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NEARBY Father Tom meets PM NEW DELHI

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Kerala priest who was released recently in Yemen, on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Aairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and thanked them for their support. NEWS

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Interfaith couple’s marriage disrupted by Bajrang Dal Woman tells Faridabad court that she wasn’t abducted Mohammad Ali Ashok Kumar

NIA scrutinising 32 cases

Meerut/Faridabad

An interfaith couple, whose attempt to register their marriage was disrupted by Bajrang Dal workers on Wednesday, were produced before a court in Faridabad on Thursday but were let off after the woman testified that she was not abducted as alleged by her uncle. Krishna, 21, who hails from Greater Noida, said she had gone to Meerut with Saddam, a 24-year-old labour contractor from Shamli, of her own volition. They planned to register their marriage at a court there. But before they could do

Therbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode, a religious centre authorised by the Kerala government. An NIA official said the police sent the details of 92 cases; but initially, the agency was concentrating only on 32 cases involving Hindu women. A page 10

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so, Bajrang Dal workers reached the court premisesand tried to attack Saddam. The police lathicharged the Bajrang Dal activists when they turned on the policemen protecting the couple. Superintendent of Police

Man Singh told The Hindu that the Meerut police handed over the couple to the Haryana police, who had arrived in Meerut looking for them. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10

A spirited escape from the law Bihar police arrest six men for selling liquor; drunken guards let them escape Patna

Six persons arrested by the Bihar police on charges of possessing and selling liquor escaped when the personnel guarding them dozed off after reportedly consuming the liquor they had seized. The incident took place in Motihari of East Champaran district on Wednesday. Bihar became a dry state in April 2016. District excise officials arrested six persons from three locations near the Indo-Nepal border on Tuesday, and seized 15 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). The men were kept in a

‘Proposal made to swap Jadhav for terrorist’

ILLUSTRATION: SREEJITH R. KUMAR

lock-up at the excise department building in Motihari. Six Special

‘Decisive nature of govt. will help revive private investments’ Special Correspondent

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said it is scrutinising over 30 cases in Kerala in which Hindu women were allegedly lured, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. The NIA had asked the Kerala police for details of forced conversions at

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Amarnath Tewary

Jaitley calls Sinha a ‘job applicant at 80’

Auxiliary Police (SAP) jawans were put on guard duty. The accused were to be produced before a local court on Thursday. The arrested persons were Prahlad Mahto, Hemlal Mahto, Mukesh Patel, Amlesh Mian, Mohammed Haroon and Saddam Hussain. Taking full advantage of the slumbering cops and the darkness, the men broke the iron grill of

their prison’s window and escaped. District excise department officials charged the SAP jawans with negligence. “They might have gulped down some of the seized liquor and dozed off. That’s how the arrested men were able to escape,” said an excise department official. “We do not have a count of the bottles recovered. But this was sheer negligence. We have asked the District Magistrate for stern action,” Keshav Prasad, Motihari Excise Superintendent, told journalists. Two or three bottles may have been consumed, sources said.

NEW DELHI

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday tore into former Finance Minister and BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha for his criticism of the government’s handling of the economy. Without mentioning Mr. Sinha, Mr. Jaitley referred to him as a ‘job applicant’ who appeared to be working in tandem with another ex-Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and had the ‘luxury of being a columnist’. “I have some very distinguished predecessors in my present job, one of whom is a former President (Pranab Mukherjee), one is a former Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) — and I am certainly not referring to them. The others have decided to act in concert. Speaking on persons and then bypassing the issues is very easily done,” the Minister said, after launching a book co-edited by Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and Press Secretary to the President Ashok Malik.

Aggressive stand: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Bibek Debroy at a function in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI *

“Probably, a more appropriate title for your book would have been ‘India at 70, Modi at 3.5 and a job applicant at 80’,” Mr Jaitley told Mr. Debroy and Mr. Malik, whose book is titled ‘India at 70, Modi at 3.5 — Capturing India’s transformation under Narendra Modi.’ The Minister stressed that the government’s efforts over the past three years were focussed on ensuring that the benefits of growth percolated to the poor and improved their quality of life, while dispelling the policy paralysis. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10

Sinha sticks to his guns The government’s hopes that a rebuttal to former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s editorial on the economy by his son and Minister of State Jayant Sinha would close the chapter were belied. The senior Mr. Sinha reiterated his position. Speaking to TV channels, Mr. Sinha asked why his son was removed as a junior Minister in the Finance Ministry, if he was considered an expert to articulate the government’s position. A PAGE 11

Court frames rape charges against Tejpal Prakash Kamat Panaji

A trial court in Mapusa in North Goa district on Thursday formally framed charges against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal. He is accused of rape and sexual abuse of a junior colleague in the elevator of a five-star hotel in north Goa for two consecutive days in November 2013. The alleged incident took place during an event organised by the Tehelka group. Mr. Tejpal was arrested and freed on bail. After the charges were presented, Mr. Tejpal pleaded not guilty. His counsel Rajiv Gomes expressed disappointment at Judge Vijaya Pol’s order. He said the defence had hoped that the Bombay HC in Goa, where its appeal is pending, would reverse the lower court’s order. Earlier, North Goa’s additional district and sessions court finalised the charges. Mr. Tejpal has been charged under Sections 376-2 (rape), 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal force with intent to disrobe) of the IPC among others. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10

14 dead as Rohingya boat capsizes o Bangladesh AFP Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh)

At least 10 children and four women were killed when a

boat carrying Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized off Bangladesh on Thursday, the police said.

“So far 14 bodies have washed ashore near Inani beach. They are Rohingya,” the police said.

Press Trust of India New York

Pakistan received a proposal to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist who carried out the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack and is now jailed in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif has claimed. Mr. Asif, however, did not name the terrorist and the NSAwho had made the proposal. “The terrorist who killed children in the APS [Army Public School] in Peshawar is in Afghan custody. The NSA told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he told the audience after his speech at the Asia Society here on Wednesday. He discussed Pakistan’s vision for and approach to regional peace and development during his conversion with author and journalist Steve Coll. Mr. Asif said Pakistan had suffered grievously from conflict and instability in Afghanistan. “Unless this cycle is reversed, we would continue to bear the brunt. No country, therefore, has a larger stake in seeing peace and stability return to Afghanistan than Pakistan. Regrettably, the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse,” he said. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10 FRIDAY REVIEW A 12 PAGES (TABLOID) DELHI METRO A 6 PAGES

CM YK

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Timings

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BHU appoints rst woman chief proctor Also heads Women’s Grievance Cell Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

Banaras Hindu University on Thursday appointed a woman as its chief proctor after her predecessor resigned taking “moral responsibility” for the violence on the campus. Thus, Prof. Royana Singh has become the first woman to hold the post, an official of the 101-year-old varsity said. Ms. Singh is a professor in the Anatomy Department of the Institute of Medical Sciences. She takes charge after O.N. Singh resigned from the post of chief proctor late on Tuesday. Several students, four journalists and a few policemen were injured in the incident on Saturday night, leading to separate FIRs against 1,000 students and unknown police personnel. Even as the Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi has submitted his probe report to the Uttar Pradesh government, a high-power committee formed by the BHU under a retired judge is also investigating the incid-

ent. Ms. Singh’s appointment appears to have been a strategic change of heart as it comes a day after the BHU appointed Prof. Mahendra Kumar Singh as Chief Proctor following the exit of O.N. Singh. Ms. Singh, who has been a member of several committees in the varsity, is also chairman of the Women’s Grievance Cell of BHU, which has been operative since 2013.

Born in France Ms. Singh was born in France, where she also received her primary education. She then shifted to India along with her parents, who are originally from Senapur, a village in Jaunpur district, adjoining Varanasi. She holds a degree from BHU’s Institute of Medical Science. Ms. Singh said it was the “moral responsibility” of the university to ensure the security of students. “We have taken lessons from this incident and our attempt will be to ensure that it is not repeated,” the professor said.

‘Safety of girl students is our priority’ The newly-appointed Chief Proctor of Banaras Hindu University. Royana Singh, tells Vikas Pathak that her priority will be stationing of more security guards, particularly women, for the safety of women students.

provided non-vegetarian food in their hostels, while boys’ hostels serve nonvegetarian food. Why so?

Most girls in the hostels are vegetarian. They are uncomfortable with the idea of non-vegetarian food... . So, we have not kept it in the menu. But if a group of girls tells the mess staff they want to eat it, it is arranged from outside.

What is your plan for the security of women students as the new chief proctor?

The security of woman students is our priority. It was our founder Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya’s dream to ensure safety and justice for students here. For this, our vision is safe hostels and the presence of more guards, particularly women guards. The recruitment of women guards began under my predecessor but we plan to step up the process and station more female guards. There is a curfew for women after 8 p.m., meaning they cannot go out of their hostels after that.

No, girls can come and go any time. However, they have to inform that they need to go out and also tell

us where they are going. Their parents have sent them here with faith in us and this rule helps us ensure their safety better.

Is it true that sexual harassment cases in BHU have been on the rise in recent times?

But do you think such a rule is good? And would you want to either relax the time or extend this rule?

I am in charge of the women’s grievance cell. So, I can say it with certainty that under the present ViceChancellor such cases have come down.

The 8 p.m. rule is good. Varanasi gets a bit secluded after that. It is not a big city like Delhi. Girls stay in the library, too, till late, once they have informed the warden. Guards are stationed near the library and often one guard is told to escort them to somewhere near their hostel.

Police were called into the campus and videos show women students were lathicharged by male policemen. Do you think it was a case of excesses on students, particularly girl students?

I was out of town .... I am not aware of the details and will have to find out.

It is said girls are not

J&K Tourism video a runaway hit Film, aimed at ghting negative perceptions, gets one lakh views Peerzada Ashiq Srinagar

With online videos and news portals by militants taking the battle of perceptions on Jammu & Kashmir to a new level, the J&K Tourism Department’s recently released video, aimed at “fighting out negative perceptions”, has become an instant hit online. ‘The Warmest Place on Earth’ is a five-minute film produced by Jaibeer Ahmad that has already fetched over one lakh views in 24 hours of its release.

A video grab from Kashmir, Warmest Place on Earth. *

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“We knew we were going to shoot stunning scenic beauty in Kashmir. However, we wanted to look beyond natural beauty into the warmth

and beauty of the State’s people. This is one small story of the million stories scripted by the people here,” said Mr. Ahmad, a producer with the marketing communications company J. Walter Thompson. Released by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday, Bollywood personalities like director Imtiaz Ali and broadcaster Neelesh Misra have praised it. “A beautiful film that captures a beautiful emotion. Hope it resonates,” wrote Mr. Misra on Twitter.

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Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 7 No. 233 ●

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IN BRIEF

Siddaramaiah urges Modi to review BEML sale plan

‘Intervene to get prisoners released’

Girl raped, killed by kin in Kerala

Kerala CM writes to Sushma Swaraj

Special Correspondent KOLLAM

Minister’s gunman killed as pistol misres

Disinvestment will undermine national security, says Karnataka CM

KURNOOL

Special Correspondent

B. Chandrasekhar Reddy, 44, an Armed Reserve constable serving as gunman to Andhra Pradesh Marketing Minister C. Adinarayana Reddy, was killed when his firearm allegedly misfired at his house in Ravindranagar in Kadapa town on Thursday. He was cleaning his pistol when a bullet reportedly pierced his chest.

BENGALURU

Finally, actor Dileep’s Ramaleela hits screens THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

After several attempts, actor Dileep-starrer Ramaleela hit cinemas across Kerala on Thursday. Fans thronged the theatres since morning to ensure that the muchawaited multi-crore film had a grand opening. Dileep is in prison in connection with the actor assault case. PTI

Special Correspondent

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday has opposed the Union government’s planned strategic stake sale in the public sector defence company Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). In a letter dated September 28, Mr. Siddaramaiah urged the Prime Minister not to sell 26% of the government’s stake to a strategic buyer, as proposed over a year ago. The move could undermine national security, among others, he said. “I urge you to kindly review the decision to disinvest [in] BEML and let it continue as a CPSE,” the letter said. Ever since the Centre last November announced its disinvestment wish list,

Siddaramaiah which includes the Bengaluru-headquartered BEML, the company’s employees have been opposing the move; it will transfer the management control to a future investor from the private sector, leaving the government with 28% share. BEML is among 20 PSUs identified by the NITI Aayog for disinvestment. Mr. Siddaramaiah urged

As Saudi women take the wheel, NRI drivers may get the boot

the Prime Minister: “I would like to draw your attention to the budget speech of 19992000 of the then NDA government, wherein a commitment has been made to Parliament that ‘the government shall not divert strategic CPSEs and the disinvestment will be limited to non-strategic CPSEs’.” Disinvestment in a strategic and profit-making Union government enterprise would only be a windfall for the private sector entity, which would reap its profit at public cost. “It is likely to undermine the security of the country,” the letter argued. Retaining it in the public sector had more advantages than a stake sale. After two public issues, the last one in 2007, the Centre owns 54% share in

Thiruvananthapuram

the company. For 2017-18, BEML had a turnover of over ₹2,836 crore and a post-tax profit of around ₹72 crore. BEML manufactures important land systems for the Army, besides rail and metro coaches and mining equipment. Heavy trucks, bridge systems, missile firing support vehicles are its mainstay products. Its nine units employ 8,000 people across the country.

Asset valuer appointed In July, the government gave ‘in-principle’ approval to divest 26% stake in favour of a strategic buyer, who would have management control. It said it had appointed a transaction adviser, a legal adviser and an asset valuer. The decisions would go through specific approval again, it said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to direct diplomatic missions in the United Arab Emirates and other West Asian countries to secure the release of those in jail for civil offences, taking a cue from the gesture of Sharjah ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi. The Sharjah ruler, during his trip to the State, had announced the release of 149 Indian prisoners, jailed in civil cases, on the basis of Mr. Vijayan’s request. “Both the Ministry of External Affairs and the State government have been receiving a large number of representations from Indian citizens, who have been sentenced to jail in civil offences, especially in West Asian countries that have stringent legal frameworks.

Telangana tried to create a Guinness record by getting 3,500 women together for a ower formation Serish Nanisetti Hyderabad

K.P.M. Basheer

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s historic decree on Wednesday that permits women to drive is a huge social reform in conservative Saudi Arabia, but it threatens to snuff out the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Pravasi ‘house drivers,’ particularly those from Kerala. “When women are at the wheel, it means the majority of Saudi households will no longer need chauffeurs to drive women to shops, workplaces, colleges and schools,” said Attakkoya Pallikkandy, chairman of the

Pravasi Coordination Committee. “Of course, the right to drive is a great achievement for Saudi women, but from the Pravasi perspective it is a big blow.” “At a time when hundreds of Indian workers are returning home every week in the wake of the Saudi government’s aggressive nationalisation of the labour force, the new reform will accelerate the job loss of drivers,” Mr. Pallikkandy said. Indians make up the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia. “Generally, Saudi households prefer to employ Keralites as house drivers as they are considered trust-

worthy and employable,” he noted.

Easiest visa There are between five lakh and 14 lakh chauffeurs and taxi drivers in Saudi Arabia and majority of them are from India. Aboobacker Thayyil of Malappuram district, who worked in Jeddah, said the ‘house driver visa’ was one of the easiest and cheapest for the uneducated Gulf job aspirant, mainly from north Kerala region. Though the salary was low and job change was tough, the attraction was the free boarding and lodging.

In this context, I had requested Sheikh Mohammed AlQasimi to consider their release as a humanitarian gesture. This request was immediately agreed to and 149 Indian prisoners were ordered to be released,” Mr. Vijayan said in the letter to Ms. Swaraj. Mr. Pinarayi suggested that the Sharjah ruler’s gesture could be a good starting point for the Indian government to take up similar cases in other Emirates and West Asian countries.

Rain plays spoilsport during Bathukamma

Majority of the chaueurs in Saudi Arabia are from India Kozhikode

Pinarayi Vijayan

A seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and killed by her maternal aunt’s husband on Wednesday. The incident took place near Kulathupuzha. B. Krishna Kumar, Pulanur Deputy Superintendent of Police, on Thursday said the body of the victim was found in a rubber estate and the suspect, aged 25, was arrested. The victim, her parents, grandparents and the suspect, along with his family, were living in the same house. On Wednesday, the accused volunteered to drop the victim at her school. But he took her to a forest through the rubber estate and sexually assaulted her twice, the suspect told the police. When the victim told him that she would tell her parents about it, she was strangulated.

Rain played spoilsport with the Telangana government’s shot at an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest number of humans in a flower formation at the LB Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday. About 3,500 women were expected to participate to set a record for the largest number of humans in a flower formation, celebrating Bathukamma, the festival of flowers.

Festival of owers: Women gathered in large numbers on the nal day of Bathukamma in Warangal on Thursday. M. MURALI *

Green and yellow sari The record is currently held by San Francisco. In July this year, citizens of San Fran-

cisco teamed up with passers-by to create the largest human flower formation with 2,405 people coming together, wearing green and pink. Officials of the Telangana Culture Department expected 3,500 women to come to the stadium, wearing green and yellow saris for the effort. A perimeter was drawn in white and women wearing saris started assembling into green leaves and yellow flower formation when officials realised that they were running short of the expected number. Volunteers were gathered and hastily asked to drape saris over their clothes. But then it

began to pour, and the ground turned into a mucky quagmire. On a day when women across the State celebrated Saddula Bathukamma, drawing to a close the nineday festival of flowers, the attempt at the largest flower formation did not succeed. “It is not a failure as we were ready to achieve it. Guinness Book of World Records officials said we don’t have to make fresh application for creating the record as we are allowed to make three attempts. We will make an attempt to create the record shortly,” said B. Venkatesham, Secretary, Culture department.

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IN BRIEF

2 years on, Akhlaque kin wait for justice

Weather Watch Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday

The murder case has been shifted to a fast-track trial court, but the charges are yet to be framed one of the alleged attackers threw a sewing machine on him. Danish survived after two critical brain surgeries. While Mohammad demanded justice for his brother, villagers of Bishahra also demanded justice for the calf which was allegedly slaughtered.

Mohammad Ali Dadri

Digvijaya to embark on Narmada Parikrama BHOPAL

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh (70) is going to embark on 3,300-km ‘Narmada Parikrama’, a walk along the banks of the river Narmada, from Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh on September 30. “This sixmonth-long parikrama is entirely a religious and spiritual exercise. Nothing political should be read into it,” said Jaivardhan, his son and MLA from Raghogarh. PTI

Boy killed in accident; mob sets bus ablaze CHANDIGARH

A 5-year-old boy was crushed to death when a private bus hit a two-wheeler near the circular road in Haryana’s Rewari town on Thursday, triggering angry protests by locals who also set the bus on fire, police said. PTI

Three bikers killed in Bihar road accident NAWADA

Three persons died in a motorbike accident in Bihar’s Nawada district following which their relatives ransacked a State-run hospital alleging that they died because of negligence by doctors, the police said on Thursday. The motorbike carrying the three who were allegedly drunk hit a raised concrete platform. PTI

Self-styled godman held for alleged rape SITAPUR (UP)

A self-proclaimed godman was arrested for allegedly raping a Dalit woman in the Misrikh area of this district, the police said on Thursday. Baba Siyaram Das, who has an ‘ashram’ in Misrikh and also runs a law college allegedly raped the 19-year-old for over eight months. PTI

The last time Jan Mohammad met his elder brother Mohammad Akhlaque was on Eid-al-Adha, on September, 25, 2015 in their ancestral village of Bishahra in Dadri. Akhlaque had complained to him that after shifting from the village to Dadri town, Mohammad didn’t see him enough. The 49-year-old mechanic with a private company in Dadri, still feels the pain of not keeping his promise to Akhlaque who was lynched three days later by his neighbours on suspicion of having eaten beef. Two years have passed but Mohammad and his family still await justice in the murder case of his elder brother. “The fact that we are still waiting for justice, has been a source of constant pain for us. Two years have passed. The murder case was in the

In this le photo, Mohammad Sartaj (centre), son of Mohammad Akhlaque, meets a police ocer. RAJEEV BHATT *

fast track trial court but the charges are yet to be framed. All those who killed my brother are out on bail. Delayed justice is not justice,” he said.

‘We are rootless now’ “Akhlaque’s entire family, including us, became rootless. We were forced to leave the village where our ancestors

were born and died and where we spent our childhood. Ahklaque’s younger son Danish’s life and career have almost been destroyed by those who brutally assaulted him and later lynched his father. He is medically unfit now for all the decent jobs,” Mohammad rued, while recounting how the skull of Danish was left open after

Keeping alive a unique tradition Telugu families celebrate Bommala Kolavu in Berhampur Staff Reporter BERHAMPUR

The unique tradition of Bommala Kolavu, or ritualistic display of dolls and figurines collected over the years, during Navratri continues to this day among a few Telugu families living in Berhampur. The families have been living here for generations. But every year during Navratri, some families keep alive the tradition of Bommala Kolavu, which is part of the cultural tradition of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Court of toys Literally, Bommala Kolavu in Telugu means court of toys. The tradition also continues in Tamil Nadu as Bomma

Bommala Kolavu being displayed in a family in Berhampur on Thursday. *

LINGARAJ PANDA

Kolu and as Bombe Habba in Karnataka. R. Srinivas, a Telugu resident of the city, said it was heartening to see the tradition survive among a few families in Berhampur as it is fading even in Telugu linguistic States. The family of M. Venkat

Rao living in Braja Nagar here has been celebrating Bommala Kolavu for three generations. This year also the family has come up with a decorative display of dolls and figurines from the third day of Navratri. The display will continue till Dussehra on September 30. The highlight of the display is a clay idol of Sri Krishna, which the family claims to be more than a century old.

Next generation “We are continuing the tradition in our family as we want it to be passed on to the next generation,” said M. Padmavati, wife of Mr. Rao. Their son M. Naveen Kumar has also spent much time preserving this tradition.

‘Justice should be equal’ Sitting on a posh sofa in Bishahra village, a few km from Dadri town, Ved Nagar, a cow vigilante, told The Hindu justice won’t be done till the families of Akhlaque and Jan Mohammad were arrested and prosecuted for cow slaughter. “Justice should be equal for everyone. If justice should be done for Akhlaque, then what about mother cow which we consider sacred and holy,” asked Nagar who runs the Gau Raksha Dal, a prominent cow vigilante group of Dadri. Surajpal, the complainant

in the cow slaughter case told The Hindu, “We want to see if the police are sincere at least in the BJP regime. In the last government they were acting in favour of Muslims. Now at least there must be justice for the cow which was slaughtered.” In July last year the U.P. police filed a case against Akhlaque, his family members and Jan Mohammad under the U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act 1955 after a local Greater Noida court asked them to file a case and probe the allegation of cow slaughter. But there has not been enough headway in the probe since then. A senior police official, however, told The Hindu that police will speed up the investigation in the cow slaughter case. “We will soon either file a closure report or a charge sheet, whichever is required in the case,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Thousands of animals sacriced in Kalahandi Staff Reporter BHUBANESWAR

Defying a court ruling against animal sacrifice, thousands of devotees turned up to slaughter animals and birds at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarter town of Odisha’s Kalahandi district, on Thursday. The occasion was the ‘Chhatar Vijay Yatra’ of Manikeswari, the presiding deity of Bhawanipatna. Devotees began sacrificing animals from the small hours of Thursday. By daybreak, the lanes and by-lanes within a four-kilometre radius of the temple had turned red with blood. The animal sacrifice continued for over six hours.

Devotees from neighbouring States and different districts of Odisha had gathered at Bhawanipatna to witness the procession of the deity along a four-kilometre stretch on National Highway-26 between Jenakhal and the main gate of Manikeswari temple.

Awareness programme As many as 14 platoons were deployed to maintain law and order keeping in view the sentiments attached to the tradition. Instead of using force to stop the animal sacrifice, the district police organised an awareness programme against animal sacrifice and tried to persuade the community leaders against it.

Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution Data: CPCB, Map: Skymet (Taken at 18.00 Hrs)

Forecast for Friday: Heavy to very heavy rain is likely at isolated places over Assam, Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Odisha, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Thunderstorm accompanied with lightning is likely at isolated places over Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha rain max min city Agartala................. —.... 34.6.... 26.1 Ahmedabad............ —.... 35.7.... 24.5 Aizawl ..................28.... 30.4.... 17.0 Allahabad .............. —.... 35.3.... 26.0 Bengaluru ............1.9.... 26.2.... 20.6 Bhopal................... —.... 35.1.... 22.0 Bhubaneswar .......0.4.... 31.4.... 26.3 Chandigarh ............ —.... 33.5.... 24.7 Chennai ................. —.... 32.9.... 25.8 Coimbatore............ —.... 30.0.... 22.9 Dehradun............... —.... 32.0.... 22.4 Gangtok...............0.1.... 22.6.... 17.5 Goa .....................1.6.... 30.8.... 23.7 Guwahati ............... —.... 34.4.... 25.7 Hubballi................. —.... 26.0.... 22.0 Hyderabad ............15.... 31.0.... 22.8 Imphal.................6.8.... 27.4.... 22.0 Jaipur .................... —.... 37.9.... 26.8 Kochi.................40.8.... 29.8.... 24.4 Kohima..............27.4.... 26.0.... 18.0 Kolkata..............13.4.... 33.3.... 26.4

city rain max min Kozhikode ...........47.6.... 32.2.... 24.0 Kurnool ....................4.... 30.2.... 24.1 Lucknow.................. —.... 34.5.... 25.2 Madurai.................3.5.... 33.0.... 25.2 Mangaluru ...........58.2.... 28.4.... 23.1 Mumbai................... —.... 32.3.... 27.4 Mysuru................12.3.... 27.9.... 19.9 New Delhi ............... —.... 36.8.... 24.5 Patna ..................00.0.... 35.6.... 26.6 Port Blair ...............37.... 29.4.... 24.0 Puducherry..........10.4.... 32.3.... 24.2 Pune ....................... —.... 32.7.... 21.2 Raipur ......................5.... 32.7.... 24.3 Ranchi.................19.6.... 32.6.... 22.2 Shillong.................0.7.... 23.7.... 15.6 Shimla..................... —.... 24.1.... 15.7 Srinagar .................. —.... 30.2.... 11.8 Trivandrum .........40.7.... 27.9.... 23.7 Tiruchi ..................7.6.... 33.5.... 25.2 Vijayawada .............. —.... 31.6.... 25.0 Visakhapatnam ..........5.... 32.0.... 26.2

Particulate matter in the air you are breathing CITIES

Yesterday

SO2 NO2 CO PM2.5 PM10 CODE

Ahmedabad......... ....— .....— ...—........— .......—.......— Bengaluru ........... ....6....26..42...... 45 .......— ......* Chennai .............. ..15....32..24.... 131 .......— ......* Delhi................... ..15..119..78.... 258 ...379 ......* Hyderabad .......... ....5....41..39.... 103 ...102 ......* Kolkata ............... ..18....51..22........— .....90 ......* Lucknow ............. ....4....37..51.... 178 .......— ......* Mumbai .............. ..12......9..28...... 69 .....76 ......* Pune ................... ..35....14..83...... 38 .....68 ......* Vishakhapatnam.. ....5 .....—..29...... 39 .....53 ......*

In observation made at 4.00 p.m., Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) score of 295 indicating an unhealthy level of pollution. In contrast, Haldia, West Bengal recorded a healthy AQI score of 44

Air Quality Code: * Poor * Moderate * Good SO2: Sulphur Dioxide. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system, making breathing difficult. It can affect visibility by reacting with other air particles to form haze and stain culturally important objects such as statues and monuments. NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide. Aggravates respiratory illness, causes haze to form by reacting with other air particles, causes acid rain, pollutes coastal waters. CO: Carbon monoxide. High concentration in air reduces oxygen supply to critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, it can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death. PM2.5 & PM10: Particulate matter pollution can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in people with heart or lung disease (Individual pollutant data for various cities are averages for the previous day)

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THE HINDU

NATION 7

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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IN BRIEF

Congress veteran Fotedar passes away NEW DELHI

Makhan Lal Fotedar, veteran Congress leader, died on Thursday at the age of 85. A close confidant of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he died at Medanta hospital in Gurugram. Mr. Fotedar was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and respiratory infection and had been hospitalised on June 20. PTI

Ashok Chavan seeks protection for journalists MUMBAI

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding protection for journalists from “fanatically minded” people. Mr. Chavan made the plea in connection with reported threats to TV journalists by people “who disapprove of the views expressed by them in their respective programmes“. In his letter, he said it was an “extremely dangerous” trend which directly attacked the fourth pillar of democracy. PTI

Delhi’s monkeys may be sterilised, get IDs NEW DELHI

Delhi may witness its firstever scientific sterilisation programme for monkeys to tackle their growing population along with the issuance of unique IDs, an animal welfare organisation said on Thursday. Wildlife SOS said it is awaiting a nod from the Delhi High Court to which it had submitted a proposal on tackling the growing population of rhesus macaques. IANS

Search for a highly potent anti-snake venom Low potency of the present ASV requires larger quantities to be given to victims Jyoti Shelar Mumbai

The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) is researching the venom of snakes from different Indian regions in order to create a highly potent anti-snake venom (ASV). Last week, well-known herpetologist Romulus Whitaker and his team were in Maharashtra to collect venom samples from four snake species that cause the most number of snakebite deaths in India. The team had earlier collected samples from Kerala and Punjab; permissions from the Forest Departments of a few more States are being sought. A highly potent ASV is crucial for two reasons. First, it will offer better relief for snakebite victims. Second, it will reduce the quantity of ASV required for treatment — ASVs, produced after an intensive and long process, are currently not highly effective. There is only one venom extraction centre in the country, which functions un-

der the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Tamil Nadu. Venom supplied to about half a dozen ASV-producing companies comes from this region. Also, “We now know that snake venom varies regionally even within the same species. The aim of the ongoing research project is to determine the efficacy of the existing ASV against these venoms collected from various parts of the country,” said Ajay Kartik, co-ordinator, Snakebite Mitigation Project, MCBT. “This information could be used to upgrade the existing anti venom to become more effective pan India.” According to Mr. Kartik, small quantities of venom was collected from over 70 snakes in various parts of Maharashtra such as Roha, Alibag, Mahad, Baramati, Sangli and Thane. “We collected about 500 ml. from cobras and Russell’s vipers, and 50 ml. kraits and sawscaled vipers, in total, after

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is collecting venom from dierent regions in India

For a remedy: Romulus Whitaker, the founder of Madras Snake Park and the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. SHAJU JOHN *

obtaining permits from the Maharashtra Forest Department, with the cooperation of snake rescuers across the State,” he added. The collected snake venom is stored at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. The study will begin after a few more States are covered and

a considerable sample size is gathered.

Tedious process The tedious process of producing ASV involves injecting venom from four different species of snakes into horses. A few weeks later, blood from the injected

horses is collected and plasma separated from it. While the remaining blood components are routed back to the horse, the purified form of the plasma is the ASV. Most companies offer the ASV in a powder form for better shelf life. From injecting the venom to the forma-

Kiran trainer aircraft crashes

Fourth arrest in Kaskar case

It took o from Hakimpet Air Force station in Hyderabad

Pankaj Gangar is known to be a nancier for gangsters

Special Correspondent Special correspondent

NEW DELHI

A Kiran trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in Hyderabad on Thursday. The pilot ejected safely. “Today morning around 11.45 hrs a Kiran aircraft which got airborne from Air Force station Hakimpet in Hyderabad for a routine training mission with a trainee flight cadet crashed,” IAF officials said. The aircraft crashed near an industrial unit in Medchal district. A Court of Inquiry will ascertain the cause of the accident. Kiran aircraft are used the

BSF ocer booked over arms licences

Mumbai

The Indian Air Force trainee aircraft that crashed in Hyderabad on Thursday. PTI

The Thane police Anti Extortion Cell on Thursday arrested a 54-year-old Borivali based businessman in connection with the extortion case against Iqbal Kaskar, brother of Dawood Ibrahim The arrested accused, Pankaj Gangar, was picked up from his residence on Sodawala Lane in Borivali and was later placed under arrest.

first level training of pilots and have now been largely replaced by Pilatus PC-7 basic trainers.

Previous criminal record Officers said that Gangar is a well-known face in the underworld and had a criminal

*

In stage-II, cadets use Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) before moving on to supersonic fighter jets.

Gangar being presented in a Mumbai court on Thursday. *

VIBHAV BIRWATKAR

record. He is known to be a financier for gangsters, including Iqbal Kaskar and Shakeel Babumiyan Sheikh

alias Chhota Shakeel. In 2008, Gangar was arrested by the Mumbai police for allegedly providing financial aid to gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli for the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamalakar Jamsandekar. Inspector Rajkumar Kothmi, Thane Anti-Extortion Cell, said, “Gangar provided ₹12 lakh to Chhota Shakeel through an agent known as R.C. Angadia, who regularly sends money to Shakeel. Another accused is suspected to have been acting as a middleman between Angadia and Shakeel.”

There is only one venom extraction centre in the country, in Tamil Nadu tion of the ASV, the process takes slightly more than one year. One horse can produce up to 50 vials of ASV depending on the weight of the animal. “But due to the low potency of the ASV, at times we require more than 40 vials to neutralise the venom in a snakebite patient,” said Mahad-based Dr. H.S. Bawaskar, an expert on snake and scorpion bites. He said that, at present, a Russell’s Viper bite victim requires about 40 vials of ASV; victims of cobra and krait bites require 20 vials, while a Saw Scaled Viper bite victim requires about five vials in Maharashtra. “This is mainly because the venom of snakes in Maharashtra varies from the ones in Tamil Nadu. If we have an effective ASV, we can reduce its usage by more than 50%,” said Dr. Bawaskar, adding that the hospital stay of a victim also ranges from two days to a month, depending on how soon

treatment is sought and whether the organs have been affected with venom. “A potent ASV will also help in the faster recovery of patients,” he added.

More in monsoon Before administering an ASV, the physician injects about 10 ml. of distilled water into the vial and then transfers it to a saline solution that is administered to the patient intravenously. During the monsoon, Dr. Bawaskar sees 30-35 snakebite victims in a month; the number falls by 50% in other months. A 2011 study carried out by the Registrar General of India pegged annual deaths by snakebite to nearly 50,000. But government records say that only about 1,200-1,300 people die of snakebites every year. Besides mortality, snakebite survivors often have to live with severe morbidity, including tissue damage and necrosis, amputations, and kidney failure.

Malegaon blast accused demands protection Press Trust of India Mumbai

Major (retd.) Ramesh Upadhyay, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case who secured bail on September 26, has moved the special NIA court seeking police protection. “Upadhyay has filed an application seeking security, saying

there is threat to his life. We have opposed it,” Special Public Prosecutor Avinash Rasal said. The Bombay High Court granted bail to Upadhyay on September 26 on the ground of parity, as some other accused, including Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, have already got bail.

DD’s analogue terrestrial TV transmitters to go City-specic channels now possible

Special Correspondent New Delhi

Sobhana K Nair

A Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant and a former District Magistrate of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir have been booked by the CBI for their alleged involvement in charging money from the personnel of the force for issuing arms licences on forged documents. The case — under the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and the Ranbir Penal Code provisions — has been registered against Commandant Sukhwinder Singh, who is with the 131st Battalion of the BSF; P.K. Sharma, owner of Nav Durga Gun House in Jammu; retired District Magistrate Faquir Chand Bhagat, and others. The action is being taken on the basis of a complaint lodged by BSF Additional Director-General K.K. Sharma. The Commandant allegedly was instrumental in introducing Mr. Sharma, a retired BSF constable, to the BSF personnel for procuring arms licences. The applicants posted at the Frontier Headquarters in Gujarat’s Gandhi Nagar, did not belong to the Rajouri or Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir, from where the licences were issued. Mr. Sharma allegedly charged ₹12,000 per licence. CM YK

New Delhi

The Prasar Bharati last Friday decided to phase out analogue terrestrial television transmitters of Doordarshan and the transition to digital network would open a world of possibilities including, new cityspecific DD channels. In case of analogue transmitters one needs dedicated transmitters for each channel. With digital, one can broadcast as many channels as needed. With Doordarshan’s extensive presence across the nation and the infrastructure, the digitisation could mean it open new channels catering exclusively to cities, informing them about traffic jams, or weather reports, or events or news, all tailored for individual cities. It will also help DD to talk to its audience in their own dialects and connecting with them at a micro level. It will be similar to city-specific radio channels that are airing out of many metros. Very few private television channels have ventured down to this level.

Unique position “With our national presence, manpower and infrastructure we are in a unique position to enable it,” Prasar Bharti CEO, Shashi Shekhar Vempati, told The Hindu. This is a long pending move, which, as per Prasar

Bharati own deadlines, was to be completed by 2017, but the board dithered on felling the final axe on analogue transmitters. “World over, broadcasters have moved from analogue to digital. We were the laggards. We have only taken baby steps limited to few cities. Last week, we finally took the call to retire analogue terrestrial transmitters,” Mr. Vempati said.

31 channels The existing 1412 analogue TV transmitters in India serve about 88% of the population. As on date, Doordarshan is operating 31 channels. There are digital transmitters only in 19 major cities and these too have come up only in last couple of years. For now, according to the CEO, no deadline has been fixed on when the analogue systems will be entirely phased out. “We will figure out the pace,” he said. There are operating costs of these transmitters, like huge electricity bills. In case of low powered transmitters, many of them have been put up on real estate that is not owned by DD so there is a huge rental bill. Financially, the savings are pegged at more than ₹100 crore from this move. Mr. Vempati, however, warns that it will only accrue over the years.

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8 EDITORIAL

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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The activist and the intellectual When the moral temperature of a society falls, as it has globally in recent times, activists will arise

The Union and West Bengal governments and the GJM must urgently begin tripartite talks Sundar Sarukkai

Tokyo dreams Shinzo Abe’s decision to call parliamentary elections early could prove to be a gamble

P

rime Minister Shinzo Abe has gambled his career by calling snap elections to the Lower House of the Japanese Diet in late-October. The term of the House would have ordinarily lasted another year, but he clearly senses a turn in the popular breeze in his favour. Whether the electorate will vindicate his judgment, however, may well depend on the grit and tenacity of his challenger, Tokyo’s rst woman Governor, Yuriko Koike. The former television anchor achieved an unprecedented feat last year by taking the city’s top job, trouncing the ocial nominee of Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in a triangular race. Ever since, Ms. Koike, who had served briey as defence minister during Mr. Abe’s rst term in 2006-07, has become accustomed to thriving in a crisis. In a repeat of her growing penchant to take on a male-dominated establishment, Ms. Koike oated a local party earlier this year, which spectacularly captured the Tokyo city assembly in July. Now, following the surprise announcement of polls to the Lower House of the Diet, she has launched the Party of Hope, drawing a number of parliamentarians from across the spectrum, including the ruling camp. She has even pledged that her new party would eld candidates across the country. In fact, Ms. Koike has been quick to exploit Mr. Abe’s decision to seek a fresh mandate more than a year in advance as merely a device to shore up power. But the Tokyo Governor, in turn, would also be mindful of criticism that she is abandoning her current responsibilities with the plunge into national politics. This is especially so given the coming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, and any impression that she is abdicating the preparatory work could be damaging. Meanwhile, the divided and demoralised opposition Democratic Party, in the midst of a leadership crisis, could work to project Mr. Abe as a symbol of relative stability especially at a time when the North Korean crisis shows no sign of abating. His own personal ratings have also seen a remarkable revival, after allegations of his links to controversial transactions in a land deal had led to a signicant dip in opinion polls. The Prime Minister still has his share of challenges to contend with. A new anticonspiracy legislation to combat terrorism was criticised for lack of public scrutiny and for incorporating intrusive provisions on individual privacy and free speech. Even if he can win a re-election, regaining the current two-thirds majority for his party is far from certain. Such a tally is critical for Mr. Abe to legislate the controversial revision to Japan’s pacist constitution, over which he has staked his reputation. In substantial terms, though, voters may have little to choose between the conservative nationalist stances advocated by Mr. Abe and Ms. Koike. CM YK

It is ironical that those who have always been an essential catalyst for a just society have also been those who have been kept at its margins. Activists have become increasingly unpopular and have become the targets of an upwardly mobile middle class. It is dicult to understand this phenomenon: why would those who have a comfortable life get so angry and upset at those who sacrice their personal well-being for the good of others? The public and government reaction against NGOs, the killing of social activists, the cynicism towards those who decide not to follow the mainstream are all part of this larger trend, a symptom of the silent corporatisation of society itself.

In the line of attack Intellectuals, including artists and academics, also bear the brunt of this hatred. As many have pointed out, it has never been as dicult as it is now to disagree about something without being called names. These are symptoms of what our society is becoming. As a society, we lack a culture of protest, whether in the public or in institutions. Disagreeing with a policy is always misinterpreted as if it is an attack on individuals associated with that policy. It is not easy being an activist, although it is somewhat easier being an intellectual. The activist is in the middle of conicts while the intellectual is in the midst of the world

of ideas and scholarship. Historically, this tension is powerfully manifested in the apparent opposition between ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’. The stereotype is that activists ‘do’ while intellectuals ‘think’. Like almost everything else, this is not an Either-Or situation. There are good arguments for supporting the view that some intellectual activity, especially that which develops new vocabulary and arguments for social change, helps activism. Similarly, major agents of social change have often contributed to the creation of new perspectives on society which academics have not been able to. Nevertheless this tension persists. Activists working with a variety of marginalised groups often believe that scholarship and ‘theory’ is of little use to them. Intellectuals, on their part, seem to have got cocooned inside their academic spaces or other elite spaces with very little engagement with the people and the situations that they write about. This has led to a rejection of intellectuals by many activists, and a benign neglect of activists by the intellectuals. However, there is an important dierence between both these acts. There is something special to

the domain of activism which a knowledge-based intellectual activity does not have.

Being an activist Becoming an intellectual is a long process and is often dependent on access to education as well as resources of various kinds. A school student will not be considered an intellectual but she can be an activist. She can join marches, shout slogans and write blogs. The opportunity to be an activist is more easily available. There is something more democratic and egalitarian about activism as compared to intellectualism, a feature which has often led to cynicism about intellectuals. The idea of an organic intellectual, drawing from Gramsci’s original use of this term, can be understood as a mediation between these extremes. The history of activism in India has shown us that some of the greatest activists have also been organic intellectuals. Nevertheless, this invocation of the organic intellectual is itself a response to the specic privilege of being an intellectual. I believe that there is one signicant dierence between the activist and the intellectual. An activist

the benet of others as her good. And this sense, akin to the truth or soul force as Gandhi would call it, is the most important quality of being an activist. The intellectual does not possess this necessarily, although some intellectuals have a deep sense of the moral. The history of intellectual labour has consistently removed the moral from the accumulation of knowledge. This is best exemplied by science and the creation of scientic knowledge decoupled from moral considerations. Academic intellectualism is clever, deep in knowledge and understanding but less so in its moral force. Organic intellectualism can be seen as an attempt to put back the moral within this pursuit of knowledge. So when the larger society fails in its moral sense or when its intellectuals ignore moral action, activists will arise to counter them. When the moral temperature of a society falls, as it has globally in recent times, activists will arise. If this does not happen, the moral force of a society gets depleted. It is only the activists who can make sure that the moral skills of a society do not vanish. It is activists, who give up their personal, material comforts for the larger values of dignity, respect and equality of individuals in a society, who can function as the moral compass for others. Activists and intellectuals are essential to protecting the society from two of the greatest dangers — power and prot. Getting rid of such people is to compromise our present as well as the future of our society. Sundar Sarukkai is Professor of Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru

Expanding the common ground James Mattis’ visit buttressed the growing India-U.S. convergence on regional and global security issues and development.” In line with this, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that while “there shall not be boots from India on the ground in Afghanistan,” New Delhi will be stepping up its development and capacity-building engagement with Afghanistan.

Harsh V. Pant Hours after U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis landed in Kabul, he was welcomed with six rockets landing near Kabul’s international airport, as if to remind Washington what’s at stake in the ongoing conict in Afghanistan. This visit came weeks after the Trump administration unveiled its South Asia strategy which in many ways marks a radical departure from the past by putting Pakistan on notice and bringing India to the centre stage of Washington’s Afghanistan policy. This was reinforced by Gen. Mattis during his visit to India this week when he suggested India and the U.S. would work together to ght terrorism. “There can be no tolerance of terrorist safe havens,” he said. “As global leaders, India and the United States resolve to work together to eradicate this scourge.” While announcing his new Afghanistan policy, U.S. President Donald Trump had mentioned, “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the U.S., and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance

Wider role in Kabul India has decided to take up 116 “high-impact community developmental projects” in 31 provinces of Afghanistan. India and Afghanistan have also agreed to “strengthen security cooperation”, with New Delhi agreeing “to extend further assistance for the Afghan national defence and security forces in ghting the scourge of terrorism, organised crime, trafcking of narcotics and money laundering”. India will be training Afghan police ocers along with Afghan soldiers. This is aimed at sending out a message to Pakistan, which continues to assert that India has “zero political and military role” in Afghanistan. After handing over four attack helicopters to Kabul as part of its assistance package, India is keen to expand the scope of its security cooperation with Afghanistan which had remained limited in the past not only due to geographical constraints, but also due to Washington’s desire to limit India’s security engagement in the country. The U.S. is sending about 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan, most of which are preparing to arrive in

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Debating the economy Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s criticisms of the government’s handling of the economy, said that India is one of the fastest-growing economies (“Congress hails Yashwant Sinha’s take on economy”, Sept. 28). But we must not forget facts. The problem began when the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister began to assume the role of economists and introduced massive changes. First, there was suspicion that Raghuram Rajan was asked to exit as he did not seek a second term as Governor of the Reserve Bank. Then the government introduced demonetisation, which threw many out of their jobs and hit the informal sector. Then it lowered xed deposit rates to aord easy loans and created bad debts. The Goods and Services Tax has hammered

Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond”. The Xiamen BRICS declaration earlier this month also listed Pakistan-based terror organisations for the rst time. It is not surprising, therefore, that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has had to admit that terrorist Haz Saeed and terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are a “liability” for his country and for the South Asian region.

REUTERS

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ith a breakthrough ending the 104-day-long blockade in the Darjeeling hills, the Union and West Bengal governments must move forthwith to consolidate the ‘truce’ and address the setback to livelihoods and the local economy suered over this period. The announcement on ending the bandh came from Bimal Gurung of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which had led the agitation. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal to the protesters and his tentative oer of talks brought about this turnaround, but it is his specic mention of the beleaguered Mr. Gurung, who has been on the run from the West Bengal police, that made the dierence. The blockade had severely hit life in the hill districts, and it is clear that local support for the agitation was waning. A section of the GJM, led by Binay Tamang, had shown an inclination to negotiate with the State government. In a move to cash in on the dierences within the GJM, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had, a week ago, named Mr. Tamang the chairperson of a new board of administrators to head the now-defunct Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, which had been set up in 2012 as a semiautonomous body with substantive powers. This followed statements from Mr. Tamang asking for a pause in the stir pending talks between the State government and rebel GJM members and allies. Mr. Gurung now found an opening in Mr. Singh’s appeal. While the Minister did not commit to “tripartite talks” on the separate statehood issue as demanded by the GJM, he promised discussions on other issues while impliedly recognising the leadership of the ocial faction. That the blockade truly ended after Mr. Gurung’s call suggests that the ocial faction of the GJM enjoys considerably more support in the hills than the rebels. The current impasse is a direct outcome of the failure to substantively devolve power to the GTA as promised. While this summer’s agitation was sparked by grievances over Ms. Banerjee’s initial statement about Bengali being made a compulsory language of study in the State, the stir revived the demand for statehood. Put together, the maximalist position of the agitators, the discomfort within the BJP government at the Centre on ocially responding to such aspirations, and Ms. Banerjee’s ploy of using the issue to sharpen a Bengali chauvinist appeal in the rest of the State to gain more support for her Trinamool Congress, all contributed to the stalemate. Mr. Singh’s appeal provided a face-saver to the GJM. The State government has suggested that it is not averse to tripartite talks over some of the GJM’s demands, but it is not clear whether Ms. Banerjee will agree to talk to Mr. Gurung. Talks involving the Centre, the State government and the GJM are, however, essential. This is the best mechanism to discuss the empowerment of the GTA, which is necessary to address the grievances of the residents of Darjeeling.

GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK IMAGE

Hope in Darjeeling

may or may not be a scholar. But what she does is far more important than the scholar because her action is most fundamentally a moral action. On the other hand, an intellectual’s action is most often an epistemic action, an action that is concerned with information and knowledge. An activist acts on behalf of, and with, others. In most cases, activists work with the dispossessed and the marginalised. They can imagine a better world for those the larger society forgets about and, in doing this, they sacrice something. Their actions are not geared towards personal benet but for the benet of communities and individuals with whom they can stand in solidarity. For an intellectual’s action to become moral, it needs the intervention of activists. All activism involves a sense of giving and giving-up something. While ‘normal’ individuals in a society act in order to benet themselves or their family, activists often act against their own interests. Often the actions of the activist improves the well-being of others (who are not just family and friends) more than that of the activist herself. And this is the real strength of an activist. Her actions are not rationally utilitarian but morally robust, as powerfully exemplied by countless activists who have worked with labour, women, the marginalised and the dispossessed. This is the important skill that dierentiates an activist and the intellectual. When a student goes on a protest, she is picking up an important skill — that of developing a moral sense of the social, a sense of concern and respect for others who may or may not be in a situation like hers. Her actions have

the coming weeks. “A lot is riding on this of course as we look toward how do we put an end to this ghting and the threat of terrorism to the Afghan people,” Gen. Mattis said in Kabul. “We are here to set the military and security conditions for that but recognise ultimately the responsibility for the Afghan leadership to step up and fully own the war.” The convergence between India and the U.S. on Pakistan has evolved at an extraordinary pace. The Trump administration’s hardline approach on Pakistan’s support for terrorism comes at a time when New Delhi has led an active global campaign to marginalise Islamabad and bring its role as a state sponsor of terror to the forefront of the global community. During Gen. Mattis’s visit, Ms. Sitharaman reminded the U.S. that “the very same forces which did nd safe haven in Pakistan were the forces that hit New York as well as Mumbai”. Mr. Trump had made it clear that Washington “can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the

Stronger ties with U.S. The visit of Gen. Mattis also underscored the growing salience of defence ties in shaping the trajectory of Indo-U.S. relations. Washington is no longer coy about selling sensitive military technologies to India. China’s growing assertiveness in the wider Indo-Pacic is a shared concern and this was reected in the reiteration by the two countries of the critical importance of freedom of navigation, overight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the global commons. Bilateral defence ties have been growing in recent years, “underpinned by a strategic convergence”. As Gen. Mattis suggested, the U.S. is looking forward to “sharing some of our most advanced defence technologies” with India “to further deepen the robust defence trade and technology collaboration between our defence industries.” The sale of 22 Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems, which was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. earlier this year, is high on the

agenda. With this deal, the Indian Navy will not only acquire the world’s most advanced maritime reconnaissance drone, it will also lead to greater defence technology sharing. As India and the U.S. expand military cooperation in the IndoPacic, new alignments are emerging which have the potential to reshape the regional security architecture. In the past, India had been reluctant to play an active role in East and Southeast Asia. Now as part of its ‘Act East’ policy, India’s engagement with the region has become more robust and Washington has been encouraging India to shape the regional strategic realities more potently. At a time when regional security in the wider IndoPacic has taken a turn for the worse, the U.S. is looking at India to shore up its presence in the region. And India, driven by China’s growing prole around its periphery, is keen to take up that challenge. Gen. Mattis’s visit has highlighted the growing convergence between the U.S. and India on key regional and global security issues. As the two nations move ahead with their ambitious plans, the challenge will be to sustain the present momentum given the myriad distractions that Washington and New Delhi have to contend with. Harsh V. Pant is a distinguished fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi and professor of international relations at King’s College London

Letters emailed to [email protected] must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

small and medium enterprises. These are facts, and the government must not ignore criticism.

R. Sivakumar,

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,

Chennai

serious and dicult to ignore, even for the most ardent of Mr. Modi’s fans.

Faridabad

Buying diesel online First former Union Minister Arun Shourie came down heavily on the government, saying it is only “managing headlines”, not the economy. He called demonetisation the greatest blunder in 70 years. Then Subramanian Swamy cautioned that the economy is heading for a major depression and said corrective measures must to be taken immediately before it “crashes”. And now Yashwant Sinha has criticised the government. Empirical data suggest that all these critics aren’t far o the mark in their allegations. Multiple economic indicators and trends emerging from dierent sectors show that the economic problem is

The Petroleum Ministry’s decision to deliver diesel at customers’ doorsteps seems unplanned (“Soon, you will be able to order diesel online”, Sept. 28). There is great risk involved in handling and storage of petroleum products: they can cause serious damage to people and the environment. There are concerns of re and adulteration of the fuel. India is still a developing country. We still don’t have the kind of infrastructure that developed countries have, so we must not try to ape them. James Edwin Thomson, Chennai

some online mania. Drivers never complain that it is dicult to take their trucks to bunks to ll tanks. To ll fuel tanks of individual trucks, diesel trucks are going to be driven around creating trac jams and re risks. This is a ridiculous move and a cruel joke on people who are already suering from unreasonably high domestic fuel prices. Wouldn’t it be better for the government to come up with a scheme to drop o rations at the doorsteps of the poor? P. Vijayachandran,

Diwakar P. Tiwari,

Thiruvananthapuram

Satna

The U.S. and terrorism Every word spoken by the Pakistan Foreign Minister is true (“Haz Saeed, Lashkar a liability: Pak. Minister”, Sept. 28). While terrorists seek refuge in Pakistan, it is true that many terrorists were Western allies during the last decades of the Cold War and supported them in the ght against the Soviet Union. If the U.S. is not ready to accept its responsibility in giving rise to terrorism, no wrong can be corrected. Kiran Babasaheb Ransing, New Delhi

more letters online: www.hindu.com/opinion/letters/

Letting women drive In a modern world, half the population still faces discrimination (“Women rejoice as Saudi ban ends”, Sept. 28). Saudi Arabia has enabled women to drive nally. But it isn’t the only country to have such a feudal mindset. Patriarchy

https://t.me/yk_info The Central government seems to be suering from

is embedded everywhere, including in India where a khap panchayat dictates that girls should not speak on mobile phones nor wear jeans. Even the so-called world’s superpower, the U.S., has not had a single woman President. While Saudi Arabia has a long way to go in achieving equality, India meanwhile must focus on making huge strides too. Without political representation, social and economic equality can’t be attained. Parliament must pass the Women’s Reservation Bill.

corrections & clarifications: >> In a report headlined, “Student launches campaign to change fate of village” (some editions, September 28, 2017), the river mentioned in the second paragraph should have been Chambal instead of Yamuna. It is the policy of The Hindu to correct signicant errors as soon as possible. Please specify the edition (place of publication), date and page. The Readers’ Editor’s office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday); Fax: +91-44-28552963; E-mail:[email protected]; Mail: Readers’ Editor, The Hindu, Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002, India. All communication must carry the full postal address and telephone number. No personal visits. The Terms of Reference for the Readers’ Editor are on www.thehindu.com A ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

OPED 9

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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LEFT, RIGHT, CENTRE

Will Swachh Bharat Abhiyan be a success? Bezwada Wilson is national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan. He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2016

LEFT

The mission for a clean India will not work without breaking the link between caste and occupation In the third year since its launch, the purpose of Swachh Bharat is still not clear. We have to understand one thing: this entire campaign is to make India clean. But the people who actually make the country swachh (clean), and have kept it swachh so far, have been left behind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to achieve this goal without their participation.

The caste link To clean the country, you have to address the problems of those who have spent a lifetime cleaning the country. You come out with your brooms and clean for a day. It is a photo opportunity for most of you. But I want to ask, what of the remaining 364 days? Who will clean your dirt? In India, there is an inexorable link between occupation and caste; the occupation of manual scavenging is linked with caste. We have to break the link between caste and occupation before we set out to achieve Swachh Bharat. It cannot be achieved by preaching ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. You have made certain communities from particular castes clean the country. If that were not the case, why is it that for the last 4,000 years, the same communities are cleaning the countryside? Without breaking the chain, those who make Bharat swachh will never be a part of the campaign. You will be projecting an illusion and to promote that, you will conceive of campaigns where the success of the illusion will depend on how well you promote it. The Prime Minister has already missed the target before he set out to achieve the goal. He has to come out openly and say that caste is the root cause of the problem he wishes to annihilate. He has to say that despite the Constitution declaring the abolition of untouchability in Article 17, it is still practised by perpetuating occupations such as scavenging. The cause has not been made clear by the Prime Minis-

ter. Cleaning India is not a spiritual experience and he should not glorify it. In the Indian context, manual scavenging is a misery, drudgery, so one cannot worship it. Can a manual scavenger worship his occupation by cleaning someone’s faeces? One has to begin by recasting society and its target, reconstructing society first by breaking the links between occupation castes. Slogans like ‘Clean-up India’ are an illusion.

Shaming no solution People are not using toilets because they neither have access nor the capacity to use one. You cannot organise campaigns to shame them. If your priority is the poor, let them choose what they want. The Constitution says the state cannot interfere in people’s lives. But by appointing whistle-blowers who shame those who do not use toilets, the state is terrorising people. Then, let us come to the toilets being constructed. Each toilet requires a septic tank. My question is, who will clean the septic tank? Instead of modernising the sewer lines and septic tanks and investing money and energy on smart techniques of sanitation, you are adding more problems to the existing problem. You have no concern for those who are dying cleaning sewers. People who have given up their lives in keeping Bharat clean, you have not spoken about their Right to Life. All of this shows the insensitivity in setting this goal. The sewers are being cleaned by those very people shamed in the campaign. Every month, there is news about people dying in manholes after being ordered to clean them. Why hasn’t any thought gone into mechanised cleaning of manholes in the city? Why is it the job of the most depressed man to clean up and lose his life in the process? As told to Anuradha Raman

Hardeep S. Puri is Minister of State (independent charge), Housing and Urban Aairs

RIGHT

The cleanliness mission will work because its success will have a liberating impact on women Swachhta (cleanliness) was an idea first articulated by Mahatma Gandhi, who said that sanitation is even more important than political freedom. A mission as fundamentally transformative as Swachh Bharat will not only result in intended physical outcomes but also a lifestyle and mindset change. The demand-driven performance in the last three years is anchored in the passion with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi transformed this mission into a project of the people. He is the first Prime Minister to have spoken of sanitation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, on August 15, 2014. In his scheme of things, sanitation is social transformation and is as, if not more, important than economic transformation.

Mission on course How are we faring on the toilet construction front? In the short span of three years, about 50 million toilets have been constructed in rural India, increasing the coverage from 39% to 69% now; another 3.8 million have sprung up in cities and towns and another 1.4 million are presently under construction. As against this, only 300,000 toilets were built during the 10-year period between 2004 and 2014. So far, 248,000 villages have been resurrected from the ignominy of open defecation; 203 districts, over onethird of the total, have banished open defecation. Five States have declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF) in rural areas: Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Haryana. About 1,200 of our cities and towns, about one-third of the total, have already become ODF. More importantly, all ODF claims are scrutinised by third-party independent verification. One might cynically argue that building toilets is easier than putting them to use. This is valid only up to a point. Credible surveys show that 85% of toilets built under this mission are

being used. Long-inculcated or forced habits take time to change, but they definitely will. The alternative to not using toilets is to walk long distances either at night, as is the case mostly with women and girl children, or at sunrise. This is more a forced option and a habit than a preferred choice. Such habits must be made to vanish, and will for sure.

It’s about women Prime Minister Modi’s mission will work for sure since its success will have the most liberating impact on the women of our country. Surely no one can seriously believe that defecating in the open is a safe and viable option for women. All houses being built under the ‘Housing for All’ mission will have toilets and the title will vest in the name of women, either individually or jointly. This is about women’s empowerment, freeing them from domestic subjugation besides liberating them from humiliating open defecation. Proper integration of various components of the sanitation chain such as ensuring water supply, seepage management, sewerage networks, prevention of manual scavenging and solid waste management form the key for the Swachh Bharat Mission. Given the efforts underway to make this chain work, the way forward is towards a Clean India. Cynics and critics may point at something lacking here or there. They cannot, however, question the need for Swachh Bharat. With such consensus and the evidence available so far, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will work — the only alternative is neither affordable nor viable in an aspirational India. The ongoing mass mobilisation campaign ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ highlights sanitation as the real service to the nation. We owe a ‘Swachh Bharat’ to the Mahatma on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.

Ajay Maken was the Minister for Urban Development and Housing and Poverty Alleviation (2012-13) in UPA II

CENTRE

The skewed importance given to rural areas ignores population explosion in the urban areas The key problem with the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is that the government is primarily focussed on promotions and events of a repackaged scheme than its implementation. The SBM was earlier known as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan under the UPA government. Moreover, duplicate entries, ghost beneficiaries and missing households were the first stumbling blocks in SBM, as pointed out by researchers from the Accountability Initiative of the Centre for Policy Research in a study conducted in December 2015. The study tracked beneficiaries across 7,500 households in 10 districts and five States. This made even the World Bank jittery, which is why it downgraded the project and refused to release the first instalment of a $1.5 billion loan. The overall ratings have gone down on three parameters in the World Bank report dated February 2, 2017: progress towards achievement of programme development objectives from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderately satisfactory’; overall implementation progress from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’; and overall risk rating from ‘nil’ to ‘substantial’.

Rural skew For 2017-18, the government has allocated ₹13,948 crore for the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) project; for the Swachh Bharat MissionUrban (SBM-U) project, the allocation was merely ₹2,300 crore. This has to be seen in the light of the 2011 Census, according to which 31.16% of the total population lives in urban areas. Also, the growth of population in urban areas is at 32% and rural is 12% in a decade. The fact that the urban population is growing at a much more rapid rate has been ignored by the government. As for the national capital, the only instalment the Modi government released to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was in 2014-15; no money has

been given since then. In urban areas, huge landfill sites running beyond capacity are the biggest problem. Decentralisation, segregation of garbage at source, and encouraging community/household treatment of waste is the only viable alternative. These alternatives have been successfully implemented at various places including Alappuzha in Kerala. The Centre for Science and Environment, in its survey of June 2016, assessed Alappuzha as the one of the leading cities in terms of innovation and improvement of the SWM, but the government’s Swachh Survekshan rated it poorly, which reflects the illconceived direction of SBM-U and its assessment parameters. Moreover, such an erroneous approach by the government has a cascading effect as government ratings motivate cities and their administration in the right or wrong direction.

Behavioural change The components of the problem in urban areas are very different from those in rural areas. The SBM has painted both with the same brush. It is only a publicity and construction spree. A case study (Annual Status of Education Report) done in 2016 revealed that as many as 96.5% of rural elementary government schools had toilets, but more than one in four toilets (27.79%) were dysfunctional or locked. Under the SBM, no importance is being given to the upkeep, maintenance and sustainability of these community infrastructures. The focus of the SBM-G should be on behavioural change; the guidelines also require that 8% of the funds be allocated for information, education and communication activities. But during 2016-17, up to January 2017 only 1% of the total expenditure had been made on information, education and communication. Where did the rest of the money go? Blown away in self-praise ads by the Prime Minister?

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SINGLE FILE

FROM

The 280-character test

FIFTY YEARS AGO

Fire-fighting units of the Madras Fire Service fought for three hours this evening [September 28] and extinguished a fire caused by an explosion of crackers at a depot in Wall Tax Road. There were no casualties. It is stated that the crackers were being unloaded from a lorry which had transported the same from a City [Madras] godown. Eight fire engines were pressed into service and the firemen had to struggle for three hours before they could put out the fire. The fire-fighting operations were rendered difficult owing to the shutter at the entrance coming down. It had to be jacked up before the fire inside the depot in the ground floor of the building could be put out.

P.J. GEORGE

GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCK

More words is not more nuance On Twitter, brevity, the soul of wit, is also the forte of the racist and the bigot. These are mindsets that thrive in the absence of nuance, and social media, which rewards controversy with visibility, is the perfect setting for their growth. It would be simplistic to assume that increasing the character count of a tweet will make way for nuance. It will only feed into the established rules of the game on the platform. The armchair analyst who foresees doom among the Rohingya refugees will only add an “also…” if given more space, not a “however…” But the major worry here is dierent. Facebook once said there are 1,500 stories that they can potentially show a user when she logs in, prioritising them algorithmically to show what could be most interesting rst. That is a nearly endless stream of content they can throw up to retain you on their platform. Twitter is also similarly content-heavy, with nearly 8,000 tweets per second. As fake news and viral content generators mushroom, the key issue online now is the proigacy of content. Moderation and curation are urgent requirement in the realm of digital news, rather than generating more content. As content saturates, chances are high that users will limit themselves to smaller and smaller niches, limiting their world view. Twitter and Facebook need to spend more time and thought on limiting the quantity of content getting onto their platforms and improving the quality. CM YK

SEPTEMBER 29, 1967

Explosion while unloading crackers

Twitter and Facebook need to spend more time on limiting the quantity of content and improving quality Since its inception in 2009, the tweet as a form of expression has repeatedly proven that there are no limits to what can be unleashed in 140 characters. Just last month, the President of the United States managed to threaten the total nuclear annihilation of another country in one tweet. If he had the 280 characters that Twitter now proposes, it would probably be apocalypse now. It is not just Donald Trump with his 3 a.m. tweet frenzies. For many world leaders, Twitter is now the de facto medium for political posturing. In India, the Narendra Modi government’s digitisation drive actually began with the shifting of pretty much all people-government communications to Twitter. It bypassed the lters of the press, the much-reviled ‘MSM’. Our letters-to-the-editor class is now a tweet-to-theminister class, compressing everything from garbage pile-ups to national security questions within the character count. The addition of 140 characters should come as a relief, since they can now start with the preferred ‘Respected Sir/Madam’. We should also appreciate the fact that it is a non-partisan addition since ‘anti-national’, ‘Congi’, ‘commie’, and ‘libtard’ can all t into one tweet now, as can ‘demonetisation’, ‘GST’, ‘petrol price’, and ‘feku’. On the downside, all those blonde Caucasian women with eerily similar proles will now have to spend more time typing out remarkably similar tweets about the achievements of the BJP. A moment of silence here also for the PR executives and brand managers who have to come up with several more “engaging” hashtags.

ARCHIVES

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO

SEPTEMBER 29, 1917

Congress Presidentship. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

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CONCEPTUAL

ACT ONE

Selectorate theory

An eye on the private eye

Political Science This refers to a theory of politics which elaborates on how various kinds of political leaders capture and hold on to power. It states that leaders primarily care about nothing else but staying in power for as long as possible, and try to manoeuvre their actions accordingly. Further, it elaborates on five rules that smart leaders need to follow to extend their stay in power, and what these rules mean for the welfare of society. It was proposed by American political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita in a number of works including his 2011 book, The Dictator’s Handbook, co-authored with Alastair Smith. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

MORE ON THE WEB

3

The ayes and nays on Yashwant Sinha's economy stinger

A Bill is pending on regulation of private detective agencies Krishnadas Rajagopal

Modern private detectives face complex challenges. Long gone are the likes of the ‘consultant genius’ at 221B, Baker Street, London, who pursued a case because it was “art for art’s sake”, or Philip Marlowe who could solve cases with his snappy repartees after downing a few pegs. Economic growth and development have led to the establishment of a large number of private detective agencies. The scale of their work makes them “business enterprises”. Their professional expertise ranges from digging up dirt for divorce proceedings to background checks on corporate entities, to tracking terrorism. The government feels that the sensitive nature of this work requires some regulation. The Private Detective Agencies (Regulation) Bill has been pending in Parliament for the past seven years. The statement of

objects and reasons of the proposed law highlights the manner in which the security scenario in India has been affected by international terrorism and extremism, keeping the police and security agencies occupied primarily in facing these challenges. The government notes that business establishments are increasingly reliant on private investigators for gathering information and intelligence. Therefore, a large number of private detective agencies have come up all over the country. While in most cases, these agencies have helped in meeting the private investigation and vigilance needs of business establishments, there has been growing concern over how these

agencies function, as some of them conduct operations without due verification of those employed as agents. Also not observed is due regard for the protection of the rights of individuals who are spied upon. The proposed law, the government says, would enforce proper norms for the functioning of private detective agencies. It would make sure that agencies with “dubious reputation” close down their businesses. In short, the government wants to regulate the functioning of private detective agencies so that they are run within legal parameters and are accountable to a regulatory authority. The Bill provides for the constitution of a Central Board at the Central level and State Boards at the State level for the purpose of granting licences to detective agencies. It also makes it mandatory for private detective agencies to hold licenses to carry on their business.

The ‘Indu Prakash’ in an article headed “Mrs. Besant’s opportunity’’ urges that as an earnest of her pledge to allay the bitterness of feeling Mrs. Besant should promptly announce in a spirit of self abnegation that she declines to preside over the ensuing Congress even if the All India Congress Committee were by a majority inclined to elect her. If she declines she will create not only a calm atmosphere in the Congress ranks but an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill which will redound to her credit. If on the contrary she fails to rise superior to personal ambition she will be responsible for having divided the country when it was within her power to keep it united. The paper observes whatever decision may be arrived at by the moderates elsewhere a large body of the moderates of Bombay presidency will decline to have anything to do with the Congress presided over by Mrs. Besant. Continuing, the paper says: It was she who invented the phraseology of “Yesterday” and “Tomorrow’s” and made venomed attacks on veterans who had striven and struggled all these years to build up the reputation and prestige of the Congress. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

DATA POINT

https://t.me/yk_info

http://bit.ly/SinhaReactions

A ND-NDE

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10 NEWS

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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FROM PAGE ONE

Jaitley tears into Yashwant Sinha Mr. Jaitley red-flagged the abandonment of the centrist space by the Congress and the emergence of an ideological polarisation in the country, caused by a convergence between the ultra-left and extreme Jihadi elements. The decisive nature of the government will help revive private investments, Mr. Jaitley said, contrasting it to the ‘indifference in dealing with that problem when it was taking place during 2012-14.” “Just looking the other way is not the approach of the government. …It’s a situation I am sure we will be able to respond to appropriately. India at 70 is an India which we look up to, where we want to continue to occupy the space of a fast growing economy.” “We want each village to be connected by road by 2019, electrified by early next year, and each house to get a power connection by 2018-end… The entire additional resources that come from growth are blended with the needs of this section. This is how we visualise India at 70. Obviously, when India is at 70, there are always attempts to change the narrative,” he said. “I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former Finance Minister; nor do I have the luxury of being a former Finance Minister who’s turned columnist. Therefore, I can conveniently forget a policy

paralysis, I can conveniently forget the 15% NPAs (nonperforming assets) of 19982002, I can conveniently forget the $4 billion forex reserves left in 1991 and I can switch over and change the narrative,” Mr. Jaitley said, in an oblique reference to Mr. Sinha’s article questioning the Finance Minister’s performance.

Advani’s advice Recalling BJP veteran L.K. Advani’s advice to him after his first intervention in Parliament in 1999 over the Bofors case, Mr. Jaitley said: “He made an interesting comment: ‘When you speak in Parliament or outside, speak on issues. Avoid speaking on persons.’ I have breached this rule once in a while, but I try to follow it as far as possible.” Mr. Chidambaram and the other ex-Finance Minister didn’t have the benefit of Mr. Advani’s advice, but acting in tandem won’t change the facts, Mr. Jaitley said, before revealing some snappy interludes between the two. “One said of the other: ‘Chidambaram will have to be born again to match my record as a Finance Minister.’ He then linked Finance Minister Chidambaram to an incompetent doctor for failing to curb India’s alarming fiscal deficit,” Mr. Jaitley recalled, apparently quoting Mr. Sinha. “He then went on and said: I accuse him of running the economy down to the ground’...”

‘Proposal to swap Jadav for terrorist’ Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was in April sentenced to death by Pakistan's Field General Court Martial on charges of his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan. The Foreign Minister said there was no military solution to Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had in the past done all it could to facilitate a political settlement.

We have also done all that we could to make sure that Pakistani soil is not used against any country,” he claimed. “However, there are obviously clear limits to what we can do... We cannot take responsibility for Afghanistan’s peace and security and be asked to achieve what the combined strength of some of the most powerful and richest countries could not accomplish,” Mr. Asif said.

Marriage of interfaith couple disrupted According to the Faridabad police, Krishna who is second-year BA student at the K.L. Mehta Women’s College, became friends with Saddam three years ago when she was pursuing B.Tech from an institute in Greater Noida. But the two remained in touch even when she dropped out of her engineering course midway to go and live with her uncle, who is a head constable in Delhi police. After Krishna eloped with Saddam on Wednesday, her uncle reported the matter to the police and a case was registered under Section 346 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code at the SGM Police station in Faridabad.

The coordinator of the Bajrang Dal in western Uttar Pradesh, Balraj Dungar was furious with the police for “not cooperating” with his group. He accused the police of facilitating “love jihad”. “We are proud that we did not let a Muslim boy manipulate a Hindu girl into marrying him. We would never let Muslim boys marry Hindu girls,” Mr. Dungar told The Hindu. This is the second attack of its kind on inter-religious couples. It comes four days after a similar incident occurred in Hapur in western U.P., where Sangh Parivar workers tried to assault an inter-religious married couple living together in a rented accommodation.

Court charges Tarun Tejpal with rape “The Court has to explain the charges to him as per the procedure. He has pleaded not guilty to all of that,” Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora told the media outside the Court premises at Mapusa on Thursday. Mr. Tejpal’s lawyer Gomes, however, told media that the framing of charges was not a setback for Tejpal. “It is just a procedural act of explaining the charges. The order is already challenged before the High Court. So if the High Court reverses the order, it is the end of the matter,” Mr. Gomes told presspersons. Earlier, Mr. Gomes had pleaded before the District and Sessions judge to not to frame charges in view of an CM YK

appeal petition filed by the counsel of the accused before the High Court last week, but the court refused. “When the High Court has not imposed a stay on the framing of charges, why should I impose a stay on myself ?” Judge Pol noted. She scheduled the next hearing for November 21, when the status of the High Court petition filed by Tejpal would be presented before her. On September 26, while hearing a primary appeal petition filed by Mr. Tejpal seeking a stay on the framing of charges, the Bombay High Court at Goa had directed that the trial should take place only after its consent. It had, however, refused to stay the processes of framing of charges.

Jawan’s killing points to rise in militancy Bandipora had near-zero militant activity until two years ago; BSF issues advisory asking personnel to be cautious

Last homecoming

Peerzada Ashiq Srinagar

As the police blame Lashkare-Taiba’s (LeT) hand in the killing of an off-duty Border Security Force (BSF) jawan inside his house in north Kashmir’s Bandipora, the incident only points to the heightened militant movement in an otherwise militant-free zone. “LeT commander Mehmood Bhai carried out the killing of [Muhammad Ramzan] Parrey. He was accompanied by a few more militants,” said Nitish Kumar, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), north Kashmir. The body of Parray, 30 was buried in his ancestral graveyard at Bandipora’s Hajin on Thursday afternoon. Police sources said around 26 militants had succeeded in entering the district in the recent past. The area had near-zero militancy only until two years ago. The BSF had “advised its

Press Trust of India Hajjan (J&K)

Torn apart by grief: Relatives watch the funeral procession of slain BSF jawan Ramzan Parray in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Thursday. NISSAR AHMAD *

personnel to remain cautious during leave period.” “Constable Parray was also advised before proceeding on the leave,” a BSF spokesman said. Arvinder Singh, DIG, BSF, said, “It will in no

way impact the morale of the BSF. We are grief-stricken but will not rest till this terror design ends.” Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, former CM and National

Conference leader Omar Abdullah condemned the killing. “It’s unfortunate that Parray was killed when he was home,” Ms. Mufti said. “This is abominable,” Mr. Abdullah said.

BJP in touch with Mukul Roy Former Trinamool leader’s possible entry evokes mixed emotions in Bengal unit

His leave was coming to an end and BSF constable Ramzan Parray was snatching some quiet time with family at his aunt’s place here on Wednesday night when militants barged in. It was about 9.25 p.m., the police said. The jawan fought off the militants valiantly. However, he was gunned down a short while later at his home in north Kashmir’s Bandipora area. The night before, police had launched a cordon operation at Parray Mohalla and the militants, it is learnt, believed he was involved in the exercise. Mr. Parray, 28, who was posted in adjacent Baramulla with 73 battalion of the BSF, had come on leave on August 26 to

Govt. studying report on online abuse Special Correspondent

scam that may come with him,” said a senior party office-bearer.

Nistula Hebbar NEW DELHI

Former Railway Minister Mukul Roy’s exit from the Trinamool Congress has set off speculation that his next port of call may be the BJP. The party, eager to expand its base in West Bengal has been in touch with Mr. Roy, but say that there is a division of opinion in the State unit on just how to accommodate the Trinamool leader. “First of all, our talks with Mukul Roy haven’t progressed to the point that any intake is imminent. However, the State unit is thinking about the issue and a

VVPAT to be used in Gujarat polls Special Correspondent

Mukul Roy

large number of leaders feel that Mr. Roy would be a great addition to the ranks; a much smaller bunch has reservations about the baggage of Narada-Sharada

Grassroots knowledge The BJP is eyeing Mr. Roy’s knowledge of the Trinamool electoral machinery. “You name the booth and Mukul Roy will name the workers on that booth — such is his hold on the minutest aspects of the electoral set up, much in the manner that Himanta Biswa Sarma knew the Congress machinery in Assam and northeast,” said a senior Bengal BJP leader. The induction of outsiders is however, always been tricky within the BJP.

Mr. Sarma’s induction saw the exit of long-time BJP man Pradyut Bora in Assam, and there is uneasiness in the Maharashtra unit at the possible induction of former CM Narayan Rane, who has recently exited the Congress. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, however, gave a more sanguine response on this uneasiness. “Ganga main sab pavitra ho jaatey hain (everyone is purified after entering the Ganges),” he said. More plainly, an assessment of whether these leaders will electorally aid the party will guide their entry into the BJP.

New Delhi

The Home Ministry has said it is examining an expert committee report that has recommended measures to contain the growing menace of online abuse, particularly against women. The report also deliberates on hate speeches and vitriolic messages on online platforms. The panel was set up after the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in 2014. The committee headed by T.K. Viswanathan, former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, submitted its report

NIA focus on 32 Kerala ‘conversions’ Probe into cases of Hindu women allegedly ‘lured’ to convert, marry Muslim men Vijaita Singh

Ahmedabad

New Delhi

The Election Commission of India will use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) gadgets with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in all 50,128 voting booths in Gujarat, which goes to the Assembly polls at the end of this year. “This is the first time an entire assembly poll will be conducted using EVMs equipped with VVPAT,” Chief Electoral Officer B.B. Swain told mediapersons in Gandhinagar on Thursday. VVPAT machines, which will be attached to the EVMs, will allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. This would ensure transparency in the voting process, the Chief Electoral Officer said. The machine is being put to use in Gujarat following a petition filed by Reshma Patel, one of the conveners of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was scrutinising over 30 cases in Kerala where Hindu women were allegedly lured, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. NIA had asked the Kerala police for details of forced conversions at Therbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode, a religious centre authorised by the Kerala government. An NIA official said the State police sent the details of 92 cases but in the initial phase, the agency was concentrating only on 32 cases, which involved Hindu women.

Akhila-Hadiya case Supreme Court had last month asked the federal anti-terror agency to investigate the case of Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya, a 25-yearold Hindu woman, who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. Akhila’s parents had moved the Kerala High Court

In support: A recent protest by students in Kochi seeking justice for Hadiya. THULASI KAKKAT

ents. “The Kerala police has provided us the details of forced conversions. As of now we are scrutinising 32 cases which involves Hindu women who converted to Islam and married Muslim men. We have to unearth the entire racket as we have been asked by Supreme Court to do so and Kerala Police registered FIRs in all these incidents based on a complaint by family members,” said an NIA official.

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in 2016 alleging that she was radicalised and converted to Islam and forcibly married to a Muslim man. The High Court annulled the marriage and Akhila’s husband Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which in turn asked the NIA to investigate the ‘love jihad’ case. The NIA submitted a preliminary report in the apex court saying there was an “organised effort” behind the conversion. However, the NIA has not questioned Akhila even once. She had

earlier told the Kerala police that she converted to Islam and married Shafi Jahan on her own. The NIA had mentioned that Akhila’s case was similar to that of Athira Nambiar, another Hindu woman who converted to Islam at the religious centre in Kozhikode. Athira’s parents had moved a habeas corpus petition in the Kerala High Court against the conversion and the court had asked the NIA to probe the matter. The woman has since returned to her par-

Focus on activist In both the cases of alleged forced conversions, the NIA named a woman named Sainaba, an activist of the Social Democratic Party of India, the political arm of the Popular Front of India (PFI). An NIA official said it had sent details of four terror cases where members of PFI were involved as the Centre was considering a ban on the outfit. However, a senior Home Ministry official said there was no such proposal to immediately ban the outfit.

Traders to protest against govt. policies Say GST, demonetisation, e-commerce discounts causing huge losses; warn against FDI in retail trade business. As per the FDI policy, e-commerce entities can only be an information technology platform (they are banned from owning any inventory), and are not permitted to directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services.

Arun S Sandeep Phukan New Delhi

There is a growing discontent among traders who form the BJP’s traditional vote bank. The Hindu has learnt that traders’ bodies, including the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), will soon hold a series of protests across the nation against the BJP-led government at the Centre on issues including the ongoing official discussions to liberalise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on Multi-Brand Retail Trade (MBRT), difficulties relating to complying with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as well as the ramifications of the sudden demonetisation. Besides, they are upset that proposals to boost the local wholesale and retail

Seeking relief: Traders and workers at a rally against the Goods and Services Tax in Ahmedabad recently. PTI *

trade, submitted by them to the NDA government after it came to power in 2014, have been hanging fire despite several meetings in this regard with officials concerned. These proposals include setting up a National Internal Trade (retail & wholesale) Regulator, a comprehensive Domestic Trade Policy and a

Board for Internal Trade. Traders are also unhappy that the NDA government has remained silent on the issue of the huge discounts and other incentives being offered by e-commerce firms through advertisements during the ongoing festive season, allegedly in violation of the FDI policy, and in turn hurting their (local traders’)

Voiced concerns Sources said traders’ representatives recently met with NITI Aayog and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (or DIPP — the nodal body on FDI policy) to voice their concerns on these issues, especially on official discussions to open up FDI in MBRT. CAIT national secretary general Praveen Khandelwal told The Hindu: “We will be incurring huge losses in this festive season due to GST and huge discounts given by

https://t.me/yk_info

finalise the renovation of his house in Parray Mohalla and look for better jobs for his two brothers. On Wednesday night, Mr. Parray, his two brothers and father were at his aunt Hubba Begum’s home when two militants stormed in, asking for his identity card. Trained in combat action, Mr. Parray, who joined the BSF seven years ago, fought with the intruders, injuring one of them. His aunt was also injured in the fight. Mr. Parray then rushed to his home nearby to change so he could take her to the hospital, the police said. Four militants then entered his one-storey home. His father and two brothers pleaded with them to spare his life, but the appeals fell on deaf ears. Mr. Parray was shot twice at point-blank range.

e-commerce players in violation of the FDI policy.” He added, “If the government doesn’t take any immediate decision on our proposals, or if they take any decision that further hurts us — including on gradually opening up FDI in MBRT, the prospects of the BJP will be severely hurt in the 2019 general elections.” The Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the RSS, said it had not yet decided to “hit the streets,” but accepted that many of the apprehensions expressed by traders are “genuine.” “We will lend our support to all movements against the demonetisation and GST,” said Ajay Maken, who heads the Delhi unit of the Congress. The Left trade unions too are extending support to the traders.

to the Home Ministry recently. “The Home Ministry has received the report and it is currently being examined,” a Ministry spokesperson said. Though the contents of the report have not been made public, an official said that it has recommended measures to deal with growing incidents of abuse against women on social media platforms. The panel has recommended amending Section 78 of the Information Technology Act, which mandates an officer not below the rank of an Inspector to investigate such cases of online misuse.

‘Surgical strikes a bid to divert attention’ Special Correspondent VIJAYAWADA

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday alleged that the surgical strikes initiated by the Modi government were aimed at diverting the attention of people from pressing issues. Speaking at the Meet the Press programme organised by the Andhra Pradesh Union for Working Journalists, Mr. Yechury said: “Even after six months of the surgical strikes across the border, the attacks from the other side have increased. If several enemy camps along the Line of Control have been destroyed, how come there is an increase in infiltration?” He also said that the recent strikes on Naga insurgents across the border did not yield any result.

‘Non-pragmatic plans’ The Left leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was coming out with nonpragmatic plans and cited the recently-launched rural electrification programme as an example. “The political climate in the country is changing and youth, who were staunchly behind Mr. Modi, are fast realising their mistakes.” He said the economy had taken a severe beating and the government’s much-publicised initiatives on black money, counterfeit currency, terrorism and scam-free society did not yield any result. He said the non-performing assets (NPA) of banks reached a whopping ₹10.5 lakh crore and close to ₹2 lakh crore in loans were waived. “While farmers are suffering for want of minimum support price, the government is only taking care of the interests of big industrial houses.” He said that under the Modi regime, unemployment had reached a new high. “The countdown for the fall of the Modi government has begun,” he said. A ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

NEWS 11

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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IN BRIEF

Rift deepens over Sinha’s remarks on economy War of words over criticism

Yashwant denies family feud; says there’s confusion in the government Rajnath to mark Dussehra with ITBP jawans NEW DELHI

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will celebrate Dussehra with the jawans of the IndoTibetan Border Police at Joshimath in Uttarakhand on Saturday. Mr. Singh began a four-day trip to forward areas along the Sino-India border on Thursday. A Home Ministry official said Mr. Singh would address a Sainik Sammelan at an ITBP border outpost at Joshimath. PTI

I-T dept. fastens belt to add 1.25 cr. new tax filers NEW DELHI

The Income Tax Department has been tasked to add 1.25 crore new return filers in the current financial year as part of the government’s plan to widen the tax base in the country. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), that makes policy decisions for the department, has directed the taxman to undertake “focused efforts to significantly increase the tax base in the current financial year of 2017—18.” The target, the CBDT directive said, is to add 1.25 crore new I-T return filers. PTI

Kidnapped Tripura driver remains untraced

Sandeep Phukan Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The BJP-led Union government’s hopes that a rebuttal to former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s hard-hitting editorial on the state of the economy by his son and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, in another editorial, would close the chapter on the incident were belied on Thursday morning as the senior Mr. Sinha stuck to his guns and reiterated his position. Speaking to a phalanx of television channels at his residence in Noida, Mr. Sinha also questioned why — if his son was considered an expert on economics to articulate the government’s position on it through Thursday’s editorial piece — he was removed from his post as junior minister in the Finance Ministry. “There is no family feud over this. I haven’t spoken to

him recently so I don’t know whether he was asked to write this or he wrote it on his own. In any case, it is a demonstration that he is being trusted to put forward the government’s view on policy. Well and good. Then why was he removed from the Finance Ministry,” Mr Yashwant Sinha asked.

New Delhi

On the same page: A le photo of Yashwant Sinha, left, and P. Chidambaram in New Delhi. SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR *

‘Not paralysed’ “Before 2014, I was party [Bharatiya Janata Party] spokesperson when it came to economic affairs. We used to call then United Progressive Alliance government situation ‘Policy Paralysis’. This government is not paralysed as many decisions are being taken. But there is confusion in the government that development can be done through welfare schemes, which is not right,” he said to the news agency ANI. Mr. Sinha said that for a long time the Indian eco-

nomy was falling, and everybody was concerned. “When the government didn’t act, then I thought I should take this issue in public domain,” he said.

Refutes Ministers Responding to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s comments on Wednesday that India was one of the fastest growing economies of the world, the former minister said, “Maybe Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal

know the economy better so they think India is the backbone of the world economy. I politely disagree.” His own prescriptions for the recovery of the Indian economy, he said, was to start from strengthening the banking system and weeding out of Non-Performing Assets. “Apart from everything else, the first and foremost goal of the government is to strengthen the banks; but we are awaiting actions in this regard,” he said.

A war of words has broken out between the Congress and the Modi government over veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s comment that the “Indian economy is in a mess” right now. Countering his father, Jayant Sinha, the junior Aviation Minister, claimed that the Modi government’s policy initiatives were bringing about “structural reforms” that are “transformational” in nature. Almost immediately, the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, who had endorsed the views expressed by Mr. Sinha on Wednesday, said the junior Aviation Minister’s defence read like a press release issued by the government’s publicity wing, the Press Information Bureau. “Jayant Sinha’s article in ToI reads like a PIB press release. He should know that

‘Days in captivity deepened my faith’ I feel God wants me to pray for my captors ... and for peace in the world, says Father Tom Uzhunnalil Jatin Anand

AGARTALA

New Delhi

Jiban Debnath, a driver who was allegedly kidnapped by activists of a political party from near Agartala, has remained untraced for the past eight days. The incident took place at Khumulwng, headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, on September 20. No arrests have been made yet. The disappearance of the driver took place on the same day a young television journalist, Santanu Bhowmik, was murdered.

God and the “inner goodness” of his captors were to be thanked for the fact that he was still alive, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the 59-year-old Catholic priest who was abducted in Yemen in early March 2016, said here on Thursday. The episode, in fact, he said, had “deepened” his faith and brought him “closer to God”. “There is goodness in everybody; had that not been the case they would have killed me... I feel God wants me to pray for my

Welcome back: Narendra Modi greets Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was rescued from captivity in Yemen, in New Delhi. PTI *

captors, for their change of heart and for peace in the world,” Father Uzhunnalil said of those who held him in confinement for 18 months. The captors were presumably rebel fighters participating in the civil war that broke out in Yemen a year prior to the priest’s abduction. They may have gained his custody from another militant group.

Inner call The Father, who belongs to the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco and hails from Ramapuram in

Kerala’s Kottayam, also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier during the day to thank them for their support. He was in India when civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015. But he followed his “inner call” and decided to “ensure his presence” there. “My mission must have been to look after those sisters who were looking after the sick and the ailing even in the war situation of that country with great difficulty,” he said.

Jayant Sinha

administrative changes are not structural reforms,” tweeted Mr. Chidambaram.

Explanation sought Countering Mr. Jayant Sinha, in a series of tweets, Mr. Chidambaram asked for an explanation about “a steady decline in GDP numbers over the past five quarters, negative credit growth to industry, no increase in investments and poor demand for electricity.” On Monday, Mr. Yashwant Sinha had written that he would be “failing in his

India signs MoU to train Afghan police Chief Executive Abdullah meets PM

Close allies: Sushma Swaraj welcomes Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in New Delhi. PTI *

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

There will be blood, if you ask on Facebook Novel feature in social networking site makes it easier to connect to voluntary blood donors in the time of need Yuthika Bhargava Jyoti Shelar NEW DELHI

Social networking platform Facebook is all set to roll out a new feature that would make it faster and easier for people, blood banks, and hospitals to connect to blood donors when needed. This initiative is specifically designed for India, its second largest user base in the world. Starting October 1, Facebook users in India can sign up to become willing blood donors. “All the critical information, such as blood group and whether they have donated blood in the past, will remain private and set to ‘only me’ by default. But people can choose to share their donor status on their timelines,” Hema Budaraju,

Product Manager, Health, Facebook said. “In many countries, including India, there is a shortage of safe blood. Not enough people are donating blood to meet the demand. In many cases, this leads to patients and their family being responsible for finding donors,” she pointed out. “So we spoke to blood banks, hospitals, health industry experts, and people who have used Facebook to find blood donors, in order to get a complete understanding of the ecosystem and to ensure that what we are designing will be useful to people in India.” Over the next few weeks, the company will enable people and organisations to get in touch with donors in an easier manner. “Individu-

als and organisations in need of blood will be able to create a special post with information such as time, blood bank or hospital name, contact number, and so on,” she explained.

Automatic notification Once a request is created, Facebook will automatically notify blood donors who may be nearby. Donors can then contact the requestor directly through WhatsApp, Messenger, or a phone call. But the donor’s information will not be available to the requestor unless the donor herself explicitly provides it, Ms. Budaraju said. “Facebook is uniquely positioned to help since they are a large community of trusted connections. People are more inclined to donate

Operations, Rotary Blood Bank.

A screengrab of the Facebook feature.

when there is a story behind the request. We look forward to partnering with Facebook,” said Sonu Singh, Manager, Communications and

Wrong approach Blood donation activists, however, pointed out that trying to create registries of voluntary blood donors is the wrong approach to promote blood donation. “This is the most incorrect method that anyone could adopt to promote blood donation. We don’t need any registries of blood donors. What we need is a blood donor to simply walk in to any hospital and donate blood, with or without any patient in need. By creating such databases, one is only aggravating the shortfall,” said Vinay Shetty from Think Foundation in Mumbai, which organises blood donation camps.

He said that a donor who is registered in a database keeps waiting to get a call for donation. “Whereas ideally, a donor should not wait and simply walk in and donate after every three months if he/she fits the donor criteria,” said Mr Shetty, adding that the need of the hour is to use technology to connect “patients to the available blood” and “send reminders to donors after every three months to donate” instead of creating databases. According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, at the national level, there is a requirement of 1.2 crore blood units per annum. But the country grapples with 10% to 20% shortage over all, with some states showing a shortfall, and a few others collecting excess blood units.

national duty if he didn’t speak up even now against the mess the Finance Minister has created with the economy.” While BJP ministers including Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal have come out to defend the government’s economic track record, former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma joined the debate by squarely blaming the Prime Minister for the economy. “PM Modi is singularly responsible for inflicting grave damage on the economy by his reckless decisions including demonetisation and hasty imposition of a flawed GST,” said Mr. Sharma, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha. He argued that the note ban and a flawed GST implementation had affected small businesses adversely and that, in turn, creating more unemployment.

India and Afghanistan exchanged a memorandum of understanding on Thursday, which will see Afghan police forces trained in India for the first time. The agreement followed a meeting between Afghanistan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. “Prime Minister [Modi] reiterated India's commitment to extend full support to Afghanistan's efforts for building a peaceful, united, prosperous, inclusive and democratic Afghanistan,” said a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. “The two leaders exchanged views on the security environment in Afghanistan and the extended region, and, in this context, agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation,” the statement added. As The Hindu had reported last week, the MoU on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Devel-

opment will see India expand its capacity building of Afghan troops to include policemen and security forces, who are facing the brunt of Taliban attacks in the country, under a UN Development Programme project. Dr. Abdullah’s visit was delayed by a day due to a sustained rocket attack on Kabul airport even as U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis landed there. The attacks also prevented Dr. Abdullah from inaugurating the India-Afghanistan trade and investment exhibition in New Delhi, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development. Dr. Abdullah, who is in India on a “working-visit”, also met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and President Ram Nath Kovind, and discussed deals under the Strategic Partnership Council this month, which included an Indian commitment to 116 “New Development Projects” as well as enhanced security cooperation.

Centre to review exi-fares on select trains, says Goyal Around 700 trains set to run faster: Railway Minister Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Union government will review the flexi-fare system introduced in premium trains last year, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. The Railways were also planning to reset its timetable by reducing the travel time for 600-700 trains through rescheduling and increasing speed, he said. “We are holding discussions to review flexi-fare system in a way that passengers do not face inconvenience and the Railways are also able to meet its revenues. There are chances of a few changes in the flexi-fare system,” Mr. Goyal said at a press conference. Minister of State Railways Manoj Sinha said the government was not considering any hike in the rail fares at present. The Railways introduced the flexi-fare scheme in September last year in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi CM YK

have ordered < > We that whenever a safety team demands a trac block, it should be immediately given trains, under which 10% of the seats were sold at normal fare. The fare was increased thereafter by 10% for every 10% of the berths sold. The highest fare was 50% more than the normal price of the ticket. The Railways had delayed the release of its timetable by a month to November 1 to redraft it focussing on speed and efficiency. The Railways are also in discussions with the Indian Space Research Organisation to use GPS technology to monitor trains for punctuality. “My preliminary assessment is that travel time will be reduced on 600-700 trains when we increase train speed and rewrite the timetable via organisation research keeping in mind ef-

ficiency and better utilisation of rail assets,” Mr. Goyal said, adding that around 48 ordinary mail or express trains would be upgraded to “superfast services.”

Maintenance work The timetable would also be realigned keeping railway safety in mind so that stoppage of traffic for maintenance work gets priority. “We have ordered that whenever a safety team demands a traffic block, it should be immediately given,” Mr. Goyal said. This move holds importance in the light of derailment of the Utkal Express near the Khatauli railway station in Uttar Pradesh that killed at least 21 people and injured more than 90 in August. The preliminary investigation had found that the Khatauli station officials did not allow stoppage of traffic for repairs and the maintenance team started working on the track without due permission.

https://t.me/yk_info A ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

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ELSEWHERE

FB, Twitter asked to testify in probe Senate Intelligence Committee, probing Russia’s alleged interference in polls, to hold hearing

Kushner was registered as ‘female’

Reuters Washington

Brexit negotiators hail ‘decisive progress’ BRUSSELS

Britain and the EU have taken “decisive steps forward” in Brexit talks after Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech last week but more work needs to be done, negotiators said on Thursday. Speaking after the fourth round of talks in Brussels, EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Davis said they had achieved more clarity on the details of Ms. May’s speech. AFP

School calls for release of missing Turkish family ISLAMABAD

A school in Pakistan on Thursday called for the release of a Turkish family abducted in Lahore, amid fears they were targeted for allegedly having ties to exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen. AFP

2 teens charged over Malaysia school re KUALA LUMPUR

Two Malaysian teenagers were charged with murder Thursday in connection with a re that killed 23 children and teachers at an Islamic school this month. The pair, who cannot be named because they are aged under 18, were also charged with drug abuse along with four other suspects. AFP

Arrest warrant issued for Russian whistleblower MOSCOW

A Moscow court said on Thursday that it had issued an arrest warrant for Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who helped orchestrate the country’s state-sponsored Olympic doping programme and has since ed to the United States. AFP

Executives from Facebook , Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter have been asked to testify to the U.S. Congress in coming weeks as lawmakers probe Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election, committee sources said on Wednesday. A Senate aide said executives from the three firms had been asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to appear at a public hearing on Nov. 1. The leaders of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said the panel would hold an open hearing next month with representatives from unnamed technology companies in an effort to “better understand how Russia used online tools and platforms to sow discord in and influence our election”. Representatives for Facebook and Google confirmed they had received invitations from the Senate committee but did not say whether the companies would attend. Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The House panel did not immediately identify any companies, but a committee source said lawmakers expected to hear from the same three firms the Senate had asked to testify.

Facebook’s revelation Facebook revealed this month that suspected Russian trolls purchased more than $1,00,000 worth of divisive ads on its platform during the 2016 election cycle, a revelation that has prompted calls from some Democrats for new disclosure rules for online political ads. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump attacked Facebook in a tweet and suggested the world’s largest social network had colluded with

Saudi activist who ‘dared to drive’ to return Manal al-Sharif is currently in Australia

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other media outlets that opposed him. The salvo prompted a lengthy rebuke from Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said both Mr. Trump and liberals were upset about ideas and content on Facebook during the campaign. “That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote on his personal Facebook page. Also on Wednesday, the Daily Beast, citing unnamed sources, reported that a Facebook group named “United Muslims of America” was a fake account linked to the Russian government and that it was used to push false claims about U.S. politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The group bought Facebook ads to reach targeted audiences, promoting political rallies aimed at Muslims, the website reported.

Taliban assault kills 12 personnel

U.S. to cut refugee cap to 45,000 Agence France-Presse Washington

The U.S. will reduce the number of refugees it is prepared to welcome for resettlement to only 45,000 over the next year — just over half the figure for 2016, officials said on Wednesday. The decision will disappoint refugee advocates and UN agencies, which are struggling to cope with millions displaced by several major wars. In the 2016 fiscal year, the U.S. accepted 84,995 refugees from around the world. This year it is on course to take in around 50,000. The United States is still the world’s biggest destination for refugees, but arrivals are well down from a high of more than 2,00,000 in 1980. These are people selected abroad, vetted and admitted

Jerusalem

Israeli prosecutors charged two Arab citizens on Thursday with plotting to carry out a shooting in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City out of loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) group. Prosecutors alleged that the pair, who were arrested on September 6, had tried unsuccessfully to travel to Syria to fight with IS and then decided to target fellow Israelis instead. Said Jabarin, 26, from the mainly Arab northern town of Umm al-Fahm, was charged with attempting to aid an enemy, possession of firearms and using a weapon for terror. A 16-year-old from the same town was charged with attempting to aid an enemy and contact with a foreign agent. CM YK

New security procedure Officials said they plan to complete a review of security procedures for vetting new arrivals by next month, but arrivals next year will be reduced. “The security and safety of the American people is our chief concern,” a senior U.S. official told reporters on

a call to announce the new figure. “We need to ensure refugee resettlement opportunities go to those who are eligible for such protection and who are not known to present a risk to the safety or the security of our country.” Those who are accepted for resettlement in the U.S. are selected by the United Nations refugee agency from among the most vulnerable displaced people. Widows with children, the elderly and the disabled are given priority and subjected to a thorough screening process by U.S. security and intelligence agencies. The process takes between 18 months and two years, and only then are the refugees assigned to resettlement agencies working under contract with the State Department.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called a snap election as the main Opposition Democratic Party threw its support behind a fledgling party led by Tokyo’s popular Governor, Yuriko Koike, in the Oct. 22 vote. Mr. Abe, a conservative who returned to power in 2012, hopes a boost in voter support in recent months will help his Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition maintain a simple majority. It now holds a two-thirds “super” majority. Ms. Koike’s new Party of Hope, formally launched on Wednesday, has upended the outlook for the election after the former LDP member announced she would lead it herself. Democratic Party executives said they would throw their “full support” behind Ms. Koike’s group, not run any candidates of their own and allow their members to run under the Party of Hope banner. The party has struggled to overcome rockbottom ratings, defections and an image tainted by its rocky stint in power from 2009 to 2012. “This will be a tough battle, but it’s all about how we will protect Japan, and the lives and peaceful existence of the Japanese people,” Mr. Abe told a group of lawmakers before the Cabinet formally set the date.

Political vacuum A number of Opposition lawmakers boycotted the session to dissolve the lower house, in protest against Mr. Abe’s calling the election and creating a potential political vacuum at a time when tension with North Korea is high. Ms. Koike, a media-savvy

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History lost

Shinzo Abe raises his st, pledging to win in the upcoming election. REUTERS *

former Defence Minister whose name has often been floated to be Japan’s first woman Prime Minister, said on Wednesday that she would not run for a seat herself, but speculation that she will persists. A survey by the Mainichi newspaper showed 18% of voters plan to vote for Koike’s Party of Hope, compared to 29% for Mr. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). An Asahi newspaper poll showed 13% planned to vote for Ms. Koike’s party, versus 32% for the LDP. Both surveys asked voters their preference for proportional representation districts where ballots are cast for parties. Mr. Abe’s personal ratings have risen to about 50% from about 30% in July, partly on the back of his leadership during the current North Korea crisis. But Opposition parties say he called the election to escape questioning in Parliament about suspected cronyism scandals. Ms. Koike, 65, defied the LDP to run successfully for Tokyo Governor last year and her novice local party then crushed the LDP in a metropolitan assembly election in July.

Flight ban on Kurdish capital Agence France-Presse Irbil

Manal al-Sharif in Dubai in 2013. AFP

At least a dozen Afghan security forces were killed when a suicide attacker driving an explosivespacked Humvee blew himself up in the southern Province of Kandahar, police said on Thursday. The Taliban claimed the deadly assault on the government and police headquarters in Maroof district that also wounded several others.

“My car is still there, the one I drove. I refused to give it up. My family kept it for me. But I will drive legally this time.: Ms. Sharif, 38, has long campaigned for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and this year published a memoir Daring To Drive, which became a worldwide bestseller. In an opinion piece for The New York Times in June, she recounted how she narrowly avoided a public whipping for her driving exploits.

Attackers ‘defeated’ “Twelve security forces were killed and four others were wounded,” Kandahar police spokesman Zia Durrani told AFP. Mr. Durrani said the Taliban attackers had been “defeated”. A border police commander in Maroof, which borders Pakistan, gave a slightly higher toll, telling AFP that at least 14 security personnel had been killed and eight wounded in the attack that happened late on Wednesday.

All foreign flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish capital Irbil will be suspended from Friday, officials said, as Baghdad increases pressure on the Kurds over this week’s independence referendum. The move by the central government marks the first major step taken in retaliation for Monday’s vote, which delivered a resounding 92.7% “yes”. An extended suspension of flights would have significant consequences for the Kurds, who have turned Irbil into a regional transport hub that is home to a large international community. Irbil airport director Talar Faiq Salih said that all international flights to and from the city would stop from 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Friday following a decision by the Iraqi Cabinet. A decision on whether to also suspend domestic flights would be made after Friday, the official said.

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Going under water: People walk through a bridge over the Tigris river in the ancient town of Hasankeyf, southeast Turkey. The 12,000-year-old town, home to many sites of historic importance, is on the verge of being destroyed as it will get submerged by the Ilisu dam, still under construction. REUTERS *

‘Playboy’ Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Schäuble quits as FM, paving way for talks

He was reviled, rst by guardians of the 1950s social order and later by feminists Laura Mansnerus

Agence France-Presse

to the U.S., where they are ultimately eligible for permanent resident status. So they are seen as not comparable to the millions of refugees fleeing war and hardship and taken in in recent years by countries in the West Asia and Europe. And President U.S. Donald Trump has made no secret of his hostility to resettlement, having ordered a moratorium on new arrivals and tougher background checks.

Reuters Tokyo

Agence France-Presse

Agence France-Presse

2 charged in Israel for IS-linked plot

A protest against U.S. President Donald Trump at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis on Wednesday. REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, has been registered to vote as a woman for eight years, U.S. media reported. Voter information records held by New York show Mr. Kushner was registered as “female”. The screenshot, published by Wired, is not the first time Mr. Kushmer has fallen foul of bureaucracy. Mr. Kushner had also filled out paperwork for his White House security clearance wrongly and had to refile it repeatedly, CBS reported.

Oppn. to back Tokyo Governor’s party

Kandahar Sydney

A Sydney-based Saudi rights activist who led a campaign for women to drive in the conservative kingdom on Thursday vowed to return from Australia and become one of the first to legally get behind the wheel. Manal al-Sharif was imprisoned for nine days after posting a video of herself on YouTube and Facebook driving her car around the eastern city of Khobar in 2011 at the height of the “Women2Drive” protest movement. She said King Salman’s historic decree this week allowing women to drive from next June brought her to tears. “I’m going back, I’m going to drive — legally!” said al-Sharif to The Australian newspaper. Ms. Sharif, came to Australia after she was released from jail for the crime of “driving while female”.

Agence France-Presse Washington

Japan to hold snap elections on Oct. 22

ugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant — all the while, as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s — died on Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion near Beverly Hills, California. He was 91. His death was announced by Playboy Enterprises. Mr. Hefner was reviled, first by guardians of the 1950s social order and later by feminists. But Playboy’s circulation reached one million by 1960 and peaked at about seven million in the 1970s.

H

Multiple businesses His company branched into movie, cable and digital production, sold its own line of

Ladies’ man: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner celebrating his 80th birthday in Barcelona in 2007. AFP *

clothing and jewellery, and opened clubs, resorts and casinos. The brand faded over the years, and by 2015 the magazine’s circulation had dropped to about 8,00,000. Mr. Hefner remained ed-

itor-in-chief even after agreeing to the magazine’s startling decision in 2015 to stop publishing nude photographs. He handed over creative control of Playboy last year to his son Cooper Hefner. (The magazine

brought back nudes this year.) The magazine was a forum for serious interviews, the subjects including Jimmy Carter (who famously confessed, “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times”), Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Malcolm X. Hugh Marston Hefner was born April 9, 1926, the son of Glenn and Grace Hefner, Nebraska-born Methodists who had moved to Chicago. He married a high school classmate, Millie Williams, and took a job in the personnel department of a cardboard-box manufacturer. He wrote advertising copy for a department store and then for Esquire magazine. He became circulation promotion manager of another magazine,Children’s Activities. Meanwhile he was plot-

ting his own magazine. When Playboy reached news stands in December 1953, its press run of 51,000 sold out. His own public playboy persona emerged after he left his wife and children, Christie and David, in 1959. That year his new syndicated television series, “Playboy’s Penthouse,” put Mr. Hefner, pipe in hand, in the nation’s living rooms. ( The magazine was followed by the Playboy Club, which was crushingly popular when it opened in Chicago in 1960. In 1989 he married again, to Kimberley Conrad, the 1989 Playmate of the Year. They had two sons: Marston Glenn, born in 1990, and Cooper Bradford, born in 1991. They divorced in 2010. He married his third wife, Crystal Harris, on New Year’s Eve 2012. NYT

https://t.me/yk_info

Position could be oered to FDP Reuters Berlin

Germany took a first decisive step on Wednesday towards forming a new government when its veteran Finance Minister, conservative Wolfgang Schäuble, agreed to become president of the Parliament, clearing the way for another party to take his job. Chancellor Angela Merkel will hope that Mr. Schäuble, deeply respected in Germany for helping to steer the eurozone through its debt crisis, can stamp his authority on a fractious Bundestag lower house that comprises six parties after Sunday’s federal election. Mr. Schäuble’s willingness to quit as Finance Minister after eight years in the

Wolfgang Schäuble

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REUTERS

post makes it easier for the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) to join a Merkelled coalition. The FDP, who are as fiscally hawkish as Schaeuble, have said they want his job. The Free Democrats, with a voter support base among Germany’s small and medium-sized businesses, are as committed to budgetary discipline as Mr. Schäuble but less pro-European. A ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

BUSINESS 13

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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market watch 28-09-2017

% CHANGE

Sensex dddddddddddddddddddddd 31,282 ddddddddddddddd0.39 US Dollar dddddddddddddddddddd 65.50 ddddddddddddddd0.33 Gold ddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 30,750 ddddddddddddd -0.81 Brent oil ddddddddddddddddddddd 57.78 ddddddddddddd -0.14

FM urges CPSEs to spend ‘aggressively’ Increased capital expenditure by public sector enterprises can boost investment in economy: Jaitley PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI

NIFTY 50 PRICE CHANGE

ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1645.85. . . . . . . 56.10 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372.05. . . . . . . . -0.50 Ambuja Cements. . . .. . . . . . 268.05. . . . . . . . . 5.65 Asian Paints. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1130.00. . . . . . -30.00 Aurobindo Pharma . . . . . . 675.80. . . . . . -13.90 Axis Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511.80. . . . . . . . . 5.50 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3039.45. . . . . . . . . 8.20 Bank of Baroda . . . . . .. . . . . . 138.55. . . . . . . . . 0.05 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 382.05. . . . . . . . -3.90 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20682.45. . . -430.10 BPCL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 462.85. . . . . . . . -2.75 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 582.65. . . . . . . 12.55 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267.80. . . . . . . . . 6.95 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . .. . . . 2375.40. . . . . . . 70.70 Eicher Motors. . . . . . . . .. 30185.20. . . -285.00 GAIL (India). . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 396.25. . . . . . . . -3.50 HCL Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 875.20. . . . . . . . . 0.55 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1744.35. . . . . . . 25.00 HDFC Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1795.30. . . . . . . 18.80 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . .. . . . 3740.05. . . . . . . 12.65 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238.45. . . . . . . . . 4.80 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1202.80. . . . . . . . -3.10 Indiabulls HFL . . . . . . . .. . . . 1210.20. . . . . . -12.90 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275.95. . . . . . . . -0.45 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . .. . . . 1680.75. . . . . . . 12.80 Bharti Infratel . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 392.60. . . . . . . . . 9.95 Infosys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 896.00. . . . . . . . -3.80 Indian OilCorp . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 397.40. . . . . . . . . 1.75 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261.55. . . . . . . . . 3.05 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1005.25. . . . . . . 25.65 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1133.35. . . . . . . . -3.85 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1004.85. . . . . . . . . 4.50 M&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1230.55. . . . . . . . -1.45 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . .. . . . 7897.35. . . . . 157.40 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166.05. . . . . . . . . 1.05 ONGC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171.55. . . . . . . . . 1.35 PowerGrid Corp . . . . .. . . . . . 209.00. . . . . . . . . 0.85 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 786.45. . . . . . -12.70 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252.55. . . . . . . . . 2.15 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 499.20. . . . . . . . . 4.50 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 401.40. . . . . . . . -3.50 Tata Motors DVR. . . .. . . . . . 221.35. . . . . . . . -1.65 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77.25. . . . . . . . -0.90 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 649.70. . . . . . . . . 0.35 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2476.45. . . . . . -18.55 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . .. . . . . . 454.45. . . . . . . . . 4.50 UltraTech Cement . .. . . . 3868.70. . . . . . . 70.20 Vedanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308.90. . . . . . . . -1.45 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285.90. . . . . . . . -2.40 YES Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350.80. . . . . . . . -2.40 Zee Entertainment . . . . . . 520.00. . . . . . . . -4.00

EXCHANGE RATES Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m. on September 28 CURRENCY

TT BUY

TT SELL

US Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 65.30. . . . . . . 65.62 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 76.89. . . . . . . 77.28 British Pound . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 87.60. . . . . . . 88.04 Japanese Yen (100) . .. . 57.93. . . . . . . 58.22 Chinese Yuan . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9.79. . . . . . . . . 9.85 Swiss Franc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 67.07. . . . . . . 67.41 Singapore Dollar . . . . . . .. . 48.00. . . . . . . 48.25 Canadian Dollar . . . . . . . . .. . 52.34. . . . . . . 52.59 Malaysian Ringitt . . . . . .. . 15.43. . . . . . . 15.53 Source:Indian Bank

BULLION RATES

CHENNAI

September 28 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses Retail Silver (1g) . . . . . . . . . . . 42.30. . . . . (42.80) 22 ct gold (1 g) . .. . . . . . . . . . . 2,832. . . . . (2,853)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to aggressively push capital expenditure and warned against any slackness as the government looks to boost growth through increased public spending. While reviewing the capital expenditure plans of important CPSEs, estimated at ₹3.85 lakh crore, the minister also asked them to give “liberal dividends” to the government so that the money could be used for funding physical-social infrastructure. The meeting took place against the backdrop subdued private investments and sagging growth, which slowed to a three-year low of 5.7% in the first quarter of the current fiscal. Heads of major CPSEs in

Cash cows: As most PSUs have very low or no debt, they were asked to raise more debt and rely less on reserves. PTI *

sectors like petroleum, defence, power, road transport, railways, coal, mines, steel and atomic energy have assured the government of raising capital expenditure by an additional ₹25,000 crore, the finance ministry in a release. “Finance Minister, while addressing the Secretaries and CMDs, stressed that the CPSEs may not only com-

‘Banks may risk losing ₹3,800 cr. from cards’ Digital push could hurt lenders: report

plete their budgeted capital expenditure but should also look to aggressively push capital expenditure in the interest of boosting investment in Indian economy,” it said. Mr. Jaitley, while appreciating the commitments of the ministries and CPSEs, assured that the government would make available adequate resources but “no slackness under any circum-

stances would be acceptable“. He indicated that the capital expenditure programme would again be reviewed at the end of November/early December, the statement said. It added that in the discussions for raising capital investments, it also came to attention that most public sector undertakings have very low or no debt on their balance sheet which is reflected in their low debt to equity ratios.

‘Pay liberal dividends’ “CPSEs were, therefore, asked to raise more debt and not to rely entirely on cash and free reserves for finding new investments and capital expenditure,” the release said. The CPSEs which have free reserves and surplus cash “were asked to consider declaring liberal dividends” so as to promote more pro-

ductive use of such resources for financing much needed physical and social infrastructure, the finance ministry’s statement said. The CPSEs were also asked to release outstanding payments expeditiously to help improve the liquidity in the market, besides raising more resources through innovative financing arrangements like InvITs, and monetisation of assets. After the meeting, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) CMD M. V. Gowtama said: “Already year-on-year capex has been increased by CPSEs. The government is ensuring we are on track... We have already given ambitious projects, they [government] are reviewing it.” Since private investment is low, public spending along with investment from CPSEs is expected to drive economic activities and help perk up growth.

Centre pegs second-half borrowing at ₹2.08 lakh cr. Govt. reiterates commitment to meet scal decit target

Press Trust of India Mumbai

Press Trust of India

The Centre’s digital payments push, mainly card payments through PoS machines, may leave already capital starved banks bleeding by ₹3,800 crore annually, warns a report. After November’s noteban, the government has pushed banks into deploying millions of point-of-sale (PoS) machines to encourage online payments. This has resulted in increase in debit plus credit cards transactions at PoS from ₹51,900 crore in October 2016 to ₹68,500 crore in July 2017. “We estimate that for OFF-US transactions, the ag-

New Delhi

gregate annual loss for card transactions at PoS terminals is around ₹4,700 crore. However, the net revenue gain per annum from ON-US transactions at PoS would be around ₹900 crore only. “Therefore, the total annual loss to the industry is around ₹3,800 crore,” SBI Research said in a report.

The government plans to borrow ₹2.08 lakh crore from the market in the second half of 2017—18, a top official said today, reiterating its commitment to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.2% cent of GDP. To finance the fiscal deficit for the current financial year, the Budget has pegged gross borrowing at ₹5.8 lakh crore and net borrowing at ₹4.25 lakh crore. The government borrowed ₹3.72 lakh crore in the first half and has pegged gross borrowings at ₹2.08 lakh crore in the remaining six months of the financial

S.C. Garg

*

PTI

year ending March 31, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told reporters after a meeting to decide the borrowing calendar. The net borrowings in the October-March period of

the year has been pegged at ₹1.92 lakh crore. Amid talks of stimulus package to boost sagging economic growth, Mr. Garg said deficit targets are set in the Budget and the finance ministry will stick to them as of now. He further said that the assessment of additional borrowing requirement, if any, would be made in December. He added however that there seems to be no need for additional borrowing. Central Public Sector Enterprises’ capital expenditure of more than ₹3.75 lakh crore was moving as per the plan, Mr. Garg said.

GST: small rms may get time to le returns Centre mulling plan for quarterly ling Special Correspondent New Delhi

The Centre is considering a proposal from the industry to allow small firms to file quarterly returns even as they pay taxes on a monthly basis under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This follows the troubles these small firms are having regarding complying with the GST norms due to their limitations in getting professional help, lack of connectivity and technological glitches. Sources said discussions were on regarding the threshold limit for small firms who could be granted such a relaxation.

‘Lack IT infrastructure’ Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said in a statement that, “filing of GST return may be made on a quarterly basis, as against the current monthly filing requirement as the MSME sector is still not well equipped with the IT infrastructure and a qualified manpower; this small measure will help bring them into the GST mainstream.” The suggestion was made at finance minister Arun Jaitley’s meeting on Thursday with industry bodies and exporters to address their GST-related problems. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) raised demands including seeking exemption for merchant exporters from GST. “Merchant exporters account for over 30% of country’s exports who usually work on razor thin margins of 2-4%,” FIEO said in a statement. “The imposition of GST has made their costing go haywire, particularly for products having higher GST rate, as they have to pay GST and seek refund after some time lag.” They also wanted the Centre to expedite GST re-

funds to help them tide over the liquidity crunch. “... even in the best of situation, input tax credit refund would not be available before the first week of November,” FIEO said.

‘Financial wherewithal’ “Most of the exporters, particularly from MSME category, hardly have financial wherewithal to pay GST liabilities for three months without having refund in the meantime.” “For ease of doing business especially for the MSME, provisional input tax credit period may be extended to 6 months from the current 2 months’ period; this will help cross matching of invoices through the GSTN portal and also save the blockage of the working capital for the small players,” said the CII’s Mr. Banerjee. Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) Council Member Satwinder Singh said concerns regarding reverse charge mechanism (RCM) and refund were raised in the meeting. “Under RCM, threshold exemption for payment of tax may be increased from the present ₹5,000 to ₹50,000 which shall help ease burden of excessive compliances especially for the MSME players,” the CII suggested. “Format of returns may also be simplified and only basic core details may be required to be furnished,” the CII added.

https://t.me/yk_info CM YK

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14 BUSINESS

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THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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IN BRIEF

Centre denies terminating GE Seiko’s ₹60 lakh watch to be contract for diesel loco plant available in India this year Work on Bihar facility on track, one locomotive to be dispatched soon: Minister Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Tata Capital names Rajiv Sabharwal as CEO & MD NEW DELHI

Tata Capital on Thursday named Rajiv Sabharwal its next CEO and MD. Mr. Sabharwal, currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, will join Tata Capital in January and would take over the position from incumbent managing director and CEO Praveen P. Kadle, Tata Capital said. Mr. Kadle will assume other responsibilities in the Tata Group eective April 1. PTI

IRB transfers highway project to IRB InvIT MUMBAI

IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd. will transfer its Pathankot–Amritsar Highway Project to IRB InvIT, by September 30, 2017, and receive a net of ₹544 crore. "The development took a step ahead when unit holders of IRB InvIT Fund approved the acquisition of IRB Pathankot Amritsar Toll Road Ltd (SPV that manages the project) by raising debt - for an enterprise value of ₹1,569.33 crore," the company said in a statement.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the project awarded to General Electric (GE) to build diesel locomotives at Marhowrah in Bihar was on track, amid news reports that the government was planning to end the contract. “The Marhowrah factory is being set up and I think it’s on track. In fact, their South Asia and India head met me about five-six days back and requested us to send people for inspection,” Mr. Goyal said at a press conference. “One of their locomotives is about to be dispatched and will arrive here soon. So, the work on the factory is going on. It’s on track as per the plans,” he added. GE had

Power saver: Electrication of the rail network is important to address the concerns of climate change, says Goyal. PTI *

won a $2.5 billion contract in November 2015 to supply 1,000 diesel locomotives to the Indian Railways.

Railways’ proposal The Railways had reportedly proposed winding up the project, in a review meeting chaired by Mr. Goyal earlier

this month. “The government is firm on its commitment. Anyway, we already are producing dual-mode engines in Varanasi. So, in future, even if we think on those lines, it’s not a rocket science to convert diesel to electric plant,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj

Maruti Suzuki unveils new S-Cross model

Nissan steers into pre-owned car trade Firm to also oer nance to customers

Replaces version introduced in 2015 Yuthika Bhargava UDAIPUR

k.t. jagannathan chennai

Suzuki, India’s Maruti largest car maker has unveiled a new version of its SCross model, anticipating a 10-20% rise in sales of its ‘cross-over’ vehicles. The new model will replace the S-Cross unveiled in August 2015 as the first premium offering from the company’s retail channel NEXA. The car will be available across the country in the next couple of days.

Accenture Plc.’s bets on digital and cloud service businesses are paying o, the consulting and outsourcing giant’s results showed on Thursday, although it again warned of problems from political wrangling over Obamacare. Accenture’s quarterly revenue beat estimates and their forecast for growth in scal 2018 was in line with analysts’ expectations. It forecast net revenue growth for the scal year 2018 to be in the range of 5 to 8%. Reuters

Japanese car maker Nissan has entered the pre-owned car business in India with the unveiling of “Nissan Intelligent Choice.” India is the third country to get Nissan’s pre-owned stores after South Africa and Brazil. The objective is to service customers looking for quality tested and certified preowned cars with optimum value. Nissan Intelligent Choice will help customer owning a multi-brand car to exchange it for a Nissan or Datsun car. All pre-owned cars from Nissan Intelligent Choice will be tested and certified

‘Prospects of coal power plants bleak’

MFL to switch to natural gas as feedstock at Manali

Press Trust of India

Switchover from naptha on completion of IOC’s LNG facility

Accenture revenue pips estimates; U.S. a worry

New Delhi

The revival prospects of a large number of stressed coal-based power plants with a total capacity of about 21 GW are bleak. Their assets sale as well as consolidation will be slow despite a steep haircut, Crisil Research said on Thursday. A large proportion of coal-based power generation capacities in the private sector, stressed due to multiple factors, will remain in duress for a long time despite a raft of alleviation measures from the government, it said in a statement. As of August 2017, about 21GW of commissioned private sector coal based capacities were under stress for lack of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) or because of poor or no offtake, it said.

Sinha said. Amid reports of government contemplating end of the Marhowrah plant contract, GE had put out a statement this week saying any such move would put foreign investment at risk and “undermine the government’s signature Make in India initiative.” Mr. Goyal said that electrification of the rail network is important to address the concerns of climate change. “In light of that, we had fruitful discussions with GE. I discussed with them how their locomotives will be useful for us or how we can explore opportunities where some of these could also be exported. Or if we can look at opportunities going forward where we can meet the twin objectives of reducing pollution and saving cost.”

by technical experts of Nissan. Nissan Intelligent Choice will also provides customised finance and insurance schemes to its customers. Pre-owned car customers of Nissan Intelligent Choice can avail the dedicated 24x7 road-side assistance (at no additional cost) along with the attractive warranty benefits.

Jay Shankar Bengaluru

Seiko Watch India, a fullyowned subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corp., is planning to unveil a Grand Seiko watch priced at the upper band of ₹60 lakh by the end of this year to compete with global brands such as Tissot, Rao and TAG Heuer and to tap a growing list of Indian millionaires. “We are going to get watches in the price range of between ₹50 lakh and ₹60 lakh by the end of the year,” Niladri Mazumder, president of Seiko Watch India, said in an interview. “It has got an eight-day power reserve.” The idea happened on an ad-hoc basis when the company got enquiries from about 1,000 people. “We did not have any watches,” Mr. Mazumder said. “From this year and starting next year, we will go with 10 stores and six boutiques maximum. We are trying a get a sale of at least 200 watches.” The customers, including industrialists, doctors and top management leaders, who have evinced interest in the Grand Seiko watch “have a pre-determined mindset,” Mr. Mazumder said.

Long-time desire “They had this desire for a long time and the time has come to vent their desire at this point in time.” Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani heads a list of Indian billionaires and India is home to the world’s fourth highest number of billionaires, according to a 2017 list released by Forbes magazine in March. “In smart watches, Apple’s iWatches are the only threat but that is confined to people who love the technology. People who buy Seiko want to move beyond that feeling. It is a competit-

Luxe pick: For premium watches, Indian consumers do their research, says Seiko India’s Niladri Mazumder. SUDHAKARA JAIN *

ive market where retail has not yet grown to its full potential,” he said. Seiko Watch India, which sells the end product made in Japan, is present in five segments in the country. Pressage, which is automatic starting from ₹45,500 to ₹1,00,000, Premier, based on a kinetic auto relay, is in the price range of ₹59,500 to ₹79,500, and the sports category called Prospects. In Grand Seiko, prices start from ₹2,45,000. The organised watch industry in India is worth about ₹10,000 crore including Titan, Sonata and Timex. The unorganised segment watches “is perhaps equal to the organised sector or more. So it is not a huge industry,” Mr. Mazumder said. Seiko, in Japanese, means ‘the house of accurate products’. “Our traditional watches were mechanical and then we moved to quartz, kinetic, spring down and Astron, which is the first solarpowered GPS-enabled watch. Anywhere in the world you go, the time will set itself. Up to 11 satellites will find out where you are and the signal will be taken by the watch and it will display the time and the date. It is perfect for a traveller,” he

said. “The kinetic perpetual auto relay watch worked perfectly for us in India. It is powered by the movement of the body. If it is fully charged it can stay idle for up to four years. Anytime you pick it up and start moving your hands, it will set the time and date within 15 seconds. It costs between ₹1.25 lakh and ₹2.48 lakh. “Our CAGR in the last five years is about 18-20%. This year, if we grow by 15%, it will be good. We lost two months due to the GST uncertainty. India is one of the most important markets for Seiko Corp. Indian consumers are one of the most educated consumers in the world. You cannot dump products here at a lower price. Especially for the premium watches, they do their research. They are not fooled by gimmicky stuff,” he said. As per the new GST rules, luxury watches attract a tax of 28%, four percentage points higher than earlier. Seiko Watch India has a Lord collection, tailor-made for the Indian customer, Mr. Mazumder said. “Today it accounts for 24% of our sales. We are working toward a ladies-centric collection now.”

project, Mr. Khare said: “Our immediate task is to get natural gas. The expansion would cost about ₹5,000 crore. After switching over to natural gas, we might think seriously about expansion plans.”

N. Anand CHENNAI

Following a directive from the Centre, Madras Fertilizers Ltd., (MFL) will start using natural gas as its feedstock instead of naphtha at its Manali plant near Chennai probably from June next year, said a top official. “We have already initiated steps to source Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG),” said A.B. Khare, chairman and managing director, MFL. “The next process is to enter into a Gas Transmission Agreement (GTA) and Gas Sales Agreement with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which is developing the RLNG terminal at Kamarajar Port, Ennore.” IOC is setting up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with a capacity of 5

Investment “When we say it’s an all-new S-Cross, we really mean it...looks, technology, everything is new,” R.S. Kalsi, senior executive director, marketing and sales,

Maruti Suzuki, said on Thursday. “Along with our suppliers, we have invested over ₹100 crore towards development of the new SCross,” he added. “With the new model, we expect that sales would go up by 10%-20% for S-Cross,” Mr. Kalsi told The Hindu. (This correspondent was in Udaipur at the invitation of Maruti Suzuki)

Firm hopes to sell at least 200 pieces as elite evince interest

A.B. Khare

million tonnes per annum (mtpa), which is expected to be completed in April 2018. The LNG terminal is likely to become operational by June, he said. “There could be a delay of a month or two, which might put off our feedstock conversion process,” he added. Asked about their proposal to set up a brownfield

Logistics park MFL has also decided to set up a modern logistics park, either as a joint venture or under public-private-partnership, to monetise a 51acre land on its premises. MFL has also appointed Projects Development India Ltd. (PDIL) as a consultant for drawing of business, operation and financial restructuring plans for its revival. Mr. Khare was hopeful that MFL would achieve break even during the current financial year.

World Gold Council to form panel for establishing spot gold bourse in India The committee will provide guidance in setting up the exchange exchange follows the gold monetisation and sovereign bond schemes introduced in last few years, designed to mobilise the country’s gold hoard and reduce imports of the precious metal that weighs on the country’s trade deficit. The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) currently offer gold futures contracts in India, but do not have a platform for physical trade.

Reuters MUMBAI

The World Gold Council (WGC) plans to form a committee soon to help set up India’s first spot gold exchange within 12 to 18 months, a senior official of the industry body said on Thursday.

Bringing in transparency A dedicated exchange for physical gold is expected to pave the way for standard gold pricing practices in India, apart from bringing in transparency into a market which sees large cash transactions. “We will be taking lead in forming the committee, which will have all the stakeholders,” Somasundaram PR, managing director of the WGC’s Indian operations, told Reuters. The committee, which is likely to be formed in the CM YK

New order cometh: A physical exchange will enable jewellers and retailers to trade over a regulated platform. REUTERS *

December quarter, will not set up the exchange. It will provide guidance in setting up the exchange, he said, while releasing a WGC report highlighting the need for a

dedicated spot gold exchange in the country. In 2015, Indian government had floated the idea of setting up a national gold exchange. India’s push for an

China model A physical exchange would enable jewellers, retailers, refiners and banks to trade over a regulated platform, the WGC report said. China, world’s top gold consumer, runs such a bourse where gold, both domestically produced and imported, can be bought and sold.

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THE HINDU

SPORT 15

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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TV PICKS Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: 1st Test: Sony Six, 11.30 a.m.

South Africa vs Bangladesh: 1st Test: Sony Six HD, 1.30 p.m.

England vs West Indies: 5th ODI, SS Select 2 (SD & HD), 5 p.m. ProKabaddi League: STAR Sports 2 (SD & HD), 8 & 9 p.m. Premier Futsal: Sony TEN 1, 3 (SD & HD), 7.30 p.m. Presidents Cup golf: Neo Sports, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY La Liga: Sony TEN 2 (SD & HD), 12.30 a.m., 4.30 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: 1st Test: Sony Six, 11.30 a.m.

South Africa vs Bangladesh: 1st Test: Sony Six HD, 1.30 p.m.

Premier League: SS Select 1 (SD & HD), 5 p.m., 7.30 p.m., 10 p.m. Premier Futsal: Sony TEN 1, 3 (SD & HD), 7.30 p.m. Presidents Cup golf: Neo Sports, 5.30 p.m. ProKabaddi League: STAR Sports 2 (SD & HD), 8 & 9 p.m.

Warner sets up Australia’s win with a century Makes his hundredth appearance memorable, Finch plays a perfect foil; India loses its way towards the end of a tall chase Shreedutta Chidananda

Australia finally found relief, breaking a year-long winless streak in one-dayers away from home with a 21-run defeat of India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday. David Warner scored a memorable 124 on his hundredth ODI appearance as Australia ran up a towering 334 for five in 50 overs. Kane Richardson then claimed three important wickets as India lost its way towards the end of the run chase.

England suspends Stokes, Hales

Coming to the party: Australia nally had something to cheer about as David Warner’s century helped it end a long winless streak. *

Press Trust of India London

England has suspended Ben Stokes and Alex Hales until further notice pending investigations into their involvement in an incident on a night out. The England and Wales Cricket Board says both players remain on full pay and will be the subject of a disciplinary commission. The ECB says the players “will not be considered for selection for England international matches” in the meantime.

Karunaratne leads Lankan ghtback

SCOREBOARD

Bengaluru

A 61-run stand for the fifth wicket between Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey had given the home team hope but both departed in the space of four balls. Jadhav, who made a fighting 67, was caught on the boundary off a slower ball from Richardson, at which stage India needed 49 off 27. Pandey was bowled for an entertaining 33, Pat Cummins hitting the top of legstump. M.S. Dhoni was given a hero’s welcome by the crowd, but struggled to time the ball before dragging Richardson onto the stumps for 13. Virat Kohli’s men still lead the five-game series 3-1, heading into the final fixture at Nagpur.

K MURALI KUMAR

India had stormed out of the traps, the openers batting with delightful ease under the lights during their stand of 106. Ajinkya Rahane played a series of delicious shots, slashing Pat Cummins past point one moment, deftly steering him wide of third man the next. Rohit Sharma was not far behind, effortlessly clearing the ropes. Adam Zampa, who must have expected some pain this evening, was heaved twice over cowcorner as Rohit raised his fifty and team’s hundred in the 17th over. Things were going swimmingly well when Rahane fell, caught at long-off for 53. Rohit was joined by Virat Kohli, and the two were soon involved in a mix-up — not for the first time — that cost the former his wicket. Steve Smith produced a stunning, diving effort at point to stop Kohli’s cut, and

as the captain watched the ball, Rohit charged to the striker’s end. He turned around but was never going to make his ground. Eight balls later, Kohli was bowled for 21 trying to steer CoulterNile through third-man. Hardik Pandya walked out to resounding cheers from the stadium, and he did not disappoint. It took him only four balls to unleash his first six, a thunderous slap off Travis Head that clattered into the members’ stand. There was more joy: consecutive sixes off Zampa that cleared the fence by some distance. The leg-spinner had the last laugh, though, when Pandya holed out to long-off. There was finally some comfort for Zampa, and some for Australia. Earlier, the visitor set off at a brisk pace after winning the toss and electing to bat first. India made three changes, resting Bhuvnesh-

war Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, and fielding Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel instead. India’s new-ball pair — Umesh in particular — was wayward and Australia’s openers cashed in, drilling anything wide through the covers. India clearly lacked control in the absence of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, and things scarcely improved after the first 10 overs. Axar Patel was brought on and Warner freed his arms at once. A short delivery was thumped over mid-wicket and a couple of wide offerings were gratefully squeezed to the point boundary. Yuzvendra Chahal did not escape punishment either. Warner twice slog-swept him into the stands as Australia motored to 124 without loss in 20 overs. The 150 came up

not long after, when Finch unfurled a sublime insideout drive for six off Axar. Warner reached his 100 off 103 balls as the openers broke an Australian record for first-wicket partnerships against India, surpassing the 212 Geoff Marsh and David Boon put together in Jaipur 31 years ago. It was Kedar Jadhav who finally broke through with his flat, low-arm off-breaks, having Warner caught at long on. Finch fell five balls later, dragging a leg-cutter from Umesh into Pandya’s hands at mid-on. When Steve Smith was out for three, spooning a simple catch to Kohli on the leg-side to give Umesh his 100th one-day wicket, Australia had lost three for five in the space of 14 balls. Yet another collapse seemed imminent but Peter Handscomb and Travis Head batted with patience, adding 63 runs for the fourth wicket.

INDIA VS AUSTRALIA, 4TH ODI

Australia: Aaron Finch c Pandya b Umesh 94 (96b, 10x4, 3x6), David Warner c Axar b Jadhav 124 (119b, 12x4, 4x6), Travis Head c Rahane b Umesh 29 (38b, 1x4, 1x6), Steve Smith c Kohli b Umesh 3 (5b), Peter Handscomb b Umesh 43 (30b, 3x4, 1x6), Marcus Stoinis (not out) 15 (9b, 1x4, 1x6), Matthew Wade (not out) 3 (3b); Extras (b-4, lb-7, w-12): 23; Total (for five wkts. in 50 overs): 334. Fall of wickets: 1-231 (Warner, 34.6 overs), 2-231 (Finch, 35.5), 3-236 (Smith, 37.1), 4-299 (Head, 46.5), 5-319 (Handscomb, 48.5). India bowling: Shami 10-162-0; Umesh 10-0-71-4; Axar 10-0-66-0; Pandya 5-0-32-0; Chahal 8-0-54-0; Jadhav 7-0-38-1. India: Ajinkya Rahane c Finch b Richardson 53 (66b, 6x4, 1x6), Rohit Sharma (run out) 65 (55b, 1x4, 5x6), Virat Kohli b CoulterNile 21 (21b, 3x4), Hardik Pandya c Warner b Zampa 41 (40b, 1x4, 3x6), Kedar Jadhav c

Finch b Richardson 67 (69b, 7x4, 1x6), Manish Pandey b Cummins 33 (25b, 3x4, 1x6), M.S. Dhoni b Richardson 13 (10b, 1x4, 1x6), Axar Patel c (sub) b Coulter-Nile 5 (6b), Mohd. Shami (not out) 6 (6b, 1x4), Umesh Yadav (not out) 2 (2b); Extras (lb-4, w-3): 7; Total (for eight wkts in 50 overs): 313. Fall of wickets: 1-106 (Rahane,18.2), 2-135 (Rohit, 22.6), 3-147 (Kohli, 24.2), 4-225 (Pandya, 37.1), 5-286 (Jadhav, 45.4), 6-289 (Manish,46.1), 7301 (Dhoni, 47.5), 8-306 (Axar, 49.1). Australia bowling: Cummins 10-0-59-1, Coulter-Nile 10-056-2, Richardson 10-0-58-3, Stoinis 4.5-0-34-0, Finch 0.1-01-0, Zampa 9-0-63-1, Head 6-0-38-0. Toss: Australia. Man-of-the-match: Warner.

David

Australia won by 21 runs, trails five-match series 1-3.

Kohli looks at positives in defeat N. Sudarshan BENGALURU

Thursday’s match presented India’s middle-order the perfect opportunity to take the side home and impress skipper Virat Kohli. For a brief while Hardik Pandya, Kedhar Jadhav and Manish Pandey seemed up to the task before Australia pegged the side back. “That’s exactly what we were discussing in the change room,” said Kohli. “When all of us had gotten out, Kedar and Hardik were batting, it was the ideal situation to understand how the game can be taken till the end. They did really good job

with that partnership. So there are positives. The wicket was such that one team had to bat better. But towards the end, Australia were quite good with their bowling.” On resting two frontline bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kohli said: “No. I don’t think [resting them was wrong]. We have won the series and we need to test bench strength. Umesh [Yadav] and [Mohd] Shami bowled well. Maybe personally Umesh would have liked to give away less runs. But we only lost by 20 odd and bowlers have to be given that room.”

Agence France-Presse ABU DHABI

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne fell just short of a deserved century as he anchored Sri Lanka’s fightback on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan here on Thursday. The left-hander’s 93 helped his team recover from a precarious 61 for three to reach 227 for four at close after Sri Lanka opted to bat on a greenish Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.

SCOREBOARD Sri Lanka — 1st innings: D. Karunaratne run out 93, K. Silva b Hasan 12, L. Thirimanne lbw b Yasir 0, K. Mendis c Ahmed b Yasir 10, D. Chandimal (batting) 60, N. Dickwella (batting) 42; Extras: (lb-8, nb-2): 10; Total: (for four wkts. in 90 overs): 227. Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-35, 361, 4-161. Pakistan bowling: Amir 17-239-0, Abbas 16-0-43-0, Yasir 34-8-59-2, Hasan 17-3-58-1, Masood 1-1-0-0, Sohail 4-014-0, Shafiq 1-0-6-0. Toss: Sri Lanka

Easy win for U Mumba

India Red wraps up the nal with a day to spare

South Africa dominates

Needing 393 for a win, Blue bundled out for 229

Agence France-Presse

DULEEP TROPHY Vijay Lokapally LUCKNOW

India Red faced little resistance from India Blue and wrapped up the Duleep Trophy final with a day to spare at the Ekana Stadium here on Thursday. After restricting India Red to 208 India Blue, faced with a target of 393, came a cropper against the spin duo of Washington Sundar and Vijay Gohil and lost the contest by 163 runs. The wear and tear factor came into play as the pitch presented an increasing challenge as the day progressed. Batting was a nightmare as the ball often reared up from good length and gave offspinner Washington (six for 87) and left-arm spinner Gohil (three for 102) a flattering reputation.

Washington’s best Washington, with his ability to hit the deck, and Gohil, with his variety, caused acute embarrassment to the opponents. Washington in-

cidentally had his best Duleep Trophy match-haul of 11 for 181. Barring the phase when skipper Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary faced the bowlers with confidence, India Blue was only fighting to delay the end result. Lack of footwork stood out sorely as India Blue batsmen were tentative in their approach. Washington and Gohil concentrated on making the batsmen play and their accuracy, on a more than responsive pitch, was richly rewarded. Bhargav Bhatt put the long handle to good use later and struck a 41-ball 51 (one four and five sixes) but his dismissal was bizarre. Taking evasive action from a shot at silly point, Prithvi Shaw deflected the ball for Suryakumar Yadav to take a return catch. For his excellent all-round show, Washington was declared the ‘Man-of-thematch’. Red captain Dinesh Karthik appreciated the surface, whereas the rival skip-

per Raina was critical.

Potchefstroom

The scores: India Red — 1st innings: 483. India Blue — 1st innings: 299. India Red — 2nd innings: Prithvi Shaw run out 31, Akhil Herwadkar c Tiwary b Wakhare 8, Ishank Jaggi c Tiwary b Bhatt 3, Dinesh Karthik c Tiwary b Wakhare 9, B. Indrajith b Unadkat 59, Washington Sundar c Raina b Bhatt 42, Suryakumar Yadav c Tiwary b Bhatt 22, Vijay Gohil st Bharat b Bhatt 3, Siddharth Kaul c Hooda b Wakhare 17, Basil Thampi c Bharat b Wakhare 2, Ashok Dinda (not out) 1; Extras (b-8, lb-2, nb-1): 11; Total (in 67.5 overs): 208. Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-24, 3-43, 4-58, 5-135, 6-164, 7-168, 8187, 9-207. India Blue bowling: Bhatt 27-577-4, Raina 20-9-0, Wakhare 22.5-5-66-4, Pankaj 5-1-8-0, Ishant 6-2-14-0, Unadkat 4-018-1, Tiwary 1-0-6-0. India Blue — 2nd innings: Abhimanyu Easwaran lbw b Gohil 21, Ishan Kishan b Washington 18, Manoj Tiwary lbw b Washington 38, Suresh Raina lbw b Washington 45, Deepak Hooda c Suryakumar b Washington 3, K.S. Bharat c Shaw b Washing-

Opener Dean Elgar (128 n.o.) batted through the opening day for an unbeaten century as South Africa closed on 298 for one against Bangladesh on Thursday. Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat has quit his post with immediate effect following a breakdown with the organisation’s board, CSA president Chris Nenzani announced on Thursday. Victorious bunch: The India Red team which claimed the Duleep Trophy, trumping India Blue in Lucknow on Thursday. RAJEEV BHATT *

ton 0, Jaydev Unadkat lbw b Gohil 10, Bhargav Bhatt c & b Suryakumar 51, Akshay Wakhare c & b Gohil 6, Ishant Sharma (not out) 20, Pankaj Singh b

Washington 6; Extras (b-4, lb-7): 11: Total (in 48 overs): 229. Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-47, 3127, 4-132, 5-132, 6-137, 7-159,

8-177, 9-210. India Red bowling: Washington 24-2-87-6, Gohil 20-1-102-3, Herwadkar 3-0-29-0, Suryakumar 1-1-0-1.

SCOREBOARD South Africa — 1st innings: D. Elgar (batting) 128, A. Markram run out 97, H. Amla (batting) 68; Extras (lb-4, w-1): 5; Total (for one wkt. in 90 overs): 298. Fall of wicket: 1-196. Bangladesh bowling: Mustafizur Rahman 16-154-0, Shafiul Islam 15-344-0, Mehidy Hasan 36-3101-0, Taskin Ahmed 15-352-0, Mahmudullah 2-0-13-0, Mominul Haque 2-0-15-0, Sabbir Rahman 4-0-15-0. Toss: Bangladesh.

UTHRA GANESAN NEW DELHI

U Mumba ended the Delhi leg of the PKL in thumping fashion, thrashing Bengaluru Bulls 42-30. Kashiling Adake scored a massive 17 points to be the top raider of the game. In contrast, Bengaluru captain and one of the best raiders this season Rohit Kumar was subdued and out of form for the first 20 minutes. Post break, however, it was a different story as Rohit gained traction. But his 12 points were never enough against a former champion side. The final match in the city saw Dabang Delhi extend its losing streak,losing 44-22 to a resurgent Telugu Titans and end the home leg without a single win. The result: U Mumba 42 (Kashiling Adake 17, Surinder Singh 6, Anup Kumar 5) bt Bengaluru Bulls 30 (Rohit Kumar 12). Telugu Titans 44 (Rahul Chaudhari 16, Mohsen Maghsodlou 7, Nilesh Salunke 5, Vishal Bhardwaj 4) bt Dabang Delhi 22 (Abolfazl Maghsodlou 7, Swapnil Shinde 4, Rohit Baliyan 4, Satpal 4).

CM YK

Moeen, Buttler steer England home in eight overs.

Agence France-Presse

Railways wins overall and women’s titles; Services takes men’s crown K. Keerthivasan Chennai

London

Moeen Ali again proved England’s saviour with the bat as it beat West Indies by six runs in a rain-marred fourth ODI at The Oval to go an unbeatable 3-0 up with one to play in the series. England was on course for defeat at 181 for five chasing 357 to win. But Ali made an unbeaten 48 and together with Jos Buttler (43 not out) added 77

SCOREBOARD

Sreejithmon upstages Renjith and Arpinder

By the time rain stopped play, with England 258 for five off 35.1 overs, it was ahead under D/L at that point. Defeat was also tough on West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph, who took all of England’s wickets during an ODI best haul of five for 56 after coming in for dropped leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

ENGLAND VS WEST INDIES, 4TH ODI

West Indies: 356 for five in 50 overs. England: J. Roy c S Hope b Joseph 84, J. Bairstow c S Hope b Joseph 39, J. Root c Hope b Joseph 14, E. Morgan c sub b Joseph 19, J. Buttler (not out) 43, S. Billings c Gayle b Joseph 2, M. Ali (not out) 48; Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-3) 9; Total (for five wkts. in 35.1 overs): 258.

Fall of wickets: 1-126, 2-144, 3157, 4-177, 5-181. West Indies bowling: Taylor 70-48-0, Holder 9-0-52-0, Joseph 8.1-0-56-5, Cummins 6-0-49-0, Nurse 3-0-39-0, Powell 2-0-10-0. Toss: England

An unheralded Sreejithmon of Kerala upstaged big names Renjith Meheshwary and Arpinder Singh to claim the triple jump gold with a leap of 16.15m on the fourth and final day of the 57th National Open athletics championships at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday. Coached by M.A. George at Thiruvananthapuram, Sreejithmon started with 15.77m and made the winning jump on his third attempt. The reigning all-India inter-university champion and record holder is without a job and hopes that his effort in Chennai will help him fetch one. After the third jump, one of his shoes got torn but he continued with the next three with the same shoe as he didn’t have a replacement. Watching on, Bedros Bedrosian, India’s jumps

Triumphant leap: Sreejithmon in action during the men’s triple jump event in Chennai on Thursday. M. VEDHAN *

coach, said he will definitely include Sreejithmon in the National camp at Thiruvananthapuram. The results: Men: 200m: Vidya Sagar (Ser) 21.46s, 2. Parveen (Har) 21.49, 3. K. Ashok (Ser) 21.53; 800m: Ajay Saroj (Rlys) 1:49.05, 2. Md. Afsal (Ser) 1:49.16, 3. Vishamber Kolekar

(Rlys) 1:50.18; 10,000m: 1. G. Lakshmanan (Ser) 29:16.21, 2. Vasudev Nishad (Rlys) 29:32.77, 3. Suresh Kumar (ONGC) 29:45.41. Hammer throw: 1. Niraj Kumar (Ser) 65.42m, 2. Ashish Jakhar (Har) 64.00, 3. Sukhdev Singh (Rlys) 63.38m; triple jump: K. Sreejithmon (Ker) 16.15m, 2.

https://t.me/yk_info

Man-of-the-Match: E. Lewis

England won by six runs via D/L method to lead series 3-0

Arpinder Singh (ONGC) 16.06, 2. Rakesh Babu (Ser) 16.06; 4x100m relay: 1. Services (Satnam Singh, Vinit Panwar, Vidya Sagar, Md. Sadath) 40.17, 2. TN (Surendhar, Elakkiyadasan, Sivakumar, P. Kumar) 40.94, 3. All India Police Sports Board (Saman Pradhan, Mewa Singh, Vipin Kumar, Punniya Suriyan) 41.08; 4x400m relay: 1. Haryana (Aman Auluck, Manjeet, Ravinder, Ravi Kumar) 3:10.55, 2. Andhra Pradesh (Jidian George, Eusup Ali, Angaraj Singh, Diwakar Davas) 3:11.74, 3. Uttar Pradesh (Harsh Kumar, Harsh Panwar, Sanjeev Sheokand, Sumit Kumar) 3:13.32. Women: 200m: 1. Hima Das (Asm) 24.26, 2. S. Archana (TN) 24.33, 3. Anwesha Roy Pradhan (WB) 24.56; 800m: Lili Das (Rlys) 2:04.51, 2. Sipra Sarkar (WB) 2:05.85, 3. Komal Chaudhary (Rlys) 2:06.45; 20km walk: 1. Priyanka (ONGC) 1:40:43.00, 2. Ravina (Har) 1:43:39.00, 3. L. Deepmala Devi (Rlys) 1:43:50.00; 10,000m: L.

Surya (Rlys) 32:42.62, 2. Parul Chaudhary (Rlys) 33:43.07, 3. Saigeeta Naik (AIPSB) 34:54.93; discus: Kamalpreet Kaur (Rlys) 54.25m, 2. Navjeet Kaur (Rlys) 53.20, 3. Baljit Kaur (AIPSB) 45.95; 4x100m relay: 1. Karnataka (Apsana Begaum, Prajna S Prakash, M.G. Padmini, H.M. Jyothi) 46.28s, 2. Railways (Sunanda Sarkar, Akila, S. Priyanka Kalagi, Himashree Roy) 46.48, 3. TN (A.P. Srija, Chandra Lekha, Kanimozhi, S. Archana) 46.66. 4x400m relay: 1. ONGC (Jauna Murmu, Rajni Nagar, Twinkle Chaudhary, Poovamma) 3:38.81, 2. Railways (Chavi Sharavath, K.P. Ammu, Sonal Chawla, M. Arpitha) 3:40.13, 3. Karnataka (Apsana Begaum, P.J. Sneha, A. Nithyashree, G.K. Vijayakumari) 3:42.67. Best athletes: T. Santhosh Kumar, 400mH (TN, 1122 pts) & Chinta Yadav, 3000m steeplechase (Rlys, 1121). Men’s championship: 1. Services (182), 2. Rlys (100). Women’s: 1. Rlys (196), 2. Kar (55). A ND-NDE

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16 SPORT

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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IN BRIEF

Neymar leads PSG past Bayern Batshuayi’s late strike gives Chelsea full points; Manchester United sails past CSKA Agence France-Presse PARIS

Dipika Pallikal enters seminals SAN FRANCISCO

India’s Dipika Pallikal got past USA’s Olivia Blatchford 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 to enter the semifinals of the San Francisco Open squash tournament, a PSA World Tour event, here on Wednesday. She will play Malaysia’s Nicol David for a place in the final. PTI

Emery lauds Mbappe PARIS

Kylian Mbappe was singled out for praise despite being the only member of PSG‘s superstar attack who didn’t score in Wednesday’s big Champions League win over German giant Bayern Munich. “Kylian is progressing well. He has great talent and great desire to help the team grow,” said coach Unai Emery of the 18-year-old. AFP

Right on top: PSG’s big money signings Neymar and Kylian Mbappe proved too hot for Bayern Munich to handle. Defender Dani Alves too chipped in with a goal. AFP *

Neymar starred as Paris Saint-Germain sent out a statement of intent with a 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, while Michy Batshuayi grabbed an injury-time winner as Chelsea won 2-1 at Atletico Madrid. It took PSG less than two minutes to break the deadlock in the Group-B clash against Bayern, as world-record signing Neymar teed up fellow Brazilian Dani Alves to hammer home. Bayern piled on the pressure but failed to take its chances, before Edinson Cavani finished a sweeping counter-attack with an exquisite strike into the top corner. Unai Emery’s men finished off their visitors in the 63rd minute when Neymar pounced after Kylian Mbappe had bamboozled the Bayern defence. Atletico was handed the opener against English champion Chelsea when David Luiz needlessly gave away a penalty and Antoine Griezmann slotted past

Brenner’s brace for Brazil The teams also played out penalties in the friendly tie

keeper Thibaut Courtois. But the Wanda Metropolitano was silenced as former Real striker Alvaro Morata headed in an excellent Eden Hazard cross. Antonio Conte’s men deserved all three points and

snatched the win in the fourth minute of added time as subsitute Batshuayi picked out the bottom corner. Manchester United brushed aside CSKA Moscow 4-1 to maintain its unbeaten record in the Russian capital.

Ancelotti sacked Agence France-Presse Berlin

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as Bayern Munich coach in the wake of its defeat by PSG, the German club announced on Thursday. “Following an internal analysis in Munich on Thursday 28 September

2017... the club is to part company with head coach Carlo Ancelotti with immediate effect,” Bayern said in a statement on its website. Former player Willy Sagnol, who had been serving as an assistant to Ancelotti, has been named interim coach.

THE RESULTS Group A: CSKA Moscow 1 (Kuchaev 90) lost to Manchester United 4 (Lukaku 4, 27, Martial 19-pen, Mkhitaryan 57). Basel 5 (Lang 2, Oberlin 20, 69, Van Wolfswinkel 60-pen, Riveros 77) bt Benfica 0. Group B: Paris Saint-Germain 3 (Alves 2, Cavani 31, Neymar 63) bt Bayern Munich 0. Anderlecht 0 lost to Celtic 3 (Griffiths 38, Mbodji 50-og,

Divij in seminals Sports Bureau

Sinclair 90+3). Group C: Qarabag 1 (Henrique 28) lost to Roma 2 (Manolas 7, Dzeko 15). Atletico Madrid 1 (Griezmann 40-pen) lost to Chelsea 2 (Morata 60, Batshuayi 90+4). Group D: Juventus 2 (Higuain 69, Mandzukic 80) bt Olympiakos 0. Sporting Lisbon 0 lost to Barcelona 1 (Coates 49-og).

TENNIS

Top players give Nationals a miss Kamesh Srinivasan NEW DELHI

It will be difficult to fault someone like Riya Bhatia, if she opts to compete in the international circuit, instead of defending her national title. The 20-year-old had won both the national hard-court and grass-court women’s titles last season, and has little to prove at the national level. Moreover, when she is getting the No.1 seeding in the $15,000 ITF women’s event in Colombo next week, it makes sense for the 531st ranked Riya to try and improve on her status. The organisers of the Fenesta National championship, who have put an overall prize purse of about ₹21 lakh, will, however, be surprised to see players making a bee line to Colombo instead of competing in Delhi from Monday. The DCM Shriram Group that has been hosting the event from 1993, long before it was given the National championship status, is offering ₹300,000 each for the men’s and women’s champions with the runners-up getting ₹200,000.

That is about $4584 for the champions and about $3056 for the runners-up. Such money may not be within the reach of most of the Indian players in the international circuit, in which the champions get $2352 and the runners-up $1,470, for an event with a total prize purse of $15,000. However, the quick reduction of the prize money down the order, with the national semifinalists getting ₹40,000, the quarterfinalists ₹24,000 and the prequarterfinalists ₹15,000 seems to be unattractive. The Colombo event looks irresistible for the Indians. Dhruthi Venugopal, Natasha Palha, Nidhi Chilumula, Prerna Bhambri, Ramya Natarajan and Rishika Sunkara figure in the direct acceptance list of the Sri Lanka event, apart from Riya. There may also be about eight Indians figuring in the qualifying draw. In such a scenario, it will be a great opportunity for players like Y. Pranjala, Zeel Desai, Mahak Jain, Snehadevi Reddy, Mihika Yadav, Bhuvana Kalva etc. to capitalise on the vacuum.

Jishitha wins World crown Silver medals for Arjun and Sakshi

Chengdu (China)

Sports Bureau

Divij Sharan and Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei, made the semifinals of the $1,138,910 ATP Tour event in China on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Saaniya Sharma takes 3-shot lead NOIDA

Saaniya Sharma stayed on course for her second title of the season as she carded a one-over-73 for a two-round par 144 and grab a three-shot lead over Smriti Mehra (71) in the 13th leg of the Hero WPG Tour here on Thursday. Neha Tripathi (73, 77) is third ahead of Trisha Sunil (74, 78) and Gaurika Bishnoi (72, 80). PTI

Three Indian boxers in top-10 of AIBA rankings NEW DELHI

Vikas Krishan (75kg) was the best-placed Indian at seventh, while Amit Panghal (49kg) has risen to eighth in the latest rankings of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The third Indian in the top-10 is Shiva Thapa (60kg) while Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) attained a career-high 11th position. PTI

Dynamos go down to Real Oviedo OVIEDO (SPAIN)

A strike in the 21st minute by forward David Gonzales handed Spanish outfit Real Oviedo a 1-0 win over Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos here on Wednesday. PTI

Mumbai

Brazil, playing within limitations in the first half of a practise tie against New Zealand brought out the sparkling passing game after halftime to win 2-1. Brazil also played for penalty kicks which it won 5-4. Coaches from both sides, Carlos Amadeu and Danny Kay, looked happy to take in match simulation. Injuries to three players did not worry the Brazilian camp. Amadeu explained: “New Zealand plays a hard-tackling game, so we were ready for this. No major injuries.” Brenner, coming on as Wesley’s replacement, took off on a celebratory run down the goalline after squeezing in the ball between the post and NZ goalkeeper. The defence was pierced after two touches around

On the spot: Brenner scores his rst goal against New Zealand during the practice match. PRASHANT NAKWE *

the box and the ball relayed through for the former to do the rest. NZ defenders were still covering up gaps when Alan set up Breneer for the second time with a through pass for the latter to control first-time and slot in with

second touch. Mata was fouled, earning a penalty kick which the skipper converted with a looping shot high in. The results: Brazil 2 (Brenner 2) bt New Zealand 1 (Max Mata). Penalties: Brazil 5 bt New Zealand 4.

The results: $1,138,910 ATP, Chengdu, China: Doubles (quarterfinals): Yen-Hsun Lu (Tpe) & Divij Sharan bt Dominic Inglot (GBR) & Daniel Nestor (Can) 6-3, 6-3. $100,000 Challenger men, Tiburon, USA: Singles (prequarterfinals): Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Delton Baughman (USA) 7-6(5), 6-4. First round: Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Evan King (USA) 6-2, 6-4. Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Tom Fawcett (US) & Edan Leshem (Isr) bt Hans Hach Verdugo (Mex) & Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-1. $25,000 ITF women, Hua Hin, Thailand: Singles (quarterfinals): Y. Pranjala bt Pemra Ozgen (Tur) 6-2, 6-0.

Sethuraman stuns Gelfand Sports Bureau

S.P. Sethuraman stunned Boris Gelfand and 12-yearold R. Praggnanandhaa shocked England No. 2 David Howell in the fifth round of the Isle of Man chess tournament here on Wednesday. Magnus Carlsen and Eljanov Pavel won their games with white pieces to stay in the lead at 4.5 points. Sethuraman, Vidit Gujrathi and

Harsha Bharathakoti became part of the nine-player group sharing the third spot. The results: Fifth round (involving Indians): Vidit Gujrathi (4) drew with Aleksandr Lenderman (USA, 4); Viswanathan Anand (3.5) drew with Nils Grandelius (Swe, 3.5); S. P. Sethuraman (4) bt Boris Gelfand (Isr, 3). B. Adhiban (3) lost to Harsha Bharathakoti (4); Gawain Jones (Eng, 3.5) drew with Swapnil

Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Dhopade (3.5); R. Praggnanandhaa (3.5) bt David Howell (Eng, 2.5); Ju Wenjun (Chn, 3) drew with Arjun Kalyan (3); Aravindh Chithambaram (3.5) bt Peter Roberson (Eng, 2.5).

drew with S. Kidambi (2.5); S. L. Narayanan (3) bt Harshit Raja (2); Konstantin Kavutskiy (USA, 3) bt Nihal Sarin (2); P. Magesh Chandran (3) bt Evgeny Degtiarev (Ger, 2).

Dennis Wagner (Ger, 3.5) bt C. R. G. Krishna (2.5); Alina L’ami (Rou, 2.5) lost to Vishnu Prasanna (3.5); Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian (Bra, 2.5) lost to K. Ratnakaran (3.5); D. Harika (2.5) lost to Anna Rudolf (Hun, 3.5).

Aman Hambleton (Can, 3) bt V. Pranav (2); Johan-Sebastian Christiansen (Nor, 2.5) drew with Eesha Karavade (2.5).

Pravel Tregubov (Rus, 2.5)

D. Jishitha maintained her awesome winning spree to claim the gold medal in the girls (under-14) section of the World Youth Chess Championship here on Wednesday. The final day of the championship also saw two silver medals coming India’s way, with Arjun Erifaisi (in open under-14) and Sakshi Chitlange (girls’ under-18) making the podium. Jishitha, seeded six and tottering at the ninth spot after six rounds, won the last five rounds of the 11-round Swiss League to finish with nine points. Arjun, the fifth seed, signed off with three successive victories to maintain his unbeaten campaign for a tally of nine points. Likewise, 16th seed Sakshi also finished with a hat-trick of

Creditable showing: World girls’ (u-14) champion D. Jishitha anked by girls’ u-18 runner-up Sakshi Chitlange and Open u-14 runner-up Arjun Ergaisi. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

wins and tallied eight points. Indian performers: Under-14 (girls): 1. D. Jishitha (9 points); 9-10. L. Jyothsna, Saina Salonika (7 each); 14. Mrudul Dehankar (6.5); (open): 2. Arjun Erigaisi (9); 4. Anuj Shrivatri (8); 19. Koustav Chatterjee (6.5). Under-16 (girls): 14. Harshita

Guddanti (6.5); 25. Meenal Gupta (5.5); 41. V. Toshali (4.5); (open): 9. Mitrabha Guha (7); 14. Rajdeep Sarkar (6.5); 41. Vatsal Singhania (5). Under-18 (girls): 2. Sakshi Chitlange (8); 4. Arpita Mukherjee (7.5); (open): 8. Kaustuv Kundu (7); 15. C. Sai Vishwesh (6.5); 19. V. Karthik (6).

India’s compliance has improved: NADA

CHESS

DOUGLAS (ISLE OF MAN)

MONTEVIDEO (URUGUAY)

R. Vaishali (2.5) drew with Marc Esserman (USA, 2.5); Neelotpal Das (3) bt Yoo Christopher Woojin (USA, 2).

The code compliance of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was a matter of pride for India in the sixth conference of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, organised by UNESCO in Paris recently.

Good rating “India’s rating is good. It has improved to 71%. The stress was on strengthening antidoping programmes in vari-

ous countries and enhance compliance,” said NADA director-general Navin Agarwal on his arrival. “There are several countries which want to comply with the code but are not able to do so due to the lack of education and awareness. So the importance was on propagating value based education programme on anti-doping.” Agarwal said the need to support poor countries in the field of anti-doping was

also discussed conference.

at

the

Lingering cases Sharing his views on the some lingering anti-doping cases, including that of wellknown shot-putter Inderjeet Singh, in the country, Agarwal said, “Inderjeet has been asking for a witness who is not willing to depose before the panel. “We cannot force anyone to depose. So we are proposing legislation on this.”

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

THE HINDU CROSSWORD 12125

(Set by Arden)

11 Vehicle with insurance — you nally enter the city (9)

FAITH

SUDOKU

A fan and the mirror

2 Depression in the ocean — underline there's no activity (9)

12 Bard's golden enclave (5) 3 Car's old, makes noise (5) 13 Final scene by girl in Tempest (4) 15 Initial delivery receipt misplaced inrm (8)

5 Tracker tracks up and down (5)

18 Disease treated, physiologist to go away (8)

6 Lost everything, reach out, infused capital (9)

19 Drink up some of the potion (4)

7 Landowner raises money in foreign currencies (5)

22 In Africa primates are found on this island (5) 24 Live in more modest accommodation, it doesn't matter (5,4)

■ ACROSS 1 Should be given death sentence — get off high horse (7)

26 Serenade opponent briey in rocking chair (9) 27 Associate that's canned (3-2) 28 Bidding system yet to be perfected by novice (7)

8 A side gets new cover (6) 14 A social group in the troubled metropolis (9) 16 Cover over heel coming down (9) 17 Tool put in place (9)

Solution to puzzle 12124

Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku

20 Starts acting crafty again, spies hide behind tree (6) 21 Metal discs regularly go missing, it's strange (6)

5 Bishop broke rule perhaps — contracted the French disease (7)

29 He knows about costing (7)

23 Philosopher extremely peaceful at Oxford (5)

9 Stoned, exhausted (5)

■ DOWN

24 Old? Makes least difference (5)

10 Edition on communist movement (9)

CM YK

4 Aim to check off drive? He's written volumes (4,5)

https://t.me/yk_info

1 Desert transport, Germans agree to hop in (6)

25 There's much to gain if you win it (5)

Andal takes the Gopikas along with Her and goes to wake up Lord Krishna. Her efforts prove of no avail. So She asks Nappinnai to help Her. Nappinnai, the avatara of Neela Devi, is Lord Krishna’s favourite Consort. The Azhvars, in their verses, have extolled the childhood days of Lord Krishna, and Nappinnai figures prominently in their pasurams, said M. A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. Andal first wakes up Nappinnai and although She is Neela Devi and not Sri Devi, Andal addresses Nappinnai as ‘Thiruve,” which is the Tamil for Sri Devi. So Andal shows that Nappinnai is as important as Sri Devi Herself. But why do the Gopikas visit Krishna? What is their request to Him? Andal asks for ‘ukkam’ and ‘tattoli.’ In Tamil ukkam means a fan and tattoli refers to a mirror. There is a reason why Andal asks for these. Samsaric life is like a fire. A jivatma needs shelter from this heat, and the Lord is that shelter. He provides respite from the heat of samsara and is therefore like a fan. How does a jivatma move towards attaining liberation? Only when a person has atma jnana and knowledge about the nature of the Paramatma does he or she realise the temporary nature of worldly attachments. He or she then seeks moksha. The Lord is like a mirror that shows us the nature of the jivatma. A mirror never lies, and it is the absolute truth about the nature of the jivatma and about the world that the Lord will open our eyes to. And that is why Andal asks for the Lord, referring to Him as both a fan and a mirror. Andal is also anxious to get close to Lord Krishna as soon as possible. She is not prepared for delays, and hence She also uses the word “ippode” meaning immediately. Andal seeks Krishna’s presence at once and asks Nappinnai for this boon. A ND-NDE

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IN BRIEF

Noise pollution makes sh vulnerable: study

Three-year-old takes charge as ‘living goddess’ in Nepal Trishna Shakya will live in a palace and appear in public only on special occasions Agence France-Presse

LONDON

Noise from human construction projects such as windfarms and spreading cities can disrupt schools of fish, making certain marine species vulnerable to predators, according to researchers in the U.K. As many as 450 fishes were tested by the researchers. PTI

Controlling phones by touching your nose SEOUL

Scientists have designed a new pair of smart eyeglasses that can allow you to control a smartphone or a computer discreetly by rubbing and scratching your nose. The glasses were designed as an experiment by South Korean and Japanese researchers. PTI

Degas lled sculptures with wine bottle corks LONDON

Acclaimed artist Edgar Degas used everyday objects such as wine bottle corks as fillers in his wax sculptures, say scientists the Fitzwilliam Museum in the U.K. They used X-rays to unveil the secret behind the French sculptor’s fragile creations. PTI

Kathmandu

A three-year-old girl was anointed the new “living goddess” of Kathmandu by Hindu priests on Thursday and taken to a palace in the historic centre of the Nepali capital where she will remain until she reaches puberty. Wearing a red dress, Trishna Shakya was taken from her home to the ancient Durbar Square for a short initiation ceremony. Her father then carried her across the cobbled square — which still bears the scars of a powerful earthquake that hit in 2015 — to the temple-palace where she will live under the care of specially-appointed guardians. Shakya was flanked by her family and men in red tunics on the short walk, the last time she will be seen in public without the elaborate make-up of the Kumari, or living goddess, until puberty.

Mixed feelings “I have mixed feelings. My daughter has become the Kumari and it is a good thing. But there is also sadness because she will be separated from us,” said her father Bijaya Ratna Shakya. Shakya leaves behind a twin brother, Krishna, who cried as his sister was taken from the family home. As the Kumari, Shakya is considered the embodiment of the Hindu goddess Taleju and will only be allowed to leave the temple 13 times a year on special feast days. At midnight, Hindu priests will perform an an-

Moving moment: Trishna Shakya carried by her father, Bijaya Ratna Shakya, as she leaves her home and heads to Kumari House in Kathmandu. AFP *

imal sacrifice, which the new Kumari will attend as part of her initiation as a “living goddess”. Historically, 108 buffalo, goats, chickens, ducks and eggs were slaughtered as part of the ritual — a number considered auspicious — but the number has been scaled back under pressure from animal rights activists. The tradition of the Kumari, meaning princess in Sanskrit, comes from the Newar community indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley. It blends elements of Hinduism and Buddhism and the most important Kumaris represent each of the three former royal kingdoms of the valley: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The practice was once closely linked to the royal

family, but has continued despite the end of Nepal’s Hindu monarchy in 2008. Selection criteria for aspiring Kumaris is strict and includes a number of specific physical attributes such as an unblemished body, a chest like a lion and thighs like a deer. Even if a girl fulfils all the physical requirements, she must then prove her bravery by not crying at the sight of a sacrificed buffalo.

Practice receives flak The tradition has drawn criticism from child rights activists who say the Kumaris are denied a childhood and their isolation from society hinders their education and development. In 2008, Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled the living god-

desses should be educated and they are now taught inside the palace where they live and are allowed to sit their exams there. Many former Kumaris have spoken about the struggles they face reintegrating into society after they are dethroned. The outgoing Kumari, Matine Shakya, 12, left the temple-palace via a side door shortly after the younger girl arrived to take the throne. Matine still wore the red Kumari makeup, which includes a ‘third-eye’ painted on her forehead, and the ornate robes of the goddess. The 12-year-old was carried on a sedan chair back to her family’s home, which she left aged three in 2008 when she was anointed as the Kumari.

Fourth gravitational wave is detected Advanced Virgo equipment in Italy records ripple through the fabric of space and time tional Observatory (EGO) in Cascina, near Pisa, Italy. “While this new event is of astrophysical relevance, its detection comes with an additional asset: this is the first significant gravitational wave signal recorded by the Virgo detector.”

Agence France-Presse Miami

A fourth gravitational wave has been detected — this time with help from Italybased equipment — after two black holes collided, sending ripples through the fabric of space and time, researchers said. Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity, but the first hard evidence of their existence came only in 2015, when two U.S. detectors found the first such signal. The latest space-time ripples were detected on August 14 at 10:30 GMT when two giant black holes with masses about 31 and 25 times

Recent upgrade

Mysteries of the universe: A 3km-long arm that is part of the Virgo detector for gravitational waves. AFP *

the mass of the Sun merged about 1.8 billion light-years away. “The newly produced spinning black hole has

about 53 times the mass of our Sun,” said a statement from the international scientists at Virgo detector, located at the European Gravita-

The Virgo detector — an underground L-shaped instrument that tracks gravitational waves using the physics of laser light and space — recently underwent an upgrade, and while still less sensitive than its U.S. counterparts, it was able to confirm the same signal. Known as interferometers, these high-tech underground stations do not rely

on light in the sky like a telescope does, but instead sense vibrations in space and can pick up the “chirp” created by a gravitational wave. Previously, gravitational waves have been found using two U.S.-based detectors, known as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The first was found in September 2015 and announced to the public in early 2016. “This is just the beginning of observations with the network enabled by Virgo and LIGO working together,” said David Shoemaker, MIT’s spokesman for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Low-cost test to pinpoint Zika virus Can also detect dengue in blood Press Trust of India Boston

A new test that resembles a pregnancy indicator strip can help detect Zika and dengue viruses in blood, according to a study which used serum samples from several countries including India. The test developed by researchers, including those from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S., can accurately differentiate between the two mosquito-borne viruses.

Serum samples Researchers checked the accuracy of the test by testing blood serum samples taken from people in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Mexico and Panama. The paper-strip test contains antibodies that react to the presence of Zika or dengue virus, and gold nanoparticles that respond to the antibody reaction. “In the light of the problems with the Zika virus causing microcephaly and other defects in babies born to infected mothers, it is important that a pregCM YK

nant woman know if her fever is caused by Zika virus or dengue virus,” said Lee Gehrke, a professor at MIT. To use the test, a medical professional would dip the strip into a tube of either blood serum or whole blood, said the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. “If it is a positive test, then we see a dot or a line on the test that results from the gold nanoparticles that signal the antibodies recognising the viral protein,” said Mr. Gehrke. Zika and dengue both belong to the same viral family, which are called flaviviruses. They are two closely related viruses spread by the same mosquito. The team developed the new test because current testing products sometimes cross-react between Zika and dengue, providing a false positive for Zika when the patient actually has the other virus. Currently, material costs are about $5 (₹320) per strip.

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‘Pehchan gave me my identity’

Missing for a month

What it means to be a warrior

The avatars of bhog

The NGO works with about 30 female dropouts each year and enables them nancially and academically Page 2

A month since he went missing, a 37-year-old man from Fatehpur Beri is yet to be found Page 3

Shahid Kapoor says Padmavati is about celebrating the culture, heritage of the Rajputs Page 4

The Durga Pujo bhog intrigues Bengalis and non-Bengalis alike. We trace its history Page 6

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IN BRIEF

Put metro fare hike on hold: govt to DMRC Fares set to increase by ₹5 to ₹10 from Oct 10; CM Arvind Kejriwal says such a hike ‘unbearable for the common man’ Damini Nath Jatin Anand NEW DELHI

Gurugram Police crack down on violators GURUGRAM

Over 14,000 vehicle owners were challaned by Gurugram Police on “Zero Tolerance Day” on Thursday, against trac violations. The drive was carried out across all police station of the district to enforce trac rules. The drive targeted major intersections in the city. CITY

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GSCASH election results declared NEW DELHI

Students’ election committee of the disbanded Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) in JNU on Thursday declared the results for the elections conducted to pick four student representatives. The panel had conducted the polls defying restrictions imposed by the administration CITY A PAGE 2 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Sisodia finds guards renting out classrooms NEW DELHI

Security guards at a municipal school in Kalyanpuri were found renting out classrooms at night, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said on Thursday. He said he inspected the school at 10 p.m. and found the classrooms being used to cook and cupboards being used to stock tools. The guards had given the rooms on rent to people for the night. Two people have been arrested, said Mr. Sisodia. STAFF REPORTER

The Aam Aadmi Party government on Thursday asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to put on hold the fare hike that was announced in May and is supposed to be rolled out from October 10, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal terming it “unbearable for the common man”.

First phase in May The hike, which is phase two of the increase in fares this year, will increase rates by ₹5 to ₹10 depending on the distance travelled. The first phase of the hike rolled out in May saw fares increase for the first time since 2009. In a note to Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, Mr. Kejriwal said the planned hike in fares would be unbearable. Hitting out at the Centre, Mr. Kejriwal asked how the fare fixation committee, which includes a representative of the Delhi government, set up by the Central government could “take such a decision”. Chaired by a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, the committee included a senior bureaucrat of the Union Urban Development Ministry and the Delhi Chief Secretary. Govt’s stand “Was Delhi government’s stand considered by the fare fixation committee,” asked Mr. Kejriwal, referring to the AAP government’s objections to the proposed hike. On instructions of the Chief Minister, Mr. Gahlot met with DMRC Managing Dir-

ector Mangu Singh later and asked him to keep the hike on hold till the government studied the issue.

Public interest Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Gahlot said that in the “larger public interest”, he had issued an order for the hike to be put on hold. In his order, Mr. Gahlot wrote that it was not clear whether the Delhi government’s stand had been considered by the fare fixation committee. When asked, he said the Chief Secretary and Transport Commissioner were on leave in May, when the decision was announced by the DMRC on the recommendation of the fare fixation committee. The Transport Commissioner, according to a source, was in the process of being appointed with a file pertaining to the same pending with Raj Niwas for approval. BJP against hike As per Mr. Kejriwal and Mr. Gahlot, the government will now inquire into how the fare hike decision was taken and whether the AAP dispensation’s stance was discussed. Though the Delhi government provides 15% of the funding for the Delhi Metro, it cannot roll back the hike as the fare fixation committee is an independent body, officials said. Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP came out against the fare hike, asking the DMRC to review its decision. Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said that the hike was going to hurt the common people, especially students.

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Epic performance

PWD issues notice to AAP over its oce Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Asking why the allotment should not be cancelled, the Public Works Department of the Delhi government issued a show-cause notice to the Aam Aadmi Party earlier this week over its office functioning out of a Rouse Avenue bungalow. In its notice, the PWD asked why the AAP should not pay market rent for the property, as well as charges for the furniture and fixtures.

‘Fares will go up as per schedule’ DMRC chief says they will go ahead with Phase II of the plan to hike taris Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

If a brief response from its chief was any indication, the posturing from the State government has had little impact on Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) decision to go ahead with the proposed fare hike, which is set to kick in from October 10.

DMRC chief Mangu Singh said he had apprised the Transport Minister of the new rates. FILE PHOTO *

Commuters to be hit Emerging after the meeting with Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot at the Delhi Secretariat on

Thursday, DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh said the fares would be increased as per the previously decided schedule. “We will go according to the schedule and fares will increase from October 10. The Transport Minister and I discussed metro fares. He has been apprised of the tariffs in detail,” Mr. Singh told journalists. The fares were to be increased in two phases after a fare fixation committee recommended the hike. The first phase came into

effect in May and with the second to be implemented soon, commuters are set to feel the pinch of the steepest hike in fares yet.

Instructions binding If the situation escalates further, it is not likely to change much because according to the provisions of the Metro Railway (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002, the recommendations made by the Fare Fixation Committee shall be binding on the metro railway administration.

‘Illegal occupation’ According to PWD officials, the notice was issued following a Delhi High Court order in August that set aside an earlier order that cancelled the allotment of the property. The court had said that no reason was given by the PWD for its decision. Apart from cancelling the allotment, on orders of the Lieutenant-Governor, the PWD had in June also asked the party to pay ₹27,73,802 as penal rent for occupying the premises illegally. Since land is a subject under the L-G, the allotment of the property by the elected government had come under scrutiny. On Tuesday, the PWD issued a fresh show-cause notice, giving the AAP a week to respond, after which the matter would be forwarded to LieutenantGovernor Anil Baijal, said officials.

‘Delay in hiring of teachers by High Court stays arrest of Ryan school trustees DSSSB will impact students’ L-G writes to Sisodia over paucity of regular teaching sta

Case has been listed for October 7 SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Delhi HC stays guest teachers’ regularisation

Staff Reporter New Delhi

Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, in his note to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, on Thursday, stated that withholding the recruitment process by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) for appointment of teachers in the Education Department for such a long period was bound to have “an adverse impact on the studies of students” due to paucity of regular teachers. Timeless: A Ramlila performance in progress at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in the Capital. *

SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Court directs DSE to admit OBC student in MBA course HC says college has ‘no cogent reason’ to deny admission Press Trust of India New Delhi

The prestigious Delhi School of Economics (DSE) has been directed by the Delhi High Court to admit a student in their MBA programme under the reserved category. The High Court asked the DSE to implement its direction in consultation with the Delhi University. “Petition is allowed. Petitioner [the student] be granted admission in the OBC [Other Backward Class] category in the vacant OBC seat in the MBA [HRD] course forthwith,” Justice Indermeet Kaur said. The court passed the order on a petition by Vikas Kakkar, who said he had submitted his online application for admission in the MBA International Business and Human Resource Development course offered by the DSE under the OBC category. CM YK

He had said that he scored 72.57% in the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the Indian Institute of Management and was shortlisted for group discussion and interview by the DSE for the purpose of admission and his name had appeared at serial number 95 in the merit list.

Father approaches varsity The petitioner, represented by advocate Ashok Aggarwal, had told the court that the student had participated in several rounds of counselling but was unable to obtain a seat under the reserved category. The last allotted seat in the category was at rank 93 and rank 94 had not participated in the third round of counselling. On August 29, the fourth round of counselling for vacant seats for the

course was notified by a notice dated August 25. When the candidate’s father found out that a seat in the OBC category was vacant, he approached the institution claiming the seat but his plea was not heard. He moved the HC on September 4. However, the institution claimed before the court that the notice of August 25 stated that the fourth counselling would be held on August 29 and the candidate did not approach the university on that day. It said the seat which had fallen vacant under the OBC category has now lapsed. The court, however, said it was of the view that the candidate had taken all steps to get admission in the OBC category seat and that the DSE did not respond “with any cogent reason”.

Public hearing It may be noted, Raj Niwas said in a statement, that many representations had also been received in this regard in the L-G’s Secretariat during public hearing. “Previously, the Deputy Chief Minister had written a letter to the L-G on August 9 where it had been indicated that he had given instructions to the Chief Secretary and asked him to put the recruitment process initiated by DSSSB for teachers on hold and to consider the policy of weightage to guest teachers. He had also asked the Directorate of Education to reformulate the policy of recruitment of teachers based on giving weightage to guest teachers,” the statement said. Lapse of over 6 weeks According to Raj Niwas, the Lieutenant-Governor had asked this proposal to be examined by the government and at the same time, the L-G agreed to put on hold this recruitment process for teachers initiated by DSSSB pending the aforesaid examination. But, Raj Niwas said further, the office of the L-G did not receive the proposal despite a lapse of more than

CHANDIGARH

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of the three trustees of Ryan International School in connection with the murder of the seven-year-old student in the Gurugram school.

Press Trust of India New Delhi

A contempt < > petition has already been led in the Delhi High Court against putting the recruitment process for teachers on hold and the court is monitoring the progress in this regard Raj Niwas Statement

six weeks, and two reminders were sent on September 14, 2016 and September 26, 2016.

Contempt petition “Further, a contempt petition has already been filed in the Delhi High Court against putting the recruitment process for teachers on hold and the Hon’ble Court is monitoring the progress in this regard,” the statement said. As such, the statement added, the L-G, in his note to the Deputy Chief Minister, had repeated that as the matter has already been delayed for more than six weeks, it may not be desirable to keep this recruitment process on hold further. Therefore, the recruitment process must be re-commenced without further delay.

The Delhi High Court has stayed the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in Delhi government schools till October 11. Justice A.K. Chawla directed the Delhi government to maintain status quo with regard to fresh appointment and promotion of guest teachers as regulars in its schools, after the High Court was informed that the authorities have not complied with its 2001 order. The Delhi government had recently decided to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010 and a Bill in this regard is slated to be tabled before the Delhi Legislative Assembly on October 4, the court noted.

Anticipatory bail Advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema, who along with advocate Sandeep Kapur, appeared for the Pinto family, told reporters that Justice Surinder Gupta has stayed the arrest of the three trustees. “The case has now been listed for October 7,” he added. The trustees — includ-

Augustine.F. Pinto ing Augustine. F. Pinto, Grace Pinto and Ryan Pinto — had filed an application for anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 16, after their bail application was rejected by the Bombay High Court earlier on September 14.

2001 order “Here, it is worth noting that... the order passed by a Division Bench of this court in 2001 is yet to be implemented, as per the affidavit [of the Delhi government]...,” the court said. The Division Bench, in its 2001 order, had asked the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) to ensure zero vacancy of teachers in schools on the commencement of each academic year. The court passed the interim order during the hearing of a contempt plea by NGO Social Jurist.

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IN BRIEF

‘Pehchan has given me my identity’ The NGO works on students’ interpersonal skills and on strengthening their personality Ismat ara New Delhi

Jamia to oer distance education to jawans NEW DELHI

Uniformed personnel can now take up graduate and post-graduate programmes at the Jamia Millia Islamia University through distance education mode as the varsity on Thursday signed an MoU with the Army. ViceChancellor Talat Ahmad and Adjutant General, Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence, Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar, signed the MoU to facilitate the courses. PTI

Another newborn dies, father blames hospital NEW DELHI

A newborn boy died hours after his birth here allegedly due to lack of access to critical care facilities at a government-run hospital, the second death in the Capital within a week. The baby, who was born on Wednesday morning, was first rushed to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and later taken to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, where he was declared “brought dead” by doctors. PTI

Shabistan Saifi dropped out of school when she was in Class VI and didn’t touch books for the next six years until Pehchan came into the picture. A student at the Pehchan Coaching Centre, she passed her Class X exams earlier this year with second division from Jamia Millia Islamia. Just like her other batchmates, 20-year-old Shabistan owes her educational advancement to Pehchan, formed in 2011 by former member of the Planning Commission Syeda Hameed. Registered in 2015, after four years of rigorous work, Pehchan is a non-government organisation that works in Jaitpur Extension, a resettlement colony near Okhla which mainly comprises daily wagers, for upliftment of marginalised Muslim women.

Works with dropouts Pehchan works with about 30 female dropouts each year. It enables them financially and academically to help them become independent. These students, who were forced to discontinue their education due to

Making a point: Students of ‘Pehchan’ interact at the Press Club of India in the Capital on Thursday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA *

financial, social and religious issues, now aspire to become teachers, doctors and lawyers. According to parents who send their daughters to study here, Pehchan offers a safe space as it is located within the area. Apart from imparting education to dropouts, the NGO also offers various vocational courses like tailoring, cutting and fashion designing. Seeman Parween, a student at Pehchan who cleared her Class XII exams in 2017,

said, “Pehchan helped me learn over and above the syllabus in books. It is my favourite place to be because there is always something to learn here.” The NGO also works on these students’ interpersonal skills and on strengthening their personality by taking them for seminars, conferences, workshops and even picnics. Currently, there are four faculty members at Pehchan who teach these girls on a

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Beating the heat

very small honorarium. Md. Hafizuddin, a retired faculty member from Jamia Hamdard University, takes English speaking classes at the centre for free. “About 30 people with Ph.D. degrees live in the very area that comprises people belonging to the lower middle class. It then becomes our duty to extend support to noble causes such as these and help people who might benefit from our assistance,” Mr. Hafizuddin

GSCASH poll results declared

said. Farhat, another teacher at Pehchan, said, “I know the pressure of belonging to a Muslim family. Thankfully, my mother supported me and I was able to get education. Now, I want to struggle with these girls like I would with my daughters.” Shabna, former student at Pehchan,who is a graphic designer and looking for a job, said, “Before Pehchan helped me study, I used to work as a domestic help. I feel confident enough to leave my home in Aligarh and live in a place like Delhi all by myself. I don’t know what I would have done without Pehchan.” “Why does the government think the issues of Muslim women begin and end with triple talaq? It’s important to acknowledge other problems faced by a majority of Muslim women, which include their extremely poor rate of literacy,” said Pehchan trustee Shabnam Hashmi. Alleging that funds are not allotted to organisations that need finance, she said political parties should stop using Muslim names only for political agenda and start doing actual work.

Gurugram Police crack down on violators 14,000 vehicle owners challaned Ashok Kumar GURUGRAM

More than 14,000 vehicle owners were challaned by the Gurugram Police on “Zero Tolerance Day” on Thursday, against traffic violations. The drive was carried out across all police station areas of the district to ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules. Starting at 10 a.m., Gurugram Police teams challaned the vehicles at several major intersections of the city for various violations including illegal parking, wrong side driving, red light jump, driving without helmet, not wearing seat belt and using mobile phone while driving. “Around 70 teams were constituted for the day-long drive. All Station House Officers were also part of it. We plan to conduct such special drives every fortnight or every month to deter people from violating traffic laws,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Simardeep Singh. Gurugram Police spokesperson said that ₹14,09,700 were collected as penalty from the violators and 156 vehicles were impounded.

Move was part of the ‘Zero Tolerance Day’.

The traffic was going on till late at night. Around 3,000 vehicles were challaned on an average on a routine day, said the spokesperson.

Road safety fund The Haryana government has set up a road safety fund for improving road and traffic safety infrastructure in each district in the State after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s announcement. Mr. Khattar had said that 50% of the penalty amount collected should be ploughed back for improving the road and traffic infrastructure where the fine is collected.

AAP blames Arun Jaitley’s ‘attitude’ for poor economy

Press Trust of India New Delhi

Cooling down: Birds take a cool dip on a hot Thursday afternoon in the Capital.

*

SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Toll tax collection gets SDMC nod MP Infrastructure Ltd granted tender; civic body to receive ₹478 crore annually Staff Reporter New Delhi

South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) standing committee on Thursday approved the collection of toll tax from vehicles entering the National Capital. The tender has been floated for toll tax collection. Six companies had submitted tenders, of which the best offer of ₹1,206 crore was approved by the members in the meeting. “MP Infrastructure Ltd has been granted the tender for five years. They have also given a guarantee of ₹23 crore. Since the tender is for five years, the company will be free to surrender after a year. In such a case, however, its 25% of performance security deposit will be forfeited and the rest amount will be released after 90 days,” a statement released by the SDMC read.

Toll money to be divided The SDMC also said that the money collected as toll will be divided 1:1:0.6 between the SDMC, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The plan submitted by the corporation before the standing committee said that the SDMC will be receiving ₹478 crore annually through this collection, which is double the money received in the previous contract. The committee also CM YK

The committee < > ordered the civic body to settle the pending pensions of senior citizens and widows ordered the civic body to settle the pending pensions of senior citizens and widows. The Corporation has not released the pensions from 2015 to March 2017. “The pensions should be released before Diwali. It is the responsibility of the SDMC to help these people with the money they deserve,” the committee ordered.

Area mapping The committee also ordered that area mapping be conducted for each ward in the SDMC and sanitation workers be deputed in the wards accordingly. This was done to ensure that each ward has the required number of sanitation staff to maintain cleanliness. The committee said that for every two-kilometre stretch and every drain of one-km length, one sanitation worker needs to be deployed. Looking at the growing cases of dengue and chikungunya, the committee also suggested that a mosquito terminator be bought to fumigate mosquitoes in public spaces such as parks, and roads.

The students’ election committee of the disbanded Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) in Jawaharlal Nehru University on Thursday declared the results for the elections conducted to pick four student representatives. An M.Phil student and Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association candidate, Magare Bhupali Vitthal secured 1,308 votes; Ph.D. student Shreya Ghosh belonging to a Left-leaning group got 1,189 votes and Srabani Chakraborty of the Students’ Federation of India won 1,144 votes. Chetna Trivedi of the All India Students’ Association and Swati Simha both secured 1,122 votes each. “In case of a tie, re-election is an option. But nothing has been decided as of now,” Bhagat Singh Saini, the chairperson of the poll committee, said. The panel had conducted the polls on Wednesday defying restrictions imposed by the administration. However, it received support from a resolution passed in JNUSU’s ‘Extraordinary University General Body Meeting’ on September 22.

Party requests Minister to take some corrective measures Staff Reporter New Delhi

Continuing their attack on the BJP government on Thursday the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that the country’s finances are in the wrong hands. AAP’s Delhi spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the economic condition of India was extremely poor because of the non-serious attitude of the BJP in the Centre. “It is because of the lacklustre attitude of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of our country that the economy is showing a downward trend. Mr. Jaitley is interested in everything except the well-being of the nation’s finances,” Mr. Bharadwaj alleged.

Personal work Mr. Bharadwaj alleged that Mr. Jaitley spent most of his time tending to personal work instead of working on initiatives benefiting the country. Every report states that the GDP and economic condition of India is slumping at a fast pace, he said. “The GDP is low, there are no new jobs, trade is affected severely and industrial growth is also slow. Mr.

Money matters: AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj at a press conference in the Capital on Thursday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA *

It is because of the < > lacklustre attitude of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of our country that the economy is showing a downward trend Saurabh Bharadwaj AAP Delhi spokesperson

Jaitley is only concentrating on his personal defamation cases,” he alleged. He claimed that Mr. Jaitley spends at least two to three

Community halls to Residents’ suggestions to boost cost less in south Delhi North Corporation facilities Move to make it aordable for people Soumya Pillai New Delhi

Community halls in south Delhi will soon cost cheaper. The standing committee of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Thursday said that the fares will be revised so that the halls could be afforded by more people. The committee said that high rates of these halls have deterred people belonging to low-income groups from making bookings. The meeting raised a concern that after the fares were hiked in 2015, the bookings had slumped drastically. This resulted in lower revenue for the civic body. Though the revised rates are still to be decided, the committee members said that a 20-30% slash is likely.

Final rates “The decision to reduce rates was taken during the standing committee meeting. The pros and cons of a fare revision were considered, and we came to the conclusion that the municipal community halls

should be affordable. We will come with a final proposal in this regard during the next meeting. Final rates will only be decided after we receive a preliminary proposal,” said Bhupender Gupta, SDMC standing committee chairperson. The committee also proposed that all the halls be renovated and facilities be upgraded. The members suggested that some of the non-air conditioned halls be made air conditioned. There are 74 community halls under the SDMC at present, out of which only 21 are AC halls. The civic agency’s community halls are divided into five categories — A, B, C, D and E. For hiring a hall in category A, people have to pay as much as ₹42,500, which includes revised and hiked booking fee, security deposit, and cleaning charges. Similarly, for category B halls, the cost is ₹27,000. Booking a category C costs ₹22,000; category D halls cost ₹13,500, up from the earlier rate of ₹6,000 and category E halls cost ₹8,500.

hours in the court everyday. “Where does he have the time to sit in his office and work, when all that is happening is case after cases?” he said.

Revert damages Mr. Bharadwaj said that the AAP is requesting him to take some corrective measures to bring the financial condition of the country back on track so that the damage done by policies such as the demonetisation and GST could be reverted.

Feedback forms will also be distributed to RWAs and NGOs

IndiGo ight woes add to congestion at city airport

Soumya Pillai

Press Trust of India

< >

New Delhi

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) will soon start a feedback system, where residents will be able to post their complaints, suggestions and compliments to improve the services provided by the corporation. On Thursday, North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal rolled out a feedback form to engage with the residents. The forms will also be distributed to residents’ welfare associations, market associations and non-government organisations. They will also be available on the corporation’s website. “The forms will also be available at all zonal offices. Forms have already been handed to zonal commissioners. They have been asked to deploy their field staff to distribute these in residential localities,” Ms. Agarwal said. She said this engagement with people will help improve the services and make the ground-level worker more accountable.

Preety Agarwal

“In case of a complaint or suggestion related to sanitation, citizens can call on the Mayor’s helpline number 9643096430, central control room number 1266 or toll free numbers 1800-11-8700 and 1800-200-8701,” she added.

Users can rate work The residents will be able to give their opinions on upkeep and maintenance of roads, cleanliness in areas like sweeping, garbage collection and lifting of construction waste, maintenance of public conveniences such as toilets, urinals and community centres, and ac-

https://t.me/yk_info

Forms have already been handed to the zonal commissioners and they have been asked to deploy their eld sta to distribute these in residential localities

Preety Agarwal North Delhi Mayor

tion taken by municipal staff on complaints. The users will have to rate the corporation’s work by ticking on ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘not satisfactory’. In case the users want to suggest improvements they can specify the areas in a different column in the form. Senior officials said the forms can also be used to complain against habitual offenders. The corporation would then take action against these offenders. Depending on the nature of the complaint, officials will also be given a deadline for taking action.

New Delhi

IndiGo’s woes with A320 neo aircraft engines are impacting operations at the Delhi aerodrome with “extra time” taken by these planes to taxi out resulting in congestion, especially during peak hours, according to airport and Air Traffic Control (ATC) sources. The A320 neo planes, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, have been facing problems, even forcing the no-frills airline to ground some of the aircraft. Besides IndiGo, budget carrier GoAir also has these aircraft running on P&W engines.

Concerns flagged Sources at the airport and ATC here said the issue of A320 neo planes taking longer time to start up and taxi out has been flagged to the airline and stakeholders concerned. Airport traffic gets congested as arriving flights have to wait for their parking bay till a particular A320 neo plane moves out, they said. B ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

CITY 3

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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IN BRIEF

Criminal wanted in Jodhpur held at airport

Man missing since a month, BHU students on way to PM residence detained family suspects foul play He was last seen walking on the street where his rival’s oce is located

Staff Reporter Hemani Bhandari

NEW DELHI

A criminal wanted in Jodhpur was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here after the Delhi Police received a tip-off about his presence. Pawan Solanki was apprehended from the departure counter of an air carrier and was handed over to the Jodhpur police. He is wanted in nine criminal cases, including attempt to murder. STAFF REPORTER

Shanties destroyed in fire, no one hurt NEW DELHI

Seven shanties were gutted in Gandhi Nagar in Shahdara on Thursday, the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) said, adding that no one was injured in the incident. The blaze was caused due to a cylinder explosion, said a senior DFS officer. Ten fire-tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control in under 30 minutes, he added. PTI

5 held for targeting devotees at temples NEW DELHI

Five suspected pickpockets who targeted people visiting temples during Navratri have been arrested in south Delhi, the police said on Thursday. The police said a gang from Pushp Vihar was arrested on Tuesday following a tip-off. The police recovered ₹40,000, 11 mobile phones and five motorcycles from the accused. STAFF REPORTER

Man nabbed for selling fake vehicle insurance Staff Reporter New Delhi

A 30-year-old man was arrested on Thursday from Vasant Vihar for allegedly selling fake insurance policies to a car owner. Interrogation revealed his alleged involvement in at least nine cases in the past, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Ishwar Singh. The officer said a complaint was filed at Vasant Vihar police station by Ram Mohan Rai, who alleged that the accused had supplied fake insurance policies for his two highend cars. A police team intercepted a hatchback near a school in Vasant Vihar around 4 p.m. on Thursday following a tip-off and arrested the accused, he said. “Fake insurance cover notes were recovered from his possession,” he added. During interrogation, the accused revealed he was a field agent with an insurance company in Hauz Khas in 2007 but left after dispute with the office in-charge, the police said.

DELHI TODAY Talk: Lecture on “ Marx’s ‘Capital’ and the Current Crisis in Capitalism” by Prof C.P. Chandrasekhar, CESP, JNU, organised by SAHMAT, commemorating 150 years of Karl Marx’s Capital Vol 1, at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Talk: Health discussion to mark World Heart Day 2017. “Share the Power” Main Speakers: Dr.Anita Khalil and Dr. A. S. Dave. President & Co-Chair: Dr. S. Padmavati and Dr. M. Khalilullah at Lecture Room – II, Basement Annexe, India International Centre (IIC), 2 p.m. Music: Classical Flute Jugalbandi by the Prasanna Brothers of the Benaras Gharana (Rajesh and Rishabh Prasanna) at IHC, 7 p.m. Exhibition: Solo show of paintings by artist Nagesh Hankare at Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: Vibrant Reections Solo painting exhibition by Sharmila Thapar at Visual Arts Gallery, IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Paintings: Exhibition of Thanjavur paintings by Chitra Sinha at Convention Centre Foyer, IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Culture: Navarathri Music Festival. Bhajans by Sri Krishna Kala Niketan Bhajan Mandali, Vasant Kunj at Ram Mandap, Y Avenue, Institutional Area, Sarojini Nagar, 7 p.m. Culture: Navaratri Celebrations: 9.30 a.m. Maha Navami – Saraswathi Pooja at Shri Ganesh Sewa Samaj, Mayur Vihar Phase-II, 9 a.m. (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected])

CM YK

Released on condition that they would return to Varanasi

New Delhi

A 37-year-old man went missing on August 30 from south Delhi’s Fatehpur Beri and is yet to be found a month later. Ravindra Sharma’s family members suspect foul play behind his disappearance. They claimed the police registered a kidnapping case on September 15 after repeated requests.

CCTV footage Mr. Sharma, the owner of a water purifier plant and resident of Asola Village, was last seen around 7 p.m on August 30. He was allegedly seen walking into the street where his rival Amit Gupta’s office is located. The family procured CCTV footage showing Mr. Sharma entering the street. Mr. Sharma’s phone was switched off around 7.20 p.m. and the last location of his phone happens to be Mr. Gupta’s office.

Ravindra Sharma Mr. Sharma’s family got worried when he failed to return home by 11 p.m., his usual time of arrival. They started calling him but in vain. The family then approached all of Mr. Sharma’s friends and their relatives for information. When they failed to find him, they approached the police and filed a missing complaint. Suspecting foul play and dissatisfied with the role of the police, the family started

Man conceals drugs in toothpaste tubes, held 1 kg ketamine worth ₹25 lakh seized Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Delhi Police have arrested a 36-year-old man from central Delhi’s Paharganj for allegedly carrying drugs in branded toothpaste tubes, an officer said on Thursday. The police claimed to have seized 1 kg ketamine worth about ₹25 lakh from his possession. Satender Kumar Yadav, the accused, was arrested on September 21 following a tip-off regarding his visit to Paharganj to send the psychotropic substance abroad via courier, the police said. The accused is alleged to be a member of an international drug syndicate. The accused is a native of Bihar and ran a cosmetics shop in Paharganj here. “Earlier, he was an assistant at his cousin Nagender’s

chemist shop in Paharganj, where foreign customers lined up to purchase ketamine,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bhisham Singh said.

The business Mr. Nagender would prepare ketamine powder from ketamine injections and supply it in foreign countries. He was arrested in 2012, following which the accused took over his business, Mr. Singh said, adding that the accused purchased ketamine injections from his source in Patna. “Mr. Yadav used to fill ketamine in toothpaste tubes and supply them to his contact in Spain by courier,” Mr. Singh said. Raids are being conducted in Delhi and Patna to arrest his associates, the police said.

investigating the matter themselves. According to Deepak Sharma, his brother called an associate Manoj Tanwar at 7.17 p.m and allegedly said “Maar diya re bhai [They have hit me]”. When Mr. Tanwar called him back, the phone was switched off, the family said. Going through the CCTV footage from the area, the family spotted Mr. Gupta entering the street where his office is located on a scooty with a helper and returned in his SUV around 2.30 a.m on August 31. When questioned by the police, he claimed his wife had fallen ill and that he went to take the car so he could take her to a hospital. Probe by the family revealed that he visited the hospital but allegedly left within 10 minutes. Stating that they were aware of the family’s suspicions and were investigating the matter, the police said they had not found anything

substantial so far. “In case Mr. Sharma has been murdered, nobody has been found. If he has been kidnapped, no ransom call has been received. We have been probing the matter ever since the missing report was filed,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (south) Chinmoy Biswal.

Probe on On why the police took 15 days to register the FIR, Mr. Biswal said preliminary investigation was underway. The police also said that Mr. Gupta, his helper, Mr. Tanwar and many others were questioned but they had not found any grounds to suspect them so far. The missing man’s brother Shyam Sharma claimed he never left home without informing the family. “His wife and three children have been waiting for him. We just want to know what happened to him,” he said.

NEW DELHI

A group of students from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on their way to the Prime Minister’s residence to submit a memorandum against recent police action on campus were detained by the Delhi Police on Thursday. The nine detained students comprised a female student. The students claimed that she too was detained with them and taken to Chanakyapuri police station despite absence of a female officer at the spot. However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) B.K. Singh said only the male students were detained.

NCW office Ramayan Patel, one of the students who was detained, said they were stopped near Samrat Hotel around 5 p.m., which is close to the Prime Minister’s official residence at Lok Kalyan Marg.

Senior DANICS ocer injured in accident Civil Defence volunteer admitted victim to hospital on time

The students wanted to submit a memorandum against recent police action on campus when they were detained in New Delhi on Thursday. FILE PHOTO *

“We had come to the Capital with a group some days ago. Some of our friends went back but we are still camping here. On Thursday, nine of us first went to the office of the National Commission for Women, where we met NCW member Rekha Sharma. After the meeting, we were going to meet the Prime Minister, who is also the Lok Sabha MP from our constituency, at his residence when we were

Builder arrested for cheating home buyer Accused sent to judicial custody Staff Reporter

auto-rickshaw driver. We pulled him out together after kicking the door, which was jammed due to the impact, repeatedly and opening it. He was bleeding from the nose, mouth and face. We unbuckled the seat belt and took him to a hospital,” said Mr. Sharma. The bus driver fled by the time the police reached the spot.

Staff Reporter New Delhi

A senior Delhi and Andaman & Nicobar Civil Services (DANICS) officer sustained critical injuries after a speeding bus hit his car in north Delhi’s Roop Nagar on Thursday. Victim S. R. Kataria, who is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Rohini Zone, is battling for life at a hospital here.

Timely response Timely response by Civil Defence volunteer Anil Kumar Sharma, who was one of the passengers in the bus that hit Mr. Kataria’s car, ensured the victim was taken out of the car well in time and taken to a hospital in an auto-rickshaw. The accident took place

Civil Defence volunteer Anil Kumar Sharma around 6.45 a.m. near Nagia Park underbridge.

Help from auto driver Mr. Sharma claimed he stopped an auto-rickshaw driver, exited the bus and took the victim to a nearby hospital. “I took the help of an

Critical state Since the doctors at the hospital were not equipped to handle such a serious injury, they asked Mr. Sharma to take the victim to a big hospital. Mr. Kataria’s relatives reached the hospital later and took him to BLK Super Speciality Hospital, where his condition is stated to be critical.

stopped,” said Mr. Patel, who is the convenor of the joint action committee of the university. He said the police let them off around 9 p.m. on the condition that they would return to Varanasi. “Some of my fellow students want to go back and they are free to do so. I and a few others have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for the past few days and plan to continue the stir,” he said.

Noida

A 45-year-old builder was arrested by the Noida Police Crime Branch on Wednesday night for allegedly cheating and duping scores of homebuyer Sanjay Ksana, who is the managing director of GBG Infrastech Pvt Limited in Sector 7 and a resident of Gaur City. “The arrest was made on Wednesday night. The accused was produced in court and sent to judicial custody,” said Superintendent of Police (Crime) Preeti Bala Gupta.

Fake scheme The arrest was made after Rukmina Singh lodged a complaint alleging the builder had launched a fake scheme promising two-bedroom flats for ₹18 lakh.

He allegedly visited the site with Mr. Ksana and was promised the flat in a year. “I paid ₹1.5 lakh in advance and visited the site six months later. No development had taken place at the site,” Mr. Singh told police. He met the developer again regarding the status of the project. Citing health reasons for not starting the project, Mr. Ksana demanded ₹1 lakh from the complainant. Mr. Singh made the payment but was later informed by Mr. Ksana that the site would be shifted to Garhi Chaukhandi village due to a technical problem. Mr. Singh had in the meanwhile made a payment of ₹6.61 lakh to the developer. When his calls started going unanswered, he registered a case at Phase III police station on April 8.

‘Conduct probe into Tihar assault charge’ Man gets 7-year term for rape High Court questions jail authorities on non-functional CCTV cameras Press Trust of India New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Tihar Jail authorities to conduct a “fair” probe and get 47 inmates who had alleged they were beaten up by security personnel inside the prison medically examined.

Directions issued A Bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Chander Shekhar said, as large number of inmates were to be medically examined, they should be taken to three city hospitals –—AIIMS, Safdarjung and Lok Nayak. It also questioned the jail authorities on non-functional CCTV cameras near the place of the alleged incident. The Bench asked the Tihar’s Director General (Prison) to give details on “when it was detected that the CCTV cameras were not working?... Whether any

Grave charge: Forty-seven inmates had alleged they were beaten by security personnel inside Tihar Jail. *

FILE PHOTO: SANDEEP SAXENA

complaint for repair was made? If yes, then when?”. “We directed the Superintendent [Headquarters] to complete the inquiry within three weeks. The report of inquiry shall be filed in this court in a sealed cover. We expect the Superintendent [Headquarters] to conduct the inquiry in a fair manner,” the Bench said in its order.

Bus passengers robbed on Yamuna Expressway Incident happened late on Wednesday Press Trust of India Mathura

Passengers of a private bus travelling from Noida to Agra were robbed of their cash and jewellery on Yamuna Expressway, the police said on Thursday. The robbery happened on Wednesday night after three armed men boarded the bus as it left for Agra, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Aditya Kumar Shukla said. “A hunt for the culprits is on. Nearly ₹15,000 was

looted,” Mr. Shukla said. He added that the armed robbers boarded the bus near Surir town in Mathura district and de-boarded with the loot within 15 minutes. One of them held the driver at gunpoint, while the others ordered the passengers to remain seated, the police report said. According to conductor Sudheer, some passengers were assaulted when they tried to resist the robbers. An FIR has been registered.

The court was informed by the Delhi Police that an FIR had been lodged at Hari Nagar police station here on September 14 alleging that prisoners belonging to two groups were involved in a scuffle. According to the FIR, some prisoners had allegedly attacked jail officials and obstructed them from

performing their duties, after which “minimum force” was used on alleged violators. It said 13 personnel were medically examined, which revealed that their injuries were simple in nature. The matter reached the High Court, when the counsel for undertrial Jamal, who was lodged in Tihar Jail number three, claimed his client was not produced in the lower court despite a direction. Advocate Mehmood Pracha alleged that Jamal was “mercilessly beaten” and no medical aid was provided to him.. In its status report filed through standing counsel Rahul Mehra, the police had said Jamal was admitted to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital on September 12 with an alleged history of drug overdose and vomiting. Denying he was beaten up, the police claimed the injury was self-inflicted in the control room on September 13.

Delhi court also imposes a ne of ₹15,000 on him Press Trust of India New Delhi

A 35-year-old man was sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in a rape case by a Delhi court on Thursday, which said he deserved to be punished for the vile and reprehensible crime that had “shredded” the victim’s dignity.

‘Dignity shredded’ Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Jain handed down the jail term to south Delhi resident Bhagwan Das alias Rahul, a married man with four children, for raping a woman on the pretext of helping her secure bail for her husband who was arrested in a theft case. “The convict in this case has committed the vile act of rape and he deserves to be suitably punished for it. It is true that the convict is 35 years old and has a family to support but on the other hand we must see the plight

convict in this < > The case has committed the vile act of rape and he deserves to be suitably punished for it... Delhi Court

of the woman who was subjected to rape... Her dignity is shredded,” the judge observed. It imposed a fine of ₹15,000 on the convict and directed the Secretary, Delhi State Legal Services Authority, South District, to decide the appropriate compensation for the victim. According to the prosecution, the victim is a mother of two minor girls. She had on November 26, 2014, alleged that the accused, who was a family friend, had assured help to get her husband out of jail by introducing her to a lawyer. After he gained her trust,

he took her to a flat on the pretext of meeting a lawyer and raped her instead. He also threatened to get her husband killed in jail, the prosecution said, adding that the victim mustered courage to get an FIR lodged a few days after the incident.

Victim’s statement Relying on the victim’s statement, the court said she has remained consistent and “there was no attempt on her part to misrepresent the fact”. The court also rejected the contention of the defence counsel over delay in registering of the FIR. “Courts are alive to social realities of Indian society, where women find it very difficult to come out of the closet and report such matters to the police for fear of humiliation. If the delay is well-explained, the court will accept the same and not attach any significance to the same,” it said.

NGT nes four builders over rainwater harvesting It was found that the rainwater harvesting systems installed on their premises were non-functional are satised that < > We as of now the

Press Trust of India New Delhi

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) slapped fines on four real estate developers here after it was found that the rainwater harvesting systems installed on their premises were non-functional.

DPCC report A Bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim imposed an environment compensation of ₹3 lakh each on the builders after perusing the inspection report filed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

noticees appear to be compliant unit. However, compensation has to be imposed for the violation they have committed... National Green Tribunal

During the proceedings, the DPCC told the Tribunal that some of the builders had removed the deficiencies pointed out to them and rectified the problem in their rainwater harvesting struc-

tures. “We are satisfied that as of now the noticees appear to be compliant unit. However, compensation has to be imposed for the violation they have committed. Thus, the

https://t.me/yk_info

amount of compensation payable by the noticees...shall be ₹3 lakh each and it shall be deposited within three weeks,” the Bench said. The green panel also issued notices to the managing directors of Naman Builders Ltd., and Brightways Housing and Land Development Pvt. Ltd., asking them to appear before on October 12, the next date of hearing. Taking several hospitals, malls and hotels here to task for not complying with its orders on rainwater harvesting, the NGT had last year

imposed fines and issued warrants to many of them for not installing these systems. The green panel was hearing a plea by environmentalist Vikrant Kumar Tongad, who had sought directions to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to “install proper rainwater harvesting system” on all its existing, proposed and under-construction metro stations, tracks and depots. The green panel, however, had widened the ambit of the petition and incorporated various other institutions like hospitals, hotels and malls. B ND-NDE

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4 SHOWCASE

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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‘I prefer being a What it means storyteller than actor’

to be a warrior Shahid Kapoor says Padmavati is about celebrating the culture, heritage, valour and values that the Rajputs represented

Harshini Vakkalanka

Shahid Kapoor says the fitness regime he had to follow for his sculpted warrior look in the upcoming Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmavati could fill a book. Shahid recently unveiled a glimpse into his character, Rani Padmavati’s husband, Maharawal Ratan Singh, in the film over Twitter. “Most films are shot in just a few months but the shooting for this film spanned over a year. It was demanding to maintain the look for that long,” he says over telephone. Shahid was in Bengaluru to launch a fitness store. “All I can say about my fitness regime for the film is that I trained extremely hard and maintained a disciplined diet. It was a good experience.” He shares that it was interesting to play a warrior king and Rajputs, especially, were renowned for their strength and their strategy. “I feel privileged to have played Maharawal Ratan Singh. He was a great warrior who deeply valued the opinions of his queen. This film is all about celebrating the culture, heritage, valour and values that the Rajput kinds stood for, that the dynasty still stands for. That’s why the Chittor fort is still glorious and still relevant today,” he explains, adding that the film was well-researched by Bhansali. “The Rajputs were able to defend their kingdoms for years together against strong opponents. That was because of their skill and their high levels of fitness. To project that sense of regality, I needed to ensure I had the right silhouette that could also connect with people today.” Shahid, who is known for his passion for fitness, says it plays a significant role in ensuring that the constant physical changes he has to undergo for each role he undertakes does not take a toll on his

body. “Being unfit limits our ability to transform ourselves. My job is quite physical, we work long hours, with demanding activities from dancing to action scenes, it is also emotionally draining. Being fit helps cope with all the job requirements that being an actor entails. Fitness is an integral part of being an actor and discovering yourself. It always feels amazing when it inspires people.” Fitness, according to him, is a holistic process that is not limited to the body but is also an extension of emotional and psychological health. “It is a state of balance where you feel good about yourself. It’s not just about having the body of a Greek god. It’s about feeling alive and at your best.” He is also known to be a strict vegetarian, a practice which, he says, he would universally endorse. “I used to eat non-vegetarian food until I was 19. I was initially worried that it would affect my muscle mass, which is an important aspect for an actor. But I was sure that I would not allow anything to veer me away from that path, and it worked out well. I think that I am fitter as a vegetarian and there is nothing to fear,” he points out. Shahid also said he was excited to be in Bengaluru. “What I love about the city is that there is always a nice breeze to greet you when you step out at any time of the year. It somehow relaxes you.”

A state of balance: Shahid says tness is a holistic process *

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ARRANGEMENT

Pakhi Abbas Tyrewala on the challenges of making Pahuna Sayoni Sinha

Pakhi Abbas Tyrewala is back from the Toronto International Film Festival and she is visibly “excited and relieved”. Her Sikkimese film Pahuna: The Little Visitors was screened at the festival and received critical acclaim. “I had only seen the film in bits and pieces and in a hurry to get it ready for the festival, hadn’t got the chance to see the full feature at one go. I was very apprehensive as I know festival audience can be ruthless,” says Tyrewala of Pahuna. The film produced by Priyanka Chopra narrates the story of three Nepalese children separated from their parents and their arduous journey back home. “The 400-seater auditorium was packed and even before the last scene, the audience started clapping. I was more relieved than happy,” shares the director adding that the film is “a very heart-warming story” but also has strong underlying messages. “It talks about issues such as the refugee crisis, the displacement of children which are very relevant in the world we are living in,” asserts Tyrewala.

Facing rejection Pahuna marks the first feature film of the former model and actor after her short film Kajaal on women empowerment, featuring Tamil actress Salony Luthra got an overwhelming response and is still making its way in the festival circuit. “I am a little overwhelmed with the response from the audience and juries,” she says. The 20minute short film is about finding one’s inner strength — something the director herself had to imbibe when she approached producers to back Pahuna and got rejected every time. “To protect my dignity, I now say I have been rejected just 10 times. People were reluctant to back a first-time woman director who wanted to make a film on children, based in Sikkim,” she says of the period before Chopra de-

Reel reality: Director of Pahuna: The Little Visitors, Pakhi Abbas Tyrewala. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

cided to produce it in November last year. Tyrewala began shooting in February in the north-eastern state and also received financial assistance from the Sikkim state government and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI). “The CFSI will be dubbing the film in 14 Indian languages and will promote it through schools,” says the filmmaker. But Tyrewala doesn’t want to categorise Pahuna as a children’s film as the underlying issues in the film are far more complex. “It’s not a children’s film, it’s about children. When call it a children’s film, you see it as a one-dimensional, simple film,” she emphasises. Pahuna’s journey started 14 years ago, when the 33year-old, an Art of Living teacher at the time visited Darjeeling and Sikkim. “It was an interesting phase as this was my first time away from a big city. The people and the place left an impact,” she shares. Pahuna is in Nepali, the prevailing language of the region and Tyrewala was determined to involve local people for the shoot in order to make it as authentic as possible. The cast comprised local artistes and talent in the technical and production department. “We took in locals so that they can start making their own films and tell their own stories. The idea was to start a film industry in a place that doesn’t have one yet,” she says. The film’s young protagonists Ishika Gurung and Amol Suba weren’t her first choice. “There was a gap of five months between the casting (she auditioned more than 100 children) and the shoot. When I returned three weeks before filming, I realised that the children I had auditioned had grown up,” says Tyrewala adding that

later, when she met Ishika, she knew she had found her actor. “I had a vision in mind which even included how the girl’s hair will look. Thankfully, she had the same haircut,” she laughs.

Filming woes Unlike Kajaal, where the cast and crew were her friends, shooting Pahuna was a challenge. The terrain was tough and several crew members were affected by altitude sickness. The unit had to travel 90 minutes by road and then walk for another 30 with the equipment to reach the location. Short daylight hours added to the problems. The young actors had no experience in facing the camera but for the director, that came as a blessing as the innocence in their faces reflected onscreen. “During initial days of filming a sequence, I remember Amol rushing through his dialogues and being in great hurry. We later learnt that his mother had asked him to share his lunch with his brother and he wanted reach on time,” reminisces Tyrewala who also sought out local writers to help her rewrite the script in Nepali, a language she isn’t familiar with. After Pahuna’s release, the actor-director will start working on a thriller and a romantic drama. “I remember being nervous and uncomfortable when I used to face the camera. That chapter is closed,” she states. The political science graduate who debuted in Bollywood in 2002 with Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai? and was relaunched by her husband Abbas Tyrewala in the 2011 film Jhootha Hi Sahi has no plans to return to acting as she finds “being behind the camera more exciting.” “I prefer being a storyteller than an actor,” she says.

FILM REVIEW

Stretched but slick storytelling

American Made Doug Liman Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Lola Kirke, Lola Kirke, Jayma Mays Storyline: Barry Seal has led a colourful life, smuggling cocaine and arms while working for the Medellín Cartel, the CIA and even the White House Director: Cast:

Tom Cruise brings smuggler Barry Seal to life in technicolour on the big screen Deborah Cornelious

Captivating performance: Tom Curise in American Made *

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

From smuggling Cuban cigars to becoming one of the most important cocaine smugglers the Mexican Medellín Cartel; Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) went the whole hog in a short time. The biographical crime film, American Made chronicles Seal’s life from the late 70s to the mid 80s. Just a cursory read of Seal’s actual life will prove the film’s a loose adaptation

of his life. So expect a generous dose of Hollywood drama. In the latter half of the 70s, Seal — the youngest pilot to be appointed by the TWA (Trans World Airlines) — is approached by CIA officer Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson). The Cold War is at its height and Seal is enlisted to take reconnaissance photos for the American government. In addition to his mission, Seal starts smuggling

cocaine in the US and eventually flying in arms and ammunition into South America. Then there’s a whole bunch of double crossing, shifting alliances and a lot of chaos. There’s a marked effort to discredit then President Ronald Reagan’s presidency, including a special focus on his anti-drug campaign, desire to eradicate communism and the funding of right wing Contra rebels in Nicaragua. It’s a mean feat to truncate

someone’s life in the hours of a feature-length film. But director Doug Liman — experienced with The Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – knows how to keep this audience engaged. Cruise is captivating as Seal, effortlessly pulling off his character’s reckless charm and unruffled demeanour. The actor, known for his perfectionism, with the director’s unreasonable demands have reportedly led to the tragic death of two crewmen

while shooting. American Made is slick, witty and darkly humorous with jokes creeping in when you least expect it. Liman’s film is supremely entertaining largely thanks to Cruise. Where American

Sharma, Chatterjee’s modern day India tale, has two families converging for a wedding, with greed, legal problems, failed business deals and a series of killings adding to the spiced- up film.

The desi connection The 42nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival had a noteworthy Indian presence, including two lms from across the border Aseem Chhabra

From Priyanka Chopra to Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, his favorite actor Rajkummar Rao and Kalki Koechlin – this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) held earlier this month became a playground for celebrities from the Hindi film industry. The festival featured five new films from India and two Pakistani films with Indian actors. Add to that, TIFF also screened Stephen Frear’s India-focused Victoria and Abdul, with Ali Fazal playing the servant/ teacher to Judy Dench’s Queen Victoria. That is a remarkable number of films, given that the other major festivals — Cannes and Venice — showed CM YK

no Indian films this year. Even Berlin programmed only one Indian film — Newton, now India’s official submission for the foreign language Oscar race. Chopra was in Toronto for a couple of days — for a fundraiser to promote young women filmmakers and also for the world premiere of a Sikkim-based film from her production house Purple Pebble Pictures. “It’s a passion project,” Chopra said about Pahuna: The Little Visitors after the film’s screening. The actor also made a major faux when she got confused between Nepal and Sikkim, and stated more than once that the Northeast Indian state “is troubled with insurgency.” But the audience appreci-

ated director Paakhi Tyrewala’s effort in narrating a small story about Nepali children on the run from the political violence in that country. Anurag Kashyap was at TIFF for the third time (his That Girl With Yellow Boots and the two-part Gangs of Wasseypur also played at TIFF) with his somewhat of a comeback film — the 153minutes long boxing saga, Mukkabaaz (the English title for the same at TIFF was The Brawler). Mukkabaaz opens this year’s Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI). The film is based on a true story about a boxer from a lower caste, played with real sincerity by Vineet Kumar Singh who clashes with his higher caste coach and the villain of the

Made falls short is its absolute stretch of reality. It’s hard to connect with a protagonist that effortlessly sails through the toughest of times. So much so that even faithful retelling seems to be manufactured. Take for instance Seal running out of space to store his infinite bags of cash or the almostimpossible flight with 1,500 kgs of cocaine. All this in spite of the light-hearted but superficial history lesson we’re doled out. American Made might not give you an in-depth portrayal of Seal’s life, but Cruise’s performance certainly ignites curiosity about what went down during that time.

See sea: Stephen Frear’s Victoria and Abdul, with Judy Dench’s Queen Victoria (left) and Ali Fazal playing the servant/ teacher (right). SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

film, Jimmy Shergill. The film is packed with several crowdpleasing moments, and its ending (no spoiler here) may ensure good box office returns for the film’s producers. Hansal Mehta’s Shahid played at TIFF in 2012 when the festival’s city-to-city section featured 10 new films from the Hindi film industry.

This year Mehta brought his latest project with Rajkummar Rao — Omerta, a gritty tale of the British-Pakistani terrorist Omar Sheikh. The film engaged a lot of conversation around Sheikh’s life. And in what may be the first time for an Indian filmmaker — Mehta was back in Mumbai the same week for the release of his other new film

Simran. Two other Indian films with real indie spirit drew a lot of attention at TIFF. Assamese filmmaker Rima Das showed her second feature film Village Rockstars, a sweet exploration of childhood in a small village in Assam. Beautifully shot and edited by Das herself, Village Rockstars is a quiet little film,

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with a very large heart. Bornila Chatterjee whose previous work was the Brooklyn-based indie, Let’s Be Out, The Sun Is Shining, premiered her uber-violent The Hungry, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s brutal play Titus Andronicus. Starring Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Neeraj Kabi, Sayani Gupta and Suraj

Heart wrenching Then there were two Pakistani-inspired projects included the heart wrenching What Will People Say, director Iram Haq’s powerful Norwegian-Pakistani story with Adil Hussain and many other Indian actors. Haq even shot substantial part of the film in India, with Udaipur and Ajmer portraying Pakistani cities. When the Norway-born Haq was 14, she was forced by her father to live in Pakistan for a year. She said she felt safer to work in India. Karachi-born Sabiha Sumar (Khamosh Pani, 2003) premiered her documentary Azmaish: A Journey Through the Subcontinent, where she collaborates with Kalki Koechlin to explore the similarities between Indians and Pakistanis. B ND-NDE

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THE HINDU

SHOWCASE 5

NOIDA/DELHI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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Designing Ram’s wardrobe Meet Sheikh Salman Ray, the man who dresses up mythical characters of one of the most popular Ramlilas in Delhi Atif Khan

The world may be a stage, but still there has to be someone who can decorate it, create those little important things that make it big and this is where set designers like Sheikh Salman Ray come in. They bring in their creative ideas to life for making something look really spectacular. But when was the last time you met a designer who created those small things which contributed in making the ambiance epic? Like many of those unaware theatre fans, we met Salman, this past Tuesday, at Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra’s “Shri Ram”, the grand dance drama which showcases Ramayana in the most vivid way. Perhaps, calling Salman only a set designer would be inadequate as he is also an astounding dancer who is proficient in Chhau dance and has also acted in the production as a sumant. of Dashrath. Coming from Baripada, a city in Mayurbhanj district in the

took him to Durga idol workshops where he understood what design means and later the understanding of textile came in with his working experience at a loom in Punjab.

state of Odisha, he is doing properties and set designing for almost all productions at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra including “Krishna” for which he made an imposing sheshnaag this year. For one of the most sought-after Ramlilas in the Capital, this year, Salman has designed a foam-based light yet realistic mace, an essential property in any mythological play so that the actors can perform easily on stage. “Do you want to see some of the other things that I have designed?” Salman said in an exhausted voice, coming directly as he was from the performance. “New designs are made each year because people copy it from us,” he said with a tinge of pride. He led us into a male dressing room, where intricately designed ornaments from the decades old collection of dance drama were placed on a table among swords and wigs of mythological characters. The creative designs of light headgear or mukut made out of chatai

Rich creations: Designer Sheikh Salman Ray holding the Sheshnag; (left) as a minister of Dashrath SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

from Assam which took Salman 20 days to complete and the waistbands made with cardboards were eyecatching. Raised in the historical town of Maripada, Salman

Stage to silver screen Priyanka Setia, who played the role of Jameela in Begum Jaan, was an air hostess with Lufthansa before starting her career in cinema. The actor is being seen as a lawyer in the Shradha Kapoor starrer Haseena Parkar directed by Apoorva Lakhia. On her role in Haseena Parkar where she plays a public prosecutor, Priyanka says, “I went to a court to observe and enact my character in a realistic manner. I read about Haseena and researched the case. I also read about other cases the lawyer has fought and saw films that

wanted to learn all of it in my life and it is just a start for a long journey,” he said. Not able to educate himself in a formal way because of financial constraints at home, his observations and curiosity

Armaan Malik hopes to go beyond the stage and help others like him ALLAN MOSES RODRICKS

Not a lot of singers can claim to have tasted fame and success as they enter their 20s. Twenty-two-year-old Armaan Malik, however is already a household name in Bollywood music. Armaan hopes his audience take back a different perception of talent. “To be honest, there are many artistes in Bollywood who have an amazing lifestyle. However, you won’t find them dancing on stage. They usually just sing or play the guitar. My set involves a lot of EDM where I dance and interact with the audience. I don’t just do love songs – although I sing a lot of them. I offer a lot more in the Armaan Malik live spectrum. I love singing everyone’s songs. I also don’t miss out on songs I’ve sung for people coming to listen to my music.” Commenting on the space he occupies in the Indian music scene, Armaan says: “In Bollywood, you can’t dissect the music into different genres because Bollywood itself involves using different genres, mashing and mixing them up in one song. There is no division – there is a blend of various styles in any given movie. So I can’t categorise myself in Bollywood. You can call my music a pop ballad sometimes owing to the love songs I do often. Otherwise I’m comfortable singing anything. .” Looking back at his journey, Armaan says, “Very few artistes in our country get to experience this journey so early on in life. I just turned 22. To be able to have done a world tour at the age of 21, have songs to my credit and a Filmfare Award at the age of 20 – these are dreams come true.

A star in the making: Armaan Mallik It is my duty to be a representative of the youth, give them a direction and tell them the world is open to talent.” Talking about the mindset towards playback singers, Armaan says, “Most people don’t associate the name Armaan Malik with the face. People don’t expect someone as young as me to have such mature songs to my credit or be successful. ” Pointing out that since most of the songs he sings are written by lyricists, they are more script-driven. “If I write songs for my own album, I can say that they stem from my heart. What I can tell you is when I get the lyrics of a love song and go into the studio, it is easy to connect with since I am at the age where I am falling in love and having heartbreaks. I am in touch with those emotions so it is not that I’m faking them. I understand and feel those lines and sing.” However, Armaan adds that when he does write his songs, they “will definitely be my own situations and feelings. For now, a singer’s job is to wear the skin of the song, just like an actor takes on a role. That is the task at hand. When you feel the situation, it becomes even more genuine.”

Putting the luxe in Indian luxury

SHORT TAKES Stylish in Sita sari Bollywood actress Malaika Arora looked stunning as she graced the soiree wearing the Sita sari from the Ramayana collection from the stables of Satya Paul. This was the Diwali exclusive limited edition collection at the brand’s flagship store in Juhu. Sharing her views on the collection, Malaika Arora, said: “The collection Ramayana has been inspired by the saga of love, friendship and bravery, rightly capturing Satya Paul’s signature style aesthetics. The blend of vivid mix of prints, vibrant colours and contemporary silhouettes, this line is a per-

was drawn to the Mahurat celebrations at the temples around his house and used to watch epics on television to understand the Hindu mythology, something that attracted him the most. “I

Home sickness In 2013, he and his friends came to Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi to work for it but soon went back to native place out of homesickness. It was his guru’s request that made him return coupled with his wish to learn something new. He takes pride in being the only Muslim member in the backstage and asserts that his understanding of God does not stop him to work in a production which involves the depiction of Hindu mythology and dance. “I did not marry because the in-laws wanted me to stop dancing, applying alta (colour) on my feet and do not favour me working in a Hindu mythological play. But for me religion is beyond rituals and humanity binds us all,” said Salman. Director Shobha Deepak Singh recalled noticing Salman’s artistry with design when he approached her for learning Chhau at the centre. “You just have to sow a seed in his head, he will follow the rest,” reflected the veteran. She took out some ornaments from the make up room, examining the fabric and the artificial pearls and stones woven into it, which Salman has designed for Sita. “You don’t get such polish easily,” she said. “It takes years to understand the aesthetics of it. Either you have it or you don’t. You cannot build this perfection,” she went on and gestured at the design of a waistband. “I bet this will be copied next year. It is tiring to make something new each year as it should not be repetitive for our regular viewers. But that is where the challenge lies,” she summed up as gods leave the stage for the night.

The man is in the house

Fashion and heritage experts discuss how the country’s design legacy should be showcased to the world Madhur Tankha

fect pick for the festive season.” The collection includes three different looks - the Rama sari, the Sita sari and the Ramayana sari.

involve legal cases and lawsuits.” Priyanka started her career with theatre, after which she was offered a role in Vibhu Puri’s Hawaizaada followed by Srijit Mukherjee’s Begum Jaan.

Comfort and opulence cannot exist in a vacuum. Luxury has to relate to the nation’s cultural heritage and above all, to its people. This point was reiterated by distinguished speakers from the world of fashion, heritage and media, at The Luxury League Round Table & Awards 2017. Noting that luxury was a broad subject and at the same time very dependent on personal experience, filmmaker and couturier Muzaffar Ali said: “Luxury is what you create and share. We must have a passion to create a product that can be shared. A brand is also very important, especially one that is made in India. We Indians have to establish ourselves not as consumers, but as creators.” Throwing light on his obsession with chikankari embroidery, Ali said: “I am promoting chikankari because I want to provide a livelihood to the people in my village and share their craftsmanship with the world. My film Anjuman talks about plight of local embroidery workers. It has no luxury but a lot of pain.” The art of hospitality is

Holistic approach: (From left ) Muzaar Ali, Ritu Beri and Peter D’Ascoli

also dying out, says Ali. “How you receive a person and how you make him feel comfortable are interesting aspects of luxury that are getting lost. We are becoming highly Westernised, too professional and our indigenous culture is losing its innate charm.”

Role of films Pointing out that films are an important medium to

showcase luxury, Ali said: “Unfortunately, films which have come out of India are calendar art. They don’t understand the essence and finesse of luxury. They overdress the actresses with jewellery. That isn’t luxury. You have to understand the language of luxury which we once knew. We were a great market for foreign brands like Cartier and Rolls Royce. But we have lost the plot. It is

important to rebuild ourselves and showcase our legacy in music, poetry and dance which have is unparalleled in the world. We cannot commercialise it in the name of luxury.”

Land of textiles Textile designer, Peter D’Ascoli, Creative Director D’ Ascoli & Company, said: “People outside India tell me that I live in a land of textiles;

you are in paradise. Even though there are no major luxury textile brands locally, India is producing many luxurious textiles for the world.” He added that both manual and industrial manufacturing in India lack quality. “It will take investment and nurturing of community craft clusters. Craftsmen might be master of techniques, but they

have been lagging behind because they have been working without a consistent creative vision.” The Luxury League founder, Ritu Beri said: “My desire is to strengthen the voice of India abroad and to open country to the world by showcasing our artistic talent through creative interactions and dynamic networking. The idea is branding Indian luxury globally and creating an increased pool of knowledge and competence.” Abha Narain Lambah, architectural conservationist, said: “Luxury means search of excellence when we don’t want to compromise on quality. Unfortunately, we have created a mass production line of fake Kanjeevarams silks and Chikankari. Our system doesn’t understand the value of our handicraft.” Expressing concern over the neglect of our historical monuments, Abha added: “If I want to replicate the same jaali (stone lattice work) which took Allauddin Khilji 10 years, then I would have to pay extra for it. Unfortunately, we are doing shoddy restoration work. This is not what the Mughals and the Tughlaqs did. This has become the cultural policy.”

5 EVENTS WORTH-YOUR-WHILE

MUSIC

THE LODHI

MENU

MUSIC

EXHIBITION

The Kamakshi Khanna Collective

Navratri Thali

The Piano Man Jazz Club will present a performance by the Kamakshi Khanna Collective. Known for her pop, RnB and soul band, this collective features Tarana Marwah on keyboards, Ishaan Gandhi on drums, Pranav Pahwa on guitars and Anugrah Pandey on bass. Venue: B 6, Comm. Comp. Safdarjung Encl. Time: 9 p.m.

Savour the traditional Navratri treats with a lavish thali to celebrate the festival at Elan, the Lodhi. Relish appetising saatvik delicacies like kuttu samosa chat, mix berry lassi, aloo anardana chaat, rajma palak, makhana makhani and avocado lassi, and many more. Venue: Lodhi Road, New Delhi Time: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Experience Ravana Thali This large thali has over 14 non vegetarian dishes like Lankan Fish Curry, Prawn Salad, Keema Kulchae. Chicken Barfi, served in dessert, has been inspired from Turkey. Venue: Veda Restaurant , H-27, Tropical Building, Connaught Circus Time: 12 p.m to 4 p.m (lunch); 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (dinner)

Flute jugalbandi Flute maestros Rajesh Prasanna and Rishabh Prasanna, known to music connoisseurs as the Prasanna Brothers, will play flute in the jugalbandi style of Hindustani classical music at the HCL Concerts. Venue: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The group art show “Meraki” brings art works by young artists. These include Abhishek Akhouri, Akansha Yadav, Anagha Kulkarni, Arun Srinivasan, Arvind Sharma, Atul Pandita, Avishek Brahmachari, Chahat Gupta, Debjyoti Chakraborty and Dhanya Nair among others. Venue: Artizen Art Gallery, Pearey Lal Bhavan Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Meraki

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6 FOOD

NOIDA/DELHI

THE HINDU

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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Avatars of bhog The Durga Pujo bhog intrigues Bengalis and non-Bengalis alike. We trace the history behind this iconic meal to nd out what makes it so special

Bhoger Khichuri Ingredients Festive fare: Khichuri is the perfect blend of rice, dal and potatoes CHANDRIMA SARKAR

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380 gms Gobindobhog Chaal

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250 gms Sona Moong dal

½ tsp Cumin seeds

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K ¾ tsp Turmeric powder K

Chandrima Sarkar

Durga puja bhog took a twist at Bhattacharjee House, Shibpur, Howrah when hunger and deprivation hit Bengal in 1942. Following a dream commandment from the deity, the Bhattacharjees started to offer banana stem and green amaranth dishes as part of their bhog spread which was distributed to the people. A ritual started then, is now an integral part of this 300year-old puja. The nearly 250-year-old Baishnab Das Mullick’s Puja (one of the most famous Bonedi Barir Pujo in Kolkata) offers annabhog (rice-based bhog) to Ma Durga cooked without salt and turmeric powder. The cooks who make it have worked with the Mullick family for generations. In 1901, Belur Math Durga Puja was started in the presence of Swami Vivekananda and to this day serves khichuri bhog to devotees during the pujo. The bhog includes rice, ghee rice, deep fried seasonal vegetables (bhaja), two or three types of pulses, many vegetable dishes, and several types of freshwater fish curries. The Chanda Barir Puja that has been on for 33 years offers a lavish bhog to the deity from saptami to navami. Some of the dishes are sada anna (rice), holud pulao (sweet pulao), bhaja, chutney, sweets along with fish and mutton curries. Sondhi puja bhog (evening prasad) includes fried fish and duck egg curry is a part of their navami bhog. Puja bhog, actually a part of Naivedya, is an essential phase of Hindu worship where devotees offer various foods to the Deity. Bhog offered during the four main days of Durga Puja are sumptuous and of

course, vary from family to sarbojonin (community) puja. Usage of garlic and onions is strictly prohibited in puja dishes, even for fish or mutton curries. The mutton curry, niramish-mangsho, is cooked with cumin powder and ginger paste as predominant spices. Some families, in keeping with tradition, offer uncooked rice, lentils, and veggies to Ma Durga as the bhog. Some families offer kochur shak (taro leaf stems) and panta bhaat (fermented rice) with other accompaniments on dashami as a mark of sadness that the idol is leaving, hence nothing can be cooked in the kitchen. Ashtami however, holds a special treat for Bengalis. Anticipation for the bhog begins with the morning fasting. After offering the Ashtami Anjali, one gets slices of fruit as prasad. In the afternoon, people gather at the puja pandals to get piping hot khichdi bhog. A common khichuri platter in a sarbojonin puja pandal would consist khichuri, torkari/labra (a semi-dry mixed-veg dish), beguni or begun bhaja (fried brinjal), tomato chutney and payesh. Khichuri bhog is the most prevalent bhog as it’s distributed largely to the devotees. This rather satisfying bhog gets its authentic flavour from two important ingredients — Gobindobhog chaal (rice) and Sona moong dal. Being an unparalleled yet humble dish of every puja, khichuri still varies from family to family. I’ve learnt to cook this from my mother. Her recipe was quite basic with just rice, lentils and potatoes and we loved to devour it after every puja. Over the years however, I’ve tweaked her recipe and here is how I cook Bhoger Khichuri.

2 Bay leaves

2 Whole dry red chili K

K

½ cup Peas

3 Potatoes (medium sized) K

K 2-3 Green Chillies (cut into halves) K

Salt to taste

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1 tbsp Ginger paste

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2½ tbsp Sugar

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½ tsp Garam masala powder

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½ cup Grated coconut

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½ tsp Dry roasted Cumin seeds powder

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2 tbsp Raisins

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Mustard oil

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3 tbsp Ghee

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5 cups Water

Method Dry roast the cumin seeds till fragrant, cool and powder with a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Peel the potatoes, and cut into two equal halves. Wash and keep aside. Take a pan, dry fry the moong dal on medium heat till golden brown. Remove, wash the dal once and keep aside. In a deep bottomed pan, add the washed rice, dal, turmeric powder, water, salt, potatoes, green chillies and one teaspoon oil. Let the rice and dal cook together. When it is half cooked, take another pan and add three tablespoons of oil. Temper with dry red chillies, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Add ginger paste into this. Mix and stir fry for a few seconds. Transfer this masala and peas into the khichuri and mix well. Check to see if the water is sucient to boil the rice and dal. If required, you can add some water. Keep in mind this khichuri is supposed to be semi-dry. Now check after 10-12 minutes, the grains of rice and dal should be visible but at the same time they should get mashed when pressed. Add ghee, sugar, grated coconut, roasted cumin seeds powder, raisins and garam masala. Mix and cook for two or three minutes more. Remove from the heat. Serve hot with beguni, labra and bhaja (deep fried veggies).

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EAT OFF THE PAGE

Corbett, get your gun! When wheat and sweet meet with a hyphen KALPISH RATNA

I drive through the jungle every day at noon. It is a small strip of road connecting two thoroughfares. On one side loom corporate buildings with extraterrestrial names. On the other is Terra Infirma, a midden of garbage pullulant with nascent life. The submerged bones of abandoned vehicles are festive with washing as newer dwellings of tarp and tin mushroom past the squelch of tamped plastic. One afternoon I surprised a little girl in a blue skirt dancing alone in the rain. The jungle had her at its mercy — chikungunya, dengue, diarrhoea, encephalitis — who knows what next, man-eaters, child eaters all. The pale horseman was everywhere, and what did she have as defence? When I was her age, man-eaters were a real presence in my life. I’d met a few at the zoo, but more in the tales of that intrepid hunter, Jim Corbett. The misty Himalayas, with their uncertain huddle of villages existed for the sole purpose of Corbett’s manfriendly gun. To my eight-year-old eyes, the unstated story was far more vivid: a bunch of craven villagers bullied by a tiger gone rogue, approach noble gora with gun. After that, easy-peasy: build machan, tether goat, beat drums loud enough to wake the napping beast, and step aside to let Corbett take aim. The books, all of them, ended with a triumphant picture of Corbett, jackbooted foot planted on a stripy carcass, while a servile contingent cheered at a remove. Since none of those books had pictures, I must have imagined it all. There is one fact I’m sure I did not imagine. All Corbett’s books had children stuffing themselves with halwa-puri. Now what exactly was that? “There’s halwa and then there’s puri,” my mother stated, totally ignoring the hyphen. That hyphen was everything. Without it, halwa, any halwa, no matter how delectable, was just a sticky sweet, and puri a trifling dirigible. That hyphen commandeered their coincidence: halwa-puri beCM YK

came the stuff you battened on when man-eaters were on the prowl. My mother’s efforts at Corbett cuisine made even our cat look smug. What good could it do against a tiger? I don’t remember anything of Corbett’s tigers, but I’ve thought of his halwa-puri every day since I began navigating the jungle. Then yesterday, an emergency took me down that road at 6 am. At the corner is New Hindustan Chinese, usually shuttered, barred and locked. It was open this morning, and judging from the buzz, business was booming. Chinese food at dawn? I couldn’t see past the wall of male backs to see what they were gobbling with such gusto, and the misty air lacked the queasy accord instantly recognisable as Indian Chinese: charred garlic and cabbage panicked into a cold sweat with vinegar and soy. Instead, a very different aroma inflated the alveoli with cheer. Warm wheat. Syrup. Ghee. Chinese? I parked on the nearest dunghill and picked my way back disbelievingly. My nose hadn’t misled me. New Hindustan Chinese was making a paratha — one enormous paratha on a tawa three feet wide. On the adjoining counter a kadhai glowered with a red meld of sooji halwa. Two young boys greeted me cheerily, ‘Aadha kilo? Pau?’ I’d never thought of paratha by the kilo before. A glance behind the older kid explained the logic. A plastic tub held a glistening coil of dough, sleek, puffy, sated like a python and at least a kilo strong, the paratha unborn. ‘Laccha Paratha?’ I asked. Salman, the chef, corrected me gravely. ‘Normal Paratha.’ ‘Sooji halwa,’ Usman, the sous, added. I had never seen a pre-paratha as abnormal as this one. Salman agreed. Other names prevailed among the non-cognoscenti: Special

Paratha, Halwa Paratha, Halwa-puri. Halwa-puri! The hyphen rang out clear as a bell. Salman shrugged. ‘People who don’t know better will call it anything.’ It seemed custom-built for Corbett. After all these years, and far away from misty Kumaon — halwa-puri! Salman begins a stretch and twirl routine that will have any pizzaiolo at the last gasp of envy. On the waiting tawa a puddle of ghee renders its grains unwillingly. Wider, thinner, higher floats the paratha, a celestial ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................

The books, all of them, ended with a triumphant picture of Corbett, foot planted on a stripy carcass, while a contingent cheered at a remove

https://t.me/yk_info Straight from the pages: Corbett’s halwa-puri has tantalised many taste buds SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

body now, drifting just short of the cobwebbed ceiling. Gravity wins and a big pale moon floats down, light as a leaf, into a welcoming sear of ghee. We breathe deep. We notice trees. Birds give us gossip of the night. Dogs rouse themselves with short eager barks. A woman hurries up the road. Salman, meanwhile, has turned the paratha. Little bubbles of gold have appeared across its bland white surface. Slow cooking keeps it soft longer, Salman says, and douses it with more ghee. Fifteen minutes, and half a kilo of vanaspati, completes the transformation from greasy dough to flaky, fragrant delight. Slap on a wedge of syrupy halwa, and summon every man-eater in the terai — Corbett, I’ve got your gun! The author’s most recent work is The Secret Life of Zika Virus (Speaking Tiger, 2017). B ND-NDE

Delhi

• northern EDITION •

SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

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INSIDE

Padmaja Suresh Nine nights and Navadwara - the number is magical P2

Sudha Ragunathan Songs on Navaratri and the magnificence of Devi P3

Prince Rama Varma Palace connection and the aura of the Navaratri Mandapam concerts P4

Rudrapatnam Ramakanth The regal splendour of the Mysore Dasara procession P5

V. Sriram On the vintage dolls inspired by Ravi Varma’s paintings P6

Colours of Dasara A special issue on the varied ways India celebrates this festival

Bickram Ghosh Kolkata revels in the company of Maa Durga P8

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The imperishable Nine The number is the ultimate manifestation of innity from the null or void While some offer worship with the Beejakshara or seed syllables chanted to infuse mystic diagrams with the power to bless this journey, others embellish homes with a varied array of dolls. Dolls are made of clay or mud and are forms of deities, humans, other creatures or also inanimate objects, to signify that every existence is a part of the cosmic divine ‘self.’ The man-woman couple, usually made of the warm substance of wood adorn the steps in a ‘Golu’/‘Gombe’ arrangement, alongside the Kalasa, a pot which denotes the Mahakumbha, and filled with the five natural elements that constitute Prana or life forces. The supreme Yantra of Sri Chakra which is the symbol of the universe emerging out and vanishing into Siva and Sakti (Consciousness and Energy) is an added jewel during these auspicious days/nights for those who are initiated into the austere worship of ‘Mother Lalitha,’

Padmaja Suresh DDDDDDDDDDDDD

The Indian tradition always follows the lunar calendar connoting that the moon is associated with feminine energy. Chandi, the feminine and Chandra, the masculine together form the fertile cycle accentuated by the full moon, Poornima. The Sun is the Prakash or the light, which is witnessing the effulgence of Vimarsha, the reflector. The radiant sun supplies the moon. The moon, which sustains life on earth with its cooling rays, nourishes the gods in the Shukla Paksha/waxing fortnight and the Pitrus or ancestors in the Krishna Paksha/waning fortnight. Vishnu Purana gives description of the moon, which is sumptuously fed with ambrosia by the sun and periodically drained of it by the progenitors and the Gods respectively. In this cycle, when just two digits of the moon remain, it enters the orbit of the sun and abides by the ray called Ama — hence the term, Amavasya. Mahalaya Amavasya is one period when people remember to show gratitude to those who inhabited the earth before them by offer of food and other charity. The nine nights — Navaratri — marks an important transition. Immediately after the night of ‘no moon,’ we start the countdown from phase one of the moon until phase nine to culminate with the tenth day grandeur. The new moon day marks the threshold of the Dasara festival. In Ardhanariswarashtaka, Adi Sankara says that every celebration is Shakti and every renunciation is Siva. In the land of Bharata, the feminine energy is propitiated as Shakti, with manifold features. Male and female are equally the forms of Shakti. In every state of our ‘becoming’ from ‘being,’ it is Shakti in movement. In the domain of the arts, it is energy which consents to move from sound to word, word to poem, poem to music, music to dance and dance to painting. There have been several discourses on the significance of the nine holy nights, whether it is the ritualistic worship or the decorative dolls or the frenzied dance of Raas. The autumnal moonlight offers a soothing ambience to all these combined efforts of people. For some it denotes the journey of vanquishing the evil forces in the subtle body leading to the final victory within their own selves while for others it continues to be associated with episodes from the epics.

Triumph over evil Dasara is commemoration of the valour of Rama in vanquishing Ravana which may also mean that the ten heads or vices like Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya and their offspring are destroyed. The countdown for some communities will be from Mahalaya (the supreme dissolution or absorption) to the seventh day, Mahasaptami, for the advent of Durga, who destroys Durgati to triumph over the evil. In any case, the bottom line remains that Navaratri signifies the splendour of Dasara after the journey of the traits in a soul from the inert/Tamasik to active/Rajasik to illuminant/ Satvik states. The pathway for this journey is amazingly systematic and disciplined. The three-fold cycles starting from dissolution to sustenance to creation are faithfully recognised and expressed in this nine-day process. It is a kind of Yaga or sacrifice with a deep esoteric philosophy. The first three days are devoted to Mahakali to be able to conquer the base earth bound tendencies by purifying the energies of Mooladhara (earth) and Swadishthana (water)

Sri Chakra The nine-layered abode of Sri Lalitha

seated in the mansion of the central point or Bindu. The number nine is accurate, complete, magical and mystical in nature and this is accepted in mathematics or science or any religion of the world. It is the ultimate manifestation of infinity from the null or void. During Navaratri, every hallowed form of supreme Sakti becomes magnified in dimension similar to how the numeric nine expands through multiplying and adding to become nine again. Nine is truly imperishable and indomitable like the universal spirit.

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The last three days are for surrendering to the feminine form of the eternal teacher Dakshinamurthy, resplendent in pure white as Maha Saraswathi Chakras or energy circles. The next three days are to further eliminate the malefic aspects by worshipping Mahalakshmi and purifying the Manipura (fire) and Anahata (heart) Chakras. The last three days are for surrendering to the feminine form of the eternal teacher Dakshinamurthy, resplendent in pure white as Maha Saraswathi. The Vishuddha (throat) and Ajna (Third eye/mind) Chakras are cleansed. ‘She’ is the supreme Vak or vocality who is the ultimate throb of consciousness, resting in lysis or complete undifferentiated resonance, in the delight of Nadabrahmam. A pure form of the Goddess as Kanya is another feature whereby a small girl child is specially invited on the ninth day and offered the Naivedya Prasad. Shodashopachara or the sixteen types of puja are also done. The tenth day is the flight into the thousand-petalled Chakra of consciousness, Sahasrara. During spring/Chaitra Navaratri, the ninth

day is Ramanavami, the birth of the incarnation of the Lord as the Paramapurusha Sri Rama. On the other hand, this ninth day called Mahanavami in autumnal/Sharad Navaratri is treated as a day to seal and offer every skill and art, vehicles, weapons, machinery, books, tools and instruments of use, in the hands of Goddess Saraswati as an act of Atmanivedana or total self-surrender. ‘She’ is the origin and pinnacle of Knowledge. On Dasara (tenth) day, these offerings are received back from ‘her’ abode after consecration and an aspirant/Sadhaka commences another new lesson under a Sastra Guru. Any venture or vocation which embarks on a new enterprise on this day would be well blessed. It is interesting to see how in some parts of India, the Mahishasura demon is annihilated by symbolically breaking large pumpkins, warding off evil eyes and kumkum powder is smeared in it, signifying that the devil’s blood is splashed all over by the terrifying Durga.

Celebration of spirit Be it the nine planets (Navagruhas), the nine gates or openings in us (Navadwaras), nine forms of devotion (Navabhakti) or the nine aesthetic emotions (Navarasas), it’s a joyous celebration of the spirit. As the nine Rasas are conjoined as a single generalised Rasa of beatitude beyond any division or individualisation, so does the Navaratri evolve into Dasara. The dance of Krishna and Gopis during Sharad Ritu in many parts of the country along with Garbha (literally meaning the womb of the Mother Goddess) is this yearning of an individual soul for the Universal Spirit. In order to spread the cheerful Raasleela among people, the festival entails the assembly of women, offering gifts to one another and charity of food. The enjoyment is actually realised when the life forces are first appropriated within and then transmitted in creative, ecstatic and emancipatory ways. The jeevatma (will-knowledge-action or Icha-Jnana-Kriya Shaktis) incubates, starting from the first night, gestating and mutating. It gets metamorphosed on completion of the course of nine nights (symbolising nine months), emerging victoriously united with the transcendental Para Shakti on the tenth day. ‘That thou art’/Tattwamasi is the highest state of blisswhich is an experience to be celebrated. This is the journey of the spirit from darkness unto light captured beautifully in the prayer — Asatomaa Sadgamaya, Tamasomajyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amritamgamaya — Om Shanti Shanti Shantih!

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are indeed fortunate to sing his compositions that showcase his mastery of the science and art of music in all senses — melody, rhythm and diction. He used talas and themes not many Carnatic composers would have opted for. Venkata Kavi had a deep devotion for the presiding deity of the Oothukkadu temple, Kaalinganarthana Perumal. His works express the proximity he felt towards the Lord and his deep devotion that is reflected in every verse that he wrote. Venkata kavi’s collection of Kamakshi Navavarana kritis on goddess Srividya is a masterpiece. The composer seems to have used his mudra, his own name 'Venkata Kavi,' only in a few compositions. One of them is the aavarana kriti in Madhyamavati — ‘Shankari Shree Rajarajeshwari.’ Several compositions of his — especially those on Krishna — have a reference to Krishna's Kalinga Nartana. In the navavaranam jewel

Sudha Ragunathan DDDDDDDDDDDDD

The air is festive, the spirit of Devi (Shakti) dominant, the time to rejoice the victory of Good over Evil. And to pay obeisance to the Divine Mother, the feminine archetypal energy. I am filled with memories of my childhood. Navaratri was always my favourite festival and I loved wearing pattupaavadai and visiting the kolu homes, showing off my vocal prowess by singing new bhajans and kritis. Of course the sundal and the little return gifts were added attractions. Over the years, with my mother Choodamani steering me into deeper involvement with music, and I was constantly enrolling for one competition or the other. For an exclusive competition of Dikshitar kritis at the Music Academy, I learnt the Navavarana kritis. That was my first ever foray into the realm of this extraordinary bouquet, known for their beauty and complexity. For me, Thodi, Bairavi and Ghanta were the most challenging. Learning the lengthy charanams and similar sounding lines was indeed a gruelling task.

Rhyme and sahitya I continue to marvel at the genius of our renowned composers, who have penned lyrics on the Divine Mother with so much of thought, devotion and passion. The Navaratri kritis of Maharaja Swati Tirunal have a distinct flavour. Composed in Sanskrit, they abound in similes and alliterations, each a gem in the casket. The most significant aspect of the Swati Tirunal’s Navaratri kritis is that the words embellish the whole flow and the rhyming meshes so beautifully with the sahitya that it creates a feeling of joy in the hearts of the musician and the rasika, alike. ‘Saroruhaasana’ (Pantuvarali) and ‘Janani maamava’ (Bhairavi) are my favourites. The latter compares the multifaceted beauty of Devi to various aspects of nature. In the charanam, ‘Taruna varidha nibha veni Taru kisalayopama pani’ the symbolic attributes are so beautifully depicted — ‘You are a maiden with locks that are dark like the rain clouds. Your hands are like the tender leaves of celestial trees.’ The kriti is so powerful, one can experience Devi’s magnificence and compassion while singing the kriti! Muthuswami Dikshitar’s set of kritis, popularly known as the

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The Navaratri kritis of Maharaja Swati Tirunal have a distinct avour. Composed in Sanskrit, they abound in similes and alliterations

Signature songs, meditative moments The exclusive lyrics are so powerful that the magnicence of Devi can be felt even while singing them ‘Kamalamba Navavarana’ is a class apart. It encompasses eleven kritis, all in praise of Goddess Kamalamba in Tiruvarur. The first one is a dhyana kriti and the last one the mangala kriti while the nine in between represent one enclosure (aavarana) each, of the Sri Chakra, the auspicious Wheel. Each kriti brings out the name of the chakra, its geometry and the primordial features specific to the chakra, and the gods associated with. The kritis contain lengthy word constructions, which can be difficult to pronounce — virtual tongue-twisters. The composer’s mudra ‘Guruguha’ appears in all the compositions. Of these, the ‘Kamalambam bhaja re’ in Kalyani is my favourite. I fondly remember my revered Guru Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. MLV amma rendering this kriti at the Mysore palace Navaratri celebrations. In the dhyana kriti, Dikshitar’s de-

scription of the Goddess underlines the dichotomy he finds in Her. He describes her as both Nirguna and Saguna and Nirakara and Sakara — one who is devoid of qualities and forms and yet who has qualities and forms! Here, the composer is at his best, and the lyric reflects his vision of the goddess, down to the minutest detail! Many years ago, All India Radio got nine artistes to sing on the nine days of Navaratri, and the repertoire included a Navavarana kriti. I was allocated ‘Shree Kamalaambikaayaam Bhaktim Karomi’ in ragam Sahana and talam Thrisra Triputa. I learnt it with great devotion and dedication and presumed that I was really thorough. But since the lyric was complex, I held it in front of me while singing. The challenge came with the last word in the charanam lines. Each line of the composition concludes with similar sounding words

— ‘yoginyaam,’ ‘bhoginyaam,’ ‘rajayoginyaam,’ ‘vibhaaginyam’ and so on. When the line ‘Karadhruta Vinaa Vaadinyaam Kamalaanagara Vinodinyaam’ had to be sung, I simply went blank! In utter dismay, I silently pleaded to Devi to guide me. To this day, I am unable to comprehend how I managed to continue and complete the kriti, but I did! And feel so grateful for Her blessings. Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer’s compositions have been handed down from generation to generation by the descendants of the composer’s family. We

set, it figures in the final composition, ‘Haladharanujam praptum’ where a phrase 'kaleeya phana pada nyasam' is embedded in the final charanam. The major raga Kalyani has been used in the dhyana stuti. His compositions included rakti ragas such as Nadanamakriya, Punnagavarali, Anandabhairavi, and a few lesser known ones like Deshakshi and Balahamsa. The festival of Navaratri becomes even more joyous when music embellishes each day. With the treasures these masters have left behind, Navaratri reminds us of the presence of the ultimate power Shakti, whose virtues are beautifully extolled through songs. EkAkShari BhuvanEshvari Ishapriyakari ShrIkari Sukhakari ShrI MahAtripurasundari — You are the single syllable Om, oh Empress of the world, who enchants Lord Shiva. You are the bestower of prosperity and happiness. You are Shri Maha Tripurasundari.

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Swaras in the soft glow of oil lamps

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Navaratri, Pooja, Dasara... a wonderful festival that is celebrated all over India, highlighting Shakti or the Female Force. When no man could stop the demon Mahishasura, the Divine Mother appeared as a combination of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga and offered him a hard deal. “We fight, if you win, you can marry me. If I win, I will kill you!” They fought for nine days. She finally won and earned Herself the name ‘Mahishasura Mardini.’ This is why the ninth day is called Maha Navami. We celebrate Her victory on the tenth day, which is

Serenity prevails at the Navaratri Mandapam concerts, a tradition followed by the Travancore royal family

called Vijaya Dasami. The Goddess is worshipped in nine different forms during the nine days. There is another legend that Lord Rama prayed to the Goddess for nine days before fighting and killing the ten-headed asura king Ravana, which is why this festival is called Dussehra. This festival is celebrated in different ways across our vast country . I am fortunate to have been part of the Navaratri celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram for a few decades now. It started way back in the 13th century, when sage and poet Kambar foresaw his end and entrusted his personal idol of Goddess Saraswati to the Chera king, who ruled at the time, on the promise that Navaratri would be

Hallowed precincts Padmanabhapuram palace (Below) Navaratri Mandapam

perform full-fledged concerts, more or less the way it happens now. The traditional Mullamoodu Bhagavathars sing a Thodaya Mangalam every day, from 5.30-6 p.m., after which the concert starts. When the Travancore State Broadcasting Service came into existence, the concerts were relayed live from the Navarathri Mandapam from 6-8.30 p.m. A bell would ring and the musicians would have to stop. Even though the live relay stopped decades ago, the timing is maintained even now.

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It is at the magnicent palace of Padmanabhapuram that Devi resides even now celebrated every year, come what may. The Chera kingdom later morphed into Venad and Travancore, the capital of which was the small town near Kanyakumari called Padmanabhapuram, which is famous for the magnificent palace that stands there. This is where Devi resides even now, though the capital of Travancore was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram around two centuries ago. The royal family of Travancore has hon-

oured the promise made to Kambar by bringing Devi all the way to Thiruvananthapuram year after year, to celebrate Navaratri. Maharaja Swati Tirunal (18131846) who was passionate about music and dance and a great patron of the arts in general, composed nine songs specifically for the nine evenings of Navaratri. The festival was held in the magnificent Navaratri Mandapam in the Padmanabhapuram Palace, glimpses of which we get to see in the song ‘Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya’ from the 1990s Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu. The Navaratri Mandapam in Tiruvananthapuram is far simpler than its counterpart at Padmanabhapuram. This remains vacant and unused for the rest of the year. It comes to life and transforms itself into a magical place, just for the nine days during Navaratri. Until the early part of the 20th century, it would be a gathering of scholars (called a Vidwat Sadas) every evening, when every person present, could take turns in singing raga alapana, tanam, niraval and swaram, along with the resident troupe of musicians called the Mullamoodu Bhagavathars. Amma Maharani Sethu Parvathy Bayi (1896-1983), mother of the last Maharaja of Travancore, revolutionised the concert format at the Mandapam with the help of Dr. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar, by inviting professional musicians from various parts of the country to

Enter women Earlier only male artistes performed. Women were not allowed inside the Mandapam either as performers or listeners. Amma Maharani introduced veena concerts, again only by men. A few changes happened by the end of the 20th century, after Amma Maharani’s time, in the form of Gottuvadyam concerts, violin solos and flute solos. Women were finally allowed inside the Mandapam (both to sing and listen) in 2006. But the atmosphere inside the mandapam remains more or less the same. There are no electric lights; the oil lamps cast light as well as shadow in equal measure. Despite being located next to one of the busiest spots in Thiruvananthapuram, the Mandapam is almost as silent as a sound proof recording studio. Since the concerts are in the form of offering to the Divine Mother, the audience sits quietly and listen without applauding. The ambience makes the music more meditative and inward looking . Tanam is sung every day, to the accompaniment of mridangam, which is unique to this place. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Mandapam. Men have to wear a veshti or mundu and no shirt. Women have to wear a sari and young girls, paavadai. Mobile phones have to be kept in the silent mode. People who are not prepared to follow these rules sit on the steps of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple and listen to the concerts , enjoying even soft drinks and pop corn sold by vendors there. On the other side of the same building where the Navarathri Mandapam is situated, a very different festival happens every year, honouring the memory of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. Called Swathi Sangeethotsavam, it is held at the Kuthiramalika Palace, January 4-13. Music lovers of all communities can come here and the atmosphere is relaxed. But that is another story. Both these festivals together embody the spirit of our country, which seamlessly combines the traditional with the modern.

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Mysore to perform at the hallowed precincts of Bidaram Krishnappa Ramamandira, venue of Ramanavami festival. I would accompany my father to these concerts. I was also fortunate to have my grandparents (maternal) residing in Mysore on Seeneerkatte Road in Nanjumalige extension. I would move there during Dasara to be pampered and to soak in the mood. The palace would dazzle, casting a spell on the onlooker, something it continues to do even today. Chamundeswari — the Goddess, who annihilated Mahishasura — being the deity of the Mysore royal family, Vijayadasami, which symbolises the triumph of evil over good, has special significance in this part of the country. It was Raja Wodeyar I (1578-1617), first ruler of independent Mysore kingdom in 1610, who started the nine-day Dasara festivities with all pomp. The festivities, which begin at the Ambavilas Palace invoke the regal tradition inherited from the Vijayanagar kings. On the tenth day, the muchawaited procession (jamboo savari) begins with a 21-gun salute.

The Maharaja’s day out Astride grandpa’s shoulders, I watched the grand procession wend its way kings — Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1794-1869), Chamaraja Wodeyar (1863-1894), Nalvadi Krishnaraja wodeyar (1884-1940, also hailed as Rajarishi) and Jayachamaraja Wodeyar (19191974), who was the 25th and the last ruler of the Mysore Wodeyar dynasty. This period is rightly called the Suvarna yuga or golden age in the musical and cultural history of Mysore. I had the fortune of seeing the last ruler, Sri Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, during the Dasara procession or jamboo savari, being seated on a caparisoned elephant. I also talked to him when my father performed for his daughter Gayathri Devi’s marriage reception at the Mysore palace during the early 1970s. Although my father, the late R.K.

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Mysore — the word may conjure up grand visions of the nine-day Dasara festival, culminating in the world famous Jamboo savari or elephant procession. But as a 1948-born person, what I witnessed was a very different Mysore. That Mysore was a peaceful town — not actually a city. It was known for its salubrious climate and leisurely pace of life. People were highly cultured, their easy going disposition bordering on laziness. The broad streets of the well laidout city was lined on either side by magnificent gulmohar, ficus and rain trees. Along with verdant parks and palaces, Mysore was a pensioner’s paradise. Bicycle and tongas were the preferred modes of transport. Vintage cars could be sighted occasionally. Children loved to sit in the front of the tonga, just to watch the horses at close quarters. I had also seen buses powered by coal and steam. Mysore has always been famous for several things — jasmine, betel leaves, sandalwood, silk, Mysore Pak and Nanjangudu rasabale (special variety of banana). But then it is Dasara, which attracts tourists from across the country and abroad. Dasara showcases Mysore as the cultural icon, the town being home to eminent litterateurs and musicians. The Maharajas of Mysore were not only great patrons of music and fine arts but very good composers and musicians too. Under their patronage, both Carnatic and Hindustani artistes flourished and were made court musicians or asthana vidwans. Cultural renaissance peaked during the reign of four

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The festivities, which begin at the Ambavilas Palace, invoke a regal tradition inherited from the Vijayanagar kings. On the tenth day, the muchawaited procession (jamboo savari) begins

King size (Top) The procession now and then. (Left) Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar

Srikantan was not an asthana vidwan of the Mysore palace, he was closely associated with it. He was invited to perform at the marriage reception of Gayathri Devi, the daughter of the late Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar. On some days, he would give music lessons to his student coming home. Thus I was constantly exposed to music which made me imbibe many aspects of Carnatic music at a tender age of three. The house on the Parakal Mutt Road, where we shifted, was a virtual hub with father inviting stalwarts such as Musiri Subramanya Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. They came to

Pandava link The Maharaja would mount the royal elephant from a specially erected high platform in the palace and after being seated in the 750-kg golden howdah placed on the caparisoned elephant would go to Bannimantap to worship the sacred Banni tree. It is said that it is on this tree that the Pandavas hung their weapons during the 12-month exile. The procession was followed by military troops, the palace band, nagaswaram, the royal insignia of Gandaberunda, the State elephant, State horse and State cow. The members of the royal entourage were dressed in white pants, with a long black coat and sported the Mysore turban or peta. A golden-bordered sash would be placed across the coat. After finishing worship, the Maharaja would return to the palace. My grand father, a well-built person sporting a big moustache, would carry me on his shoulders so that I could have a good view of the procession. A person would hover closely behind the elephant in order to collect the dung — a sight, which was a huge amusement for the children. Apart from the palace celebration, an attraction was the arrangement of dolls at my grandparents’ home. The stay also meant that I could indulge in the delights my grandma’s kitchen offered. A culinary expert, she swore by the traditional method of cooking in stoneware using charcoal or wood. The spread was breathtaking — Mysore saaru (rasam), huli or sambar, varieties of palyas or curries made out of vegetables, different types of murukku, sweets like payasa and Kesari bath liberally sprinkled with pure saffron and cashew, pongal, seekarane or mango milk shake (during summer) and so on. The breakfast menu included varieties of uppittu or uppuma, fenugreek dosa with pure ghee or butter, avalakki or poha and masala idlis. Dasara days used to be hectic for her in the kitchen and she would never grumble. My mother, another great cook, inherited the skill from grandma. I smell the fragrance of Mysore Mallige and sandalwood incense even as my mind drifts to the past. The mind knows that changes are inevitable but the heart craves for that golden era, memories of which are forever.

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That longing for Mother

Of Ravi Varma vintage

Rama. Kausalya

The legend’s paintings spawned varieties of dolls, only some of which have been preserved

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by the painter became the standard for all clay dolls of these two goddesses. As for Adi Sankara, the only image we have of him is as depicted by Ravi Varma. The seer, either alone or with four disciples as seen in the painting, is a fixture in most kolus. Much rarer, but still to be found in a few homes are the porcelain dolls inspired by the postures struck by Ravi Varma’s heroines. All of these were made in Germany in the pre-Second World War years. Today’s China-made Hindu idols are therefore nothing new. The demand exists and so supply will happen, from somewhere or the other! Ravi Varma’s Sakuntala and Menaka, Ahalya, Hamsa Damayanti and Saraswathi were all made in porcelain and shipped out. Sadly, very few have survived to tell the tale. Featured alongside are some samples from the collection of Radha Vasudevan. The Prince of Wales Museum (now Chatrapati Sivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) in Mumbai has a few others.

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avaratri is here and with that the buzz in most households is all about dolls. The yearly visit is made to Kuralagam, Mylapore’s North Mada Street and other locations where clay idols are sold. It is a wonder that the reduced living space in most homes has in no way diminished the size of kolus. In fact they have only got bigger. Entire room is dedicated to them, the families managing out of makeshift arrangements in other parts of the house. Most homes will have a prized doll or two, passed down over generations. In mine it is a century-old marapachi couple, the traditional wooden figurines around which a kolu collection is built. But far more interesting are the old clay dolls, several of them clearly inspired by personalities of the times in which they were made. Thus the Alli Arjuna set, a couple in very western royal costume, is a throwback to Tamil theatre of the 1920s when K.B. Sundarambal and S.G. Kittappa ruled the roost, playing those characters. Another is the baby doll, modelled on a pose that Baby Saroja struck for a press photograph. The resemblance is striking, right down to the school bag and the posy of flowers she is holding. The first such images made their appearance in the 1930s. A decade later came the dancing doll, tilting her head and holding her skirt like a fan. This was modelled on Vyjayanthimala in AVM’s Vazhkai (Bahar in Hindi), in particular the song ‘Nandagopalanodu naan aaduvene,’ sung by M.L. Vasanthakumari.

Narendra Sharma, Rekha Shankar and Uma Sharma played stellar roles in Ramlila of Delhi’s Bharatiya Kala Kendra. It was choreographed by Guru Gopinath

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A prized possession in many homes is a set of six scenes from the Ramayana, all directly copied from Ravi Varma

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K. V. SRINIVASAN

Familiar themes But it is the artist Raja Ravi Varma, who perhaps had the greatest influence on Navaratri dolls. His oleographs, found in the puja rooms of most households set off an unprecedented demand for images/sets/friezes of the same kind. A prized possession in many homes is a set of six scenes from the Ramayana, all directly copied from Ravi Varma. These comprise the breaking of the bow, the crossing of the Ganga, the killing of Jatayu, Sita in Ashoka Vana, the crossing of the ocean and the Pattabishekam. Similarly, the iconic Lakshmi and Saraswathi as depicted

Elegant replicas Paintings moulded (Left) Marappachchi dolls

A residence that I visit each year during Navaratri is that of Kalpakam and T.T. Srinivasamurti. The kolu here is not the usual set of steps with dolls on them but just a couple of tableaus or at most three, featuring giant Gowri dolls made of wood. These were at one time exclusive to the Karnataka/ Maharashtra areas and have the advantage that you can take them apart limb by limb and assemble them in various poses. At the Srinivasamurti home, the theme is different each year, mostly inspired by the puranas. There is also an amusing aside. The family dismantles the idols and stores them in a wooden box. Once a thief happened to break in at night and on opening the box took fright, dropped some of his belongings and ran away. He mistook the dismembered heads and torsos to be of dead humans! A study of just the Dasavataram sets in various households would be interesting. How they came to be such a fixture in a kolu largely dedicated to Devi is a mystery until you read the Lalita Sahasranamam, which says that the ten incarnations sprang out of the ten fingernails of the Goddess. You will find the set in ivory, bronze, brass and clay. Nowadays the wooden set from Kondapalli is also popular. The one difference is that it features Gautama Buddha in place of Balarama. At the end of it all, one question remains — when did this concept of kolu comprising clay dolls become so popular among Tamil people? Most historical records of Navaratri in Tamil Nadu do not mention it, though they invariably speak of Ayudha Puja. That should be a subject of research.

Enduring charm of Ramlilas The enactment of the epic continues to draw audience Ashish Mohan Khokar DDDDDDDDDDDDD

Ah! Ram finally gets incensed enough to shoot Ravana with an arrow precisely where Vibhishana tells him to — right in his naabhi — for that's where lies Amrita — celestial nectar — which Brahma gifted Ravana as immunity from all races, devtas and danavs. With that pot of nectar broken, Ravana dies. Drama, action, even fireworks! As a child, it was an annual treat to watch the Ramayana being enacted daily through this month. Going to Ramlilas mounted by neighbourhood mandalis is still part of people’s cultural calendar. The Ramlila engages many amateur and established actors, dancers, set makers, musicians and organisers. It’s that time of the year when community art takes over. Among the more classy versions, the Ramlila by Delhi’s (Shriram) Bharatiya Kala Kendra was the most eagerlyawaited outing during the 1960s and Seventies. Imagine, a teacher from Kerala, guru Gopinath, initially choreographed the most popular Ramlila of North India, performed even today. Seventy unbroken years and the credit goes to the

Shriram family, especially Sumitra Charatram, who founded it in 1947, now under charge of her daughter Shobha, advised by no less a person than the former secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Jayant Kastuar. Narendra Sharma and Shekharan Panikar enhanced the production. Star artistes such as Kathak exponent Uma Sharma, Odissi senior Aloka Panikar and a royal-looking

nothing short of genius. Kalakshetra made productions based on one sargam from the epic, say Ramapattabhishekam or Sabhari Moksham and till date many classical dancers base their work on episodes from the Ramayana. Puppet Ramayana by Gwalior-based (then Bhopal) Little Ballet Troupe, created 50-plus years ago of human puppets, did yet another memorable production on

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Uday Shankar of Bengal created Shadow Ramayana, where all action took place behind screen and audiences saw only shadows in front. To get that scale and size was nothing short of genius. Raghavan Nair played stellar roles. Guru Gopinath used admixture of many dance forms: Kathakali for Ravana to show drama; Kathak footwork for battle scenes and soft, stylised Bharatanatyam for group scenes in Panchavati or court. This year, the 61st edition of Ramlila is being staged.

Shadow Ramayana Uday Shankar of Bengal created Shadow Ramayana, where all action took place behind screen and audiences saw only shadows in front. To get that scale and size was

the theme. Each movement was angular, as if puppets were enacting it. Prabhat Ganguli and Gul Bardhan were lead artistes. That production was a classic also since Shanti Bardhan was its founding creative head. He was also at Almora Studio of, and with, Uday Shankar. One of the best seen in the mid-Seventies in North India, which also travelled all over the country then, was the visiting Russian Ramayana. Each Soviet actor was chosen for his/her attributes: Ram looked royal and benign; Sita dainty and tender and Lakshmana truly angry.

The whole production was in Russian. We understood only one word: ‘Oh! my nose!’ when Surpanakha cried hoarse in English, after Lakshmana slashed her nose. The audience clapped with glee and its enduring charm and professionalism still linger in our memory. Once, in the audience quietly seated was the late Primi Minister Indira Gandhi with her grand kids. Tulsidas’s Ramayan is popular for its easy language accessibility but Valmiki’s is no less. Sanskrit scholar K.S. Srinivasan mounted one with ace choreographer K. Shekharan in the mid-1980s and this travelled to many countries and cultures. And then the colour TV came home to make all that history. Big productions on stage are gone and today only snippets exist. What makes the Ramayana and tales from the other epic Mahabharata) so enduring ? Is it the inbuilt drama, the huge cast, or is it somethingelse? It’s the basic connection with human beings. These stories and lessons are still valid in politics, family and society. These epics live in our hearts and in our arts. The writer, a critic and historian, is the4 author of several books and edits attenDance, a yearbook

mong the composers of Devi kritis, Syama Sastri (1762-1827 AD), the eldest of the Musical Trinity is unique in many ways. He was not only a Devi Bhakta and Upasaka, but also a Pujaka of Bangaru Kamakshi Amman. It is said that the idol of Bangaru Kamakshi was made, installed and worshipped by Brahma himself at Kanchipuram. Later, Adi Sankara entrusted the Puja rights to the forefathers of Syama Sastri. It is said that Syama Sastri used to sit before Kamakshi after finishing the day’s rituals, singing his compositions with tears rolling down his cheeks. The tone of all his compositions are that of an attention seeking child. Most of his available compositions are on Bangaru Kamakshi. The places he travelled were either his personal visits or those where he was invited by his friends. His Madurai visit, however, was different. Once when he was worshipping Brihadamba at Pudukottai, an elderly Brahmin approached him and asked him to go to Madurai and sing in praise of Meenakshi. The same person appeared in his dream and reminded his earlier request. After sometime, he went to Madurai and sang the Navaratnamalika — nine compositions in praise of Meenakshi. The temple authorities honoured him suitably. Of the nine compositions, seven have been traditionally handed down to us. This is the only group kriti of the Vaggeyakara. They are Sarojadalanetri, Devi Minanetri (Sankarabharanam- Adi), Mariveragati (Anandabhairavi-chapu), Nannu Brovu Lalitha (Lalitha-misra lagu), Mayamma (Ahiri-Adi), Devi Ni Padasaarasa (KhambodiAdi) and Minalochana Brova (Dhanyasi-chapu). All of them are in Telugu and typical of Syama Sastri — straight and addressing Her directly. Like all his other compositions, they are simple and moving. He refers/addresses Meenakshi as Minanetri, Meenakshamma and Meenakshi. While generally, three charanas are found in his compositions, the Lalitha raga composition has four and is also the only composition where Raga mudra is found. Sarojadalanetri starts majestically in Tarasthayi Shadjam and stays there. But, Karunya rasa or the theme predominates the otherwise Gambeerya Sankarabharanam. Due to the presence of closely knit Sahitya, the kriti sounds to be a tad above Chowka Kala. Silence speaks volumes in drama — Syama Sastri uses pauses to reveal his helpless state of mind like the one in the Pallavi of Mariveragati. The Chittaiswara sahityam naturally blends with the kriti in raga, tala and sahitya. The Ahiri raga kriti starts with ‘Mayamma,’ a word, which defies definition. It is not possible to explain or interpret the emotional bond that Syama Sastri shared with Devi. In the anupallavi, he asks Nyayama Meenakshi? (Is this justice, Meenakshi?). The musical setting starts from Panchama and reaches Tara Shadja, the voice of which is desperate. Repeating a particular word gives stress to the expression, for instance, nammithi in Mayamma and Mariveragati. Even the presence of gamakas like Jaru add emotional value. In short, the kritis in the Navaratnamalika group shine with rhythmical and melodical richness, swarakshara and praasa beauties, Raga-ArthaRasa-Bhavas. Above all Syama Sastri’s inner mind longs for the close proximity of Mother Goddess — all of which go to make these compositions musical gems, which adorn Meenakshi, never losing their sheen.

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When Maa comes visiting

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ILLUSTRATION: DEEPAK HARICHANDAN

Capturing the spirit and colour of Durga Puja in Kolkata

Bickram Ghosh

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Each day at the pandal was like parading in a fashion show. Everyone wore new clothes and commented on each other’s choice. Then came the discussion on the best pandals of the year

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In Bengal, the biggest festival is Durga Puja. Four days of frenzied festivity, culminating in the Bhashan (immersion ) on Vijaydashmi. Bengalis look forward, all year long, to these four days. My own earliest memories of Durga Puja in Calcutta are from the 1970s when I was a child. By September, the intense heat recedes and a pleasant weather sets in. It is then that baboos and bibis gear up for the festival. The building of pandals normally would begin almost a month before the actual advent of Devi. There has always been a Puja pandal right next to the house I grew up in on Kabir Road. The intimate setting of the Bengal United

Club was perfect for us youngsters of the para (locality) to safely hang around all day not too far from the gaze of our elders. I remember accompanying my mother every year for the Puja shopping. After that exciting outing came the mandatory visit to the tailor. Every locality in Calcutta then had a tailor shop since the ‘readymade’ concept had not taken

over. Our master tailor was a thin bespectacled man, who while taking measurements would never fail to comment on how I had not grown as much as I should have and that I was probably not eating well. While it was an irritant to not measure up to his expectations, the thrill of getting new clothes far outweighed the man’s critical appraisal of my boyhood frame. Four sets of clothes for all four days of Durga puja! Each day at the pandal was like parading in a fashion show. Everyone wore new clothes and commented on each other’s choice. Then came the mandatory discussion on the best pandals of the year. The sound of the regal drum, Dhaak, heralds the arrival of Devi Durga. It would be played from the fourth or fifth day of Navratri. We kids would run to stand near the

dhaakis to listen to those magical beats. Today, there is much hullabaloo around the dhaaki competitions, which are a good way to keep this drumming tradition alive. The drums are beautifully decorated with huge feathers and the dhaakis often dance around each other as they play. For those who have never seen this brilliant performance, I strongly recommend a visit to Kolkata during Durga puja. Then there was and still is the mandatory loud speaker. In the 1970s and 80s, from early morning one would hear songs from puja albums of popular artistes such as R.D. Burman, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, aka the Bollywood brigade, and local artistes too. The genres of these songs ranged from Rabindra Sangeet, folk and devotional to filmi tunes. What a fine variety of music was produced for puja in those days. It is sad that these songs have lost their sheen in a fast-changing, often confused music market. I hope that with the slow return of the vinyl, this tradition will be restored to its former glory.

Offering of flowers Anjali on ashtami or the offering made to Devi has been one of my most beautiful memories. The whole para would congregate around the idol and offer flowers to the chanting of mantras by the pujari. Then on nabami, we would savour the bhog. A brilliant vegetarian spread of mouth-watering dishes was laid out for the whole locality. The young would often first serve the elders and then sit down to eat, the aroma of food wafting through the street.

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The loud speaker has remained mandatory. In the 1970s and 80s, from early morning one would hear songs from puja albums of popular artistes such as R.D. Burman, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Ra, ... and local artistes too. Finally would come Vijay Dashami, the day Maa’s visit would come to an end, sadly. As a child, I used to often cry at the sight of the pandal being brought down. It was a reminder of the ending of festivities and a return to the daily drudgery of our lives. Maa would always leave with one final flourish — the roaring dhaaks, beautiful married women with sindoor in their hair (after the game of sindoor-sindoor khela) and the procession of Devi for immersion in the Ganges. Durga Puja has created a timeless cultural identity for the Bengali. An identity that I will always carry with me. The vibrant echoes of the dhaak, the fragrance of Sharat kaal (season) and the beautiful Devi is around me again this year as I write this piece. I hope that you, the reader, can perceive some of the beauty of this culture through my musings. Ma Durge Durgatinashini is here to dispel all evil and bless us with happiness. The writer is a well-known tabla artiste

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Where Dashrath sings in Bihag... Beyond the dialoguebaazi of lmy Ramlilas, there are still places where the story of Lord Ram is told in verse, enriched with folk and classical elements Anil Goel DDDDDDDDDDDDD

“Ramcharitmanas” was written by Goswami Tulsidas in Awadhi language in verse, the prevalent style of literary works during the Mughal rule. But its later stage-versions including the Parsi theatre versions adopted dialogues written in prose, as ‘khadi boli’ became the lingua franca of the masses in the Hindi-speaking belts of North India. The beauty of verse, however, again attracted many a writer to create adaptations of “Ramcharitmanas” in poetic forms in many local dialects in different parts of North India. At least three different Ramlilas are known to have been created in verse in the last two centuries, in places as far as Kumaon hills in Uttarakhand, small village of Patoonda near Kota in Rajasthan, and the areas around Rohtak in Haryana (including bordering areas of Alwar district in Rajasthan). These three Ramlilas are altogether different from each other in their presentation style. But the common thing among these three is the use of local folk-music and storytelling traditions. Kumaoni Ramlila: Recognised as the longest opera in the world, this Ramlila originated in Almora in the hills of Kumaon around one 150 years back. Kumaoni Ramlila has been given place in the world cultural heritage list of the UNESCO. As is common with any local or folk art-form, origin of this Ramlila is hotly debated upon. It incorporates the elements of Nautanki, Naach, Jatra, Rasleela, etc. in its performance. Sung in the Bhimtali tarj, and incorporating the folk elements like maand of Rajasthan, it also

bases itself heavily on the classical Hindustani music. Bihag is used by Dashrath, when he wants to please Kaikeyi living in kope-bhawan – a raga that is celebratory as well as romantic, sung specially on occasions of marriage. Khamaj, Kalyani, etc are some of the other ragas are used commonly. An interesting aspect of Kumaoni Ramlila is the defining of chaupais into Rajasi chaupai, Rakshasi chaupai, etc. These different forms of chaupai are based on the characters who are singing them – Late Prem Matiyani, an expert on the aspect of the music used in the Kumaoni Ramlila, had explained, “Lyrics are sung in Rakshasi tarj if they are sung by a Rakshas or Rakshasi, else, the same lines would be sung in Rajasi tarj!” He claimed that this Ramlila must have come to Kumaon from Rajasthan between the period from 16th to the 18th century, when people migrated from there to Kumaon in large numbers. In Kumaon, ‘Swaroops’, the main characters and other characters also are played by very young male children only, but in Delhi, etc., adult male and female artists also have been playing different roles in the local Kumaoni Ramlilas. Outside Kumaon, Delhi, Lucknow and Jhansi have been main centres of this Ramlila. One major motive behind many of these Ramlilas in Delhi and surrrounding areas was to support the construction or running of the schools and other social activities back there in villages in Kumaon, which was financially very backward at that time. Patoonda Ramlila: A very strange thing about the Ramlila of Patoonda village is that it is celebrated around Ramnavmi in the months of Chaitra and Vaishakh (April as per the Gregorian calendar), as opposed to the other Ramlilas which are held during the Shukl Paksh in the Hindu month of Asooj (Ashwin – Sepember-October). Patoonda is a small village in Anta Tehsil of Baran district of Rajasthan, and is situated around 66 kilometres from Kota. The logic given by those behind holding this Ramlila in Chaitra-Vaisakh is that the festivities of Ramlila should be linked with the birth of Lord Ram, and not

Adhering to tradition A Kumaoni Ramlila in progress; hand written text of Patoonda Ramlila; Arya Sangeet Ramlila

with the death of Ravan. This Ramlila is now also being held fully or partially in few more villages around the village Patoonda, who all claim their Ramlila to be the genuine one. This Ramlila is written in Hadauti dialect of the Rajasthani language, which has a mixture of Dingal, an ancient language, a high-tone mode of writing with a flair of its own, which was prevalent in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Sindh provinces till the medieval times. Written and started by Guru Ganpatlal, a Dadhich Brahmin, this Ramlila is based primarily on Valmiki Ramayan and “Ramcharitmanas” of Tulsidas. Verses are written in dhai kadi (two-and-a-half lines), a popular folk-style of North India. Common villagers of Patoonda perform this Ramlila by singing the verses composed mainly in khadi boli and Reela tarj (tunes). Music is a very important aspect of this Ramlila also. Previously, chikara, a sarangi-like instrument was used in this Ramleela, which is not used anymore. It has been replaced with violin, which is accompanied by harmonium, tabla and manjeera (cymbals) during the performance. But I found that the sound of violin was not able to give the impact that a chikara would have given. But then, we have to pay the price of development and modernity. Three ‘savaris’ or ‘yaatras’ (processions) are taken out during this Ramlila – first, on the opening day to invite Ganesh ji from a nearby temple to visit and bless the Lila, the second one on the fourth day, i.e., Ashtmi, of

Ramchandra ji’s baraat (marriage procession), and the third one on the sixth day, i.e., Dashmi (although Ravan is killed only on the last day). Only one effigy of Ravan is burnt on the day of Dashmi. Treasurer of this Ramlila Gopal Lal Nagar informed that this Ramlila is financed from the revenues earned from the 26 bighas of land having been donated for this Ramlila by Maharao Umed Singh, a ruler of the Kota State (1873-1940). Rohtak/Haryanavi Ramlila: Based on “Arya Sangeet Ramayana”, written by Sardar Yashwant ( Jaswant) Singh Verma Tohanvi (18811957), a Ramlila was performed in whole of Haryana as well as the adjoining areas in and around Alwar district of Rajasthan till around two decades back. Now, it is extinct from most parts of Haryana, but people in the Mewat region around the bordering areas of Haryana and Rajasthan are still using some parts of Tohanvi’s Ramlila, while mixing it abundantly with the Ramlila of Radheyshyam Kathavachak, Tulsi Ramayan, etc. A clear distinction can be made in the singing styles when the artists switch over

from Yashwant Singh tarj to Radheyshyam tarj or to Tulsi chaupais. Directors make these switch-overs as per the demand of the scene to make it attractive to the mainly rural audience. When I visited the Ramlila in the picturesque remote village of Khohra Karmali in Alwar district of Rajasthan recently, it initially used a few pieces from Tohanvi, but switched over to Radheyshyam tarj and chaupais from Tulsi Ramayan. Film song and dance sequences are used freely to keep the audience interested in the performance of actual Ramayan. An interesting aspect was the playing of nakkara by Ayub Khan, a descendent of the Mirasi gharana of Mewat region of Haryana, to which Guru Nanak’s companion Mardana had belonged. This Ramlila was using sarangi initially, but it has been abandoned now. Tohanvi, an Arya Samaji, wrote many religious and historical plays. Hailing from the Tohana town in Fatehabad district of Haryana on the borders of Haryana and Punjab, Tohanvi wrote his primarily lyrical Ramlila containing story up to Bharat Milap around a century back in khadi boli style of Hindi mixed abundantly with Urdu. Chaubola, Bahr-e-Tabeel, Bahr-e-quawwali, Bahre-shikast, Lavni, Daud, Sortha, etc were used by Tohanvi abundantly, besides many ragas and raginis. This shows his deep knowledge of the music – folk as well as classical. Induja Awasthi, a research-scholar had visited Rohtak and witnessed one

such Ramlila around 55 years back, and wrote in detail about it in her book, “Ramlila: Parampara aur Shailiyan”. She said that it was called Multani Ramlila. Even today, this Ramlila is organised mainly by the Punjabi community in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, although, the performances are done by the local commercial or professional groups. All these three Ramlilas are losing their original singing styles in the modern times. Rohtak/Haryanvi Ramlila is widely mixing Radheyshyam-style dialogues along with film songs. Mittal laments that it is difficult to find singers for performing this longest opera of the world. Same is the case with the Kumaoni Ramlila. Today, it is very difficult to find amateur artists who can participate in music rehearsals for long periods. Everywhere professional groups perform and charge for their performance. The amateur nature of these performances is going away. It is only in the case of the Patoonda Ramlila that the old amateur group of the local people is performing with the help of amateur artists. But modernity has also given some place to the women in the Kumaoni Ramlilas, in Delhi at least. Here, women are performing all the female characters . One can only hope that other Ramlilas also give some place to women in the coming years, while continuing performing the Ramlilas in their own varied styles, for, diversity is which gives Indian society its distinct identity.

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10 VOICEOVER

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Feminine Mythique

Salvation through seduction

The trickster But does mythology also offer other, less destructive, ways to defeat evil and instigate necessary change? This week I have been thinking of the figure of the trickster, who appears in many mythologies. The trickster is often a liar, or a jester — someone who makes fun, who is a source of jokes and humour. A player of games and tricks — like the Greek deity Hermes or our own Krishna. Silver-tongued and mercurial, the trickster is a boundary crosser, a shape-shifter who can alter form, and can travel between worlds — and in

J. RAMANAN

The stories that surround the festival of Vijay Dasami, feature cataclysmic battles between good and evil. A demon ravages the earth, and Shakti — in the form of Durga, or another goddess — sets forth with an army to destroy the evil asura. Or war is waged, like in the Ramayana, dominated by death, destruction, blood. Evil is destroyed with the aid of divine weaponry. How else do we destroy evil? Other myths feature rage as a transformative power or a catalyst. The fiery wrath of Draupadi leads to the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata, the anger of Kannaki in the Silappadikaram, transforms a woman into a Goddess who can destroy an entire city. Rage leads, again, to destruction. Mythology holds important examples, ideas, concepts for us that inform our cultural memory. We assimilate the idea that if there is ever an injustice to be battled, or a wrong to be righted — evil can only be routed through war or great anger, leading to great destruction.

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The ancient Lakhamandal temple, dedicated to Siva; the dwarapalakas Daanav and Maanav; and the graphite lingam

Hidden in the Himalayas

Temple with links to Mahabharata The ancient Lakhamandal, an ASI protected site, abounds with legends Vrinda and J. Ramanan DDDDDDDDDDDDD

The writer is the author of ‘The Mahabharatha - A Child’s View,’ ‘Sita’s Ramayana’ and ‘The Missing Queen’

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ILLUSTRATION SATWIK GADE

Samhita Arni

the act of transformation, questions our rigid concepts. The trickster is an agent of subversion and an instigator of change. Mohini, the incarnation of Vishnu in the form of a woman — alludes to the boundary crossing, subversive, shape-shifting nature of the trickster. Mohini is beautiful, charm incarnate, and her weapon of choice is not a spear or a sword, or any other weapon associated with war. Her weapon is seduction. She uses her beauty to trick. During the churning of the ocean, Vishnu transforms into Mohini, enchanting the asuras, and steals the nectar of immortality from them and brings it to the devas. Another story features Mohini as Devi who must defeat an asura who has obtained from Shiva the boon that he can kill anyone by placing his hand on their head and turning his opponent to ashes. Shiva grants the boon — and the demon now pursues Shiva, eager to practise his new-found power on him and turn Shiva to ash. Mohini intervenes, seeking to rescue Shiva. She approaches the demon, who is so infatuated that — like in the story of Durga Mahishasuramardini — the demon, seized by desire, proposes marriage. Mohini also has a condition but one that is different. Unlike Durga, who insists that her suitor must best her in battle. Mohini says that her suitor must imitate her dance steps. She begins to dance, the demon follows, and then she places her hand on her head. The demon, matching her step for step, mimicks her —and thus destroys himself. Mohini’s transformation blurs and questions ideas of gender — she seems to be the original ‘gender fluid’ deity. But I find this story inspiring for other reasons as well. Mohini, without weapons and without war, but instead through wit, guile, beauty and dance, defeats her opponent and saves the world.

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With charm as her only weapon, Mohini kills the demon

“A village that lies on the banks of the Yamuna, A village that boasts of a history that spans across all the four yugas, A village that was home to the pure hearted Pandavas and the cruel Kauravas A village where Yamuna nourishes all lives in that region providing heavenly bliss! This is the grand village of Lakhamandal!” So sing the village belles and men while dancing to the rhythmic drumbeats of the dhakis. Lakhamandal is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Siva. It earns its name from the lakhs of Sivalinga that were created by the Pandavas and which were unearthed and are still being excavated in many places in the village. The main temple in this settlement has disfigured statues of Maanav and Daanav, the dwarapalakas, at the entrance. It was believed that anyone who died in these parts would be placed in front of these two statues. The dead would come back to life with the help of Maanav, who would purify the soul, which would then depart for the heavenly abode of Vaikuntha with assistance from Daanav. Yudhishtira or Dharmaraja has the distinction of

consecrating the main Linga here. There are four Seats around this structure that held smaller ones belonging to Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. These Lingas are preserved in the temple office. A number of mandals or Lingas in various sizes lie scattered around the temple. The Linga made from graphite grabs attention, as it reflects the surroundings when it is wet and has a carving of Shakthi on its base. It was excavated in 2007.

Palace of wax The Lakshya griha (palace of wax) that was built to entertain the Pandavas and burn them alive has its foundation here. The remains of the cave through which the Pandavas escaped to Badri and

Kedar and then ascended to the heavens, known locally as the Dhundhi Odaari (hazy cave) is seen close to the temple precincts. The main shrine faces the West, where Yamuna descends separating the two villages on either side of her banks, the Jaunpur and the Jaunsaar. There is a popular legend about a Gaaymatha (a cow), that visited the temple everyday to perform puja for the Lingas. Her footprints are seen on every stone and on the mountains around. This temple, which lies in the Tons Valley near Datmir in the Garhwal Himalaya, was built around the 12th-13th Century in the Nagara Style of Architecture. ‘Visited by 33 crores of Gods and Goddesses,’ this ancient relic, popular among the Shakthi cult, is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The writers are ace photographers known for their travelogue

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Rising Star

Another feather in her cap Apoorva Krishna is the rst Carnatic musician to win the Tarisio Young Artists Grant. Lakshmi Venkatraman DDDDDDDDDDDDD

“W

ith the help of the Tarisio grant, I aim to popularise Bahudari with a video album to promote Carnatic music globally and spread the joy of this art form. Through Bahudari, I will take Carnatic Music and its rich heritage to some of the younger and underprivileged sections of society,” declares Apoorva Krishna, the winner of Tarisio Young Artists Grants programme. This programme supports innovative stringbased projects that are created and driven by young artistes. Bahudari is an original instrumental composition by Apoorva on the violin, accompanied by Vinod Shyam on the mridangam and Sunaad Anoor on the ganjira. Since its inception five years ago, Apoorva is the first Indian and Carnatic musician to win this grant. Tarisio is an auction house for string based instruments with offices in London and New York. It aims to help musicians and encourage entrepreneurship and creativity in the arts. Each year they award a total of $25,000 for five young artists. Applicants were from all nationalities, between the ages of 18 and 30, and who played string instruments (violin, viola and cello).

Final round There were two rounds and in the first one, three judges, alumni from Ensemble Connect Carnegie Hall, shortlisted 30 out of over 200 applicants from around the world. In the final round, the 30 shortlisted applicants were asked to submit a detailed project description, budget, communications strategy and short video introduction in May 2017. The Tarisio Trust 2017 judges at the final level were Kim Kashkashian (Grammy Awardwinning soloist), Martin Engstroem (founder and executive director of Verbier Festival) and Quatuor Ébène (France’s genre-defying ensemble), who chose four winners (including Apoorva)

each of whom would be the recipient of the $5,000 grant. The audience was asked to vote for the fifth winner from the judges’ final list. In the coming months, the Bahudari ensemble will compose and produce an original audio-visual music album lead by Apoorva, besides acquiring a partnership with NGO’s and Government bodies that promote Art and Culture in India, by conducting outreach programmes to spread Carnatic music, especially among the underprivileged and specially abled persons. Apoorva learnt to play the violin from the age of 7 under Anuradha Sridhar in America and under Srimati Brahmanandam after her family relocated to Bengaluru when she was 12. She provided violin accompaniment to senior artistes like Aruna Sairam and Bombay Jayashri, Chitraveena Ravikiran, Mandolin Rajesh, Saketharaman as well as many young musicians. She was adjudged the Best Violinist in 2011 in the Spirit of Youth Music Festival at the Music Academy. She was the winner of Sheik Chinnamoulana Yuva Puraskar in Naad Bhed All India Competition conducted by SPIC MACAY and Doordarshan in 2013, Kalavanta 2014 for Best Main Performer, Sangeetha Mudra Award in 2015, and First prize in the All India Radio competitions. She is also a B High graded artiste with AIR Bengaluru. Apoorva leads a Youth Indian Classical Music Group in Bengaluru. She has directed the ensemble for Indian Raga Bangalore Labs, composing a Ranjani Tillana that received 1,000,000 views.

Raag Taal Gharana

It’s all about moods and emotions Banaras Gharana is a sangam of sur, laya and sahitya Jyoti Nair DDDDDDDDDDDDD

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he Banaras gharana is about 400 years old and has its roots in the cultural and social ethos of the city it is associated with. It had its origin in the precincts of temples and one of the pioneers was Pt. Prasidhu Manohar. The baton was carried forward by the likes of Pt. Shiva Pashupati, Pt. Bade Ramdas, Pt. Nanak Mishra, Pt. Hari Shankar Mishra, Pt. Ram Mishrai, Pt. Chander Mishr, Pt. Chote Ram Das, Pt. Gopal Mishr and Pt. Hanuman Prasad Mishr. And now, Pt. Rajan and Pt. Sajan Mishra with sons Ritesh and Rajnish are carrying forward this tradition. Banaras Gharana has ‘Char patt ki gayaki.’ The exponents of this gharana are experts in dhrupad as well as dhamar and khayal. Intricacy of patterning in the raga phrases is their forte. Thumri, tappa and other forms are given equal importance. The gayaki is sur, laya and sahitya pradhan. In sur pradhan gayaki, there is gradual progression of the swaras, steadiness and an easy flow of the voice. Each swara is held in focus during badhat in an upward progression. The prominent notes and phrases of a raga are repeated and they become longer as the

singer traverses different octaves. Rajan and Sajan Mishra compliment each other in every movement. The content of the bandish and its words are highlighted so that the emotion comes to the fore. The constant repetition and refrain as the brothers converse musically with variations in swara patterns and the pauses that follow add to the drama. Depth and sweetness alongside

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Depth and sweetness alongside vigour are the preferred expressions of this school vigour are the preferred expressions of this school. While the compositions are illustrated vocally, the enunciation of the text must match the mood created by the raga. An example from raag Megh where the metaphor is derived from the dark clouds explains it all, ‘kajraare kaare kaare, laage ati pyaare pyaare’. The notation goes something like re ni sa, ni sa re ni sa, all in the lower octave, the delicate rendition enhancing the mood.

Shringar rasa Shringar rasa is often evoked by the singers of Benaras Ghar-

ana. An example from Rag Maru Bihag, explains this — ‘Gagan ban bole re koyaliya.’ Contemporary ragas are popular with young practitioners of the gharana. Marubihag, Bihag, Ramkali, Madhukauns, Nand, Shud Kalyan, Malkauns, Rageshri, Bageshri, etc., are mostly sung. Sapat and Koot taans are employed with great flourish. Tarana, Chaturang and Thum Khayals are favoured too. Pt. Rajan and Pt. Sajan Mishra run a gurukul called Viras near Dehradun, where regular training in Benaras gayaki is imparted in sylvan surroundings. While khayal gayaki provided a fertile social context in which classical music flourished, some light classical forms such as thumri were also nourished in Banaras. The queen of thumri, Girija Devi, first trained under Sarju Prasad Mishra at the age of five and later came under the tutelage of Pt. Shri Chander Mishra. She specialises in purab ang thumris, which originated in eastern Uttar Pradesh. While singing in purabi style, Girija Devi used the dialect of Bhojpuri. In the pashchami style, she resorted to using the khadi boli in literary Hindi. Thumri is conveys both bhakti and shringar. It is clothed in phrases that enhance the beauty of the raga.

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12 ENTERTAINMENT

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Where art meets diplomacy

Blast From The Past

A charismatic personality

Music, according to Dr. Martin Ney, can close any cultural gap Anita Mehta DDDDDDDDDDDDD

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A competent actress who didn’t get her due, Shakila will be remembered for her scorching screen presence and comic timing

A llively artist Deepak Mahaan DDDDDDDDDDDDD Shakila in eath is a great leveller, it spares none. Yet death is quite un-“Tower fair at times for providing different life spans and dissimilarHouse”

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THE HINDU

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farewells to people. Last week when it took away veteranARCHIVES film star Shakila, it poignantly exhibited its injustice too by denying Shakila the grand salute that she richly deserved after years of stardom! Once again the indifference of the filmdom came to the fore as it did not pay a token of gratitude to a veteran whose talent had helped strengthen its foundations in its formative years. One of the most hauntingly beautiful faces of the filmdom, Shakila seems a divine creature when you rewind some of the memorable songs picturised on her. Watch just two of the all time great compositions “Sau Baar Janam Lenge” (“Ustadon Ke Ustad”) and “Ae Mere Dil-e-Nadaan” (“Tower House”) to have an extrasensory experience. If her dark almond shaped eyes are Cupid’s mystical weapons, her regal yet sublime presence is alike a fairy gracing the screen in tandem with Rafi and Lata’s magnificent vocals… thank technology for preserving such picture perfect moments to revere and remember forever. However, that does not mean that her arresting face was her only recommendation. A competent actress, equally adept at dramatic explorations and dancing moves, she won fans and admirers with decent interpretations of her largely stereotyped characters. But even within the limited scope of a perennial ‘babe in the woods’, she exhibited her flair for comedy, romance and tragedy with remarkable ease. Check sequences of “Main Hun Papa Kahan” from “Post Box 999” or “Ik Baat Kahun Wallah” from “Shriman Satyawadi” with Raj Kapoor and Mehmood to realise how good her comic timing is especially as she matches the two maestros of comedy step for step. Surprisingly, she had also made her debut as a child artiste with Raj Kapoor in A. R. Kardar’s “Dastaan”; recommended by none other than the legendary Mehboob Khan who met her at an Id festival! Star quality is a difficult word to define but primarily means an arresting presence that inspires instant awe and admiration from a viewer. Despite several low grade films, it was her charismatic personality that made Guru Dutt select her for a brief role in “Aar Paar” and when the ‘polishing’ by the master director brought forth breathtaking results, he had no qualms in giving her the lead role against Dev Anand in “C.I.D”. The much celebrated performance brought her into the limelight, leading to films like “Hatim Tai”, “Mulzim”, “Agra Road”, “Kali Topi Lal Rumaal”, “China Town”, “Ustadon Ke Ustad” wherein she exhibited her prowess with much aplomb. If Nanda once described her “a breathtakingly pretty woman” and “a great friend”, co-star Manoj Kumar found her “a dignified woman who was too shy to speak but very confident of her lines.” Unfortunately, her growth was obstructed by her poor selection of films out of her financial insecurity; quite understandable as she and her two sisters were raised in penury by a paternal aunt after the early death of her parents. Fortunately, she married and gracefully retired to domesticity with a caring husband. A widow for past several years, Shakila, who had lost her only child too in 1991, was at present being looked after by her nephew and nieces (children of Johny Walker and her sister Noor). Though it may not have been her destiny to get a warm send off, nevertheless, audiences will always remember her adoringly with the lilting Shammi Kapoor – Rafi classic “Baar Baar Dekho Hazaar Baar Dekho Ki Dekhne Ki Cheez Hai Hamara Dilruba” that befits her stature… no doubt, she was indeed amongst God’s prettiest creations!

t is no more a secret that Dr. Martin Ney, German Ambassador to India, has another side to his diplomat personality. He is a well-versed flautist, who gives concerts on a regular basis. He has a high regard for Indian music and believes that the two streams have their own inherent strengths. Wife Gabriele, a doctor, is an accomplished musician too. It was actually a flute concert, which provided the perfect venue for their first meeting. The couple have two sons. Dr. Ney studied law at the universities of Würzburg and Geneva, as well as politics and economics at Oxford (19761983). He has a law degree from the University of Würzburg and an M.A. from Oxford University, where he was as a Rhodes scholar. From 1983 until 1986, he taught constitutional and public international law as a junior lecturer at Würzburg University, where he received his Doctorate in international law in 1985. His diplomatic career has led to assignments in Bangkok, Washington DC, Sarajevo, and notably a long stint at the United Nations. Since July 2015, Dr. Ney has been the German Ambassador to India. So how does the diplomat balance his musical aspirations? Excerpts from an interview: Tell us a bit about your early life, and how music came to play such an important part in it

All the four children in our family had to learn to play at least one musical instrument. My parents considered Western classical music to be an essential part of a complete education — not only intellectually, but also emotionally. After starting with the recorder at age six, and then the piano at age 10, I found ‘my’ instrument in the flute. As part of my military service, I applied for the First German Air Force Band, which I joined as the co-principle flautist and which left me sufficient time to help out as a second flautist at the Munich Opera at age 19.



Did you find it hard to choose between law and music?

Although I seemed to be set for a career as a professional musician via my pos-



Building bridges Dr. Martin Ney playing the ute at one of the concerts

was heart-warming. How do you perceive the Western classical music scene in India? What are your thoughts on reactivating it?

India has a very rich musical heritage and culture of its own. I would never attempt to promote Western classical music at the expense of India’s own marvellous music traditions. Having said that, it would become India’s capital very well if it had a modern world class concert hall — with proper acoustics and air-conditioning. I am convinced that internationally renowned orchestras would frequently include Delhi in their tours and routinely bring world class music to India, thus tremendously enriching the Indian musical scene. Having played with the SOI in Mumbai and given various concerts in Delhi, I feel that Western classical music — once it is offered — is extremely well received in India.



ition at the Munich Opera, I was — deep down — not satisfied intellectually. A rather accidental encounter with a distant uncle, a former submarine commander, who later worked for NATO, pointed me towards a diplomatic career. In preparation for this, I first pursued law at the universities of Wuerzburg and Geneva, and then economics and politics at Oxford University. How did you juggle your studies with your musical training?

In my time in Geneva, I took lessons from the acclaimed flautist Maxence Larrieux at the Music Conservatory. Additionally, I played in the orchestras of the three universities, and was part of many chamber music ensembles.



Tell us about your years as a diplomat, in particular how you kept up your music alongside your day job

As a diplomat and amateur musician you really cannot win: If you play badly, people will think: “Why doesn’t he stick to his day job as a diplomat!” If you play well they might think: “That’s formidable. But he must be a secondrate diplomat!” So I usually practise in secret. However, I can tell you that finding the time is simply a question of dedication, time management, and a little discipline. What does help is that the flute is a relatively small instrument that I can take anywhere, even on official trips.



Did you participate actively in the musical life of the countries you worked in?

Of course! Playing with local Western musicians or orchestras, performing together in concerts was my lifeline to the music world. And I noticed how much goodwill you can create by playing music, for example in 2005 during my time as Senior Deputy High Representative in Bosnia, when I first performed a flute concerto by the Bosnian composer Azim Horosic with the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra in the National Theatre in Sarajewo. By the way, my CPU (close protection unit) at the time considered it a nightmare to protect me on stage during the performance. So, two of the four bodyguards were placed in the orchestra on stage, disguised as musicians! ■

Your most memorable moments — as a diplomat and as a musician?

In January 2010, when I served as a German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, I had the privilege to perform as a soloist with the Nuremberg Philharmonic at the “Holocaust Memorial Concert” in the General Assembly. I played the flute concerto by the Jewish composer Ernest Bloch under the Israeli conductor Isaak Tavior — as a gesture towards the Jewish people from a German diplomat. The response both from my U.N. colleagues and the media ■

What does classical music mean to you as an individual?

I once read a wonderful definition of music: “Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows.” It comes from a quite unlikely source: Napoleon, Emperor of France. I am very fond of the definition because it explains why music is a medium that allows you to appeal to the noblest feelings of a person. Perhaps that is the reason why music is a language that is understood worldwide, why music is a bridge across almost any cultural gap. It is this very aspect where music and diplomacy meet: building bridges. ■

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