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IT dept conducts nationwide searches on pulses traders, others

Prices of key pulses, especially tur and urad, have shot up unabated in the last few months due to a fall in domestic output by 2 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to deficit monsoon.

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Treat citizens as your ‘boss’, Fadnavis tells police

Meanwhile, Fadnavis and Javed today also launched two Twitter handles – @CPMumbaiPolice and @MumbaiPolice. “I welcome my team on Twitter @MumbaiPolice. We look forward to a stronger bond with the #Mumbaikars!” tweeted Javed.

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DDCA row: No clean chit to Arun Jaitley, BJP begging for apology, says Arvind Kejriwal <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaOdd-even formula: CNG cars to be given exemption stickers starting tomorrowIndiaAAP leader murdered in New Delhi, body dumped near swampIndiaAfter Congress mouthpiece says Sonia’s father had fascist link, party calls magazine ‘defunct’IndiaTreat citizens as your ‘boss’, Fadnavis tells policeIndiaDDCA row: No clean chit to Arun Jaitley, BJP begging for apology, says Arvind KejriwalIndiaCountry passing through crisis under NDA rule: Sachin Pilot <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Infosys Foundation grants Rs 4.5 crore to Somanatheswara Temple<!– /.block –>DDCA row: No clean chit to Arun Jaitley, BJP begging for apology, says Arvind Kejriwal<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed

Sayeed was yesterday admitted to AIIMS here after he complained of uneasiness at his residence in Srinagar and was flown to Delhi in a state aircraft. The 79-year-old PDP leader was admitted in the private ward of the premier medical institute.

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Sayeed hoped that the meeting between the two leaders will provide the much-needed momentum to the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue for peaceful resolution of all issues between the two countries.
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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

Modi in Pakistan: Here is how separatists are reacting to PM Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore
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Thousands soak in Christmas celebrations in Kolkata

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Around 500 police personnel were deployed in the Park Street area only, the nerve-centre of Christmas revelry with officers of Deputy Commissioner rank overseeing the situation.

Park Street Christmas decorations (Image credit – Mamata Banerjee’s Twitter account)

Thousands of revellers in the city celebrated Christmas with most churches holding the traditional midnight mass tonight.Kolkata was all decked up with lights, balloons, Christmas trees and other decorations to welcome the occasion and witnessed a huge number of people taking to the streets to soak in the revelry.Starting from Park Street, Allen Park, Bow Barracks, St Paul’s Cathedral and other famous churches in and around the city to other major landmarks, revellers poured out in thousands with the evening slipping into midnight.Kolkata Police have tightened the security measures in the city and till midnight have arrested 50 persons for disorderly conduct, a senior officer of the force told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 500 police personnel were deployed in the Park Street area only, the nerve-centre of Christmas revelry with officers of Deputy Commissioner rank overseeing the situation.

PM Modi visits Russia’s premier crisis management centre

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The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations.

Modi at Russia’s EMERCOM

Photo courtesy: MEA Twitter handle
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Russia’s premier crisis management centre which deals with emergency situations and ensures coordination among various relevant agencies. The Prime Minister spent around half-an-hour at the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC), popularly known as EMERCOM, the short form of Emergency Control Ministry. Modi was briefed about round-the-clock functioning of various wings of the agency. “A morning for learning. PM @narendramodi takes a tour of EMERCOM, a state of the art crisis management facility ready for emergency response. 240000 employees from EMERCOM are on operational duty daily, using 62000 equipment units,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations. The capabilities of the NCMC include state-of-art real time monitoring, data collection, analysis and modelling. It uses global navigation satellite systems and global monitoring technologies based on remote sensing to provide real time data and assistance to people as well as various agencies during emergency situations. The NCMC processes information from across Russia and is capable of monitoring industrial facilities, crowded areas, tsunami threats, other natural disasters etc. As the number of cross-border emergencies is constantly increasing, international cooperation is a priority for the NCMC, which includes information exchange with international organisations and emergency call services of foreign emergency management agencies, international operations and international humanitarian assistance. The Prime Minister arrived here for a two-day visit yesterday, his first bilateral trip here after assuming the top office.

Bottoms up! Alcohol not ‘intoxicant’, says Punjab health minister

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Jyani told journalists during an interaction after inaugurating a de-addiction centre in his constituency Badal.

Surjit Kumar Jyani

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Bizzare it may sound but Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani does not consider ‘sharab’ (booze) an intoxicant.”I don’t think ‘sharab’ (booze) is an intoxicant. You cannot call alcohol an intoxicant. It is (consumed) there in the army, parties. The government gives licences for manufacturing liquor, we auction liquor vends. As long as it is done, sharab cannot be called ‘nasha’ (intoxicant),” Jyani told journalists during an interaction after inaugurating a de-addiction centre in his constituency Badal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Incidentally, Punjab has been facing a problem of drug addiction, which once prompted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to claim 7 out of every 10 youth in the state were addicts.

DDCA row: Kirti Azad calls Arun Jaitley a ‘napunsak’, later claims Twitter account was hacked

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad, who has been raising the issue of corruption and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA), has once again targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter on Monday night Kirti Azad tweeted, “I was visited at home by so many agencies to take precaution against threat to my life. Dear @arunjaitley darta nahin hoon napunsako se.”However, Azad later tweeted, claiming that his Twitter account was hacked and it was not his post. “My A/C is hacked. Statement on @arunjaitley as napunsak is not my tweet,” he said. DDCA row: Ram Jethmalani to appear for Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Arun JaitleyA day ago, Kirti Azad had dared Arun Jaitley to file a defamation case against him too.While speaking to ANI, he said, “I am upset that the defamation suit is not against me. I wish the case was against me because I am the one who raised this issue.”The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Meanwhile, Congress has latched on to BJP MP Kirti Azad’s claim that the government had asked CBI in October this year to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA, to demand the immediate resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.

Sailors abducted in Nigeria safe: Sushma Swaraj

“Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.

Following the reports of abduction of five Indian sailors in Nigeria, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that the sailors were safe and efforts were being made to secure their release.”I have the report on abduction of 5 Indian sailors in Nigeria. The contact with pirates is established. Indian sailors are safe,” Swaraj wrote in a tweet.”Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj had yesterday sought a report on the abduction of the sailors.The request was made seeking help on Twitter, about five Indian sailors being kidnapped in Warri, Nigeria on December 11.

National Herald case: Now, Subramanian Swamy wants AFSPA imposed in New Delhi

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Swamy announced on Twitter saying, “Today I am going to ask the PM to declare New Delhi district as disturbed and impose AFSPA for an orderly court proceeding in Patiala House.”

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday wrote to PM Narendra Modi asking him to impose AFSPA in New Delhi with regards to the National Herald case proceedings on December 19, 2015. Swamy announced on Twitter saying, “Today I am going to ask the PM to declare New Delhi district as disturbed and impose AFSPA for an orderly court proceeding in Patiala House.”

External Affairs Ministry releases picture of Geeta, urges nation to help find her parents

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“We would also circulate this picture of Geeta through the public broadcasters so that if anyone who knows Geeta find this photograph , they can come forward and help us,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday released a picture of Geeta, the hearing and speech-impaired young woman who had returned to India recently over a decade after inadvertently crossing into Pakistan and asked the media to help them in finding her parents. “We appeal to everyone including the media to help us find the parents of Geeta. We would also circulate this picture of Geeta through the public broadcasters so that if anyone who knows Geeta find this photograph , they can come forward and help us,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media. “Geeta doesn’t have pictures of herself when she was a teenager. Based on the information we got from Geeta we have taken her picture. This is an actual picture, not a photo-shopped one of Geeta as she would have looked when she was living India,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swarup also said that the photograph was taken up in a photo studio. “The only thing is Geeta as her parents would have remembered her, we have tried to bring the same look of Geeta when she was a teenager,” he added.”This is our best bet and we hope that those who can ‘recognize her as she looked back then can come forward and we still remain hopeful that Geeta can be reunited with her family,” he further said.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s relatives meet PM Modi

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Madhuri Bose presented a copy of her book ‘The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence An Insider’s Account’ to the Prime Minister, a PMO statement said.

Netaji family meets with PM Modi.

Picture Courtesy: PIB Twitter page
Two relatives of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday and presented a copy of a book on the legendary freedom fighter.Madhuri Bose and Chandra Bose, grand-niece and grand-nephew respectively of Netaji called on the Prime Minister at the Parliament House complex. Madhuri Bose presented a copy of her book ‘The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence An Insider’s Account’ to the Prime Minister, a PMO statement said. It was not clear whether they discussed about the secret files related to Netaji which are to be declassified next month.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The PMO has already initiated steps for declassification of those files by handing over 33 such files to the National Archives, which would be unveiled on January 23, the birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.

Hyderabad: Eight-year-old becomes police commissioner for a day

Roop’s wish was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish Foundation — an organisation that grants wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich their human experience with hope, strength and joy.

8-year-old Madipalli Roop Aurouna had expressed his wish to become the Hyderabad Police Commissioner for a day.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
An eight-year-old boy, Madipalli Roop Aurouna, who is suffering from Thalassemia and requires blood transfusion after every 20-25days, on Tuesday got the charge of the Hyderabad Police Commissioner for a day.After getting the charge, Roop, a Class 2 student signed leave letters of officials of the Hyderabad Police Commissionerate at Basheerbagh. The child, son of Ranjitha and Vikram, who is a school teacher, has expressed his wish to become the Hyderabad Police Commissioner for a day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Roop’s wish was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish Foundation — an organisation that grants wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich their human experience with hope, strength and joy. Roop said he wants to control law and order to check crimes like chain snatching.The child needs to take proper medicines, diet and go for regular checkups to see that his blood iron level doesn’t go high as it may affect his other vital organs.

Maharashtra Legislative Council: Opposition stages walkout on Muslim reservation issue

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Leader of Opposition, Dhananjay Munde, said the High Court has upheld the reservations in educational institutions for Muslims, but the government still allowed the original ordinance in this regard to lapse, and no fresh decision was forthcoming.

Maharashtra Legislative Council
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Opposition members in the Maharashtra Legislative Council on Tuesday staged a walkout to protest against the BJP-led government’s “indifferent attitude” towards the issue of reservations for Muslims.The issue was raised by NCP’s Khwaja Beg and Jaywantrao Jadhav, who wanted to know government’s stand on re-issuance of ordinance to extend reservations to Muslims in the educational institutions and government jobs.Leader of Opposition, Dhananjay Munde, said the High Court has upheld the reservations in educational institutions for Muslims, but the government still allowed the original ordinance in this regard to lapse, and no fresh decision was forthcoming.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This showed the indifferent attitude of the BJP-Shiv Sena government,” he alleged.Senior cabinet minister Eknath Khadse (BJP) listed the objections raised against giving reservations to Muslims, and said the matter was pending before the High Court. The reply failed to satisfy the opposition MLCs who trooped out of the House.

From Mamata to Anupam Kher: How Twitter reacted to Kejriwal’s ‘Modi is Psycho’ comment

Anupam Kher won this round with the perfect picture.

It’s by every stretch of imagination, a lovely time to be a journalist. With the advent of Twitter, we get to see politicians sans filters and today it was Arvind Kejriwal’s turn to lose his complete cool. After his office was raided by the CBI, Arvind Kejriwal blasted Prime Minister Modi and called him a ‘coward and a psycopath (no h)’.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader claimed that the CBI had sealed his office. The CBI denied raiding or sealing the CM’s office and claimed that it was searching the office and home of senior bureacrat Rajender Kumar who has been accused of corruption. Reportedly, Rs 2.4 lakh was found in RRajender Kumar’s home. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, known for high levels of tolerance for cartoonists and dissenters, claimed that she was shocked by the move: “Sealing of a Chief Minister’s office is unprecedented. I am shocked.” Retweeting her comment, Arvind Kejriwal claimed it was an ‘undeclared emergency’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to sharp attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “The office of the chief minister of Delhi has not been raided. The raid has nothing to do with Mr Arvind Kejriwal or his tenure as chief minister. The search is against an officer.” Kejriwal however accused the finance minister of lying. Day ago, Arvind Kejriwal had told a leading news channel: “There is definitely a vendetta against AAP. Five of our MLAs have been arrested on flimsy grounds.”Here are Arvind Kejriwal’s tweets: And here’s how everyone reacted. PS — Anupam Kher wins this round. Haha, So Shourie. That is unacceptable from a public figure. Seems legit. Is that a Gunda reference?

Why so racist? Australian cartoon on Indians eating solar panels sparks outrage

The cartoon sparked furore in the social media and academic circles with many slamming it as racist.

The cartoon published in The Australian

A cartoon published in a leading Australian daily today depicted Indians as starving and eating solar panels, drawing rebuke with many condemning it as “racist”. The cartoon appeared in the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian in response to the Paris climate conference. The cartoon shows an emaciated Indian family breaking up solar panels and one person trying to eat them with ‘mango chutney’. The climate deal was clinched with the approval of India, China and the US, after days of tough negotiations with the legally-binding pact seeking to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and committing USD 100 billion a year from 2020 to help developing nations.India had bargained hard on behalf of developing countries and demanded that developed countries take on more responsibility and provide financial support to developing nations so that they could make a switch to green technology. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India also mooted the International Solar Alliance initiative which was launched during the Paris conference. The cartoon sparked furore in the social media and academic circles with many slamming it as racist.Amanda Wise, an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University, said in her view the cartoon was shocking and would be unacceptable in the UK, the US or Canada. “This cartoon is unequivocally racist and draws on very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology,” Wise told Guardian Australia. “India is the technology centre of the world right now and has some of the most high-tech industries on the planet in that part of the world. The underlying message is that people in developing countries don’t need all these technologies to do with climate change — they need food,” she said.The cartoon was widely condemned on Twitter, with many users drawing attention to India’s rapidly developing sustainable energy sector. Deakin University Professor Yin Paradies, whose research includes the economic effects of racism, also took the view the cartoon’s message was clearly racist. “The message … is that India is too stupid to handle renewable energy and should stick to coal,” Paradies was quoted as saying. “Suggesting that ‘developing nations are stupid’ is racist given that such nations are invariably associated with specific racial groups (i.e. non-whites),” he said. The Australian isn’t the only one to make racist cartoons about India’s role at CoP21, and even the NYT had this:

India can’t prove my role in 26/11 Mumbai attacks: Hafiz Saeed

Less than a week after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan, Mumbai attacks mastermind Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has dared India to prove his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Image Courtesy: Twitter Video

Less than a week after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan, Mumbai attacks mastermind Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has dared India to prove his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.”Our government remained silent, but let me respond to Sushma. It’s been seven years but they could not prove who was behind the Mumbai attacks and Insha Allah (if Allah wills it) they will never be able to prove it until eternity,” said Saeed in a video posted on his Twitter account.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”India has failed to provide any evidence of Mumbai attacks, while on the other hand Modi has confessed for worst terrorism of #1971,” he said in another tweet.Saeed’s statement comes after India was assured of steps being taken to expedite the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial.India last week extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, saying it was time the two countries display “maturity and self-confidence” to do business with each other as the world was rooting for a change and offered to move cooperation at a pace Pakistan is comfortable with.Speaking at ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference, Swaraj said, “Let me take this opportunity to extend our hand to Pakistan as well. It is time that we display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation. The entire world is waiting and rooting for a change. Let us not disappoint them.”(With agency inputs)

Shakur Basti demolition: Prior notice was given, says Railways

More than 500 slums were demolished in an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways in Shakur Basti on Saturday

ANI Twitter
The Indian Railways, which has drawn major flak for demolishing slums in an anti-encroachment drive in Shakur Basti here, said on Sunday that the notice to vacate the shanties was given a long while ago. “We had given notice in March, September to vacate but they didn’t. We had no police support then,” said Delhi divisional railway manager (DRM) Arun Arora. “We have a joint report including police, RPF and our engineering officer’s signatures. We have informed this to Delhi Chief Minister today,” he added. More than 500 slums were demolished in an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways in Shakur Basti on Saturday. Slum residents created an uproar after a child was found dead. They alleged that then child had died in the anti-encroachment drive.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Railway sources, however, have denied the allegations, saying that the death of the child occurred in one of the slums around 10 am and had nothing to do with the removal of encroachments. The residents also insisted that their homes were demolished without any prior warning or notice. According to the Railways, a number of notices were issued to encroachers to vacate its land during the last nine months, but the locals did not vacate.

Come to Pakistan: PTI chief Imran Khan tells Narendra Modi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former cricketing legend Imran Khan met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi today.

Narendra Modi with Imran Khan

Image Courtesy: Vikas Swarup (Twitter)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former cricketing legend Imran Khan met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. According to Express Tribune’s sources, Khan and Modi would discuss a number of important political and strategical issues. Vikas Swarup, spokeperson of MEA wrote on Twitter: “At his request, Pakistan MP & Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf Party Imran Khan called on PM @narendramodi today. Mr Imran Khan invited PM @narendramodi to visit Pakistan. They welcomed recent developments in bil relations & expressed hope that these would lead 2 closer cooperative ties btween the 2 countries.” Imran Khan was quoted saying: “We grew up in Pakistan hating India but when I came here and started interacting with people my views changed. Don’t judge a whole country by acts of a few extremists.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj returned after a ‘successful’ visit to Pakistan, where she attended the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference and held bilateral talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his adviser Sartaj Aziz. “After a successful visit to Pakistan, EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for Delhi,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Holding a bilateral discussion, Swaraj and Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today ‘condemned’ terrorism and ‘resolved’ to cooperate to eliminate it. (Read: Sushma Swaraj returns after successful Pakistan visit)

Indo-Pak Talks: Minor controversy over missing Indian flag

Earlier, the tricolour was hoisted upside down during PM Narendra Modi’s photo with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur. The missing national flag in Pakistan did not go down well with many Indians.

Sharif- Swaraj

PTI
Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif came under some scrutiny when the tricolour was found missing from the backdrop, where both the leaders were sitting. Generally, whenever two leaders meet, the flags of both nations are displayed in the backdrop.Earlier, the tricolour was hoisted upside down during PM Narendra Modi’s photo with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur. The missing national flag in Pakistan did not go down well with many Indians. Here’s how they reacted on Twitter:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi attend wedding reception of Arun Jaitley’s daughter

Union ministers, industrialists, film stars, top bureaucrats and leaders from a number of political parties attended the reception.

Shah Rukh Khan attends Arun Jaitley’s daughter’s reception

Twitter
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several political leaders were among a large number of people who attended a reception to celebrate the wedding of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s daughter Sonali to businessman-lawyer Jaish Bakshi in New Delhi tonight.Union ministers, industrialists, film stars, top bureaucrats and leaders from a number of political parties attended the reception.

No report of disease outbreak in flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu: Centre

The team reached Tamil Nadu yesterday to extend all possible support and assistance to the state government during the present flood situation, the statement said.

Puram’s Twitter

There is no report of outbreak of any water-borne or vector-borne disease in the flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu, Health Ministry said on Monday.A public health team of the Health Ministry today met the Tamil Nadu Health Secretary and other officers of the Health Department to discuss the flood situation in the state and public health action that is required for prevention and control of communicable diseases, an official statement said. The team reached Tamil Nadu yesterday to extend all possible support and assistance to the state government during the present flood situation, the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The seven-member team will conduct rapid health assessment of the flood-hit areas and advise the state on public health measures. “The team has regrouped itself into three teams and is visiting flood affected areas, including the health facilities. The team is accompanied by officials from the State Health Department and Chennai Municipal Corporation,” it said.

Objectionable tweet case: Gujarat HC exempts Teesta Setalvad from personal appearance

Apart from exempting Teesta from appearing in person, the HC also asked the police to inform her seven days in advance to appear before them whenever she is needed here for the purpose of investigation.

In a relief to activist Teesta Setalvad, the Gujarat High Court on Monday exempted her from personal appearance before police every month in connection with a case in which she is accused of posting objectionable pictures of Hindu deities on a popular social networking site. Justice JB Pardiwala passed the order while hearing Setalvad’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance. A lower court had imposed the condition of personal appearance on Teesta after an FIR was filed against her at Ghatlodia police station here in August last year.Apart from exempting Teesta from appearing in person, the HC also asked the police to inform her seven days in advance to appear before them whenever she is needed here for the purpose of investigation. The FIR was filed against Teesta by a VHP activist, Raju Patel, for allegedly putting objectionable pictures of Hindu god and goddess on Twitter. Ghatlodia police are investigating the case. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Teesta had later removed the objectionable posts following an outcry. She was booked under sections 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups, and 205(a) (committing a deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs) of IPC, besides various sections of IT Act. She was granted a pre-arrest bail by the city sessions court with a condition that she will have to appear before Ghatlodia police station on the fifth day of every month.Teesta then approached the HC in August seeking modification of the bail condition. Granting her an interim relief, the HC had in September allowed Teesta to appear at the police station on any day in the first week of every month instead of the fifth day. In the same case, she had filed a plea before the HC seeking setting aside of the case against her, which is pending.

Dadri lynching: Mohd Akhlaq’s son contradicts UP govt’s claims, says will go to any extent to get justice

Mohammad Akhlaq

A day after Uttar Pradesh government claimed that the family members of Dadri lynching victim, Mohd Akhlaq, did not want any further probe in the matter, his son on Monday said he would “go to any extent to get justice”.”I haven’t said that I don’t want any further probe,” his son, Sartaj Saifi said, adding, “Meine sirf yeh kaha tha mujhe CBI probe ki abhi koi zarurat nahi hai” (I only said that presently there is no need for a CBI probe).”Insaaf ke liye, mujhe kahin tak bhi jaana pada, toh mein jaounga (for the sake of justice, I will go to any extent),” he said in various tweets from his Twitter handle @sartajsaifi162.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mein UP govt dwara ki gyi police karvayi se abhi tak santusth hun (I am satisfied with police probe till now),” Sartaj, who is a corporal with Indian Air Force, tweeted. When contacted, Sartaj told PTI over phone that he had got this tweeted to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office.A UP government spokesperson had on Sunday said the mother, brothers and other kin of Akhlaq, a resident of Bishada village in Gautam Budh Nagar district whose killing in September sparked nationwide outrage, had called on Yadav at his residence here. According to the spokesperson, the family members of the victim said they were satisfied with the action taken in the case so far and with the Rs 45 lakh compensation extended to them.”They also said that they do not want any further probe in the matter,” an official release issued by the government had said.50-year-old Akhlaq was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house following rumours that the family had consumed beef. Cow slaughter is banned in UP. Following the incident, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that Sartaj was being given accommodation at IAF’s Subroto Park residential complex in Delhi.Amidst debate in political circles over the issue, the Union government told Parliament during the current Winter Session that though no inquiry has been initiated by the Home Ministry into the Dadri lynching, a report has been sought from the state government.

Meet the men behind #ChennaiMicro- RJ Balaji talks about spearheading relief work with Siddharth

“#ChennaiMicro is not a movement we will give up now. We are in it for the long-term. We will work now to ensure that people are rehabilitated – that’s our responsibility and commitment,” said RJ Balaji.

He is hoarse from speaking non-stop but pressing on relentlessly 24X7. RJ Balaji may be known for his non-stop chatter on radio but this time it was for the cause of the people of Chennai. On December 1, actor Siddharth’s house was flooded with rainwater like so many thousands of homes in the city. He along with Balaji got into action realising that the incessant rain in Chennai was a serious issue. But they couldn’t imagine how huge an issue it would become in the next few days with the city becoming flooded, homes inundated and people stranded.Balaji and Siddharth decided to get together and start collecting relief material for distribution. They created #ChennaiMicro on Twitter and the rest was history. “When Siddharth and I got together initially, we really didn’t expect this kind of a response. There are ten to fifteen thousand people coming everyday now to the Big FM office wanting to volunteer. And it’s not just the youngsters who use Facebook or Twitter. There are 70-year-old grandfathers and retired people also coming to volunteer. This is truly a people’s movement,” says RJ Balaji extremely and humbled by what he has seen.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first day Balaji and Siddharth got together with some volunteers who connected with them online and fed about 5000 people on the first day. Then more people sent in supplies and more volunteers turned up. #ChennaiMicro gathered momentum and by December 7, they had been working non-stop for six days and had moved from Chennai to Cuddalore. Siddharth is currently in Cuddalore (area most affected area after Chennai) coordinating relief efforts and ensuring relief supplies moving in from Chennai and other parts reach the needy there.“Each and every one has to take up relief work and help out each other in every single locality. It is impossible for me and Siddharth to just work with 100 people or a few NGOs – every single person has to pitch in locally,” explains Balaji. Initially, they worked on ensuring that people got food and now they are slowly moving to other items like clothes and home needs. The amazing thing about this movement he adds is that they haven’t explicitly asked for things but all those who are coming to them are ensuring that all needs are taken care of. “If 100 people give us food, then there are 10 others ready to give us transport. It’s all falling into place on its own,” he adds.Ask him what they are planning to do over the coming week and Balaji says that they are coordinating with various groups to conduct medical camps across various areas. Balaji says now her and Siddharth have an emotional connect to #ChennaiMicro the overwhelming response they have seen over the last few days.“Siddharth and I don’t plan to go back to our respective professions next week. #ChennaiMicro is not a movement we will give up now. We are in it for the long-term. We will work now to ensure that people are rehabilitated – that’s our responsibility and commitment,” states Balaji.“If a milkman has lost ten cows in the rains, it means he has lost his livelihood. We need to ensure people get back their livelihood.”Balaji says that the policemen and corporation employees have been very helpful to them. “When we couldnt get through to some areas it was they who helped us. We could see them working tirelessly.”Balaji is currently in Chennai working on relief efforts and trying to work with groups to see how best #ChennaiMicro can plan its future course of action. Siddharth is on the ground in Cuddalore working in ensuring supplies reach people before he heads back. #ChennaiMicro started by these two men has now become a people’s movement that will transform the lives of many of those affected in Cuddalore and Chennai.Watch the video here:CHENNAI MICRO – PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT
#ChennaiMicro – Lets take it forward !!! #PeopleMovement
Posted by RJ Balaji on Sunday, December 6, 2015

How mainstream media promotes gender-based violence (and how feminists are fighting it)

Japleen Parischa, the founder of Feminism in India, talks about countering the mainstream media narrative.

Feminism in India campaign poster

Unless you develop a feminist consciousness, you will never really realise just how casually sexist and misogynist the world is. And nowhere is this more apparent than the media— whether it’s mainstream media, movies, songs or even advertisements. Every year from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (Human Rights Day), institutions and groups across the world participate in activism against gender-based violence. To commemorate and participate in the 16-day global campaign, Feminism in India is running a campaign called #GBVInMedia, which analyses mainstream media’s reporting and representation of #GBV.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>dna talked to Japleen Parischa, the founder of Feminism in India. (FII). FII is a year old organisation, which won the Manthan Award 2015 for ICT social innovations under the E-women and empowerment category. Parischa was also nominated for the Femina Women Awards 2015 under the Online Influencer Category.Excerpts from the interview:You could say that mainstream media (MSM) has really taken to covering incidents of gender violence with gusto, particularly since the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident. Has the increased coverage helped victims or potential victims? In what ways does MSM goof up when covering stories about gender violence? How does the sensationalism hurt the cause? How can newsrooms improve when covering gender-based violenceYes, after the 2012 gang rape case, gender as a subject has gained immense limelight in the media. This has both positive and negative effects as any other thing would have. Women’s issues and rights have been taken seriously as well as made a joke and claimed to be just ‘false cases’ for attention. Goof-ups by the media have been many: publishing the image of Badaun girls, slipping the Tehelka rape case survivor’s name, asking for Shakti Mills rape case’s survivor’s name, minutes after the incident occurred, glamorising and then defaming Rohtak sisters, the recent MRA (Mens’ Rights Activists) kind of posts by Indiatimes and the Mancriminate campaign by Maggcom.This misinformation especially in the case of ‘false cases’ silences women who are affected by this misinformation that they heard from someone or read somewhere and begin to have fears and doubts about telling their story or seeking legal justice. This is in turn affecting the reporting rates of sexual violence wherein women are forced to factor in possible social implications of their decision to report and the long battle that lies ahead for them.There is a pressing need for newsrooms to check the rampant homophobia and the prevalence of excessive descriptions of violence in news reports. Good editorial practices can nip these unethical acts in the bud. Some news organisations are conscientious enough but many more need to reflect and develop policies that can positively change the way these issues are reported.Gender in itself is a complex issue to understand and report about, gender-based violence is more so. It is a need of the hour that journalists reporting on gender and gender-based violence be trained and sensitised. Better policies should be adopted and enforced in news organisations. The onus lies on the editors and the journalists to take responsibility of the news coverage from a neutral and a gender sensitive lens.Online harassment has become a pandemic and isn’t just exclusive in India. Even John Oliver had a segment dealing with the issue on the Last Week Tonight. How does one deal with online harassment? Frankly, block/ignore doesn’t seem like a fair option. What can social media sites do to improve dealing with such cases?I’d like to quote Jac SM Kee, Manager of Women’s rights Program at APC, here for the first part of the questions. “Don’t be afraid of technology, get to know it; delve into and thoroughly understand the technology you are using, the data you are sharing and privacy settings. Insist on your presence and occupy online spaces. Facing an online attack can be exhausting and sometimes frightening. Reaching out to your allies and friends for support is an important strategy, both for solidarity as well as to strengthen your shared actions.” Responding with feminist narratives and content as well as not engaging with trolls whose main intentions are to drag you into pointless conversations is also recommended. Social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter should review their community guidelines and accept diversity. Not all abuse happens in English. Recently, Facebook refused to take down a page on child sexual abuse because it was in Malayalam and did not violate their ‘community guidelines’. They should also understand the local context of each country, which is mostly the reason of patriarchal culture.Shaming your harasser publicly is also another good technique and has resulted in positive actions, but make sure you have a good support system online if the harasser decides to attack again even after being shamed.Over the years, the trope might have changed from outright rape scenes to stalking to casual sexism, but there’s no denying the misogyny that continues to exist in modern day cinema, in all languages. The handful of movies in which women play an important role can be counted on your fingers. How do you counter that? How can the film industry evolve?It is difficult to counter popular media as opposed to news media, where reach is not a problem, thanks to social media. However, writing critical reviews, tagging actors, directors etc on Twitter, boycotting the movie, organising film screenings of alternative docus and movies and later discussing why that particular commercial movie was wrong on so many levels can make some impact. If we have to counter pop culture media, we have to make digital media our best friend.Secondly, it’s not the commercial or art house status of the film that defines how rape as a subject will be treated by filmmakers. For a movie to qualify as truly revolutionary in terms of how it shows GBV, there are certain sensitive issues which need to be touched upon. The very basic question that haunts us all is— where is the healing process? Why don’t these movies ever talk about the inner struggle of the woman, which by the way should move beyond societal ideas of respectability, honour, etc.Not just that, the journey of a rape survivor and her voice needs to come out well as opposed to a movie maker’s imagination. After all, if you are choosing a sensitive subject like rape and sexual assault, it would not do filmmakers much harm if they were to at least make sure that they produce content that does not objectify the woman. And most important of all, there should be enough clarity about how and why language matters. Whether a woman chooses to call herself a victim or a survivor should be up to her and her alone.In the last few years, there’s a definite effort from filmmakers to jump on the feminism bandwagon. We had Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa, NH 10, and movies like Queen or Tanu Weds Manu. Are these helping the situation?Yes, these are definitely somewhat helping the situation. But when popular actresses misuse the word feminism or say they don’t believe in feminism because it is man-hating, it brings us two steps down. Also, movies like Mardaani which is supposed to show an empowered woman but has a very patriarchal name doesn’t also help.The advertising industry is famous for playing to the audience, and despite the increase in spending power in women, is still hell-bent on selling products to men which will make them feel better about themselves. How does one combat this?I think Havells is doing a great job in breaking stereotypes and being feminist correctly unlike Airtel’s Boss advert. Other adverts can maybe learn a thing or two from Havell. And no, the answer to stopping objectification of women in adverts is not reverse-objectification. Finally, how has the campaign gone so far? How has the response been so far?The campaign has been great. We have received more than 16 submissions and covered a great deal of kinds of media from the news, newsrooms, click-bait media to social, digital, adverts, cinema, music, Indian comedy, books, etc. The campaign is also intersectional and talked about news media reportage of violence against women with disabilities, violence against LGBTQ people and caste-based violence. In the end of the campaign, we will publish a set of recommendations that the news media could implement to better report GBV. You can read more about the campaign here.

Tamil Nadu relief efforts shadowed by ‘Amma stickers’ row, AIADMK denies role

As soon as messages went viral on social media claiming that “AIADMK workers” were asking NGOs and volunteers to paste “Amma” stickers over relief material, the ruling party sent across counter-messages.

Twitter
The ongoing relief work in Tamil Nadu has been shadowed by charges in social media that AIADMK workers were nudging NGOs to paste stickers of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on relief material, a claim dismissed by the ruling party as “false”.As soon as messages went viral on social media claiming that “AIADMK workers” were asking NGOs and volunteers to paste “Amma” stickers over relief material, the ruling party sent across counter-messages.It said such claims in the social media were totally false and asked volunteers to complain to party headquarters or police if at all such demands were made.”We wish to reiterate that there is no such message in any form to anyone from the party. It is evident that it was a rumour and work by unscrupulous elements to defame the party and our honourable Chief Minister,” a senior AIADMK functionary declining to be named, told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a rumour, a canard spread by unscrupulous elements,” he said, adding efforts were being made to identify them. To another question, he said, “there is no need for us to insist that stickers of the CM be pasted on relief material. Our partymen are already busy discharging duties assigned to them in connection with relief work,” he said.He said there was a report of a relief-truck halted on Tiruvallur-Tiruttani Road, by some men who falsely claimed to be ruling party workers, asking them to paste “Amma” stickers and banners.Following such claims in the social media, DMK chief Karunanidhi had hit out at AIADMK “for delaying relief by many hours” so as “to paste stickers of Amma on relief materials to seek publicity.”Meanwhile, a Defence Public relations official here said Army men have been sent to Cuddalore for relief work.On reports of “logistical glitches” in relief work involving Army personnel here due to lack of coordination among State, Central agencies, he said, “Relief work is going on by the Army,” but declined to elaborate.Also Read: AIADMK asks volunteers to call and register complaints. Read full report here

When Chetan Bhagat got trolled for commenting on #DelhiOddEvenLogic

Bhagat got into an argument with Twitter users. Again.

Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat and Twitter controversy are almost synonymous with each other now. India’s bestselling novelist has never shied away from giving his views on the burning issue of the day but in the process often gets ‘burned’ by Twitter users with dissenting opinions.Something similar happened on Saturday, when Bhagat expressed his opinion on the newly given diktat by the AAP government to restrict plying of commercial vehicles in the road to curb pollution. The government has decided that cars with odd and even number plates will ply on alternate days. Bhagat effectively lampooned the decision, terming it ‘draconian’, ‘undemocratic’ and something that can’t be implemented. He also said that at a time when economic growth is the need of the hour, this decision will go against it. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is what he said,Taking a jibe at AAP supporters, Bhagat said,Tried to brush aside perception of being pro-BJP, Bhagat said,’CAT question’- Hat tip to MBA days? What followed was barrage of tweets attacking him. AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said-And the rest followed.Ek teer, do nishana SoBo Bhagat? Not sure if this is the best logic to counter Bhagat though.Sambit- the eternal whipping boy Aggression unlimited.Burn! IIM education getting questioned because of BhagatThis particular Twitter user was just brutal .No half-measures here.Last but not the least.Bhagat tried to counter by replying to some of the trolling. All in a day for Chetan Bhagat! So who do you think won, Bhagat or his trolls?

Chennai floods: Relief materials allegedly being allowed only after carrying Jayalalithaa stickers

Several people have taken to Twitter and have alleged that relief materials are being allowed only when they carry a mandatory sticker of Jayalalithaa.

Relief packages carrying stickers with J. Jayalalaithaa’s picture on it

Image Credit: Twitter (Anitha Sridhar)
Even as Chennai battles historic floods, power cuts and shortage of essential commodities, relief materials are being allowed into certain parts of the city only if they carry a sticker of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, according to a report in an English daily. Several people have taken to Twitter and have alleged that relief materials are being allowed only when they carry a mandatory sticker of the CM.The images shared also allegedly show AIADMK volunteers sticking posters and fliers on relief packets. These incidents were reported mostly in Chennai and Cuddalore. What went viral was Jayalalithaa’s poster depicting her as Baahubali, apparently implying that she was the one suffering during the floods in Tamil Nadu.One user lamented the alleged behaviour of AIADMK workers in the time of crisis.An angry mob spilled on to the streets when senior ministers Natham Viswanathan, Sellur Raju and Gokul Indira visited RK Nagar, Jayalalithaa’s constituency, and gheraoed and heckled them over the issue.At a press conference held on Friday in the Secretariat, the power minister Natham Viswanathan and Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan claimed that rescue works carried on by the government were were “extraordinary” and also blamed the opposition for criticism on relief work. The government ministers claimed that the opposition’s reaction was a politically-motivated move in order to influence assembly elections that would take place in early 2016.

Modi govt deliberately weakening labour laws, alleges Rahul Gandhi

He said that is why the labour laws were being diluted, so that the workers come to his knees.

Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of making deliberate attempts to weaken labour-related laws which was creating dissatisfaction among the workers.Alleging that Modi has launched a “big assault” on the workers, a combative Gandhi vowed to fight their battle like the Congress did for the farmers on the land acquisition bill.”Like we fought for the rights of farmers, we will fight for the cause of the workers and stand with them and would not retreat an inch. We will fight BJP, Modi and RSS,” he said amid applause at the 31st Plenary Session of INTUC, the trade union wing of the Congress. Gandhi said although he agreed with the Prime Minister’s idea of turning India into a global manufacturing centre to make it more competitive than China, the unanimity ends there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This, he claimed, was because the Prime Minister considers Indian worker as “dishonest, shirker and one who could be made to work only by wielding the stick”. He said that is why the labour laws were being diluted, so that the workers come to his knees. “If you look at the new laws being made in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, you will see that Modi has started a big assault on workers,” he said.He claimed the Prime Minister feels that there was need to weaken the labour laws and “discipline” the workers so that they could be forced to work. Modi feels that with ‘hire and fire’ policy and weakening of unions, the workers will be made to work, Gandhi claimed.”I do not agree that our worker is either shirker or indisciplined… Our worker is scared. He is scared of his future, the future of his children. The worker is scared whether the job he has today will be there tomorrow. Will the factory gate open for him tomorrow,” the Congress leader said.Insisting that the government should become “judge” between the labourers and the industry and “not advocate” of industry, he told the Prime Minister that if he is able to remove fear from the mind of the workers then India would be able to surpass China in no time.Addressing the gathering, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the “dissatisfaction” of workers with the “anti-labour and unimaginative” economic policies of the NDA government was obvious from the one day general strike observed in the country on September 2.Gandhi’s attack on the Modi dispensation came after INTUC chief G Sanjeeva Reddy accused the government of launching an assault on interests of the labourers in various ways. Reddy alleged that the government was not recognising INTUC as the largest trade union organisation in the country with 3.31 crore members despite “submission of all documents for verification”. Gandhi said Modi had attempted to acquire lands of farmers by promulgating the land ordinance thrice but Congress MPs resisted and ensured that it was not done. He alleged that now the Prime Minister’s attempt is to break the safety net for workers which was built over decades by the Congress when it was in power.Claiming that whosoever was advising the Prime Minister on labour matters was “wrongly advising” him, Gandhi said the workers would take India to greater heights if their “pain” is removed. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, the Congress vice-president said “these are days of Twitter and selfies” and Modi has a penchant for using new words and phrases.He assured the INTUC leadership that he would accommodate their representatives in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies as also in the ministries so that the issues of labour get their due attention. Former Prime Minister Singh said that in the name of structural labour reforms, attempts are being made to reduce the scope for secure industrial jobs in favour of contract labour and ‘hire and fire’ approach.”It is generally agreed that we need at least 500 million skilled workers by 2022. The actual pace on the ground is only a fraction of this target,” he said. At the same time, he said that industrial strife, strikes and lockouts are “not the best means” to resolve unrest. “We must enlarge the available space for resolving industrial problems through peaceful dialogue involving all the stake holders of the tripartite process namely workers, industry and government.”He said the trade union movement has to be made aware that at present Indian economy faces a fragile recovery and inadequate expansion of employment opportunities and public enterprises face an uncertain future.

Delhi’s ‘odd-even formula’: Twitter mocks Kejriwal govt’s anti-pollution move

“Particularly in winter when the pollution is high, we will implement for some time odd-and-even-number vehicle operations,” Delhi Chief Secretary K.K. Sharma told reporters on Friday after an emergency meeting.

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi will soon ban private cars from its roads on alternate days, according to their registration numbers, in an attempt to improve air quality in the world’s most polluted city. Smog has blanketed the national capital this week, as countries try to thrash out a deal to fight climate change at a UN summit in Paris. “Particularly in winter when the pollution is high, we will implement for some time odd-and-even-number vehicle operations,” Delhi Chief Secretary KK Sharma told reporters on Friday after an emergency meeting. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will make all efforts to start it from the first of January.” The government will run extra buses and ask the metro rail network to increase its services to cope with more people, he said. It will also consider shutting down inefficient coal power plants. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said implementation would be a challenge.”But something urgent needed to be done in view of the emergency situation,” he tweeted. “Lets assess after trying for a few days.”The World Health Organization said last year India had 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, and poor air caused hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year. The federal government is planning to force all commercial trucks more than 15 years old off the road from April and is reviewing how it checks vehicle emissions. Here’s how Twitter reacted to the incident: With inputs from Reuters

PIB expresses regret for ‘photoshop gaffe’ during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai

The photo was soon removed after questions were raised in social media about its authenticity.

The doctored image PIB used during PM’s visit to Chennai

Picture Courtesy: PIB Twitter page
Facing flak for posting a doctored photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying Tamil Nadu floods from a helicopter, PIB on Friday expressed regret saying the incident happened due to an “error of judgment”. In the picture posted by Press Information Bureau (PIB) on its website and Twitter, houses and water were reportedly seen clearly through the chopper’s window which the critics pointed out could not be possible during an aerial survey.The photo was soon removed after questions were raised in social media about its authenticity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a clarification issued here, the PIB said, “Out of the seven pictures released, one picture used the technique of merging two pictures. This is being referred to as ‘photoshopping’ in sections of media. This happened due to error of judgment and the picture was subsequently deleted. PIB regrets the release of the above mentioned picture and inconvenience caused is regretted,” it said in the statement.The Prime Minister had made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai, its suburbs and Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts yesterday.

Chennai rains: How residents resorted to self-help as floods gripped the city

The Indian military has struggled to evacuate thousands of residents stranded in and around Chennai.

Tech enthusiasts across India joined hands to help those left stranded by deadly flooding in the southern city of Chennai, using social media to crowd-source information to supply food, top-up mobile phone credits and offer refuge. Incessant rainfall in India’s fourth most-populous city has cut off more than 3 million people from basic services and disrupted power supplies, with the authorities under fire for slow relief and rescue operations. Volunteers and companies have responded by using online tools such as Google documents and social networks like Facebook and Twitter to organise their own crisis response, with some setting up dedicated online resources to help others in need. “We are passing rescue requests to government officials and local people,” said Krish Ashok, part of a team running Chennairains.org, which lists verified details of those offering shelter, water and clothing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian military has struggled to evacuate thousands of residents stranded in and around Chennai. Heavy rains in Tamil Nadu state have killed 269 people and critically injured another 1,000. Mobile and internet services, though intermittent, have become the key mode of communication between those offering and seeking aid in the coastal IT outsourcing hub. Practo, a company that connects patients to doctors, issued a public Google document with a list of 57 doctors available for consultation. The list was being updated by a five-member team. “We are checking doctors’ availability hourly due to the connectivity issues. We’re also adding details of doctors who’ve reached out and volunteered to help,” a Practo spokesman said.On social media, citizens used hash tags such as #ChennaiRainsHelp to share helpline numbers, offer free food and drugs and even arrange conference calls for those out of credit on their mobile phones. Ammar Kanchwala, a Hyderabad-based IT executive, said he had used his own funds to add calling credits to about 50 mobile phone users who were stranded. Sriharan Balan, a 25-year-old travel consultant in Chennai, was using Facebook to reach out to those in need and supplying them with home-cooked food. “These are all my people. Obviously, I need to help them,” he said. While 18,000 people have been evacuated from rooftops and outlying villages, many remain in dire need of basic supplies. Ola, India’s leading online taxi firm that last week worked with fishermen and professional rowers to co-ordinate boat rescues, said it was running temporary homes that were equipped with relief supplies.

How the spirit of Chennai shone through amidst the flood fury

At a time when the entire country is struggling to understand tolerance and intolerance, on days when most newspapers and TV news channels woke up to the flood in Chennai way too late, I am thankful for what I saw in the last 24 hours.

AFP
We joked about the Mumbai rains in 2005. We called those who panicked about going home old fuddy duddies. Then we stepped out of our offices in Lower Parel and walked through chest high water. It took us over four hours to cover about five kilometres. On the way, we were recipients of kindness by residents of the areas we passed. They handed out packets of biscuits, bread, bottles of water. We had no umbrellas, we were soaked through and rats floated alongside us. Mumbai in July 2005 was a nightmare I’ll never forget. No one will. But it also threw up something that’s become hard to define, but easily bandied about – the spirit of Mumbai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No one really knows what it is, but the closest one can come to describe it would be to use the word resilience. The city was applauded for its grit and the fact that it was back on its feet in two days. I wondered what it was about Mumbai and its people that made them come together stronger than the rain that was battering them. I wondered if it was endemic to that city alone. In the last 48 hours, I have discovered it isn’t. Because I saw the same thing happen in Chennai – through the day, and all night long. People opened up their homes to strangers — human and animal. They filled their online wallets with money and generously offered to recharge phone numbers. They made packets and packets of food to distribute to those stranded. In a sweet, infallible gush of innate goodness, people on Twitter came together to act as go-betweens for those who were stranded and those who were offering help in any form. The exact thing that happened in Mumbai, but ten times over, and twice as fast, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. This overflow of dignified, dedicated, almost bullish empathy I was seeing, made me cry, I’ll be honest. It made my spirit swell and it made my heart ache with a pain that I haven’t known in a long while. Friends and online acquaintances messaged me to say how their faith in humanity, something that this country has steadily been depleting in people I know, was restored. I am sure many others got similar messages from their friends and acquaintances. All it takes is one tragedy bigger than us, one calamity that threatens to defeat us completely before we reach deep, deep within for reserves of that unique thing that sets us apart and refuses to be beaten. It is also the very thing that makes us bay for each others’ blood when things don’t go our way on a normal, non-catastrophic day. If you don’t dwell on the definition of catastrophe too much, by the way.At a time when the entire country is struggling to understand tolerance and intolerance, on days when most newspapers and TV news channels woke up to the flood in Chennai way too late, I am thankful for what I saw in the last 24 hours. Unadulterated, binding, even magical examples of humanity – the one thing an entire country pretends not to have. Empathy and humanity, things most of us fight day in and day out. Our own and others’; because being human and empathic makes us vulnerable. And you sure as hell don’t want to be that because how are you going to survive, then?Well, turn to Chennai today and see how vulnerability has opened up homes to strangers, created relief volunteers when the system seemingly broke down (after a point helpline numbers were unreachable), found food, and even oxygen tanks for the ill. Then tell me letting yourself be vulnerable and wearing empathy on your sleeve is a bad thing.

Chennai Rains: Meet the real-life Rajinikanths who are keeping the city afloat

Volunteers helping during the Chennai rains (PTI)

File Photo
Though Chennai rains managed to disrupt life of the residents, several social media users came together to share useful information and many others went ahead to share accommodation, food and help in rescue. One such effort was the Google spreadsheet which was shared in a big way. Here are the people behind the spreadsheet, as per The News Minute.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sowmya Rao, a lawyer who is currently living in Delhi said that a person on Twitter with the handle @atlasdanced said that they should put out a Google spreadsheet on people who are willing to help. “I told him that I was happy to help. So, I started with the Google spreadsheet,” says Sowmya. The work on the spreadsheet began that night with details kept filling in. Soon more and more people started offering help and the information increased throughout the night. “At around 10.00 pm it moved from just being a shelter-offering, recharge-offering, mechanics-offering thing to see if we can coordinate rescue as well. We realized having Google forms for that made sense,” Rao said. They reached out to media houses and online forums and other people asking them to share the information too all.The link was taken up by Twitter India too leading to more people accessing it. On Wednesday, the group started working till 2.00 am to collate as much information together. At 2.45 am, Karthik Balakrishnan, a developer who works at Hasgeek, offered to build a website. Balakrishnan, along with a friend with US and Canada too worked all night and started the site. “The site is up and running and we are asking all authorities to look at the sheet. We have also got some volunteers now who are tracking the tweets and talking to 108. We are trying to pass on the information to them, so we can help them with tracking stranded people,” Sowmya added. Others behind the website are Shrinivas SG, a Chennai-ite from Gurgaon, Srinath Sripath, a Digital Marketing Manager working for the Tata Group living in Mumbai and Vishnu Prasad, a Chennaite working as a product consultant for Freshdesk.The site also has a rescue form and a volunteer form. People who want to help in rescue or volunteer in tasks such as cooking, driving for pickups, providing shelter etc can sign up on those sheets.

Rain lash many parts of Tamil Nadu; schools remain shut in Chennai

Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination.

Image courtesy: Twitter

Sharp showers continued to lash many parts of the state, including Chennai, resulting in water-logging in many areas and forcing closure of schools in the city even as the weather office forecast more rains.Authorities declared a holiday for schools in Chennai, which witnessed heavy downpour in the morning, after spells of rain on Sunday.Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination.Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In many areas, motorists and pedestrians were seen carefully negotiating potholes on the roads, many of which had been damaged due to the monsoon fury.The weather office said a low-pressure area would form in the southeast Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours commencing 0830 hrs, warning of more rain in different parts of the state.”Moderate to rather heavy rain would occur at many places over all the districts of Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puduchery,” it said.Rain also continued to lash many other parts of the state including Tiruchirappalli, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur.A report from Erode said vegetable wholesale traders and retail dealers were affected as they could not transport the produce from villages to town areas.Inspite of the rain, educational institutions remained open in Erode district and parents were seen escorting their children in water-logged areas.

Marathi daily attacked for publishing blasphemous cartoon

However, the editor of the newspaper later extended an immediate apology for the cartoon.

The controversial cartoon published in the paper

Image Credit: Twitter
A leading Marathi newspaper group, Lokmat’s office was attacked in multiple places in Maharashtra. The copies of the Sunday edition of the newspaper were also burnt at several places because of a blasphemous cartoon which was published in Lokmat’s supplement Manthan. The article titled ‘ISIS cha Paisa’ (ISIS’ money) and its accompanying image irked the members of the Muslim community and hundreds of Muslims in Dhule, Nandurbar, Malegaon and other parts of Maharashtra staged various protests. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An FIR was also registered against the cartoonist and the editor of the newspaper. However, the editor of the newspaper later extended an immediate apology for the cartoon and assured that action will be taken against those responsible for the publication of the particular cartoon. Following the massive protests, security has been increased in all the Lokmat offices across Maharashtra. A top Maharashtra Police official. Security at all the Lokmat offices across Maharashtra has been beefed up.“We are monitoring the situation and we request the people to help us maintain peace,” a top Maharashtra Police official said. People also took on social media to comment on the protests:

Government tells Delhi HC it has no formal pact with Facebook, Twitter to use them

Delhi High Court has motioned towards the discourse of social media usage by the government, with only a standard agreement.

Representational Image (File Photo)

dna Research & Archives
The government has told the Delhi High Court that its media wing and IT departments are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter by entering into standard agreements and not any formal or separate deals.The government has submitted before the high court that the agreements are “accepted” in ‘click and wrap’ mode wherein assent to the terms and conditions is given by clicking on an ‘OK’ or ‘agree’ button on a dialog box or pop-up window.The submission has been made by Department of Electronics and Information Technology in an affidavit in which it has stated that the media wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms of social media for information dissemination.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”… The standard agreements for use of social media have been accepted in ‘click and wrap’ mode and no other formal or separate agreement was signed as a part of account creating process,” the department has said, while also placing before the court the current terms of service and privacy policy of YouTube.The government had earlier placed before the court the standard agreement that it has with Facebook.The department said it too uses social media in the same manner as MHA’s media wing by agreeing to the terms and conditions in ‘click and wrap’ mode.The affidavit has been filed in response to the court’s directions to place before it the contracts or agreements the government has with social media sites.The court had asked for the information while hearing a PIL filed by former BJP leader K N Govindacharya who has raised questions on social media usage by the government.Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for Govindacharya, had earlier told the court that as per contracts the government has with these companies, it is “transferring/surrendering” all intellectual property rights of the data being uploaded.Earlier, the court had observed it appeared that when anything was uploaded on social media sites, the websites got a licence to the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the content without paying any royalty and had asked the Centre whether it was aware of this.The court had also observed that when the government gives royalty-free licence to Facebook without anything in return, “it was akin to (giving) state largesse”.

Diwali Milan: Omar Abdullah takes dig at ‘selfie circus’ during PM Modi’s event

“This is the media we expect will ask tough questions of this government? Great visuals of an undignified selfie circus!!!” Omar posted on Twitter.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today took a jibe at journalists who were seen taking selfies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Diwali Milan event, calling it an “undignified selfie circus”. “This is the media we expect will ask tough questions of this government? Great visuals of an undignified selfie circus!!!” Omar posted on Twitter.The National Conference leader was referring to the visuals of journalists jostling with each other to have selfies with Modi at a Diwali Milan luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister in the national capital today. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

‘It’s been a wonderful ride’: Amitabh Bachchan reaches 18 mn Twitter followers

Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is the most followed Indian film celebrity on Twitter, has set the bar higher with 18 million followers on the micro-blogging platform. The actor has thanked all his fans, and said he is now aiming for the 20 million mark.

“18 MILLION…Thank you all… It’s been a wonderful ride… now to 20! BAADDDUUUMMMMMBAAAAA,” the thespian tweeted on Friday night.

Image courtesy: Getty images.Image courtesy: Getty images.

Image courtesy: Getty images.

Following close on the heels of the “Deewar” actor is superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who has a following of 16.4 million on the micro-blogging website.

The 73-year-old actor is very active on social media platform to keep his fans and followers updated about his professional and personal life.

On the silver screen, the actor will next be seen in Bejoy Nambiar’s “Wazir”, which also stars actor Farhan Akhtar and Neil Nitin Mukesh.

Additionally, he will also be seen making a cameo with his wife Jaya Bachchan in R. Balki’s “Ki and Ka”, which is set to release next year.

IANS

Smriti Irani’s toothless Twitter salvo on journalist backfires

The HRD Minister, Smriti Irani seems to have hired a fixer who’s motto is that there is no bad publicity. She is in the news again as she raged on in a twitter war with a journalist.

Anubhuti Vishnoi from the The Economic Times bureau published a story on how the HRD minister has recommended over 5000 requests for admission to the Kendriya Vidyalaya chain of schools in the current academic year. The schools which look after the requirements of the children of transferable Central government employees, admit close to 1.5 lakh new students every year. The board of governors, according to the paper, decided to increase the admission quota for MPs to 10 per year from six, enabling 7900 seats to be filled through MP quotas.

The paper also reported more than a ‘four-fold jump from quota levels of her predecessors’. The writer tweeted this story, but little did she imagine that Smriti Irani would lock horns with her when she responded via twitter and said, “it is bcoz of journalists like u dat a reader like me has stopped subscribing to ET,”

She continued by tweeting, “All admissions r recorded as per requests frm MPs across parties+Bpl families. Ur source based lie as usual ignores facts,” and “I recognise ur source based agenda n have made public my contempt for it.” The minister finally generalised and said that “Two lines are ours and the rest of the story is yours”. While the reporter kept her cool and respectfully said that repeated calls were made to the ministry and there was no response, Irani continued tweeting that the story would have been biased anyway. The Internet is a cruel place and Irani got the worst of it as people tweeted in support of the writer and joined her in blaming the ministry for not being forthcoming with answers. While some Twitteratis took to making fun of her poor language use: “bcoz”, “ur”, “dat”.

Perhaps, Smriti Irani will think twice before launching an assault through Twitter.

On an ‘impromptu outing’, PM Modi dines with Lee Hsien Loong at Indian restaurant in Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was a “happy guest” on his maiden visit to Singapore where he had a vegetarian dinner with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and his wife at an Indian restaurant in Little India.

PM Modi takes selfie with Lee Hsien Loong | Image Courtesy: MEA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was a “happy guest” on his maiden visit to Singapore where he had a vegetarian dinner with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and his wife at an Indian restaurant in Little India.”Diwali lights & delicious Indian food. Thank you @leehsienloong,” PMO India tweeted along with photos showing the two leaders having food together ahead of their bilateral talks tomorrow.”The hospitable host & the happy guest…PM @narendramodi at Little India. Chai Pe Charcha with @leehsienloong,” said another tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi, who has a penchant for clicking selfies with leaders on foreign tours, continued the trend on the first day of his maiden visit to Singapore by clicking a selfie with Lee and his wife Ho Ching.Besides Modi, the selfie was also posted by Lee on his Twitter account, saying: “Ho Ching & I took PM @NarendraModi to Little India. Took a #wefie after a delicious vegetarian meal.”Earlier today, Modi delivered a 20-minute ’37th Singapore Lecture – India’s Singapore Story’ – soon after his arrival here during which Lee was also present.The Indian prime minister flew into Singapore from Malaysia in the second and final leg of his four-day visit to southeast Asia.Little India – a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where South Asians working in Singapore spend their day off – was the scene of the December 8, 2013 riots, the city-state’s worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years.

AAP MLA Sarita Singh booked for ‘misbehaving’ with police official

The incident was also recorded by someone, which later went viral on media, said a senior police official.

Image courtesy Twitter

An Aam Aadmi Party MLA was on Sunday booked for allegedly misbehaving with a police official on duty in northeast Delhi’s Rohtash Nagar area, a charge denied by the legislator.According to the police, legislator Sarita Singh’s driver allegedly hit the police official’s motorbike while reversing his car. The officer, identified as assistant sub-inspector Om Pal, deployed in security arrangement at an event in the area.He had to jump off to save himself from getting injured, police claimed. An argument broke out between the driver and the officer during which the MLA intervened and allegedly hurled abusive words on the ASI.The incident was also recorded by someone, which later went viral on media, said a senior police official. The incident took place at the parking area around 7.15 PM when Singh had gone to attend the event where ASI Om Pal and his team were deployed, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”An FIR has been registered under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 279 (rash driving) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC and investigation is underway,” said DCP (Northeast) Veenu Bansal. However, MLA Sarita Singh alleged that it was the officer who abused her first, leading to the entire episode, and the police were targeting her because she belonged to a particular party which has always been targeted by Delhi Police.”I will go to Bhajanpura Police station and lodge a complaint. I shall also meet senior officials and take up the matter with them,” Singh said.

Tejaswi Yadav takes on critics, says don’t judge a book by its cover

In another message on the micro blogging site Twitter, he said, “Cynic, biased ones with vested interest will always be dismissive but stakeholders-people of Bihar-will reap fruits – trust shown in youth.”

The first time MLA from Raghopur, Tejaswi who is younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad has been named as Deputy Chief Minister in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar. (File Photo)

dna Research & Archives
With his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister in Bihar government drawing criticism, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad’s son Tejaswi today took on his detractors, asking them “not to judge a book by its cover” and vowed to increase the value of ‘Brand Bihar’ so that Nitish Kumar “is proud” of him. Taking to Twitter, the 26-year-old said people of Bihar will reap fruits of the “trust shown in youth”. “No one should try judging a book by its cover. Potential, like sweet nectar and bitter medicine, takes time to show its real benefit,” he said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another message on the micro blogging site Twitter, he said, “Cynic, biased ones with vested interest will always be dismissive but stakeholders-people of Bihar-will reap fruits – trust shown in youth.” “Rest assured that vigor amd liveliness of youth in Bihar Cabinet will be ably guided and utilized by tested CM, for the welfare of ppl of Bihar,” the new Bihar Deputy CM tweeted. “I will leave no stone unturned for development & to increase the value of Brand Bihar, so that Nitish Kumar can be proud of me as his deputy,” he said.Former BJP MP and cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu had mockingly said on twitter that “Bihar is ready to get a best government of era. From Sushil Modi to Tejaswi Yadav Bihar will grow more rapidly.”The first time MLA from Raghopur, Tejaswi who is younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad has been named as Deputy Chief Minister in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar. The number two position going to him and not the more experienced leaders of RJD has triggered a barrage of criticism especially in social media. Being the biggest constituent of secular alliance with 80 MLAs, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad managed to win number two and three positions in the Cabinet for his sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap respectively.Tejaswi and Tej Pratap arrived together for the first meeting of the state Cabinet today at state secretariate. Emerging from the meeting, Tejaswi told reporters, “Whatever responsibilty has been entrusted to us we will fullfill it without any interest.” “We will try to stand true on the expectations of the public in taking Bihar forward on the path of development,” Tejaswi, who was flanked by Tej Pratap, said.

PM Narendra Modi now has more than 16 million Twitter followers

Narendra Modi’s Twitter account gets an addition of another million followers, taking the total follower count to 16.1 million.

Online campaigns upheave Modi’s Twitter following

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Number of followers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, @narendramodi, on social media site Twitter has crossed 16 million mark, by adding record number of followers in last one year.”In a span of two months, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account gets an addition of another million followers, taking the total follower count to 16.1 million,” Twitter said in a statement.Modi’s follower number crossed 15 million on September 22, 2015. Since the time he was sworn into office on May 26, 2014, he has added 11.9 million followers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”PM Modi has also set new records as the largest increase in the number of followers in a 12-month period for an Indian account (8.8 million followers from Sep 17, 2014 to Sep 17, 2015),” Twitter said.TWITTER RACEUS President Barack Obama (@barackobama) tops the list with 66.1 million followers
Modi is the most followed Indian politician, and the 2nd most followed politician in the world after Barack Obama
Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) runs with 17.8 million followers and Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) at 16.2 million followers
​Modi has used twitter for campaigns like #MakeInIndia, #SwachBharat, #MannKiBaat and #SefieWithDaughter to reach and connect with the citizens for development and progress.”Recently, PM Modi’s umbrella initiative #MakeInIndia, one of the largest economic development initiatives planned by the government, became the first non-US brand to launch its own Twitter emoji to a worldwide audience,” the statement added.The #MakeInIndia emoji symbolises the success of the brand campaign on Twitter with nearly 500 million impressions this year to promote India as a great place for foreign direct investment to transform the country into a global manufacturing hub.

Fight against intolerance will be balanced when Muslims eat pork in the open: Tripura governor Tathagata Roy

In one of the more controversial and communal statements made in the debate on intolerance in India, Tripura Governor and former president of the Bengal BJP Tathagata Roy has said that the fight against intolerance will only be balanced when Muslims have pork in the open.

Tathagata Roy. Image courtesy: @tathagata2/Twitter

Tathagata Roy. Image courtesy: @tathagata2/Twitter

“People have the right to eat what they want but the scales would be even when Muslims come out and have pork in the open. And that day, we can really call it war against intolerance,” Roy said in an exclusive interview to The Economic Times.

On being asked what he thought about the emergence of a ‘secular Grand Alliance’ in Bihar, Roy gave a vague answer and said that he does not accept the definition of the word ‘secular’.

Roy is infamous for his communal remarks. He had earlier said that many of the people present at the funeral of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon after he was hanged were “potential terrorists”.

“Intelligence should keep a tab on all (except relatives and friends) who assembled before Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists,” Roy had tweeted.

Later, Roy, while responding to questions, had said that he had excluded Memon’s relatives and friends. “Why did others come to see a man who was hanged? They must have sympathy for him,” he had said.

In another tweet, the governor had said, “It is my constitutional duty to bring matter of public interests to public notice. My position as governor is not thereby compromised.”

Facing criticism that he appeared to target a particular community, Roy had defended his tweet with another post, “When I suggested intelligence keeping a tab, I mentioned no community.”

Roy had been appointed as Tripura Governor in May. He had previously posted controversial tweets on Gujarat riots, ‘love jihad’ and the Hindu population.

When he had spoken to journalists after taking oath as Tripura Governor, he had said he would not allow his personal views to come in the way of discharging his official duties as governor and that he will leave “no room for political affinity”.

Asked about his pro-Hindutva views, he had said, “That was a different person, a political person, I said things which my politics dictated, my beliefs dictated. I don’t regret them. But after becoming Governor, I have constitutional duties.”

Clearly, though, nothing seems to have changed about Tathagata Roy.

With inputs from PTI

Pahlaj Nihalani now wants to make a documentary exposing FTII students as ‘anti-national’

Central Board of Film Certification chairman, Pahlaj Nihalani is in the news again and this time it isn’t about his much-talked-about video tribute to Prime Minister Narendra ModiMera Desh Mahan‘.

Next on Nihalani’s bucket list is to make a documentary film to expose FTII students as “anti-nationals”, who he thinks are backed by unimportant industry members whose only aim is to bring down the Modi government.

New censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLiveNew censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLive

In an Economic Times report, Nihalani said that the ongoing FTII protests (which have been in motion since June this year, against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairperson) are being supported by producers who “have never made any commercially viable movie in life”.

He adds, “I am going to make a movie on how badly the FTII was functioning all these years and how the students were using government resources continuously but working against it.” He also said that these students may have managed to get everyone’s attention, but they will not be able to adjust in FTII with “such an attitude”.

After calling off their 139-day strike, which was followed by the #awardwapsi debate with Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and other filmmakers returning their National Awards, the FTII students have now decided to take their protests to the International Film Festival of Goa.

Nihalani also defended his tribute video by rubbishing unnecessary criticism towards it. “If this is chamchagiri (sycophancy), then I am proud of it,” he told NDTV, in this report.

CST’s faux pas: Iconic station gets French flag wrong while showing solidarity for Paris attacks

An illuminated Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus building in Mumbai is a beautiful sight. From the Indian tricolour on Independence Day to pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the iconic railway station in Mumbai is often been lit up for various causes along the lines of the Empire State Building and other buildings world over.

On Sunday, the heritage structure joined landmarks around the world to show solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks by projecting the colours of the French flag. From the Opera House in Sydney to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the illuminated monuments made for a amazing sight.

CST lit up in the Dutch colours. PTICST lit up in the Dutch colours. PTI

CST lit up in the Dutch colours. PTI

However, while all the other buildings showed the blue, white and red of the French national flag, the lights on CST actually showed the reverse. CST was lit in red, white and blue instead, invariably ending up showing the colours of the Dutch flag.

While the intention was a noble one, the goof up in colours seemed to dampen the overall spirit of the gesture. A little attention to detail would have gone a long way, especially since the image of CST was shared world over.

Imagine if the situation was reversed and a foreign monuments showed the Indian tricolour with the green band on top and saffron at the bottom?

This glaring error did not go unnoticed on social media several Twitter users pointed out the flaw by Mumbai railways.

Some people on Twitter managed to see the lighter side of things

But most were critical about CST’s goof up