MNF will withdraw support to NDA over Citizenship Bill if situation arises: Zoramthanga

first_imgMizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said on Thursday that the ruling Mizo National Front would not hesitate to snap ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not revoked. Addressing MNF workers at Aibawk village near here, Mr. Zoramthanga said that the party and his government had been making all-out efforts to ensure the defeat of the bill.“The ruling party would withdraw its support to the NDA if situation arises,” he said. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to grant Indian nationality to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and entered India before December 31, 2014.“The state cabinet adopted a resolution opposing the proposed legislation and I have met both the prime minister and the Union Home minister to inform them about our opposition to the legislation,” the MNF chief said. The party would be at the forefront of the movement against the proposed bill, Mr. Zoramthanga asserted.“The bill should not be enacted as it does not value the historic Mizo accord signed between India and the erstwhile underground MNF in 1986,” he added. The Mizo National Front was formed in 1950s to protest against the inaction of the central government towards the famine situation in the Mizo areas of Assam. Following years of underground activities, it signed the Mizoram Accord with the Union government in 1986, renouncing violence. The party cruised to an absolute majority last year, winning 26 of the 40 seats in the Mizoram Assembly.last_img read more

Two dead after landslip hits truck in JK’s Doda

first_imgTwo persons were killed when their truck was hit by a landslip in this hilly district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said Saturday. The truck was on its way from Thathri to Gandoh and the accident occurred at Piykul Kara, 37 km from here, Friday night, a police official said.He said the landslide hit the vehicle, burying alive two of its occupants – driver Shahzad Hussain (27) of Bhadarwah and conductor Arif Hussain (22) of Kishtwar district.While the driver’s body was retrieved from the spot around 3 am, the other body was recovered around 7 am, the official said, adding that both the bodies were shifted to a trauma centre Thathri for completion of formalities.last_img read more

Karan Johar Pledge Not to Use Pakistan Actors Goes Viral

first_imgA statement by popular Bollywood director Karan Johar promising not to work with Pakistani actors in the future has gone viral in India. Related Itemslast_img

Indian STEM Students May Have Better Alternative Than Trump’s USA

first_imgStudies followed by OPT followed by H-1B followed by green card is the route taken by many international students, especially from India, to the promised land. Related Itemslast_img

Many Indians Returning as Gulf Job Prospects Turning Low

first_imgThose who had shifted to Dubai a decade ago now having difficulty to sustain their families as oil prices take a plunge in the international market. “Education here is expensive. I have two daughters and one of them goes to kindergarten now. My wife had a job too but since we had two children, juggling between work and family became challenging in the absence of a domestic help, which does not come cheap here unlike in India,” says Sahil, a retail employee from Aligarh who went to Dubai eight years ago.Read it at Siasat Related Itemslast_img read more

10,000 Sikh Pilgrims From India to be Given Visas

first_imgThe Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) have decided on Saturday to grant visas to 10,000 Sikhs from India, so that they can participate in the 550th birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak.Pakistani officials have given a green signal to the largest representatives of Sikhs, the Shiromani committee, and other small groups to take part in the celebrations.Read it at Tribune Related Itemslast_img

India Wants Social Media Platforms To Remove Content It Deems Unlawful

first_imgThe Indian government has proposed new rules aiming to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation in the country on social media — and local civil liberties groups aren’t happy. Late last month, the Internet Freedom Foundation penned a statement saying that these new rules would act as a “sledgehammer to online free speech.”Read it at The Verge Related Itemslast_img

Raising The Asian Flag

first_imgThere is a remarkable scene in Nikhil Advani’s film Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), in which Aman (the lead actor Shah Rukh Khan) tells Jennifer (Jaya Bhaduri), playing the role of an Indian restaurateur in New York, who is losing business to her competitor, a Chinese restaurant: “Look at the Chinese restaurant across the road. Why are they successful? The Chinese are successful because they carry their culture with themselves wherever they go.” Soon, the star-spangled American flag is replaced by a tiranga (India’s national flag), the interiors of the failing Indian restaurant are revamped, and lo and behold, business picks up in no time. It is not surprising the Shah Rukh Khan’s rise as India’s international matinee idol has been concurrent with India’s post-liberalization economic boom. I was reminded of this scene when I read the recent remarks of Hong Kong star Jackie Chan: “Asians should unite against American cinema.” The report came from Mumbai, India’s film capital, where Jackie was promoting his latest film, The Myth, co-starring Indian actress Mallika Sherawat. The report exhorted Asians: “Unite against U.S. movies, you have nothing to lose but your culture.” Hollywood movies are eroding the culture of Asian countries, Chan reportedly told The Times of India. He asked why did we need to ape American culture. “I see an Indian saying, ‘Yo Man!,’ but that’s not what Asians are about. Cinema reflects culture and there is no harm in adapting technology, but not at the cost of losing your originality,” he said.This morsel of moralizing, especially coming from an actor who had starred and benefited from Hollywood blockbusters (Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, Rush Hour I & II, The Medallion, Around the World in 80 Days) in the recent years, may sound just a little odd. Not that Chan can be accused of compromising Asian values in his Hollywood avatars. Interestingly, Chan is not alone to harp on the changing mores of Asian societies, especially under the influence of the Hollywood movie machine. Iranian auteur Abbas Kiorastami, the jury chairman at this year’s Pusan International Film Festival, voiced a similar concern at a press gathering in South Korea: “You can see the trend for films all over the world to become more and more similar.”Kiorastami, Iranian filmmaker par excellence, exhorted Asian filmmakers to make films that reflected different cultures, and not just blindly copying the Hollywood formula films for commercial gain. “Asian filmmakers now are forgetting their cultural identities and becoming too Americanized,” he added.“I want Asian films,” the 65-year-old filmmaker said, “to be Asian. It’s important to express your own ideas. It’s sad that films are becoming so commercial and so similar.”They are most concerned by Americanization of Asian films. One may agree or disagree with Chan and Kiorastami, but their stand begs an exploration of the two value systems (of the East and the West), and whether this dichotomy of values could still hold water in these rapidly globalizing times.So, what are the Asian values? The major Asian values, in the words of Singaporean scholar Kishore Mahbubani (Can Asians Think? 2004), are: “attachment to the family as an institution, deference to societal interests, thrift, conservatism in social mores, and respect for authority.” On the other hand, the strength of the Western values are: “the emphasis on individual achievement, political and economic freedom, respect for the rule of law as well as for key national institutions.” SHEKHAR KAPUR: “There is a profound cultural difference between Asian philosophies and western philosophies: eastern storytelling is mythic, and western storytelling is less so.” But values, Eastern or Western, cannot be discussed without a reference to the socio-economic conditions of a society. Historically speaking, the world has been dominated by the Western civilization for the past two centuries. The West’s technological innovations and economic power first colonized and then mesmerized Asians. Until a few decades ago, every Asian desired to go to London or New York where the streets were paved with gold. Then came the Asian economic miracle. First Japan, then the South East Asian tigers (Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong), and now China and India. Despite some hiccups, the economic success of these Asian countries have reawakened the dream of an Asian century. And cinema, a tool in the hands of dream merchants for the projection of the masses’ conscious and unconscious desires on the larger than life screen – originally a Western invention – assumes a greater role in defining the zeitgeist of an era. And therein lies the irony. As J. M. Roberts noted in his 1985 work, The Triumph of the West: “Here lies the deepest irony of post-Western history: it is so often in the name of Western values that the West is rejected and it is always with its skills and tools that its grasp is shaken off.”The desire for the reassertion of the Asian values, expressed by filmmakers like Chan and Kiorastami, represent a complex set of motives and aspirations. It reflects a deep-rooted desire to reconnect with their historical past. This connection had been ruptured both by colonial rule and by the subsequent domination of the world by a Western worldview. The recent Asian successes – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The House of Flying Daggers, The Myth, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Lagaan, Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ho Na Ho, just to name a few – corroborate this view. These films either hark back to a past that does not exist anymore or they are cinematic essays trying to find the right balance in the current state of affairs – for a generation that is open to the “flat world” of a technologically interconnected universe, immigration and yet rooted in and conscious of the cultures of their ancestors. Remember the England-returned bhajan singing Rani Mukherjee in Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai (1998)?In the Nasreen Munni Kabir-helmed documentary film, The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan (2005), the Indian superstar’s legions of fans, in UK, US, and Canada, mostly immigrant Indians, are shown idolizing him because he seems to represent the best of Indian culture with the modern day élan of a cool, resurgent India. Some fans say that his films are strong in family values. His films, they said, give them what most American films cannot. “He could play a brother, a friend, a lover, and a husband with equal charm,” says one of his American female fans in the film. It is not surprising the Shah Rukh Khan’s rise as India’s international matinee idol has been concurrent with India’s post-liberalization economic boom.  JACKIE CHAN: “I see an Indian saying, ‘Yo Man!,’ but that’s not what Asians are about. Cinema reflects culture and there is no harm in adapting technology, but not at the cost of losing your originality.” The concerns expressed by Chan and Kiorastami are especially relevant to Asian filmmakers who are trying to blaze a new trail, overwhelmed by the gloss and sassiness of Hollywood’s flicks. Getting carried away a little, that’s when things go wrong with a Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante (2002; based on Reservoir Dogs) or a Jingle Ma’s Seoul Raiders (2005).In November this year, when Shekhar Kapur was in Singapore, he said that Singapore had the potential to become the next Hollywood. By this, I am sure, he meant that Singapore had the necessary wherewithal – the money, the infrastructure, a talented multilingual and multicultural pool of creative people – to emerge as the next Hollywood, and not as a place to facilitate a Hollywood-like standardization as a creative goal. Asian creativity has to spin its own kind of storytelling. Kapur had written in 2002: “There is a profound cultural difference between Asian philosophies and western philosophies: eastern storytelling is mythic, and western storytelling is less so.”The key question, therefore, is whether Asian filmmakers will be able to develop the right blend of values that will both preserve some of the traditional strengths of Asian values with the strengths of Western values. Therein lies the challenge. Asian Values: Loosening Up?In early December 2005, when the Crazy Horse Paris started its shows in Singapore, a topless dance revue, it attracted a lot of criticism in the media. Letter writers and commentators accused the show “of exploiting women, being chauvinistic, archaic, outdated, immoral, sleazy, a threat to marriages and a poor example to children.”“Soft porn has finally landed here…officially,” said a Singaporean blogger. Commenting on these reactions, humor writer Neil Humphreys quipped: “I am sure it also contributes to global warming and the hole in the ozone layer.”Questions were being asked: Is Crazy Horse Paris a step forward or a step backwards for Singapore?At the heart of this controversy is the debate over “Asian values.” Since the rise of the Asia’s tiger economies (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the “Asian values” debate has been centre-stage. The main thesis of Asian values is the appealing notion that Asians sacrificed individual aspirations for the greater good of society. Historically, the unusual economic growth experienced within East Asian countries pushed the socio-political structures of these countries under the spotlight. The success of these countries as well the economic awakening of giants like China and India, coupled with the friction that has resulted over “trade protectionism, economic conditionality, democracy and human rights” have made the “Asian values” debate political. “Asian values’ is a fundamentally racist term,” says Fulbright scholar Ravi Veloo, managing director of Media Campus, Singapore. “Riding on rising Asian economic power the way a parasite rides on a healthy host, infects the Asian mind with a sense of false psychological well-being by looking at the former colonial masters in a negative light, and presenting good values as ‘Asian,’ ignoring the rest of the world where such values are embraced. I am embarrassed for those who use this term,” he adds.Veloo is referring to the idea of “Asian values” invariably being seen in the context of an East-West dichotomy, where “Asian values” celebrate the community over individualism, the family, frugality, respect for learning, hard work, public duty, teamwork, in contrast to the perceived breakdown of the family, decadence, hedonism, excessive individualism, lack of teamwork, fecklessness, and ill discipline in the West. “One commonly cited example of Asian values is close-knit families,” says Veloo. “But what about African and Latin American societies where families are also closely knit. Are they Asian societies?” he asks. He is also not comfortable with the allegation that the West is inherently morally debased. “Another common derisory example of Western values is the overt sexuality of westerners, as if India did not invent the Kama Sutra,” he says. He adds: “We also ignore the fact that large conservative groups of Americans make up the Bible belt who reject the so-called Hollywood values. By the way, no church in the world puts up sexually suggestive figures in places of worship, unlike certain Asian places of worship.”Finally, he asks, “In which part of the world is AIDS, transmitted primarily by sex, the biggest rising problem? How could this even happen in one of the homes of ‘Asian values’?” The debate has taken political ocvertones with leaders such as Mahathir bin Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, exhorting for a renaissance of “Asian values,” in concert with their economic rise,, in contrast to the socially and economically deteriorating Western societies.“The Asian values debate was something Lee Kuan Yew, forced into the public domain in the 1980s,” says P.N. Balji, former editor of Today and The New Paper. “He framed the debate with Chinese philosopher Confucius as the pillar. Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s main fear was the loss of respect for elders (read the authorities) as the onslaught of Western values through Hollywood movies and American lifestyle gained prominence.”After the Asian financial crisis and the new wave of globalization aided by information technology, says Balji, “the preaching of values disappeared. Today, Singapore is even more plugged into the Western world than ever before. Differentiating between eastern and western values makes no economic sense. Singapore realizes that too, like many other ideological debates here, has been dumped into the dustbin of politics.”Ameerali Abdeali, a bureaucrat and community leader in Singapore, says: “Both Western and Eastern cultures have been influenced by historical events and media exposure. Values are a subset of these cultures. Western and Asian values may differ considerably, for example, values such as filial piety and discipline are associated with Eastern culture and materialism and individualism are largely regarded as Western value. However, it would be misleading to suggest that one set of values is inherently superior to the other. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. So I am not for the outright rejection of one value system over the other.”Crazy Horse Paris seems to be playing pretty well as Singaporeans loosen up.Singapore authorities hope the Crazy Horse Paris topless cabaret, which debuted in December, will help shake off the country’s staid image for tourists.   Related Itemslast_img read more

My Indian Attachment

first_imgThe brilliant green eyes of the Goddess Parvati are startlingly beautiful; the goddess Lakshmi, with very South American features and stylish dress, stands on a lotus, her arms extended. And the mighty God Vishnu? He is powerful – and female. The images are the creation of the fevered imagination of Roberto Custodio, a Brazilian artist who has never visited India – except in his dreams. But he believes he’s walked the land, in a past birth.“When I was a teenager I saw a postcard with an image of Krishna,” says Custodio. “His kindness and light fascinated me. Since then I started to read everything that I could about Hinduism. The Indian classical music is for me the most complete translation of the superior spheres.”Custodio, whose series of Hindu gods and goddesses is created painstakingly through intricate collages of cutup magazine material, showed his work in the United States at the Peter Louis Gallery in Manhattan. He lives and works in Brazil, but has this inexplicable connection with India. He feels linked enough to it to interpret the gods and goddesses through his own eyes. He says, “I don’t follow any particular religion, but Hinduism and the people from India touch my soul as if I have really lived there in a past life.”Indeed, what is it about India that touches the soul of all those who step on its soil, from President Bill Clinton to Bill and Melinda Gates to Debra Winger and George Harrison? Legions of rock stars and celebrities, writers and artists, not to mention truth seekers and dreamers and peace corps workers have searched India for varied things and almost always found what they were yearning for. Clinton in Gujrat after the 2001 earthquake. It turned out to be one of Clinton’s defining tasks after leaving the presidency and shaped his subsequent ex president public persona as an advocate for disaster relief on an international scale, from Katrina to the Tsunami, much as Habitat for Humanity and world peace efforts came to define former President Jimmy Carter Unlike the invaders and colonizers of past centuries, these new travelers come sword-less and in peace. They come not to conquer, but to be conquered by a land that is thousands of years old, wise and all knowing, and yet as new and vibrant as a babe. The seekers come for redemption and for renewal, for rest and for recreation, to outsource, to find new markets, to search for new fabrics and for new inspiration. And sometimes, they come to solve the world’s problems, because India is a fertile experimental lab: it is so huge and its population so vast that if there is a problem anywhere in the world, it’s bound to echo in India.Take President Bill Clinton, for whom it seems to have been love at first sight with the people and places of India. Who can forget that image of Clinton being showered with rose petals in a traditional ceremony by smiling village women in Naila? It captured the exuberance of Indian welcomes and the joy of those on the receiving end. As recently as this year Clinton’s been to Goa, which he just loved.While Clinton has been a wonderful tourist – bestowing that famous charismatic smile as he rode on an elephant, traveled with daughter Chelsea to the Taj Mahal and gave his gourmet stamp of approval on the finger licking cuisine of Bukhara at the Maurya Sheraton – he also has developed a deep commitment to India and his work there has had far-reaching consequences.  Roberto Custodio, a Brazilian artist who has never visited India-except in his dreams. He feels linked enough to it to interpret the gods and goddesses through his own eyes: “I don’t follow any particular religion, but Hinduism and the people from India touch my soul as if I have really lived there in a past life.” Of particular import to Indian Americans, Clinton was the principal mover behind the American India Foundation (AIF), which he helped jumpstart. Today the organization, headed by some of the most powerful NRIs, is a leading international development organization working toward accelerating social and economic change in India. By mobilizing people and resources across the United States, AIF has raised over $30 million since its inception in 2001. It awards grants for education, livelihood and public health projects in India, especially elementary education, women’s empowerment and HIV/AIDS.“The starting point was when President Clinton left the White House on January 21, 2001 and the earthquake in Gujarat happened on the 26th,” recalls Pradeep Kashyap, executive director of AIF. “Clinton had struck up a personal rapport with Prime Minister Vajpayee and asked him how he could help. Vajpayee asked him to connect with the Indian American community and be a catalyst in pulling them together so that they could help in the reconstruction work which was going to be long-drawn.”It turned out to be one of Clinton’s defining tasks after leaving the presidency and shaped his subsequent ex president public persona as an advocate for disaster relief on an international scale, from Katrina to the Tsunami, much as Habitat for Humanity and world peace efforts came to define former president Jimmy Carter.Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, visit a Sikh Temple in Anandpur Sahib.Clinton made a number of calls, the culmination of which was a lunch that Citibank CEO Victor Menezes hosted at Citibank for senior level Indian Americans from New York and Silicon Valley. Clinton made a pitch for bringing a focus to the fundraising for the rehabilitation work and urged Indian Americans to take a leadership role. He made a personal commitment to the fundraising effort and several high profile events followed, including one in Silicon Valley that raised over $3 million.Major Indian American players, the crème de la crème of Silicon Valley, heeded Clinton’s call and came together. Subsequently, AIF was formed to channel the funds to Gujarat, with Menezes and McKinsey Managing Director Rajat Gupta as co-chairs and President Clinton as honorary chairman. Several other major fundraisers followed, including one at the Regency Hotel on Wall Street, where Clinton spoke eloquently and animatedly mixed with the 1,000-plus crowd to raise awareness for the Gujarat earthquake.Clinton rallied powerful Indian Americans from Vinod Dham, a key architect of the pentium processor and Vinod Khosla, one of the country’s leading venture capitalists, to Lata Krishnan, co-founder of SMART Modular Technologies.“I remember President Clinton was quite involved and he remains committed besides the work he does for global initiatives and his foundation,” says Kashyap. “He is still the honorary chairman and still does a lot of letter writing on the behalf of AIF. We do a bi-weekly report to his office.”Joshua Greene’s son, an airline pilot, was married in a Hindu ceremony in the courtyard of the Radha Damodar Temple in Vrindaban to an Indian woman he had met over the Internet, and they have a Krishna shrine in their home in Savannah, GaThe silver Ganesha he keeps on his desk symbolizes Clinton’s closeness to India. Says Kashyap: “I visited his office many times and I remember I teased him, ‘So President Clinton, you got the Ganesha out because all the Indians were coming?’ He laughed, ‘Oh, no, don’t say that! I have it all the time.’ And sure enough, I must have visited his office probably 3-4 times, the Ganesha was always there. He said to me, ‘Look, this is the Lord of Wisdom. I have it all the time!’” As AIF continues to grow and evolve, Kashyap says Clinton has been a catalyst: “Without a doubt, we would not have the credible platform that we have today were it not for President Clinton’s personal involvement in cheering and pushing us to getting where we are.”While Clinton’s visits to India have been high profile, major events, the visits of countless other Indophiles occur quietly, on the backroads and byways of an India that even many Indians rarely see. Debra Winger, the noted actress of such films as An Officer and a Gentleman and Terms of Endearment has been smitten badly by India. “My first trip to India was in January of this year, but it was the culmination of a lot of events. I had the ticket to India in my hands twice in my life so you can imagine that finally being able to go was quite an event for me,” says Winger.What attracted her to India? “I had wanted to go since I was a teenager. In the late 1960s in Los Angeles, the Indian culture was coming so big into our lives, because we were learning about Eastern philosophy, we were learning about yoga, we were changing our diets, and so many of us were becoming vegetarian. There were so many influences, as you know, from the clothes we were wearing to the incense we were burning. Everything seemed to be from India.“It was a big influence on our generation at that time. A lot of people were turning spiritually to India to make some sense out of things. What we were being handed to us wasn’t working for us any more. It was a cultural phenomenon that was happening. People were reading philosophies and people were coming back from being in ashrams, and they were bringing good ideas back.”George Harrison was one of the great emissaries of India’s spiritual culture. In the 1980s, Harrison and his then wife Patti Boyd received Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at their home in Friar Park. Even after purchasing an airline ticket, she never went. She recalls, “I was very young and I honestly just got frightened. I was going to backpack and I thought I’d never come home. I thought I’ll just go there and just change my life and never return and some part of me didn’t want that to happen. I knew myself and knew I get captivated with things.”So by the time she actually went, decades later, she was really looking forward to the experience. “It was really time. I remembered an important thing about life and about traveling for me, which is it’s always better to go with a purpose. I’m not a very good tourist or a good vacationer. The fact that I finally got to go to India with a very strong purpose made it a very meaningful trip.”The strong purpose that propelled her to India was her work with Sightsavers International, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Globally, India has the highest percentage of blind people, but according to the organization the blindness rate has been reduced 25 percent from 1990 to 2002. In its battle with avoidable blindness India has developed some of the most sophisticated eye care hospitals in the world. According to Sightsavers, doctors travel from Europe and the United States to these hospitals to see the amazing systems that enable surgeons to perform up to 60 cataract operations a day.Winger herself had once been temporarily blind after an accident many years ago and felt it was logical to help out: “I was going to go out in the world and try and understand the domino effect of blindness in developing countries. To me, the real work is in stopping this domino effect, because when someone goes blind, everyone around them is affected in really, really dramatic ways, especially in India where you have multi-generational families.”Winger traveled to Delhi, Rajasthan, Calcutta and the Sunderabans, and met real people who had been affected by blindness and the caseworkers who helped them through Sightsavers: “They are just my heroes and they are the most amazing people.” She traveled to way out villages and inner cities, documenting stories of the organization’s work with the elderly and the poor.India more than lived up to its hype for Winger. She says, “I found the Sunderbans to be an intense experience. It remains a very mystical place, more so than a lot of places that are more traveled. There’s such a connection with the essence of life. Once you’re on a boat on a Ganges tributary in a crocodile infested area and you realize you can’t go on either side of the land, because you’re in a tiger preserve. You feel like you’re living in the middle of a Zen parable – the crocodile and the tiger – and to have that experience in my life, I’m very grateful.”Winger also experienced a deep connection with people. She says, “I just can’t wait to go back. I have a real affection for the people, but you know I had a great affection for India even before I went there.” The India of the 1960s had seemed far away and exotic, but Winger found India pretty exotic even in its regularity. She adds: “I think there’s a connection with spirituality that we don’t have here and that goes a long way with me. Also there is a generosity and a welcoming feeling that I think is part of Indian tradition. It is very warm. I’m not sure America has that, not the press of humanity that you feel in India. You’re surrounded and you’re laughing within five minutes. I mean, here if you walk into a community, you’re lucky if someone opens their door for you!”Although Winger is not vegetarian, she has developed a taste for meatless food and is almost having withdrawal symptoms: “I was never hungry or thirsty for five minutes. I liked everything I ate and I just ate like a horse the whole time I was there. I’m completely addicted to daal. I was so depressed when I got home and didn’t have daal every day.”While Winger took just a short trip to India, the English writer, journalist and filmmaker Justine Hardy has spent much of the past 12 years there. The author of such books as The Ochre Border, Goat, Bollywood Boy and Wonder House, she’s become a desi at heart, and can even speak some Hindi.Her connections to India are rooted in family. A cousin married into a Bihari family when Hardy was a child: “As you can imagine the notion of Indian-relations-by-marriage seemed vastly romantic to a five year old – wild images of elephants, mountains, marble palaces, the whole gamut of what India meant to me at that age. And then I began to go there with my mother and all that India really is began to seep into me at that very impressionable age.”In her 17 years in India she’s worked for several newspapers, including The Indian Express, as well as the BBC and traveled all over the country, including Kashmir, which has a special place in her heart. “What is without question is that India has been the greatest teacher I can imagine. She has shaped so much of who I am today and indeed the enormity of all that she is has shaped my writing at a very profound level.”Asked if her idea of India has changed over the years, she says: “The impressions of a five year old and a 40 year old are very different – elephants and spangles versus Vedanta and traffic chaos. But then there have been some consistencies all along: the sheer tidal weight of the place that hits you every time you get back, how your internal timer has to shift into what people joke about as Indian Standard Time – or to be more precise, the mentality of jo hona hai hoga. And now this very way of life is being challenged by India’s arrival at the international big boys’ table.”A recurring discovery for travelers is the way India seeps into one’s soul and becomes a part of life for many visitors to the sub-continent. As Hardy notes, “India seems programed into my DNA now and I often dream of it when I am not there, and find myself wandering after scents that remind me of it when I am away – the good ones, of course, as against some of the less fragrant ones that are all part of the deal of Bharat.”Hardy’s friends tell her she speaks Hindi like a taxi-walla and she’s secretly quite proud of that fact. Ask her about her favorite food and she says, “How can you beat dhokla and cool pudina chatni on a hot night with the smell of raat-ki-rani in the air?” George Harrison (extreme left) and Joshua Greene (behind Harrison) at the Apple Studio in 1970. Says Greene: “For a 19 year old in 1969 to be in the company of a Beatle recording at Apple studios, I mean, never mind finding God, here was a Beatle!” recalls Greene, now an established author, documentary filmmaker and teacher.British rajas and ranis have, of course, a long connection with India, but none quite like Prince Charles. For the prince, India and Hinduism have always held a deep fascination and he’s visited several Hindu temples and Sikh gurudwaras in the Unitd Kingdom and also expressed a desire to change the title of the future king from “defender of the faith” to “defender of faith.” Simultaneously idiosyncratic and pragmatic, he is drawn to India’s ordinary people. At his grand wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles invited guests included two dabbawallas from Mumbai!On an earlier visit he had shown a keen interest in the 5,000 tiffin carriers of the metropolis who deliver 175,000 lunch boxes, rain or shine, every day. He had chatted with them and two years later when he was all set to walk the aisle with Camilla, he sent all-expenses paid wedding invitations to Raghunath Medge, president of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association, and Sopan Mare, the secretary. The delighted dabbawallas conducted a special puja for the couple and the two guests, who don’t speak English, headed out bearing a traditional headdress and sari as wedding gifts. “It is a noble gesture on his part as we are poor, hard-working people and never ever imagined to be part of such a grand royal wedding,” Medge told the media. In this case, life handed a free lunch to the dabbawallas!Recently Prince Charles and Camilla were in India, reaffirming that it was a country they love and want to revisit again and again. Charles was quoted as saying, “I love coming to India. It is emotional.” When he was asked what he found most exciting about India, his answer was simple and said it all: “The Indian people.” During this private visit, the couple went to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, visiting small villages and meeting with ordinary people, farmers, craftspeople as well as business bigwigs. They viewed water conservation efforts and organic farming initiatives, projects close to the prince’s heart. They also prayed at the Anandpur Sahib Gurdwara, barefoot and with their heads covered.India has also impacted the world’s richest couple, Bill and Melinda Gates, and they in turn are impacting India in huge and very beneficial ways. In India, it seems, Gates’ twin passions of technology and public policy have come together.At the 50th anniversary of the Indian Institutes of Technology in California, Bill Gates pointed out that Microsoft had given over $7.5 million in grants to IITs, more than any other organization outside the United States or the United Kingdom and noting that Microsoft had hired thousands of Indian graduates, including hundreds from the IITs. “IIT and Microsoft do have a lot in common, an optimism about the future, a belief that fundamental science will lead to breakthroughs that will let us solve some of the toughest problems that mankind faces, a belief that we can provide better tools than ever before and that we’ve really just scratched the surface”Gates’ passion for public policy and making a dramatic difference in the world has taken him back to India. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $200 million to prevent the spread of HIV in India through its India AIDS initiative, Avahan, whose prevention programs are focused on those most at risk of contracting and spreading HIV.“For myself, in terms of the really outsized luck I’ve had financially,” says Gates, “It’s a pretty large responsibility and it’s one that I put a lot of energy into thinking about and it’s really only in the last five years that in my foundation I’ve really tried to say how can I give these resources that I’m lucky enough to have back to society in a way that can make an impact.” Talking about the threat of an AIDS epidemic, he says, “I feel privileged to have been able to hopefully cast a little bit of energy on that, put some resources into it and hopefully stop what could be a very bad development and really slow down India’s ability to realize its incredible potential.” Justine Hardy in RishikeshWhile the couple rarely speaks about the emotional or personal aspects of their India efforts, those who have seen them in action are in awe of their humanity and commitment. Melinda Gates, especially, becomes involved in the lives of the marginalized people she has visited in India, sitting on the floor in slums, laughing and singing a civil rights anthem with the poorest of the poor and making a real effort to enter their world.Dr. Sundar Sundararaman, a mentor with Mysore and Mandya Direct Intervention, told the Christian Science Monitor after observing her genuine interactions with those affected by AIDS, “As an onlooker, I was taken aback. She was engaged in asking very specific questions about whether this project was touching their lives. There was a natural person in her, an individual who connects with people.” He added that what sets her apart is that she responds to need in a way that is personal and direct: “That simplicity is what is inside her.”As Bill Gates moves from being the world’s technology icon to world’s leading philanthropist, his future seems increasingly linked to India’s through his foundation’s global health initiatives. For the world’s richest man turning into its philanthropist in chief – what better canvas than India? From vaccinations for infants to multi-pronged AIDS treatment, India is that huge dramatic landscape where one can see gratifying results in sheer numbers and human capital. Not surprisingly India is the largest single foreign recipient of the foundation’s largesse and the only country outside the United States where it has established an office.Visitors come to India for many reasons and in many seasons, but perhaps the largest group are on spiritual quests to find answers to the enigmas of life. Indian gurus and ashrams have seen many devotees from the West and the line stretches all the way from the Beatles to Sting to Madonna. The fact that the Dalai Lama is stationed in Dharamsala has also drawn many high profile Buddhists and Tibet sympathizers, such as Richard Gere and Goldie Hawn to India. Hawn, who describes herself as a Jewish Buddhist is deep into yoga and meditation, which she does in her “India Room.”Of all the rock stars and celebrities who set out for India in quest of spirituality, perhaps the most engrossed was George Harrison. He is credited with bringing Hinduism and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to the West. He and the Beatles introduced Ravi Shankar’s sitar and Hindu chants to western pop music and Harrison himself became a serious devotee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.Harrison was already the rage of the music world when Joshua M. Greene, an American student at the Sorbonne in Paris, went to London for his Christmas holidays. The year was 1969 and Greene visited a Radha Krishna temple in London where the devotees asked him, an organ player, to join them at the Apple Studios in singing devotional hymns and mantras with their friend George.“For a 19 year old in 1969 to be in the company of a Beatle recording at Apple studios, I mean, never mind finding God, here was a Beatle!” recalls Greene, now an established author, documentary filmmaker and teacher. “So it was a very heady experience and so probably good fortune was part of my initial connection with India.”Over the following months, when the album of Krishna chants was released, Greene found himself “touring nightclubs and concerts all over Europe and chanting the Krishna mantras under some very unusual circumstances. All that made for a exotic encounter with India.”“I think George felt that way too. That’s why so many of his songs were about the spirituality of India,” says Greene, who is the author of Here Comes the Sun: the Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison: “His album Dark Horse practically takes a melody he learnt in Vrindavan – “Jai Radhe, Jai Radhe Radhey, Jai Sri Radhe” – and put it on his album.” The 1969 “Hare Krishna Mantra,” a Sanskrit prayer set to a Ringo drumbeat, sold 60,000 copies on the very first day.While all the Beatles were inspired by India, Harrison was clearly the one who went deepest into traditional Indian practices. He read the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekanand and in 1970 purchased an estate for use as a Krishna retreat and today Bhaktivedanta Manor is one of England’s most popular Hindu temples. Debra Winger, the noted actress of such films as An Officer and a Gentleman and Terms of Endearment took her first trip to India in January of this year. Decades ago, she passed up travelplans even after purchasing an airline ticket.Says Greene, “To my mind he’s one of the great emissaries of India’s spiritual culture. Remember that when he was singing and talking of India and the great depths of wisdom and beauty of India, this was the mid-60s. You could have opened any newspaper in America and you would not have found one advertisement for a yoga class. It just didn’t exist. People looked at him as if he was going off the deep end. Today it’s mainstream. You can’t go to any city in the country without seeing yoga classes and concerts of Indian music and vegetarian restaurants.”It was Harrison who invited the other Beatles to visit India. He had been with Ravi Shankar to Bombay and Kashmir and then took the Beatles to Rishikesh. Greene adds, “The Beatles went to India and that changed everything, because they were the Bards of the era. And what they did people examined closely for its meaning. From a poor third world country India was now looked upon as a place of tremendous cultural and spiritual wealth – a place that can set a example for the world in what the Bhagwad Gita describes as seeing all living life as divine – and that is the gift of India to the world.”Before John Lennon died so tragically, Harrison went to visit him and found hundreds of CDs of Indian music stacked up in his home. As for Ringo Starr, Harrison always said, “Never underestimate Ringo; he could be a yogi disguised as a drummer.” Paul McCartney, of course has been meditating for over 20 years and is a leading advocate of vegetarianism and peace.While the Beatles’s fascination with India is well known, there were hundreds of nameless, unknown Westerners from that era who tried to find themselves in India. Many later left the ashrams and rejoined mainstream life in America, but the impact of their India encounter remained. Greene, who had joined the Hare Krishna movement in London, was introduced to India through their chants and devotion. He, like countless other young people, was inducted by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and stayed in Krishna temples for 13 years, including trips to India.In those early days he remembers a very different India with rustic pilgrimage spots with hardly any cars. “Going to India was very much like going to another planet almost. Everything was so different. You could not turn any place without seeing some reminder of divinity – Krishna Bicycle Repair Shop or Vishnu Sweet Shop. Now everywhere there are hi-rises, telephone towers and industrial complexes. It was quite perplexing to see the impact of globalization and modernity and what’s its done to the experience of pilgrimage in India.”The Indian connection continues over generations. Last November Greene’s son, an airline pilot, was married in a Hindu ceremony in the courtyard of the Radha Damodar Temple in Vrindaban to an Indian woman he had met over the Internet, and they have a Krishna shrine in their home in Savannah, Ga. Says Greene, “India to me is like coming home. It is going back to the birthplace of Lord Krishna, it is going back to the place of the origin of the Vedas, it is going back to the land of spirituality. In spite of all the modernization, I still feel I am somehow connecting with this ancient culture that has so much to offer to the world.”While many Indophiles come to India, some are actually born there. New Yorker Peter Louis, who is Greek American, was born in Bangalore where his father was manager of the West End Hotel. His father had been a refugee from Greece, moving through the Middle East to Burma. When the Japanese attacked Burma, he fled to British India. Recalls Louis, “At that point, my father adopted India as his country of residence, living there until he passed away. In 1972, he obtained Indian citizenship. I guess India adopted him and he felt quite at home, always working for Spencers Hotels in the South, all of which have been taken over by Taj Group.”Although the family moved to the UK for higher education, his father remained in India and died there. Louis himself retained an interest in Indian art and now sells Lalique Ganeshas and Indian art in the Peter Louis Gallery. He says, “Ganesha is most definitely lucky for all of us. After all the Lalique Ganesha is the one who opened up this path for me!” He adds, ” My return trip to the country of my boyhood, in 2003, really opened my eyes about India. It had changed so much, and yet, so much had not changed. Sometimes it seems to be a country fixed and frozen in time, and in other moments it seems to be leaping forward. I love that a respect for tradition is so strong there in certain parts. The respect for religion is amazing and it is amazing that a belief system that was put in place thousands of years ago is still adhered to. The historical art is spectacular. Of course, the food in India is the best in the world, in my opinion.”Yet in the end, it always comes down to India’s richest resource – her people. Warm, caring and hospitable to the extent of giving guests the last roti in the house and always a cup of hot chai and a seat on the charpoy in the courtyard. Indians have a tendency to get connected to strangers – and remain connected.What perhaps touches Louis the most is the genuine affection and long memories of the people he encountered in his youth: “People always welcome me with open arms there, friends that my mother made all those years ago when she was in India in school, and they are still in touch, still trying to get her to move back, because they say that India is her home!”In ways known and unknown, India continues to impact those who venture to its shores. It’s a relationship that once formed is forged for life. No one now dare colonize India, but India colonizes people’s dreams, their imaginations, their aspirations and their hopes for a better world. Related Itemslast_img read more

India Leads in Global Trade Growth, Says Study

first_imgIndia’s trade growth is the highest among seven countries that account for over 75 per cent of world trade, according to a study conducted by DHL and Accenture. The study assessed aggregated market data from air and containerized ocean freight from China, South Korea, Germany, India, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States.The global trade barometer index value for India was 84 in January, 86 in February and 84 in March this year, according to the DHL Global Trade Barometer. The index in March was 67 for the United States, 61 for China and  70 for Japan.“India continues to show the highest index value of all seven countries for the overall trade predictions, while the United Kingdom, after a modest decline since January, scores the same level as China at the lower end of the country ranking,” the study said.The global trade barometer index value for March was 61 for the United Kingdom, 64 for Germany and 69 for South Korea. The overall global trade barometer increased to 66 points in March from 64 points in January, according to the study.“With an index value clearly above 50, the DHL Global Trade Barometer continues to signal solid positive growth for global trade within the next three months. Furthermore, the increase indicates that growth is gaining momentum,” the study added.The study is based on the import and export data for a number of intermediate and early-cycle commodities that serve as the basis for further industrial production, like brand labels for clothes, bumpers for cars or touch screens for mobile devices.An index value above 50 indicates positive development, while that below 50 shows a decline in world trade. The outlook for global ocean trade improved to 63 points in March as compared to 60 points in January. “This growth is also driven by the United States and China, together with a strong increase in South Korea, offsetting a slightly reduced growth outlook for United Kingdom and German ocean trade,” the study said, adding that globally, the air trade outlook has dipped slightly and ocean trade has gained momentum.Among the key findings of the study in the January quarter was that globally, industrial raw materials were the most important growth driver, followed by a trade in capital equipment and machinery parts as well as chemicals and products. Related ItemsEconomytradelast_img read more

Indian Snowshoe Racer Awaits Deportation After Admitting to Endangering Child in U.S.

first_imgA 25-year-old sportsman from Kashmir pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child in the United States on Dec. 8. Tanveer Hussain avoided going to trial by entering the plea deal in Essex County Court, the district attorney in New York State said. He is now waiting to be deported, PTI reported.Hussain, a snowshoe racer, had been indicted on heavier charges of sexual abuse, a felony, plus a second count of endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and the prosecutors were willing to pass on the charge to get a guilty plea without going to trial. He was involved in a misdemeanor of “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old victim and “touching her in an intimate area over her clothing.”Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague said in a statement: “From day one of this investigation, the child witness has been degraded, called a liar and victimized by people who supported Hussain financially and emotionally.” She added: “This plea of guilty is an admission of guilt, and Tanveer Hussain admitted to his criminal conduct involving a child, which was done under oath and with aid of [legal] counsel and an interpreter.”The incident took place on Feb. 27 at a village bed and breakfast. Hussain was arrested on March 1.The athlete had traveled along with fellow athlete Abid Hussain Khan to Saranac Lake in upstate New York, from Kashmir to participate in the World Snowshoe Championships, which was held between February 23 and 25.“She has been vindicated, and shame on those who publicly attacked her credibility and reputation. She is a child and the defendant an adult male, and she should never have been subjected to such cruelty and insults,” the district attorney said. She also hoped that this admission of guilt would help alleviate the stress and pain of the child and her family.The Essex County grand jury had earlier indicted him on one count of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He faced two to seven years of jail and a post-release supervision for three to 10 years.Hussain was living in the village since March and the Village Trustee Rich Shapiro and his wife Lindy Ellis bailed him out of jail. The couple said that the deportation proceedings brought by the District Attorney through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are vindictive and unnecessary, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported.Shapiro said that Hussain had made it clear in the court that he had pleaded guilty out of desperation and maintains his innocence in actuality. He added that Hussain’s mother has been ill and had put off a surgery until his return and his sister had also postponed her wedding.Hussain had plans to fly out of JFK airport in New York City on Dec. 10, Shapiro added, the daily reported. However, the deportation process could take months. Related Itemschild abuseUnited Stateslast_img read more

Odisha continues to remain in poll mode

first_imgOdisha continues to remain in poll mode even though a month has passed since the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held in the State simultaneously in four phases in April.Elections were to be held for two Assembly seats — Patkura and Bijepur — and four Rajya Sabha berths in the State. Four Biju Janata Dal members of the Upper House of Parliament have contested and won the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.The Patkura Assembly constituency was first scheduled to go to the polls on April 29. However, polling was adjourned following the death of BJD nominee Bed Prakash Agarwalla on April 20. Mr. Agarwalla’s wife Savitri Agarwalla filed the nomination as a BJD candidate when polling date was scheduled for May 19.Polling in Patkura was deferred again due to Cyclone Fani that devastated many coastal districts on May 3. The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the date of polling for the constituency shortly.On the other hand, the Bijepur Assembly seat in western Odisha has already been vacated by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik. The bypoll will be held in Bijepur within six months after the ECI announces the schedule. Mr. Patnaik had won from two Assembly segments — Bijepur and Hinjili — in south Odisha.The Bijepur seat will witness a triangular contest involving the three major parties — the BJD, the BJP and the Congress. A triangular contest is also likely in the Patkura seat.Lobbying for seatsMeanwhile, lobbying has started in the BJD for the Rajya Sabha seats that were to fall vacant before completion of the term. While Rajya Sabha members Anubhav Mohanty and Achyuta Samanta have got elected from Kendrapara and Kandhamal Lok Sabha seats, two other members of the Upper House — Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik — have got elected to the State Assembly from Aul and Khandapada seats.While the BJD, with 112 legislators in the 147-member Assembly, is certain to bag three of the four seats easily, election to the fourth seat will be crucial since the BJP, which has become the main Opposition party, does not have the required numbers to win a single seat comfortably. The BJP has won 23 seats in the Assembly and Congress has nine.last_img read more

Uttar Pradesh Minister’s relative named in Unnao rape victim accident FIR

first_imgAn Uttar Pradesh Minister’s son-in-law is one of the 10 persons accused of plotting the Rae Bareli vehicle collision in which the victim of the alleged Unnao gang rape was left critically injured. Arun Singh, the Nawabganj block pramukh and son-in-law of Ranvendra Pratap Singh, alias Dhunni, a Minister of State holding the Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Agriculture Research portfolios, is listed as accused no. 7 in the FIR lodged by the uncle of the survivor of the alleged rape. She is battling for her life in a hospital in Lucknow with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries. Mr. Arun Singh confirmed to The Hindu that he was in fact the same person named in the FIR. The FIR lists him as one of the persons accused of intimidating the family of the victim. The complainant, her uncle, said he and his family had faced repeated threats from Kuldeep Singh Sengar, MLA, and his men and were being intimidated to change their statements in court or compromise with the MLA or face dire consequences. ‘Falsely implicated’Along with the rest, Mr. Arun Singh faces charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Asserting that he was being falsely implicated due to “personal and political rivalry” with a former block pramukh in Nawabganj, Awadesh Singh, he alleged that his rival shared a link with the jailed uncle of the victim. Mr. Arun Singh had defeated Maya Singh, Mr. Awadesh Singh’s wife, to win the post. Mr. Arun Singh said he was a litigant in the 2006 murder case of a Dalit block pramukh, Ram Naresh Nirmal, in which Mr. Awadesh Singh is an accused. “Awadesh Singh is a history-sheeter with over 40 criminal cases and my political opponent,” he said. “He is using the uncle as a shield… he feels if he falsely implicates me or sends me to jail, then he will be able to manage his case,” Mr. Arun Singh said. In the FIR relating to the collision, the uncle mentions Mr. Awadesh Singh as being among the people who would come to visit him in jail. The police have so far traced the owner of the truck to Fatehpur, which shares borders with Unnao and Rae Bareli.Mr. Arun Singh downplayed his political links with his father-in-law. “I have no political connection with him. He is my father-in-law but not my political guardian,” said Mr. Arun Singh, who is considered close to Mr. Sengar and Unnao BJP MP Sachhidanand Hari, alias Sakshi Maharaj. Mr. Arun Singh’s name also surfaced last year in the assault case of the survivor’s father, who died in custody in suspicious circumstances. He was questioned but not formally charged. He says he is innocent. “I have never seen the uncle by face. I have never seen the victim and I don’t even know where their house is,” he said, adding he had not met Sengar in over six months. Mr. Arun Singh said he was ready to undergo a narco test and cooperate with any agency–the CBI has taken over the collision case and even lodged an FIR, which includes him–in the investigation. The uncle of the survivor was on Wednesday granted a day’s parole to attend the cremation of his wife and relative, who died in the Rae Bareli collision while they were on their way to meet him in jail. Awadesh Singh was not available for comment.last_img read more

MSC Bank loan scam: police file FIR against directors

first_imgThe Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police on Monday registered a first information report (FIR) against directors of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank for allegedly disbursing fraudulent loans leading to losses to the tune of crores of rupees. While no one has been named in the FIR yet, the bank’s directors, at the time of the alleged offence, include senior Nationalist Congress Party leaders like Ajit Pawar, Vijaysinh Mohite Patil and Anand Adsul.Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha confirmed that the FIR was registered on Monday. The Bombay High Court (HC), which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) regarding the case, had last week directed the EOW to register an FIR in the matter within five days. “We have only mentioned directors of the bank as the accused in the FIR for now, and further action will be based on investigations,” Mr. Sinha said. The FIR has been registered under the relevant sections for cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code.The HC issued the directive on a PIL filed by activist Surinder Mohan Arora, who alleged lack of police action on his complaint regarding the fraud.The PIL was filed on the basis of a National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development inspection report in 2011, which indicated widespread malpractices while granting loans amounting to crores of rupees by the bank to various cooperative sugar factories. The report indicates that the losses caused to the MSC Bank were to the tune of ₹2,061 crore.The HC Bench had last week observed that the report indicates bank records were forged and profits were fraudulently declared, and that non performing asset accounts were kept hidden while sanctioning illegal loans.last_img read more

Bengal to draw up vision plan

first_imgThe West Bengal Cabinet on Wednesday decided to draw up a ‘Vision 10 and Vision 20’ plan for better performance and development in various fields in the next 10 to 20 years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.“We will plan for 10 years and 20 years because if there is no proper planning, then there will be situations like the recent collapse of bridges. The Finance Department with the help of the Statistics and Planning Department will work on this,” she added.last_img

Gin Kings keep Aces winless

first_imgSonny Thoss was just the third man in twin digits for Alaska with 11.Meanwhile, Star slugs it out with Rain or Shine on Sunday afternoon, looking to not only remain the only undefeated team but also to move closer to the first playoff spot at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.The Hotshots have a 4-0 record and will come into the 4:30 p.m. contest as the favorites over the Elasto Painters, who will welcome back Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan.Coach Chito Victolero has been bracing for this game for quite a while now as it starts a tough stretch for his Hotshots, who will clash with Barangay Ginebra next Sunday before colliding with Meralco.Those are first-rate teams and Victolero got the jumpstart he was hoping for last week when Star ran roughshod over Phoenix Petroleum, 100-81.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “The players are jelling well and are learning their roles,” Victolero said. “This (game against the Painters) will be very crucial for us because it starts a tough stretch for us.”A win would shove the Hotshots to within another victory of nailing the first quarterfinal slot, though Victolero has been very vocal about what the true target of his squad is.“Of course, we want to finish in the top four,” he said as the first four placers earn twice-to-beat privileges in the first round. “But we are taking it one game at a time and we cannot look past any opponent.”Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer, after dusting off the rust in a 115-112 nipping of GlobalPort on Friday, battles rejuvenated NLEX at 6:45 p.m.NLEX has a 5-2 record and can claim the first playoff slot with an upset of the powerhouse Beermen. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding From mall to medal: Journey on skates ends in gold Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:41RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PBA IMAGESCEBU—It was hard to see anything that would say that Barangay Ginebra was coming off a 21-day break.With three men in its starting lineup finishing with double-doubles and Japeth Aguilar coming off the bench to carve one of his own, Ginebra plastered Alaska, 94-80, to win a fourth straight game and stay in the upper half of the PBA Governors’ Cup standings.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games The Gin Kings were dominant right from the start of the Petron Saturday Special Game at Hoops Dome here as they buried the Aces in an avalanche of baskets early to take command and eventually rise to 4-1.Alaska, on the other hand, still didn’t see an end to its franchise mark in futility, dropping to 0-6 overall after losing its 14th straight game dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup. And this one was the most lopsided in this tournament as the Aces simply didn’t have an answer to Ginebra’s game-long intensity.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJustin Brownlee had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Greg Slaughter contributed 12 and 13, and Scottie Thompson missed a triple double by just two points after plucking down 11 boards and issuing 10 assists.Calvin Abueva, Alaska’s big contribution to the Gilas Pilipinas program, finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but import LeDontae Henton sealed his 10th point only inside the final minute when the game was all but decided. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next View commentslast_img read more

SEA Games: PH squash team settles for another silver

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PH squash team after their 2017 SEA Games gold medal match. Photo by Marc ReyesKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippine men’s squash team, which upset Malaysia in the semifinals on Monday, surrendered to Singapore, 2-1, in the final Tuesday night at National Squash Center here in Kuala Lumpur Sports Center.The Filipinos settled for another silver, the other in women’s doubles, in the penultimate day of competition.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Filipinos bag another silver in sepak takraw Reymark Bergornia dropped the opening match, 11-1, 11-3, 11-16, to Pang Ka Hoe. But Robert Andrew Garcia equalised after beating Benedict Chan, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, in the second match.That left David William Pelino to carry the fight for the gold but he succumbed to the faster and craftier Samuel Kang, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5, in the deciding match.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief View commentslast_img read more

UAAP Starting 5: Week 3

first_imgMOST READ Reigning MVP Ben Mbala returned like he never left and University of the Philippines showed it’s a force to reckon with after taking down defending champion De La Salle in a game that saw the Fighting Maroons hit a record-setting 16 3-pointers.READ: UAAP Starting 5: Weeks 1 and 2FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCenter: Ben Mbala (La Salle Green Archers) Ben Mbala. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAfter representing Cameroon in the 2017 Fiba Afrobasket, the MVP returned in style. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Read Next View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Jun Manzo. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDesiderio wasn’t the lone Maroon, who posed problems for the Green Archers. After Desiderio lit up in the third quarter, Jun Manzo took his turn to finish La Salle off.Manzo had nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, scoring late buckets that kept the Green Archers down for the count. Honorable mentions:Ron Dennison (Far Eastern University)Ron Dennison. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere’s a dilemma concerning Ron Dennison. As good as he is for FEU, he plays the same position as Ravena and that’s a tough competition to win considering that Ateneo has also remained undefeated. Still, Dennison is on a class of his own and his 15 points plus his defensive leadership against UST puts him on this seven-man list.Papi Sarr (Adamson Falcons) Papi Sarr. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPapi Sarr was decent in his first game in Season 80 as he put up 10 points and four rebounds in Adamson’s 88-81 win over UST, but it was in his past two games the 6-foot-8 big man showed his quality. The Adamson center, who is still trying to regain top form after suffering a groin injury before the season started, averaged 15.5 points and 14.5 rebounds against La Salle and National University. center_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Mbala averaged 33 points and 11 rebounds and although La Salle split its first two games with the menacing big man back, there was no better center in the league than him.Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University)Arvin Tolentino. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRebounding and defense isn’t exactly Arvin Tolentino’s strong suit, yet he delivered when Far Eastern University needed a presence in the middle.Prince Orizu played on and off for the Tamaraws against University of Santo Tomas due to illness and Tolentino took it upon himself to provide the muscle. Tolentino put up season-highs in scoring and rebounding to lead the Tamaraws over the Growling Tigers with 15 points and 10 boards.ADVERTISEMENT In the three games prior to FEU’s match against UST, Tolentino only averaged exactly five boards a game and 9.6 points.Forward: Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo Blue Eagles)Thirdy Ravena. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo had just one game the past week, but boy did Thirdy Ravena make it worth watching.Ateneo currently owns the best record in the league with a 4-0 slate and it’s largely because of Ravena’s strong play.The senior wingman led the Blue Eagles in their 83-65 rout of University of the East with 21 points, on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting, while grabbing eight rebounds.Guard: Paul Desiderio (UP Fighting Maroons)Paul Desiderio. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe legend of Paul Desiderio continues to grow.Desiderio was hell-bent on toppling the Green Archers and he did that by pouring in a career performance that made him Diliman’s most beloved person in a jersey.The senior guard unleashed 16 third-quarter points to post a career-high 30 and all the while keeping a straight face as La Salle searched for a way to stop him. Guard: Jun Manzo (UP Fighting Maroons) Corey Kluber gets 18th win as Indians beat Mariners Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It had been quite a whirlwind week in the UAAP.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Despite more injuries, Celtics beat LA for 10th straight win

first_imgLaVar Ball thinks son LiAngelo’s arrest in China ‘not a big deal’ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Baynes also had eight rebounds and three assists, and Boston improved to 10-2 even as Horford sat out after being placed in concussion protocol earlier in the day. The Celtics then lost rookie forward Tatum late in the second quarter, when he went to the locker room with a sore right ankle.Coach Brad Stevens said Tatum had X-rays and was fitted with a walking boot as a precaution. He will be re-examined on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt’s yet another blow for a team that lost Gordon Hayward for the season after a gruesome leg injury on opening night.“Until we have only four left, I guess we’re just gonna keep playing,” Stevens said. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments RIVALRY REKINDLED?Lakers coach Luke Walton said this generation of players views the Celtics-Lakers rivalry differently than those around for the 1980s matchups.“I think some of them get it, more than others,” he said. “Guys like Lonzo that grew up in LA, I think if you grew up in either one of these cities, you’re probably pretty well schooled on the rivalry. For some of these young guys, they probably don’t know much about it.”Celtics fans chanted “Beat LA!” after Walton was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter.CELEBRITY SIGHTINGSNew Red Sox manager Alex Cora, New England Patriots players Devin McCourty and Dion Lewis, and rapper DMX were in attendance.UP NEXTLakers: At Washington on Thursday night.Celtics: Host Charlotte on Friday night. Irving also got banged up and had his right leg examined by trainers between the third and fourth quarters. He came back with just over six minutes to play and immediately made an impact, scoring back-to-back baskets to push Boston’s lead back to 100-90.The Celtics led by 48-28 in the second quarter but were outscored 24-13 over the final 6:51 of the half to let the Lakers back into the game.TIP-INSLakers: Only lead of the game was 2-0. … Had 12 turnovers in the first half.Celtics: Shot just 8 of 24 in the fourth quarter. … The 61 points scored by the first half was a season high. … Took a season-high 98 field-goal attempts.LAY OFF BALLCeltics forward Marcus Morris thinks fans should ease up on Ball.“He’s a good kid — it’s his dad,” Morris said. “He’s got a big mouth, everybody knows it. … He has a long time to do this. He’s a young guy. It kind of sucks that he’s gotta go everywhere and they just boo him and boo him and boo him. He’s just a regular player.”Ball said he didn’t take offense to it.“They’re home. I’d boo too if I was a fan,” he said. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Read Nextcenter_img Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Boston led by 20 in the second quarter before letting the lead shrink to two in the third. Los Angeles then struggled down the stretch, shooting 5 of 18 from the field with six turnovers in the final period.Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 18 points apiece. Julius Randle had 16 points and 12 rebounds.Celtics fans gave rookie Lonzo Ball an icy welcome in his first trip to TD Garden. They booed the No. 2 overall pick throughout the night whenever he touched the ball. He finished with nine points, six assists and five rebounds, making just 4 of 15 from the field.With Tatum sidelined in the second half, Boston struggled defensively, and the Lakers exploited the paint for several easy baskets.“They hit us in the mouth and we were kind of shocked,” Kyle Kuzma said. “The second quarter and the secondhalf we fought back.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) and Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez reach for the ball during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)BOSTON — The Celtics are piling up injuries almost as quickly as they are victories this season.Aron Baynes matched his career high with 21 points, Kyrie Irving scored 19 and Boston overcame injuries to Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more