader, but he has to do all the
party work alone. Most of the leaders,
who were once ministers in Dikshit’s
Cabinet, are sitting at home. In Punjab,
of course, Rahul gave a Parliamentary
berth to Pratap Singh Bajwa, but
Captain Amarinder Singh has kept him
away from party dealings.
F8C70=4H4>=D??>;;B
ahul’s new team will probably be
R
announced in August. Seemingly,
after the Parliament Session, Rahul will
tuals, and at that time, the Englishspeaking group lagged behind in the
scene. That is why it is being said that
Nitish will connect with more and more
intellectuals from the Hindi heartland.
19?102:8=<08=5867C
he recent controversies in UP and
T
Punjab seem to have worked in the
BJP’s favour. Sources say that the controversy over Mayawati and
Dayashankar Singh has catapulted the
BJP into the main fight, along with the
SP, BSP and Congress.
Now, the prime focus is on the BJP
and BSP. The two parties have become
the talking point in UP politics. Though
the Congress has put up a Brahmin face,
it is a common feeling that if the forward
vote bank polarises against the BSP’s
Dalit and SP’s Yadav vote bank, then the
BJP will benefit immensely.
In Punjab, the BJP and Akali Dal
have raised the issue of Bhagwant Mann’s
video, and now it is being said that the
fight will be between AAP and the BJPAkali alliance. Not only this, if Navjot
Singh Sidhu joins AAP, then the BJP and
Akali would be the main focus of his
attacks. In that case also, a perception of
fight between AAP and the BJP-Akali
combine will be created. In this scenario,
the Congress can be at the receiving end.
A07D;´BC40<CA>D1;4B
ice-president of Congress, Rahul
V
Gandhi, is selecting and rejecting
leaders for his team. But before his team
takes final shape, leaders selected by
him have landed in problems. In many
States, party presidents who were selected by Rahul, have been pushed to the
margin. People are saying that Rahul is
somehow trying to save them and bring
them into the mainstream. Next year,
Assembly Elections are to be held in UP
and before that two of his most trusted
lieutenants, RPN Singh and Jitin
Prasada, have been sidelined.
In Kerala, VM Sudheeran has been
appointed as State president because
Rahul likes him. But two big leaders of
the State — Oommen Chandy and
Ramesh Chennithala — are openly taking
a stand against him. Both leaders also
lobbied in Delhi for his removal, arguing
that Sudheeran was responsible for the
party’s defeat in the State.
Sanjay Nirupam, who has been
selected by Rahul as Mumbai president, is facing many challenges.
Gurudas Kamat openly opposed him,
be promoted as the party president,
and with that his team will start functioning. Rahul has talked to his close
aides in almost all States in this regard.
He has also decided to take advice
from leaders of remaining States.
Recently, he also met several leaders.
It is being said that the UP effect
will be clearly visible on Rahul’s team.
He can accommodate some UP leaders
in the party’s national organisation.
Prasada is not happy as the party has
not projected him as the CM candidate,
and now he can be taken into the
national committee.
Earlier, the name of RPN Singh was
doing the rounds for the post of media
in-charge of the Congress, but now he
would probably be made media incharge of UP. The term of PL Punia,
Dalit leader of the Congress, as chairman
of SC Commission will be over soon, and
he might also be given an important
responsibility in the national team.
Two former Central Ministers,
Salman Khurshid and Pradeep Jain
Aditya, can also be accommodated in the
national team. If RPN Singh doesn’t
come into the national team, some other
OBC face will be given a place.
18664AA>;45>AB8B>380
anish Sisodia, Deputy CM of
Delhi, is being promoted by the
M
party. CM Arvind Kejriwal is grooming
him to take on bigger responsibilities.
There is speculation that if AAP wins
Punjab elections, then Kejriwal will
become the CM there and Delhi will
come into the hands of Sisodia.
Leaders of AAP are, however, rejecting this idea. They say that the Congress
and Akali have already started pointing
out that Kejriwal is from Haryana,
which has so many disputes with
Punjab. In this scenario, it would be fatal
if AAP either declares Kejriwal as the
CM candidate or gives the post to someone from Haryana. That is why people
are saying that a shrewd leader like
Kejriwal will not commit such a mistake.
But this is also true that for the next
five to six months, Kejriwal has to camp
in Punjab. His is the only face the party
can project. In this scenario, how can he
cope with the administrative responsibilities of Delhi? It is true that he doesn’t have any portfolio, but at the same
time, all files from all departments are
routed through him.
Probably, he is ready to give this
responsibility to Sisodia. Sources in
AAP say that the charge of the Urban
Development Ministry has been taken
away from Sisodia and given to
Satyendra Kumar Jain. Kejriwal wants
Sisodia to be relatively free so that he
can keep an eye on the overall performance of the Government.
For the past few months, Sisodia is
being independently promoted in Delhi.
In the advertisements of the Delhi
Government, only his photos are being
used now. Earlier his photos were being
used along with Kejriwal’s.
A4E0<?>52A82:4C1>384B
n the next six months, the face of Indian
cricket management will change. At least
Imany
top faces will change and new ones
can be seen in their place. Sharad Pawar
has already started this process. Two recommendations of the Lodha Committee
accepted by the Supreme Court are to be
noted. One recommendation is related to
the removal of cricket managers above 70
years of age, and the second pertains to
‘one person, one post’. It’s true that many
things will change just by following these
two recommendations.
Pawar is over 70 years old, so he has
decided to leave the president’s post of
the Mumbai Cricket Association. But the
question is: Who will take his place? Will
the new incumbent be from Pawar’s family or someone from his party?
N Srinivasan will also have to leave
the president’s post of Tamil Nadu
Cricket Association. There are two
cricket boards in J&K; Farooq Abdullah
is president of one board, and BK Nehru
is of the other one. Both are more than
70 years old. They also will have to leave
their post. Saurashtra’s Niranjan Shah,
Andhra Pradesh’s G Ganga Raju, and
Odisha’s Ashirbad Behera will also have
to quit their posts.
Following the policy of ‘one person,
one post’, Anurag Thakur will have to
relinquish the president’s post of
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. It
will be interesting to see who takes his
place. Amitabh Choudhary will either
have to leave the BCCI post or the post in
Jharkhand Cricket Association. He might
transfer his powers to someone close to
him and continue to call the shots. Sourav
Ganguly is the president of the Cricket
Association of Bengal, so it will be difficult to give him any post in the BCCI.
9VZXYeV_VUeV_dZ`_Z_<`cVR_aV_Z_df]R
n response to the US decision
to deploy a Terminal HighAltitude Area Defence
(THAAD) battery to be operated
by the US Forces Bay (USKF)
troops in South Korea on July 8
to counter threats from the
North, North Korea soon
responded by firing three ballistic
missiles on July 18 that simulated
pre-emptive strikes against South
Korean ports and airfields used
by the US military.
Pyongyang wanted to demonstrate by successfully testing the
simulated detonation of nuclear
warheads mounted on missiles
with a range of 500 to 600 kilometres that the missile defence system
deployed by the US in South Korea
is no threat to it. Pyongyang was
obviously irked and therefore
responded with massive display of
military might.
South Korea noted that the
missiles flew into the sea off its
coast and were in defiance of UN
Security Council resolutions and
therefore a latest provocative act by
the isolated country. North Korea’s
claims are always suspect and it
remains unclear if Pyongyang has
indeed succeeded in developing a
nuclear warhead for missiles. Even
if the doubts remain, it is surely
another example that North Korea
is relentlessly pursuing nuclear
warhead development and herein
remain the risks.
The three missiles were
launched from Hwangju, south
of Pyongyang. One flew 500 km
and another 600 km before
crashing into the sea off the
country’s east coast. The trajectory of the third missile remained
unknown. The first two missiles
were suspected to be Scud tacti-
I
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fWhBT^d[bdRRd\QTSc^DBbdVVTbcX^]^UC7003ST_[^h\T]cbPhbA090A0<?0=30
cal ballistic missiles and a homegrown Nodong intermediaterange ballistic missile based on
Soviet-era Scud technology.
While the Scuds cover the
whole of South Korea within
range, Nodong or Rodong missiles, with a range of over 1,300
km, can put most of Japan as
well within range. South Korea’s
capability to counter the missiles
from the North remains limited
as its Patriot missile defences stationed in South Korea have the
ability to only counter the relatively low-tech Scuds.
It is believed that North
Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally supervised the missile
launch, “provided field guidance”
for the drill and was pleased over
its success. But despite claims of
success, doubts remain. It is true
that Pyongyang has been striving
to master technology to miniaturise a nuclear warhead to mount
on its rockets, but its claims of success are tough to verify independently as North Korea remains one
of the world’s most closed societies.
Nuclear technology experts
outside of North Korea still doubt
the claims that it is capable of
mounting nuclear warheads on its
rockets. If North Korea’s claims
can be believed, then it is a matter
of concern for the US and South
Korea as US aircraft carriers and
submarines often visit South
Korea’s southern ports, including
Busan, Ulsan, and Jinhae, for missions, where 28,500 odd US
troops are stationed.
As a part of the security treaty
signed between South Korea and
the US at the end of the Korean
War (1950-53), the US marines are
based at the Korean ports to provide security to South Korea and
therefore the US is concerned
when their lives come under the
North Korean threat.
Though Pyongyang had
threatened of “physical response”
after the THAAD deployment
announcement, its subsequent firing of ballistic missiles is barred by
the UN Security Council resolutions and therefore condemnable.
It is a different matter that once the
deployment site, Seongju, about
180 km south of Seoul, was
announced, it sparked strong
opposition from the residents of
the region as they feared health
hazards, especially from exposure
to radiation from the system’s powerful radar emissions.
The residents are concerned
that exposure to the electromagnetic radiation from the system’s
radar could cause serious harm to
them and could also contaminate
agricultural products. The South
Korean Government faces domestic challenges to sort out the location issue as the plan is to deploy
the system by the end of 2017.
The purpose of deploying the
missile defense battery is to detect
and destroy incoming North
Korean missiles. Once the system
becomes active, it should be able to
defend two-thirds of South Korea
if the North decides to attack. For
the North, the firing of missiles
was probably to remind its southern neighbour that Seongju as the
chosen site for THAAD battery
was within its reach.
The issue is not only between
the US and South Korea on the
one side and North Korea on the
other; China too opposes its
deployment because the system’s
powerful radar can scan not only
North Korean but also Chinese territory. So, things are more complicated. Though North Korea has
fired both types of missiles in its
possession several times recently,
this time it was more a demonstration of force and was also to show
that it has made considerable
advance in its missile capability.
It is an irony of history that a
few nations, which were divided on
either ideological or other grounds
after World War II, are reunited,
and analysts ask if those examples
can be replicated in the Korean
peninsula. Such optimism seems to
be far from the ground reality as
the gap between North and South
Korea is only widening over the
years instead of narrowing down.
The communist North and
the democratic South still
remain technically at war
because the Korean War ended
in an armistice and not with a
peace treaty. The discord continues as the North regularly
threatens to destroy both South
Korea and Japan, allies of the
US. The only forum to negotiate
North Korea’s de-nuclearisation
— the Six Party Talks — remains
suspended when the country
walked out of it in late 2008.
South Korea is increasingly
experiencing the North Korean
heat in a short period of time.
After conducting the fourth
nuclear test in January, followed
by a space rocket launch the following month, which was widely
viewed as a missile test in disguise, North Korea has always
kept the tension alive. It sees
maintenance of nuclear capability
as the only secured means for
regime survival and is unwilling
to barter for any means. No sanctions have deterred the North to
steer away from its nuclear path.
China’s role is questionable. It
is displeased at the disrespect that
Kim Jong-un has shown towards
its benefactor and does not even
have an invitation to visit Beijing.
Though China supported tougher
sanctions against North Korea
more out of frustration than anything else, it is unlikely to abandon
the North because of larger strategic consideration.
This time, China opposed
the US decision to base THAAD
battery in South Korea on the
argument that the move would
destabilise the security balance
in the region. For China,
THAAD is more than just a
shield against North Korean
attack. As expected, Japan too
denounced the missile launches.
After several months of sabrerattling, it is being rumoured that
North Korea is planning its fifth
nuclear test. Satellite imagery in the
US has observed increased activity
at the site where previous tests
were conducted. No one seems to
know the level of threat that North
Korea poses to South Korea.
Though South Korea is used to
the rhetoric from Pyongyang of
turning Seoul into a “sea of fire”
and of a “merciless attack”, the continued missiles and nuclear tests by
North Korea have instilled a sense
of fear. That is why Seoul succumbed to the US suggestion of
THAAD deployment. Tension in
the Korean peninsula is not likely
to dissipate anytime soon.
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film production company has
admitted health and safety
breaches after an incident in
which Harrison Ford was crushed by a
hydraulic door on the set of the
Millennium Falcon spaceship while
filming the latest Star Wars movie.
Ford, who was knocked to the
ground and pinned down by the heavy
door, could have been killed in the
incident as he rehearsed during shooting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at
Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire
on June 12, 2014, a court heard.
The then 71-year-old was reprising his role as Han Solo when he was
hit by the door, which had been
designed to mimic the action of a door
on the set of the original Star Wars
film, released in 1977. Foodles
Production (UK) Ltd, which is owned
by Disney, admitted two breaches
under health and safety legislation.
Andrew Marshall, prosecuting,
told Milton Keynes magistrates court
that Ford had gone through the door
with another actor and hit a button.
He started to walk back through the
A
door, believing the set was not live and
that it would not close. But the court
heard it was remotely operated by
another person, and that as the star
passed underneath it he was hit in the
pelvic area and pinned to the ground.
Marshall said, “It could have killed
somebody. The fact that it didn’t was
because an emergency stop was activated.” Ford was severely injured, and
was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford.
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ustralian actor Margot Robbie
has described a controversial
Vanity Fair profile of her as
“really weird”, telling Channel Ten’s The
Project that she remembered thinking
“that was a really odd interview” after it
came to a close. Written by Rich
Cohen, the profile was widely denigrated as a sexist portrayal of Robbie and a
patronising portrayal of Australia when
it was published online in July.
In the piece, Cohen described
Robbie as having a “lost kind of purity”. “She is 26 and beautiful, not in that
otherworldly, catwalk way but in a
minor knock-around key, a blue mood,
a slow dance,” Cohen wrote. “She is tall
but only with the help of certain shoes.
She can be sexy and composed even
while naked but only in character.”
Cohen also referred to Australians
as “throwback people” who “live and
die with the plot turns of soap operas”.
“When everyone here is awake, everyone there is asleep, which makes it a
perfect perch from which to study our
customs, habits, accents.”
Spending time with her family on
A
3U\Y^U4Y_^µc
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e all know Celine Dion
as one of the best-selling
musicians of all time,
queen of the love ballad
and the woman who
was responsible for at least three of the
cassettes in every 90s’ family car. But for
all her astonishing achievements, Dion
has never been particularly well-known
for her style (which is fair enough when
you’re busy smashing out hit after hit).
So when the Canadian singer arrived
at Dior’s show at the recent Paris Haute
Couture Fashion Week in the established
fashion editor uniform — black on black
on black — it was the first sign that she
might be entering a new phase of her life,
on a mission to reposition herself as a
part of the fashion crowd.
A month on, she is still taking her
fashion rebirth very seriously indeed.
Last weekend, she wore seven different
outfits in 24 hours, all sourced from big
name fashion houses such as Gucci and
Versace. Another sign of Dion’s commitment to establishing a reputation for
style as well as songs comes in the form
of Hollywood stylist Law Roach, who she
hired just weeks before the Paris fashion
week to mastermind her style overhaul.
Roach, who styles tween stars
Ariana Grande and Zendaya, has
been dressing the 48-year-old in key
pieces by Gucci, Balmain, Balenciaga,
Celine, Chloe and Saint Laurent. The
loud prints, sweeping coats, bold
colours and stilettos are all in keeping
with Celine Dion’s diva persona, but
he has also balanced this with some
unlikely twists that you wouldn’t
W
expect from Las Vegas-era Dion.
There is also evidence that Dion
has thrown herself wholeheartedly into
these fashion experiments. Earlier this
month, the ‘My Heart Will Go On’
singer was seen out and about in the
cult Titanic hoodie by Parisian label
Vetements, creating the most meta of
fashion moments. Meanwhile, Roach
has also tempted her to try head-to-toe
Gucci catwalk looks and styled her hair
in a ‘Hackney hun’, that’s the half-up,
half down style you’ll have spotted on
the tween crowd.
There is a very personal significance to Dion’s renaissance. Six months
ago, her husband of 22 years, René
Angélil, died of cancer. Last weekend,
Dion opened up to the Today Show
about her difficult year. “It’s been a
journey. It’s been hard seeing the love
of your life suffering for the last three
years. It’s been really hard, but millions
of people are going through this. And I
feel very strong because not only that
he loved me so much for many, many
lives to come, he gave me three magnificent kids, so much knowledge, stability and confidence.”
Dion seems to be dressing for a
new chapter, using fashion to find extra
confidence, strength and project a positive outlook. “I have to say that, coming
here after the passing of my husband
after not even six months (later), it
could have been way easy for me to say,
‘You know what, I’m not in the mood
of dressing up and having the purse
and seeing the fans and having a good
time and singing, giving a part of your
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soul (sic),” Dion said to Entertainment
Tonight. “But knowing that he (Angelil)
loved the industry so much — he made
me who I am today since (I was) 12years-old — I went back on stage before
he passed, he wanted me to really be
the artiste I always wanted to be, and I
knew that for a long time.”
“She’s really enjoying herself,” Roach
told People, “I know she’s enjoying herself and we’re enjoying each other
because we tell each other every day. I’m
here almost every day and it makes me
so happy to see her so happy. If I had a
small piece of (creating) that with the
clothes and the fittings and the shoes
and the bags, then I am overjoyed.”
“I think she’s really enjoying fashion and being out and being seen and
getting photographed,” he added.
“Fashion is the most interactive art
form. It’s nostalgic and it can take you
to another place. If you feel beautiful
and pretty, you can’t be sad and miserable. It’s just impossible.”
As for what the styling process is
like between the two, Dion said to
Entertainment Tonight: “Working with
Law Roach is quite an experience, to be
honest with you. He brought me out of
my closet and now flowers are growing. Even my kids are like, ‘We want a
bow like this, we want a dress like this’
— even if they’re boys. They’re into
fashion, they’re into characters, everything they say they like, whether it’s for
a girl or a boy, they want it.” Something
tells us that there’s plenty more to come
from Dion’s big fashion mission.
the Gold Coast ahead of the release of
her new film Suicide Squad, Robbie
told The Project’s Carrie Bickmore
that she left the Vanity Fair interview
with a sense of unease. “I remember
thinking, ‘That was a really odd interview, I don’t know how that’s going to
come out.’ And then when I read it, I
was like, ‘Yeah, the tone of this is really weird, like, I don’t really know what
he’s trying to get at or play at’.”
:T`_ZTBWPfbWP]Z `R\ecVVe`aa]VU
n oak tree, hailed as a symbol
of hope for appearing in a key
scene from The Shawshank
Redemption, has been toppled by
heavy winds in Lucas, Ohio.
In the film, Red, played by Morgan
Freeman, travels to the site of the tree
on the advice of Andy Dufresne (Tim
Robbins) after receiving parole following a 40-year sentence. There, he finds
some money and a note left by his
friend directing him to Zihuatanejo in
Mexico. “Remember, Red,” the letter
reads. “Hope is a good thing, maybe
the best of things, and no good thing
ever dies.” Red skips parole to cross
the border and the two are shown
reuniting on an idyllic beach in the
film’s final scene.
The tree had become a landmark
for fans who visit locations that
appear in Frank Darabont’s 1994 tearjerker, which was filmed in and
around an old prison in Mansfield,
north-central Ohio. The New York
Times reports that fans had flocked by
the thousands every year to the oak.
Since the news of its toppling (in
2011, the tree was discovered to have
rotted in the middle), fans of the film
have expressed their dismay on various social media platforms.
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rooftop of a Toronto-area home, local
police said. Witnesses saw the 29-yearold woman fire at least four shots from
the roof of a two-storey building, police
said in a statement, adding that no players were injured.
A police spokesman said part of
the street in the town of Newmarket,
north of Toronto, had possibly been
marked in the augmented reality game
as a “gym,” where players gather to
challenge each other. It is not immediately clear how many Pokemon GO
players were on the street that night,
though the police spokesman said the
area has attracted them by the dozens.
“There’s nothing to suggest mental
health issues,” he said.
Police said the woman was arrested
without incident and charged with
assault with a weapon and possession of
a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Each
of the charges carries a maximum
penalty of 10 years in prison.
um in Maine due to the work of an animal rescue group.
Joe Melluso of the Tin Fish
restaurant had planned to cook the
massive crustacean, but was willing
to let it go after John Merritt from
iRescue and another group of passionate animal lovers stepped forward. “When there was a group that
wanted to save him, I was disappointed in myself for
not having that feeling
myself,” said Melluso.
Melluso told the Miami Herald
that he was skeptical when his
seafood supplier informed him of
the 15-pound lobster, which is estimated to be between 105 and 110
years old, but could not pass up
on the opportunity to serve it at
his restaurant.
“You can pull in hundreds of
thousands of pounds [of lobster] and
never see a lobster this size,” he said.
lane. The Suffolk County Police
Department said a 61-year-old woman
was ticketed for not following the rules
of the high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
The department said the woman
was pulled over when an officer
noticed her passenger was composed of a pillow wearing a vest
and a baseball cap while holding
a briefcase on its lap.
“We remind
everyone, during the
hours of 6-10 am and 3-8 pm
Monday through Friday, the
HOV lane is reserved for buses,
passenger vehicles with two or
more human occupants, motorcycles and hybrid vehicles registered with the New York State
Clean Pass programme,” the
department said in a Facebook
post. Officials said the woman
was also ticketed for driving an
unregistered and uninspected vehicle.
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he ‘Trump Museum’, just steps from
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the Republican National
Convention, displays artifacts such as
the Trump action figure, the Trump
board game and sartorial splendour
from the Trump clothing line.
So much Trump is on exhibit that at
first glance it may appear to be a campaign office for Donald Trump, the
Republican presidential nominee. But
this is actually enemy territory, funded
by a Democratic Super Pac called
American Bridge.
Inside are displays from a year’s
worth of opposition research.
American Bridge started looking
into the Republican presidential
hopefuls long before it was
clear who would emerge as the
winner. “One thing we learned
about research is that you have
to start early,” said Jessica
Mackler, president of American
Bridge. “We saw in the
Republican field that a lack of
preparation really hurt them
against Trump. We wanted to
make sure that didn’t happen in
the general election campaign.”
People on American Bridge’s staff of
30 researchers have read the more than
15 books written about Trump plus the
16 by him. The Trump clothes, including
a brown pinstripe suit from the Donald J.
Trump Signature Collection, were all
made abroad, a dig at the New York businessman’s rhetoric about the loss of US
jobs overseas. The Trump doll speaks,
repeating a signature phrase from his
reality TV show. Pull the string
and it says, “You’re fired!”
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n Australian family
woke up to a bizarre
A
discovery — someone had
entered their home and left a
5-1/2-foot crocodile in their
bathroom. Becky Myers said she
and her family members often
spot crocodiles near their
home in the Bees Creek area
of Darwin, but the saltwater
croc her tenant discovered in
their home recently was the first
they had ever found inside the
house. The tenant
sent a photo of the croc
via Snapchat to Myers’ daughter,
Coralie, 16. “I woke up like ‘what the
hell? Am I dreaming? This can’t be
real,’” Coralie Myers told NT News. “I
went into bathroom and there’s a croc
sitting there on my floor. I didn’t know
if it was alive or not; its eyes were open
but it wasn’t moving.”
The 5-1/2-foot crocodile was indeed
alive, but in poor health. Her mouth
had been taped shut before being abandoned in the bathroom by an unknown
prankster. “(The tenant) thought my
mum put it there because she went fishing the other day,” Coralie Myers said.
“But we don’t know who it was.”
“The croc didn’t creep me out, the
fact someone came into our house
freaked me out,” she said.
Crocodile ranger Tom Nichols said
the croc put up a bit of a fight despite
her poor health and taped mouth. He
said she was taken to a nearby farm for
medical attention.
Nichols said the prankster or
pranksters could face hefty fines for
interfering with wildlife.
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Canadian woman has been charged
15-pound lobster that was intended
olice in New York state shared a
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after she allegedly fired a pellet gun Ato be served at a Florida restaurant
photo of a pillow dummy used by a
at Pokemon GO players from the
will instead be transported to an aquari- driver to cheat her way into the carpool
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*RG
e pray to God for
things we want but
how many of us take
the time to thank
him? The post office
receives many letters from children
addressed to Santa Claus before
Christmas. Yet, after Christmas, children do not typically send a letter to
Santa thanking him for what they
received. Let us recount the many
things for which we owe our gratitude
to God, the giver.
First, we are extremely fortunate
that our soul was born in a human
body. If we look around at various
species of life, we see what a difficult
existence they have. They have a life in
which they have to find shelter from
the elements and live in fear of predators. While many people treat their
pets as well as their own family members, pets are still enslaved. Even
though there are now pet beauty
salons, pet therapists, and pet yoga
classes, animals lack the faculty that we
have in which we can be conscious of
who we are. Their lives are restricted to
feelings and survival instincts. They
cannot contemplate who they are, why
they are here, and where they are
going. We are fortunate that we have
been born into the only species that
can know themselves and know God.
For this, we should thank God.
How many thank God for our
health? When we are in the throes of a
serious illness or have an accident and
are in pain, we send loud prayers to
God to help us, to take away our pain
and heal us. Yet, how many of us send
prayers to God in gratitude for our
health? We may utter a “thank God”
when our illness or pain ends, but then
we often do not thank God for each
day thereafter that we are healthy.
A friend of one of the great
woman saints, Rabia Basri, came to
her with his head bandaged. When he
moaned to God in pain, she asked
him what was wrong. He said he had
a severe headache.
She asked, “How long have you
had the headache?” He said he had it
for a day. She asked him, “For how
many days in your life have you gone
without a headache?” He said he had
not had a headache for most of his life.
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She replied wisely, “For one day that
you have a headache, you complain to
God, yet for the thousands of days in
your life that you have not had a
headache, have you ever thanked God?”
We may feel that God only exists
when everything goes our way. We
ignore the good things, such as our
physical gifts, intellectual gifts, and
emotional gifts from God. We forget
that everything we receive comes from
God. Instead, we set a condition that
we only believe there is God if we get
what we want. We take for granted
what God has given to us and focus on
what God has not given to us.
We may have had a job for 25
years, but the one time we are laid off
due to a company downsizing, we say
there is no God. We may have had a
loving family relationship for 50 years,
but when one member passes away, we
forget how long we enjoyed his or her
company and instead blame God or
say there is no good in our life. We
may have been healthy for 40 years,
but with one major illness, we say,
“Why is this happening to me? There
must not be any God.”
We may win all our games, but the
one loss causes us to say, “God doesn’t
care about me.” Think about the plight
of God. With all that has been given to
us, we blame God when one thing goes
wrong. How would we think God feels
when that happens?
Few are grateful to God for the
good they receive, so that when something goes wrong, they tell God, “It’s
okay, God. I still love you; I am grateful
to you, and I know you are there. What
happened must have been something
that was best for me, or was due to my
karma that I created, or is a part of
nature and life and is okay, under your
will.” How many people take such a
grateful attitude to God?
There are people who undergo a
tremendous amount of pain, yet
remain grateful and thank God on
days they are pain-free. Most take
good health for granted. Even if we
have some physical problems or some
pain we have to live with, we should
thank God for what we can still do:
Whether it is waking up in the morning, or going to work, or finding some
moments of enjoyment in our lives.
slamic terrorism is the name given to the acts of
violence carried out by the ISIS. Many call this religious terrorism. Then there is another brand, the
ultra-Left terrorism perpetrated in the name of class
war. But all these acts in the present times and similar
acts in the past, like in Punjab during the Eighties or in
West Bengal during the Seventies, had one thing in
common: They were acts of violence and killings based
on unreason that affected normal life and created a
sense of fear and insecurity in society.
They attract the young sections of society, largely
the poor, whose frustrations look for a vent and the
falsehoods spread in the garb of ideologies give them a
cause. The myth of ideological façade has to be shattered. As ISIS spreads its wings and increases the frequency of its terrorist activities, there is need to separate
religion from terrorism aggressively and extensively.
There are schools of thought that believe that certain religions are by their very spirit fanatic and advocate using violence against those who do not believe in
their connotation of God and form of worship. But this
is a rather primitive view. Even within religions, there
have been internecine battles.
The acts of terrorism, which the ISIS is carrying
out in the name of Islam, are blatant acts of violence
that some groups are trying to perpetrate due to their
mental disposition. This is a kind of pathology and
these groups comprise psychopaths.
The present threat in the form of ISIS has to be
seen against this backdrop and there is need to emphasise that they are simply criminals and terrorists who
have nothing to do with religion.
Islamic scholars and the clergy must make it a
point to expose the fraud that ISIS is perpetrating in
the name of religion. As long as we associate religion
with terrorism, the ranks of the terrorists will continue
to be replenished with fresh entrants. It is the cause
that gives legitimacy to the terrorist outfits that are able
to attract gullible people willing to die for a cause.
There is a striking similarity between terrorists
who claim to serve religion and by extension God, and
the extremists from the ultra-Left who castigate religion in the severest of the terms. They both commit
the same acts of killing innocent people.
The strategy to tackle terrorism has to be twopronged. On one hand, it has to be the hard one that is
being one degree more unreasonable than the terrorists,
identifying and singling out rogue states and being
tough. On the other, there is a need for an extensive
campaign to counter their mischievous propaganda that
gives a reason to the gullible to join their ranks and
become ‘martyrs’ for a cause which is but a grave fraud.
Ancient texts and practices can offer good tips.
Useful insights are given in the Ramayana, particularly
in the Sundara Kanda as to what needs to be done.
One such instance is that of taming the Ocean God
who is acting unreasonable and stubborn. Interestingly
similar ideas are also expressed in the famous book by
Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, The Art of War, which
says: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you
need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Intelligence and fear are important. Hit terrorists
hard and instill fear in their sympathisers. Fear is the key.
I
If we spend time complaining to
God about our physical condition,
even though we can still function, we
should look at those who have serious
handicaps that make them dependent
on others, and then re-evaluate our
own situation. Some people have
handicaps, yet are so grateful that they
are alive or that their suffering is not
worse. They are grateful to God for
whatever blessings they have. Let us
thank God for our health and be grateful that our ailments are not worse. For
each day that we are able to do our
work, enjoy our family and friends,
and meditate, thank God.
We should be grateful to God for
our education. Education helps us have
options in our life and career. We have
choices on what subjects we want to
learn and in which fields we wish to
specialise. There are many who do not
have choices and must take any work
they find. Thank God daily for our
education and how it helps us.
Have we ever thanked God for our
spouse, our parents, or our children?
We often find reasons to complain
about those in our family, but we seldom realise how helpful it is to have a
family. Some may be living alone now,
but when they were growing up, they
lived with family. Think about how difficult life would be without parents, a
caretaker, siblings, a spouse, children,
or relatives. Friends can help us only so
far, but family members are committed
to being there for us through thick and
thin. When we are sick, they help us.
When we have no money, they are
there. They are there to listen to our
problems and to help us.
We often find reasons to complain
to God about our family members, but
how many thank God that we have
them? Often, we only appreciate them
when we lose them through death or
separation. Let us take time to thank
God for them and also show them how
much we appreciate them.
When was the last time we told
our close ones that we love and appreciate them? Let us add our thanks for
our relationships to the basket of the
angel collecting prayers of gratitude.
Let us thank God for everything we
have in our lives today.
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o you agree? Before you form an
opinion, please read the following
true stories. François Mitterrand
was born in Jarnac, near Cognac, in
France. He graduated from the University
of Paris in 1938. He served in the Army
during the World War II and was wounded and imprisoned by the Germans in
1940. He escaped in 1941 and joined the
Resistance Movement.
Mitterrand served in the National
Assembly, the most powerful House of
the French Parliament, from 1946 to
1958, and from 1962, until he became
President in 1981 was reelected in 1988.
He was France’s first Leftist President
since 1958. His Government bought
controlling interest in some important
businesses in France. (Source: The
World Book Encyclopedia)
Misfortune struck him and he
became stricken with a terminal disease.
His condition began to deteriorate and
he was bedridden. This was very differ-
D
ent from what he was as the President of
France. He began to feel restless. He did
not know how to compose himself. What
was going to happen to him now? He
was surely going to die.
He consulted many persons in order
to gain some peace, but remained troubled till an Indian lady spiritualist was
called to speak to him. She explained to
Mitterrand that he was not a material
body he was assuming himself to be,
but was an eternal soul, which would
survive in spite of the body’s death. And
this was a temporary phase in the eternal journey of the soul.
I do not have any information about
how Mitterrand accepted this fact and
how he spent the rest of his life.
The other story is of a lady homeopathic practitioner, who treated her patients for
free. She even gave medicines free. She
started by treating herself to test the efficacy
of homeopathy medicines. She was successful in ridding herself of a problem, which
was bothering her for a long time.
Encouraged by this, she began to prescribe medicines to close relatives and
friends. Mostly, she was successful. She
was now ready to begin regular practice.
She paired with a friend, who was also a
homeopathic doctor. Together they
opened a clinic. Initially, there was only a
trickle but as their reputation grew, more
patients began to come. Free consultation
and free medicines also helped bring
more and more patients.
Over the years, her practice grew
manifold. She was particularly pleased
when patients, who had tried allopathic treatment and were not satisfied,
came to her and got cured. Her
patients, who had moved away to other
towns, also called her on the phone
and she prescribed medicines for them.
This, and the retirement of her doctor
friend from their joint practice added
to her load, but she did not mind. She
loved to be busy.
Everything was great till she fell ill.
She tried her own treatment but it did not
help. When her condition began to deteriorate, she was admitted to a hospital. She
was cured but became very weak. Her
advanced age did not help.
Now she was bedridden with no
occupation. It was going to take some
time before she recovered enough to
begin to see patients again, if that was to
really happen.
This is when she admitted that she
should have paid attention to the spiritual
side of life. I encouraged her because it is
never too late to get started on our spiritual
journey. However, wise persons set reasonable targets for material desires in order to
leave some time for spirituality. Then, there
will be something to fall back on in case of
distress or in old age. One will not be
caught with a blank life staring at him or
her; there will be support of the Almighty.
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0BCA>[email protected]
170A0C17DB70=?03<034>
o be is to be in relationship with
one’s own self (all functional
coordinates of body-mind
organism), the immediate environment,
the cosmos, and the existence in
entirety. For, the world, with all its
enormity and diversity, is framed as a
unified organism, where no existence
has a reality independent of the
entirety, if Australian physicist Paul
Davies is to be believed. To quote his
exact words: “For a naive realist, the
world is a collection of objects. But for
a quantum physicist, it is an inseparable
web of vibrating energy patterns where
no one component has a reality
independent of the entirety, included in
that entirety is the observer.”
The interdependence and
interconnection of all and sundry is
therefore implied. In this scheme of
things, each live entity is born
imperfect, incapable of meeting
existential needs all by oneself. But in
togetherness, complementing and
supplementing the efforts of each
other, they make out a self-sufficient
world. Evidently then, how well we
relate to the world, will define the
quality of life we become due for.
This existential truth sets the premise
of the are of living.
Ancient India’s learned masters had
T
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very well realised this existential
dynamics. So, they were conscious
about not only educating the mankind
to the above effect. They rather made
provision in our annular calendar for
refreshing our memory at regular
periodic interval.
For, they knew that people who
were passionately pursuing their selfcentric desires, often lose track of the
fundamentals of life. So is the whole of
Hindu month of Shravana has been
dedicated to Lord Shiva. The purpose
is not to drive people into frenzied
belief driven practices seeking thy
boon. In fact, it rather lays emphasis
on the need to set our functional
dynamics in tune with the above
existential truths.
A look at the symbolism of Lord
Shiva in accord with an assorted group
of courtiers carries a valued educative
import. He is visualised mounted on an
ox, presiding over both cosmic world
and life mechanism on earth, holding
them in unison.
The lunar crescent over his head,
as we are aware, has no light of its
own. It draws light from the Sun and
other stellar bodies up above in the
sky. Moon, thus symbolises
convergence of all modes of nature
driven energies, which He excites by
playing damru (the hand-drum He
holds). The harmony and symphony
of energy streams thus excited led to
all creations, both up above in the sky
as also on planet earth.
Thus comes into being a life cycle.
The perennial river Ganges flows out
of Lord Shiva’s hair locks which ends
up in the ocean. Remember, without
water there would be no life. So, all
through its run, it extends life. On
the way, as also out of the sea, water
evaporates to form cloud, and then
rains back into the water bodies to
recharge them. Similarly life cycle
runs in succession, reincarnating
afresh charged with fresh vigour and
strength after death.
Life’s journey, therefore, continues
unabated, changing its garb again and
again. Lord Shiva has in his court all
possible forms of existence — godly
beings, humans, animal world, and even
weird existence such as gobbles. All of
them symbolically exemplify multitude
of species in existence forming the
living world. The godly beings signify
cosmic forces driving the living order.
The presence of weird creatures, stand
for imperceptible existence during
interregnum period between two
successive lives.
There exists evolutionary barrier of
incommunicability amongst his
courtiers. Yet, at the same time,
overlooking their individualistic
vagaries, he remains in accord with all
of them, as would his half closed eyes
imply. He does that purposely so as to
make the most out of their virtues. For,
Lord Shiva is much aware that if all of
them have their individual limitations,
they are also assigned with such
virtues as would be necessary for
sustaining life. And but for one, the
very existence would be at stake.
Lord Shiva is able to hold the
fort together as he is selfless, and
thus enjoys the confidence of all. He
just sports a tiger skin to cover his
lower body to mean that despite
being all powerful.
To sum up, the defining principle
of life is ‘Unity in Diversity’. Our
leaders, and in fact, all of us, need to
imbibe the spirit of Lord Shiva to
ensure life in peace and harmony,
individually and collectively. Of late,
having lost touch of this existential
truth, is why people are day-by-day
becoming more self-centric, intolerant
and impatient, being the cause behind
the chaos prevailing all across.
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