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RNI Regn. No. MPENG/2004/13703,
Regd. No. L-2/BPLON/41/2006-2008
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Y]`\YSQdY_^[email protected]_\[email protected]_\YdYReb_
C M Y K
xtolling the greatness of
Indian culture and traditions, Prime Minister Narendra
Modi on Saturday said that the
values of sacrifice, integration
and a wish for good-for-all run
deep in the Indian way of life.
"We belong to a tradition where
even a 'bhikshuk' (beggar) says,
'may good happen to the person who gives me and also to
the person who does not',"
Modi said in his address at the
International Convention on
Universal Message of
Simhastha on the sidelines of
the Kumbh mela at Ninhora
"We are not stubborn and
rigid, we are philosophical.
We see divinity in the tree and
life in water," he told the concluding session of the three-day
Vichar Mahakumbh, organised on the sidelines of the
event to discuss issues like
global warming, hazards of
chemical farming and
benefits of organic one and
Warning that global warming and terrorism have become
the world's biggest concerns,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Saturday said shedding the
"holier-than-thou" attitude is
the key to overcoming these
issues and resolving conflicts.
"World's biggest concerns are
global warming and terrorism... The holier-than-thou
attitude apparently is behind
them," Modi said addressing
the veledictory session of the
three-day international conference on "Living the Right
Way" on the sidelines of
"The world is passing
through two types of crises. On
the one hand there is global
warming, on the other there is
terrorism. What is the solution?
What is behind their genesis...Simply holier-than-thou
attitude or (the thinking) that
my way is more correct than
yours. This is the thing which
is dragging us towards conflict,"
Strongly opposing attempts
at expansionism, he said this
was not a solution to the prob-
lems. "Expansionism is another thing that is leading us
towards conflict. Time has
changed. Expansionism is not
a solution to the problems. We
should not go horizontal. It is
not a solution. We need to go
vertical and raise ourselves
from within," Modi said.
The PM also released 51point 'Simhastha Declaration'
jointly with Sri Lankan
President Maithripala Sirisena
and Madhya Pradesh Chief
Minister Shivraj Chouhan.
President Sirisena, who spoke
earlier, referred to the longstanding ties between India
and Sri Lanka.
Turn to Page 4
ive IndiaMart executives
were killed and six critically injured in a fire at an office
run in a residential area of Raj
Nagar area of Kavi Nagar on
Saturday, police said.
The incident took place
when the office of IndiaMart,
located in R-14/6, caught fire
after a blast in the air conditioner caused by short circuit.
"It broke out around 10:30 am
and a team of police officials
from Kavi Nagar police station
rushed to the spot," said a
While four died due to
asphyxiation, one of the executive died while trying to jump off
the building after breaking open
Reteam were declared brought
dead by the doctors, the injured
were discharged after first aid.
Fire officer RK Yadav and two
constables, Ram Gopal and
Rishi Pal also fainted during
Dr Deepak, who attended
the victims in Gargi Hospital,
said three people were declared
brought dead. Two executives,
who were rushed to a
Government district hospital,
were also declared brought
According to police offi8]SXP<PacX]6WPiXPQPS^]BPcdaSPh ?C8 cials, after reaching the building they found out that on the
the window, said eyewitnesses. ground floor was located a real
While Puneet Mishra, estate firm- Prime Estate
Chandra Praksh Tyagi, Peeyush Property Consultants and also
Goel, Hemant Pratap and some fashion outlets.
ontrary to the perception
that New Delhi and
Kathmandu's relations are at a
low ebb, Nepal's outgoing
Ambassador Deep Kumar
Upadhyay said the relations
between the two countries are
at an all-time high at present.
"It was a one-sided relationship
so far. First time since 2014, it
became a two-way traffic and
Indian leadership showed
much deeper interest in Nepal,"
Upadhyay said the present
crisis is only a temporary phase
that arose due to Nepal's internal political instability, and
the KP Sharma Oli
Government has tried to drag
India into the predicament.
The envoy, who has been
recalled by the Nepal
Government, will leave for
Kathmandu on Sunday.
"Democracy in Nepal is
still at a nascent stage. Nepal
has a hung Parliament and
there will be political instabil-
ith continuous rise in
temperature across the
State and the State Capital, several places witnessed day temperatures above 45 degree
Celsius on Saturday.
Khajuraho recorded day
temperature at 46.4 degree
Celsius, Satna at 45.9 degree
Celsius and Gwalior among the
major cities touched the 45
degree Celsius mark as day
temperature on Saturday.
Extreme hot conditions
continued at discomforting
levels. For the second consecutive day temperatures in the
city forced the citizens to
remain confined to their houses. The roads were deserted and
few commuters braved to face
the harsh weather outside.
However, in the past 24
hours, Datia and Sidhi received
light showers. Except Jabalpur
and Indore divisions, all divisions would witness heat waves
in the next 24 hours.
The city recorded the highest day temperature of the season at 43 degree Celsius on
Friday making the weather
conditions discomforting and
it was the same on Saturday.
Bhind, Morena, Datia,
Tikamgarh, Reewa, Satna and
Sidhi districts would witness
dust storms and thundery
activities in the next 24 hours.
The day and night temperatures would be witnessed
in the range of 44 and 29
degree Celsius, respectively, on
Khargone, Naugoan and
Hoshangabad recorded the
highest day temperature at 45
degree Celsius. Night temperature rose to 29.5 degree
Celsius making the night discomforting and would increase
The Met department said
that the weather conditions
would change after 2-3 days
which would be witnessed after
moisture incursion in the State
and thundery activities would
be witnessed at isolated places.
The changes would be witnessed around May 16 -17.
Turn to Page 4
mid reports that China
and Pakistan are jointly
opposing India's bid for the
Nuclear Suppliers Group
(NSG) membership, the US has
said India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for entry
into the exclusive club.
"I'd point you back to what
the president said during his
visit to India in 2015, where he
reaffirmed that the US view
was that India meets missile
technology control regime
requirements and is ready for
NSG membership," State
Department Spokesman John
Kirby said on Friday.
His remarks came in
response to a question on
reports that China and Pakistan
joined hands to oppose India
becoming a member of the
Washington: China has
increased Defence capabilities
and deployed more troops
along the Indian border, the
Pentagon has said, as it warned
of increasing Chinese military
presence including bases in
various parts of the world,
Detailed report on P7
s the high-pitch campaigning for the May 16
Assembly elections in Tamil
Nadu came to a close on
Saturday evening, the silence,
thereafter, was unmistakable.
But the seizure of a whopping
C570 crore — just a couple of
days ahead of polling — from
three container lorries near
Tirupur by the flying squads
deputed by the Election
Commission of India continued to create a flutter all over
the State till late night.
EC officials initially main-
tained the huge stash of currency was "prima facie suspect".
However, Rajesh Lakhoni, chief
electoral officer, Tamil Nadu,
told reporters later on that SBI
officials have claimed that the
money belonged to the bank
and it was on its way from
Tamil Nadu to Andhra
Pradesh. "The issue will be
resolved by Sunday evening
and a probe is on," he said.
Ramesh Babu, zonal manager, SBI, Coimbatore, also
clarified that the money
belonged to the Reserve Bank
of India and the SBI was transporting it to its branches in
Andhra Pradesh. Speaking to
reporters late evening Babu
said all the documents would
be furnished before the ECI.
Earlier though there was
much drama. District administration officials in Tirupur
said the three lorries did not
heed the instruction of the flying squads to stop and sped
away. The ECI team chased the
trucks and took the vehicles
and drivers into custody.
accompanying the trucks as
security guards told the ECI
squad that the entire money
belonged to SBI's Coimbatore
Zonal Office and it was
Turn to Page 4
ity for some time. But it is
wrong to blame a third country for one's own internal crisis. Just the way you cannot
involve Nepal for the political
crisis in Uttarakhand and
accuse leaders there for destablising the State Government, we
too cannot involve India for
our own political problems.
=Tf3T[WX) % hTPa^[SVT]TaP[
C M Y K
17>?0; kBD=30H k<0H $! %
Roberts and George Clooney.
You would have thought it to better
a groovy, even if middle-aged,
his week, there is a Pele on one
side, and an Azhar on the other,
both sporting icons though on
opposite sides of the globe. One is about
the rise and rise of a footballer from the
poor underbelly of Sao Paolo, and the
other, about the rise and fall of a
cricketer par excellence.
Azhar comes with a disclaimer,
saying it is only inspired by Mohammed
Azharuddin and not a biopic on him.
With this disclaimer it makes fun of
itself and of the intelligence of its
viewers. Every name, persona and
depiction of Team India of the 1990s is
for real. The incidents are for real. The
situations are for real. Even the events
and the court case are for real. But the
disclaimer says it’s not all real.
Mohammed Azharuddin, the real
one that is, has been associated with the
film all through. He has even been
promoting it with the cast and crew on
various TV shows. On the screen, he has
been given a clean chit with no grey
areas whatsoever. There is Kapil, there
is Jadeja, there is Ravi Shastri’s
philandering, there is Nayan Mongia
too, not to mention Navjyot Singh
Siddhu and the great Sachin Tendulkar,
but all with only first names, just in case
there is a defamation.
Sangeeta Bijlani is called Sangeeta
and does the Oye Oye (Tridev) every
time she passes you by on the screen.
So one wonders why the filmmaker
would get cold feet over showing the
real events. Perhaps, because in such
cases, no one knows the truth — ever
as also because there would have been
too much research required to make a
docu-film out of the subject.
Mohd Azharuddin fought a court
case which he won after eight long years
of struggle, by which time his real time
cricketing career was over. Today, he is
a politician who has dabbled in the
matters of other federations like
badminton (disastrously) and is still
trying to find his real footing. He is
separated from both Sangeeta Bijlani
and his first wife.
All this and much more is not
shown or discussed in the film as a
result of which it becomes a mishmash
of real, not so real, candid, not so candid
film on a hero’s life. That’s what kills this
film and its brave attempt around a star
who is still alive and kicking and not
some convenient hero from a long lost
past, the raking of whose life may not
have been such a brittle venture.
Emraan Hashmi gets the swagger of
Azharuddin right though not the accent
and seems to have practised his wristy
shots to give you a believable
characterisation. Yes, there is smooching
etc but only as cursory as the rest of the
story is kept. Nargis Fakhri as Bijlani is
as overdone as Prachi Desai as Azhar’s
first wife is underdone. And then there
is this stupid coyness around boldness
which even sounds ridiculous in
romance, a syrupy tale of light but
becoming emotionality. Nothing
heavy, just soufflé soft and butter
smooth chemistry that explodes all
Nothing of that sort, this one. But
then, when Jodie Foster is at the helm
as director there is hardly space for
second hand emotions like love.
There is thrill, chill and the will to take
the film by its collar and throw it into
the deep end of differently enabled
So, at hand, is a fast-paced, runfor-your-money thriller with an
aggrieved man sporting a gun, a
bomb trigger and explosive intentions
capturing the airwaves live. At the
centre of the turmoil are investing
options TV star George Clooney
(Lee Gates) and his behind-thescenes director of the show Money
Monsters, Julia Roberts (Patty).
As entire America watches in
horror, the man who has lost heavily
in the stock market, apparently taking
Clooney’s advice seriously, wants to
know why, and how the multi-billiondollar conglomerate Ibis Clear Capital
could lose $800 million overnight,
that too because of a computer glitch
in a complex algorithm.
As he threatens to blow up
Clooney and himself on live TV if his
question is not addressed, the film
hangs on to the thrilling premise quite
well with Roberts and Clooney trying
to manage a show that has hurtled
headlong into disaster after the
mandatory quips and regimen dose
of introductory humour.
Foster, usually taut with her
subjects, manages to keep up the
adrenaline flow for the initial half
hour or more, after which the
predictability and strange inertia in
the middle of all the purported action
grips the script from the backdoor.
Despite Clooney being the face of the
movie along with his captor, despite
Roberts giving those ones with usual
charm and despite all the mumbojumbo around breaking news, the
mercury often dips in this one.
That this happens despite Foster’s
experience and expertise speaks more
about the glitches in the script than
in the Wall Street algorithm at hand.
And, as one realises soon enough, it
has human fingerprints all over it.
Both Clooney and Roberts try
hard to tide over the identity crisis of
a movie stuck in the vacuum of
predictability after an initial surge.
Clooney, as the juggler clown advisor
on TV, does well to hold on. One
wishes there were more one-liners (we
don’t do gotcha journalism, we don’t
do journalism at all), more interaction
on another level between Clooney
and Roberts and less of so-it-will
happen kind of climax. Other than
that, there is something happening in
this big-names Hollywood film of this
hey have aged. They have become crazier. And they
eat, love and prey — well, in a big, fat way. And,
of course, the family thing is like that air bag that bloats
ele’s iconic stature cannot but make for a
riveting watch on screen. His painfully poor
childhood where he had to clean hospital toilets
with his father, his ghettoed existence in Sao
Paolo, his tragic loss of a friend and his
uncertainties with his one and only love —
football — should make a movie packed with
events, emotions and sequences.
This part docu part film narrative on this
brilliant footballer who fought against many
odds, including poverty, to rise to the summit
of the beautiful game falls a few inches short
of its subject’s excellence. There was so much
more it could have shown and explored so many
more facets of the game and its worshipper than
it does that you leave the hall wanting to be a
little longer with Pele.
The film is caught between flashbacks of
Pele’s difficult childhood and the 1958 World
Cup where the Brazilian team is the underdog.
It has players with physical deficiencies and with
mental limitations of a tragic loss earlier. It is
a team looked down upon by so-called “suave”
whites from Europe. The film also raises the
discrimination against the Brazilian flair
personified in its “ginga” form of play. Tagged
as primitive it is ostracised by not just the team’s
coach but also the Brazilian administration.
Amid all this and more is 17-year-old Pele
with his callowness enters the playing squad
with other greater more established players
down with injuries. The film deals more with
Pele’s interactions with his father, his poverty,
his mother’s existence as a house help and his
early life. So the tone is dark and sad for most
part. This brings us to the question why the film
did not focus more on the actual game and Pele’s
growth in it.
However, an arresting saga still.
ig names, big imagination
and good execution make
this memory transplant thriller
a good one to be with, especially
with Kevin Costner doing a
pretty good job with a character
he has never played – that of an
brutal killer in whose brain a
do-good, wife and daughter
loving dead CIA’s agent’s (Ryan
Reynolds) remembrances are
inserted for a trail that is
important for the organisation.
The underdone role has
been handled well by Costner,
much like a successful
experiment. As he gets
acquainted with emotions of
love, caring and affection that
have been alien to him, he
starts turning from a monster to
a human being but the director
does well to not completely
erase his original personality.
So, there is a mix and match,
there is brutal violence as also
gentle gestures, like battering a
man to death in a car hijack and
saving a hair brush for the
little one. The film, in pursuit of
a global anarchist after missile
codes, has pace interspersed
with Costner’s brilliantly
underdone histrionics. It is a
thriller but of a different variety.
However, some greats like
Tommy Lee Jones are stymied
by undercooked roles and small
on impact to save you from crisis but asphyxiates,
If My Big Fat Greek Wedding original was an
endearing, hatke entry all those years ago, the sequel
is equally engaging, though not more. The characters
are more or less the same, though the wedding is not
really the central character of this heavy duty family
A big family, extended one, lives in houses one
after the other, virtually colonising a residential lane
in uptown Chicago. There’s a delightful grandfather
who is obsessed about being Alexander The Great’s
direct descendant, there are children who are as
Greek as the salad they do down there, the ladies are
of all Greek hues — loud, cooking wonders and hair
stylists and the men are, well, burly brothers, sons
and fathers with more muscle in their biceps than
grey in their heads.
Together, they weave an engaging tale of a couple
of 50 years, with grandsons and grand-daughters
bustling in the background, discovering that they are
not married. So there’s a wedding and the rigmarole
emanating from this very Greek event management.
Sub-plots, like romance between a husband and
wife being felled by daily chores, brothers being
estranged, a teenage daughter wanting to go away
from all this family suffocation, aunts and uncles with
their distinct but delightful eccentricities, a super cool
great grand mom, and lots of children all doing their
stuff in a family-run restaurant, dot this languorous
family drama with endearing typicality.
You kind of get woven into the familial tapestry
and admit that when it is about family, the Greeks
can give the Indians a run for their money. This
engaging movie does too.
ore than anything else, even more than the serious
subject this film deals with, it is an Arvind Swamy
film. Remember that chocolate boy with arresting and
strangely calming screen presence in Roja and
Bombay? He has grown up in this last decade of
absence from the screen — grown up to be a more
mature, more arrived actor, happy in his rarified
cinematic space and ready to experiment with cinema
at his own pace, on his own terms.
That’s why, probably, he has opted for a film like
Dear Dad — a gentle take on evolving familial
relationships riding an uncomfortable closet skeleton.
Swamy, a much more rounded actor in many ways,
is a delight in the film which is otherwise in a bit of
a hurry to hurtle to a happy conclusion of a complex
relationship issue. The subject, a gay dad and his son,
is both sensitive and bold. It signifies the new wave
cinema that Bollywood is now accepting and also
powering and not flicking aside to struggle in the genre
of parallel, film festival circuit cinema.
Having said that, the way the story unfolds is a let
down as it gets into those nooks of cluelessness from
where emerging is a struggle. As a dad who finally lets
out the secret to his teenage son that he is gay and
would be seeking a divorce, Swamy sports many wellrested nuances which the film grows on. However, the
now angry and quickly happy teenage son makes it a
story that loses way and does pretty much anything
to come to an end.
SaP\P 0SPP[Pc XbP[[bTcc^aTcda]fXcWBTPb^]!CWT
?PZXbcP]XPRc^abB0=0<B0443 <8:00;ID;[email protected] cP[Zc^B70;8=8 B0:B4=0PQ^dccWTXa1^[[hf^^S_a^YTRc_aTUTaT]RTb
Q What have you been doing
Q Do you think you can go past your role as
Kashaf Murtaza in Zindagi Gulzar Hai?
I don’t know. She became iconic through
the serial. So I hope that I never outgrow the
fact that I played Kashaf. Everyone has that one
project through which they get identified. It was
a very powerfully written play leaving a deep
message for young girls. In that sense, writer
Umera Ahmad should be given a pat on the
Q What do you look for in a project that comes
We all look for a role that goes with the
mood or whether one likes the role that has been
offered. There have been instances where I have
taken up a role in order to break a certain
imagery that has crept in. Hence, I took up the
movie Bachaana. I would also like to do a biopic.
Q You play an Indian girl in Bachaana. Any
When I was offered the role, I immediately
called up my dadi who stays in Aligarh. I told
her that I had been offered this role. I took many
cues from her to get the Hindi correct as well
as the dialect. I needed to practise certain words
because there are some alphabets that are not
commonly used in either Mumbai or Aligarh.
But it was fun doing this movie.
Q Tell us about your role in Ek Kasak Reh
I had never worked with this director before.
I thought I needed to expand my horizon. The
cast is good. And the story is about a strong girl
who has some challenges to overcome. I took
it up since it was about woman empowerment
and gives a solution to women in a similar
situation in real life.
Q How important is it for you to work with
people you know?
It is very important to work with people
with a comfort level and same wavelength. It
makes things easy. It makes it easy if the director
is able to articulate the role and the way he can
convince me why something has to be done in
a particular manner. I ask a lot of questions and
it doesn’t work if the director says ‘aise hi hota
hai’ and this is how it has to be done. Working
with known actors enhances one’s performance.
Q You are an actor, a model and a singer. What
Professionally, acting came later. Bachpan
se ghar pe singing and acting was always there.
I started off as a VJ with modelling on the side.
Acting as a full-time job came eight years back.
I am not into singing anymore. I like to indulge
in it but that’s it.
Q What about family support?
My family was extremely supportive of what
I wanted to do. I was given certain guidelines
— what could be done and what couldn’t.
Q Any Bollywood projects?
I would love to work in Bollywood but the
timing has not been right. I will have to see what
kind of projects come my way and whether they
appeal to me. One has to see one’s limitations
as one can’t compete with Indian film actors. It
is important to bring in something that is new
to the spectrum.
Q Tell us about your role in Ek
Kasak Reh Gayi?
I play Shahriyar, a
heartbroken man from a
previous relationship. After
marriage, when Paras (played
by Sanam) discovers that
Shahriyar has a near-fatal
medical condition, she stands
by her husband and helps save
his life. She takes on all the
responsibilities of a wife and a
daughter-in-law and she does so
with a lot of grit and gumption.
Q You disappeared from
Bollywood after Baby. Why?
I didn’t disappear. It is just
that the other projects didn’t do
too well at the box office like
Shoot On Sight and U R My
Jaan. About that time, I was
offered work in Pakistan so I
I have been busy with many
projects here (Pakistan). I am
also producing a serial. Initially,
I was approached for a role but
when I read the script, I liked it
and wanted to produce it.
Q How did you bag the role?
I got the role because
casting director Vicky Sidana
and director Neeraj Pandey
had seen some of my work.
They were looking for an
international cast. I fit the bill
and so was chosen.
Q Any Bollywood projects at
For now, I am busy with a lot
of things at home. But if I am
offered a role that I like, I will
definitely opt for it.
Q What medium do you
Whatever an actor may say,
at the end of the day, the first
option will always be movies.
The same holds true for me. But
I will have to see how to juggle
between what I am doing at
present with the movie. One
will have to prioritise. But since
films give a much wider reach
it will be difficult to turn down
a movie offer.
Q How did acting come to
It all started with modelling.
I did several. I was told I have
a nice face. Acting was
something that followed. I did
a film in 2007. From there, I
went on to do a serial for Hum
TV in 2009.
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tate president of Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) and
Member of Parliament
Nandkumar Singh Chouhan
while addressing the meeting
of sector in-charges and booth
in-charges of the Ghoradongri
assembly constituency said that
the policies of BJP has brought
smile on the faces of poor
labors, farmers, scheduled
casts/tribes and dalits. He further said that under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj
Singh Chouhan people below
poverty line and families of
scheduled casts/tribes are getting wheat, rice and iodine salt
at Rs 1 per kilogram.
The poor are getting better
facility. Chouhan while
addressing the meeting at
Heera Patli, where in-charge of
7 sectors in Chichouli, booth
in-charge and senior party
workers were present, said that
the victory of Mangal Singh
Durve at Ghoradongri by-election will guarantee the development in the area.
He further said that the
people have not yet forgotten
the conditions during the
Congress rule as they had to
suffer even for food, but now
they are provided with high
Chouhan also said that the
Congress has fallen out of the
minds of people due to lack of
thoughtfulness and inactivity.
This condition is not only in
Madhya Pradesh, but also
exists in other states of the
nation. During the Congress
rule the interest taken from
farmers were 18 per cent.
Today they are getting crops on
loan at 0 per cent interest.
Chouhan further continued stating that during the
Congress rule the bull carts,
tractors, bulls and other farming equipments used to get
attached due to their inability
to pay back the loan. The BJP
government has given them
respect and up lifted them
from their condition. The victory in Ghodadongri by-election would strength the Shivraj
Singh Chouhan government
which will ensure development.
Chouhan further said that
it is a matter of luck that the
people of the state have got BJP
as their government and a fine
leader like Shivraj Singh
State Food Minister Vijay
Shah, Betul district president
of BJP Jitendra Kapoor and
Party Candidate Mangal Singh
Durve addressed the meeting
were they insisted the party
workers to commit themselves
to their sector and booths
and turn this by-election into
ok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has
said that Kumbh symbolises purification of body, mind and thoughts. Path of
future is paved by purity of body and mind
and proximity of saints and seers. She said
that holding of Vichar Mahakumbh is continuation of glorious traditions of Indian
culture. Mahajan stated this while presiding over session of ''Right Way to Live” during International Vichar Mahakumbh at
Ninaura in Ujjain district on Saturday.
Mahajan said that spirit of developing
persons and presenting them to society is
intrinsic to Indian culture. She said that
Indian culture’s contribution to the world
is thousands of years old. Its contribution
would be worthwhile in sustainable development of the world in future as well.
Indian culture commands respect worldwide for its spirit of peaceful co-existence
and mutual cooperation.
Bhutan’s Minister for Information
and Broadcasting DN Thungwel said that
holding of Vichar Mahakumbh is a relevant effort. It is an opportune moment to
express views on current challenges.
He said that Indian culture is greatest
in the world which has rich heritage of
knowledge and philosophy. With this heritage, India should lead the world. He said
that gist of all religions is same. Love, harmony and cooperation are foundations of
Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Raghubar
Das said that through Vichar Mahakumbh,
Indian culture, spiritualism of ideologies
of saints and seers will get global recognition. He said that this Kumbh is biggest
congregation of human beings. Madhya
Pradesh government has made successful
effort to establish Indian culture on global platform through this.
ri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena
unveiled a statue of Dhammapathik
Anagarika Dharmapala at Sanchi on Saturday.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was also
present on the occasion. The statue is installed
on the premises of Mahabodhi Society of Sri
Lanka. Speaking on the occasion Sirisena
referred to the age old ties between India and
Sri Lanka and said that the relations would be
Sirisena said that he feel blessed to visit
Sanchi, the renowned Buddhist pilgrimage
centre. He thanked BJP Spokesperson Ram
Madhav for this. He expressed gratitude to the
Chief Minister Chouhan for establishing Sanchi
University of Buddhist and Induc Studies.
Welcoming the Sri Lankan President, the
Chief Minister said that a friendship park will
be developed near Sanchi University. Chouhan
Former Chairman of Nepal’s Council
of Ministers KR Regmi said that truth of
life is that all are good if you are good. A
person leads his life himself. He builds his
future through his mindset and conduct.
He said that views should be positive. One
should discard the things which he does
not like for himself.
Leader of Opposition in Sri Lanka R
Sampthan said that impact of personal
conduct is cast on entire society. Society
and culture are built through the moral
values we follow. World is for all and not
for a selected few. It is basis of life.
Economic, social and political arrangements, environment and culture are the
results of plurality.
Nepalese MP Mahant Thakur said that
India’s contribution to the world is greatest in spiritualism. Referring to IndoNepalese ties, he said that at present
Nepalese democracy is passing through a
phase of infection. Current problems are
being solved and nation is being re-built
through peaceful process.
Bangladeshi MP Sadhan Chandra
Majumdar while referring to Indo-Bangla
ties said that constant efforts are being
made in Bangladesh to ensure better life
of common people through effective
efforts in rural development, health, electrification and land management sectors.
said that a grand temple dedicated to Sitaji would
be built at the site where she had undergone
Angi Pariksha in Sri Lanka. Expenditure on this
would be borne by Madhya Pradesh government. Sri Lanka government has agreed to provide land for the temple, he added.
On reaching Sanchi from Ninaura the Sri
Lankan President Sirisena and Speaker of Sri
Lankan Parliament Karunaratna Jayasurya,
Chief Minister Chouhan visited Chaityagiri
temple and performed worship of holy relics of
Lord Buddha's disciples Mahamoggalayan and
Sariputta. Later they visited Sanchi Stupa.
Prominent among those present on the
occasion included Forest Minister Gaurishankar
Shejwar, Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice
Rajkumar Sudama, High Commissioners of Sri
Lanka and India and members of delegation that
accompanied Sirisena. Senior officers and followers of Bduddhism were also present in large
tion of these trees.
Chouhan said that the state
government would encourage
and promote Rishi farming.
Model farms would be developed in all the blocks. Madhya
Pradesh would be made an
organic farming state.
Sanitation would continue to
be promoted as a mass movement. Those having no individual toilets would be dis-
qualified to contest local body
elections. For this a law would
be introduced. Water structures
would be revived, he said.
The Chief Minister said
that the courses of primary and
middle classes would be suitably amended to include moral
education in them. Tenets of
the Gita, Upnishad and other
religious scriptures would be
included in moral education. A
eclining gender ratio in
India is a matter of concern. Curbing female foeticide, change in people’s mindset and women’s empowerment is must for girl’s protection and growth. In this regard,
Madhya Pradesh Government
is ensuring girls’ welfare with
sensitiveness. This was stated
Paramhans Dati Maharaj during Simhastha at Ujjain on
Dati Maharaj said that he
is working towards girls’ well
being for last 14 years. He has
set up Gurukul Ashram at Pali
in R ajasthan where 700
orphan girls are imbibing
education. He said that on
inspiration from his Guru
Mata, he has been working
towards curbing female foeticide and girls’ empowerment.
He also lends help for their
Dati Maharaj lauded
Madhya Pradesh government’s
schemes like Ladli Laxmi, Beti
Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah
He described these
schemes as important for girls’
well being. He said that he has
himself arranged marriages of
7000 girls of poor families.
Laying emphasis on framing
strict laws for girls’ protection,
Dati Maharaj said that governments and society must
join hands for this.
Sadhvi Guru Maiyya
Chandan Prabhagiri said that
after assuming upadhi of
Madhya Pradesh government’s
schemes for girl’s protection
and welfare are laudable. In this
regard, society should be awakened.
Only after this, discrimination between girls and boys
will end and people start giving girls equal status with boys
law would be enacted to curb
portrayal of women as a commodity. He said that it is society's responsibility to protect
dignity and honour of women.
Small and cottage industries
would be promoted. He said
that the Universal Declaration
of Simhastha would be sent to
the UN and Chief Ministers of
all the States.
fX[[STR[PaTaTbd[cb^U2[Pbb 7B2Q^PaSTgP\b^]<Ph %Pc#
hief Minister Shviraj Singh
Chouhan in his address at
the concluding session of the
Mahakumbh at Ninhora in
Ujjain on Saturday said that
furthering the tradition of
issues, brainstorming has been
going on in Madhya Pradesh by
eminent scholars and saints at
the seminars organised by State
Government during last two
years. Their suggestions and
conclusions have been summarised in the form of the 51point Universal Message of
Simhastha. He announced that
implementation of these recommendations will start from
Madhya Pradesh. The State
Government is going to set up
a Ministry of Happiness. This
will work towards evolving
measures to make life more fulfilling and blissful.
Chouhan said that climate
change is the biggest problem.
Rivers are drying up. The State
government would take measures for conservation of
Narmada and Kshipra. In the
presence of saints a river conservation awareness campaign
will be launched from Dev
Amarkantak. Plantation would
be carried out with active cooperation of people. Farmers
would be encourage to plant
fruit bearing trees. The farmers would be paid compensation for crop loss since planta-
nabbed by the police.
Shariq was booked for
stealing vehicles in the past by
Habibganj, Nishatpura, Talaiya,
Koh-e-Fiza and Teelajamalpura
police. During the investigation
Shariq confessed that he had
stolen a scooter from
Habibganj and a Maruti Van
from parking of Mahindra
showroom at Hoshangabad
road. After the van was stolen
chassis number of the van was
painted and another chassis
number was pasted below driver’s seat and was sold to Abdul
Mujeeb of Gauharganj who
used chassis number of his car
in the van later Mujeeb sold the
van to Mahesh Lohwanshi of
Mujeeb and Mahesh were
detained later and they confessed
buying the car. Police said
Shariq has confessed about two
accomplices Saud and Guddu
who are missing and search for
the two has been started.
hree vehicle-lifters were
nabbed by crime branch
Bhopal and recovered three
vehicles worth 2.65 lakh from
their possession from Kamla
Park area on Friday.
Acting on a tip off a man
with a black coloured scooter
near Kamla Park roaming suspiciously was detained and
when he was quizzed regarding
the scooter he was not able to
provide documents but the
miscreant failed to provide
and after failing to provide satisfactory answer he tried to
escape but was chased down.
The miscreant was identified as Shariq Hasan a resident
of Talaiya area who confessed
stealing of the scooter from
Fatehgarh area in the year
2011 and as he required money
he was searching for customer
to sell the scooter but before he
could sell the scooter he was
hief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has
expressed gratitude to the eminent scholars, thinkers and realised saints from all over
India and world expressed their views and gave
suggestions. He said that he is extremely
grateful to them for the deliberations on the topics namely Value Based Live, Religion for
Human Welfare, Science and Spirituality,
Climate Change, Women Empowerment,
Cottage Industry, Sustainable Agriculture and
The Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
has said that in keeping with the age old tradition of holding deliberations during
Simhastha on matters relevant to human kind
on the banks of sacred Ksipra river, Government
of Madhya Pradesh organized international
conference on Living the Right Way from 12th
May to 14th May, 2016 at Ninora, Ujjain.
The Universal Mesage of Simhastha was
released for entire world by the Prime Minister
Narendra Modi at the concluding session of
three-day International Vichar Mahakumbh on
The Chief Minister expressed deep gratitude to Sarsanghchalak Mohan Rao Bhagwat
for his invaluable guidance at the inaugural session. He also thanked the Prime Minister
Narendra Modi for his inspiration to organize
this event and releasing the Simhastha Universal
Chouhan said that the recommendations
and suggestions received in Vichar Mahakumbh
and also in earlier conferences have been summarized in the form of Universal Message of
Simhastha 2016. He said that he trust that values and principles contained in the Message will
help human kind live a fulfilling life.
17>?0; kBD=30H k<0H $! %
rime branch Bhopal nabbed
two gamblers placing and
accepting bets on the ongoing
IPL T20 matches from JK road
area on Friday and recovered
betting slips having transactions
of Rs 5 lakh, seven mobile
phones, one LED TV and two set
to boxes from their possession.
Acting on a tip off two miscreants were nabbed from Old
Minal Residency at JK Road
who were accepting and placing bets on the ongoing IPL
T20 matches and recovered
electronic goods used in betting, betting slips and mobile
The two were identified as
Rajendra Sharma (50) and
Prayag Godle (28).
In the initial investigation
it was found that the two are
involved in betting for long.
Transactions over Rs 5 lakh
were found in the investigation
said the police.
The house is owned by
Rajesh while Prayag is a resident of Ashoka Garden. The
main accused among the
nabbed accused were identified
Nabbed accused would be
questioned regarding their
involvement in the gambling
and those who are involved in
placing their bets.
A case under Gambling
Act has been registered against
the nabbed accused.
Mobile phones recovered
from the miscreants would be
searched as details of gamblers
placing bets could be obtained
from the mobile phones.
At the time of the raid
police caught the two red handed accepting and placing bets
over mobile phones.
During the investigation
police have not found involvement of the two in other crimes
and the past crime record of the
two would be searched in the
From Page 1
Indore recorded day temperature at 41.6 degree Celsius while
the night temperature was recorded at 24.4 degree Celsius.
Jabalapur recorded day temperature at 44.1 degree Celsius while
the the night temperature was recorded at 28.6 degree Celsius.
In the past 24 hours, Rewa, Shahdol and Ujjain divisions witnessed significant rise in the temperatures.
unjab Chief Minister
Parkash Singh Badal on
Saturday described the decision
of the AAP to gherao his residence in Chandigarh as “useless and undemocratic” and
alleged the sole motive of the
party is to spread “disharmony”
in the State.
Asserting that the doors of
his house “are open for people
across political parties and
common man for the betterment of the State,” he asked the
AAP leaders and others to discuss issues of Punjab with him.
“When the doors are open
round the clock, the need to
gherao residence is useless,
without any essence and undemocratic,” Badal said.
Terming the approach of
the AAP as a “move of anarchist”, he said, “this undemocratic behaviour will not do
any good to the state. It can
increase people’s problems,”
adding, “the sole motive of the
AAP is to spread disharmony
in state, which will not be tolerated at any cost.”
AAP’s youth wing has
decided to gherao Badal’s residence on May 16 to protest
“anti-people and anti-farmers
polices” of the SAD-BJP
Addressing people during
sangat darshan programme,
the Chief Minister said that the
Congress and the AAP have an
“unholy alliance” in Punjab
to “poach on the developmental swing”.
Condemning both the parties for their “anti-Punjab” stand
on the issue of state’s river
waters, Badal alleged they were
trying to “rob the State” of its
waters. On Sutlej-Yamuna Link
Canal issue, he alleged that the
Congress has always committed
“wrong” over the State’s waters.
Haryana, Rajasthan or any
other State did not have any
right over State’s waters but the
Congress “illegally” gave water
to these States.
Alleging that the Congress
and the AAP are against the
state’s development, Badal said
SYL is not only related to
farming sector, as taking away
of water rights will not only
sound death knell for the farmers, but for the entire economy
From Page 1
on its way to Andhra
Pradesh for distributing to
branches in Visakhapatanam.
But they did not have all the
With a record of over Rs
100 crore having been already
seized by the ECI's flying
squads since the Model Code
of Conduct came into effect following the declaration of the
election, the whopping cash
surely did add to the anxiety of
one and all. And agencies like
the Income Tax Department
got into the action mode.
But ECI officials heaved a
sigh of relief that the 45-day-long
high-pitch campaign ended on
a peaceful note without any
major incidence of violence.
Political observers in Tamil
Nadu, nevertheless, rate the
2016 Assembly elections campaign a low-key affair compared to the past elections in
the State. "The long campaign
wore out the party workers.
The important point is that the
two prominent players in the
election, Jayalalithaa and
Karunanidhi did not travel
much this time. This resulted
in the cancellation of many
street corner meetings, a
unique feature in Tamil Nadu,"
Dr Sumant Raman, medical
doctor-turned-political commentator told The Pioneer.
Other than M K Stalin of the
DMK and Anbumani Ramadoss
of the PMK, no senior leaders hit
the roads this time. In earlier
elections, both Jayalalithaa and
Karunanidhi used to travel
extensively in the State and
address even street corner meetings. This time they restricted
their campaigns to district and
Television was effectively
used by all the main characters
in the play. Ramadoss stood out
for his unique style of campaign, whose adverts looked
like high pitch sales promos.
On the last day of campaigning, 93-year-old chief of the
DMK, M Karunanidhi, made a
passionate plea to the people of
Tamil Nadu to defeat the
AIADMK by recalling his midnight arrest in 2001. His voice,
already slurred because of the
advanced age, choking with
emotions, Karunanidhi said,
"Even today I do not know why
I was arrested in the night 15
years ago. Jayalalithaa was having her personal vendetta against
me. You, the people of Tamil
Nadu should teach the
AIADMK and its leader
Jayalalithaa a lesson so that such
things do not happen in future."
His third wife Rajathi Ammal
looked on with tears-filled eyes.
The DMK patriarch too was seen
breaking down in the course of
his speech which earned him a
good lot of sympathy.
ver 9,500 people, including nine
MLAs and one MP, were arrested
in the State on Saturday and a few incidents of violence marred a shutdown
called by the JMM and other
Opposition parties against the State
Government’s domicile policy. Protests
were noticeable, especially in
Jamshedpur, where bandh supporters
torched a passenger bus and wrecked
another. Miscreants threw a petrol
bomb on a truck coming in from
Andhra Pradesh via NH-33, injuring its
driver and cleaner who were rushed to
Protestors blocked the thoroughfare
at Dimna Chowk and damaged vehicles
which tried to go through their blockade.
Although some trouble-mongers
tried to violate peace in the area, they
were arrested straightaway, stated East
Singhbhum SP Anup T Matthew. With
1422 prohibitory detentions, the district
registered the highest number of arrests
in the State during the bandh. Bandh
enforcers in Bokaro set ablaze another
truck near Jaina More and stopped
Barkakana-Gomo Passenger train at
Bermo-Bhandaridih, stopping railway
traffic on the rail route. Those in
Giridih blocked Grand Trunk Road,
resulting in long queues of commercial
vehicles waiting to enter the district.
About 1,080 agitators were detained
from the district.
Passengers looking to board a bus
to other States or districts had to face
difficulties too, with only half the travel agencies willing to ply vehicles with
bandh in effect. “I am hard pressed to
find a bus to Ramgarh after coming all
the way from Chennai,” said Sanjay
Kumar Ravi, a CISF personnel waiting
at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda bus terminal.
The shutdown affected normal life
in Jharkhand. Shops, schools and colleges were closed.
The State Capital remained mostly untouched by any violence. Apart
from scattered reports of hooliganism,
police forces deployed in Ranchi had a
rather dull day. Drone cameras and
equestrian squads were deployed to
keep an eye on the Mahatma Gandhi
Marg, the central artery of the city
where trouble was expected the most.
“Law and order prevails in the State.
the foot down on the ground,"
Modi said the Declaration,
referred to as "Amrit Bindu",
was a result of concerted efforts
over two years during which
experts deliberated on various
issues. "If all these powers,
including saints and those
working selflessly for the society, walk in a single direction
then they can bring a major
change in the society, and in
that, these 51-points, in the
days to come will play a major
role, especially for people of
India and the world," Modi
Emphasising that Indians
were always ready to sacrifice
for the sake of others, Modi
cited the example of LPG subsidy. "I just once asked my people those who are well off to
give up their LPG subsidy.
And more than one crore people have already given it up, so
that thousands of poor families
can get LPG connection," Modi
The PM said that this move
will also protect environment
(by avoiding cutting of trees)
Protests are being carried out in a peaceful manner. Those crossing the line are
being dealt with appropriately,” stated
DGP DK Pandey during his rounds of
the Ranchi during the bandh. “More
than 60,000 police personnel and paramilitary forces were deployed to maintain peace in Jharkhand during
protests,” said ADG (Operations) SN
A total of 9,518 bandh supporters
were arrested by 6 pm on prohibitory
grounds from 22 districts where the
bandh was in effect. The list of political detainees included Lok Sabha MP
from Rajmahal constituency Vijay
Hansda and nine MLAs, namely
From Page 1
Sirisena said that his first
overseas visit after being elected President last year was to
India, and that Modi reciprocated with his visit later.
Modi said one of the
major issues faced by the
world is conflict management
but the Indians know how to
resolve the conflict and cited
mythology to underscore his
"But we (Indians) inherit
conflict management skills
..Indians worship Lord Ram for
his obedience and loyalty to his
father and in the same breath
glorify Prahlad who disobeyed
his father. The same way Sita
and Mira are also worshipped,
which shows that people here
are well adept at conflict management," he said, adding what
the world was doing today,
Indians have been practising
"World Earth Day is
observed (globally). In India,
when a child wakes up in the
morning, his or her mother
asks them to seek forgiveness
from the earth before putting
and check global warming. A
woman inhales smoke of 400
cigarettes a day while cooking
food by wood. Empowering
them with cooking gas cylinders will improve their lot.
Speaking of the arrangements, including connectivity,
for hundreds of thousands of
devotees, Modi said that
Kumbh management is a great
case study for world institutions.
In an apparent reference to
the US presidential polls
underway, he said that candidates running elections in
developed countries were fighting on the plank of family values. "They were giving pre-eminence to family values in their
campaign (now)," he added.
Whereas in India, when a
child is born, he or she is from
the beginning itself brought up
with certain values and principles.
Simhastha Kumbh Mela is
one of world's largest spirtual
gatherings held once in 12
years when lakhs of devotees,
including hundreds of sadhus,
take dip in river Kishipra.
Stephen Marandi, Shashibhushsan
Samad, Anil Murmu, Jagannath Mahto,
Jaiprakash Bhai Patel, Devendra Mahto,
Dashrath Gagrai, Arup Chatterji and
Ravindra Nath Mahto.
JMM vice-president Champai Soren
was arrested from Hilingora village in
East Singhbhum, who rated the bandh
“We had received Intelligence
Bureau reports declaring that violent
demonstrations, extensive property
destruction, arson and hindering traffic were being planned during the
course of protests. Considering this, SPs
of all districts were alerted to keep an
eye on such incidents and their perpetrators,” stated Pradhan.
The JMM called the bandh a “historically successful” one and reiterated
its demand that the Government should
nullify the present domicile policy
without further delay and draft a new
one conforming to the expectations and
of people of Jharkhand. “The support
extended by the people has been
unprecedented since Jharkhand was
carved out of Bihar,” the party stated
through a Press communique.
“Extensive arrangements to mitigate the
effects of bandh are indications of the
State Government’s failure and desperation,” stated JMM leader Supriyo
“The measures taken to suppress
the peaceful protests will result in dire
crisis for the Government,” he warned.
The JMM has called the bandh in
protest against the State’s recently
announced domicile policy that defines,
among other criteria, that anybody who
has lived in Jharkhand for thirty or more
years for business, employment or any
other reason and has immovable property
will be considered as a resident of the State.
The JMM demands that 1932 survey should be made the cut off mark for
eligibility of being a resident. The
Congress, the RJD, the JVM and Left
parties have supported the shutdown.
ampaigning for Monday's
election to the 140-memC
ber Kerala Assembly came to a
close on Saturday with the
three main political fronts,
other smaller parties and supporters of prominent
Independent candidates staging
enthusiastic shows of strength
across the State with spirited
by percussion ensemble and
presentations of art forms.
Late Saturday evening saw
the 1,203 candidates in the
fray going into silent mode of
vote-canvassing by carrying
out door-to-door visits and
meeting friends, acquaintances
and others at wherever this was
possible. The exercise would
continue till the start of polling
on Monday morning and election officials said they were
closely watching the situation in
order to avoid illegal practices.
Leaders of the three main
fronts — Congress-led ruling
UDF, CPI(M)— headed
Opposition LDF and BJP-led
NDA - said they were confident of victory in the election,
one of the mist crucial in
Unlike in the previous
polls, tough triangular fights
are being witnessed in a large
number of constituencies,
thanks to the "now-or-never"
fighting mood being shown by
Most pre-poll surveys have
predicted victory for LDF but
there were differences in the
prediction of number of seats.
Many surveys tended to agree
that the BJP would "open
account" in the Assembly with
this election. The number of
seats expected to be won by the
DA as per surveys varied
between three and five but
BJP leaders refused to agree
with the projection.
The UDF, which came to
power after the 2011 election
with a wafer-thin majority of
just two seats, disagreed with
the survey results. "The UDF is
facing the election with
absolute confidence. We will
win more seats than we had
won last time," Congress Chief
Minister Oommen Chandy
said in Kottayam on Saturday.
"The election is sure to
bring the good times back,"
said CPI(M) Politbureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, projected by many as the Left's CM
candidate, while 93-year-old
Opposition Leader VS
Achuthanandan, the Left's star
campaigner, said, "This election
will purify Kerala's socio-political atmosphere that has been
polluted by the graft-ridden
Both the UDF and the Left
firmly ruled out the possibility of the NDA winning even a
single seat. However,
State chief of the BJP, which is
fighting this time not just to
open account but to become a
decisive force in the State's
legislature process, said that
their target of winning 71plus seats was perfectly in tune
with the reality of this election.
As many as 120 companies
of Central forces have been
deployed, mainly in northern
Kerala districts where trouble
during polling is expected. The
Election Commission has identified 1,233 of the total 21,400odd booths in the State to be
sensitive and 711 of them as
critically sensitive. Counting of
votes will take place on May 19.
This was the longest-ever
campaigning period the political parties in Kerala have ever
got in the history of elections.
They had got a total of 70 days
for preparations for polls and
indirect and direct campaigning as the Election Commission
had announced the schedule
for the May 19 polls as early as
on March 4.
head of the visit of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi
to the city next month on
International Yoga Day, the
third day of the Yoga
Orientation programme on
Saturday saw participation of
more than 800 yoga trainers.
Anurag Agarwal, Home
Administration and Amit
Talwar, Additional Deputy
Commissioner, along with
other officials of the
were present during the orientation programme.
Experts of various Yoga
organisations like Patanjali Yog
Peeth, Art of Living, Isha
Foundation, Brahmrishi Yoga
training college, Chandigarh
Yog Sabha, Yoga Federation of
India, Yog Vidya Maha Samiti,
Friends of Yoga, Bharti Yog
Sansthan etc have been attending the orientation Programme
for last two days.
Agarwal appreciated the
efforts of all the participants,
and appealed to all residents
of Chandigarh to participate
with full vigour to make
International Yoga Day a huge
He also mentioned that
200 training venues have been
identified all over the city
where master trainers shall
provide the training to city residents and Chandigarh
Administration is developing a
mobile application to register
participants for the event.
Later during the day, a
review meeting was held with
Ajit Balaji Joshi Deputy
Commissioner along with all the
members of core team at the
Control Room. During the
meeting, Joshi, said that the
online registrations for the
camps to be held from May 21
in various locations should
begin from May 17. Faculties
from the College of Arts shared
the creatives for the social media
and print media campaigns.
A control room has been
set up at the DC office,
Chandigarh to monitor and
coordinate the plan of event.
The Deputy Commissioner
suggested that different online
competitions should be
of yoga postures and Yoga
Anthem, Tagline etc. Yoga
training would be imparted to
the specially abled citizens of
the city as well.
17>?0; kBD=30H k<0H $! %
medical doctor, Jalees
Ansari, who was the masA
termind behind a series of
bomb blasts in five trains on the
intervening night of December
5-6, 1993, coinciding with the
first anniversary of the Babri
Majid demolition, has been
sentenced to life by the
Supreme Court along with
nine others. The blasts resulted in two deaths and 22 persons were injured.
The 59-year old Jalees who
is lodged at Central Jail, Ajmer
for the past 22 years is wanted
in over 60 cases of light intensity bomb blasts and is even
being probed for planting
bombs in Malegaon. He widely became known in terror
circles as “Dr Bomb” as after
abandoning his medical practice he trained youngsters to
make bombs and even coordi-
nated blasts across various
trains and railway stations to
avenge for the Babri Masjid
The TADA court in Ajmer
had sentenced Ansari and 13
others on February 28, 2004,
establishing their role in the
train blasts. Dismissing the
appeals filed by 10 of the
accused, the Apex Bench of
Justices FM Ibrahim Kalifulla
and UU Lalit upheld their
conviction and acquitted four
others on the ground that
proper sanction from the
police authorities was lacking
under the Terrorists and
Dealing with the investigation by the Central Bureau of
Investigation, the Bench was
convinced that Ansari was the
“mastermind” and “main architect” of the conspiracy hatched
by him to plant bombs across
five trains on the night of
December 5-6, 1993 to send a
chilling reminder to the nation
on the anniversary of Babri
The blasts occurred in
three Rajdhani trains and two
express trains which included
Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani,
Q CWTC030R^dacX]0Y\TaWPSbT]cT]RTS0]bPaXP]S "^cWTab^]
Q 1TU^aTWXbPaaTbcX]9P]dPah ((#b^\T^UcWTPRR^\_[XRTbWTcaPX]TS
New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani,
Mumbai Rajdhani, Flying
Queen and AP Express. The
accused even planted a bomb
in another train which did not
explode. The two casualties
were reported from the AP
Express blast as the bomb went
off in the general compartment
of the train. Cases were registered
Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and
Lucknow but all cases were
together heard and decided
by the Ajmer court.
The prosecution case led
by advocate PK Dey for CBI in
Supreme Court informed the
Court that Ansari was in touch
with several trainers and had
even received training in
Pakistan for bomb making.
He was a practicing doctor at
Gulbarga, Karnataka but got
influenced to take up militancy following the Babri Masjid
incident. He roped in a
homoeopathic doctor and a
former lecturer in executing his
plans. They too were found to
be equally guilty in the crime
by the Supreme Court, which
punished them with life term.
According to the statement of co-accused, Ansari
was called “Doctor” and he
taught the accused how to prepare tiffin box bombs using
TNT and gelatin sticks connected with watch timer
devices to carry out low intensity blasts. Before his arrest in
January 1994, some of the
accomplices he trained went on
to become key operators supplying logistics and ammunition to Indian Mujahideen
(IM), the group which was
instrumental behind carrying
out a series of blasts in Delhi
and north Indian States. One
such accomplice was Irfan
Ahmed, who was arrested
along with Ansari but jumped
parole. He was later arrested in
June 2015 by the Delhi Police
Special Cell and was found to
be the IM head in Nepal.
tating that Congress opposition to the Goods and
Services Tax (GST) Bill was
“political”, the Government on
Saturday said the legislation will
be put to vote in the next
Parliament session “even if
Congress continues to oppose it”.
In an interview with All
India Radio (AIR), Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
maintained that it had been a
testing proposition as far as
“reforms” are concerned. The
Finance Minister said he is
trying his best to make
Congress come around on the
GST Bill but would put it to
vote in the next Parliament session even if the Congress continues to oppose it.
“Only one political party,
the Congress, and that’s a political Opposition. That’s not an
ideological Opposition. I am
trying my best to talk to them,
so that they can come around.
And if they don’t, then, we’ll
have no option but to put it to
vote,” Jaitley told AIR.
Replying to a question on
Direct Benefit Transfer scheme
(DBT), the Minister said
Government is not cutting
subsidies but rationalising
them. Jaitley elaborated that the
objective of the Government is
to ensure that the subsidies
reach the poor.
Asserting that DBT was
successfully implemented in
LPG distribution, he pointed
out that it is being tried in other
areas like fertiliser and food.
“We’re not cutting subsidies. We are rationalising them.
Subsidies must reach the vulnerable. Subsidies must only
reach the poor. Thats the objective of the Government. And
therefore, in LPG, we’ve successfully implemented it. And
I think the next stage is that
we’re trying other areas like fertiliser and food—pilot schemes,
whether similar schemes are
possible or not, “ the Minister
On job creation, the
Minister acknowledged that
jobs are being created in start
ups and IT sector, but
impressed that it is manufacturing sector which can create
more jobs. He said within
manufacturing sector, textile
and clothing are job creators.
Observing that the reforms
process has continued this year,
he said the enactment of the
Bankrupcy Law will lead to
upward movement regarding
India’s ranking. But he also
noted that the most important
area affecting India’s ranking is
the construction, building and
real estate sector. He said these
reforms have to take place at
the level of States.
onsoon is set to hit the
Nicobar Islands in the
next 2-3 days. According to
Department (IMD), the conditions are becoming favourable
for the onset of south west
monsoon over South Bay of
Bengal, South Andaman Sea
?C8 and the Nicobar Islands during
the next 2 to 3 days. However,
there are still few weeks to go,
before monsoon enters the
Indian mainland of Kerala.
According to sources in
IMD, a cyclonic circulation
extending up to 3.1 kilometer
above mean sea level, is lying
over the South-West Bay of
However, Indian private Bengal adjoining the equatorreceived many letters from
VIPs expressing concern about Defence industry is divided over ial Indian ocean, off the coast
hile making strategic part- proposed strategic partner- the issue with some big players of South Sri Lanka. As a result
nerships for key projects ships. He said many a time the batting for it while others push- of this, a low pressure area is
in the Defence sector, the letters had similar content, ing to delay it by at least five likely to form by Saturday,
Government will take into which showed that at times the years. Parrikar has already held
account the concerns raised by VIPs were signing off letters a round of talks with the industry chambers over the issue.
the industry regarding such written by some other party.
Meanwhile, he said the
“Their concerns are well
tie-ups, Defence Minister
Manohar Parrikar said here on expressed. We are taking into Government is pushing for
Saturday. He also said the account those concerns. We are Defence exports and plan to ?8>=44A=4FBB4AE824Q
Governemnt aims to raise soon sitting for second round export Tejas fighter aircraft as =4F34;78
India’s defence exports to $2 bil- of small groups (to discuss well.
“I know it is not easy.
lion in the next two years from strategic partnerships). I intend
s many as 900 employees
the current over $330 million. to take up strategic partnership Weapons and export of Defence
working across 18 different
The Minister took a dig at model further and work out goods have double problems. job roles in the Rashtrapati
Defence players who were object- strategic partnerships in couple One is whom you are export- Bhavan became the latest to
ing to proposed strategic part- of projects where otherwise ing to and the second is one has receive training under the
to go on checking all interna- Government’s flagship National
nerships and said it seems they there is no solution,” he said.
The Minister said he would tional requirements,” he said.
have realised that they will not be
Skill Development Mission.
Explaining that push for They were given certificates on
able to “go through the window.” love to follow the already estabMaking this observation at a lished model (of tendering) but exports has started showing completion of their training by
seminar, he said “after the win- there are problems. “How do results, he said, “from a mea- President Pranab Mukherjee
dows have been well defined, you compare one fighter with gre 140-150 million dollars, this on Saturday.
(some) people, who have realised any fighter,” he said. Former year, I think we have crossed
Since skilled labourers are
they would not be able to go DRDO chief VK Aatre had 330 odd million dollars. We employed at Rashtrapati
through the window, have start- earlier this year submitted a have doubled the export.
Bhavan to maintain the
I have set a target for grandeur and magnificence of
ed canvassing that the Defence report to the Defence Ministry
Ministry is facing problems over recommending guidelines for myself. In the next two years, the building and its surroundselecting domestic private firms why not touch $2 billion. It is ings, the need was felt to train
not an impossible target.”
Parrikar said he had for strategic partnership.
them in order to ascertain
which will be further well
marked and subsequently
become a depression during
next 48 hours, around May 16.
The normal date for the
arrival of South-West monsoon in Nicobar Islands is
May 15, and that in Andaman
Islands is May 20. The first
pulse of winds is expected to
result in before time onset of
monsoon at Andaman islands.
However, the onset at the
Kerala coast will depend upon
the second pulse, said the
Skymet, country’s private
weather forecaster also shared
IMD’s prediction, stating that
rain clouds will be over the
islands between May 18 and
May 20. Thereafter, Southwest
Monsoon is likely to arrive over
Kerala between May 28 and May
30, simultaneously covering
some parts of Northeast India.
Skymet further predicted
that, monsoon will move faster
in the eastern part of the country, as compared to the western
parts. Rain clouds are expected to reach Kolkata by June 10,
Mumbai by June 12-14 June,
and Delhi by July 1.
Advancement of monsoon
over Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh
and Uttar Pradesh, and the
adjoining States will occur by
June 25. Monsoon will cover the
entire country by 15 July, except
west Rajasthan, it predicted.
IMD will however make a
formal announcement on the
onset date of the monsoon
over Kerala on May 15. As per
the weather scientists, the
ongoing heatwave across central and northern India is a
positive indicator for the
advancement of monsoon over
IMD had earlier forecast
above-normal rainfall, this
monsoon with a 94 per cent
probability of its occurrence
between normal to excess.
Minister of State for Skill
Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap
Rudy said that since a beginning has been made at the
President’s House, it will
“inspire organizations in government and industry to get
skill certification of their workforce done”.
Also present at the func?aTbXST]c?aP]PQ<dZWTaYTTPccWTATR^V]XcX^]^U?aX^a;TPa]X]VA?;RTacXUXRPcX^]^UcWT(T\_[^hTTb^UAPbWcaP_PcX
tion was Chairman of National
?C8 Skill Development Corporation
(NSDC) S Ramadorai and
whether their skills meet the (PMKVY) that is currently on assistants, data entry operators, NSDC CEO Jayant Krishna.
standards of their job profile. between April 11 and May 31. cooks and laundry men among More than 2 lakh enrolments
Henceforth, jobs such as others, employed at Rashtrapati have been done across 27 states
They were trained under the
Government programme gardeners, drivers, room atten- Bhawan will require to get cer- under RPL across 132 active
Recognition of Prior Learning dants, housekeeping, electrical tification under this pro- job roles out of which 86 per
cent have already completed
(RPL) under the Pradhan works, plumbers, carpenters, gramme.
Speaking at the occasion, their training.
Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana painters, security guards, office
‘Baba’ meditated in a
standing ‘Mudra’ with both
legs wrapped around each other
under a massive tree across the
river Kshipra as a stream of visitors continued to take their
holy dips with ‘a myriad wish
list during the month-long
‘Simhastha Kumbh’—an undefined and unrestricted religious and spiritual experience.
It was the Baba’s way of interfacing with the Kumbh . For the
pilgrims, it was a leap of faith
that the sacred water would
wash away their ‘sins’, ‘sorrows’,
attain them peace or perhaps
‘Mokhsa’ or ‘Nirvana’— in the
slow moving oxygenated water
simmering bright in the reflected coloured lights. The extravaganza formally came to a close
The ‘Ghats’, buildings and
structures on the two sides of
Kshipra which may have experienced foot-falls of thousands
of generations, emerge as witness to the centuries elapsed
behind, ensuring in their silence
to be there in times ahead.
Fitting ‘the scheme of eternity’ for Ujjain, the ancient city,
celebrating the ‘Simhastha’ that
coincides with Jupiter’s ascend
into the Sun sign Leo’s quarter
— is the seat of divine
‘Mahakal— the Lord of all
times— residing in Ram Ghat,
ever overlooking Ujjain from
the other side of the river.
While one takes a leisure-
ly walk and passes through the
sleeping Baba, his face barely
noticeable in the dim street
light, another smiling ‘Sadhu’,
a naked one, breezes past on a
motorbike with a pillion rider
on the bridge over Kshipra
river. All the while an incognito
mix of rich and poor, the technocrats, businessmen, bureaucrats, engineers, doctors ,journalists and actors, take their
turn to hold their nose and take
a quick or a long dip in the
Kshipra waters with many an
expressions betraying ‘an
instant connect and attainment of purpose-may be the
peace of mind’.
The barricaded Ujjain
Kumbh city is dealing with
lakhs of devotees who want to
have their date with the once in
12 years event as hordes of
police force at different crosssections and diversions managing the face-less devotees
marching on foot to the river
bank and the temples dotting
around it. Night breaks into
another day and a scorching
Sun dominates the sky as a
group of saffron-clad dwarfs
holding each-others hand
move in the market streets
singing ‘Bhajans’ and begging
alms. (Their songs telling some
story and reminds one of
Kalidas, the famed Sanskrit
play write of Ujjain, who
penned the love story of King
Dushyanta and Shakuntala.)
The city of legendary
Vikramaditya, one of the
mightiest kings of ancient India
who established ‘Vikram
Samvat’ — the lunar calendar
based on Hindu Samvat—is
also experiencing ‘modern
kings and king makers’ — the
VVIPS stepping out of their
cars and soaking in the everlasting religious and spiritual
spirit of the Kumbh.
Sirens of the VVIP motorcade only add to the undefined
diversity that is represented in
‘Simhastha Kumbh’ as political
heavyweights of all hues Pow
Vow with the heads of 13
Akharas (wrestling arenas), saints
of a range of Hindu sects and
other religious or spiritual heads.
There seem to be no fullstops in the Kumbh comlexity.
There are rock star looking
Sadhus with stylish long welltied ash-golden tresses (giving
impression being streaked)
playing with the river water ,
another set meditating in their
camps and yet another bunch
of ‘Gurujis’ updating their websites with details of how many
VIPs they met during the dayprovide ‘Kumbh’ its ancient and
modern dimensions and generate international traction.
If there is a ‘Baba’ all aloof
in the milling crowd sleeping in
standing yogic mudra, there are
other ‘Sadhus’ happy taking
selfies with ‘important figures’.
For the overtly devote and
religious multitude it is a complete surrender to the ‘Kumbh’
ambience and its magnitude.
The march of common men,
women, senior citizens and
children in the vast Kumbh
Mela area was without and
trappings or comforts. The
blazing Sun in Ujjain is not
stopping people from visiting
different Kumbh pavilions,
Akharas, shops, exhibitions
and book stalls — many by
‘Gita Publication’— and entertainment centres.
As one chases a programme of a political leader ,
a boisterous procession of
‘Kinnars’ (transgender) passes
by with some holding swords.
This is for the first time transgender have participated in
any Kumbh in an organised
There is no ‘NO’ to nothing in the Hindu traditions. In
the Kala Bhairava Temple in
Ujjain, the main offering to the
presiding deity is not the usual
coconuts or flowers, but bottles
of liquor, says a priest nonchalantly and moves on with his
daily chores. At the same time
,there is a ‘Baba’ busy in a political meetings while his bigbeautiful German shepherd is
at peace with himself in a
milling crowd of political
workes close to Balmiki Ghat.
Unified with the traditions
and beliefs of the Indian culture
as enshrined in ‘Sanatan
Dharm’ (eternal religion), the
spontaneous gathering of religious , non-religious, theists or
atheists, logical or illogical,
‘Prakritik’ (natural) or
‘Aprakritk (unnatural)— all
seem to have merged to be
‘One’ in the unstructured and
unlimited entity — the
New Delhi: India has signed
an agreement with the World
Health Organisation for cooperation in promoting traditional medicine, a move which
will deliver for the first time
WHO benchmark document
for training in yoga, ayurveda,
unani and panchakarma.
"AYUSH Ministry and
WHO have signed a historic
Agreement (PCA) for cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of
service provision in traditional and complementary medicine," an official statement
The PCA was signed by
AYUSH Ministry secretary
Ajit M Sharan and Marie
Kieny, Assistant Director
General, Health Systems and
Innovations, WHO in Geneva
The agreement titled 'Cooperation on promoting the
quality, safety and effectiveness
of service provision in traditional and complementary
medicine between WHO and
AYUSH, India, 2016-2020',
aims to support WHO in the
development and implementation of the 'WHO Traditional
and Complementary Medicine
It will also contribute to
the global promotion of traditional Indian systems of medicine.
"The PCA for the period
2016-2020 will deliver for the
first time WHO benchmark
document for training in Yoga
and WHO benchmarks for
practice in Ayurveda, Unani
"These will contribute significantly in strengthening of
national capacities in ensuring
quality, safety and effectiveness
of traditional medicine including in establishing regulatory
frameworks for traditional
medicine products and practice and promote their integration in national healthcare
systems," the statement said.
Minister of State for
AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik
WWHO Margaret Chan witnessed the agreement signing
ceremony at the WHO headquarters.
Speaking at a reception
hosted by India, Naik recalled
the long history and rich heritage of traditional medicine in
India and its growing relevance
in providing holistic and comprehensive health care. PTI
17>?0; kBD=30H k<0H $! %
?=B Q =4F34;78
ttributing mounting bad
loans to economic sluggishness, Finance Ministry's
annual report has said gross
(GNPAs) of banks could soar to
6.9 per cent by March 2017 in
a ‘severe stress scenario’. The
gross NPA of the scheduled
commercial banks, which was
5.14 per cent at the end of
September 2015, may rise to 5.4
per cent by September 2016, it
said quoting a RBI report.
“If the macro-economic
conditions deteriorate, the
GNPA ratio may increase further, and it could rise to around
6.9 per cent by March 2017
under a severe stress scenario,”
said the Finance Ministry's
2015-16 Annual Report.
The Capital to Risk Asset
Ratio (CRAR), an indicator of
bank’s capital adequacy, could
decline to 10.4 per cent by
March 2017 from 12.7 per cent
as of September 2015, it said.
According to the report, the
main reasons for increase in
NPAs of banks include sluggishness in domestic growth
during the recent past, slowdown in recovery in the global
economy and continuing uncertainty in the global markets
leading to lower exports of various products like textile, engi-
neering goods, leather, gems.
Besides external factors, it
said, ban in mining projects,
delay in clearance of projects in
power and steel sector, volatility in prices of raw material and
shortage of power have impacted operations in infrastructure
sectors, which were aggressively funded by the banks in
The infrastructure sector
lending had a major bearing on
the PSU banks, the report said,
adding the loan requirements
are such that “only big public
sector banks could assume
exposure under the consortium arrangements.”
In order to address the
NPA situation, the report said
Government has taken sector
specific measures in identified
areas like road, steel, power
and textiles. It is also setting
up six new Debt Recovery
Tribunals to facilitate recovery of bad loans. The gross
NPAs of banks had steadily
declined from 12.04 per cent
in 2000-01 to 2.45 per cent in
2008-09. However, the
upward trend was noticed
According to the report,
gross NPAs rose from 3.42
per cent at the end of March
2013, to 4.11 per cent in
March 2014, further to 5.14
per cent in September 2015.
CHENNAI: The All India Bank
Employees’ Association (AIBEA)
hopes the Government accept its
demand to merge the five associate banks of State Bank of India
(SBI) into one entity, said a top
union official on Saturday.
AIEBA general secretary
CH Venkatachalam also said
the union has called for a strike
on June 7 and July 28 this year
to press for the merger demand.
He also hoped that the
boards of the five associate
banks — State Bank of
Travancore (SBT), State Bank of
Mysore (SBM), State Bank of
Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank
of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ)
and State Bank of Patiala (SBP)
- and also that of SBI would
consider that proposal.
“Union Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley also opined that
the five associate banks of SBI
could be merged into one
thereby creating a strong
entity,” Venkatachalam told
IANS. He hoped the boards
of the six banks in their next
meeting would consider the
?=B Q =4F34;78
he four-month window for
declaring domestic blackmoney will open on June 1 and
those opting to come clean by paying 45 per cent tax and penalty will
not be subject to scrutiny and
enquiry by tax department.
The Income Declaration
Scheme 2016 will remain in
force till September 30 for filing
of declarations and payments
towards taxes, surcharge and
penalty must be made latest by
November 30, the Finance
Ministry said in a release.
“No scrutiny and enquiry
under the Income-tax Act or the
Wealth tax Act (no abolished)
shall be undertaken in respect of
“Immunity from prosecution under the Income-tax Act
and Wealth Tax Act is also provided along with immunity from
the Benami Transactions
(Prohibition) Act, 1988 subject to
transfer of asset to actual owner
within the period specified in the
Rules,” it said.
The scheme was announced
by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
in the Budget with an aim to fish
out black money from the domestic economy. Earlier, the government had come out with similar
scheme for Indian holding undisclosed income abroad.
The scheme will apply to
undisclosed income whether in
the form of investment in assets
or otherwise, pertaining to
Financial Year 2015-16 or earlier,
the Ministry said. “Under the
scheme, income as declared by
the eligible persons, would be
taxed at the rate of 30 per cent
plus a ‘Krishi Kalyan Cess’ of 25
per cent on the taxes payable and
a penalty at the rate of 25 per cent
of the taxes payable, thereby
totalling to 45 per cent of the
income declared under the
scheme,” the Ministry said.
Declarations can be filed
online or with the jurisdictional
Principal Commissioners of
Income-tax. Giving details, the
Ministry said that where the declaration is in the form of investment in assets, the 'Fair Market
Value' of such asset as on June 2016
shall be deemed to be the undisclosed income under the Scheme.
However, foreign assets or
income to which the Black Money
Act 2015 applies are not eligible
for declaration under this scheme.
Assets specified in the declaration
will be exempt from Wealth tax.
Non-payment of total taxes, surcharge and penalty in time or
declaration by misrepresentation or suppression of facts shall
render the declaration void.
Qh&&X]5H &)=204A CFU)',
?=B Q =4F34;78
on Saturday projected India’s
economic growth rate to improve
marginally to 7.7 per cent in
2016-17 against the backdrop of
IMD’s forecast of better monsoon
rains this year. The agriculture
sector has witnessed feeble
growth on account of drought for
two successive years. The average
rate of growth in the ‘agricultural and allied sectors’ GDP for
2014-15 and 2015-16 has been a
low 0.5 per cent.
Two consecutive years of
sub-par monsoon have had a significant impact on the output of
both food as well as non-food
crops. IMD has predicted monsoon for 2016-17 at 106 per cent
of the Long Period Average
(LPA) with a model error of ± 5
per cent, “which may have a positive impact on agriculture and
thereby the economy,” NCAER
said in its Quarterly Review of the
“NCAER's annual model for
GDP market prices at 2011–12
prices estimates GDP growth rate
of 7.6 per cent for 2015 – 2016
and forecasts it at 7.7 per cent for
2016–17,” the economic think
tank said in a statement.
It further said growth in
exports and imports, year-onyear, is projected at (-) 1.6 per
cent and (-) 0.6 per cent respectively for 2016-17.
Inflation (WPI) is projected at 0.9 per cent for the fiscal.
Current Account Balance as a
percentage of GDP is projected
at (-) 1 per cent and fiscal
deficit as a percentage of GDP
at 3.5 per cent for 2016-17.
NEW DELHI: As many as six
private insurers have got FIPB
approval for foreign investment proposals worth C2,566
crore till February after the
Government increased the FDI
cap in the sector to 49 per cent
from 26 per cent.
“As on February 29, 2016,
foreign investment proposals
of six insurance companies
have been approved by Foreign
Investment Promotion Board
(FIPB), including a total quantum of C2566.26 crore,” said
the Finance Ministry's 2015-16
After prolonged deliberations and stiff opposition by
Left parties, Parliament had in
March 2015 amended the
Insurance Act raising the foreign investment cap in the sector to 49 per cent from 26 per
cent. Following the amendments to the insurance Act,
government allowed 26 per
cent FDI under automatic
route and beyond that up to 49
per cent was to flow in through
FIPB approval route.
he state of Hawaii is suing
Takata over defective air bags
they say threaten peoples' lives.
The lawsuit filed on Friday in
the First Circuit Court of
Hawaii also names auto manufacturer Honda.
Millions of Takata’s defective air bags have been recalled
because their inflators can
explode, spewing shrapnel in
cars. Hawaii is the first state in
the nation to sue over the air
bags, which are blamed for at
least 11 deaths worldwide and
more than 100 injuries.
Independent reports have
concluded that a chemical used
in Takata air bags - ammonium
nitrate - can degrade when
exposed to heat and humidity,
which can trigger explosions.
“We’re particularly vulnerable here in Hawaii to the
defect that Takata has manufactured... We’re not going to
wait until something like this
happens,” said Stephen Levins,
executive director of the Hawaii
Office of Consumer Protection.
Takata switched to ammonium nitrate, a cheaper component for the inflator of the
company's air bags, despite the
fact that it was widely known to
be an unstable and dangerous
chemical, Levins said. Honda
was in a position where the
company should have known
what was going on, Levins said.
“Clearly Takata has engaged
in a deceptive manner in marketing this, and actually has put
profits, their own profits, over
the personal welfare and safety of people around the United
States, and around the world,
and people here in Hawaii.”
Levins said. ‘It's a situation
that's intolerable, and we're
not going to put up with it.”
Calls to Takata's office in Los
Angeles and a company
spokesman on late Friday were
not immediately returned.
Honda hasn’t yet received
the lawsuit so it can’t comment,
said Chris Martin, a
spokesman for American
Honda Co., in an email. Martin
said Honda is cooperating
with the Government on the
Takata air bag inflator issue.
FD4YR^SVc`W4`^^VcTV AT[XP]RT3TUT][email protected]#
DELHI: Turning prof?C8Q F0B78=6C>=
h e U S C hamb e r of
Commerce has welcomed
India's new IPR policy, saying it hopes the move is a
‘precursor’ to the ‘concrete,
structural’ changes necessary for implementation of a
strong innovation model.
“We hope the announcement is a precursor to the
concrete, structural changes
that are necessary if India is to
implement a strong IP-led
innovation model,” said Patrick
Kilbride, Executive Director
of International Intellectual
Property of the US Chamber of
Commerce's Global Intellectual
Property Center (GIPC) on
Friday. His remarks came on a
day the Indian Government
announced a comprehensive
National Intellectual Property
Rights (IPR) policy, in a move
to incentivise entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation
and curb manufacturing and
sale of counterfeits.
that India’s innovative economy requires effective IP protection and hope this commitment will lead to decisive legal
reforms,” Kilbride said.
The policy, with a tagline
of ‘Creative India: Innovative
India’, called for updating
various intellectual property
laws to remove anomalies
and inconsistencies in consultation with stakeholders.
itable, Reliance Defence and
Engineering on Saturday posted a net profit of C102.4 crore
for the quarter ended on March
31, 2016, largely on account of
increase in deferred tax credit.
The company had reported a
net loss of C158.28 crore in the
same quarter of 2014-15.
Total income from operations increased to C 94.73
crore in the January-March
quarter of 2015-16 fiscal from
C50.36 crore in the same quarter of the 2014-15 fiscal, the
company said in a regulatory
filing. The deferred tax credit
to the company in the fourth
quarter of current fiscal jumped
to C272.14 crore from C178.12
crore in the same quarter of the
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C M Y K
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monk was on Saturday
hacked to death inside a
monaster y in Southeast
Bangladesh, as the Muslimmajority country reels under a
series of brutal killings of secular activists and minorities by
Mawng Shoi Wuu, chief of
the monastery located in the
Naikkhangchari area of
Bandarban hill district, was
found dead on Saturday morning by a Buddhist devotee as he
went to serve him breakfast,
“The assailants slit his
throat... It appears he was murdered sometime after the midnight when he was staying
alone at the monastery,” officerin-charge of Naikkhangchhari
police station Kazi Ahsan told
PTI over phone. The killing
bears the hallmark of previous
murders of intellectuals, bloggers and minorities by Islamists
in the country.
The latest murder comes
exactly a week after a 65-yearold Muslim Sufi preacher was
hacked to death in a similar
attack by unidentified machetewielding assailants in northwestern Rajshahi city.
No group has claimed
responsibility for the murder of
the monk so far and an investigation has been ordered to
track down the assailants.
The monastery was situated at an isolated area away
from the villages in the neighbourhood and Mawng Shoi
Wuu used to live there alone,
There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in
recent weeks especially targeting minorities, secular bloggers,
intellectuals and foreigners.
In the recent attacks, a liberal professor was brutally
hacked to death last month by
machete-wielding ISIS militants who slit his throat near his
home in Rajshahi city.
Bangladesh’s first gay magazine
editor was brutally murdered
along with a friend in his flat
in Dhaka by Islamists.
On April 30, a Hindu tailor was also hacked to death by
machete-wielding ISIS militants in his shop in central
ebanon’s Hezbollah on Saturday blamed
Islamist extremists for killing the Shia militant group’s top military commander in Syria
in an artillery attack.
The Iran-backed movement has deployed
thousands of fighters in Syria where Mustafa
Badreddine had led its intervention in support
of President Bashar al-Assad.
“An investigation has shown that the blast
that targeted one of our positions near the
Damascus international airport that led to the
C M Y K
martyrdom of the brother commander Mustafa
Badreddine was caused by artillery bombardment carried out by takfiri (Sunni extremist)
groups present in that region,” a Hezbollah statement said.
It did not name any particular group and
there has been no claim of responsibility for the
Hezbollah has been battling opponents of
the regime including Sunni extremists from the
Islamic State jihadist group and Al-Nusra
Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.
A Syrian security source has told AFP
thatBadreddine was in a warehouse near the
Damascus airport when it was rocked by ablast
on Thursday night.
No aircraft was heard before the explosion,
the source said.
In its statement today, a day after thousands attended Badreddine’s funeral in Beirut,
Hezbollah vowed no let up in its war against
those it describes as “criminal gangs” in Syria.
“The result of the investigation will only
increase our determination and will to pursue the fight against those criminal gangs until
they are defeated,” the statement said.
“It is the same battle against the AmericanZionist scheme in the region, which the terrorists are spearheading,” it added.
Badreddine was on a US terror sanctions
blacklist, was a key suspect in the 2005 assassination in Beirut of Lebanese ex-premier
Rafiq Hariri and was one of the “most wanted” by Israel.
His predecessor, cousin and brother-inlaw Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in Damascus
in a 2008 bombing that Hezbollah blamed on
its regional arch-foe Israel with whom it has
fought several wars.
hina has increased Defence capabilities and deployed more troops along
the Indian border, the Pentagon has said,
as it warned of increasing Chinese military
presence including bases in various parts
of the world, particularly Pakistan.
“We have noticed an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military in areas close to the border with
India,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defence for East Asia Abraham M
Denmark told reporters during a news
conference here after Pentagon submitted
its annual 2016 report to the US Congress
on ‘Military and Security Developments
Involving the People’s Republic of China’.
However, Denmark said it is difficult
to conclude on the real intention behind
this. “It is difficult to say how much of this
is driven by internal considerations to
maintain internal stability, and how much
of it is an external consideration,” he said
in response to a question on China
upgrading its military command in Tibet.
Referring to US Defence Secretary
Ashton Carter’s recent trip to India,
Denmark said he had a very positive and
“We’re going to continue to enhance
our bilateral engagement with India, not
in the China context, but because India is
an increasingly important player by themselves. And we are going to engage India
because of its value,” he said.
The Defence Department also warned
of China’s increasing military presence
including bases in various parts of the
world, in particular Pakistan - with which
it has a “longstanding friendly relationship
and similar strategic interests”.
China’s expanding international economic interests are increasing demands for
the PLA Navy (PLAN) to operate in more
distant seas to protect Chinese citizens,
investments, and critical sea lines of communication, it said.
“China most likely will seek to establish
additional naval logistics hubs in countries
with which it has a longstanding friendly
relationship and similar strategic interests,
such as Pakistan, and a precedent for hosting foreign militaries,” the report said.
Dhaka: Bangladesh on accused
Pakistan of breaching the post1971 liberation war agreement
by not taking back thousands of
its stranded citizens, affecting
the validity of the treaty.
“Under the 1974 agreement (among Dhaka, new
Delhi and Islamabad), Pakistan
was obligated to take back its
stranded citizens from
They did not fulfil their
obligation over the decades,”
Law Minister Anisul Huq said
at a discussion here.
He said, Bangladesh on
the other hand, complied with
the treaty allowing the defeated Pakistani soldiers’ repatriation and in no way breached
the agreement by bringing to
justice Bangladeshi perpetrators of war crimes who carried
out atrocities siding with the
invading Pakistani troops.
He added that according to
the principle of law, if any party
violates a treaty, its validity
comes into question while
Pakistan itself “clearly defied”
the agreement by refusing to
take back its citizens over the
Thousands of Urdu-speaking Muslims, dubbed as ‘Biharis’,
top UN official has lauded
efforts undertaken by India
and other nations in designating focal points to facilitate
paternity and child support
claims in case of allegations of
sexual exploitation and abuse
for Field Support Atul Khare
told the General Assembly that
India, Benin, Ecuador and
Uruguay, though not necessarily facing paternity allegations, have taken steps to designate national paternity focal
points and expressed hope that
other nations will follow
Against the backdrop of
challenges being faced and
progress being made to end the
exploitation and abuse by UN
peacekeepers, Khare on Friday
said priority must be for the
organisation to provide victims
with support and assistance.
In 2015, the UN made
progress in facilitating paternity
and child support claims
against peacekeepers, underlining that the practice of designating national paternity
focal points helps to address
some of the challenges for a victim in bringing claims in the
country of nationality of the
alleged father, he said.
“We have seen best practices emerge in this regard.
Recently four countries - not
necessarily facing paternity
allegations - Benin, Ecuador,
India and Uruguay - have
informed the Secretariat of
focal points designated for this
function and we look forward
to positive response from more
members states,” he said.
Khare said Sri Lanka in
particular has arranged a onetime ex-gratia payment to a victim and child born as a result
of sexual exploitation and
No Indian peacekeeper was
found guilty of any wrongdoing in a new report that was
launched in March and that for
the first time identified nationalities of UN peacekeeping
personnel involved in sexual
abuse against citizens.
who migrated to the former East
Pakistan after partition in 1947,
continued to stay in makeshift
homes called Bihari camps in
Bangladesh since 1971 and waited for decades to go to Pakistan
but the subsequent governments
in Islamabad declined to take
The law minister’s comments came amid a growing
diplomatic row between the
two countries as Pakistan
recently accused Bangladesh of
failure to uphold the commitment of “not to proceed with
the trials” in line with the 1974
treaty since Dhaka took initia-
tives to try the 1971 war criminals among its own nationals.
Pakistan had been upset
after fundamentalist Jamaat-eIslami chief Motiur Rahman
Nizami was executed for war
crimes in Bangladesh earlier
this week and Pakistani parliament also passed a resolution
condemning the hanging.
Bangladesh said Pakistan’s
reaction proved that Nizami
was a “traitor” when he acted
as chief of the infamous AlBadr militia, an auxiliary unit
of Pakistani troops that committed mass killings during
Washington: The US is committed to maintaining its
“important” and “vital” relationship with Pakistan, the
Obama Administration said
amid reports of strains in bilateral ties.
“It is an important, vital
relationship that we strongly
believe in. Is it complicated at
times? Absolutely it is. And do
we see eye-to-eye on every
issue with Pakistan? No, we
don’t,” State Department
spokesman, John Kirby told
reporters at his daily news
conference. “But that’s why the
relationship matters so much
because we have shared threats
and shared concerns, shared
interests in the region.
And we’re going to continue to work at it,” he said yesterday. Kirby was responding to
a question on the statement
made by Prime Minister’s
Adviser on Foreign Affairs
Sartaj Aziz that his country’s
relationship with the United
States has been under stress for
the past three months. PTI
he campaign to woo British
voters in the run up to the
June 23 referendum to
decide if Britain will remain in
the European Union took to
the streets of the UK on
With less than six weeks to
go before the voting, surveys
have placed the ‘Remain and
Leave’ camps head to head at
nearly 50 per cent each.
“Vital projects across every
region of the UK have been
financed by the EIB [European
Investment Bank]. These make
a huge difference locally,
nationally, and sometimes
globally,” UK Prime Minister
David Cameron said in a
speech in his Oxfordshire constituency.
“Not only would leaving
the EU see us wave goodbye to
this crucial funding - but, with
a smaller economy hit by new
trading barriers and job losses,
it’s unlikely we’d be able to find
that money from alternative
sources,” he said.
Cameron also unveiled a
poster, which depicted an envelope on a doormat with wording saying an EU exit
would cost the equivalent of
“4,300 pounds for ever y
Vote Leave has accused
Cameron of “failing to be honest” with voters saying the cost
of staying in is 4,600 pounds
per household, as membership of the EU “costs 50 million
pounds” a day.
“David Cameron knows
that not a single British family would lose that amount of
money if we Vote Leave. In fact
they would prosper as we
spend our money on
our priorities,” said Vote Leave
chief executive Matthew Elliott.
Indian-origin minister, Priti
Patel, has been a key voice of
the Leave campaign and
attacked the International
Monetary Fund’s (IMF) warning earlier this week against
C M Y K
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B de Villiers and Virat Kohli
on Saturday orchestrated a
mayhem by scoring magnificent centuries as Royal Challengers
Bangalore inflicted a crushing 144run defeat on league leaders Gujarat
Lions, recording the biggest ever
victory in the history of Indian
Premier League here on Saturday.
Batting first, RCB plundered a
massive 248 for 3 courtesy De
Villiers's 129 not out and an equally attractive 108 by Kohli with
records falling like ninepins at the
Chinnaswamy Stadium during the
Having been deflated in the first
session itself, Gujarat Lions capitulated to a meagre 104 all out in
18.4 overs with Chris Jordan picking up 4/11 in 3 overs and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal getting 3/19
in 4 overs.
With 10 points from 11 games
and a positive net run-rate of +0.627,
RCB will fancy their chances of
sneaking in as the third or fourth
team into the play-offs by winning
all their remaining three games.
While this is the second highest team score in the history of IPL
behind RCB's 263 for five against
Pune Warriors, the Kohli-De
Villiers combine eclipsed its own
partnership record by pummeling
the Lions to add a staggering 229
runs in just 16 overs.
De Villiers smashed a scintillating unbeaten 129 off 52 balls with
10 fours and 12 maximums while
Kohli, en route his third hundred in
a single edition of IPL, hit a brilliant
109 off 55 balls with the help of five
fours and eight sixes.
De Villiers, whose 43-ball century was the fifth fastest in IPL, teed
off to get the maximum number of
sixes in an innings by any individ-
wickets in consecutive balls. First
he sent Dinesh Karthik (2) and
then grabbed a return catch off
Ravindra Jadeja after he had
scored 21 runs off 19 balls with
two boundaries and a six.
With the team struggling at
four for 44, the spine of the visiting team was broken completely and they lost four more
wickets including the flamboyant Dwayne Bravo for 30 runs,
leaving Gujarat reeling at 74 for
eight in 12.5 overs.
Aaron Finch (37) did not
enjoy any support from the
other end as the visitors conceded the match to RCB. He was
caught by Aravind off Baby.
An ecstatic Kohli said: "I
have all the right to smile today,
everything went as per plans
despite losing the toss. It can be
pretty disheartening after losing
9 out of 11 tosses. It feels good
that the guys are ready for it, our
equation is pretty clear as it's like
the play-offs from here."
Asked if they have now set
the bar too high for themselves,
he said: "We don't want to push
or pressurise ourselves too much,
we know we are batting with
intent and with good strike rates.
It's important to not get ahead of
ourselves, if you try extra you
In all, the duo hit an
astounding 20 sixes compared to
15 fours as the square boundary
of the Chinnaswamy turf looked
too small at times.
The RCB captain was cautious to begin with and it was De
Villiers who was first to get off
the blocks with a flurry of sixes.
The first was a cover driven six
off chinaman bowler Shivil
Kaushik (3/50 in 3 overs), who
imitates Paul Adams' action.
In the next over, he slogged
Pravin Tambe behind square for
another huge blow. Kulkarni's
friendly medium pace was
imperiously pulled for a six.
When de Villiers completed his
hundred, Kohli was still in his
50s, but he increased the pace at
the rear end of the innings.
A flurry of sixes off Kaushik,
Dwayne Bravo (0/46 in 3 overs)
and Praveen Kumar (2/45 in 4
overs) saw Kohli reaching the
coveted hat-trick of tons in the
final over of the innings and the
fate of the match looked all but
With the chase practically
out of question, the Lions
were not in the game
from the beginning
as they lost
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did not last long as
he walked back after
having scored 11 runs.
He was caught brilliantly
by De Villiers off Chahal.
Chris Jordan also joined the
act at the other end by taking two
might end up scoring 150 instead of
180. We don't think about the game
too much, we just react instinctively, and play smart cricket.
"I didn't want to speak about
how well we had played and we gave
the guys a realistic target of 170 to
defend for the NRR. The guys have
responded very well at the business
and of the tournament. We want to
take the responsibility and take the
pressure. Everyday is a new opportunity for some youngster to perform
and win the game for RCB, that's the
most exciting thing going ahead."
Man of the Match de Villiers,
on his part, said that the key to success was not getting scared.
"A lot of things played a role
today, I walked out there feeling
fearless, no fear of losing my wicket. Virat and I made good decisions
while batting and assessed things
very well and we accelerated very
well at the end. "I hate facing dot
balls in T20s and I'm disappointing
with the ones today. Jaddu bowled
very well today. It's about playing
the right shots at the right time, it
wasn't just about the boundaries.
(Laughs) I'm really angry for facing
those dot balls today," he said.
RCB: 248/3 (AB 129*, Kohli 109)
beat GL: 104 (Jordan 4/11, Chahal
3/19) by 144 runs.
able-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad will
look to quickly bounce back from the
disappointing loss against Delhi Daredevils
and seal their place in the play-off when they
take on a resurgent Kings XI Punjab in an
IPL clash here on Sunday.
Knowing that there is scramble among
top teams for the playoff berth and holding on to top position is not an easy task,
SRH will have to put the loss against Delhi
behind and look to put up an all-round performance on Sunday.
What has made Sunday’s afternoon
game at the IS Bindra PCA stadium here
even more important for Hyderabad is the
fact that Punjab, which has struggled
through the tournament, has suddenly
started turning over a leaf under their new
captain Murali Vijay, whose appointment
was made mid-way.
The Punjab outfit, which is lying at the
HEAD s e v e n t h
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seven-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians at
Visakhapatnam on Friday night.
The victory will surely give the struggling side a much-needed boost and the
David Warner led SRH will be wary of the
fact that Punjab will be a difficult opposition to tackle on their home turf.
Seeing the Hyderabad side in action has
been a treat to watch, with its bowlers and
batsmen clicking collectively.
Captain Warner is one of the highest
run-getters in this edition and he singlehandedly led the team to victory more than
once. He is among the most successful batsmen in the league, making fifty-plus scores
every three innings.
The other opener Dhawan has also been
in good form steering the team in the event
of his skipper's early dismissal. Even in their
last game against Delhi, Warner (46) and
Dhawan (34) had made their contribution
C M Y K
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t seems like Rising Pune Supergiants
campaign in this ninth edition of the
Indian Premier League is not getting
During their match against Kolkata
Knight Riders on Friday, Rising Pune
Supergiants were struggling at 103/6
when rain came down and spoiled the
play much to disappointment of both
the teams and the spectators.
The Dhoni led team didn’t have the
greatest of start when their opener
Ajinkya Rahane was bowled by Andre
Russell for two runs after MSD had
won the toss and chose to bat first.
George Bailey, who replaced Steve
Smith was with highest score of 33 runs
but was soon sent back to the pavillion
by spinner Piyush Chawla. At the time
of the rain, captain Mahendra Singh
Dhoni (8 not out) with Ravichandran
Ashwin (0 not out) were at the crease
when the on-field umpires called the
For KKR, Piyush Chawla 2/21 was
the pick of the bowler.
ack in the top half of the
league table after a convincing
win over Sunrisers Hyderabad,
Delhi Daredevils would look to
build on the winning momentum
when they take on defending
champions Mumbai Indians in
their IPL match here on Sunday.
The Daredevils were impressive in the first half of the league
but inconsistency struck them in
the later part as they lost back-toback matches. Their comfortable
win over Sunrisers must have
brought back the confidence in the
Zaheer Khan-led side.
A win at the ACA-VDCA
Cricket Stadium today will help the
Delhi team put a foot into the playoffs. With 12 points, from 10
matches, the Daredevils are currently on third spot behind Sunrisers
(14) and Gujarat Lions (14).
For Mumbai Indians, on the
other hand, it will be a do-or-die
match as a loss on Sunday will
leave them on the verge of being
knocked out of the race for the
They now have 12 points
from 12 games and are at fifth in
the league table. After Sunday,
they will have just one match left
in the league.
Against Sunrisers, the
is chances of a third successive Olympic appearance hanging in balance, twotime medallist Sushil Kumar
will not hesitate in going to
Court if his demand for a trial
against Narsingh Pancham
Yadav is not accepted by the
Wrestling Federation of India.
Sushil has already taken
the matter to the doorsteps of
PM's Office but is yet to get a
response from government.
"We are still awaiting a
response. Sushil has asked for
a meeting with the Prime
Minister and we are waiting for
a reply. Expecting that the
government would respond
to Sushil's appeal," Sushil's
mentor Satpal Singh said.
"Sushil is hoping to get a
call for a trial and doesn't want
to go to court. But the option
of moving the court can't be
ruled out if the matter is not
resolved," he added.
Sushil has appealed to the
Prime Minister, IOA, Sports
Ministry, Wrestling Federation
of India and the fans to give
him a chance to undergo a trial
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Daredevils dished out a top-class
all-round show, that too without
captain Zaheer who missed the
game due to a niggle.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his good form in the league
with two wickets and pacer Nathan
Coulter-Nile chipped in with two
scalps as the Sunrisers batsmen
were restricted to a small total of
146 for 8.
While chasing the target, the
Daredevils batsmen clicked as a
unit with in-form South African
opener Quinton de Kock top-
scoring with a 44. Promising
domestic players Sanju Samson
and Rishab Pant remained not out
at 34 and 39 respectively to take
Daredevils home with 11 balls to
spare against the table toppers.
Mumbai, who chose
Visakhapatnam as their 'home'
venue after the Bombay High
Court cancelled Indian Premier
League matches in drought-hit
Maharashtra, have been inconsistent this season and they have
never built a winning momentum,
having almost alternate win and
losses in their campaign so far.
They cannot slip up now as a
loss on Sunday will put them in an
extremely difficult situation to
make it to the play-offs though
there could still be a theoretical
chance for them to make the cut.
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for the Rio Games.
Besides sending a letter to
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, requesting for a meeting
with him, and urging the
Sports Ministry, IOA and WFI,
Sushil also uploaded a video
message with a hash tag
'Justice4Sushil', where has
appealed to the fans on his
Facebook and Twitter page to
support him to undergo a
trial with Narsingh in men's
Today Sushil has uploaded
another video, where he is seen
to be training hard, with a message reading "Even in this
hour of uncertainty, I am not
shying away from working
hard. Decision is yours."
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ostafa Salameh’s story is nothing short of
stuff that dreams are made of, to borrow
from Shakespeare, of course. Born to
Palestinian refugees in Kuwait in 1970,
he has seen life in all its hues. He had
seven brothers and two sisters, and he was the second
born. Although he does remember his childhood to
be pleasant, he also recalls being called a ‘Belgique’, a
term of abuse some Kuwaitis use for Palestinians,
deeming them second class citizens.
Back in the day, a month of saving enabled him to
afford one McDonald’s burger, without the desserts obviously. He grew up amid racism and prejudice. Kuwait
gave him education but not rights. Yet in the midst of it,
his confidence only soared high because some people are
just born to reach the zenith of success. Mostafa did
climb up to the greatest heights, and literally so!
At 6’1”, as he walks towards you, it wouldn’t take
much guesswork to assume that the man is as fit as a
fiddle for his field. He has a towering appearance that
beams with confidence but which also cultivates a
humble aura around him. He says, “Not that I had a
disturbing childhood. It was not problematic and I
believe I was happy as a child. I was good at basketball,
running, volleyball, and similar games. There were,
however, no opportunities for refugees to hone their
skills. That was the problem.”
At 18, Salameh left Kuwait with his family for Jordan,
stayed with his aunt and funded his own education
at the Ammon College for Hospitality and Tourism (now
the Jordan Applied University College of Hospitality
and Tourism Education) by working as a barman and
waiter at many cafes and restaurants there. But deep
within, his dream was to break free from the clutches
of deprivation and move to England. He believed that
reaching “the white cliffs of dover” would put an end
to any existing misery in his life.
As luck would have it, the wife of Mohammad
Adwan, advisor to Jordan’s then King Hussein, was an
American who loved Salameh’s mother’s cooking. As he
occasionally catered food from his mother to her, he
once met the brother of the Jordanian Ambassador in
London. The Ambassador, as it turned out, was looking
for someone to work in the kitchen in his London house.
Goes without saying, Salameh fit the bill.
In 1992, he was in London, earning 500 pounds a
month which went straight to his father at Amman,
leaving only 10 pounds for him every Sunday. In
spite of the financial crunch, he did have his
dream life in London; he partied, danced, smoked
frequently. Until he had his epiphany.
Salameh did not grow up in a religious set-up.
He was not a regular visitor to the mosque, even
on Fridays. But one day at Edinburgh, he dreamed
that he was standing at the highest point in the
world reciting the call to prayer. He says, “It was
January 2004 and I saw that I was at the top of the universe, reciting the azan. There was no moment of doubt
for me after that — that the right moment to
make my life purposeful had arrived.”
He knew it was no ordinary dream and
realised that this epiphanic experience
was a call from religion urging him to
mend his belief system. At that
moment, he knew he had to climb the
Mount Everest. There was a little
problem though: Let alone having
any mountaineering experience,
Salameh did not even know where
Mount Everest was! Like every
fancy fad, he had presumed
Everest was also in the US and
googled to know more about it!
While his friends and
acquaintances laughed at his
interpretation of the dream
and thought his new goal in
life was utterly hilarious, his
conquest had already begun.
“You can’t do it without
sponsorship. I contacted a
few companies for funds but
that did not work. So I went
back to Jordan for my funding. In Ferdinand
Magellan’s quest to discover America, he had
secured a meeting with
the Queen of Spain.
In my case, I had a
similar hope from the
King of Jordan. After a
friend wrote about my
aspiration in a magazine,
news soon reached the royal palace and I got a call
from them to schedule a meeting with King Abdullah.”
Salameh thus secured his sponsorship. He failed twice
before finally reaching the top of the Everest on
May 25, 2008 — Jordan’s Independence Day.
Today, he is not only the first Jordanian to reach the
North Pole, he is also the first to scale the Seven Summits
in the world — Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro,
Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz. This year, he reached the
South Pole as well, the first Muslim ever to have done so.
committed Muslim today, Salameh seeks to
spread the message of Islam, a message that
spreads benevolence and peace, substantially
distanced from its violent connotations. He says,
“It is not only Islam that appeals to me. I have a Sufi
teacher and have also learned a lot about Buddhism,
Hinduism, and so on. And this is one of the reasons
why I am so fond of India because of its diversity and
acceptance of so many religions and cultures.”
He has raised a lot of money through climbing which
has gone to charity. He works to rescue misguided Arab
youths from radicalisation, is also a motivational speaker
and works for the well-being of cancer patients. Every
time he reaches the peak of a mountain, he reads
aloud a verse from the Quran. He is associated with
the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) with patient
activities and raising funds for their treatment. He also
launched the ‘From the Lowest Point to the Highest
Point for Cancer’ initiative LH4C, that led 20 people
up to and back from Everest Base Camp in April 2013.
It raised $600,000 for KHCC.
In February 2014, he led a group of Jordanians
to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and this time
raised $1,400,000, which also went to KHCC. He
says, “I was speaking for some children at a cancer
hospital and it left such a deep impact upon me that
I was gripped by an urge to do something for them
and others going through the same.”
He has four children with his Scottish wife, and in
2017, he plans to take Arab women up to the Everest.
“These women have already been selected and their
sponsorship has been arranged. This will be the first
summit to the Mount Everest for women empowerment.
It is a group of five women and they come from different
backgrounds — Jordanian, Muslim, Christian, etc. Their
training has started and we are all looking forward to it.
“I believe women are as strong as men. To be able to
endure such pain and give birth, create life, that is like
climbing Everest 10 times. Women have the right to
attain all equal opportunities to prove themselves. I hope
we achieve that with this expedition,” he adds.
His memoir, Dreams of a Refugee (Bloomsbury, C499)
released this year. The inspirational story is attached to a
much deeper and significant struggle than what meets the
eye. After hard work, training and selling his house and car
to afford his Everest feat, his dream came true. He says,
“When I finished high school, I had no money. I did odd
jobs for the basic amenities and had no training in mountaineering. My point is, open that door, take the risk. I was
eager to learn. I consumed a lot of literature on mountaineering, I familiarised myself with the equipment. If you
have the grit and determination, nothing can stop you.”
About his objectives, he says, “My cause in life is
three-fold. I want to present the tolerant, peaceful aspect
of Islam. Islam had sought to spread peace, to liberate
us. Wahhabism, that engulfed Saudi Arabia in 1830, is
not what Islam originally is. Bismillah al-Rahman alRahim, the first verse of the Quran, seeks the blessings
of the merciful God. No religion teaches disciples to kill.
Only when your country faces an obstacle or is under
attack and you fight back because you have no other
option, are you a martyr. Anybody who murders people
in the name of God can never be a martyr. For the
record, ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, just like KKK
has nothing to do with Christianity, and violent Israelis
are not messengers of Judaism.”
e have a tendency to
place blame on the
Government and the
authorities for anything
that unsettles us. Do you
think the masses have taken for granted
that they are immune to social criticism?”
This thought-provoking question
was asked at the Dehradun Literature
Festival last month by an ostensibly preteen schoolgirl. What set this literature
festival aside from others was the
involvement of the numerous children
from schools all across the town.
The two-day event, that started on
April 22, engaged literature enthusiasts
with conversations about books, genres, writing, imagination, politics, and
much more. The opening session,
‘Why imagination is more powerful
than knowledge?’ set the tone of the
event with author Dev Lahiri, who has
also been the principal of Welham Boys’
School, considered to be one of the
This was followed by similar stimulating discourses on ‘Literature and
History’, ‘Traditional Ancient Music of
India’ ‘Art of Storytelling’, ‘Timeless Art
— Beyond Boundaries’, ‘Religion and
Politics’, and so on. Speakers included
renowned literary figures such as
Nayantara Sahgal (author of nine novels, winner of the Commonwealth
Writers’ Prize, Sahitya Akademi Award,
Member of the American Academy of
Arts and Science etc); former Man
Asian Literary Prize nominee Omair
Ahmad (Jimmy the Terrorist, The
Storyteller’s Tale, The Kingdom at the
Centre of the World, and so on); two of
India’s highest selling writers in English,
Ashwin Sanghi (The Rozabal Line,
Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key.
Sanghi also collaborated with international bestselling crime writer James
Patterson in 2014); and Durjoy Dutta
(Penguin India’s bestselling author in
the metro read category and a screenwriter too), among others. As the
names suggest, the festival sought to
merge all the genres and formats of
writing to provide a wholesome
experience to the visitors.
President of the World
Integrity Centre that hosted the
event, Nazia Yusuf Izuddin, said:
“The World Integrity Center
India Dehradun has been founded to
be a catalyst of intellectual and cultural activity throughout the country and
internationally and aims to provide a
suitable ambience for this in
Uttarakhand. But there should be more
support from the Government establishments in Uttarakhand to promote
cultural activity. It would have helped
us spread the festival to a larger and
wider audience, and would also have
made the festival a cultural platform to
reckon with the State and in enhancing
the State’s capital's environment for
socio-cultural and literary activities.”
She added, “We always promote all
our activities across all age groups and
institutions, and schools form a very
large part of this community. Students
thoroughly enjoyed the festival and
offered to be volunteers for the next edition. In fact, a few days back, I was chief
guest at Jaswant Modern School, and
the principal Meenakshi Gendotra
shared that the children found the experience enriching and empowering. The
school will now send the students to all
WIC India programmes.”
As students from several schools
(and some colleges too), dressed in
their uniform, carrying notepads and
pens and accompanied by their teachers, assembled to listen to the discussions, the authors were bombarded with
a range of constructive and articulate
questions. The schools and colleges that
participated in the festival included
Doon Blossoms, Olympus High,
Vantage Hall, Jaswant Modern School,
Convent of Jesus and Mary, Hope
Town and Graphic Era as well as the
Indian Military Academy.
They were a consistent presence on
both days and were surprisingly familiar with many of the authors’ body of
work. While someone asked about the
Indian Government’s role in the
Kashmir conflict, another asked about
how relevant imagination — as
opposed to realism — is in writing stories. Questions about struggling with
writer’s block, stolen ideas, as well as
finding the right publishers were sent
across to the panelists by the young,
curious minds. Dehradun, they say,
boasts of some of the finest schools in
the country. And why that is was evident to all at the event.
“The motive was to ensure kids are
exposed to the literary world as
Dehradun had not seen such an event,”
Subhashish Bharuka, Founder and
CEO, Springhead Communications,
one of the organisers of the event said.
Author of over 30 books, including
children’s titles such as Tigers of Taboo
Valley, The Crow Chronicles, The Life
and Times of Altu-Faltu, Ranjit Lal
emphasised the role of imagination
while writing. “Although knowledge is
undeniably important, there would
have been no advancement without
imagination. Imagination is the key to
innovation and creativity,” he said.
Lahiri added, “Imagination is more
important than knowledge. Knowledge
can be instilled through teachers, textbooks, and various forms of research.”
The discussions also veered
towards the political realm as topics
such as the crisis in Kashmir came up.
Speaking about the trauma and unrest
in the Valley, writer and journalist
Humra Quraishi, who has reported
from Kashmir for more than two
decades, drew attention towards the
chasm between the “mainland”
and the “marginalised” Kashmiris.
“Kashmir changed my style of writing. The painful situation of the
Kashmiris, especially in the war
zone, turned me from a fictional
writer to a non-fictional writer,” she said.
Speaking of heroism, author
Rachna Bisht underlined how in
Dehradun youths very commonly pursue the military field. “It’s very common here for the young lot to join the
Army. We should appreciate and
remember the sacrifice and valour of
the soldiers without glorifying war.”
Nayantara Sahgal, on the other hand,
underlined how fundamentalism
should not take a toll on nation building and societal harmony.
Nazia says about the problems in
holding the event, “A festival such as this
requires large infrastructure. Besides,
Governmental support, help from business houses and entities to organise the
festival was not available. Only one
community business came in support
of the festival as hospitality partner.”
We’re in the middle of groundbreaking student politics. Starting from the
FTII protests and moving to the agitation at Hyderabad University, the
Occupy UGC movement, and the ongoing JNU debate, it’s a time in India when
the needs and rebellion of students have
ignited discourses with a ferocious
momentum. The school years are all the
more crucial as students are exposed to
diverse and often conflicting doctrines
and it’s more important than ever
before that they choose the right battles.
Many academics see ‘lit fests’ as a
carnival that is insensitive towards literature. While they’re entitled to that opinion, exposing children to myriad discussions in these festivals and letting them
decide could be a healthy balance too.
ndia has registered significant gains in childhood health. Infant mortality is down to 39
per 1,000, and neonatal mortality too is on
the decline. However, controlling and eradicating childhood infectious diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea and tuberculosis remain a challenge.
In comparison to neighbouring Sri Lanka,
which has been able to bring its infant mortality rate to single digits, India — by far a much
larger country with nuanced complexities —
continues to struggle with the burden of infectious childhood diseases. It is also a fact that
every third child in the country remains partially or not immunised.
India records 500,000 child deaths annually due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Five per
cent of children in urban areas and eight per cent
in rural areas are still unimmunised. Since 2014,
Mission Indradhanush has covered 201 districts
with poor immunisation coverage and has registered some success with children who get left
out or drop out of their immunisation schedule.
The main reason for the remaining large
number of children dropping out after receiving one or more doses or not receiving any vaccine doses is lack of awareness in the community. Added to this are myths and unfounded
fear about vaccines.
The evidence has been around for a long
time now. Children who do not receive all vaccines and those who are left unimmunised are
most susceptible to childhood diseases and
disability. These children run a three to six
times higher risk of death compared to fully
Children in India are already at a disadvantage as they are faced with the twin burden of
high levels of malnutrition and infant mortality. The attempt to reach 90 per cent coverage
is ambitious, but it is a job that needs to be done.
Only full participation from communities can
make this happen.
Since 1985, the Government of India’s
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) has
incorporated several vaccines to prevent diseases
like diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough),
tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis and measles.
Hepatitis B was introduced in a phased manner
in the country starting 1998.
Today, the total number of vaccines in the
UIP stands at nine. After the phased rollout
of the Hepatitis B vaccine, the Government
of India announced in 2014 that four more
vaccines would be added to the UIP —
rotavirus, rubella, the injectable polio vaccine
(IPV) and Japanese encephalitis (in encephalitis-endemic regions).
The Government is now working to have
the pneumococcal vaccine introduced in the
UIP. The introduction of the rotavirus vaccine,
and hopefully the pneumococcal vaccine, will
greatly help India bring down the number of
under-five deaths from these two major vaccinepreventable diseases.
Through the UIP over a period of time, the
Government has been able to increase the immunisation coverage. With global research progress,
newer vaccines have been available in the private market in India, and some State
Governments have incorporated them into
their immunisation schedules. For instance, the
Delhi Government introduced some new vaccines like MMR in 2002 and typhoid in 2010.
The decision to make newer, more expensive vaccines part of the UIP have also scripted
India’s most recent global health successes: The
eradication of polio and elimination of neonatal tetanus. Being a signatory to the WHO for
polio eradication, the efforts that were rolled out
across the country to increase polio immunisation coverage paved the way for India to be successfully declared polio-free.
The victory against polio was a definitive
achievement for the country, and the switches
to IPV and from trivalent to bivalent is in keeping with the global strategy towards the polio
endgame. In addition, with 90 per cent immunisation coverage of tetanus to mothers during
antenatal period and a growing number of institutional deliveries, India is within the range of
eliminating neonatal tetanus.
It is also important to mention the work
around four critical areas that are part of the UIP
— new vaccines, safety, research and monitoring. Dedicated work and proper implementation
have also helped build a strong regulatory framework around the safety of vaccines.
The Department of Biotechnology has been
actively engaged in the research for newer vaccines. The Drugs Controller General of India has
specific criteria for the introduction and licensing of new vaccines. It has constituted a Subject
Expert Committee which reviews all aspects of
research, safety monitoring and licensing of new
vaccines before its market authorisation.
Subsequently, it keeps an eye on post-marketing vaccine surveillance, specifically on safety. With this framework in place, there is complete vigilance during clinical trials, market authorisation and safety reporting.
Along with strengthening regulation, the
Government is also vigilant about Adverse
Events Following Immunization (AEFI). As
immunisation coverage expands, the safety
records of vaccines are monitored by the
National and State AEFI committees. Established
guidelines and reporting formats are already in
place for any adverse event. All States in the
country have their State and district AEFI committees, which are tasked with collecting
detailed information and properly investigating
for causality assessment. These reports lead to
remedial measures to be taken, which help build
the confidence of communities, who may be
unsure what to do following an incident.
Immunisation is important for a better future
for the children of this country. The introduction and scaling up of vaccinations is part of a
global strategy to ensure that no child dies without a fair chance at life. There are guidelines and
checks and balances at every step to ensure that
immunisation sessions are accessible at even the
remotest areas. There is a need for the community to match these efforts — to ensure that they
get their children immunised — right from the
first birth doses. A key target for any parent in
India should be to ensure that their children are
5 A > < ?0 6 4 B
ut that is only the first of his
two causes. He continues, “My
second cause is education. The
Middle East educates people about
religion but we need a more progressive and methodical system of
spreading awareness and nourishing
culture. The Israel-Palestine conflict
needs as much attention and closure
and the world needs to pay attention to it. The media should be
more alert and prompt and we need
more proactive avenues to resist
crises. Besides raising funds for cancer victims, my other cause is to
highlight a cosmopolitan worldview,
to see different places and bring
them to people’s notice.”
And that is what he does every
time he fumbles in his risk-laden
journeys across the toughest terrains of the world. He recalls, “At the
Shishapangma mountain, which is
over 8,000 m high, I suddenly lost
balance and slipped almost 20 m
down until I was held by a rock.
This was before my Everest climb
and I felt a stroke of luck that day.”
And so along with sponsorship,
Salameh says his training would be
same as that of a beginner’s as every
feat requires specific training. For
his feat at the South Pole, he trained
with a sled harness that weighed
120 kg, for instance; and while
training for Everest, everything
from training, oxygen supply to
down suits had to be systematic. In
other cases, cycling and cardiovascular activities help too.
About his diet and training, he
divulges, “I do not drink alcohol
and avoid junk food generally, but
apart from that I eat almost everything. My day starts with two pints
of water. I go for a swim or a trek. I
run 10 km three times a week and
hit the gym for at least 30 minutes
at least five times a week. When I
have leisurely time, I like reading
non-fiction and spending time with
my family; they are always apprehensive about my safety.”
This is also where the pertinence of the title of his memoir
comes across. With a life of achievements like that, one might wonder
how much of a refugee he is today,
after leaving his mark at the highest
points in the world, or how much of
a dreamer he himself is after inspiring so many people.
He says, “I believe in omens.
When you dream and if things are
meant to be, they will happen. I had
only dreamed of being at the highest spot in the world, but it did
eventually come true. I also always
aspired to write my story and then
Bloomsbury actually approached
me for the book. Now, maybe it will
also be adapted into a film. After
this, there will be newer dreams. My
focus, of course, is on the refugees. I
take the Scottish and Jordanian flags
with me always as a reminded of
where I come from. Steve Jobs was
also a Syrian refugee, you know. My
message to the Arab and Gulf countries is that they could do so much
with their money and enormous
resources; that it’s sheer tragedy that
they do not use their enormous
wealth to help humankind.
“In today’s world, where the
refugee situation is taking a toll on
human conscience, these countries
should come together to uplift the
needy. I never heard the term jihad
used at home, at school or on the
street, and similarly never heard the
terms Sunni or Shia. But this, what I
do today, if it has any meaning at all,
then this is my jihad.”
othing could have been
more well-timed than this
book on Pakistan, that too
from Christophe Jaffrelot
who has spent a lifetime on
the shaping up of South Asia.
Interestingly, Pakistan at the crossroads
— Domestic Dynamics and External
Pressures has come at a time when speculation is high of a possible military
coup, the fifth in its 69 years of existence. What has led to this speculation
is Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel
Sharif ’s statement on probity for those
in public life soon after sacking a dozen
of his officers for corruption. Some circles read the Army chief ’s words as an
indication to his Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif to quit in the wake of his name
appearing in the Panama Leaks. Then
there is Imran Khan breathing down
Sharif ’s neck, first questioning his election and now making corruption an
issue. Though Nawaz Sharif is trying to
fight back the pressure both from civil
and military fronts, he knows a storm is
brewing up in his backyard.
The book gives a gripping analysis of
the challenges facing Pakistan against
the backcloth of oft-erupting tensions
between its civil and military leaders and
the issues that plague a democracy. It
explains in detail how the military manages to overlook the political scenario,
and political parties usually play in its
hand. The role of judiciary in the tussle
between political and military is also
interesting. Besides these internal factors, there is an elaborate discussion on
Pakistan’s foreign policy — ‘perception
of threat’ from India and Afghanistan,
and Pakistan’s relations with the US,
China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Jaffrelot is a noted French social
scientist who has written a lot on India
and Pakistan. In this book, he curates a
collection of essays on Pakistan by various researchers and experts who presented the papers at two conferences at
Columbia University. While writers
have explained in-depth internal and
external policies and problems staring
Pak, Jaffrelot has perfectly summed up
the past, present and future by explaining the interesting connect between
current political situation and history.
Explained through examples and anecdotes the book keeps you hooked like a
Pakistan military (mainly the Army
and ISI) has always had a major influence on the political situation of the
country due to which only one elected
Government managed to complete its
term. And nothing can alter the power
structure in which military-ISI is the
supreme, though the judiciary at times
does the balancing act. In fact, over the
years Pakistan military has become
much more powerful due to the weakness of political class which leans on the
ISI and military to best its adversaries.
Aqil Shah explains in ‘Military and
Democracy’ how military coups aborted
all of Pakistan’s previous transition to
democracy and even when not in
power, the armed forces maintained a
tight grip on national politics. Due to
the perceived threat from India, the
civilian leadership has from time to
time diverted resources to defence and
given the generals a virtual free hand to
manage the national security issue. But
growing media focus on the military
and its scandals has made the military
hil ‘Buck’ Knight, the
founder/principal owner of
Nike, the $30 billion plus
global corporation with NYSE
stock prices hovering in the $57
per share region, will retire as
Chairman this year. This is after
a straight run since 1962, a full
52 years in the saddle.
This book blends anecdote,
musing, philosophy, humour,
with Phil Knight’s hard-nosed
dynamism and good business
sense. It ends on a counterpoint
however, because Knight and
his wife Penelope, reminiscent
of the Odysseus legend, gained
the world but lost their grown
first born son to a scuba diving
accident. Fortunately, they do
have a surviving second son.
A ‘Shoe Dog’ is the term for
a character obsessed with everything to do with shoes, from its
materials and technical
design/construction, to its
image, appearance, quality,
durability, performance, celebrity endorsements, and sales.
Knight, a University of
Oregon track athlete, with a
graduate degree from Oregon, a
Masters in business from
Stanford, a year in the US
Army, and later, a CPA too, tells
a tenacious tale. It is replete
with an abiding passion for
sports and a romance with the
sporting psyche, particularly
track and tennis.
Nike, assessed with a brand
value of $19 billion in 2014,
and its predecessor, the Tiger
running shoes, and later the
Cortez and Boston, took on
the reigning German market
leaders, Puma and Adidas. By
1980, Knight’s corporation and
its many models of athletic and
sports shoes had captured 50
per cent of global market
share. The company grew to
encompass several others making not only other kinds of
sports shoes but apparel too.
And pretty soon, there were
Nike factories all over the
world and a host of celebrity
users of the products.
In 1962, it was only a serious track athlete who bought
running shoes, as jogging as a
form of recreational exercise,
involving millions of new shoes
in demand, had not yet caught
cautious and careful, and Gen Raheel
Sharif ’s action of sacking his men
explains that the Fauj at all cost would
like to maintain its credibility.
However, Pakistan’s democracy is
afflicted by other problems as well. By
and large political parties have failed to
deliver. Corruption, failed governance,
inflation, energy shortages, poor infrastructure and public services have
reduced the people’s trust in elected
Governments. The youth is struggling
for jobs and opportunities for better life.
The class divide in the society has only
grown over the years with rich having
all the means while poor and lower
middle class fight a daily battle for survival. There is a certain amount of
anguish among people over their mili-
tary spending instead of health, education and infrastructure.
There is a question mark on
media’s freedom. ISI’s “Information
Management Wing” on one side pampers journalists with money and exclusive stories to influence public opinion
in adverse situations. It also penalises
those not falling in line. The brutal
dismembering of journalist Saleem
Shehzad just a day after he exposed
the links between Al Qaeda and navy
personnel and the murderous attempt
on popular Geo TV anchor Hamid
Mir are just a few examples.
Nevertheless, media by large is proactive and keeps a tight vigil.
Philip Oldenburg in his chapter on
judiciary has said the lordships have
played the role of a rubber stamp in
legitimising military-bureaucratic rule.
But judiciary of late has also done a fairly good balancing act in bringing back
the rule of law whenever the democratic
structure crumbled — from lawyers and
judges agitation in 2007 to reign in the
Pervez Musharraf Government. Though
the courts may not be as assertive as
they were during Chief Justice Iftikhar
Muhammad Chaudhry’s time, there are
efforts to make political competition
cleaner and bring back voters to electoral process. But before that judiciary
itself has a tough task of cleaning its
image after questions have been raised
on judicial appointments and corruption in lower courts.
Pakistan’s relationship with India is
always one step forward and two steps
backward. Since the core issues are terrorism and Kashmir, not much positive
has happened over several years. No one
has doubts that Pakistan has sponsored
terrorism against India, and relations
between the two countries cannot
improve as long as Jihadi groups continue to target India. Talks between two
sides are held hostage to Pakistan’s civilmilitary relations. The latest example is
Indian PM Narendra Modi and Nawaz
Sharif ’s attempt to reduce tension and
start talking. These suffered a blow with
a terror attack on Pathankot air base.
Even though Pakistan launched its
war against terrorism — Zarb-e-Azb —
it has selectively targeted militant
groups like the Tehrik-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP) which targets the
Pakistani military and political class
rather than export its deadly craft to
neighbouring countries. Jaffrelot
explains that at present Pakistan is staring at major security challenges domestically and within its own provinces
rather than from India. The dirty proxy
war in Afghanistan and Kashmir is now
turning a full circle, and, as they say terror begets terror, Pakistan has suffered
heavy terror violence of late due to support it gave to Jihadis for decades. But
eventually, Pakistan may be forced to
rework its strategy vis-à-vis Afghanistan
and India by reducing support to nonstate militant actors. And, to keep its
own soil terror free and have normalcy
domestically, Pakistan has no choice but
to normalise relations with both India
Despite their latest verbal volleys on
the sale of F-16, Jaffrelot predicts that
the US will remain a key partner by
default to Pakistan establishment even
though the American administration
may reduce its support because of the
financial crunch and fewer troops to
supply to Afghanistan. Besides there is
change in situation vis-à-vis India over
few years — first under George Bush
and then under Barack Obama — and
Washington has become much closer to
New Delhi than before.
on. And the concept of wearing
sports shoes and elements of
sports clothing all the time,
including shoes from brands
like the stylish Converse Inc.,
still a Nike subsidiary today,
had not yet arrived.
Phil Knight’s Portland,
Oregon based Blue Ribbon
Sports Company, the name
inspired by Knight’s own track
trophies, began by selling run-
ning shoes imported from
manufacturers Omitsuka of
Kobe, Japan. He sold Tiger, at
first from the boot of his car, at
track meets, and from home,
The ‘crazy idea’ to bring in
and sell imported Japanese running shoes, first came to Knight
at Stanford. And its key
premise was that Japanese running shoes, sourced properly,
were of good enough quality to
compete with the German market leaders, and could beat
them on price.
In the Sixties, there were no
VCs (Venture Capitalists), and
so Phil Knight started his business with a small loan from his
father. Later, again purely on
the strength of his father’s reputation, Knight secured a small
line of credit with The First
National Bank, one of two
banks extant in Portland.
The 24-year-old Knight
went to Japan, via Hawaii, on
the way out, and managed to
secure a trial distributorship,
initially just for the West Coast
of America, immediately placing a sample order.
When the shoes arrived,
Knight sent a pair to his own
track coach, the formidable and
famous Bill Bowerman, who
coached the US Olympic track
team to many gold medal wins.
Bowerman understood the
needs of runners from the
inside out, and was always
modifying sports shoes to suit.
He modified the Tigers and
later created the updated
Cortez and Bostonto take on
Adidas. But it all began because
Bowerman was impressed with
Tiger in the first place. So
much so, that he offered to
become Knight’s 49 per cent
partner. And so, Blue Ribbon
Sports Company was born.
Turnover for year one was
a modest $8,000, but it doubled
every year, with Knight
ploughing back all his earnings
into fresh inventory.
Even though today Nike
employs 68,000 people worldwide, it was predictably hard
going at first. Financially, matters improved dramatically once
giant Japanese trading house
Nissho Iwai began to finance
and assist Knight with sourcing.
And this on a trading basis,
without ever wanting to buy in.
Phil made the most of that
very first overseas open ticket
to Japan. He paid for it from a
salary selling mutual funds in
idyllic Hawaii, where Knight
stopped for a spell on the way
out. On the way back, he
stopped again, in Hong Kong,
India and Italy. But he was
most impressed with Greece,
specifically Athens, which gave
him a sense of déjà vu. The
Parthenon seemed to speak to
him, as did the temple of
Athena Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
But, the brand Nike, was
actually born when Knight was
trying to launch on his own
due to Onitsuka’s mixed signals on his distributorship for
its Tigers. Onitsuka was trying
to throw over the agreement,
by now for the whole of the
US, after Knight had established the network.
The relationship between
the two ended up in court,
each accusing the other of
breach of contract. After a
mighty wrangle, Knight and
Blue Ribbon won and Nike,
born out of such difficulties,
was finally free and clear.
The Nike name and logo
was invented for the running
shoes manufactured by Nippon
Rubber of Japan, to design and
specifications provided by
Knight and his associates.
Bowerman, for example,
invented a unique ‘waffle sole’
patented and incorporated
from the start. But all of it,
including the tick mark,
‘whoosh’ logo, and orange
shoe-box packaging, wasn’t created till 1971.
The financing demands
growing ever larger, Blue
Ribbon, with nil collateral, was
always butting heads with its
banker. But once Knight found
Nissho Iwai and created Nike to
replace Tiger, there was no
looking back. It is Nissho Iwai
that sourced Nippon Rubber to
make the first Nikes. Later,
multiple factories were geographically diversified over
By 1973, the sales figure was
at $4.8 million. And by 1980,
when Nike went public, Phil
Knight became a rich man with
a net worth of $178 million.
Thetick mark ‘whoosh’ logo
developed by young graphic
designer Carolyn Davidson,
was in place from the birth of
Nike in 1971, but the iconic
“Just do it” slogan came only in
1988, eight years after the company went public.
It was coined by Dan
Weiden, for an advertising
campaign developed by Weiden
+ Kennedy. It was, in time,
voted one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century by
Advertising Age, and is
enshrined in the Smithsonian
Museum to this day.
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est Bengal’s 2016 State
Assembly election has
already sprung quite a few
surprises and is almost sure to throw
up more when the result is out on
May 19. Current voting trends indicate that there could be major electoral upsets, which very few can now
predict. But the most visible surprise
is that the once over-confident and
over-buoyant Trinamool Congress
supremo Mamata Banerjee, who not
long ago, had boasted of staging a far
more impressive victory than that of
2011, is now squirming because of
startling revelations in the Narada
bribery and flyover collapse scams
that threaten to bring the TMC chickens home to roost.
The Congress-Left alliance that
she had once contemptuously dismissed as being no match for her
TMC, is now being looked upon as a
serious contender for power. Even the
organisationally weak BJP, which
never figured in her poll reckoning, is
now being viewed as no pushover as
it has already made its presence felt in
this election. As a result, she has
implored voters not to withdraw their
continued support to her party
despite its many mistakes.
For a sitting Chief Minister, who
is also the head of a ruling party, to
tell voters to “come and slap me but
for god’s sake don’t stigmatise me as a
chor (thief)”, betrays her nervousness
about the impact that the Narada
scam would have on the poll outcome. Her supporters say that this
was her preventive strategy to stop the
scam from casting any shadow on her
poll prospects in her home turf
Bhowanipore, where, going by figures
of the last Lok Sabha poll, her party
was trailing the BJP.
More than the Narada scam,
what may impact more adversely on
the TMC’s poll result will be corruption — a malaise which went viral
among party leaders when they came
to power. Five years ago, many among
them were unsure wherefrom would
their next meal come. Today they
own palatial bungalows and fleets of
luxury cars and buses. In this election,
the TMC has fielded the highest
number of crorepati candidates, many
of whose moveable and immovable
assets have risen manifold over the
last five years.
Luck also seems to have run out
for Banerjee as she, in the last one and
a half months, has been beset with
such a quick succession of political
misfortunes that she is unable to cope
with them. Narada was followed by
the release of a morphed video
released with the clear intent of denigrating Prime Minister Narendra
Modi. As a result, cases under the
Cyber Crime Act and of criminal
defamation have been filed against
Trinamool leaders, which have the
potential to snowball and severely
compromise her image further. Just
when the video issue was showing
signs of ebbing, her storm-troopers
beat up two four year-old children
belonging to the Opposition families.
The crime of one of the children was
that her father was a CPI(M) polling
agent. These incidents unleashed such
a popular outrage that the local Trinamool MP, Dinesh Trivedi, was
forced to come out in defence of the
child victim and condemn his party
goons for their criminal act.
Actually, Mamata Banerjee is herself to blame for bringing her party to
such a messy pass. When the Narada
scam first surfaced, she dismissed the
sting operation as a “doctored and
fake video and a political conspiracy”
aimed at maligning her and her party.
Subsequently, she took the plea that
the money taken was not bribe but
‘donation’ to meet the party’s poll
expenses. Sensing that this stand was
not convincing voters and her image
was getting sullied, she did a complete
somersault saying that “had the scandal surfaced ahead of TMC’s finalisation of nomination list and last date of
filing of nomination, I would have
denied party tickets to scam-tainted
leaders”. But this was a ruse to distance herself from the tainted leaders
When all her attempts to prove
herself and scam tainted leaders innocent failed, she broke down saying,
“Don’t vote for me if I am a chor”. Her
ever-shifting and conflicting stance
made people realise that she was desperately trying to hide the truth.
That she is her own undoing has
been proved once again by her latest
act of foolhardiness by getting a Modi
video of 2013 vintage morphed. In
the said video, Rajnath Singh is seen
offering sweets to Modi, whose image
had been replaced by Prakash Karat’s.
This was done with the malicious
intent to mislead Muslim voters into
believing how close the relationship
between the Marxist-led Congress
alliance and the BJP was. The strategy
boomeranged so badly that both the
CPI(M) and the BJP have filed criminal cases against TMC leaders.
No sooner had the dust of this
political imbroglio started settling
5 4 4 3 1 0 2 :
Reader response to
Swapan Dasgupta’s column,
Usual Suspects, published on
Reader response to
Kanchan Gupta’s column,
Coffee Break, published on
Political ascendancy: US
presidential hopeful Donald
Trump’s political ascendancy
to the White House reminds
me of the rise of Narendra
Modi as the Prime Minister of
India. Even as senior leaders
of the Bharatiya Janata Party,
including LK Advani, Murli
Manohar Joshi etc, expressed
disappointment over the
party’s decision to elect Modi
as the prime ministerial candidate, Modi won over the
hearts of those leaders.
We should wait for
Trump’s campaign to unfold
before concluding that
Hilary Clinton will
have a walk-over.
Past mistakes: The
Congress’s rally, ostensibly to
save democracy, right at the
time when the grand old
party is facing heat on
AgustaWestland deal, is the
same old dirty diversionary
tactic as the award-wapsi
programme and the intolerance brouhaha, to drown out
the popularity of the BJP
The NDA Government
can only be discredited for
being clumsy and not surefooted enough to hurry the
investigation into the chopper deal to it’s conclusion.
Deriding the Modi
Government for threatening
our democracy is a dirty
trick of the Congress ,which
is now feeling insecure that
ghosts from the past will
come to haunt it. This
knowledge of its errors, of
omission and commission,
should weigh heavily on the
collective conscience of the
History of history: Once
Napoleon remarked, “What
is history but a fable agreed
upon?” Truth needs big fight
to prevail. The academic proletariat has been at work to
establish lies as truths and
this has been going on for
The late 19th century
tom-tommed as expansion of
civilisation has many scores
of millions as victims as societies were steam rolled to
adjust to Western capitalism
Family poster: The poster
itself makes it clear that the
dynasty is evolving from
Nehru-Gandhi to VadraGandhi. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi (so far) has
met an evolutionary dead-end.
However, the bloodline continues through Robert Vadra, and
so we have the Congress with
the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Robert
Vadra and Rahul Gandhi.
Political gamble: The Indian
National Congress has lost
significance. With the exhibition of posters with three personalities viz Sonia Gandhi,
Robert Vadra and Rahul
Gandhi, the grand old party
has completely become a family party. However, it is
strange that Manmohan Singh
is being dragged into the
down, came the brutal attack on the
two four-year old children belonging
to opposition party families, followed
by messy cover-up bids. The local
TMC goons forced the father of one
of the victims to give a written undertaking that the ruling partymen were
in no way responsible for the incident. He was compelled to write that
the child was a victim of domestic
violence. But the local Trinamool MP,
Dinesh Trivedi, called the bluff, saying the child was a victim of political
vendetta and the guilty should be
punished. The cumulative impact of
these three negative episodes caused
Mamata Banerjee a total loss of face.
How swiftly and silently the
mood of the State’s voters is shifting
from the TMC is best illustrated by
the stony silence with which she was
greeted by Singur farmers at a recent
rally. Once they were in the vanguard
of her 2011 ‘oust CPI(M) from power
movement’. Singur was the epicentre
of her movement to banish the Marxists from Bengal. Today, Singur farmers are blaming her for ruining the
village economically and socially.
They are demanding the return of the
Tata factory to Singur.
The most redeeming feature of
this poll is that, despite total hostility
from the State Chief Minister, the
Election Commission of India could
fulfil its constitutional obligation and
mandate by holding a by and large
free and fair election. It was not until
the fourth of the seven-phase Assembly poll that the poll panel could get
its act together and exercise control
over the election machinery. The first
three phases had been marred by
reports of irregularities.
n Uttar Pradesh, this time the
Samajwadi Party will fight elections
under the leadership of Akhilesh
Yadav. Sources in the party say
Mulayam Singh Yadav will take a
step back, allowing his son to handle
everything — from candidate selection
to campaigning strategy.
This, it is being speculated, is being
done under a specific strategy. Mulayam
doesn’t want any senior party member to
interfere in strategy matters. Sources say
Mulayam wants to give a message that he
is not doing anything and is just sitting
idle. This has in turn supposedly
strengthened Akhilesh’s leadership.
It is being said that none of
Mulayam’s old friends or colleagues are a
part of Akhilesh’s core team. If this strategy becomes successful, then veteran
leaders such as Azam Khan, Ram Gopal
Yadav, and Ambika Chaudhary will not
play an important role in UP elections.
Shivpal Singh Yadav is the only family
member who will remain with Akhilesh
as they share a good rapport. From the
names of candidates for Rajya Sabha elections, it will become clear how far they
will succeed. If either Amar Singh or Jaya
Prada get a ticket, it will become clear that
Akhilesh and Shivpal hold the reins,
which sources in SP are confident of.
hat could not happen in Assam
before polling is being attempted
afterwards. Right from the Congress to
Left and Nitish Kumar had before the
election process tried to form a grand
alliance with Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s
Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and
Badruddin Ajmal’s party, All India
United Democratic Front (AIUDF), but
that could not be possible. Now, after
polling, they are trying for the same
Sources say Congress leaders are trying to woo both alliance partners of the
BJP. Recently, during a two-day conference, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) gave
an indication that it can move to some
other alliance, leaving the BJP. After that
Congress leaders became active. BPF had
fought 2011 elections with the Congress
and the former was also a part of the
Gogoi Government. So, the Congress
will not hesitate in talking to BPF.
It is being said that Congress leaders
are also in touch with Mahanta. On the
other hand, Ajmal is also in contact with
BPF and AGP. Talks are also apparently
going on between the Congress and
Ajmal’s party. Himanta Biswa Sarma, former Congress leader who is now in the
BJP, is said to be on a counter mission.
that to make him win, the Congress has
to arrange four votes. The party will try
to take the support of either Rashtriya
Lok Dal (RLD), Peace Party of India or
The real game lies with seven seats
of Samajwadi Party. People from all
over the country are lobbying for these
seats. It is said that owners of news
channels are also hobnobbing with
Samajwadi Party. One-time MP of
Samajwadi Party and close to
Mulayam’s heart, Amar Singh, might
also be given a ticket for Rajya Sabha.
There are also speculations that
former actress Jaya Prada can be sent
to Rajya Sabha. Names of some of the
leaders were struck off by Governor
Ram Naik from the list from which
members were to be nominated to
Uttar Pradesh’s Legislative Assembly.
Now, some of them can also be given
tickets for Rajya Sabha.
ecently, Lalu Prasad Yadav exhibited his political understanding
when he met Baba Ramdev. In Bihar,
itish Kumar is taking forward his
agenda of liquor prohibition and has
made it a pan-India strategy. Outside
Bihar, he has started pushing for the ban
in Jharkhand. He organised a function in
Dhanbad and demanded a ban on liquor
in the State. It must be noted that former
CM of Jharkhand, Babulal Marandi, is
merging his party JVM with JDU. In that
scenario, Nitish and Marandi will both
campaign for liquor ban in Jharkhand.
Uttar Pradesh is the next target of
Nitish. Today, a function on liquor ban is
scheduled in Lucknow. To make it successful, leaders of Bihar have been roped
in. KC Tyagi and RCP Singh, MPs of
JDU, have made a blueprint for this
event. Nitish is ostensibly planning to
push his agenda in a big way.
Some say he has also got an invitation
from Rajasthan. Some organisations have
said that he must campaign against liquor
in Rajasthan also. Delhi is also on Nitish’s
radar and something big is being planned
for the National Capital. Nitish will go to
Punjab too to take his campaign forward.
A party leader says a serious message is being spread that Nitish is the
only leader after Gandhi who is fighting
social evils. For the next three years, he
will pursue this campaign and then he
will be presented as a Prime Minister
candidate, it is being said.
he Congress is currently in a
very bad condition in Lok Sabha.
The party neither has any veteran
leader nor any good Speaker.
Worse, it is also struggling with
finding alliance partners.
So, one Parliament Session after
another, the performance of the
Congress is deteriorating in Lok
Sabha. Jyotiraditya Scindia recently
gave a speech on AgustaWestland deal
but could be seen struggling to express
himself in Hindi.
Sources in the Congress say that
neither can the number of MPs in Lok
Sabha be increased before the term of
the House is complete nor can good
spokespersons can be brought in like
in Rajya Sabha. So, the Congress needs
alliance partners that can help it
against the Government.
Under political compulsions, the
Congress has made the three biggest
parties of Lok Sabha — AIADMK, Biju
Janata Dal and All India Trinamool
Congress — its opponents. And now
the BJP is getting the benefit.
In fact, all veterans and good orators of the Congress are in Rajya
Sabha. Mallikarjun Kharge is the
leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha,
but he is eyeing the Chief Minister
post of Karnataka. Captain Amarinder
Singh had been made the deputy
leader in Lok Sabha, but he is now
busy in the Punjab battle. Hence, several times, the Congress seems to be
without any command in Lok Sabha.
Of course, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the
chief whip of the party, can often be
seen huffing and puffing in Lok Sabha.
That is why Congress leaders feel that
if the party has to give an apt reply to
the BJP, a strong and impactful deputy
leader is needed, and cooperation with
some of the anti-BJP parties is also the
need of the hour.
his year, 11 seats of Rajya Sabha
are going to be vacated from Uttar
Pradesh. Of these, seven seats will go
to the Samajwadi Party. Bahujan Samaj
Party (BSP) will get two seats, and the
Congress and BJP will get one each.
Barring Samajwadi Party, all three
parties have finalised names of their
candidates. Sources say Satish Chandra
Mishra and Ambeth Rajan will be sent
to Rajya Sabha again. Mishra is the
closest ally of Mayawati and Rajan is
the treasurer of the party.
Similarly, the name of Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi is decided for a BJP ticket.
The Congress has also finalised its candidate, and Satish Sharma might be sent
to Rajya Sabha. Though this is also true
many people believe that Lalu met the
controversial yoga guru only to consolidate his Yadav vote bank. Lalu was
under tremendous pressure from his
own supporters that he should not
Not long ago, Lalu had claimed
that Ramdev puts bone powder in his
ayurvedic medicines. But now his
opinion seems to have changed. Now,
Lalu has become the brand ambassador for Baba’s products.
Lalu’s second high profile meeting
was with BJP’s Nitin Gadkari. He had
gone to meet Gadkari with his son
Tejashwi Yadav, who is the Public
Works Department (PWD) Minister of
Bihar. After this meeting, Lalu claimed
that Gadkari had called him, but
sources say that Lalu had himself
expressed his desire to come to
Gadkari’s place along with his son.
However, it doesn’t matter who
called who and who took the initiative;
it is important that both meetings gave
a different message in Bihar’s politics.
A Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader
said Nitish used to meet Arun Jaitley
whenever he came to Delhi, and Lalu
met Gadkari in the same manner.
Leaders of Bihar emphasise the fact
that Z category security of Lalu is still
intact. This is almost certain that Lalu
will not go with the BJP, but there is
no doubt that after these two high
profile meetings, he has sent a strong
message to Nitish.
ndia’s diplomatic outreach to
the Oceania that started with
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s visits to Australia in
November 2014, the first by an
Indian Prime Minister in 28
years, was followed by President
Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Papua
New Guinea (PNG) in April 2016
— again first ever by an Indian
President to visit that country.
As India incrementally raises
its diplomatic profile commensurate with its increasing clout in
regional and global affairs stemming from its high economic
growth, one cannot miss the
strategic as well as the economic
dimensions of such visits.
While Australia’s importance
to India as a source of critical
resource is given, which is why
Australia is important for India
economically, the strategic
dimensions are equally important. Same is the case with PNG
and other Pacific island nations.
Seen from this larger perspective, President Mukherjee’s
visit to PNG assumes importance
as a key component in India’s Act
East policy. President Mukherjee
also visited New Zealand.
It was in last August that PM
Modi had met his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill in Jaipur on
the sidelines of Forum for IndiaPacific Islands Cooperation
(FIPIC). This was the second
FIPIC summit organised in less
than a year; the first was held in
Fiji on November 19, 2014.
The FIPIC summit is seen as
India’s aim to expand its economic and strategic footprints in the
region amid China’s increasing
presence. The role of the 14
Pacific island nations (Fiji,
Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue,
Palau, PNG, Samoa, Tuvalu,
Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Kiribati,
Micronesia, Solomon Islands and
Tongo) is important for India as
their support at international
forum, where India has stake,
would be valuable.
With 7.1 million population
and 462.840 sq km area, the PNG
is the largest Pacific Island nation,
both in terms of population and
area. Over 3,000 Indians, mostly
businessmen and professionals,
work in that country in different
areas, including IT and ITenabled services, education, and
technical personnel in mining.
The island nation was looking for strengthening cooperation
in defence, agriculture and
healthcare sectors. On its part,
India offered to extend all possible help to PNG.
During his recent visit,
Mukherjee and O’Neill discussed
opportunities for future cooperation. The visit not only demonstrated the warm relations that
both countries share, the two also
discussed current and potential
cooperation opportunities in
areas such as agriculture production, downstream processing in
the hydrocarbon sector, plus
health and education exchanges.
PNG duly acknowledges
India’s role in extending technical
and economic cooperation,
including in the defence sector. It
also acknowledges that India has
expertise in food production and
from being once import-dependent on food, is now a net food
exporter and wants to learn from
India’s experience. As PNG
moves away from exporting only
raw oil and gas, cooperation in
downstream processing for its
hydro-carbon with India is of
A number of agreements were
signed. Mukherjee also unveiled a
statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the
University of PNG, addressed the
PNG-India Business Council, and
launched the India-PNG Business
Association. With a view to
strengthen bilateral ties and
ensuring energy security, India
offered a $100 million line of
credit for development of infrastructure in PNG and agreed to
jointly develop the Pacific nation’s
vast oil and gas resources. India
also offered a coastal surveillance
radar system and Coast Guard
patrol vessels as part of its commitment for the mutual maritime
From the discussions that
Mukherjee had with the Prime
Minister of PNG and his counterpart and the joint statement
issued thereafter, it transpired
that there are many regional and
global issues such as terrorism,
India’s candidature for permanent
membership of the UN Security
Council and maritime security on
which both share common views.
Therefore, both countries
agreed to establish a mechanism
for regular consultations between
their foreign ministries, aimed at
diversifying bilateral cooperation
in areas of shared interest. The
joint statement said: “Keeping in
view India’s desire to achieve
energy security, PNG agreed to
develop new avenues of cooperation with India in exploration
and development of PNG’s vast
oil and gas resources through
joint ventures and Indian public
and private sector investment in
new and existing projects.”
PNG also announced a visaon-arrival facility for Indian
tourists travelling to the Pacific
Island as a “gesture of reciprocity” as India has already approved
a similar facility for the nationals
of all Pacific Island countries
since 2015. India also agreed to
provide retro-viral drugs and
equipment for the treatment of
20,000 HIV patients in PNG for a
period of one year.
An MoU on agriculture
research cooperation between
University of Technology in Lae
in PNG and the Indian Council
of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
was also signed. Another MoU
was signed on cooperation in the
PNG is blessed with fertile
soil, land rich in natural resources
and abundant marine wealth and
therefore bilateral cooperation
and public-private partnership in
a host of areas can produce a winwin situation for both countries.
Bilateral trade at present is modest. It totalled $209 million with
imports accounting for $157 million and exports for $52.19 million. However, the increase of
items in the commodity baskets
as well as extending cooperation
in other areas such as energy,
food processing etc shall help in
expanding PNG markets and
increase trade volume.
Capacity building and maritime security have been the
focus areas in strengthening
PNG’s armed forces. This
remains as a means to build
strategic relations with the island
nation. This is besides extending
technical and financial support,
skilled manpower and institutional support to harness the
mineral-rich country’s abundant
natural resources and establish
mutually beneficial economic and
As Mukherjee told the PNG
Business Council, PNG’s main
challenge is how to best utilise
these abundant natural resources
for value addition, generating
employment and economically
empowering its people. So far,
despite enormous possibilities to
deepen economic and commercial
relations, these have not grown in
proportion to the actual capabilities and capacities but they stand
at the cusp of a breakthrough.
What are the strategic implications of India’s outreach to the
Pacific island nation? For obvious
reason, China would not rejoice
in India’s efforts to spread its
footprint in the Pacific, though
India is not competing with
China for extending its strategic
space. In order to dispel China’s
concern, Mukherjee was emphatic in mentioning that his visit will
be a precursor to intensified economic and security cooperation
with the Pacific Island nation. He
made it clear that “India does not
see itself in competition with any
other country in this regard”
after talking of maritime security,
terrorism and piracy being major
concerns to India and PNG.
India offered to cooperate
with Pacific Island countries in
protecting their Exclusive
Economic Zones. The larger message that went beyond PNG was
that India is eager to deepen its
engagement with all Pacific
Island countries. Therefore, the
untapped potential of India’s ties
with Pacific nations was not limited to PNG alone.
The MoU signed on the
pharmaceutical sector covered
doctors and nurses from PNG to
be trained in India, and Indian
physicians, nurses and trainers to
be deputed in PNG. India also
pledged support to establish a
pharmaceutical production unit
in PNG to meet the demand for
The US sees India from a
strategic perspective as a
potential counterweight to
China’s growing regional influence in Asia, which is why the
Barack Obama administration
is keen to strengthen its ties
with New Delhi. Issues such as
freedom of navigation in the
South China Sea and Indian
Ocean region are at the centre
stage of diplomatic talks. The
US, therefore, sees India as an
integral part of America’s Asia
policy. The US recognises that
India as the world’s third
largest economy has the potential to become a major economic player in East Asia.
Indeed, India is already playing a constructive role in maritime issues. Seen from all such
perspectives, India’s engagement
with the Pacific Island nation can
be viewed as extending its strategic space while deepening economic ties at the same time.
B C 8 ; 4 C C > B
om Hanks has described the
loneliness of his “vagabond”
childhood on the BBC Radio 4
show Desert Island Discs. The
American actor had to pause to collect himself as he discussed the
impact of hearing one of his music
choices, Strauss’s Also Sprach
Zarathustra — used in 2001: A Space
Odyssey — on him as a teenager,
after a nomadic childhood with his
chef father, Amos, living in 10 houses in five years.
He told the programme’s host,
Kirsty Young: “This was the ‘wow’
moment of my life going from a kid
trying to figure out what’s interesting
in this life to young man yearning to
be an artiste.
“I started asking myself: ‘How do I
find the vocabulary for what’s rattling
around in my head?’ Not long after I
started going to the American
Conservatory theatre by myself to see
plays I had no idea even existed.”
Asked by Young what those feelings in his head were, Hanks took a
long pause and had to compose him-
self. “What have you done to me?” he
asked an apologetic Young.
“No, it’s all right, because I put too
much thought into this list. What it
was, it was the vocabulary of loneliness,” he replied.
The Cast Away actor, 59, admitted
that his first marriage at 21 to actor
Samantha Lewes, which produced
children Colin and Elizabeth, had
been to “quell the loneliness”.
here is something eerie about
the fact that plastic does not
ever perish. It is a set of chemicals, uninterestingly mouldable into any form. Some
types of plastic water bottles contain a
chemical that leaches into the drinking
water it holds. This chemical, Bisphenol
A, acts as a faux-estrogen to pregnant
women, and can cause chromosomal
abnormalities that lead to birth defects
and developmental disabilities in the foetus. Plastic has no smell, and plastic
flowers accumulate dust in their crevices.
We are ultimately what we feel, consume and surround ourselves with. And
this is why growing violence, injustice,
cloning of humans, market-driven poetry, and the unrestrained growth of plastic
flowers get me worried. Terror and violence in a society cause unnatural change
on the victims. They kills or else create a
warped perspective of reality for the surviving witnesses of terror. Cloning is
asexual and thereby unnatural too. It is as
fake as the poetry that does not originate
from human experience. Plastic flowersbottles-surgery (when not needed) are
equally a forgery of what could be real.
The earliest plastics were actually
modifications of natural materials such
as animal horn, amber, shellac, and tortoiseshell, which could be manipulated
into various forms by heating. In the
19th century, synthetic chemistry in the
chemical, dye, paper, and textile industries led to the discovery of cellulose
nitrate or Celluloid. It was used for photographic negatives, billiard balls and
even false teeth. Very quickly the
demand for mass-produced items at an
affordable price drove the growth of the
Cellulose acetate was even adopted
by the movie industry for making film
rolls. Bakelite was introduced into popular use in the 1920s for radios. The
20th century saw the invention of
Styrofoam, PVC, acrylic, polyurethane,
epoxy, cellophane, nylon, synthetic
rubber and textile fibers.
In the United States, synthetic paints
began to replace natural materials in
household paints in the 1930s. Plastics
became popular — they were just cheaper and more readily available, especially
during World War II, when natural raw
materials were difficult to obtain.
According to the United Nations
Environmental Programme, the global
plastic consumption has gone from 5.5
million tonnes in the 1950s to 110 million tonnes in 2009. Currently, approximately 60 million plastic bottles in the
world end up in a landfill, incinerator, or
the oceans every day.
Relatively very little plastic in the
world is recycled. The top most reason
for this is the consumer’s inconvenience
to separate waste. However, another
major reason is also that the recycling
process is tedious and labour intensive
— various types of plastic with different
chemical compositions first need to be
sorted, separately shredded, purified of
impurities, then melted and formed into
pellets, which can be used to create
other plastic products.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
estimates that by 2050, plastic will finally
outweigh all the fish in the oceans. The
Foundation is the pioneer of the concept
of the Circular Economy, a generic term
for an economy that produces no waste
and pollution, and therefore by definition encourages recycling, reusing, and
sharing of objects.
Despite my commitment — to the
extent of being a permanent judge for
the Circular Economy Awards given
away at the World Economic Forum’s
annual meeting at Davos each year, I
cannot live with plastic bottles reused as
self-watering pots, stationary holders,
bird feeders, or wind chimes around in
my home. My partner Chirag’s love for
mineral water (only available in plastic
bottles) over filtered water (that is in the
tap), has had to suffer, given my ban of
plastic in our bedroom.
I watched in awe this week Emma
Watson walking the red carpet of the
MET Gala in New York in a gown crafted from three different fabrics, all woven
from yarns made from recycled plastic
bottles — certainly not my style.
And when news broke out this fortnight of more than 90 homes being built
using plastic bottles over 83 acres of the
Panamanian jungle, I marvelled at the
ingenuity and knew that I would not live
there. Plastic is so unnatural that reusing
it at home is unappetising — precisely
why plastic is filling up our oceans.
My domestic ban on plastic bottles is
not unprecedented either. In 2009, the
small town of Bundanoon in Australia
was the first in the world to enact this
ban, out of concerns of resource wastage,
transportation emissions, and irreparable
damage to the ecosystem.
Twenty two university campuses followed suit, and they too implemented
the ban. In the US alone, college graduates from the class
of 2016 are estimated to use
more than three billion plastic
bottles over the next 10 years. Far greater
numbers of universities globally must
make the same move.
On April 27, 2016, San Francisco
became the first city in America to ban
the sale of plastic water bottles, with a
waiver only permissible if an adequate
alternative water source is not available.
The current billion-dollar plastic bottle
industry was not at all pleased. The
American Beverage Association, which
includes Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo,
said the ban was “nothing more than a
solution in search of a problem”.
A few days later, on May 4, under
the patronage of Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin
Ali Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Dubai too
launched a campaign ‘Drop it — say no
to plastic bottles’. The UAE has one of
the highest consumption of bottled water
per capita in the world.
We know that artificiality around us
indeed makes us empty from the inside.
Surrounding oneself with and consuming all that is untainted realigns the body
with what is natural, peaceful and safe.
Wearing simple clothing can be full of
grace. The blush on the cheek creates
beauty when it comes from nutrition and
inner positivity. Even art cannot result
from superficial effects.
But there are contradictions in
appreciating mother earth while deploring the artificialities with which humans
have spoiled nature. The obvious contradiction lies in the implication that
humans and their artifacts are not part of
nature, while birds and their nests are.
Taking the moral high ground has
not worked so far. So we can only rely
on our aesthetics to find plastic unnatural and therefore ugly enough to put a
definitive ban on producing it. While
also appreciating man-made creations
to safely reuse it.
nne Hathaway will reprise the
role of a US air force pilot
tasked with operating an
unmanned drone in a film version of
Grounded, a play she appeared in offBroadway. The Oscar winner for Les
Misérables will also produce the picture, according to Variety.
Julie Taymor directed Hathaway
in the 2015 production of the play by
George Brant. No director has yet
been locked for the film adaptation.
The one-woman play was first
seen in Edinburgh in 2013 and offBroadway in 2014, followed by
Taymor’s collaboration with Hathaway
at the Public theatre in New York.
Variety reports that Hathaway secured
the film rights before her first performance, for which she later earned a
nomination for a Critics Circle award.
The production received strong
reviews at the time, with the
Guardian’s Alexis Soloski calling
Hathaway’s performance “consciously
“The script demands a heightened
performance, especially as the pilot
grows increasingly unstrapped from
observable reality, and Hathaway
delivers,” she wrote. “Monomania is
one of her specialties, and she goes
full throttle here.”
The ethics of drone warfare were
also the subject for Eye in the Sky, Gavin
Hood’s thriller starring Helen Mirren
and the late Alan Rickman, which is
one of the highest-grossing independent
films of the year in the US.
oon after being cast as Lara
Croft in a Tomb Raider reboot,
Alicia Vikander has announced
plans to launch her own production
company. Vikarious Productions will
be led by the Swedish actor and her
London-based agent Charles Collier,
according to Variety.
The company’s first film,
Euphoria, is set to start shooting this
autumn in the German Alps, with
Vikander and Eva Green starring as
duelling sisters travelling through
Europe. The film marks the Englishlanguage debut of Swedish film-maker
Lisa Langseth, who previously direct-
ed Vikander in Pure and Hotel.
Vikander, who won an Oscar for
The Danish Girl, said of the project: “It
is a profound story about the journey
of two estranged sisters, full of suffering but also full of joy, and squaring
up to very important subject matter. It
also has compelling female voices and
is packed to the rafters with female talent both sides of the camera.”
Variety reports that the company
plans to produce a further two titles
within the next two years. As an actor,
Vikander has three films due for
release this year: Tulip Fever, The Light
Between Oceans; and Jason Bourne.
> 3 3 ;H 4=>D67
he FBI is searching for an
Arizona bank robbery suspect
seen in security camera footage
wearing what appears to be a very
unconvincing fake beard. The
video shows the suspect
wearing a baseball cap and a
fake beard that doesn’t
come close to matching his
gray hair. The FBI said the
man threatened to spray a
teller at the Wells Fargo
Bank in Mesa with acid if
she didn’t hand over any
cash. The teller hid below
the counter to avoid any
attack and the suspect fled. It
was unclear whether he managed
to take any money from the bank.
n Ivy League professor aboard
an American Airlines flight
was questioned after a passenger
mistook a math equation for
Arabic and possible Islamic code for a
terrorist attack. Guido Menzio, an economics professor at the University of
Pennsylvania, was working on a differential math equation as the
Syracuse-bound plane was
preparing to take off from
Philadelphia. The 41minute flight was delayed
by two hours as the oliveskinned, curly, dark-haired
native Italian was questioned.
A blond-haired woman
wearing flip-flops and appearing
to be in her 30s had passed a
note to a flight attendant.
American Airlines flight 3950
returned to the gate at
Airport and was met by what he
described as an “FBI-looking man
in black”. He learned the woman
thought he was a terrorist.
After realising he was only
doing math, the flight took off
minus the complaining passenger.
The woman boarded a later flight
for Syracuse. Menzio boarded the
original flight again.
American Airlines confirmed
the woman had raised suspicions
about Menzio. Casey Norton, a
spokesperson for American
Airlines, said the woman initially told the crew she was
sick. Norton said that when passengers
raise concerns about issues during their
flight, “we try to work with them peacefully to resolve it”.
n artist is planning to release
about 2,000 pigeons fitted with
LED lights over New York’s East River.
Boston artist Duke Riley’s public art
project ‘Fly By Night’ features thousands of specially trained pigeons circling above the East River on weekends from May 7 to June 12.
Riley developed a connection with
pigeons after rescuing one as a young
boy and many of the birds involved in
the project come from his personal flock.
“Fly By Night pays homage to
pigeon-keeping, both in New York and
farther afield,” the project’s description
states. “Pigeons have been domesticated
for thousands of years and kept by people around the world for their compan-
ionship, sport, and service.”
The project will see the
birds emerge from a historic boat at the Brooklyn
Navy Yard with LED lights attached to
leg bands that were historically used to
carry messages. The birds will then circle around the river as the sun continues to set, creating a floating body of
light in the night sky. “It will look like a
constellation or tiny shooting stars the
darker it gets,” Riley told WNYC.
French man claims that his former
employer caused him to “bore out”
of his job and become depressed by
stripping him of his responsibilities.
Frederic Desnard, a 44-year-old
ex-facilities manager at French perfume company Interparfums Inc, is
suing the company for $170,000 in
damages after claiming he was
“shelved” when the company lost an
Desnard states that his employer
sent him on “a descent into hell”
by giving him only menial tasks over
the course of four years. “I was
depressed, and ashamed of
being paid for doing nothing,” he said.
Desnard left the company in 2014 and claims
that the “bore out” cost
him holiday pay, a
and that his depression and anxiety led
to an epileptic fit
Inc. claims “inconsistencies” in
saying he “never
about being bored
during the fouryear period”. “And
if he actually had
nothing to do
over these years,
why didn’t he
mention it?” they
n artist in Cyprus celebrated
Star Wars Day by using a mug
of coffee to paint a portrait of
iconic antihero-turned-villainturned-antihero Darth Vader.
Video of the painting
session, posted to YouTube
by Upcycle.Club, shows
artist Maria A Aristidou
sketching some lines on
her canvas before bringing
out her paint — a mug
footage ends with a finished portrait of Luke
“It’s the 4th of May,
and today we are celebrating, ‘May the fourth
be with you,’” Aristidou
said using painted
sheets of paper, referencing the popular saying that inspired the
unofficial Star Wars
verything in creation
is in relation to the
other; nothing is in
has a state of consciousness. Animals have a state
of consciousness, as do plants
and humans. Consciousness is
the frequency at which cells
vibrate inside your body. If you
put your ears to your body, you
will hear a distinct sound. That
sound is your frequency, the
level at which you vibrate. For
you, that frequency is real and
that frequency has a range to it.
For example, human ear is sensitive to a specific range of frequency; it cannot hear frequencies below or beyond it. But that
doesn’t mean that frequencies
below and beyond do not exist.
Frequencies exist; it is just that
you don’t have the capacity to
experience those frequencies.
When people get into yoga,
they start having experiences.
There is no one at Dhyan
Ashram anywhere in the world,
who has been practising as told
for over six months and who
hasn’t had the experiences of
the subtler dimensions. I am
assuming that one comes to a
spiritual organisation for spiritual experiences only or is there
any other purpose? But I have
noticed that often people come
to a spiritual organisation and
get paranormal and supernormal experiences, not just in
dhyan, but also in physical life
and yet after a while, they
change their path. Also, it has
been my observation that those
who change path, they completely immerse themselves into
indulgence. They get into show
and start observing more of
I’ll give you an example.
When we travel, passers by at
the airport often comment, “So
many pretty girls around
Guruji”. I understand when
such a comment comes from a
non-practitioner, for beauty and
glow are a natural byproduct of
yoga and are apparent in all the
sadhaks around me. But what is
bothersome is when a practi-
tioner, who has had experience
of yoga, also makes similar
observations and fails to comment upon the spiritual journey
of the sadhaks. It is a clear indication that his/her frequency
levels are beyond the range of
In spiritual frequencies, you
will see that when you meet rishi
munis in the Himalayas, they
move about without clothes. In
the physical dimension, a nonbeliever will view it as obscenity
because his/her frequency is
such. There are seven major
chakras in the body and the
above thoughts indicate that
your vibrations are only till the
level of basic chakras — the mool
and swadishthan. If a spiritual
aspirant has a similar thought
pattern, it is a dangerous sign.
Recently, I was invited for a
TV debate where the anchor
said, “Babas are very infamous
these days”. I said, “Yes, some of
them. But then, why do you
only pick up those few
instances, why not talk about
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa or
Ramana Maharshi or
Satyananda Paramhansa, and
their contemporaries?” It is
because those are the frequencies the majority relates to.
Take a look at the newspaper; it is filled with negative
news — of rapes and murders,
blasts and corruption. How
many of you look for positive
news, stories on people who are
happy or satisfied? Hardly anyone. This is because the frequency at which the majority is
vibrating is lower or heavier and
so they relate to such things
only. That frequency is who or
what we are.
When you go through the
practice of yoga, a metamorphosis happens. If you are actually doing the practices, then
the experience has to happen.
It’s unreal if the experiences
don’t happen. And when the
experience happens, it is not to
impress you. It is only to tell you
that there is something beyond,
don’t waste your time and life
chasing the temporary, some-
his is the sequence for a human
life. All human beings are supposed to make progress towards
moksha (liberation) — the real goal of
human life. This gets started by taking
the first three steps: Doing all acts by the
body, mind and words according to
dharma; earning one’s living (artha)
according to dharma; and enjoying one’s
life with the help of the earned artha
according to dharma.
When one does all of the above, he or
she develops a desire for liberation. There
is no possibility of even seriously thinking
about liberation unless one has gone
through these three steps. Because the way
this world had been created, one will not
have any attraction for moksha till he or
she has enjoyed this world and realised its
impermanence. This is like a child wanting
a toy. The child will not be peaceful till he
gets it, and then what happens? He plays
with it for some time and discards it; he
has realised that the toy cannot give him
Before I go any further, I must explain
what dharma is because everything we do
in this regard must be according to dharma
only. Essentially, dharma is what God
expects us to do. This will include doing
duties according to time, place and circumstances; purity; equality; justice, which
includes impartiality, what is justified, is
proper, and is lawful; good character; and
thing which is going to go out
of your hands as it is. Whatever
you see around you, whatever
you call ‘real’, is constantly
changing form. What you were
yesterday, you are not today.
Medically, they say, that every
seven years all the cells of the
body die and new cells take
their place. So were you real
yesterday or today? With passing moment everything around
is changing — your body is ageing, the sun is losing its heat,
earth’s magnetism is diminishing; this is happening because
creation is devolving. People no
longer want such experiences.
Agastya Muni had prophesied around 7,000 years ago,
when he caused the asurs to go
underground upon request of
devtas: “After Mahabharat,
Kalyug will start and then these
asurs will resurface on earth
and create chaos”. If you look
around, his prophecy is coming
true. You will find very few people interested in a spiritual
event or activity. On the contrary, if you throw a party and
offer drinks, you will have to
stop people from coming in.
The more the show, more people are going to get attracted.
This is because the creation is
devolving and with it, the senses of a normal human being are
becoming grosser. When the
senses go down, it is an indication that we are moving into a
frequency which is lower. That
is, our next birth is going to be
lower, maybe as an animal.
After some time, you
become what you want because
your frequencies start getting
tuned to that. Even Gita says
that you become what you follow. If you follow a negative
force, you become negative.
Similarly if you follow a positive
force, you become positive.
Yoga is the process of
upgrading your frequency and
this will happen only if you follow an entity whose frequency
is already higher. Let no one
else judge for you; let your own
experiences guide you. If the
experiences are happening, then
you are on the right path. If
they are not happening, then
either you are not practising as
told or the one you are following is not right, because the
path can never be wrong.
Yoga is the process of evolution whereas the physical creation is the process of devolution. If you look at the physical
world, parties are becoming
from bad to worse. A spiritual
person will have a glow of satisfaction on his face for he knows
what he has and doesn’t want
anything else; his path is laid
out. A physical person, on the
other hand, will always be looking for more because he is chasing the unreal, something
which is constantly changing.
The spiritual path is the
only path which is real because
when you are on the spiritual
path, it takes you to the higher
dimensions. Higher dimensions
also don’t remain forever, but in
relation to lower dimensions,
they are more permanent. That
is why we call the spiritual
world real and the physically
manifested world unreal. The
physical will leave you very fast.
If the British and the Mughals
and the Mauryans couldn’t survive, how long will you?
Reality is one. That is why
we say, “Asato maa sadgamaya,
tamso maa jyotirgamaya, mrityur maa amritam gamaya”.
From untruth to truth, from
darkness to light and only then
there is mukti. It won’t happen
till you are caught in the lies and
darkness of unreal world. This is
the entire journey. So strive to
move from unreal to real and it
will happen when you actually
change from inside, not by
thinking. It is like, if you try to
explain PhD level maths to a
sixth grader, he will not be able
to understand. But a PhD will
understand sixth grade maths
also. If you notice, there are millions of sixth graders in the
world, those who know very less
or just the physical, PhDs are a
n interesting incident was reported from
Jharkhand recently. A bride rejected the groom
who had arrived for the marriage drunk. Maybe
a one-off incident, but the issue of prohibition is catching the imagination of powers that be. Politicians either
quietly acquiesce to the idea or are openly supporting
it. But no one is openly speaking against prohibition.
In fact, in the State, a newspaper reported that more
than 90 per cent of the MLAs supported prohibition.
Bihar has already done it, and for Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar, the idea seems to be a clincher. Though there is
no evidence to support that Nitish won because he
promised prohibition. Yet, the strong liquor lobby, with
both guns and goons, could not play spoilsport.
The initial arguments of losing considerable State
revenue also did not find favour among the electorate.
Even Jharkhand finds in Nitish a champion of prohibition. In Tamil Nadu also there is a clamour for prohibition and the present Chief Minister is apparently
favouring the idea. That Nitish wants to make it a
nationwide campaign may be open to debate. But it is
after a long time that someone has so assertively batted for prohibition.
Gujarat went for total prohibition and it still continues. Bihar seems to be the next big State to do so,
though Nagaland, and to some extent Manipur and
Union Territory of Lakshadweep also have imposed
prohibition. Kerala, too, is doing it in a phased manner.
There have been sporadic efforts in other States in the
past but making it an all-India campaign needs to be
seen in a broader perspective.
It is assumed that most women would support the
step of prohibition by any Government or political
party. Will it win votes or not is still to be tested, but
that it finds favour with half of the electorate makes it a
prudent strategy. This one issue may represent the class
interest of women who bear the brunt of alcoholism.
In families of lower socio economic strata, alcoholism is a big menace causing hardships to the family,
bringing complete ruin in some cases. This apart, crime
and alcohol have some correlation though we need studies to prove this. Even if it is not established statistically,
one thing is certain, many heinous crimes are committed in inebriated condition. Alcohol leads to shedding of
inhibitions and thus arouse bestial emotions.
The young generation is fast falling prey to alcoholism as for them it is both adventure and enjoyment.
Young boys and girls who have not acquired adulthood
take to alcohol, seeking a false sense of adulthood.
Alcohol also is the main culprit in road rage and road
accident cases. It impairs judgements and leads to definite fall in both quality and quantity of production.
Health and alcohol are also directly related; alcohol
abuse being a big reason for many health disorders.
From cirrhosis to delirium tremens, alcohol has a clear
role. In India, where poverty and health are major concerns, prohibition may be a good idea. More so,
because discipline, that is so very important in alcohol
consumption, is an attribute we are found wanting in.
A Japanese proverb suggests: “First a man takes the
drink; then the drink takes the drink; then the drink
takes the man’’. Given our penchant for jumping stages,
for most people it’s the drink that takes the man.
Naturally, it is dangerous to drink.
moral values, which motivate one to be
good, for doing good deeds.
Dharma should not be confused with
doing rituals, as is happening these days.
Practically, everyone has begun to believe
that the particular rituals he or she does is
his dharma and that is called religion. It is
no wonder that the world is so divided
because we have moved so far away from
the essence of dharma, and are justifying
fighting one another in the name of dharma (read religion).
Fighting one another is a serious
problem but not knowing what dharma
actually is more serious because on the
personal level we may be doing all the
three preliminary acts required for gaining
liberation wrongly. We don’t live our lives
according to dharma; many do not earn
their living according to dharma; and
some of us do not enjoy our lives according to dharma. A common man cannot be
blamed too much for the state of affairs
because our so-called leaders don’t set
good examples. Either they are ignorant
of dharma or ignore it for selfish reasons.
This is bad enough but when those
pretending to be spiritual make false
promises of granting material and spiritual boons, get donations for their lavish
lifestyle, and use their disciples/followers
for personal service, the common man
cannot be blamed too much. Fortunately,
there are some genuine ones also, which
give hope. But they have to be identified.
We should not be gullible to be exploited
in the name of dharma (religion), because
it hurts in two ways. One, we get deviated
from the path of dharma, not knowing
what it actually is, and two, we get exploited both money-wise and effort-wise.
Those who mislead us are liable for
punishment but that does not help our
cause. Therefore, let us remember that we
do acts with body, mind and words. Our
deeds should be as per dharma; our
thoughts should not be against dharma, and
we should not speak what is against the
tenets of dharma. We should earn our living
honestly and without exploiting others.
Both the choice of the career/profession and
the means employed should be bona fide.
All the enjoyment, and there must be enjoyment; must not be against dharma. An
example: Watching television is fine but
when we use the television or any electronic
media for watching sexually explicit contents, we step into adharma.
Lastly, I must clarify that some people
like Shankaracharya or Vivekananda don’t
go through the third step of enjoying
material life. This is because they have
already done so in their previous lives and
realised the impermanence of the material
world; they have taken the present birth to
seek liberation and progress on that path.
That is the reason Shankaracharya spoke
about brahma satya jagat mithya.
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oday I am discussing the real life
story of a man to showcase how
the course of destiny could be
given a positive turn through conscious
efforts. The case relates to a person,
who, in his bid to make quick gains,
instead of developing his own market,
played all tricks in his store to unsettle
his own elder brother’s business and
encroach upon his brother’s market
share. To make that happen, he enticed,
trapped, and colluded with one of the
key players in his brother’s organisation. What he ignored was that his
brother had built such a strong market
reputation that it was really difficult to
win over his buyers through such trickery. So ultimately the man’s scheming
boomeranged upon him, leaving him
penniless, following which even his
wife and only child abandoned him.
That was six years back.
The man came running with the
question: “My family pundit had
assured a very successful career. His
observation was based on placement of
career signifying 10th lord Venus, lagna
lord Sun, and destiny defining 9th lord
Mars, all together over the head when
born, forming four raja-yogas. Also the
11th lord Mercury, identified with fulfil-
ment of desires, was placed along with
Moon in the 11th house itself. How
comes, the reverse happened?”
Well, “I don’t think the pundit
would have suggested you to apply
unethical means to score a success.
Also, bound by conventional approach,
either he did not know how to read
your inherent mind-trends, or because
of his casual approach, would have simply ignored that,” I responded.
“What’s the way out?” The man
asked. Figure out your fault-lines,
address them, and change your
approach to life. It calls for taking
recourse to spirituality under the guidance of a proven guru. It may take a little time, but you may be able to redefine the course of your destiny. Let us
look at the astrological markers pointing to his inherent frailties.
The main marker in his case is
Venus, the planet identified with his
career and his quest for money. Venus,
mischievous Neptune, and Jupiter, all
being locked in adverse formation to
each other, acquires an adversarial role.
In the first place, it implies that he
would be a money-minded person, keen
to amass huge wealth by hook or crook.
His thirst for money will never get
quenched. For the sake of money, he
would know no ethics, may stoop low,
and would not hesitate playing foul
games even against his kith and kin.
Lagna lord Sun occupies the nakshatra
owned by Moon in the 11th house identified with elder brother implying that he
may have his eyes on brother’s pocket.
11th lord Mercury occupies the nakshatra owned by Rahu. Since Moon is
placed adverse to Rahu, the man will be
keen to encroach upon his brother’s
business share even if it demands trickery. What he forgot to notice that Rahu
occupying 10th house looked at from
11th, he may not be able to unsettle his
brother. And so it happened. Adversarial
positioning of Moon and Rahu also
speaks of his uncontrolled mindset.
What further compounded the
man’s mind-trend is adverse placement
of the two luminaries the Sun and
Moon, with respect to the planet of
limitation, Saturn. That speaks of a
negative mindset, which may not allow
him act positive. Intelligence signifying
Mercury locks horns with Uranus,
which accounts for his impaired reasoning and judgment. On top of that is
his combust Venus, which makes him
vulnerable to financial crash and emotional setback of his own making.
In terms of time frame, he had his
fall at the age of 40 when progressed
Meridian came on Saturn’s axis. Also
progressed Sun formed adverse relation
with natal Saturn. Exactly then transit
Saturn formed adverse aspect with natal
Mars. And sub-period of combust Venus
had took off, enough to seal his fate.
The saving grace in his chart was
strong linkage of the lagna, 5th, and the
9th houses. They are respectively identified with the self, spiritual heritage carried over from the past, his higher mind.
This pointed to seeds of spirituality
entrenched deep within, but lying dormant for want of awareness. That was
triggered by a guru. And the man also
sincerely followed it. Over a period of
time, he identified and acknowledged
his own fault-lines. He seriously worked
upon them, rose above, and then began
his life afresh with a positive note.
Today, he is a changed man. Through
honest work, he has re-established afresh
in his career. Also, he sought apology for
all the wrong done to his brother.
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