Friday, April 29, 2011
Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:49 AM Updated: Friday, April 29, 2011, 10:04 AM
Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, wed his university sweetheart Catherine Middleton this morning before 1,900 guests in the soaring nave of
Abbey. Billions tuned in to the nuptials online and on television, and tens of thousands of Union Jack-waving Brits and tourists thronged the processional route though central Westminster . London
The hour-long ceremony capped weeks of near-blanket press coverage in which every possible permutation of dress, decor and diplomacy has been debated breathlessly -- Catherine Walker or Alexander McQueen? Chignon or blow-out? Freesias or lillies of the valley? Disinvite the Syrian ambassador or not? (They did.)
It's a day that many royal-watchers anticipated with a zeal that bordered on fanatical: There is apparently a market for royal wedding nail decals, knit-your-own Wills and Kate dolls, and even a commemorative refrigerator splashed with the toothy grins of the lucky couple (talk about a diet aid).
It's also a day that some believed would never come for the poised, patient Middleton, saddled with "Waity Katie" by the British press for the couple's lengthy courtship.
Much has been made of Middleton's "commoner" background -- she was raised in the Berkshire
by a one-time pilot and a former flight attendant who later made millions from a mail-order toy and party good company. But unlike Prince Charles' brief courtship of Lady Diana Spencer, William and Middleton's union appears to a long-considered match of hearts and minds, with the 29-year-old bride, having absorbed Diana's triumphs and tragedies, fully, perhaps painfully, aware of what her village of Buckleberry
new role will entail.
In honor of the marriage, Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon her grandson and heir the title of Duke of
, a duke being the highest rank in the British peerage, the palace announced early this morning. Middleton will be called the Duchess of Cambridge . Cambridge
In contrast to Diana's over-the-top profusion of sleeves and skirt at her 1981 nuptials, Middleton opted for romantic but restrained elegance in a nipped-waist ivory and white satin gazar gown with a relatively modest cathedral-length train by Sarah Burtonfor Alexander McQueen, the British avant garde designer who committed suicide last year. Middleton likely set a legion of lace manufacturers' hearts aflutter with the long-sleeved V-neck overlay; roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks were hand-cut from the lace and appliqued onto ivory silk tulle. (David's Bridal, the American discount bridal dress chain, shot out a press release hawking a similar pick from its collection less than 90 minutes after Middleton's first appearance.)
The Queen lent Middleton her own 1936 Cartier tiara, and Middleton wore diamand-set oak leaf earrings with a pear-shaped diamond drop and diamond acorn given to her by her parents, and carried a simple bouquet of lily-of-the-valley, sweet William, hyacinth and myrtle, including a spring from a plant grown from the myrtle used in Elizabeth's 1947 wedding bouquet.
British prime minister David Cameronrecalled sleeping along the processional route for Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981. "I suppose like many people my age (I) have watched Prince William grow up and all the challenges he's had -- obviously losing his mother, but now finding love and wanting to get married," he told Sky News. "Like anyone who's lived in
, you feel quite an attachment to this event and that's why I think the whole country's getting so excited about it." Britain
William met Middleton, six months his senior, during their first year at St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland, where they both studied art history. In their first interview following their engagement, Middleton admitted that upon meeting the prince for the first time, she "went bright red and scuttled off, feeling very shy." (She also denied that as a girl, she had a photo of the prince taped her bedroom wall. "I had the Levi's guy, not a picture of William, sorry," she said in the ITV interview. William: "It was me in Levi's, obviously.")
Later the two shared a house with other friends, but their romantic relationship didn't come to light until 2004, in their final year at university. It's unclear when they first started dating, although William's interest was reportedly piqued in 2002, when Middleton modeled a gossamer lace dress over a black bra and bikini bottoms in a charity fashion show. (The dress recently sold at auction for more than $125,000.)
While William underwent military training outside
, Middleton briefly worked as an accessories buyer at the British clothing chain Jigsaw, then went to work for her parents' party supply business. She endured the crush of paparazzi and the sniffs of the upper crust -- Middleton, whose ancestors include lawyers, butchers, domestic servants and coal miners, is the first non-aristocrat to marry a royal so close to occupying the throne since the 17th century. London
In fact, the press tagged Middleton and her younger sister Pippa, who served as her maid of honor, with the insulting nickname the Wisteria Sisters: "highly decorative, terribly fragrant and with a ferocious ability to climb."
William and Middleton weathered a brief split in 2007. According to Claudia Joseph's biography "Kate: The Making of a Princess," William, then 24, felt pressured to commit. He reportedly celebrated the split by dropping nearly $5,000 on drinks at a
nightclub, where he shouted "I'm free" and performed the signature victory dance of a favorite footballer -- the robot. London
Middletown, meanwhile, played it cool, and within three months they had reunited, making their first appearance since the split at the Concert for Diana, organized by William and Prince Harry for the 10th anniversary of their mother's death.
In contrast to his parents -- Diana claimed that she and Charles only met 13 times before their marriage -- William and Middleton certainly took their time getting to the altar, so much so that Charles, upon learning of the engagement, quipped, "They've been practicing long enough."
In the ITV interview, William said their long history as friends gave them a solid foundation for the future. "I knew over the years, I knew that things were getting better and better, and we went through a few stumbling blocks as every relationship does, but we picked ourselves up and carried on."
They had planning on getting married for at least a year before announcing the engagement in November, but William did surprise Middleton when he presented her with his mother's sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring during a vacation in Kenya in October. Giving her that iconic ring was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement," William said.
On Thursday night, Middleton stayed at an $8,000-a-night suite at the five-star Goring Hotel, then arrived at Westminster Abbey shortly before 11 a.m. GST, walking down the aisle on the arm of her father to the choral work "I Was Glad," composed for the 1902 coronation of William's great-great-great grandfather Edward VII at Westminster Abbey.
The couple sidestepped at least some memories of Charles and Diana's ill-fated match by choosing to wed at
Westminster instead of 's Cathedral. The 1,000-year-old abbey is where then-Princess St. Paul married Prince Philip in 1947, and where a 4-year-old William served as a pageboy for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding in 1986. (A TV wedding commentator noted that William, in a sailor suit and bowler, appeared "rather doubtful and rather cross.") Elizabeth
Today William wore the scarlet-jacketed, blue-sashed uniform of a colonel of the Irish Guards, while
sported a butter-yellow suit and hat, both by Angela Kelly, her personal dresser. The millinery spotted on the couple's nearest and dearests were not the for faint-hearted. Elizabeth
The guest list ranged from British aristocrats and crowned heads to pop star Elton John and power couple David and Victoria Beckham to the couple's respective former flames, pals from university and colleagues from the Royal Air Force and William's philanthropic efforts, including the splendidly named Barty Pleydell-Bouverie, who raises money for African wildlife conservation efforts.
The 28-page program included a note from the couple: "The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness."
Despite the grand proportions of the abbey and the pomp the circumstances dictated, the ceremony was surprisingly intimate, with the couple flanked by their immediate families just before the abbey's altar. The couple composed their own brief prayer that read in part: "In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, married the couple, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, in his sermon attempted to make more universal this singular celebration, noting "In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future."
Middleton, like Diana, did not promise to obey her husband, instead vowing to "love, comfort, honor and keep" him.
The threatened drizzle did not materialize, so the couple didn't disappoint those who staked out positions along processional under clouds of confetti. They left Westminster in an open-air 1902 State Landau, crossing Parliament Square and riding along Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall before heading into Buckingham Palace, where they greeted the crowed from teh balcony and exchange two quick kisses. Queen Elizabeth hosted a reception for 600 guests at the palace, and later Charles was scheduled to fete the couple with a private dinner and dancing, although rumors that Beyoncé would turn up to belt "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" were denied by the singer on Thursday. After all, Middleton is Waity Katie no more.
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Union Minister M.K. Alagiri to quash a criminal case registered against him on the basis of a complaint lodged by a Tahsildar, who was also the Assistant Returning Officer of Melur Assembly constituency here on April 1. Declining to entertain the petition, Justice R.S. Ramanathan held that there were no grounds to quash the case at the present stage as the Tahsildar had categorically stated in the First Information Report that the Minister yelled at him and also attempted to assault him. According to the complainant, the Minister had got enraged when he ordered video recording of the Minister's visit to a local temple along with his partymen following a tip-off that the visit was meant to canvass votes for the Assembly election held on April 13.
The judge pointed out that there was no dispute on the issue that the Tahsildar, M. Kalimuthu, was duly authorised by the Election Commission, in his capacity as the Assistant Returning Officer, to record the movements of certain political leaders on video.
When such was the case, the allegation that the Minister yelled at the officer and asked him to get out of the temple would attract Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code which prohibits an individual from causing obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person employed lawfully, he observed. Mr. Justice Ramanathan said Section 141 (unlawful assembly) would also be attracted in the present case. Visiting a temple with a group of 40 to 50 individuals may not be termed as unlawful, but in this case, it turned into one due to the alleged conduct of the visitors, he added.
As for the affidavit filed by the Tahsildar before the court retracting the allegations of assault, the judge said that it was for the police and not the court to take a call on the issue. “No such incident took place on the date as alleged in my complaint,” the affidavit read.
Earlier, the petitioner's counsel contended that the Union Minister too was a public servant and he was well aware of his duties and responsibilities. “He is not a habitual offender. The only allegation made out against the first petitioner is that he made a gesture to his partymen,” the counsel said.
Though the quash petition had been filed jointly by the Minister, Deputy Mayor of Madurai P.M. Mannan (46) and two other DMK functionaries, counsel said that he pressed for quashing the FIR only with respect to the Minister. The State Public Prosecutor too supported the petitioner by stating that he was against quashing the FIR in respect of all other accused in the case, but for the Minister “who stands on a different footing.” He also objected to permitting an eyewitness to the incident as an intervener in the quash petition.
M. Kannan, an AIADMK functionary, had filed the intervening petition. Senior counsel K. Chellapandian, appearing for him, read out the relevant sentence in the FIR in which the Tahsildar had directly accused the Minister of attempting to assault him.
Friday, April 29, 2011
|Valediction: Family members pray for students killed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami Thursday at Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, after a memorial service. KYODO PHOTO|
Buddhist rites: Tohoku marks 49th day since thousands died
|New life: Cherry blossoms come into bloom along the Okawa River in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Thursday near a house destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. KYODO PHOTO|
|Chaotic scenes; coalition MPs say the draft was “outsourced”|
RUCKUS: PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi speaks to reporters after a meeting of the committee in New Delhi on Thursday.
NEW DELHI: After accusations and counter-accusations through unprecedented chaotic scenes at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) here on Thursday, 11 of its 21 members recorded their “vote” to “reject” the draft report on 2G scam circulated to the members by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Wednesday.
The majority that voted to reject the report said they intended to send recorded rejection slips to the Speaker as well as PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi.
However, Dr. Joshi later said as he “adjourned the meeting” to give himself “time to examine the allegations of some members that the report was outsourced and there were discrepancies,” the so-called recorded “vote” was invalid and illegal.
Sources close to Dr. Joshi said he could still sign the report and submit it to the Speaker, who would then take a call on the issue.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had expected to be on the side of the majority view in the committee and Dr. Joshi perhaps thought he could get the draft report adopted. However, one member each from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, who had maintained a stoic silence, supported the Congress in rejecting the draft report.
At the very outset, in the morning, seven Congress members, two from the DMK and the members of the SP and the BSP (both supporting the ruling UPA coalition from outside) demanded in writing that the Chair allow a vote to reject the report that had “gross discrepancies” not borne out by recorded facts, and that the report was “outsourced.”
At the post-lunch session that started at 4 p.m., Saifuddin Soz of the Congress moved a resolution seeking the rejection of the draft, and amid chaotic scenes, Dr. Joshi is reported to have walked out, followed by the BJP, AIADMK, Shiv Sena and the Biju Janata Dal members.
The major point of contention then was whether or not Dr. Joshi adjourned the meeting before walking out. The ruling coalition MPs, saying Dr. Joshi did not adjourn the meeting while sitting in the Chair, and to “complete the democratic process that started with the resolution moved by Professor Soz, elected him to take the Chair, only for that session of the meeting.”
The same resolution was then moved by DMK member Tiruchi Siva, and the 11 members, including Professor Soz, individually recorded their “rejection” of the report. They said Dr. Joshi did not give any explanation on why he was not acting on their demand for a vote to be recorded. The ruling coalition MPs said the report was now as good as dead and could no longer be described even as a “draft report” as the majority had rejected it.
The draft report indirectly indicts the Prime Minister and his office for not stopping the sale of licences and spectrum at old prices determined during the NDA regime, when the situation was entirely different.
By Asghar Ali Engineer,
Saibaba’s death a couple of days ago has brought thousands of people from India and abroad to have his last darshan (glimpse) and many of them were even crying that Baba’s divine soul has left them forever. On the other hand rationalists are challenging his miraculous powers once again and maintaining that he was man like others and man being mortal, he also died. Many are pointing out that his own forecast that he will die at the age of 96 proved to be wrong and he died at the age of 86.
It should not be very surprising if thousands of people are flocking to his funeral but what is indeed surprising is that the Prime Minister of a secular country, along with Sonia Gandhi, also went to pay his homage. Mrs. Gandhi is free to do so as she does not hold any office in Government but Shri Manmohan Singh holds the highest office and should have refrained from going there. It is not clear whether he went there in his personal capacity or as head of the Government. If he went in his personal capacity who bore his expenses and if he went as Prime Minister, according to which protocol? The Prime Minister of a secular country should not go for funeral of a divine personality.
What I am going to write here is not to condemn but to understand what is happening in our so called post-industrial and post-modern society? I always maintain that it is easier to condemn but difficult to understand and unless we understand we cannot bring about change. Thus understanding an event is of primary importance. Understanding functioning of godmen requires understanding sociological, psychological and political factors. Human behaviour is of very complex nature and all these factors play important role. The entire phenomenon cannot be explained with reference to ‘blind faith’ alone as rationalists tend to do. Human interests too, along with other factors, play an important role and human interests constitute an important part of human behaviour.
Thus, as against rationalists, I believe, human behaviour as it is, needs godmen very much even in 21st century (though I myself do not approve of it). I am just trying to explain the phenomenon as a social scientist. First of all we should understand the structure of our society and also education system it needs. Our society is structurally unjust and is based on exploitation of some by others. Thus the very nature of our society promotes injustices, uncertainties and feeling of insecurity
Our education systems not only promote it but also justify it. The poor and exploited feels helpless and begins to believe in destiny. Those who cannot face uncertainties either tend to resort to irrational religious beliefs or even commit suicide as many peasants in our country are doing. Also, there are ways and ways of believing in religion. For some with proper understanding religion is a source of morality and ethics whereas for many others religion is a source of superstitions.
It is in this sense that Marx called religion an opium i.e. pain killer. Thus religion helps the victims of our social system (exploited and oppressed) to bear the pain of their suffering. It gives them great solace and inner peace. Only the sufferers know the value of this role of religion. Many people flock to god men and babas in search of this inner solace. In our world which is full of oppression, exploitation and corruption, religion has become source of such peace and solace, in other words it has become only ‘opium’
Religion, in fact, should be a great source of inspiration to fight against what is wrong and oppressive, it should create inner urge for believer to achieve what is best in human beings and fight against all that is beastly – anger, revenge, lust and greed. In our own times Gandhi took religion in this sense. Thus taken in this sense religion can inspire us to combat all that is oppressive and exploitative and to establish truth and justice in the world. If religion does not inspire us to do this it is nothing more than opium.
Babas and godmen are required because of this nature of our society. Had there been a society just and truthful we would not have needed them. These Babas make this world livable for the victims of justice and oppression in various ways. To achieve for real success, success achieved in a just way, not through fraud and cheating, is very difficult and one has to work very hard indeed. And many of us do not want to work hard and look for miracles as a short cut.
A truly religious person would not look for miracles but face all trivial of life. These Babas try to win over our hearts and minds by exploiting this weakness of ours for miracles. And not only the victims but rich and powerful also look for such miracles and hence they too flock to such Babas. It is not easy for us to overcome this weakness and look for miracles. Also, many people suffer from certain diseases for which modern medicine has no easy cure and so we tend to incline towards miracles and in this category we have both weaker as well as powerful and rich sections of our society.
Earlier at least in this matter there were no classes i.e. there used to be one saint or baba to whom all will go rich or poor. But now in our country there are saints and babas who cater to poor and those who cater to the rich and powerful. The Sai was one among them. Through his miracles he would produce golden rings and Seiko watches and usually the rich would flock to him. Even powerful politicians need babas for various reasons.
Earlier people would go to these saints and babas for spiritual purposes but now rich or poor, politicians and other professional, all go to them for personal and mundane reasons. Hardly anyone goes for any spiritual development. The modern world is too complex for inner peace. Generally, and specially the rich and powerful experience lot of tension and insecurity and they need such external props which babas readily provide.
Also, in this globalized world a successful baba is supposed to have many foreign (specially American) disciples and then argument would go look even foreigners come to him and so he must be really delivering baba. Generally these babas are not very educated. They often happen to be semi-literate but Rajnish, who at one time, was as popular as Sai Baba, was intellectually accomplished. He also catered to upper class professionals.
Rajnish attracted high end professionals for certain reasons. He came into existence in a society where industrialization was taking place and professionals with high income were proliferating. These professional needed lax moralities with spiritual cover (what I call MATERIAL SPIRITUALISM) and that is what Rajnish provided. Rajnish even believed in free sex gratification rather than controlling it as traditional saints did. Thus Rajnish became very popular in these classes of people, especially among the neo-rich. According to him one should enjoy pleasures of life to accomplish ones spirituality. There was hardly any from lower class among his clientele or with rural background. Sai Baba, one must say had no such pretensions of sophisticated philosophy, was illiterate and even catered to the poor and rural folk.
Rajnish did not perform miracles nor did he believe in them. His miracle was his knowledge and his sophistry. Sai Baba needed ‘miracles’ (which was nothing but tricks and sleight of hand) precisely because he was illiterate and could not attract sophisticated clientele by philosophizing. He was a simpleton with rural background. People flocked to him not to listen to philosophical sermons or moral and spiritual discourses but as a man of miracle and hence ‘divine ‘. He also claimed to be an avatara and to carry conviction with people began to perform miracles.
Once he succeeded he began to attract more and more people and more people he attracted, more he succeeded. Thus success has its own dynamics – ‘nothing succeeds like success. But then he had to meet challenges also. Kovvor, a rationalist from
, and others challenged him to perform miracles under controlled conditions. Kovvor even deposited one lakh of rupees in the bank as a reward. He asked Sai Baba to produce pumpkin instead of ring or watch (which could be hidden under loose garment but pumpkin obviously could not be). Sri Lanka
Sai Baba failed to take challenge but changed the track. His miracles had already rewarded him and he could do without them now. He began to render socials service, bringing water to water starved areas, building schools and universities and hospitals and this endeared him to another section of people. Thousands really benefited from amongst the poor. He also began to talk of love, love which conquers hearts.Also, modern day Babas are turning into land mafias and develop megalomania for huge empires. Sai is also reported to have left empire worth some say 40,000 to 1 lakh crore. Building such empires is, in fact beginning of failure of the mission as now there will be fight for succession to control the establishment. A real religious person is not builder of empire but subvert it. Whosoever built empire failed in spiritual sense and whosoever subverted established empires became great
By Sharib Ali and Shazia Nigar
The effectiveness of the Jan Lokpal bill, drafted by our respected Annaji and other luminaries, has been argued by many. Shuddhabrata Sengupta has dismissed the bill on Kafila, Nigam while accepting its appeal seems cynical about it, and P Sainath in a lecture at UC,
I am probably too naïve to pass a judgment on whether the bill will be able to rule out corruption from a complex society such as ours – we have just been too good at it. But in spite of my desire to help remove the ills that plague our country, I, as a student and a Muslim, feel quite excluded from the movement, and not just from the movement, but from the very idea of the Indian nation that the ‘second revolution’ seeks to build. This I feel from the political aspirations of those who not only sat with Anna, but whose contributions were central to the movement itself.
What actually happened in the three-day spectacle was a legitimate expression of public anger over injustices seeking to get away in the name of fate, but arising from an unequal and exploitative social structure. We have been talking about rising food prices, rising crime rates, famer suicides, and unscrupulous looting, in streets, at homes, in local trains, and rotten fields of failed crops. What Anna did by sitting there in perfect white kurta was to transform this anger into a sane, civilized and harmless movement against a specific grievance: corruption, which has been unusually high and widely reported in the last few years. There is no doubt that, Anna was able to connect with a much wider audience, beyond the influence of the corporate media.
The 90-hour spectacle, performed on television sets across the country, produced a collective catharsis of the anger accumulated over the last two decades in
The ‘revolution’ we just witnessed arrived with a bang and became a brilliant safety valve, but sought to produce just a whimper – and that too, a seriously debated one. It never, from its very inception, sought to alter the state of affairs in any meaningful way or in a way that questions, or threatens the powers that be – and here I don’t mean just the present government, but very hegemonic order itself. It is here lies the answer to Sengupta’s question on the difference between this fast and all the others.
Given the quite harmless character of the fast and its therapeutic potential to strengthen, sustain, and perpetuate not just the system but also the specific desires of those in power, it was not surprising that all parties joined in, and consciously promoted the spectacle – from corporate media to bureaucrats and politicians.
I joined in with great enthusiasm when it all started. The impeccable white of Anna Hazare on his fast at Jantar Mantar was comforting. But then as the cameras zoomed out, it was a little unnerving. India was there, for sure – standing tall from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and wide from Northeast to
Below Bharat Mata stood the faces of three leaders: Gandhi, Vivekananda, and Rani Laxmibai. On the left were the staring faces of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. A peculiar choice, from the mosaic of leaders, invoked to inspire and bless the proceedings. The peculiarity stems, not from the character of the historical figures themselves, but rather, from the way they have been appropriated by the Hindu rightwing to promote the Hindutva brand of politics: a mix of ideas of purity and violence. Vivekananda is evoked in every argument of the ABVP, the RSS and the BJP.
Standing in front of Bharat Mata and other visionaries, Hazare requested his fellow countrymen to join in his struggle against corruption, but the very vision and its ideals as displayed behind him seemed to be an indicator of who was invited and who wasn’t, for, in the collective imagination of at least one third of the nation’s people, India has never been a sari draped Bharat Mata, while Vivekananda and the others have remained a reminder of saffron fear.
I am probably over reading it, but am I unjustified in expecting sensibility from a movement on which I pin my hopes, or in which I want to participate?
The exclusion was not concretized yet, and not until it all started – from chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, to the saffron brigade joining in with RSS national executive committee members; other senior office bearers like Madhubhai Kulakarni, Bajaranga Lalji Gupta, Dr.Shyam Sundar, Om Prakash; and several other ‘karyakartas’ sitting in with Mr Hazare, while Javed Anand, a journalist was asked to join because they did not want ‘bad Muslims’.
Then Ramdev stood on the platform talking of bringing ‘pavitrata’ to the nation and hanging all the corrupt ones. I was confused. Listening to him and to news reports of Anna Hazare’s support of Raj Thackeray’s agenda against north Indians, coupled with tales of public floggings and bhajans as the only celebratory music allowed in Hazare’s model village, I wondered at the nation that he, along with his friends, wanted to build. That Anna Hazare sat surrounded by, and enthusiastically enjoyed the support of a colorful set of people who think that Muslims don’t belong in India; who think that homosexuality is a disease; and who belong to a color which has come to symbolize a demolished Babri Masjid, hundreds of massacred Muslims in Bombay and a bloody state-sponsored riot in Gujarat, is in itself not a problem.
Everyone has the right to participate in the building of a new nation. The presence of Medha Patekar and others from the civil society was a case in point – all were there against corruption. But I had hoped, and let’s confess, prayed for the crucial line between receiving support and joining the brigade to stay. But after the majority of
‘The kind of model that Gujarat and
But let’s come to rural development first. According to the Planning Commission report Gujarat hosts 31.8% of the poor, the highest in
It is difficult to understand how Mr Hazare was unaware of the situation in
As the Bill gets embroiled in controversy, losing its strength as several key people either are disassociating themselves from it or threatening to do so, it is time not to play identity politics. What we should work towards is something that will be a step towards inhibiting the conscious, unscrupulous looting of the common people of India – and this requires a lot more than just bringing to court all those who have been caught in scams.
And when that happens Mr Hazare, I would like to be a part of it.
Sharib Ali and Shazia Nigar are students of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
[Thursday, 28 April 2011 13:46]News
Chennai, April 27 (IANS)
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday urged the Indian government to move the UN to bring Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to trial for war crimes against Tamils.
In a statement here, Jayalalithaa said: "With the UN report practically confirming human rights violations and brutal repression that was earlier in the realm of speculation or dismissed as biased or partisan reportage, the Indian government should now move the UN to initiate necessary steps to bring Rajapaksa to stand trial for war crimes and genocide along with his generals, senior ministers and all others who were party to the brutal excesses."
She said the UN report "makes mincemeat of the Sri Lankan government's claim that it had conducted a 'humanitarian rescue operation' with a 'zero civilian casualties policy'."
She said the three-member Expert Panel found credible evidence of the Sri Lankan war machine having shelled hospitals and 'No Fire Zones' where fleeing Tamil civilians were encouraged to gather.
"While Sri Lanka officially proclaimed that it would not use heavy weapons and explosives, the panel concluded that the forces systematically bombed places of civilian concentration, causing deaths of thousands of Tamils."
According to Jayalalithaa, India can no longer remain a silent spectator as the Tamils of Sri Lanka share a relationship with the people of Tamil Nadu.
She said: "India should spearhead an international movement to put pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure that all people in that country are treated equally and are allowed to live a life of dignity.
"If necessary, an economic blockade will have to be resorted to, to bring a recalcitrant Sri Lanka to heel."
"The panel focused at length on the period from September 2008 to May 2009, widely regarded as the most intense phase of the war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)," the AIADMK general secretary said.