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Nilekani back at Infosys as Chairman


Jay Shankar Bengaluru

GJM writes to Mamata, lists fresh demands KOLKATA

Without withdrawing its core demand of a Gorkha homeland, in a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — first time since the strike began 70 days ago — the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has put forward half a dozen fresh demands, indicating the GJM’s willingness to start a dialogue. EAST



Lalu to go ahead with mega rally PATNA

Apparently stung by the ruling JD(U) and BJP’s repeated demand that the RJD cancel its proposed mega rally on August 27 in Patna in view of the flood fury in the State, the RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday asked, “Will the flood get over, if I cancel the rally?” NEWS



Seven AIIMS students suspended for ragging NEW DELHI

Seven B.Sc students of optometry and nuclear medicine at AIIMS here have been suspended for three months for allegedly ragging their juniors. DELHI METRO






Privacy is a fundamental right, declares SC While saying it is intrinsic to life and liberty, the court also said that it is not an absolute right

Government, Congress spar over verdict

Krishnadas Rajagopal NEW DELHI

In a unanimous verdict, a nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday declared that privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty and an inherent part of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. The court held that privacy is a natural right that inheres in human beings because they are human. The state does not bestow natural rights on citizens. Natural rights like privacy exist equally in all individuals, irrespective of class, strata, gender or orientation.

‘Core of human dignity’ “Privacy is the constitutional core of human dignity. Privacy ensures the fulfilment of dignity,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote. The Centre had argued against the recognition of privacy as a fundamental right. It had assured the court that privacy would be protected through parliamentary statutes. But the court retorted that statutory laws “can be made and also unmade by a simple parliamentary majority.” “The ruling party can, at will, do away with any or all of the protections contained in the statutes. Fundamental rights are rights citizens may enjoy despite the governments they elect,” Justice Rohinton F. Nariman explained in his separate judgment. The court chided the Centre for describing right to

Sandeep Phukan NEW DELHI

privacy as an “elitist construct.” Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal had argued that privacy was the concern of a few, while schemes like Aadhaar, which require citizens to part with their biometric details to the state, reduce corruption and benefit millions of poor.

Essential provision “The refrain that the poor need no civil and political rights and are concerned only with economic well-being has been utilised through history to wreak the most egregious violations of human rights. It is privacy, as an intrinsic and core feature of life and personal liberty, which enables individuals to stand up against a programme of forced sterilisation. It is the right to question, scrutinise, dissent

which enables an informed citizenry to scrutinise the actions of government,” Justice Chandrachud said, addressing Mr. Venugopal's arguments. However, the court held that privacy is not an absolute right. The government can introduce a law which “intrudes” into privacy for public and legitimate state reasons. But a person can challenge this law in any of the constitutional courts of the land — the Supreme Court or the State High Courts — for violation of his fundamental right to privacy. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10 SC OVERRULES EMERGENCY-ERA VERDICT; SC CALLS FOR DATA PROTECTION REGIME; IT IS IN LINE WITH OUR VISION: SHAH A PAGE 10 ‘VICTORY FOR ALL’ A PAGE 11 CITIZEN VS STATE A EDITORIAL

SC rips apart its 2014 ruling on Section 377 Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

The nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday ripped apart its own judgment of 2014 upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private. The Bench observed that the chilling effect of Section 377 “poses a grave danger to the unhindered fulfilment of one’s sexual orientation, as an element of privacy and dignity.” In separate judgments, the Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, concluded that the 2014 verdict by a

Crackdown likely on Dera followers ahead of verdict

two-judge Bench of the court pandered to a “majoritarian” view to deny the LGBT community their inherent fundamental rights of life, personal liberty, equality and gender discrimination. The 2014 judgment’s view that “a miniscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders” was not a sustainable basis to deny the right to privacy, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed in his judgment. CONTINUED ON A PAGE 10 RULING BRINGS CHEER TO LGBT COMMUNITY A PAGE 11

Clashes in J&K over death of civilian Peerzada Ashiq

High Court pulls up Haryana govt for allowing upsurge of sect supporters in Panchkula Vikas Vasudeva chandigarh

The Army was called out in Panchkula and Sirsa on Thursday night even as the Haryana police and Central forces were ready to flush out scores of Dera followers who have gathered at Panchkula over the past three days. Curfew was also imposed in the highly sensitive Sirsa town. Haryana DGP B. S. Sandhu said a night-long operation would be carried out and the ‘Premis’, as Dera followers are known, would be moved out in buses arranged by the government. An estimated 1.5 lakh Dera followers including men, women and children have gathered in Panchkula,

Moments after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his North Block office, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed the Supreme Court judgment on the right to privacy, and claimed it affirmed the government’s position. However, taking on the Centre, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the judgment “strikes a blow to the government’s arrogant attempts at curbing individual liberties.” “The government has been consistently of the view that the right to privacy should be a fundamental right flowing from Article 21 and it should be subject to reasonable restrictions as enshrined there,” Mr. Prasad said at a special briefing. In a departure from the norm, Mr. Prasad used the official briefing at the Press Information Bureau to target the Congress. “What has been the Congress’s record in the protection of individual liberty? During the Emergency, the then Attorney-General argued that if a person is killed in jail, there is no remedy. That is the party’s record.”

IT major Infosys on Thursday announced that its board had unanimously approved the appointment of Nandan Nilekani as nonexecutive chairman of the board, “effective immediately.” R. Seshasayee, chairman of the board, along with former CEO and managing director Vishal Sikka, Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy, decided to step down from the board, Infosys said in a release. Mr. Nilekani’s return to the board of the company he co-founded after eight years was welcomed by outgoing chairman Mr. Seshasayee, who said: “Nandan is the ideal leader for Infosys at this stage in the company’s development. His appointment will allow Infosys to focus on the strategic changes it needs to make in order to capitalise on the attractive opportunities in the years ahead.” Mr. Nilekani’s appointment also saw Ravi Venkatesan step down as cochairman, while remaining on the board as an independent director. The 62-year-old electrical engineer was the CEO at Infosys from 2002 to 2007 and served as cochairman of the board before his departure in 2009 to head the government’s Aadhaar programme. Mr. Nilekani’s return was precipitated by Mr. Sikka’s abrupt resignation as CEO on August 18 amid a bitter and public volley of charges and countercharges between the board and co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the controversial head of Dera Sacha Sauda, seen squatting along the highway at Panchkula on Thursday. AKHILESH KUMAR (SEE ALSO PAGE 3) *

where a CBI court is set to deliver its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Friday. Earlier, the Punjab and

Haryana High Court came down heavily on the Haryana government for allowing the upsurge of Dera sect supporters in Panchkula. Hearing a public interest

litigation, the Division Bench, headed by acting Chief Justice S.S. Saron, directed the Centre to provide adequate security and asked the State administration to ensure that law and order was maintained. The court also warned Haryana’s DGP of initiating action against him if the State failed to ensure required security. The court also directed Mr. Rahim’s Dera (sect) to appeal to its congregating followers to return, while fixing the next date of hearing at 11.30 a.m on Friday. Putting an end to speculation over attending the proceedings at the CBI special court in Panchkula on Friday, the Dera chief confirmed that he would appear

despite a “backache.” A tweet from Mr. Rahim’s official handle said “we have always respected the law. Even though I have a backache, abiding by the law, I’ll go to the court.” Mobile internet services and data services have been suspended in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh for the next the 72 hours. Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas said it had been decided to request the Union Ministry of Railways to immediately stop all passenger trains arriving at Chandigarh for the next two days. “Buses of Haryana Roadways coming to Chandigarh and Panchkula have already been stopped for two days,” he added. (With PTI inputs)


Violence broke out in Kupwara’s Handwara area on Thursday as a “militant” killed two days ago in an operation turned out to be a ci-

vilian. Following violent protests, a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident. The bullet-ridden body of Shahid Ahmad Mir of Daril Tarathpor Ramhal, was spotted by the po-

lice in the Hafruda forest range, where the Army had launched an operation on Monday. Scores of locals were injured on Thursday when protests broke out during funeral prayers.

Lohani promises to undertake large-scale safety audit Communicate organisational goals to ground-level staff more effectively, says Railway Board chief Somesh Jha NEW DELHI

Newly appointed Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani has promised to undertake large-scale audit of the rail systems, end corruption and VIP culture in the Indian Railways, even as safety concerns are back into focus after a spate of train accidents. Taking charge on Thursday after demitting his role as chairman and managing director of Air India, Mr. Lohani told Rail Bhawan officials to communicate organisational goals to groundlevel staff more effectively CM YK

during his maiden interaction with about 500 employees. “These two accidents have caused a lot of concern. We have to look at largescale audit of the systems in a simple way,” Mr. Lohani said in an almost hour-long speech to his new colleagues at Rail Bhawan. “People think issuing a circular is enough for the message to reach the ground level. Field visits, which are extremely important, have come down…We have to ensure that officers spend time on the field. We have to practice management by walking

Ashwani Lohani

around,” he said. To hit the ground running, Mr. Lohani is expected visit the Old Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway stations in the Capital to interact with track inspectors.

Mr. Lohani’s predecessor A.K. Mital quit following two train derailments within a span of four days. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu offered to resign on Wednesday taking moral responsibility for the accidents, but the Prime Minister has asked Mr. Prabhu to wait. “There has been talk about safety following the recent train accidents. We all have to realise that safety in the railway system is extremely important,” he said. “There should be an overemphasised focus on safety. The management and the country are concerned

about rail safety. This concern has to be known to the gangmen (who manually maintain railway tracks) and till the ground level which doesn’t happen,” Mr. Lohani said. The Railway Board chairman emphasised that the Indian Railways need to effectively communicate safety expectations till the groundlevel employees. “We have to reach out to the ground-level staff. When I was in Air India, I used to meet 200-250 employees every day…You are more important than trains and machines,” Mr. Lohani said. M ND-NDE







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Bihar floods toll 379, situation in UP grim Press trust of india New Delhi

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh continued to reel under floods, which have left a trail of death and destruction in the two States, where 21 more people lost their lives on Thursday and over two crore people are still

affected. The toll in Bihar floods, which have affected 1.61 crore people in 19 districts, mounted to 379 with 12 more deaths while in eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh nine more people died. In West Bengal’s northern districts, the flood situation

has improved, but in Assam, as many as 606 villages were inundated and 4.5 lakh people still affected by deluge across nine districts where the death toll has climbed to 156. As the water was receding at some places in Bihar and many people have returned

to their homes, the number of relief camps dropped to 624 in which 1.56 lakh people were staying. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the flood-hit areas of East Champaran and inspected community kitchens in Sugauli, Motihari and Sugaon in the district.

GJM writes to Mamata, lists fresh demands Gurung seeks CBI probe into deaths Special correspondent Kolkata

Without withdrawing its core demand of Gorkha homeland, in a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — first time since the strike began 70 days ago — the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has put forward half a dozen fresh demands which indicate the GJM’s willingness to start a dialogue. The letter is written by GJM president Bimal Gurung. More than two months after the shutdown in the hills, which has caused immense trouble to residents, the Chief Minister called all political parties in Darjeeling for talks last Tuesday. The date was fixed on August 29.

CBI probe Following Ms. Banerjee’s call, the GJM chief wrote to her on Thursday. He has asked for a judicial inquiry or a CBI probe into the deaths “caused due to police action” and compensation to family members of the killed during the ongoing movement. While demanding withdrawal of cases against the agitators, Mr. Gurung has asked for unconditional release of the agitators. He demanded restoration of supply of food and essential commodities, while lifting the blockade on Internet, local cable and television channels. “The letter indicates that the GJM is willing to talk,” a State government official said. However, Mr. Gurung has

Bimal Gurung also appealed to the Chief Minister to initiate a “political dialogue on the long pending demand of the Gorkhas, which is Gorkhaland, to help to resolve the present crisis.” He has cited the salient features of the tripartite Memorandum of Agreement of 2011 to indicate that “while not dropping their demand for a separate State of Gorkhaland,” the Centre, the State and the GJM “agreed to the setting up of an autonomous body,” which is Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. But the GTA “has failed miserably” and the “experimental models” to “temporarily curb people’s aspiration for separation from West Bengal has not worked out,” Mr. Gurung said in the letter. Thus the demand to form a separate homeland for the Gorkhas remains, Mr. Gurung said in his letter. But the State officials are hopeful. “The fact that the Chief Minister has set a date for talks and the GJM broke its silence and put forward few demands indicate that the 70-day stalemate is breaking,” said a senior official.

2 bomb blasts in Darjeeling hills Press trust of india Darjeeling

Two blasts shook Darjeeling hills on Thursday morning, the second such incident since the indefinite shutdown to press for a separate Gorkhaland state began

over two months ago, but no one was injured. “Two blasts took place but there are no reports of any injury. We have started an investigation into both the cases,” ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma said.

Arms seized Press trust of india Imphal

Security forces seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Churachandpur district, the police said on Thursday. DELHI


Friday, August 25

RISE 05:56 SET 18:50 RISE 09:12 SET 21:20 Saturday, August 26

RISE 05:56 SET 18:49 RISE 10:07 SET 21:56 Sunday, August 27

RISE 05:57 SET 18:48 RISE 11:01 SET 22:32

Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 7 No. 203 ●










Dera followers flock to Sirsa ahead of verdict Though Premis expect a favourable court verdict, they are at the same time apprehensive and ‘ready for any situation’ Ashok Kumar SIRSA

Jharkhand help to flood hit Bihar, Assam RANCHI

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Thursday said that the State will give assistance of ₹5 crore each to flood hit Bihar and Assam. “A large number of people are affected by floods in Bihar and Assam. Jharkhand is with the people of these two States at this hour. Jharkhand will give assistance of ₹5 crore to each of the two States,” a release said. PTI

Man kills two daughters, injures wife in Bihar SASARAM

A man allegedly killed his two minor daughters and seriously injured his wife in Bihar’s Rohtas district, the police said on Thursday. The incident took place on Wednesday night at a rented house in Indira Nagar locality under the jurisdiction of Vikramganj police station. PTI

Constable, tout arrested for taking bribe KOTA

An Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuth of Kota on Wednesday arrested a Rajasthan police constable posted at Talera police station in Bundi district and a tout and recovered a bribe amount of ₹7,000 from their possession. The constable, through a tout, had demanded a bribe of ₹15,000 to settle a case lodged at the police station. PTI

Property dealer found dead in Ghazipur GHAZIPUR (UP)

A 47-year-old property dealer was found dead in Prakash Nagar area of the district on Thursday morning. The body of Yashwant Singh was found with injury marks on the head, the police said. The body has been sent for post-mortem and further investigations are on. PTI

With less than 24 hours for the judgment in the rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to be pronounced at the Panchkula CBI court, Dera followers, including women, children and the elderly, continued to trickle into its headquarters here in groups all through the day on Thursday. The followers, known as Premis, could be seen on both sides of a one-km-long stretch outside the Dera headquarters in the evening, sitting in the open in small groups discussing the possible outcome of the judgment on Friday. Making his intentions clear, Gurcharan, a resident of Ganganagar in Rajasthan, holding a wooden piece shaped like a club, said he expected a favourable decision tomorrow, but was also pre-

Tension brewing: Security personnel keep vigil even as hundred of followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh arrived at the Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa on Thursday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA *

pared for the worst. “We had come for the birthday celebrations of “Pitaji” on August 17 and went back four days later. We returned again this morning in view of the judg-

ment in the case. We are ready for any situation,” said Gurcharan, who was accompanied by his brother. Rahul, who has come from Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar,

Ashok Kumar SIRSA

Facing allegations of rape from one of his followers, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who succeeded Shah Satnam as Dera head in September 1990, is not new to the controversies. Besides the rape case in which the verdict is to be pronounced on Friday, Mr. Singh, 50, also faces allegations of two murders, including that of a journalist, and had also courted controversy for dressing up as Guru Gobind Singh in 2007 leading to widespread protests in Punjab. Mr. Singh, who has directed, produced and acted in five movies over the past two years and composed several

Followers outside the Dera Sacha Sauda Dham in Sirsa on Thursday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA *

albums, first courted controversy in May 2002 when one of his followers levelled allegations of rape against him in an anonymous letter to the

then Prime Minister and also sent a copy of the letter to Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Less than two months later, Ranjit

Several names missing in the list despite having BPL cards

Press Trust of India

A large number of rural families living below poverty line in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan have been deprived of the food security benefits as a result of corruption at fair price shops, negligence in online listing, irregularities in work and diversion of rations to ineligible persons. At a public hearing organised by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sagathan (MKSS) at the Thana village panchayat on Wednesday, the villagers alleged several irregularities in the point of sale (POS) transactions, in which they were being given lesser quantities of foodgrains and other items. The public hearing, in which the lists of BPL families, food security beneficiaries and those not getting the

Shops closed Several shops on the road leading to the Dera were also closed fearing backlash. “Though there are no directions from the administration, most of the shopkeepers chose to keep the shutters down anticipating trouble. It could be almost a curfew like situation tomorrow [on Friday] morning,” said Vijay Sharma, an icecream vendor. Late in the evening, Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa, Prabhjot Singh, announced the imposition of curfew in parts of the city and three villages, namely Bajekan, Nejakhera and Shahpur Begu, after 10 p.m.

Faces allegations of rape, two murders, including that of a journalist, and castration of 400 sadhus at the Dera

UP woman given triple talaq


Dera spokesperson Dr. Aditya claimed that around three lakh followers had reached the Dera by Thursday evening and around 25 lakh had reached Panchkula.

Past haunts Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Bhilwara BPL families deprived of food security benefits Special Correspondent

said he was part of a thousand-strong group of students. He, however, expressed confidence that the decision cannot go against the Dera chief.

Some of the young Dera followers roaming freely on the road claimed that the wooden clubs they were carrying were for self-defence. “We are peace-loving. But we need to protect ourselves from anti-social elements who might try to take advantage of the situation,” said Devender from Sri Muktsar Sahib in Punjab. He said he had come to Sirsa with his two friends, while his parents had gone to Panchkula. He, however, said that there were no directions from the Dera to come to Sirsa. Though security was beefed up across the city preventing the entry of vehicles, barring emergency vehicles and public transport, after 1 p.m., the police preferred to stay away from the Dera headquarters with the nearest barricade being several km away from its sprawling 700-acre premises.

ration supplies were displayed, pointed out that as many as 232 families in the village panchayat had been deprived of the benefits. Several persons whose names are missing in the food security list despite the possession of Antyodaya and BPL cards attended the hearing.

Only 25 kg wheat Premi Devi Bheel of Bateri village said her family was getting only 25 kg wheat per month despite her family's ration card showing eight members. Bhairon Lal of Thana village said he was getting foodgrains every alternate month, while the quantity displayed online was higher than what his family was receiving. Kamla Devi of Badia village said though she had not visited the fair price shop this year, the records were

showing that she had received 10.5 litres of kerosene in February and 3 litres in March. Roshan Singh of Thana village said he had been denied foodgrains after the POS transaction machine was installed by the ration dealer. Addressing the villagers, social activist Nikhil Dey, who is attached to MKSS, said each poor family residing in Rajasthan should get the food security benefits by its automatic inclusion in the lists. “About 2.44 lakh BPL families across the State have been deprived of food security. It amounts to sheer injustice,” he said while calling for exerting pressure on the government to set right the situation. The participants were surprised to find the names of some rich families in the food security lists.

Kumar, a former Dera Sacha Sauda management committee member, was murdered on July 10, with the needle of suspicion pointing at the Dera. As Ranjit's sister was a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda and stayed at its premises, the Dera managers reportedly suspected Ranjit to have prompted his sister to write the anonymous letter. Exactly a month after a CBI investigation was ordered into the allegations made in the anonymous letter on September 24, 2002, Ramchander Chhatrapati, the editor of evening newspaper “Poora Sach”, was shot five times outside his house. The incident led to large-scale protests by media persons across the State and

protests were held against Dera Sacha Sauda. Not satisfied with the police investigation, the family of Mr. Chhatrapati and Ranjit’s father moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a CBI investigation into the two cases and accused the Dera chief of murders. The court clubbed the hearing in the two murder cases and ordered the CBI to register FIRs on November 10, 2003.

Violent clashes Mr. Singh, who has Z+ security cover, again courted controversy when he dressed himself up as Guru Gobind Singh at a dera in Bhatinda in Punjab in May 2007, leading to violent clashes between

his followers and members of the Sikh community across North India. In 2010, former Dera worker Sadhu Ram Kumar Bishnoi moved the High Court seeking a CBI probe into the mysterious disappearance of Dera’s former manager Fakir Chand. It led to violent protests and arson by Dera followers. The CBI later filed a closure report in the case, but Mr. Bishnoi later challenged the closure report in court. Hansraj Chauhan, a resident of Tohana, also filed a petition in High Court on July 17, 2012, accusing the Dera chief of castrating 400 sadhus in the Dera and also produced a list of 166 such sadhus.

Delhi Police keeping an eye on supporters Jatin Anand Shubhomoy Sikdar New Delhi

Intelligence inputs have suggested that the Delhi Police keep an eye on an estimated 20,000 supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim spread across close to a dozen locations in the Capital. On the eve of the expected pronouncement of a judgment by a special court in an alleged sexual exploitation case against Mr. Singh, intelligence agencies have suggested that the police be prepared for possible law and order exigencies that may materialise at border locations such as Najafgarh and Mehrauli in addition to densely-populated areas such as Krishna Nagar and Kirti Nagar among others. “A report on the subject has been shared with top Delhi Police officials in addition to senior representatives of the Punjab and Haryana police; Mr. Singh enjoys much support across several pockets located in Delhi as well as along its borders,” said an intelligence official.

Support base “Many followers from his estimated support base of around 20,000 in Delhi alone, according to our inputs, are apprehended to have not been able to travel to Chandigarh to voice their protest due to restrictions on their movement to Panchkula as well as other logistical issues and may trigger law and order issues,” the official said further.


A pregnant woman was allegedly given triple talaq by her husband in the Sardhana area here, just hours after the Supreme Court declared the age-old practice as “unconstitutional” on Tuesday. The woman, a resident of Mohalla Kamra Nawaban, in a complaint filed with the police alleged that her husband used to beat her up for dowry and drove her out of their house. An FIR has been lodged against the man. The police said the talaq was “invalid” according to the ruling of the apex court. Reacting to the incident, the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board said the case posed a question as to what punishment will be given to those who continue to indulge in the practice.

Yogi to visit Ghaziabad Press Trust of India Ghaziabad

The district administration on Thursday said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visit here

has been deferred by a day to August 31. He will lay the foundation stone of the Kailash Mansarover House, an officer said.

No relief for ex-govt officials Press Trust of India Bhopal

A court here on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by two former top government officials, seeking quashing of a case registered against them in connection with the escape of Warren Anderson, the prime accused in the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak case. Additional District Judge (ADJ) R K Soni dismissed the revision petition of the then Bhopal collector Moti Singh and the then superintendent of police Swaraj Puri, paving the way for their trial. CM YK
















Kolkata model attempts suicide in A.P. jail

Kerala Lok Ayukta to probe appointments by Minister Shylaja extended the deadline for applications to posts in child rights panel Special Correspondent

Sangeetha Chatterjee, airhostess-turned-model from Kolkata, who is lodged in a sub-jail here since March 29, on charges of red sanders smuggling, allegedly attempted suicide on Thursday. Reportedly upset with the delay in getting bail, she consumed toilet cleaner.



A district court here on Thursday granted bail to Congress legislator M. Vincent more than a month after his arrest. He was held on the suspicion of having repeatedly raped a 51-yearold woman, an acquaintance of his and, consequently, driven her to attempt suicide.

Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, under fire from the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Assembly for the past three days, had relief and distress awaiting her in equal measure on Wednesday. A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court expunged the adverse remarks made against her by a single judge over appointments to the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights but the Kerala Lok Ayukta initiated a probe against her on the same matter.

Relief from HC At issue before the Kerala High Court — and now before the Lok Ayukta — is the de-

Tension in Nandyal as TDP, YSRCP cadre clash Scuffle snowballs, police use force

(Kasargod) as members of the Commission. The judge had observed that since the relevant files did not disclose the reasons for extension of the deadline, it could only be presumed that it was not a bonafide decision.

K.K. Shylaja cision taken by the Minister to extend the deadline for submitting applications for the posts to the Commission. The Single Bench had made adverse remarks while quashing the appointments of T.B. Sureshkumar, CPI(M) Wayanad district committee member, and Syamala Devi

Nepotism alleged The Division Bench said the observations against her were not necessary in deciding the case as the Minister had not acted as a statutory authority, and the mere absence of reasons in the file, by itself, was not a reason to presume mala fide. Although the Division Bench’s decision silenced the Opposition, the Kerala Lok Ayukta had by then opened its inquiry against

the Minister based on a petition filed by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala. The plea alleged nepotism and abuse of power. Lok Ayukta members Justice Pius C. Kuriakose and Upa Lok Ayukta K.P. Balachandran termed the allegations serious as the Minister had ordered the extension of deadline, notwithstanding the fact that the Supreme Court had, in 2005, fined Kerala and other States for delay in making appointments to the Child Rights Commission. In the Assembly, the Opposition UDF announced the withdrawal of the indefinite fast by its five MLAs as the Assembly was adjourning indefinitely on Thursday. (With inputs from Kochi)


Tension prevailed in Nandyal town when Abhiruchi Madhu, a follower of TDP candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, threatened to attack former MLC and YSRCP leader Silpa Chakrapani Reddy by lunging at him with a sickle. The former’s gunman opened two rounds of fire. The YSRCP leader’s followers rained stones damaging the windshield of Mr. Madhu’s car. Trouble broke when the followers of the Bhuma and Silpa groups had heated exchanges on the first right to


Opposition demands CBI probe

Special Correspondent

exit after paying homage to municipal councillor C. Mahabub Basha in his house. As Mr. Chakrapani Reddy got into his car to leave, Mr. Madhu’s car entered the lane which led to the tension. Police personnel resorted to a lathi charge when their efforts to pacify Mr. Madhu to leave the place yielded no result. They escorted Mr. Chakrapani Reddy out of the lane. Nandyal DSP Gopalakrishna said the issue had no political overtones, but was on account of a scuffle. Cases would be booked if complaints were received, he added.

Was key evidence related to the death of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mangaluru, M.K. Ganapathi, who allegedly killed himself in Kodagu last year, erased? A report by the Forensic Science Laboratory, submitted to the Criminal Investigation Department, notes that crucial evidence such as mobile call record details, messages and even some files stored in a hard drive and a pen drive belonging to the officer have been erased. The report does not specify when they were deleted or what the deleted files could have contained.

‘Derailing investigation’ However, an FSL source claimed that it pointed to “an effort to derail investiga-


The giant god takes a tiny form Telangana’s miniature artist carves a Ganesha idol in the eye of a needle Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao

Special Correspondent

‘Mobile call details, messages of Karnataka officer deleted’ Bengaluru


Kerala Congress MLA gets bail after a month

Crucial evidence erased in DySP suicide case, says FSL


Small is beautiful: The Ganesha idol made by Mattewada Ajay Kumar in Warangal. M. MURALI *

While many find it difficult to thread a needle, Mattewada Ajay Kumar, a resident of Girimajipet in Warangal city, has carved a Ganesha in the eye of a needle. A record holder for his earlier creations, Mr. Kumar took about 12 hours spanning five days to carve the idol made of wax and natural colours. To add value, he has placed a 24carat gold chain with a locket around the deity’s neck. A minuscule idol of 1.2 mm, it can be seen in detail through a magnifying glass. Mr. Kumar’s earlier

creations include a functional miniature lock and key and a fan, which earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records in 2004 and 2008, and a functional scissor weighing 0.180 milligrams that won him wide appreciation.

Art on rice grain Mr. Kumar has also carved the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, Kakatiya Keerti Toranam, P.V. Narasimha Rao and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on rice grains. “The credit goes to my father late M. Venkatachary, a veteran goldsmith, who got me interested in miniature art,” says Mr. Kumar.

Special Correspondent BENGALURU

M.K. Ganapathi tions” and perhaps “save many people, including politicians and top police officials.” The report was submitted by FSL to the CID cyber cell in September 2016. It specified that experts examined Ganapathi’s mobile phone, two SIM cards, a 8 GB pen drive, a 320 GB hard drive, and a microSD card. Five video files, 93 images and 199 files have been deleted, according to the FSL report.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded a CBI probe into the alleged suicide of Deputy Superintendent of Police M.K. Ganapathi in the wake of reports claiming that the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) had found destruction of crucial evidence in the case. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa described this as a criminal act. He demanded Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s resignation.

Faizal murder accused killed in Kerala Bipin Kundil was granted bail in April Staff Reporter MALAPPURAM

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, accused of killing an Islamic convert at Kodinhi near Tirurangadi, was found murdered at Tirur on Thursday. Bipin Kundil, 24, son of Babu Poyilisseri from Thriprangode, was found dead by the roadside around 7 a.m. His bike was lying a few metres away. The police said no one had witnessed the killing.

Waylaid on way to work Bipin, the second accused in the murder of P. Faizal, was

leading a normal life after the district and sessions court, Manjeri, granted him bail in April. The police said he was waylaid and killed while going for work in the morning. Faizal, 32, was found murdered by the roadside at Farook Nagar, Kodinhi, in a similar fashion in November last year. He had been waylaid and hacked around 5 a.m. by a group of RSS men in apparent vengeance for his conversion to Islam. The police said Bipin had taken the lead in hacking Faizal with his machete used for coconut plucking.









The return of the Irrawaddy dolphin

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

Spotted in Chilika’s Rambha sector after 30 years following removal of illegal prawn enclosures Satyasundar Barik

Authority’s move The rare sighting of the endangered mammal earlier this week is a result of the Chilika Development Authority’s (CDA) removing illegal prawn enclosures from the vast lake waters leading to unhindered movement of the dolphins.

their habitat will only get better in the coming days,” said Mr. Nanda. In a massive eviction drive, the CDA cleared almost 4,000 hectare of encroachment from the Ganjam district portion of the lake alone. Substantial enclosures detected in the lake at Khordha district jurisdiction were also weeded out. Satellite imageries found 14,590 hectare of the lagoon under manmade gheries (enclosures) for illegal prawn cultivation. The CDA is likely to start eviction in Puri district from next week.

Ganjam district “We have almost completed the eviction of enclosures under Ganjam district. The heartening aspect of the drive is that locals have seen four dolphins in Rambha for the first time since the late 1980s. The beautiful aquatic mammal is expected to colonise the area again,” said CDA chief executive Susanta Nanda.

natural abode According to the CDA, Chilika is the natural abode of the highly endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris). The total population of these animals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500. Of these, the highest — 6,400 — was reported from Bangladesh. The population in Chilika is considered to be the highest


Nod for Harmanpreet’s appointment as DSP CHANDIGARH

The Punjab Cabinet on Thursday approved the appointment of cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the State police department. The Cabinet also gave a nod to government jobs for the children of Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh, who was beheaded by Pakistani forces along the Line of Control in May this year. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here. PTI

J&K govt purchases 136 ambulances JAMMU

In a bid to improve healthcare services in Jammu & Kashmir, the State government has purchased 136 ambulances, officials said on Thursday, adding that they will be inducted into service soon. “A fleet of 136 ambulances have been purchased by the Health Department,” a spokesperson said. The ambulances have been purchased for 10 districts of Jammu region. There are 567 ambulances operational in the division. PTI

The first sighting of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in the Rambha sector of Chilika lake in three decades has brought much cheer to nature lovers.

Good news: An endangered Irrawaddy dolphin spotted in the Rambha sector of Chilika waters. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

The World Wide Fund for Nature representatives managed to capture photographs of the dolphins. “The dolphins did not have free movement due to the presence of prawn enclosures. Their prey base

had also been squeezed. They stopped coming to Rambha in recent decades. Rambha sector is one of extreme ends of Chilika. It was a very satisfying moment to spot them. If the dolphins can travel up to Rambha,

Unregulated boating “Rambha is the ideal sector for dolphins to play, flock and mate because of the stillness of the water in the bay area. Dolphins had been under stress in Chilika due to unregulated boating by tourists as well as illegal prawn enclosures. Now, with enclosures being weeded out, the primary hurdle for dolphin movement has been taken care of. The enforcement of boating regulation as per the CDA will also be made stricter,” said Michael Peters, senior programme coordinator, WWF-India’s marine conservation unit in Odisha. Chilika, known for its exquisite natural beauty, attracts many tourists because of its dolphin population.

J&K policeman caught on camera Eight killed in Odisha snatching money from beggar, held in separate accidents A video clip went viral on social media, triggering an uproar

12 girls fall ill after eating school food

Press Trust of India



Twelve students of a government-run school in Khejuri here fell ill on Thursday after consuming the sweet dish. The students of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Residential School complained of vomiting and diarrhoea after consuming the halwa served for breakfast and were rushed to a health centre, the police said. “Five of them fell seriously ill and have been admitted to the district hospital,” the police said, adding that it appears to be a case of food poisoning. PTI

The Jammu & Kashmir Police have arrested one of their own after he was allegedly caught on camera “snatching” money from a roadside beggar in Ramban district. A video clip purportedly showing head constable “snatching” money from the beggar a few days back went viral on social media, triggering shock and uproar.


single lagoonal population. Chilika had registered a marginal drop in population of Irrawaddy dolphins from 144 in 2015 to 134 this year. Dolphins are usually seen in Satapada sector of the lake.

Helmets mandatory for pillion riders Staff Reporter

‘Bad habit’ “Head constable Munawar Hussain has been suspended and arrested by the police after the incident,” Ramban

was attached < > He with Ramban police line after being transferred from Kishtwar due to his chronic drinking Mohan Lal Ramban Senior Superintendent of Police

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohan Lal said. He said an FIR has also been registered against the policeman, who was attached with Ramban police line after being transferred from “Kishtwar due to his bad habit of chronic drinking”. Mr. Lal said Mr. Hus-

sain came out of the police line and allegedly snatched money from the beggar. The officer said Hussain was caught by the policemen deployed there.

More cases Mr. Lal said three more cases are registered against Mr. Hussain in Kishtwar. “He was kept in the police line in Ramban after being transferred from Kishtwar due to his bad habit of chronic drinking. His ATM cards and others such items were given to his wife to operate in view of the his bad habits,” he said.


Even as eight persons were killed in separate accidents in Odisha on Thursday, the State government made helmets mandatory for pillion riders.

Power delegated The government has decided to delegate the power of Motor Vehicle Inspectors to police personnel in order to strengthen enforcement. Four persons, including a woman and child, died on the spot when their car rammed a tree at Dhama Square on the outskirts of the western Odisha town of

Sambalpur. A truck collided head-on with a tractor on NH-16 near Gadakhurda in Khordha district, leading to the death of three persons in the early hours of Thursday. A biker also died in Kalahandi district in the morning. On Monday, an accident on NH-55 in Sambalpur district claimed 10 lives. A van carrying a group of devotees had collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Odisha’s accident fatality rate continues to remain high at 42.38 deaths per 100 accidents against national average of 29.14 deaths.

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

Forecast for Friday: Heavy rain is likely at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Odisha, Jharkhand, east Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, east Rajasthan, east Madhya Pradesh, south Chhattisgarh, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and south interior Karnataka city rain max min Agartala.............22.2.... 34.4.... 25.2 Ahmedabad..........0.6.... 32.4.... 25.4 Aizawl ..................32.... 32.2.... 12.4 Allahabad .............. —.... 36.0.... 26.0 Bengaluru .............. —.... 26.8.... 20.6 Bhopal.................0.6.... 30.8.... 23.5 Bhubaneswar .......7.6.... 32.8.... 24.5 Chandigarh ...........13.... 33.0.... 24.0 Chennai ...............0.1.... 32.1.... 26.4 Coimbatore..........0.9.... 31.4.... 23.0 Dehradun............... —.... 33.4.... 23.6 Gangtok...............7.9.... 22.3.... 17.4 Goa ...................36.1.... 30.8.... 23.8 Guwahati ............... —.... 35.8.... 26.4 Hubballi................. —.... 27.0.... 22.0 Hyderabad ............. —.... 31.8.... 24.7 Imphal................... —.... 32.5.... 21.8 Jaipur ................49.5.... 34.0.... 22.2 Kochi...................4.2.... 32.2.... 24.6 Kohima.................. —.... 28.4.... 19.4 Kolkata.................62.... 33.6.... 26.2

city rain max min Kozhikode ............... —.... 34.0.... 25.6 Kurnool .................0.6.... 33.6.... 25.2 Lucknow..............12.3.... 34.0.... 24.2 Madurai................... —.... 35.2.... 26.0 Mangaluru ............... —.... 29.8.... 23.2 Mumbai...............15.5.... 31.1.... 25.6 Mysuru.................... —.... 28.1.... 20.0 New Delhi ...........37.6.... 34.7.... 25.2 Patna ....................3.4.... 29.5.... 26.2 Port Blair ...............15.... 29.2.... 24.4 Puducherry.............. —.... 33.1.... 24.8 Pune ....................... —.... 28.6.... 21.5 Raipur ...................1.5.... 33.0.... 24.7 Ranchi.................17.4.... 31.8.... 21.9 Shillong.................0.1.... 25.3.... 15.8 Shimla..................... —.... 26.1.... 16.8 Srinagar .................. —.... 29.6.... 17.3 Trivandrum ............. —.... 31.6.... 26.2 Tiruchi .................... —.... 34.6.... 26.0 Vijayawada ..........12.4.... 32.1.... 27.0 Visakhapatnam ........29.... 32.8.... 26.0

Particulate matter in the air you are breathing CITIES



Ahmedabad ......... ....—.....— ...— ....... — .......—.......— Bengaluru ................8 ...45 ..72 ....... —......63 ......* Chennai....................7 ...13 ..70 ...... 57 .......— ......* Delhi........................5 ...26 ..44 .... 112 .......— ......* Hyderabad .............56 ...16 ..20 ...... 86....102 ......* Kolkata ..................19 ...63 ..26 ....... —......81 ......* Lucknow ..................5 ...24 ..50 .... 104 .......— ......* Mumbai .................11 ...15 ..42 ...... 29......52 ......* Pune ......................42 .....3 ..70 ...... 20......41 ......* Vishakhapatnam .....23 ...14 ..59 ...... 56......79 ......*

In observation made at 4.00 p.m., Thiruvananthapuram, recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) score of 161 indicating a moderate level of pollution. In contrast, Panchkula, Haryana recorded a healthy AQI score of 34

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










Welcoming Ganesha


Sushil Modi praises PM on creamy layer ceiling

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, will be visiting the Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur in Udupi district on Saturday. According to the Information Department, he will arrive in a helicopter from Bengaluru at Areshiroor near Kollur around 11 a.m. He will then go to the Mookambika Temple guest house. He will be given the traditional ‘purna kumbha’ welcome at the entrance of the temple and he will then participate in the ‘mangalarti’ ritual at the temple. Later, he will participate in a ‘chandika homa’ and offer the ‘purnahuti’ to the ‘homa’ around 12 noon. Devotees will not be allowed into the temple from about 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. on Saturday.


Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi congratulated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Central Government for raising the creamy layer ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) for Central government jobs and for setting up of Commission to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs. “I want to congratulate PM Modi ji first of all. Today, he gave rights and opportunities to backward societies and communities,” he told ANI.

Man faces NSA case for chopping off girl’s hand LUCKNOW

The Uttar Pradesh police is considering a case under the stringent National Security Act against a person accused of stalking a minor girl and chopping off one of her hands in a brutal sword attack in Lakhimpur Kheri district. The accused, Rohit Chaurasia, allegedly attacked the minor girl in broad daylight on Wednesday, completely severing her left hand and heavily damaging the right. The motive behind the attack is still not clear.

CBI all set to probe ‘Srijan scam’ in Bihar NEW DELHI

The CBI has received the Bihar government’s reference for a probe into the “Srijan” scam in which funds to the tune of ₹870 crore were diverted and siphoned off allegedly by a Bhagalpur-based NGO in connivance with bank and government officials. Having received the documents related to the scam, through the Central government, the CBI is all set to take over the investigation. It is alleged that NGO Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti siphoned off government funds.

Festive look: Decorative umbrellas on display in Vijayawada on the eve of Vinayaka Chathurthi on Thursday.

Perarivalan out on parole Convict in Rajiv assassination case to stay out for a month Special Correspondent VELLORE

A.G. Perarivalan, one of the life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, came out of the Central Prison for Men here at 8.54 pm on Thursday, after the Tamil Nadu government granted him parole for a month. This is the first time Perarivalan, arrested at the age of 19 a few days after the former Prime Minister’s assassination at an election rally on the night of May 21, 1991, is coming out of the prison. He left in a vehicle with a heavy posse of police personnel for Jolarpet, his native village. According to prison officials, he would not be per-

Sort differences on Lingayat row, seers told

A.G. Perarivalan

mitted to leave his residence during the parole period expect for signing at the police station every day. He cannot speak to the media.

The decision to release him on parole, according to a Government Order, follows the request made by his mother Arputhammal seeking ordinary leave for 30 days so that the convict could visit his ailing father Gnanasekaran. Though the request could not be entertained under Rule 22 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982, the Advocate General had opined there was scope in Rule 22. Hence, “there is no restriction for grant of ordinary leave to A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case,” a communication from the Home Secretary to the DIG, Prisons stated.



Demand for dam at Vellore grows Serena Josephine M. VELLORE

An earthen bund, a part of which has eroded with time, stands testimony to a longabandoned project to build a dam across the Malataaru at Bathalapalli near Pernambut, Tamil Nadu. Although several years have passed since it was abandoned, farmers in and around Pernambut have not given up on it and continue to demand that the project should take shape again. Many farmers have been raising the need to take up the construction of the reservoir with district officials at several forums. They point out that if the dam is constructed, it will help in improving the water

Trouble brewing over Durga Puja, Muharram Suvojit Bagchi Shiv Sahay Singh Kolkata

Special Correspondent BENGALURU

Ministers belonging to the Lingayat/Veerashaiva communities in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet appear to be wary of any direct involvement in the contentious demand for a separate religion tag for their community. Following the differences among seers of Panchapeeta mutts and Virakta mutts, Ministers belonging to Lingayat/Veershaiva communities have appealed to the heads of mutts to sort out their differences first. Minister for Higher Education Basavaraj Rayaraddi

told reporters on Thursday that the Ministers in the government would not be in a position to resolve the differences between seers of Lingayat/Veerashaiva communities. Echoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s statement, Mr. Rayaraddi said the government would recommend separate religion tag for Lingayats if the seers settle their differences. “Streetfight between seers of Lingayat/Veerashaiva communites will complicate the issue,” he said.

table. D. Krishnan, a farmer, recollects how the State government had announced the decision to build this dam in the Assembly in 1995. “Sand from Erathangal Eri was supposed to be brought to construct the bund. Instead, the contractor used the sand in Bathalapalli to raise the bund. “At least 40% work was under way when it was stopped after district officials took up an inspection and found that the sand and boulders used were of poor quality,” he recalled. Soon after the project was called off, the construction material, equipment and vehicles were abandoned on the site.

Following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that the immersion of Durga idol will be taking place on October 2, 3 and 4, barring October 1 for Muharram, the day of mourning for Muslims, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that they would oppose the decision. “The State government is trying to disrupt Durga idol immersion. Last year, there was a similar directive on account of Muharram. This year also, the Chief Minister has done the same,“ Dilip Ghosh, State president of BJP said on Thursday. “This is

The BJP has said it will oppose the decision that the immersion of Durga idols will not take place on Muharram. PTI *

being done for Muslim appeasement and vote bank politics,” he said. Mr. Ghosh said that like the previous year some

people approach the Court and it will have major repercussions. Senior State government officials said that the de-

cision was taken in view of two considerations. “There were some problems last year following the overlapping of two religious events — Bijaya Dashami and Muharram — and this year too, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is planning a ‘shastra puja‘ [weapons worship] in the State on October 1,” a senior official said. Organisational secretary of VHP in West Bengal Sachindranath Singha said that VHP will be taking out rally with “traditional weapons” from various parts of the State on October 1, a day after Bijaya Dashmi, and would go to court if the rallies are obstructed.

Criminal action ordered into death of children in U.P. College staff implicated, cases filed Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed criminal action against Dr. Rajeev Mishra, former principal of Baba Raghav Das medical college, and Pushpa Sales, the private agency supplying liquid oxygen, in connection with the deaths of children on August 10 and 11. Criminal action would be also taken against Dr. Satish Kumar, oxygen supply incharge and HoD of the anaesthesia ward, and Dr. Kafeel Khan, in-charge of the nodal 100-bed AES ward in the Gorakhpur hospital where 30 children died on August 10 and 11, allegedly due to disruption of oxygen supply. The government has consistently denied that the deaths were caused due to the lack of oxygen supply.

Police tight-lipped While the U.P. police on Thursday reportedly filed an FIR at the Hazratganj police station against the indicted doctors, the hospital staff and oxygen supplying firm, the police were tightlipped about it. According to unconfirmed reports, a case has been lodged against nine persons under Sections 409, 308, 120 (b) and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Relevant Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Medical Council Act were also invoked. “I have not seen it but I am told [that the the FIR has been lodged], I will confirm only when I see it,” said ADG Law and Order, Anand Kumar, directing this reporter to Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow,

Yogi Adityanath whose assistant said he was busy in a meeting. SHO Hazratganj did not take phone calls. Mr. Adityanath issued the directions late on Wednesday after considering the recommendations of the fourmember committee under Chief Secretary Rajeev Kumar, which submitted its report to him on August 20. Though the contents were not made public, the Chief Minister's office issued an action-taken note on the report. According to a government statement, the probe committee has recommended criminal action against Mr. Mishra, Dr. Kafeel, Dr. Kumar and Pushpa Sales Private Limited. The government note, however, remains silent on the specific reasons for calling the criminal action and has no mention of the deaths of the children, merely calling it the “Gorakhpur incident”. It also does not clarify if the deaths were caused due to disruption of oxygen supply. Apparently, the probe also gives a clean chit to U.P. Ministers and bureaucrats in-charge of the health and medical education departments — Ashutosh Tandon, Siddharth Nath Singh and K.K Gupta (DGME).

NHRC notice to Chhattisgarh govt. Four babies died in Raipur hospital Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission on Thursday issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the deaths of four babies at a government-run hospital in Raipur allegedly due to the oxygen supply getting cut on Sunday night. The NHRC issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, asking for a detailed report within four weeks. Accord-

ing to reports, the oxygen supply was disrupted, and the police have arrested the operator of the oxygen plant. The operator was also found to be drunk at work. This was the second such case this month, after a disruption in oxygen on August 10 allegedly caused the deaths of children at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College. While 23 children died that night, it is yet to be ascertained whether the oxygen supply being cut caused the deaths.

ED searches ex-Cong. MLA’s premises Foreign exchange violations suspected Special Correspondent New Delhi

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted searches on the premises of a former Congress MLA, his father and an alleged middleman as part of a probe into suspected foreign exchange rule violations. The alleged middleman’s name, Gagan Dhawan, earlier cropped up during a probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, a childhood friend of former CBI Director A.P. Singh. The same name had multiple entries

in the visitors’ logbook of former CBI chief Ranjit Sinha at his then official residence, said an official. Thursday’s search at 12 locations is related to the ED’s probe involving Sandesara group of companies earlier this month. “The premises of former Congress MLA and property dealer Sumesh Shokeen, his father Ram Kumar Shokeen and Gagan Dhawan have been searched,” said the official. On August 5, the ED had carried out searches on 11 premises of the Sandesara group of companies.

ED official held for graft Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The CBI on Thursday arrested an Assistant Director with the Patna wing of Enforcement Directorate, Shashi Shekhar, along with another person, for allegedly receiving a bribe of ₹10 lakh through a businessman. He allegedly collected over ₹10 lakh that was with the businessman to be taken back later. CM YK








Endgame for Section 377? The argument against it must be premised on the idea of the right to equality before the law, not just privacy

Citizen vs State The unanimous verdict on privacy is a restatement of core constitutional principles Pulapre Balakrishnan The guillotine has fallen on the right of men to unilateral divorce by mere pronouncement in one go. It is a reflection of the failure of politics in India, and the pusillanimity of the political class that is its custodian, that the practice had the long life that it enjoyed in a secular republic. And even though it is disappointing that none of the judges came to the conclusion of the unconstitutionality of triple talaq via the path of equal rights — in this case of India’s women — it is yet the case that the highest court of the land has pronounced a negative verdict on the practice. Rulings by the Supreme Court can have significant spread effects.

Far-reaching rulings Even when rulings in one case may not directly impact those in other areas, they have the potential to change behaviour across society. Thus, activists see the ruling against triple talaq as generally empowering women among India’s Muslims. Similarly, the ruling that has closely followed it in time, namely the one upholding privacy as a fundamental right of the citizen under the Constitution, is believed to have major implications for the lives of Indians. We can see immediately that it stalls the incipient rise of the surveillance state. But it has been suggested that it has the potential to impact the Indian state’s regulation of sexual relations. In particular, it has been suggested that the ruling has a bearing on the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalises acts “against the order of nature”. In the first instance, this immediately



against Section 377 not to be based on the right to privacy but to be premised instead on the idea of the right to equality before the law? While privacy is of paramount importance, in itself it cannot be the clinching argument in the context. After all, do individuals have the right to violence in the privacy of their homes? We may well agree with a man that his home is his castle, and therefore beyond the invasive remit of the state, but we are unlikely to agree with his right to domestic violence. He has no right to subjugate his spouse through violence, not even in the privacy of his home. The case against Section 377 must be based on the argument that it is arbitrary in proscribing all but the ‘missionary position’ in intercourse. What the Indian law as it stands does is to violate the right to non-discriminatory treatment of the LGBT community who invariably reject this position. So are we witnessing the endgame of Section 377? Hardly, it would be seem, though we should not give up all hope to seeing a civilised India in our lifetime. Why so? At least, the arguments of some of the judges of the Supreme Court are not a cause for optimism. The swing judge, so to speak, in the talaq ruling thought of the practice

The political argument While the courts may get away without addressing the sexual rights of Indians constrained by Section 377, the political class cannot any longer credibly do so. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress cry themselves hoarse with their slogans ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas (together with everyone, everyone’s progress)’ and ‘inclusion’, respectively. If the populace are to see these as meant to no more than stimulate a self-induced rapture, the political parties have their task cut out. The Congress must recognise that the provisions of this law are exclusionary in that it leaves out a section of Indians. The BJP on its part had better get to finally see that ‘vikas’ is all about flourishing lives and not just making goods in India for sale abroad. If the Kinsey report on sexuality based on the United States experience is to be taken as a benchmark, we would have to heed its finding that around 10% of men are homosexual. This is larger than some of India’s religious groups. It appears that for the main political parties of India, sabka vikas amounts to privileging religion, even when it is ex-

Fighting with pride Having tasted the sweetness of power, the BJP has begun to choose its words more carefully. As soon as the ruling on triple talaq was announced, the entire leadership was all agog with tweets and statements. The Minister for Law and Justice spoke of the judgment having upheld “gender justice, dignity and equality”. He couldn’t have been more precise. Could he not have noticed that that is exactly what repeal of Section 377 of the IPC will achieve on the sexual plane, we wonder. But while legislation for its repeal may be some way off, the LGBT movement of India is here to stay. Chances are that in a city near you preparations are on right now for the next annual ‘Pride’ march. It would be a party with a difference as all parties are welcomed. You could even walk your talk. Pulapre Balakrishnan is Professor of Economics, Ashoka University and Senior Fellow, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode

Making sense of the Supreme Court’s split verdict on triple talaq

Tasked with determining if instant triple talaq is gender discriminatory under the Constitution, a terse order at the end of Tuesday’s Supreme Court verdict summarises the results of its labours: “By a majority of 3:2 the practice of ‘talaq-ebiddat’ – triple talaq is set aside”. Score-sheet summaries of this kind have been deprecated ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Kesavananda Bharati (1973). From a careful reading of the three separate judgments that make up the court’s decision in the instant case, it is not at all entirely clear that triple talaq was in fact “set aside” by a majority of 3:2.

The three judgments In one common judgment, two of the five judges (Rohinton F. Nariman and U.U. Lalit) held that triple talaq was an element of statutory law — the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 —

and, being arbitrary, was unconstitutional. They declined to express an opinion on the more general question of whether religious personal laws were immune from constitutional scrutiny under Article 25, which guarantees all citizens the right to freely practise their religion. (The Shariat Act of 1937 contained no reference to triple talaq and merely declared that the Shariat would be applicable uniformly to all Muslims in India in determining issues such as marriage, divorce, etc. Before the passage of this Act, Hindu inheritance laws were applied to certain Muslim communities in the North-Western Provinces, Punjab and Gujarat. This had a particularly pernicious effect on the rights of Muslim women which were relatively better secured under the Shariat.) In a second common judgment, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer held that the practice of triple talaq, being a component of personal law, was protected by Article 25 of the Constitution and could not be interfered with by the court. In the same breath they directed that this practice be abrogated by Parliament through legislation. Matters standing thus evenly di-

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Right to privacy By overruling its own cases delivered in 1954 and 1961 on the right to privacy, the nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has steered the course of jurisprudence in such a way that it is in tandem with the evolving values of a progressive society (“Right to privacy is ‘intrinsic to life and liberty,’ rules SC”, August 24). The court is aware that its verdict will have a bearing on other issues such as the criminalisation of homosexuality and the abortion rights of women. It will have to brace itself to tackle a flurry of petitions challenging various laws that allegedly violate the right to privacy. The government has not crowned itself with glory by blowing hot and cold on the privacy issue, arguing once that there is no fundamental right to privacy and now saying that privacy is a right subject to reasonable

judgment be understood as ‘concurring’ with theirs.


Prashant Iyengar

here are inequalities and then there are inequalities within unequal entities. That reservation in jobs and education did address socio-economic disparities in India to some degree is true. But, equally, the benefits of reservation have not been distributed equitably, and large segments of the weaker sections and backward classes continue to have no access to quality education or meaningful employment. The relatively rich and dominant sections among the backward castes have tended to take up a disproportionately larger share of the reservation pie. The introduction of the concept of ‘creamy layer’ to isolate the well-off among those eligible for reservation was initially perceived as an attempt to limit the benefits of reservation, and to politically divide the beneficiaries of reservation. But, properly implemented, it could have had the effect of allowing a more equitable spread of the benefits of reservation. The Union Cabinet’s decision to set up a commission to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes speaks to the long years of failure in effectively preventing large sections of the creamy layer from taking advantage of the quota system to the detriment of the poorer sections among their own caste groups. In effect, the Union government is now seeking to ensure a more equitable distribution of reservation benefits by further differentiating caste groups coming under backward classes on the basis of their levels of social and economic backwardness. If the categorisation of the creamy layer had been done consistently and uniformly, there would not have been any felt need to differentiate among the caste groups. The decision on sub-categorisation came on the same day the Cabinet decided to raise the ceiling for deciding who remains outside the creamy layer to those earning ₹8 lakh annually, an increase of ₹2 lakh. This is at crosspurposes with the move toward sub-categorisation, allowing as it does those with higher earnings to enjoy reservation benefits. The reservation pie is limited, and no group, whether rich or poor, dominant or subservient, can hope to gain except at the expense of another socio-economic category. Vote-bank politics has a lot to do with the prioritising of caste-based categorisation over income-based differentiation to identify reservation beneficiaries. Political mobilisation on the basis of caste is far easier than on the basis of income, and the BJP is clearly trying to splinter the vote banks of the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The effort is to make other caste groups see dominant castes such as Yadavs as competitors for education and employment. Evidently, this kind of political mobilisation is not at odds with the BJP’s greater stratagem of Hindu religious consolidation. But it may still result in leaving out the truly deserving from reservation benefits.

devalues by association the homosexual condition, a historical peeve of European Christianity. It should be recognised that even though all religions drawing upon West Asian culture have strictures against homosexuality, it was the West that justified sexual persecution on aesthetic grounds. Under Hitler homosexuals were to be exterminated so that Germany would be populated by the perfect race. It needs to be acknowledged at the same time that it is the Christian West that has taken the lead in reversing the historical prejudice against homosexuality and that members of its political class have played a leading role in this. But we live in India and must perforce address its realities. Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the primacy of privacy, commentators pointed out that it has implications for Section 377 as no longer can sex acts in private be overseen by law. While this may at first blush appear to be a tenable interpretation, it is not an argument that is made by activists for gay rights. Incidentally, it must be said that this group includes a large number of Indians who are not in any way circumscribed by Section 377 as the fight for sexual equality is not spearheaded by gay men. So why is the argument

clusionary. But if they would only dare to see the full logic of their pronouncements, they cannot shrink from devoting their energies to empowering the LGBT community in India. Among India’s political parties, the CPI(M) alone has frontally sought repeal of Section 377, even though this may have something to do with the intelligence of its JNU-educated leadership rather than their MPs, not to mention the rank and file of the party. The Congress did include Section 377 in its manifesto in 2014, but somewhat limply under the section on governance, betraying its timidity. After all, its clan-based allies from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, on whom it increasingly relies, seem unable to see beyond their families and their biradari, showing little concern for women, linguistic minorities or civil liberties in general.

How the numbers compute

Caste and class Sub-categorisation of OBCs feeds the BJP’s recent attempts at caste-based mobilisation



n a rare unanimous verdict pronounced by nine judges, the Supreme Court has ruled that privacy is a fundamental right that requires constitutional protection. It was always known or assumed to be a common law right. Occasionally, and somewhat grudgingly, it was recognised in some verdicts as a fundamental right. In concluding that “the right to be left alone” is an inalienable part of being human, the court has restated a fundamental principle, namely that some rights are natural and inherent; constitutions only recognise them and make them explicit. This restatement of first principles became necessary mainly due to a strange and perverse argument by the Union government in the course of the hearings on the validity of its Aadhaarbased unique identity scheme that privacy is not a fundamental right. The fact that all the judges unanimously came down on this argument shows how much the government misunderstood the constitutional underpinnings of privacy as a value in itself and as an ineluctable facet of human dignity. The government argued that privacy is “so amorphous as to defy description”, that it is needless to call it a fundamental right as it is one in common law, and that it has been given statutory protection in different forms. There was even a suggestion that privacy is an imported value and that it is elitist. All these arguments fell by the wayside. The outcome was not entirely unexpected. Not many would have seriously believed a constitutional court would rule that privacy is not a cherished right in a democracy. What implications the ruling would have on state policy and citizens’ rights will be the core issues in future. A welcome aspect of the judgment is that it makes it clear that sexual orientation is part of privacy and constitutionally protected, and that the 2014 verdict upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is flawed. This opens up the case for a much-needed reconsideration. As for Aadhaar, it is pertinent to note that the judges have referred to the restrictions and limitations that privacy would be subject to. The test to decide the validity of any such restriction is that it is reasonable, based on fair procedure and free from arbitrariness or selective targeting or profiling. It can also be based on compelling state interest. This is where a cautionary note is in order. Courts exercising writ jurisdiction should be cautious about the nature of the relief they grant based on wide and open-ended claims of breach of privacy. The verdict has advanced and revivified core constitutional principles in an era in which privacy is pitted against state interest. Somehow, privacy as a value finds itself at loggerheads with notions of national security, the needs of a knowledge society and even socio-economic policy. Hopefully, this judgment will set many such concerns at rest and bring about a more equitable relationship between citizen and state.

as bad in religion and therefore not “good in law”. This has a direct bearing on the path of LGBT rights in India as homosexuality is proscribed in some religions. Is this to be interpreted as suggesting that India’s gay Muslims and Christians should remain criminalised for all time? Not if we are to go by the court’s earlier rulings. The NALSA judgment of 2014 is a landmark one in that it upheld the right to choose one’s sexual orientation. However, it did not go far enough to call for a repeal of Section 377. In some ways, however high-minded the judges in that case may have been, they did not allow their minds to soar enough to recognise sexual rights as legitimately redeemable through practice.

vided, the entire weight of the decision shifted to the opinion of the fifth judge, Justice Kurian Joseph. From the summary, we would expect him to have concurred with Justices Nariman and Lalit on the unconstitutionality of triple talaq. Astonishingly, his decision (a meagre 27 pages in a 397-page judgment) goes neither way. Justice Joseph holds triple talaq to be inoperative not because it violates fundamental rights, but because it is, on his reading, “Anti-Quran” and hence violative of the Shariat. Tellingly, he disagrees with Justices Nariman and Lalit on whether “the 1937 Act is a legislation regulating triple talaq and hence, [would be subject to the test] of Article 14”. This is a central pillar holding Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit’s argument together, and on no reasonable view can Justice Joseph’s

A cosmetic unity What we are left with is two judges who uphold the constitutional immunity of triple talaq, two who strike it down as unconstitutional, and one who does not think it is even law. In light of this radical discord between Justice Joseph and Justices Nariman and Lalit, what are we to make of the misleading “3:2” majority by which triple talaq was allegedly set aside as unconstitutional? Whatever else one might read into the decision, it is clear that three judges of the Shayara Bano v. Union of India case did not come to the determination that triple talaq is gender discriminatory and hence unconstitutional — the very question that they were tasked with answering. It is possible to cosmetically unite the three ‘majority’ judges at the level of an abstract intention, evinced in their judgments, that triple talaq is an undesirable practice and ought not to remain law. Such an indulgent interpretation however would reduce the complex task of judgment to the arbit-

rary, whimsical exercise of signing a summary — hardly worth the serious judicial time that this case has consumed. Undoubtedly, over time, this decision will come to be misdescribed in textbooks and judgments as one that ‘declared triple talaq unconstitutional’. In this process, 27 pages of Justice Joseph’s writings will probably be rendered mute in order to furnish the decision with an identifiable ratio. As officers of the highest court in the land, judges of the Supreme Court ought to be held accountable to high standards in their task of clarifying the law. They need reminding that the analytical rigour, clarity and consistency that their judgments lack will not somehow assemble in the minds of subordinate judges and students of the law, and that achieving a mathematical result (3:2) is no substitute for a reasoned decision. Despite a 397-page judgment from the highest court in the land, ‘somehow’ is the best answer we have to the question of why triple talaq is no longer law. Prashant Iyengar is a lawyer currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Columbia University

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

restrictions. It has its task cut out to formulate a credible and robust data protection law so that the Aadhaar scheme passes muster with the court as privacy-compliant. V.N. Mukundarajan, Thiruvananthapuram

It is premature to understand the impact of this judgment on Aadhaar; that’s for a separate day. The linking of Aadhaar to PAN, mobile numbers and so on will raise the amount of direct and indirect tax collections as it will provide the government with an effective tool to manage fraudulent practices. Even after the government’s aggressive push to ensure transparency, there are still many who oppose Aadhaar. Only time will tell if the Supreme Court will back these people or not. Jai Prakash Gupta, Ambala

We rejoice that the right to

privacy has been unambiguously and emphatically declared a fundamental right. It easily ranks as one of the most significant rulings of the country’s top court since January 26, 1950. Thanks to the verdict, the right to privacy is now inalienable, paramount, and inviolable. It lends a new dimension to the notion of personal liberty and marks the beginning of a new era for individual freedom. It recognises privacy as something at the core of human dignity. It helps us shed the fear of our private lives being intruded upon. The right to privacy may appear to be “amorphous”, but it inheres in almost all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. “The right to be left alone’’ or “the right to choose solitude if I want solitude or the freedom to socially cohabit, that is, if I want it”, to borrow from Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, is

now made sacrosanct. Most importantly, it redefines the relationship between the state and the citizens and keeps others out of one’s kitchen and bedroom, thus pre-empting the emergence of a totalitarian state. Surveillance and invasion of privacy will be the last to have constitutional or legal sanction. The ruling does not come in the way of delivery of benefits to the impoverished through welfare schemes. It does not dispense with the Aadhaar scheme and PDS, but requires the government to put in place a robust data protection mechanism in order to prevent the misuse of biometrics and personal details collected from the common people. G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Tragedy on tracks The gimmick of the Railway Minister, of gaining high moral ground while the

Cabinet reshuffle is being facilitated, cannot whitewash the stain on the Railways’ image (“Prabhu offers to quit, but Modi says ‘wait’”, August 24). The Indian public is not so naïve so as to be fooled into believing that good governance means introducing bullet trains and Wi-Fi while the quality of services offered remains poor and safety remains a huge concern. The solution does not lie in Suresh Prabhu resigning. Concrete action needs to be taken on the ground and accountability has to be established across the board. Varghese George, Secunderabad

It is good that the Railway Minister offered to resign. It reminds me of how Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned following the Ariyalur train disaster in 1956. Such a crop of politicians is seldom found

these days. K.V. Seetharamaiah, Hassan

Suresh Prabhu’s resignation offer is laudable. At a time when even State Ministers are glued to their seats and refuse to resign in the wake of a scam or a tragedy, he must be complimented for volunteering to demit office. However, the Railways needs to introspect and take some hard decisions to address the serious deficiencies in track maintenance and safety protocols. Unless sustained efforts are taken to improve operational efficiency, it will be difficult to instil confidence among the travelling public. More importantly, such tragedies would have a dampening effect on the Prime Minister’s vision of introducing bullet trains. P.K. Varadarajan, Chennai

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Is Prasar Bharati its master’s voice? The organisation is looking down the barrel unless it is decoupled from its massive sloth and totally detoxified

Jawhar Sircar is former CEO of the Prasar Bharati Corporation

While episodic outbursts when the public broadcaster commits some sin LEFT of omission or commission are natural, they usually peter away after some selfrighteous indignation. Such transient interest can hardly achieve anything beyond a few column centimetres, as we need to look at what heavy chains bind Prasar Bharati before calling it a poodle.

On a leash In 1990, V.P. Singh’s government passed a landmark Act to delink the two state monopolies, All India Ra-

dio and Doordarshan, from the government that earlier Congress regimes had used to the hilt. A new autonomous corporate holding, namely Prasar Bharati, was desired, but the bureaucrats of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry ensured, through two sections, 32 and 33, that effective control remained with them. In any case, the Act was put into cold storage throughout P.V. Narasimha Rao’s tenure and it was only on the Supreme Court’s order that it was taken out in 1997, dusted and operationalised. After bundling off the first CEO who took ‘autonomy’ too seriously

There’s much that can be improved, but the vision of the public broadcaster is unbiased, credible and autonomous

Bimal Julka is Central Information Commissioner and was Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry

The public service broadcaster (PSB) acts as a protector of the conscience, RIGHT nation’s preserving its cultural ethos and core values. In a pluralistic society like India, the PSB plays a pivotal role in maintaining the social fabric. Its aims encompass two main strands: radio and television should give people the programmes they want to hear and watch, and also satisfy social purposes such as education and the promotion of citizenship. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990, in

Section 12, defines its primary duty of organising and conducting public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public. Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution has guaranteed freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right. Broadcasting is the most important and integral aspect of communication through which this right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in it could be freely disseminated and sustained. In the contemporary high-traction media buzz characterised by TRP ratings, consumerist tilt, aggressive advertising and thirst for

The public, legal face of its autonomy belies the reality of its relationship with the I&B Ministry

Rajiv Mehrotra is Managing Trustee of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust and has had a long association with AIR and DD

The Prasar Bharati Corporation that administers DD and AIR been in limbo and CENTRE has decay for decades. The average age of its demoralised programme staff is 50-plus. Urban elites see it as obsolete and out of sync with audiences. The challenges are overwhelming. After a long night, there is a glimmer of possibility. We must support this.

Deepening reach Prasar Bharati is expanding its reach among regional and rural audiences, the disadvantaged and

the disenfranchised, providing them local content in tune with their needs and tastes. This is a core constituency for a public service broadcaster. Last year, the viewership of DD’s Kisan channel grew by 60%, that of a bouquet of its regional channels by nearly 70% and the revenue from DD DTH (Direct To Home) service against competition from big players like Tata Sky and Airtel increased by 48%. DD is set to launch a major programming initiative for the critical North-East channel. It is completing a massive content commissioning and acquisition exercise. More than ₹100 crore

within a few months, the Ministry ensured for several years that its own Additional Secretaries doubled up as CEOs of Prasar Bharati. Though some were outstanding, they were vulnerable and the Ministry clamped ‘dominion’ status through total funding control. Some 48,000 employees recruited by the Ministry in the Soviet days were unceremoniously passed on to Prasar Bharati, weighing it down with unmanageable numbers and hardwired sarkari mindsets. Under law, their pay has necessarily to be borne by government but it invariably makes a hue and cry about Prasar Bharati bleeding it. brand imaging, TV channels have no choice but to cater to the gallery — often resulting in not-so-desirable content. It is against this backdrop that DD and AIR play a positive role to strike a balance between the quest for entertainment, the thirst for revenue, and the zest for social, cultural and national priorities. Thus, the priorities for the PSB are quite different from the private channels where key indicators are intangible.

Need to professionalise The large networks of AIR and DD play a key role in upholding the unity and integrity of the country and values enshrined in the Constihas been invested in 100 different programmes in diverse genres. The Doordarshan/ Public Service Broadcasting Trust partnership has yielded 650 independent documentary films so far, with more to follow. They have won 59 national awards from the President of India and won an award from around the world for virtually every second film. It can be done! Make in India for the world!

A clear vision The albatross around Prasar Bharati’s neck is the ambiguity between the public, legal face of its autonomy and the reality of its rela-

Colossal wastage Some 10-12 years ago, a couple of ministers pumped money into DD for making its own serials, replacing the earlier successful model of

Ramayan, Mahabharat and Buniyaad, and the result was pathetic. All they did was to enrich the private producers and damage DD’s TRPs beyond repair but, despite best efforts, that model has not been replaced even now. Over the decades, countless radio and TV stations were set up and even when it was known that less than 2% of India watches terrestrial transmission through rooftop rod antennas, not a single of the 1,400-plus towers could be shut down. These, and short wave radio transmitters, guzzle power, money and bind down a lot of manpower. So do the 45 TV studios whose 100-odd staff produce just half an hour’s programme per day. But then, who bells the cat that appoints every-

one, including the board members? Section 17 transferred all assets and properties from the Ministry to Prasar Bharati, but in 20 years, the rules of transfer could not be made. Every time the organisation hires ‘updated professionals’ from the open market to try to make old elephants run a bit like racehorses, ‘insiders’ are egged on to complain and inquiries instituted. Parliamentary committee recommendations enjoining autonomy and the Pitroda Committee report are all stuffed into lockers, while control is exercised daily through adroit divide and rule at the top. Until the organisation is forcefully decoupled from its massive sloth and totally detoxified, there is no option but to keep singing the master’s anthem.

tution. At this juncture there is an essential requirement for autonomy, decentralisation and devolution of power within Prasar Bharati with the aid of professional managers to run its business, specifically for content, marketing, commercial operations and most importantly the regional networks. A thorough look at the systems and procedures is essential to reorient its bureaucracy and increase efficiency, innovation and creativity. Operating procedures and internal processes should be transparent to reduce the possibility of any collusion and corruption. Urgent action is required in the area of human resource develop-

ment including cadre review, staff size, organisational structure, etc. as a step towards a more competent, efficient and professional organisation. Both AIR and Doordarshan need to capitalise on its full potential and the possibilities of the new media. Under the Prasar Bharati Act, the Central government can legitimately ask the corporation to furnish all forecast, estimates, information and documents with regard to its financial transactions and engagements. It is incumbent upon the PSB to evolve more aggressive strategies for marketing its programmes, archival material, facilities and services and expertise to meet the infrastructural and technological challenges in future. The PSB’s vision is unbiased,

credible and autonomous, which makes Indians better citizens, enriches their lives with correct information, quality entertainment and value education. Presently, the basic flaws in organisation and control need to be fixed in-house. Blindly following foreign models may not be appropriate due to uniqueness of its character, needs of the audience and the relevant constitutional requirements. The PSB has to set its own house in order, to serve the public good and provide information services that commercial broadcasters may find difficult to achieve. The perception created about the PSB being its master’s voice is a myth.

tionship with Shastri Bhawan (where the office of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in Delhi is located). It is confused about its role, its aspirations, about how its success and failures are to be judged: by the revenues it earns or its audience share. Are these to be compared to the commercially driven satellite channels? Should it be an articulator and promoter of the government’s agenda and its point of view or should it strive to be a neutral media space for civil society? It does not help its agendas and aspirations if its prime-time slots and identity are auctioned off to the highest bidder without even a refer-

ence to nature and quality of content — as was done. It will be more prudent to scale down Prasar Bharati in the short term and improve efficiency to lower costs.

agendas of the state and those with commercial agendas. Prasar Bharati has struggled on most counts. It is not too late. It must have genuine autonomy and be encouraged to create and sustain a professional organisational structure to enable it to function with the transparency and accountability of a good public enterprise. In time this could evolve into a publicprivate partnership. This is as important a public investment as in education, health care and an efficient legal justice system. A society that lacks an effective alternative media space and voice diminishes its fundamental democratic freedoms and choices while reinforcing the cultures of the privileged.

When the Prasar Bharati Board (one must compliment the present and previous one) demanded justice and autonomy, they were laughed away. There were, and still are, several excellent professionals in DD and AIR, but governmental systems demoralise and punish initiative. Almost every minister has enjoyed these hegemonic powers as secretaries could never exercise these without acquiescence or encouragement.

An important investment Public broadcasting justifies and needs public money because its emphasis, unlike commercial television, is to deliver messages to audiences motivated by the public good. It is the antidote to the cacophony of the private electronic media that delivers eyeballs to its advertisers. When successful, public broadcasting sets exemplary standards of quality and serves as an example of good taste, of decency and values; it is impartial and occupies a neutral space between the political

The views expressed are personal





Don’t fear trade deficit


‘Legal action to check Shiv Sena if needed’

Irrational fears over trade with China or any other country must be put to rest

Mr. Y.B. Chavan, Union Home Minister, told me in an interview to-day [August 24, Poona] that if measures to counteract the Shiv Sena movement failed, the Government would not hesitate to resort to legal action to deal with the reactionary movement. Mr. Chavan said that the passing of a resolution unanimously by the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee early to-day condemning the Shiv Sena movement showed in no uncertain terms the sincerity of purpose of the Congress workers in Maharashtra and also the mind of Government leaders alike. He said he had asked Mr. Mohan Daria, Member of MPCC to meet South Indian leaders in Bombay to allay their fears.



Amidst rising political tensions between India and China, trade relations between the two countries have come under some pressure recently. India’s trade deficit with China, which stands at over $50 billion, has been projected by many on the Indian side as an economic evil that needs to be curbed by all means. To this end, they have demanded heavy tariffs and bans on Chinese imports. The trade deficit with China, in effect, is seen as a loss to India and a gain to the Chinese economy. So, naturally, steps to curb it are seen as justified.







Washington Consensus

To read and write better


The dilemma on detention and improving learning outcomes

This is a set of neoliberal economic prescriptions made by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the U.S. Treasury to developing countries that faced economic crises. It recommended structural reforms that increased the role of market forces in exchange for immediate financial help. The term was coined by British economist John Williamson in 1989. While some said that the Washington Consensus was used to impose harsh conditions that were unhelpful for economic recovery, others have argued that although not perfect, it was favourable to long-term economic growth in developing economies.

Krishnadas Rajagopal




The Hindu Quiz: Snack on Science

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill of 2017 aims to maintain the standard of elementary education along with the avowed objective of providing compulsory education to children between the ages of six and 14. The new Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha proposes to substitute Section 16 in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, which provides that “no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education.” The provision was made in the original Act because examinations were often used to hold back children who obtained poor marks. Parliament had no intention to demotivate a child by compelling him or her to repeat the same class or


Balance of trade Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, for instance, held talks with her Chinese counterpart earlier this month demanding greater access for Indian goods to the Chinese market. While the idea of unrestricted cross-border trade sounds great, the focus of her talks was on trimming the trade deficit rather than promoting free trade. Such fear of the trade deficit, however, makes very little economic sense. This is because, contrary to popular belief, the prevalence of a trade deficit, or a trade surplus for that matter, says nothing about whether a country benefits or loses out from trade. In fact, since free trade between countries happens on a voluntary basis, where individuals try to improve their lives, it is always beneficial to all sides. This is also the fundamental logic behind the overwhelming support for free trade among economists. To make things simple, the balance of trade reflects how an economy earns its foreign exchange, and how it decides to spend it subsequently. Take the case of India’s trade deficit with China. India earns Chinese yuans primarily from Chinese investors who seek to invest in assets in the country. At the same time, India uses these yuans that it receives from Chinese investors mostly to purchase Chinese goods, rather than to invest them in Chinese assets. This preference among Indians for Chinese goods rather than assets, combined with Chinese preference for Indian assets rather than goods, is what causes India to suffer a trade deficit. If Indians had a greater preference for Chinese assets, and the Chinese had a greater preference for Indian goods, the situation would reverse and India would enjoy a trade surplus instead. The trade deficit is thus a mirror image of a capital surplus, which is formed by the relatively larger inflow of Chinese capital into India than vice versa. As one can see, quite obviously, there is very little that is wrong with this state of affairs. A man who sells his assets to his fellow countrymen to purchase goods from them, for instance, would suffer a trade deficit and a capital surplus with the rest of the country. Very few would argue that the man suffers a loss from the trade, while the rest of the country gains from it. The same logic holds true when it comes to trade between countries as well. It is high time irrational fears over trade with China, or any other country, are put to rest once and for all.


leave school altogether. However, the recent years have seen several States and Union territories raise the adverse impact of Section 16 on elementary education. Authorities claimed that there was a steady dip in the learning standards of students in elementary classes. The new Bill has substituted Section 16 “in order to improve the learning outcomes in the elementary classes”. The Centre said this step has been taken after “wide deliberations with all the stakeholders”. The Bill provides for a regular examination to be conducted in the fifth and eighth classes at the end of every academic year. If a child fails in the examina-

tion, he or she shall be given “additional instruction” and granted an opportunity for re-examination within the next two months. In case the child fails in the re-examination too, the appropriate State government would be empowered with the authority to allow schools to either hold back or not hold back the child in the same class. No child, however, shall be expelled from a school till the completion of elementary education, the Bill clarified. Earlier this year, the NITI Aayog had called for a review of the provisions of the 2009 Act on the ground that the best intentions enumerated under Section 16 were actually proving detrimental to elementary learning processes. Stakeholders argued that the situation was such that a child could be promoted till eighth class without probably being even able to read or write.

A determined attempt to murder a European was made in Alfred Park, Allahabad the other night. It appears Mr. Willaim Godfrey, son of the late Mr. Godfrey, formerly Deputy Examiner, Eastern Bengal State Railway Accounts, was out for ride in Alfred Park. At about eleven O’clock at night he took his seat on a bench and lit a cigar. Suddenly he felt a blow on his back, and turning round he just saw the arm of an Indian. Withdrawing from the second blow Mr. Godfrey, who bled profuse, shouted for help and was taken by a policeman to his house on jatka. It was found Mr. Godfrey had received two stabs on his back with some sharp cutting instrument, one penetrating very near the lungs. The perpetrator ran away, but the police are making investigation. Mr. Godfrey is doing well in Civil hospital. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC









SC overrules Emergency-era habeas corpus verdict ‘Judgments rendered by all the four judges constituting the majority in ADM Jabalpur case are seriously flawed’ Krishnadas Rajagopal NEW DELHI

Over 40 years after the Supreme Court’s darkest hour when it said citizens had no right to life and liberty during the Emergency period, a nine-judge Bench condemned the decision in the infamous ADM Jabalpur case, better known as the habeas corpus case, as “seriously flawed.” The habeas corpus judgment in 1976 upheld the Congress government’s move to unlawfully detain citizens, including political rivals, during the Emergency years.

Cost of dissent Of the five judges on that Bench, only Justice H.R. Khanna dissented with the majority opinion of then Chief Justice of India A.N. Ray, Justices M.H. Beg, Y.V.

life nor < > Neither liberty are bounties conferred by the state nor does the Constitution create these rights Justice Chandrachud

Chandrachud and P.N. Bhagwati. Justice Khanna's dissent cost him the chief justiceship. He was superceded by Justice Beg, following which he resigned. On Thursday, for the first time in Supreme Court's history, a nine-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, officially condemned the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the habeas corpus case. The judgment, authored by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who, incidentally, is the son of Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, “expressly overruled” the 1976 majority judgment and removed a long-pending taint on the court's history as a people's champion. Justice Chandrachud, writing for himself, Chief Justice Khehar, Justices R.K. Agrawal and S. Abdul Nazeer, held that “the judgments rendered by all the four

judges constituting the majority in ADM Jabalpur are seriously flawed. Life and personal liberty are inalienable to human existence”. “No civilized state can contemplate an encroachment upon life and personal liberty without the authority of law. Neither life nor liberty are bounties conferred by the state nor does the Constitution create these rights. The right to life has existed even before the advent of the Constitution,” Justice Chandrachud wrote. Hailing Justice Khanna for standing up to the government even at a personal cost, Justice Chandrachud said the majority judgments in the Jabalpur “should never have been”. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, in his seprate judgment, described Justice Khanna's dissent as one of the “three great dissents” in the Supreme Court's history. He calls the dissenting judgment of Justice Fazl Ali, who he describes as a "great judge", in the A.K. Gopalan case on preventive detention that fundamental rights in the Constitution are not watertight compartments as “a cry in the wilderness” and said that it took the Supreme Court 20 years to correct its view. Justice Nariman said the judgment took “his breath away”. The second great dissent was by Justice Subba Rao, who upheld the individual's right to privacy. He pointed to the introduction of the National Human Rights Commission law, which recognises right to life as a human right and observed that “developments after this judgment (ADM Jabalpur) have also made it clear that the majority judgments are no longer good law and that Khanna, J.’s dissent is the correct version of the law”. In his separate judgment, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul termed the ADM Jabalpur case as “an aberration in the constitutional jurisprudence of our country.”

Verdict reflects govt.’s vision: Amit Shah Blog attacks Cong. record on liberties Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Hours after the seven judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the right to privacy was a fundamental right, BJP chief Amit Shah declared that the judgement was in consonance with the NDA government’s “vision and action”, attacking instead the Congress party and its record on protecting privacy and fundamental rights. The Right to Privacy case was being heard as a question that arose out of another case on the collection and protection and use of biometric data on Aadhaar, the government’s Unique Identity Authority. The court’s ruling therefore, was being seen as a setback to the government in its bid to expand the scope of Aadhaar as a mandatory requirement for a host of government services and actions as well as non-governmental ones. Mr Shah’s blog defended the

Amit Shah government’s position vis-avis this verdict and says instead that it attacks the Congress party’s legacy on individual liberties. “Those waxing eloquent today on privacy architecture are the ones who have ensured India does not have a robust privacy law for decades. Those commenting on Aadhaar are the same people who did not provide it a legal backing for years,” Mr. Shah said, referring to the Congress. He also said the judgement refers to “data mining with the object of ensuring that resources are properly deployed.”

Worried SC calls for robust data protection regime Capacity of non-state actors to invade the home and privacy has also been enhanced, says nine-judge Bench Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Thursday urged the government to put in place a robust mechanism for data protection. Noting that “informational privacy is a facet of the right to privacy”, a ninejudge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, said dangers to personal data originate not only from the government but also from private players. “The dangers to privacy in an age of information can originate not only from the state but from non-state actors as well. We commend to

the Union Government the need to examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote.

Legitimate aims of state The court observed that the creation of a regime requires careful and sensitive balance between individual interest and legitimate concerns of the state. “The legitimate aims of the state would include for instance protecting national security, preventing and investigating crime, encouraging innovation and the spread of knowledge and preventing the dissipation of social welfare benefits,” the

Security concerns: The SC said dangers to personal data originate from government as well as private players.

apex court observed. The court said the introduction of a “carefully structured” data protection regime and its contours were matters policy matters to be considered by the Centre.

The court also took note of the Centre's move to constitute a committee of experts led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, on July 31, 2017 to identify “key data protec-

tion issues” and suggest a draft Data Protection Bill. The Office Memorandum of the Justice Srikrishna Committee notes that the “government is cognisant of the growing importance of data protection in India. The need to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected is of utmost importance”.

Panel report The Centre has undertaken in the court that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology would work with the panel and hand over all necessary informa-

tion to it within the next eight weeks, after which the latter will start its deliberations. The Committee is expected to submit its report expeditiously. The government has already indicated in the court that the committee would be framing a data protection Bill similar to the “technology-neutral” draft Privacy Bill submitted by an earlier expert committee led by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah to the Planning Commission of India in 2012. No steps were taken on the recommendations of the Justice Shah Committee.



Govt., Congress spar over privacy verdict “What has been the Congress’ record in the protection of individual liberty? During the Emergency, the then Attorney General had argued that if a person is killed inside a jail, there is no remedy. That is the Congress’ record,” the Minister said. The government’s response was formulated at meeting between Mr Jaitley, Mr. Prasad and Mr. Nripendra Kumar Mishra, the Prime Minister’s principal secretary.

‘New era’ The government’s sharp riposte came after Ms. Gandhi said, “The Supreme Court judgement on ‘Fundamental Right to privacy' heralds a new era for individual rights, personal liberty and human dignity. It strikes a blow on the unbridled encroachment and surveillance by the state and its agencies in the life of the common man.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitey responded by saying, “the issue went to Court only because the United Progressive AlliCM YK

ance government was collecting data without a law.” At the special briefing, journalists pointed out that that the Attorney General had argued in the Supreme Court against privacy being a fundamental right. Mr Prasad countered by reading out a part of the AG's argument. “He said ‘No blanket right to privacy can be read as part of fundamental rights and therefore, the concept of the right to privacy is already covered by those enumerated by Part 3 and they shall be in any case protected,” the Minister said. Former Congress Minister and lawyer Salman Khurshid tweeted, “Hope cheer leaders remember the govt. aggressively opposed Privacy Right before Court. Shall await ministers congratulating the PM for this.” “Privacy Fundamental Right has far reaching implications 4 our democracy. Celebrate the defeat of forces that wish to intrude in our lives,” Mr. Khurshid said in another tweet.

Privacy a fundamental right: SC When this happens, the government has to prove that the encroachment into privacy was a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to privacy. Plus, the court would also test whether the law in question stipulates an invasion into a person's privacy through a procedure which is fair, just and reasonable. “Right to privacy is a part of fundamental right of a citizen guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution. However, it is not an absolute right but subject to certain reasonable restrictions,” Justice A.M. Sapre said in his separate judgment. The nine-judge Bench was composed of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Nariman, A. M. Sapre, D.Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

Judgment overruled With this, the court has overruled its own eight-judge Bench and six-judge Bench judgments of M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh delivered in 1954 and 1962, respectively, that privacy is not pro-

timacies, sanctity of family life, the home, sexual orientation. It protects heterogenity and recognises the plurality and diversity of our culture. His views were endorsed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, Justices R.K. Agrawal and S. Abdul Nazeer in the same judgment. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said privacy, dignity and personal liberty were parts of the same “tree of justice”.

tected under the Constitution. The nine-judge Bench was deciding a reference from a five-judge Constitution Bench, which is considering the validity of the Aadhaar scheme as a breach of privacy, informational self-determination and bodily integrity. The five-judge Bench wanted to know first whether privacy was a fundamental right or not before delving into the question of validity of Aadhaar. Holding that “privacy is a constitutionally protected right”, Justice Chandrachud observed that this fundamental right is multifaceted — it preserves personal in-

Constitutional firewall “Fundamental rights are the only constitutional firewall to prevent state’s interference with those core freedoms constituting liberty of a human being. The right to privacy is certainly one of the core freedoms, which is to be defended. It is part of liberty within the meaning of that expression in Article 21,” Justice J. Chelameswar held in his concurring judgment. Justice S.A. Bobde said the “first and natural home for a right of privacy is in Article 21 at the very heart of personal liberty and life itself”. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said privacy, dignity and personal liberty were parts of the same “tree of justice”. “Thus, from the one great

tree, there are branches, and from these branches there are sub-branches and leaves. Every one of these leaves are rights, all tracing back to the tree of justice. They together form part of that ‘great brooding spirit’. Denial of one of them is the denial of the whole, for these rights, in manner of speaking, fertilise and nurture each other,” said Justice Kaul.

Global significance The nine-judge Bench’s judgment gains international significance as privacy enjoys a robust legal framework internationally, though India has remained circumspect. The judgment, if it declares privacy as a fundamental right, would finally reconcile Indian laws with the spirit of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, which legally protects persons against the “arbitrary interference” with one’s privacy, family, home, correspondence, honour and reputation.

SC rips apart 2014 ruling on Section 377 Justice Chandrachud was writing for himself, Chief Justice Khehar, Justices R.K. Agrawal and S. Abdul Nazeer on the Bench. “The test of popular acceptance does not furnish a valid basis to disregard rights which are conferred with the sanctity of constitutional protection. Discrete and insular minorities face grave dangers of discrimination for the simple reason that their views, beliefs or way of life does not accord with the ‘mainstream’. Yet in a democratic Constitution founded on the rule of law, their rights are as sacred as those conferred on other citizens to protect their freedoms and liberties,” Justice Chandrachud observed. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, in his separate judgment, seconded Justice Chandrachud, while observing that the “majoritarian concept” does not apply to constitutional rights. “Courts are often called upon to take what may be categorised as a non-major-

itarian view... One's sexual orientation is undoubtedly an attribute of privacy,” Justice Kaul added. Justice Chandrachud observed that the SC, without any constitutional basis, had set aside the Delhi HC judgment of then Chief Justice A.P. Shah. The High Court had in 2010 found that Section 377 was a statutory provision targeting homosexuals as a class and amounted to a hostile discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation violative of the fundamental rights.

Offensive to dignity “Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy. Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual,” Justice Chandrachud wrote. The apex court notes how the two-judges in 2014 had repelled the idea of Section 377 robbing the LGBT community of their “socalled” fundamental rights of privacy and dignity. M ND-NDE







A victory for all citizens, say legal luminaries


‘Now we can enjoy privacy as a right’

Sanjay Hegde calls it a watershed moment; K.T.S. Tulsi says the ruling prevented the govt. from becoming totalitarian Sobhana K Nair New Delhi

Legal luminaries and experts hailed Thursday’s Supreme Court judgment as victory for common citizens which would have a far-reaching impact on almost all aspects of life. Senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde said it was a watershed moment. “I believe that this is the most significant judgment after Kesavananda Bharati case. With this judgment the court has overruled a lot of early disastrous decisions. [The] SC has broadly laid

down the constitutional principle which every High Court should now take into account,” Mr. Hegde said. Many of the previous judgments would have to be revisited in the light of the verdict. “Today’s judgment has prevented [the] government from going on slippery slope of totalitarianism. In a democratic society, as per rule of law my house is my castle. Now after this judgment, my own body and mind is mine. The government can’t tell me what to eat or what to wear. As long as I do not break a

the nine judges were on same page with regard to right to privacy as integral fundamental right,” Justice Mudgal said.

K.T.S. Tulsi

Mukul Mudgal

law they can’t intrude,” senior lawyer K.T.S Tulsi told The Hindu. The unanimity of the ninemember bench was also

landmark, said Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal. “It preserves the individuality of a person. But what is more interesting is that all

Impact on surveillance Another important implication was in terms of government surveillance. “The judgment will have wide ranging impact. It will control how and whether government can read our email, listen to phone calls, how our data is used. It will also bear on whether married women will have the right not to get raped in marriage,

after all women’s right to bodily integrity is privacy of the body,” senior lawyer Karuna Nundy said. Not everyone believed that the judgment was significant. Former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas said the judgement had merely made an interpretation. “Right to privacy was earlier a common law which through today’s judgment has transformed into fundamental right. It has now been brought under the ambit of Section 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” he said.

Protect privacy of children: Justice Kaul

LGBT community cheerful

‘In both virtual world and real world’

special correspondent

Press Trust of India New Delhi

Privacy of children requires special protection in a digital age so they are not subjected to consequences of their mistakes and naivety, the Supreme Court on Thursday said. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, in his 47-page separate but concurring judgement holding that right to privacy is a fundamental right, also observed that children are perpetually creating digital footprints on social networking websites as they learn their ABCs — “Apple, Bluetooth and Chat”. “Children around the world create perpetual digital footprints on social network websites on a 24/7 basis as they learn their ‘ABCs’: Apple, Bluetooth, and Chat followed by Download, E-Mail, Facebook, Google, Hotmail, and Instagram. “They should not be subjected to the consequences of their childish

Sanjay Kishan Kaul mistakes and naivety their entire life. Privacy of children will require special protection not just in the context of the virtual world, but also the real world,” Justice Kaul said. The judge observed that technology results almost in a sort of a permanent storage in some way or the other making it difficult to begin life again giving up past mistakes. The SC ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty.

Petitioner welcomes SC verdict Avinash Bhat

The original petitioner in the right to privacy case is a happy man after Thursday’s verdict from the Supreme Court. In 2012, Justice (retd) K.S. Puttaswamy had approached the Supreme Court as petitioner in a case which has seen several landmark judgments. The Hindu spoke to Justice (retd) Puttaswamy following the verdict. How will the judgment of the Supreme Court change the life of an individual citizen?

Right to privacy can’t be denied ‘even if a small fraction of population is affected’

■ So far, the right to privacy has been denied and people had not experienced it. The concept of privacy of an individual and its progress with this judgment is a matter of great significance as citizens of India today have the right to privacy as a fundamental right — something that people have not enjoyed so far.

New Delhi

Bringing hope and cheer to the LGBT community, Thursday’s Supreme Court judgment on the right to privacy has rekindled the possibility that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which holds that gay sex is a crime, could soon be history. Congress MP Kapil Sibal felt that the judgment had put an end to the debate on the British-era Section 377. “Sexual orientation is part of the court judgment and the debate over Section| 377 is settled,” Mr. Sibal told The Hindu. Section 377 of Indian Penal Code was struck down by the Delhi High Court in July 2009. However, overruling this judgment, the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 IPC in what is popularly referred to as the Kaushal judgment. Thursday’s judgment, however, said the right to privacy cannot be denied “even if a minuscule fraction of population is affected”.

What are your thoughts on the arguments for the right to privacy as a fundamental right?

Bright as rainbow: A file photo of members of the LGBT community organising a ‘Pride March’ in Bengaluru. SUDHAKARA JAIN *

“Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation... Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone.”

Offensive to dignity “It clearly states that discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity of indi-

vidual. We hope that this will reinforce the Delhi High Court judgment in the Naz foundation case as the correct constitutional position,” LGBT activist Gautam Bhan said. The judgment stopped short of overruling the SC’s previous order. It is for a fivejudge bench, which is looking at the curative petition, to take a final call. “The judgment has made it clear that LGBT citizens

■ The Constitution makers never thought of privacy as not being a fundamental right. Somewhere it got bogged down. It has been corrected today by the Supreme Court.

like anyone else enjoy not just the right to privacy, but right to equality, right to free expression and right to life. Today’s judgment will have a wide-ranging impact but one among them is Section 377 will have to be struck down,” senior lawyer Karuna Nundy said. The activists are demanding that the Supreme Court should suo motu revisit many of its recent judgments where privacy has been undermined.

How do you think the judgment will impact the Aadhaar Act? ■ There are some impressions that the Aadhaar Act gets ipso

facto (by that very fact or act) in-validated by the right to privacy being upheld by the Supreme Court. In my view, this is not the correct proposition. Aadhaar is a different topic but it will definitely be impacted by the judgment, but how [it] is too early to say. The Government says that Aadhaar Act is necessary for several purposes, including security. There must be something in their argument but we cannot accept it in entirety. What are your views on privacy? ■ Privacy cannot be absolute in a civil society governed by the rule of law. There is nothing like absolute rights. However, this is the most important issue for the courts... No court can compel a sovereign legislature to do this or not do that. We can certainly request the Central government to enact a comprehensive law.

You recently applied for an Aadhar card; what was your experience? ■ I applied after the Supreme Court upheld the linking of Aadhaar with the PAN. The process took around 45 minutes.

Lalu to go ahead with mega On Doklam, Nepal walks a tightrope PM Sher Bahadur Deuba says won’t allow territory to be used against India rally despite flood havoc Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Yadav will attend the event

Suhasini Haidar Kallol Bhattacherjee NEW DELHI

The two-month old standoff between India and China at Doklam did not feature in the official talks between visiting Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and PM Modi, said officials, but India-China tensions were the highlight of an event that followed, where Mr. Deuba and several Ministers were present.

Amarnath Tewary Patna

Arun Jaitley

Jaitley to be Gujarat poll in-charge Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday appointed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as poll incharge for Gujarat, and his Cabinet colleague and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar as in-charge for Karnataka, and given charge of Himachal Pradesh to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot. Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Personnel and Development of North East Region (DONER) Jitendra Singh and Minister of State for Law P.P. Chaudhary have also been appointed to assist Mr. Jaitley as co-incharges for Gujarat. Power Minister Piyush Goyal has been appointed co-incharge for Karnataka with Mr. Javadekar. Gujarat is going to Assembly polls later this year as is Himachal Pradesh, with Karnataka to do so early next year. The Karnataka Assembly’s term ends on May 28. CM YK

Apparently stung by the ruling JD(U) and BJP’s repeated demand that the RJD cancel its proposed mega rally on August 27 in Patna in view of the flood fury in the State, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday asked, “Will the flood get over if I cancel the rally?” “Will the cancellation of the rally lessen the flood fury in Bihar? Will the floods end if I cancel my rally?” Mr. Prasad asked while addressing mediapersons in Ranchi, where he had gone to appear in a special CBI court in connection with a fodder scam case. Neither Congress president Sonia Gandhi, nor party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will participate in the proposed BJP bhagao, Desh bachao (oust BJP, save the country) rally. BSP chief Mayawati too has expressed her unwillingness to join rally organized as a show of strength of all non-BJP and secular parties. However, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav are said to have confirmed their participation. “Mamataji and Sharad Yadavji are coming…I’m in touch with Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Pawar for their participation in the rally...I’ve invited all like-minded parties with same ideology,” he said. He also alleged that the BJP and JD(U) have deliberately fixed PM Narendra Modi’s programme in Bihar on August 26 “in the name of flood review.”

Legal tangle: Lalu Prasad arriving at a CBI court in connection with the fodder scam case, in Ranchi on Thursday. PTI *

CPI(M) not impressed, decides to skip show Sobhana K Nair New Delhi

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau on Thursday decided not to attend the “BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao” rally called by Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Sunday. However, the Communist Party of India will be in attendance. The CPI(M)’s decision, according to sources, was taken after conferring with the Bihar unit of the party. During the meeting, it was argued by some members that merely standing together with “secular” parties will not be enough to counter the BJP. Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BSP chief Mayawati conveyed their inability to participate. The Congress, however will be sending a delegation of leaders including Bihar in-charge C.P. Joshi.

“It is a purely political platform, had they formulated it as an anti-communal platform bringing in apolitical persons too it would have made sense to participate. We have no compulsion to stand with parties like the Trinamool Congress to put up an united face,” said a Polit Bureau member. The CPI(M)’s organ People’s Democracy, edited by former general secretary Prakash Karat, in its last edition had argued that “putting together an alliance of a motley bunch of secular parties” will not help in countering the BJP. “The Modi government and the BJP are pursuing neo-liberal policies and the Hindutva communal agenda. So, to take the struggle forward against the Centre, there has to be a fight against both the neo-liberal policies and the communal onslaught,” the editorial said.

‘No China threat’ “We have excellent relations with China and don’t face problems from them,” Mr. Deuba told an audience at

Crucial talks: Narendra Modi,right, with Sher Bahadur Deuba at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Thursday. V. SUDERSHAN *

dia,” he added. Mr. Deuba was responding to a speech by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who had alluded to problems that Nepal could face from its strong northern

the event organised by the India Foundation here. “India need not have any apprehensions about that. However, under no circumstances would Nepal allow its soil to be used against In-

Stir in Valley over Article 35A

neighbour. “India is willing to help Nepal any time, in any manner required,” Mr. Paswan said. Referring to the strain in ties between India and Nepal in 2015, when a blockade during protests by Madhesi groups at the India Nepal border had cut essential goods and fuel supplies to Kathmandu, Mr. Paswan said these were common in “families”. Mr. Deuba’s comments reflect the tightrope that Nepal has been attempting to walk in the past few months, especially after it joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which India had rejected.

Separatists roll out a five-day protest programme

Minister saves abducted civic police

Peerzada Ashiq

Press Trust of India



With five days to go for the Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A, protests are gaining ground in the Kashmir Valley with the separatists rolling out a five-day protest programme. Supporting the protest call, Kashmir Traders’-Manufacturers’ Federation and Kashmir Economic Alliance president Muhammad Yaseen Khan said, “We are ready to face bullets in order to protect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. It will be an all out war if the Centre scraps Article 35A. It is a matter of life and death for us.” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who chaired a meeting in Srin-

West Bengal minister Jyotipriya Mallick on Thursday saved a civic police after he was allegedly abducted by a taxi driver, the police said. The incident happened around noon when civic police Sunil Dutta stopped the taxi for signal-violation near Sukanta Nagar. Taxi driver Afshar Hossain allegedly beat up Dutta, forced him into the taxi and started driving,” the police said. Learning about the incident on wireless, Mallick, the Food & Supplies Minister, chased the taxi in his car. He stopped the taxi near a flyover and rescued the civic police besides capturing the driver.

In protest: Kashmiri villagers shout slogans during a funeral procession in Kupwara district. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

agar, described any attempt to revoke Article 35A as “ploy to change the demographic character of J&K.”

Special prayers “It will have a direct bearing on the struggle for right to self-determination guaranteed by India at the United

Nations and ratified by the world body,” said the Mirwaiz. The Mirwaiz, who is holding “special prayers” at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Friday, warned that “in case of any order against on Article 35A, all of us, irrespective of age and religion, will be out on the streets.”









China slams India over road-building in Ladakh Accuses New Delhi of double standards while stressing partnership with Pak.

U.S. reviewing lethal aid policy for Ukraine: Mattis Signals personal support for providing weapons to Kiev cision on the issue, Mr. Mattis signalled his personal support for a long-standing Ukrainian request for defensive weapons, which could include anti-tank Javelin missiles and anti-aircaft systems.


Jared Kushner begins West Asia peace push JERUSALEM

White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, on Thursday kicked off a renewed push by the U.S. to restart West Asia peace talks amid signs of growing Palestinian impatience with the lack of progress so far. AP

Annan urges reform in Myanmar State YANGON

A commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended economic development and social justice to counter deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. AP

Rescuers recover 16 more bodies from sunken ship BAGHDAD

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of 16 more sailors from an Iraqi ship that sank at the weekend, bringing the death toll to 20, the Transportation Ministry said on Thursday. The Al-Misbar, a diving support ship owned by Iraq’s ports authority, sank after a collision with another vessel. REUTERS

Qatar restores diplomatic relations with Iran

Atul Aneja



U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on a visit to Ukraine on Thursday said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behaviour and signalled his personal support for providing weapons to Kiev. Mr. Mattis said Russia had not abided by the Minsk ceasefire agreement meant to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine and that the U.S. would maintain sanctions on Moscow. “Despite Russia’s denials, we know they are seeking to redraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe,” Mr. Mattis told reporters, alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Mr. Mattis’s visit is the second high-profile show of U.S. support in as many months, after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to Kiev in July.

China on Thursday slammed India for apparently building a new road in the Ladakh sector, but lavished praise on Pakistan, which it said was a key partner. “It seems that the Indian side is slapping its own face,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to reports that India was building a road between Marsimik La and Hot Spring. The area is not far from the Pangong lake in Ladakh, where there was an unarmed clash between Indian and Chinese troops earlier this month. Ms. Hua’s comments come against the backdrop of a crisis in the Doklam plateau near India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, where Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a standoff over road-building by China. “Now, the current road construction in that area by the Indian side is not conducive to peace and stability . It will not help with settlement of the current situation,” Ms. Hua said, referring to the Doklam face-off. “Indian side is closely following China’s road-building recently but India’s action itself has proven that the Indian side says something and does another,” she added.


Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran early on Thursday and promised to send its ambassador back to Tehran — a move counter to the demands of Arab nations trying to isolate Doha. Iran, which welcomed Doha’s decision, sent food and supplies to Qatar when the blockade began. AP

Countering Trump China also backed Pakistan as its partner in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Ms. Hua cited a conversation on Wednesday between U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s State Councillor Yang Jeichei, where he commended Pakistan on its role in

Tense times: Army personnel being briefed along the India-China border. Beijing is incensed at New Delhi’s decision to build a road between Marsimik La and Hot Spring. FILE PHOTO *

Afghanistan. The phone call followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s South Asia policy statement, where he had cited shortcomings in Pakistan’s counter-terrorism approach. But quoting Mr. Yang, the spokesperson said: “We also value Pakistan’s role in the Afghanistan issue and respect Pakistan’s sovereign and reasonable security concerns.” Separately, when asked to comment on this week’s visit to China by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Ms. Hua said China and Pakistan are “all-weather strategic partners and we have always given each other support for our core concerns and interests”. “Against the current backdrop we appreciate Pakistan’s efforts in insuring security… in CPEC”.

Pakistan rejects Trump’s comments MUBASHIR ZAIDI Karachi

Pakistan on Thursday rejected the comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about its counterterror approach. A statement issued by the National Security Committee after a five-hour meeting said “scapegoating Pakistan will not help in stabilising Afghanistan”. The meeting was headed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. President Trump had earlier said that Pakistan was providing safe havens to terrorists.

U.S. military transgender ban to begin within six months

One person shot in Charleston

Critics say it is a recipe for ‘disruption, distraction and waste’

Associated Press

Julie Hirschfeld Davis Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to give the Defence Department authority to expel transgender people from the military in an upcoming order, barring the Pentagon from recruiting transgender troops and cutting off payment for sexual reassignment surgery and other medical treatments for those already serving. A White House memo that is expected to be sent to the Pentagon in the coming days gives Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defence, six months to enforce the transgender ban that Mr. Trump announced abruptly last month in a series of tweets. The directive was confirmed on Wednesday by a person familiar with its contents but who was not authorised to discuss its details

and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The authority has not been finalised. Once it is approved, it would allow Mr. Mattis to force out transgender service members by setting a legal standard of whether they would be able to deploy to war zones or for other military missions.

Implementing the order The President’s order caught senior military officials by surprise and short-circuited the customary inter-agency process that attends such sweeping decisions. At the time, as senior military officials scrambled to determine how to carry out the order, White House officials said they would work with the Pentagon to devise a policy to fit Mr. Trump’s tweets. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, declined late on Wednesday to comment on any

forthcoming guidance, saying the White House had no announcement to make. The memo was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Advocates of allowing transgender people to serve openly said the guidance imposed an unacceptable double standard. “It is unconscionable that the commander-in-chief would take aim at his own, loyally serving troops for political reasons at a time when the military needs to focus on real threats,” said Aaron Belkin, the director of the Palm Center, a research institute that had worked with the military to devise its policy on admitting transgender service members. “Imposing one set of standards for transgender troops and another set of standards for everyone else is a recipe for disruption, distraction and waste.” NYT

The Committee stressed that India cannot be a net security provider in South Asia as it has conflictual relationships with its neighbours and is “pursuing a policy of destabilising Pakistan from the east and the west”. On concerns about nuclear security, the Security Committee said that “as a responsible Nuclear weapon state, Pakistan has in place a robust and credible command and control system which has been universally recognised and appreciated.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at a press meet in Kiev on Thursday. AFP *

Ukraine has counted on U.S. support against Russia since a pro-Western government took power following street protests in 2014. But some of President Donald Trump’s comments during the election campaign last year, such as appearing to recognise Crimea as part of Russia, stoked fears in Kiev that Trump might mend ties with Moscow at Ukraine’s expense. While emphasising Mr. Trump had yet to take a de-

‘Not an escalation’ Mr. Mattis also played down fears, voiced by the previous White House administration under Barack Obama, that supplying weapons could escalate the situation. “On the defensive lethal weapons, we are actively reviewing it, I will go back now having seen the current situation and be able to inform the Secretary of State and the President in very specific terms what I recommend for the direction ahead,” Mr. Mattis said. “Defensive weapons are not provocative unless you are an aggressor and clearly Ukraine is not an aggressor since it is their own territory where the fighting is happening,” he added.

In China, publishers admit to self-censorship Agence France-Presse Beijing

Just days after the world’s oldest publisher briefly caved in to Chinese censorship demands, international publishing houses are courting importers at a Beijing book fair, with some admitting they keep sensitive topics off their pages. The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press (CUP) sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair,

which opened on Wednesday. But some acknowledged their companies had already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books do not offend and are published in China. CUP had given similar arguments when it initially complied with a Chinese import agency’s demand to block articles from its China Quarterly journal, before reversing course on Monday after coming under fire from the academic community. Terry Phillips, business

development director of British-based Innova Press, was candid about it as he prepared to meet a Chinese counterpart at the fair’s section for overseas publishers. “We frequently exercise self-censorship to adapt to different markets. Every country has different sets of requirements about what they consider appropriate for education materials,” Mr. Phillips told AFP. “But as authors, I think we also have a responsibility to find ways to teach good citizenship and human rights,” he said.


A disgruntled employee at a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, shot one person and was holding hostages, authorities said on Thursday. Mayor John Tecklenburg said that the shooting at Virginia’s in downtown Charleston was not an act of terrorism or racism. He did not have the condition of the person shot, and said he was unaware how many hostages remained inside the restaurant. Witnesses said a man emerged from the kitchen of the restaurant, told diners there was a new boss in Charleston and ordered them to leave. Charleston police sent SWAT teams and a bomb disposal unit to the area and warned people nearby to stay inside buildings or leave.

U.K. government’s tough line on foreign students suffers setback Number of those overstaying their visa is lower than previous estimates Vidya Ram London

The British government’s determination to maintain a tough line on international students suffered a blow as new data published by the official statistics body suggested that the number of students illegally overstaying their visa is far lower than previous figures had suggested. The figures came as Britain’s Home Office has commissioned a study into the economic impact of international students to the country, a move that could lead to a shift in policy. In the report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), exit checks were used for the first time to help assess the extent to which students were leaving the U.K. before or after their student visa had expired, CM YK

Indian students are among those more likely to depart before visa expiry. REUTERS *

against International Passenger Survey data, on which they had previously relied. “A very large majority of students were identified as having departed before their visa or extension of leave expired or as staying legally by applying for and being granted further leave to remain in the U.K.,” said the report. Analysis found

that Indians were among the students more likely to depart the country before their student visas expired, with a small fraction leaving after their visa had expired. “The number of students overstaying their visas is a tiny fraction of previous [incorrect claims],” said Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities U.K.

Key export “We understand how important students from around the world are to our higher education sector, which is a key export for our country, and that’s why we want to have a robust and independent evidence base of their value and the impact they have,” said Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who on Thursday commissioned the year-long study to be carried out by the govern-

ment’s independent advisers, the Migration Advisory Committee. “Frankly, that’s the wrong response,” warned the Liberal Democrats, calling on the government to drop international students from official immigration figures. ONS figures showed that net migration fell to its lowest level — by 81,000 to 2,46,000 — between April 2015 and March 2017, driven by a fall in the number of EU citizens. Data presented a mixed picture for foreign students. While long-term migration to study by nonEU students fell by 20,000 to 93,000, visas issued to non-EU students in the same period rose by 5%. However, Indian students numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years from 40,500 in 2010 to 9,600 in 2016 (based on Home Office data). M ND-NDE







market watch 24-08-2017


Sensex dddddddddddddddddddddd 31,596 ddddddddddddddd0.09 US Dollar dddddddddddddddddddd 64.04 ddddddddddddddd0.12 Gold ddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 29,850 ddddddddddddddd0.51 Brent oil ddddddddddddddddddddd 51.75 ddddddddddddd -0.94

Nilekani back at IT firm he co-founded Former CEO returns to Infosys board after 8-year gap; aims to restore calm following Sikka’s bitter exit Jay Shankar BENGALURU


ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1781.50. . . . . . -20.40 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380.05. . . . . . . . -4.95 Ambuja Cements. . . .. . . . . . 275.40. . . . . . . . -1.25 Asian Paints. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1135.60. . . . . . . . -5.70 Aurobindo Pharma . . . . . . 732.15. . . . . . . 33.50 Axis Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506.85. . . . . . . . . 4.20 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2728.55. . . . . . -26.10 Bank of Baroda . . . . . .. . . . . . 142.85. . . . . . . . . 1.90 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 432.95. . . . . . . . . 1.05 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21676.25. . . -206.15 BPCL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 508.20. . . . . . . . -1.50 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 574.05. . . . . . . 14.90 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241.30. . . . . . . . . 0.20 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . .. . . . 2088.15. . . . . . . 57.20 Eicher Motors. . . . . . . . .. 30750.90. . . . . 102.65 GAIL (India). . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 383.00. . . . . . . . -2.45 HCL Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 867.50. . . . . . -12.50 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1757.35. . . . . . . . -7.90 HDFC Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1762.50. . . . . . . . -9.95 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . .. . . . 3882.65. . . . . . . . -6.25 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233.00. . . . . . . . . 2.10 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1179.70. . . . . . . . -8.45 Indiabulls HFL . . . . . . . .. . . . 1210.35. . . . . . -11.40 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297.70. . . . . . . . -0.90 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . .. . . . 1667.70. . . . . . . . . 6.80 Bharti Infratel . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 383.90. . . . . . . . . 1.10 Infosys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 912.15. . . . . . . 19.35 Indian OilCorp . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 428.20. . . . . . . . . 1.35 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281.45. . . . . . . . -1.10 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 972.10. . . . . . . . -8.00 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1131.70. . . . . . . . . 7.55 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 992.50. . . . . . . 36.65 M&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1375.15. . . . . . . . . 0.95 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . .. . . . 7612.85. . . . . . . 39.80 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169.00. . . . . . . . -1.25 ONGC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159.45. . . . . . . . -0.25 PowerGrid Corp . . . . .. . . . . . 220.95. . . . . . . . . 1.20 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1568.05. . . . . . -14.00 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280.30. . . . . . . . . 1.30 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 483.00. . . . . . . 13.80 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 384.15. . . . . . . . . 4.20 Tata Motors DVR. . . .. . . . . . 227.35. . . . . . . . . 0.80 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79.15. . . . . . . . . 0.40 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 639.00. . . . . . . . . 4.40 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2496.60. . . . . . . . . 7.15 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . .. . . . . . 427.70. . . . . . . . -2.50 UltraTech Cement . .. . . . 3939.65. . . . . . -11.90 Vedanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298.55. . . . . . . . -1.05 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289.40. . . . . . . . -0.60 YES Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1719.45. . . . . . . . -3.80 Zee Entertainment . . . . . . 511.70. . . . . . . . -3.20

EXCHANGE RATES Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m. on August 24 CURRENCY



US Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 63.83. . . . . . . 64.15 Euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 75.36. . . . . . . 75.76 British Pound . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 81.93. . . . . . . 82.34 Japanese Yen (100) . .. . 58.39. . . . . . . 58.69 Chinese Yuan . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9.58. . . . . . . . . 9.63 Swiss Franc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 66.22. . . . . . . 66.57 Singapore Dollar . . . . . . .. . 46.89. . . . . . . 47.13 Canadian Dollar . . . . . . . . .. . 50.98. . . . . . . 51.23 Malaysian Ringitt . . . . . .. . 14.91. . . . . . . 15.00 Source:Indian Bank



August 24 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses Retail Silver (1g) . . . . . . . . . . . 41.70. . . . . (42.00) 22 ct gold (1 g) . .. . . . . . . . . . . 2,764. . . . . (2,770)

CPCL allots ₹845 crore for projects Special Correspondent

Nandan Nilekani, the 62year-old co-founder of India’s second-largest software services exporter, returned to the Infosys board after an 8-year hiatus on Thursday as the firm’s chairman, a move that investors expect would help end a bitter stand-off between founder N. R. Narayana Murthy and the company’s board. In an announcement, the Bengaluru-based company said that the board had unanimously approved Mr. Nilekani’s appointment as the non-executive chairman of the board “effective immediately.”

Seshasayee exits R. Seshasayee, chairman of the board, along with former CEO and managing director Vishal Sikka, Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy had stepped down from the board, Infosys said in a

Restoring order: The former CEO needs to quickly reassure investors and clients that all is well at the IT bellwether. PTI *

statement. Mr. Nilekani’s return was welcomed by the outgoing chairman Mr. Seshasayee, who said, “Under Nandan, Infosys will build a cohesive management team...I believe these changes will infuse further confidence to the stake-

‘Indians tend to borrow later in life’ Households’ finance landscape shows near total absence of pension wealth tribution of pensions wealth to household wealth is negligible,” it said.


Indian households tend to borrow later in life and are more likely to reach retirement age with positive debt balances, which is a source of risk given that they are no longer earning income during these years, a report of the Household Finance Committee observed. The committee was formed following discussions at the Financial Stability and Development Council headed by Tarun Ramadorai, professor of financial economics, Imperial college London. It had representation from all the financial sector regulators. “Despite the high holdings of real estate, mortgage penetration is low early in

Risky step: High cost debt may get households trapped in a long cycle of interest repayments. GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK *

life, and subsequently rises as households age. This is also at variance with Indian households’ counterparts in other countries,” the report said. The report further notes that the Indian household finance landscape is distinct-

Govt. tweaks norms to boost UDAN Increases funding for helicopters

ive through the near total absence of pension wealth. “Pension accounts and investment-linked life insurance products exist, but they are only used frequently by households located in a small group of states, while in most other states, the con-

Unsecured debt The report observes high levels of unsecured debt, taken mostly from non-institutional sources such as moneylenders. As such debt generates high costs for Indian households, it is likely to lead to households becoming trapped in a long cycle of interest repayments, it said. The report notes a large fraction of the wealth of Indian households is in the form of physical assets — in particular, gold and real estate. But, it said they can benefit greatly by re-allocating assets towards financial markets and away from gold.

Services, an investment advisory firm. “Bringing someone back who has a clean image is to set things right and restore some sort of credibility for the beleaguered company,” said Mr. Kejriwal. He added that there could be some positive movement in the stock, though, largely, the development had already been priced in. The board would actively consider a broad-based shareholder consultation as a key part of its overall engagement initiatives with stakeholders, Mr. Nilekani said in the statement. V. Balakrishnan, a former CFO said prior to Mr. Nilekani’s appointment, “We need a global face to pull the company up and restore confidence of investors and shareholders.” Infosys shares fell almost 10% on August 18 and lost more than 5% in the next trading session on August 21.

Talk of co-founder’s return lifts stock Press Trust of India New Delhi

Shares of Infosys advanced 2% on Thursday amid reports that co-founder and former CEO Nandan Nilekani may return to the board of the crisis-hit IT major. The stock rose 2.01% to close at ₹912.50 on the BSE. On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the stock closed 2.09% higher at ₹911.50.

Market cap rebounds Following an uptick in the share price, the company’s market capitalisation rose by ₹4,134.65 crore to ₹2.09 lakh crore on the BSE. A total of 13.04 lakh shares changed hands on the BSE, while 2.12 crore scrips were traded on the National Stock Exchange.

The advance came a day after as many as 12 fund managers, representing institutional investors at Infosys, suggested bringing Mr. Nilekani back on the board of the IT major to restore confidence of stakeholders and help resolve the leadership crisis. Sources said the 12 fund mangers, in a joint letter written to Infosys’s chairman, among others, had said Mr. Nilekani enjoyed the confidence of various stakeholders, including customers, shareholders and employees. The stock had slumped 10% on August 18 after the sudden exit of the company’s first non-founder CEO Vishal Sikka and 5% more on Monday despite a share buyback announcement on Saturday.

NITI Aayog’s action agenda has great potential: Jaitley ‘Good prospects for India to return to 8% plus growth’ 2019-20), which talks about reforms in the judiciary and social sectors, among other things, has said that “there are good prospects that we will return to the 8% plus growth trajectory in another two to three years if not sooner.

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

NITI Aayog’s three-year action agenda has the potential to trigger much more economic activity and development in the country than we have today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. “This publication (three year action agenda) really has the potential for becoming, for those in governance, a good textbook. If those in Centre or States keep in on their table and every time, they have some doubt as to what next step is to be taken, they glance through pages of this…they can find some un-

Arun Jaitley

finished agenda,” the Minister said, adding this document will be very useful in the economic planning. The government think tank, in its first three-year action agenda (2017-18 to

Poverty rate Therefore, the chances of a massive cut in poverty rate in the upcoming decade are excellent.” In its expenditure proposals for three years based on revenue forecasts, NITI Aayog recommended a massive increase in outlays on healthcare, defence and railways and road sectors.

Bandhan Bank begins IPO process Special Correspondent KOLKATA


Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd., (CPCL), a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, will be making a capital expenditure of ₹845 crore on ongoing projects, said a top official. “We have four ongoing projects, of which some of them will be completed soon,” said Gautam Roy, managing director, CPCL. “Besides, we are planning to expand the refinery capacity at Cauvery Basin Refinery (CBR) in Tamil Nadu.” Briefing reporters at the 51st annual general meeting here, Mr. Roy said that the Resid Upgradation Project and ₹367 crore diesel hydrodesulphurisation unit revamp project would be completed by next month.

holders in executing the transition plan and in reinforcing the strategy for the future.” Mr. Nilekani’s appointment also saw Ravi Venkatesan step down as cochairman, while staying on as an independent director.

An electrical engineer from IIT Bombay, Mr. Nilekani was the CEO at Infosys from 2002 to 2007 and also served as co-chairman of the board before his departure in 2009 to head the Aadhaar project. Mr. Nilekani’s return was precipitated by Mr. Sikka’s abrupt resignation as CEO on August 18 amid a bitter and public row between the board and Mr. Murthy, with both sides trading a volley of charges and counter charges. Several institutional investors had urgently called for Mr. Nilekani’s return to help restore investor and customer confidence in the company. Mr. Nilekani’s appointment is “confirmation of the fact that there was a split down the line; within the board and also between the board and the founders,” said Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research & Investment

Infosys climbs 2% amid Nilekani buzz

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday announced increasing viability gap funding for helicopter operators, diluting exclusivity clause and relaxed other norms to facilitate more participation in its regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. The government announced that all 13 passenger seats for helicopters will be considered for subsidy under the scheme. States including, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North Eastern region, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands have been designated as priority areas. Airline operators flying from these priority areas will be allowed to operate 14 weekly

All 13 passenger seats will be considered for subsidy. departures as against the limit for seven weekly flights for other routes. The Ministry also abolished the 150-km minimum distance required between two airports to be qualified for operations under the scheme. It said airline operators may issue no-objection certificates to other airlines willing to operate on the same route.

Bandhan bank, which turned two on August 23, has initiated the process of making an initial public offer, according to its founder, managing director and chief executive officer Chandra Shekhar Ghosh. “As per the Reserve Bank of India directives, we have to make an IPO within three years of commencing operations.. we have launched the process,” he said adding that talks were on with investment bankers. He said the timing of the issue and its quantum will depend on the market. “The bank has a ₹23,500 crore deposit base and a ₹20,800 crore loan book,” Mr.Ghosh said adding he wanted to do much more.

Lohani calls for large-scale safety audit Focus on field visits, not circulars, new Railway Board chairman tells officials Somesh Jha NEW DELHI

Newly-appointed Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has promised to undertake a large-scale audit of rail systems, end corruption and VIP culture in the Indian Railways, even as safety concerns are back into focus after a spate of train accidents. Taking charge on Thursday after demitting his role as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India, Mr. Lohani told Rail Bhawan officials to communicate organisational goals with ground-level staff more effectively, in a maiden interaction with about 500 employees. “These two accidents have caused a lot of concerns. We have to look at a large scale audit of systems in a simple way,” Mr. Lohani said in an almost hour-long speech to his new colleagues at Rail Bhawan. “People think issuing a CM YK

Safety bite: Organisational goals should be communicated to ground-level staff effectively, Mr. Lohani said. V. V. KRISHNAN *

circular is enough for the message to reach the ground level.” “Field visits, which are extremely important, have come down…We have to ensure that officers spend time on the field. We have to practise management by walking around,” he said.

Field interaction To hit the ground running, Mr. Lohani is expected to visit Old Delhi, New Delhi

and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway stations in the national capital to interact with track inspectors. Mr. Lohani’s predecessor A.K. Mittal quit following two train derailments within a span of four days. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu offered to resign on Wednesday taking moral responsibility for the mishaps, but the Prime Minister asked Mr. Prabhu to wait. “There has been talk

about safety following recent train accidents. We all have to realise that safety in the railway system is extremely important,” he said, during his speech. “There should be an overemphasised focus on safety. The management and the country are concerned about rail safety. This concern has to be known to the gangmen (who manually maintain railway tracks) and till the ground level which doesn’t happen,” Mr. Lohani said. The Railway Board Chairman emphasised that the Indian Railways needed to effectively communicate safety expectations till the groundlevel employees. “We have to reach out to the ground-level staff. When I was in Air India, I used to meet 200-250 employees everyday…You are more important than trains and machines,” Mr. Lohani said amid thunderous applause from the employees. M ND-NDE








China agrees to tackle trade imbalance Beijing does not want Doklam standoff to hurt trade; to send team to New Delhi by December ARUN S New Delhi

Roopa joins Tata Sons as chief economist MUMBAI

Tata Sons has roped in Everstone Capital’s head of research Roopa Purushothaman as its chief economist and head of policy advocacy. In her role, Ms. Purushothaman will drive macro-economic research as well as all policy and advocacy initiatives relevant to the businesses of the Tata Group. She is a graduate from the Yale University and a post-graduate from the London School of Economics.

Rane Madras Q1 net slides 18% on GST CHENNAI

Rane (Madras) Ltd. standalone net profit dipped 18% to ₹2.72 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 on destocking by dealers due to GST implementation. Net profit stood at ₹3.33 crore in the year-earlier period. Total revenue rose to ₹276 crore (₹247 crore). “Performance in this quarter was mixed as auto industry witnessed some pull back post BS-III ban and in anticipation of GST roll-out,” said L. Ganesh, chairman, Rane Group.

China has agreed to send a high-level official team led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan by December-end to address the issue of growing trade imbalance with India. The development could be termed a breakthrough for India which faces a ballooning goods trade deficit with its neighbour. China — which was earlier dilly-dallying on a bilateral meeting on the issue despite India’s repeated requests — has now relented, official sources said. This assumes significance as it comes amid reports of the possibility of the ongoing Doklam standoff hurting bilateral trade ties. The sources said China is keen to ensure that trade with India is not adversely affected by the prevailing military tension. In case of a fullfledged ‘trade war,’ China will have much to lose with its goods exports to India in 2016-17 valued at a whopping

Peace flag: In case of a full-fledged ‘trade war,’ China will have much to lose given its sizeable trade surplus with India. PTI *

$61.3 billion against India’s shipments worth just $10.2 billion to that country. On several occasions, New Delhi had pointed out to Beijing that many Indian products, including from agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors, were facing difficulties in getting access to the Chinese market and that this was among the main factors widening India’s goods trade deficit with China at a rapid pace — from just $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to


Senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal took charge as the interim CMD of Air India (AI). He said he is committed to working on the airline’s profitability with a “missionary zeal.” The state-owned airline, which has a debt burden of more than ₹50,000 crore, managed an operational profit for the first time in a decade in 2015-16. He replaced Mr. Ashwani Lohani, who assumed office as Railway Board chairman. PTI


dumping duties on all unfairly low-priced imports from China and take all measures allowed within the World Trade Organisationframework against China.”

Anti-dumping duty Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha on August 9 that: “Antidumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China, covering products in broad groups of chemicals and petrochemicals, products of steel and other metals, fibres and yarn, machinery items, rubber or plastic products, electric and electronic items and consumer goods. “In addition, 40 cases concerning imports from China have been initiated by Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties.” On August 22, Indian Embassy in Beijing said the decision to impose anti-dumping duties on the 93 products “were taken over a course of previous five years.”

Bright yellow ₹200 note hits market today Special Correspondent Mumbai

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will start pumping ₹200 notes into the system from Friday in a bid to ease cash transactions and make the currency system more efficient. The base colour of the ₹200 note will be bright yellow, RBI said in a statement on Thursday. This is the second new denomination to be issued, after ₹2,000, since the demonetisation exercise in November. According to currency experts, it is a standard practice to have 1, 2 and 5 series

notes like ₹1, ₹2, and ₹5. Hence, there was a gap between ₹100 and ₹500. “There is a logical need to introduce the missing denomination of ₹200, which will make the present currency system more efficient,” the RBI said. “Provision of the new denomination, therefore, would facilitate exchange, particularly for the common man who deals with denominations at the lower end,” it added. Bankers said ATMs may need to be re-calibrated to accommodate the new note, though no major disruption is expected.

Several hurdles in India’s growth path, says Subbarao

Mylan, Otsuka tie up for TB drug

Tekplay Systems eyes $100 mn. revenue via three acquisitions

‘India needs manufacturing revolution for job creation’

Special Correspondent

In advanced stages of buying Dubai, Singapore-based firms

NPAs) should come with a sunset clause. On demonetisation, he said that its long term benefits would be visible if it helped increased income tax collections.

Special Correspondent KOLKATA

New AI chief to work with ‘missionary zeal’

a massive $51.1 billion in the last fiscal. The trade deficit was $52.7 billion in 2015-16. The sources said Beijing had agreed to address India’s concerns regarding China’s ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures’ (regarding ‘application of food safety, and animal and plant health norms’) hurting Indian farm products exports to that country. Chinese authorities have also decided to look into India’s request to re-

move the ‘curbs’ on Indian pharmaceutical companies/ products — especially those having the approval of American, European and Japanese regulators. Besides, Beijing would also soon take a call on removing the difficulties faced by the Indian IT/business process management sector in getting greater market access in China. Meanwhile, RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) said it will intensify efforts for a “people’s movement” to ‘boycott’ Chinese goods imports. Deepak Sharma, national spokesperson, SJM, told The Hindu that “the SJM will conclude its ongoing ‘nation-wide campaign’ against ‘Chinese items and investment’ on October 29 at a planned massive rally in Delhi that is likely to be attended by about two lakh people.” He said “the movement had received the backing of about 1.1 crore people so far.” Mr. Sharma said “the Indian Government should impose anti-

Former Reserve Bank of India governor Duvvuri Subbarao has said that there are several challenges that need to be addressed before Indian economy could take off. “India’s growth story is not inevitable,” he said. Delivering the inaugural anniversary lecture: ‘India: Will the Elephant start dancing?’ instituted by Bandhan Bank, Mr. Subbarao said RBI should not be required to step in to the day-to-day running of a bank. Speaking in the context of the proposed amendment in

Duvvuri Subbarao

to the Banking Regulation Act, he said: “Does RBI have expertise in conducting banking business?”. He also observed that such extraordinary powers (proposed in this case to check

Job creation Mr. Subbarao pointed out that job creation and finding a solution to India’s problems in agriculture were two key deliverables. He said that India urgently needs a manufacturing revolution for job creation. “Jobs have to come from the manufacturing sector.. not only from the services sector.”


Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Mylan N.V. have entered into a licence pact through their units — Otsuka Novel Products GmbH and Mylan Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. — to commercialise Delamanid for the treatment of adults with pulmonary multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) in low and middle-income countries. Otsuka markets Delamanid as Deltyba. Under the agreement, Mylan has been granted exclusive licence by Otsuka to prioritise access to Deltyba in South Africa and India.

We expect the benefits of new acquisitions to materialise next fiscal onwards,” Mr. Ramanathan said.


Tekplay Systems, a digital business transformation company, is in advanced stages of acquiring three more companies to achieve a revenue of $100 million in three years, a top official said. “Recently, we acquired three technologies companies,” said Prabhuram Ramanathan, executive director, Tekplay Systems. “We have lined up three more firms with an aim to reach $100 million revenue in three years.” “We are expecting to

Prabhuram Ramanathan

close 2017-18 with revenue of $30 million and touch $100 million by December 2020,” he said. “During the first quarter ended June 30, we registered a revenue of ₹30 crore and profit of ₹5 crore.

Acquisitions The firm had spent almost $4 million on acquiring XcellFORCE (a San Josebased services company), Tekoptimize (a Californiabased products company) and GlobalSoft Solutions (a New Jersey-based technology solutions provider). It is in advanced stages of acquiring Dubai and Singapore-based firms for $4 million to $5 million and a U.S. firm for $10 million.








TV PICKS Badminton World Championships: STAR Sports 1 (SD & HD) 3.30 p.m.

England vs West Indies: 2nd Test, SS Select 2 (SD & HD), 3.30 p.m. Cue Slam: Sony ESPN (SD & HD), 6 p.m.


Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar do it for India After Akila Dananjaya’s six-wicket haul reduces the visitor to 131 for seven Agence France Presse Pallekele

M.S. Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar anchored India’s chase after a stunning batting collapse as it edged past Sri Lanka by three wickets in the second One-Day International cricket match here on Thursday. Leg-spinner Akila Dananjaya returned career-best figures of six for 54 to reduce India to 131 for seven while chasing a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 231 in 47 overs.

du Plessis to lead ISLAMABAD:

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis will lead the World XI in a three-match T20 series against Pakistan to be played in Lahore next month. The squad: Faf du Plessis (Capt.), Hashim Amla, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Grant Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy. ANI

Srinath to inspect new venues AHMEDABAD

Javagal Srinath, India’s ICC Elite Panel Match Referee, has been nominated to inspect the new venues at Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram to get accreditation to stage international matches. Srinath will visit Raipur and Lucknow for the same purpose. All venues are functional. Srinath’s schedule will be soon planned by M.V. Sridhar, BCCI’s GM Cricket Operations. Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram were on August 1 allotted matches by the BCCI for Twenty 20 Internationals against Australia and Sri Lanka without ICC accreditation.

Robin Singh to coach Bloem City Blazers JOHANNESBURG

Former India cricketer Robin Singh will take charge of Bloem City Blazers franchise in the forthcoming T20 Global League of South Africa, slated to begin from November 3. Another India cricketer S. Sriram will coach Jo’burg Giants. ANI

Raonic pulls out of US Open NEW YORK

Canadian Milos Raonic has withdrawn from the US Open with a left wrist injury, the world number 11 announced on Instagram on Wednesday. Raonic, 26, said in the post he had a procedure on Wednesday to remove “portions of bone” that had been causing him discomfort for weeks. “I have too much respect for the US Open and my fellow competitors to take a spot in the draw when I know I cannot give full effort due to this injury,” Raonic wrote on the social media site. AFP

Ibrahimovic rejoins Manchester United LONDON

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined Manchester United on a one-year contract after his spell with the club was curtailed by a serious knee injury last season. “I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay,” Ibrahimovic told United’s website. AFP

FIFA studying Neymar’s bonus complaint PARIS

FIFA said on Thursday it was investigating Neymar’s complaint over an unpaid loyalty bonus of €26 million from Barcelona in the increasingly bitter feud with his former club since his move to Paris Saint-Germain. A spokesman said the complaint was “pending and being investigated” and could not comment any further. AFP


Coming good: Bhuvneshwar Kumar excelled with the bat and along with M.S. Dhoni guided India home.

Dhoni, who scored 45, then put on an unbeaten 100 runs with Bhuvneshwar, who made 53, to steer the team home in 44.2 overs and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. India lost seven wickets

for 22 runs after a 109-run opening partnership between Rohit Sharma, who hit 54, and Shikhar Dhawan, who missed out on his half-century.

Turning on the heat Dananjaya turned on the

heat with his googly as he picked three crucial wickets, including that of skipper Virat Kohli for four, in an over, to take some steam off the Indian chase. But an ice-cool Dhoni kept the chase on track with a gutsy partner at the other

Domestic players still unpaid for last season

end in Bhuvneshwar, who had earlier gone wicketless during his spell. While Dhoni kept picking singles and twos, Bhuvneshwar was happy playing the second fiddle before unleashing his power and registering his maiden one-day


The countdown for the 201718 domestic season may have begun. However, most players are still waiting for their fixed share of matchfee for the 2016-17 season. The stalemate over the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI’s) implementation of, or the lack it, of the Supreme Court-directed administrative reforms has resulted in a majority of domestic cricketers being deprived of their fixed match-fee. The BCCI distributes domestic players’ fee in two parts: players receive ₹10,000 per match-day from their respective State association during or immediately after the season and the remaining share is paid directly to players by the Board after the accounts are ratified by the AGM. When it comes to the

half-century. Earlier, Milinda Siriwardana made a gritty 58 to lift Sri Lanka to 236 for eight in 50 overs after being put into bat. He put on a crucial 91 for the sixth wicket with Chamara Kapugedara, who made 40, after the host was

in trouble at 121 for five against a disciplined Indian attack. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah took four wickets while

leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal got two. The third match is scheduled for Sunday at the same venue.

The BCCI looks to prop up the character of domestic cricket Vijay Lokapally NEW DELHI

fixed share, almost half of the BCCI’s affiliates have not been able to clear the dues due to lack of funds. While some of the bigger associations who have cash reserves have been able to do so, almost half of the 30 members cannot due to shortage of funds. Multiple office-bearers of various State associations confided to The Hindu that player payments haven’t been cleared so far from the BCCI due to lack of funds. With a majority of BCCI affiliates being at loggerheads with the apex courtappointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) over the implementation of the administrative reforms, the CoA has taken a stringent stance. It has declined to request the Supreme Court to disburse funds to State associations unless they agree to adopt the new rulebook. “If we do not get the


Pitch preparation under scrutiny

‘Payments not cleared so far due to lack of funds’ Amol Karhadkar & S. Dipak Ragav


funds we are entitled to from the Board, how can we run the show. “We have somehow managed the last year but now cricket has actually started suffering,” said an official from a West Zone unit, requesting anonymity. Another official from a southern association said he has asked players to write to the Board directly. “Since the State bodies have not received money from the BCCI, they have told the Board to pay the players directly,” he said. It is understood that the plight is not just limited to players. Even the coaching and support staff of most teams have not been paid. A coach of a Ranji team said he understands the situation but if the payments are not settled soon, especially for support staff, it will be difficult for these professionals to sustain themselves financially.

Pitch preparation this season will be an exercise under intense scrutiny of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. A new practice, similar to one followed for international fixtures, will come into force as the administration looks to prop up the character of domestic cricket. “Curators appointed by the Board will monitor the pitch preparations,” a senior BCCI official informed The Hindu. “The decision was taken by the BCCI’s Ground and Pitches Committee. It will deploy curators who would work with the host ground staff to oversee pitch making. It was not a practice prevalent for Ranji matches in the past. They will give directions to the local curator so that the FirstClass matches are played on

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC O Following complaints of poor umpiring for the last couple of seasons, the BCCI has decided to revive the process of captains’ report O Ranji matches have been spaced out to accommodate a four-day gap between the fixtures CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

fair pitches — helping the seamer in the beginning and spinners later,” the official said. Following complaints of poor umpiring for the last couple of seasons, the BCCI has decided to revive the process of captains’ report. “The idea had been discontinued because the captains were not taking interest in providing the data. Now they have been told to fill up the form meticulously and rate the umpire. This will be one of the

parameters to rate the umpires. The other two are umpires’ review committee and the match referees,” the official stated. Attention is being paid to ensure the quality of balls. The last few seasons the BCCI had not been happy with the standard of balls being supplied. Recently, SG had introduced a brand of balls produced from imported leather. “It was tried in the latter stage of the last season. It was an improved product and we hope to overcome this problem from this season,” the official added. In a move that would receive appreciation from the coaches and the captains, the Ranji matches have been spaced out to accommodate a four-day gap between the fixtures. “It has been done with the sole aim to manage the workload of the bowlers. It will give them an extra day

to attend to their niggles apart from the muchneeded rest. Four home matches is also a step in that direction,” he said. The Duleep Trophy, which needed a 24-day phase, has been pushed to the next year when it would herald the season. The success at the ICC T20 World Cup has highlighted the need to promote women’s cricket and the BCCI has lost little time to take a few steps. “We are starting a T20 tournament for under-19 women and also introducing an under-16 one-day inter-State competition which would be restricted to within the zone to start with,” the official said. A one-day tournament for men under-23 is also an addition to the calendar. The BCCI was hopeful the domestic cricket would not be played in front of empty stands.

Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth in quarters

CL: Real gets a testing draw

Chen Long has the measure of Ajay Jayaram in the pre-quarterfinals

Ronaldo named UEFA Player of the Season


Agence France-Presse



Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V.Sindhu and K. Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the World badminton championship in the singles events at the Emirates Arena, here on Thursday. London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had won a silver in the last edition, dished out a gritty performance to outwit World No. 3 Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 21-15. She will play either Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour or China’s He Bingjiao. Sindhu, who twice won a bronze medal at the 2013 and 2014 editions, survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi before prevailing 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 in a thrilling women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 27 minutes. The 22-yearold Indian, who moved up a spot to No. 4 in the World ranking, fought back from 13-16 down in the second game after losing the first to eventually come up trumps. She will face fifth seed Sun Yu of China next. Srikanth, however, eased into the quarterfinals with yet another straight-game win over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in men’s singles. On a 12-match winning streak, Srikanth knocked out World No. 18 Antonsen 21-14, 21-18. The World No. 10 Indian will clash with top seed

Holder Real Madrid will face Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League group stage while five-time winner Barcelona was drawn with last season’s runner-up Juventus on Thursday. Zinedine Zidane’s side is chasing a third successive European title and fourth in five seasons. The record 12-time European champion will also take on APOEL of Cyprus in a testing Group H. Chelsea, one of a record five English teams to qualify for the group phase, will meet Atletico Madrid in Group C as well as Roma and Qarabag. Jose Mourinho will return home with Manchester United after his team drew Benfica in Group A along with CSKA Moscow and Basel. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is in Group F alongside Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord while Liverpool will play Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E. Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA Player of the Season for 2016-2017 on Thursday after a campaign which saw the Portuguese superstar help Real Madrid to the La Liga and Champions League double. It was the third time that

Rallying to win: P.V. Sindhu bounced back from a game down to dispatch Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in a last-16 clash on Thursday. AFP *

and World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho in the quarterfinals. “It was a good game today. There were some intense rallies and I am happy for the win,” Srikanth said. Srikanth, who finished at the pre-quarterfinals in the last two editions, has a 4-4 head-to-head record against Son, whom he has beaten twice this year en route to his titles at Indonesia and Australia in June. “It will be a tough match but I have been improving with each match and looking forward for a good game tomorrow,” Srikanth added. Later in the day, B Sai Pra-

neeth and Ajay Jayaram, however, suffered contrasting defeats to crash out of the tournament.

10; Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) bt B. Sai Praneeth 19-21, 21-10, 2112. Second round: Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) bt Sameer Verma 22-20, 21-19.

Preneeth fights hard Praneeth fought hard before going down 19-21, 21-10, 21-12 to World No. 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, while Jayaram was no match for two-time defending champion Chen Long of China as he lost 21-11, 21-10 in 41 minutes.

Women’s singles: Third round: P.V. Sindhu bt Cheung Ngan Yi (HK) 19-21, 23-21, 21-17; Saina Nehwal bt Sung Ji Hyun (Kor) 21-18, 21-15. Second round: Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) bt Rituparna Das 21-16, 21-13.

The results (Indians only) Men’s singles: Third round: K. Srikanth bt Anders Antonsen (Den) 21-14, 21-18; Chen Long (Chn) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-11, 21-

Mixed doubles: Third round: Praveen Jordan & Debby Susanto (Ina) bt Pranaav Jerry Chopra & N. Sikki Reddy 20-22, 21-18, 21-18.

Doubles: Bao Yixin & Yu Xiaohan (Chn) bt Sanjana Santosh & Arathi Sara Sunil 21-14, 21-15.

Happy times: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens pose with their best men and women player in Europe awards. AFP *

Ronaldo had won the award which was presented on the sidelines of the Champions League group stage draw. Champions League groupings: Group A: Benfica, Man Utd, Basel, CSKA Moscow. Group B: Bayern Munich, PSG, Anderlecht, Celtic. Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag.

Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting Lisbon. Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor. Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord. Group G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig. Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL.









England recalls Woakes

MYSURU: Tutankhamun, who has been well prepared, is expected to score in the Srikantadatta Narasimharaajawadiyar Memorial Million (1,400m), the feature event of the opening day’s races to be held here on Friday (August 25). There will be no false rails.

The all-rounder replaces seamer Toby Roland-Jones Agence France-Presse London

Schumacher’s son to drive at Spa SPA, BELGIUM

Michael Schumacher’s teenage son will drive one of his father’s cars before Sunday’s Belgium Grand Prix to mark the 25th anniversary of the seven-time World champion’s first Formula One victory. According to the organisers, Mick Schumacher, 18, who currently races in Formula Three, will drive demonstration laps on the Spa circuit in a Benetton car before the Formula One race. AFP

Roberto Carlos sentenced to jail RIO DE JANEIRO

A Rio de Janeiro judge has sentenced former Real Madrid and Brazil international full-back Roberto Carlos to jail for failing to pay child support. The 44-year-old owes his ex-partner Barbara Thurler, with whom he has two children, 61,000 reais (around $20,000) and the judge said Thurler’s family rejected a proposal by Carlos to pay the sum in instalments. IANS

Delhi United keeps winning NEW DELHI

Delhi United FC continued its winning spree in the DSA Annual League Championship with a 2-0 win against Sudeva-Moonlight FC in a Group A preliminary league match to earn three vital points. Delhi United now has 12 points from six games while Sudeva has nine. In another preliminary game, last year’s runner-up Garhwal Heroes FC edged past an erratic Delhi FC 1-0 courtesy the lone goal of the match from Danny. With this win, Garhwal Heroes also assured itself a spot in the super league. The results: DUFC 2 (Samrat, Chiukysh) bt SMFC 0; GHFC 1 (Danny) bt DFC 0.

England has recalled allrounder Chris Woakes for the second Test against the West Indies at Headingley, captain Joe Root announced on Thursday. Woakes replaces Middlesex seamer Toby RolandJones in the only change to the side that thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 209 runs inside three days during last week’s inaugural day/night Test in England at Edgbaston. Woakes had become a mainstay in all three international formats, but a side strain suffered barely two overs into England’s Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh at The Oval in June put him out of action for 11 weeks. But during England’s recent 3-1 home series win over South Africa, Woakes’s place as third seamer went to Roland-Jones, who took eight wickets on debut at The Oval.


SOMANATHPUR PLATE (1,400m), rated 00 to 25, 2-00 pm: 1. Golden Steps (3) Afsar Khan 62, 2. Mr Big Shot (13) Santosh Kumar 61, 3. Touch Of Romance (9) M.L. Bhosle 60.5, 4. Al Dorado (12) S. Hussain 59.5, 5. Ice Sprint (5) Madhu Babu 59.5, 6. Oceana (14) Rajesh Kumar 58.5, 7. Sancy (1) S. Waseemuddin 58.5, 8. Cool Dude (4) R. Marshall 57.5, 9. Country’s Sepoy (2) S. Manohar 56.5, 10. Sazae San (7) Rayan Ahmed 56.5, 11. Ultimate Glory (11) P. Surya 56.5, 12. Time Always (8) Arshad Alam 56, 13. Country’s Charm (6) M. Abhilash 52.5 and 14. Giralda (10) Irvan Singh 52. 1. SAZAE SAN, 2. TIME ALWAYS, 3. ICE SPRINT PUNE PLATE (Div. II), (1,200m), rated 20 to 45, 2-35: 1. Sans Frontieres (1) S. Hussain 60.5, 2. Amaris (14) Suraj Narredu 59, 3. Zagato (13) Rajesh Kumar 59, 4. Pikachu (10) M. Abhilash 57.5, 5. Ayahuasca (2) S. Mubarak 56, 6. Gracious (12) Raja Rao 55, 7. I Do It For U (11) Ajeet Kumar 54, 8. Engelberg (7) S. Manohar 53.5, 9. Eyez Hypnotize (6) Sahanawaz 53.5, 10. Ireland (3) Kiran Rai 53.5, 11. Passing Star (9) P. Surya 53.5, 12. Noble Emperor (4) Janardhan P 53, 13. Celestar (8) Vijay Kumar 52.5 and 14. Always

2 Keeping fit: England’s Mason Crane, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes play football during the practice session. REUTERS *

The 28-year-old Woakes was in England’s squad for the first Test against the West Indies but lost out on his Birmingham home ground

to Roland-Jones. Since his injury, Woakes has managed one First-Class match. His five-wicket haul and a second innings fifty during

Warwickshire’s First Division County win over Middlesex at Lord’s led to his inclusion in England’s squad for the series opener.

United (5) Arshad Alam 50.5. 1. AMARIS, 2. ALWAYS UNITED, 3. SANS FRONTIERES STAR OF MYSORE TROPHY (1,400m), rated 60 & above, 4y-o & over, 3-10: 1. Bandito (11) Sarvan Kumar 60, 2. Super Success (1) Srinath 59, 3. Aliboxer (12) S. Waseemuddin 58.5, 4. Arrogant Approach (5) P. Trevor 58, 5. Speed Hawk (6) Nazerul Alam 56.5, 6. Just By Chance (9) Santosh Kumar 55.5, 7. Kazuri (3) Praveen Shinde 55.5, 8. Markus Sittikus (8) Rajesh Kumar 54.5, 9. Tiger Of Mysore (10) P.P. Dhebe 54, 10. Ace Force (7) Jagadeesh 53.5, 11. Silsila (4) Shivnath Paswan 52 and 12. Force Ensign (2) Irvan Singh 51.5. 1. TIGER OF MYSORE, 2. SPEED HAWK, 3. SUPER SUCCESS RANGA FAMILY CUP (1,400m), rated 80 & above, 3-45: 1. Downton Abbey (1) Madassar 60, 2. Savannah Sound (2) P. Trevor 59.5, 3. Naval Glory (4) Santosh Kumar 59, 4. London (5) P.P. Dhebe 57.5, 5. Integrated (3) Srinath 56, 6. Murcilago (7) Ajay Kumar 55.5 and 7. Script Writer (6) Arshad Alam 54. 1. DOWNTON ABBEY, 2. LONDON, 3. INTEGRATED SRIKANTADATTA NARASIMHARAAJAWADIYAR MEMORIAL MILLION (1,400m), 3-y-o, (Terms), 4-20: 1. Megasthenes (1) Srinath 59.5, 2. Tutankhamun (4) Suraj Narredu 56.5, 3. Admiral Act (5) Arshad Alam 51.5, 4. Land Of Liberty (2) Kiran Rai 51.5 and 5. Pinyada (3) P. Trevor 51.5. 1. TUTANKHAMUN, 2. MEGASTHENES




Windies woes revive memories Kamalpreet sixth in of Headingley horror women’s discus throw Agence France-Presse Leeds

Curtly Ambrose was scathing about the West Indies’ “totally embarrassing” defeat by England inside three days during last week’s first Test at Edgbaston. But as the three-match series heads to Headingley, where the second Test starts on Friday, it is a reminder the former fast bowler was in a West Indies side beaten inside two days by England at the Leeds ground 17 years ago. In 2000, the teams started the fourth Test of a fivematch series at Yorkshire’s headquarters all square at 1-1. Whereas England victories over the men from the Caribbean have now become commonplace — 2000 was the last time the West Indies won a Test on English

soil — it was a very different story at the turn of the century.

Going back in time Prior to the 2000 campaign, which England eventually took 3-1, you had to go back to 1969 for the last time England won a Test series against the West Indies. If the team of 17 years ago was not as menacing as the one that inflicted successive ‘blackwashes’ on England in the mid-1980s. It, however, still had players of the calibre of Ambrose, fellow fast bowler Courtney Walsh and star batsman Brian Lara. And yet England managed to produce the first two-day Test win by any side for 54 years — and England’s first since hammering South Africa at Old Trafford in 1912. What made it even

sweeter for the Headingley faithful, who will hope it is an omen for an England team now captained by Yorkshire’s Joe Root and featuring county colleague Jonny Bairstow, was that several local heroes played key roles in a stunning victory. Yorkshire all-rounder Craig White took his maiden Test ‘five for’ in West Indies’ first innings 172. County colleague Michael Vaughan, the future England captain, made his then Testbest score of 76 in a reply of 272. England was indebted to another Yorkshireman in Darren Gough for sparking a slump that saw the West Indies bowled out for just 61 in 26.2 overs — a second-innings slide that makes last week’s twin collapses in Birmingham look almost tame by comparison.

Sports Bureau Taipei

Federation Cup champion Kamalpreet Kaur finished sixth in the women’s discus throw in the athletics competition of the 29th World University Games on Thursday evening. The 21-year-old from Punjab, who was fifth in the recent Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, had a best effort of 55.07m. She had a better throw of 55.95 in the qualification round. Meanwhile Punjab’s Twinkle Chaudhary crashed out after finishing seventh in the women’s 400m semifinal in 58.24s.

Amoj disqualified There was disappointment for Delhi’s Amoj Jacob too as he was disqualified for lane infringement in the men’s 400m first round. Tamil

Nadu’s R.V. Vishwa Priya was also disqualified in the women’s 400m hurdles heats.

Dutee crashes out Dutee Chand, the bronze medallist at the Asians and the national record holder, finished fifth in the second round of the women’s 100m in 11.90s and made her exit. Dutee had clocked a faster 11.69 in the first round. Punjab’s Taranveer Singh was also way below his best as he failed to make the men’s hammer throw final with 54.03m in the qualification round. Interestingly, that event was won by Poland’s Pawel Fajdek, who had completed a hat-trick of triumphs at the recent World Championships in London. For the 28-year-old Pawel, it was his fourth straight World University Games title.

Host Taipei had something to celebrate too with its Yang Chun-Han emerging as the fastest man in 10.22s. Bhuvana Kalva’s fine run came to an end as she was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by ninth seed Risa Ushijima of Japan in the women’s fourth round of tennis. There was a flicker of hope for the Indian camp as Eetee Maheta in partnership with Paras Dahiya wont he mixed doubles first round against a Swedish team. Tennis results: Women (fourth round): Risa Ishijima (Jpn) bt Bhuvana Kalva 6-1, 6-2. Men’s doubles (second round): Dominik Kellovsky & Matej Vocel (Cze) bt Sai Saran Reddy & Sunil Kumar 6-2, 6-2. Mixed doubles (first round): Eetee Maheta & Paras Dahiya bt Stjern Andens Viktor & Hamlin Matilda Karin (Swe) 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-0.

Bal Bharti PS, Ganga Ram is overall champion

Double for Bhupender Dahiya

Special Correspondent


New Delhi

Bhupender Dahiya and Ameek Kiran Batth won the boys and girls’ under-16 titles in the AITA Championship series junior tennis tournament organised by St. Stpehen’s School at the CLTA Complex on Thursday. The results (finals): Boys: U-16: Bhupender Dahiya bt Uddayvir Singh 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Doubles: Krishan Hooda & Dahiya bt Uddayvir & Abhay Mohan 6-4, 6-4; U-12: Rushil Khosla bt Navya Verma 6-2, 6-4. Girls: U-16: Ameek Kiran Batth bt Princy Panchal 6-0, 6-2. Doubles: Srishti Dhir & Ashpreet Kaur Bajwa bt Princy & Simran Pritam 6-3, 6-1; U-12: Vaibhavi Saxena bt Suryanshi Tanwar 6-3, 6-2.

Tutankhamun for feature event

Bal Bharti Public School, Ganga Ram emerged the overall winner of the YMCA inter-school swimming championships, which concluded here on Thursday. St. Columba’s School claimed the overall boys’ team championship while Bal Bharti School, Pitampura was the winner of the team championship in the girls section. The results (winners only): Boys, Group I: 50m freestyle: Tushar Mudgal (Bal Bharti PS, Ganga Ram) 26:43; 100m butterfly: Nischal Malik (Bhatnagar IS) 1:05.32; 50m backstroke: Nanak (Bal Bharti PS) 32;63; 200 IM: Nischay Malik (Bhatnagar IS) 2:23.06.

Group II: 50m freestyle: Achintya Ghoshal (Bal Bharti PS) 25:72; 100m butterfly: Divyansh Arora (St. Columba’s) 1:06.37; 50m backstroke: Upal Majumdar (Bal Bharti PS) 33:81; 200M IM: Anurag Singh (Bal Bharti PS) 2:32:27. Group III: 50m freestyle: Jai Khandelwal (Bal Bharti Ganga Ram) 30:10; 50m backstroke: Saatvik Khanna (St. Columba’s) 39.14; 200m IM: Bhargav (Bal Bharti PS) 2:37.63. Group IV: 50m freestyle: Aryaman Jain (Bal Bharti PS, Pitampura) 30:33; 200m IM: Bhagya Gehlot (Bal Bharti PS) 2:50.54. Group V: 50m freestyle: Dev Raj Gupta (Bal Bharti PS, Dwarka) 35:78; 100m IM: Dhurv Sejwal (Gyan Bharti) 1:33.28. Girls, Group I: 50m freestyle: Vanshika Sharma (Bal Bharti PS) 33:40; 100m butterfly: Van-

K.T. SHAMAIAH GOWDA MEMORIAL TROPHY (1,600m), rated 40 to 65, 4-55: 1. Reanna (5) Antony Raj 61.5, 2. Campeon (11) Ajeet Kumar 58.5, 3. Turf Star (1) P. Trevor 58, 4. Benedetta (10) Jagadeesh 57.5, 5. Regal Music (12) Suraj Narredu 57, 6. Secret Dimension (9) Kiran Rai 57, 7. Lucky Emerald (8) Gautam Raj 55.5, 8. Ephialties (14) Praveen Shinde 54.5, 9. Happy Victory (7) Sarvan Kumar 54, 10. Counter Point (2) Vijay Kumar 52.5, 11. Accuracy (13) S. Shareef 52, 12. Golden Diamond (3) R. Anand 51.5, 13. Malkia (6) Rajesh Kumar 51 and 14. Quick Angel (4) Arshad Alam. 1. TURF STAR, 2. REGAL MUSIC, 3. BENEDETTA PUNE PLATE (Div. I), (1,200m), rated 20 to 45, 5-30: 1. Nikka (2) Jagadeesh 62.5, 2. Beautiful Effect (9) M. Bhaskar 62, 3. Diamond Attraction (11) S. Waseemuddin 62, 4. Majestic Queen (5) J. Paswan 61.5, 5. Azure Fire (10) S. Mubarak 60.5, 6. Country’s Sher (4) G. Rohith 60.5, 7. Himalaya (12) Rayan Ahmed 60.5, 8. King Smile (3) Afsar Khan 60.5, 9. Golden Cruise (14) Antony Raj 60, 10. Point (6) Arshad Alam 60, 11. Gran Turismo (1) Kiran Rai 58.5, 12. Be Bold (8) M. Prabhakaran 57.5, 13. Velvet Rose (13) S. Hussain 57.5 and 14. Bold Nature (7) Rajesh Kumar 55. 1. NIKKA, 2. GOLDEN CRUISE, 3. POINT Day’s best: TUTANKHAMUN Double: AMARIS — TURF STAR Jkt: 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; Tr (i): 2, 3 and 4; (ii): 5, 6 and 7.


Sakshi and Vinesh disappoint Sports Bureau PARIS

Top Indian woman wrestlers Sakshi Malik (60kg) and Vinesh Phogat (48kg), had disappointing performances in the World wrestling championships here on Thursday. Sakshi, who started from the round-of-16, lost to Lusia Niemesch 3-1 and did not get a second chance. Vinesh had a flying start as she got the better of Ukrainian Oksana Livach by technical superiority. However, in the roundof-16, Vinesh lost to Pan American champion Victoria Anthony of the USA by fall. Sheetal Tomar (53kg)fell to Romanian Estera Dobre 4-2 in the quarterfinals.

Ankita in quarterfinals Sports Bureau

shika Sharma (Bal Bharti PS) 1:14.51; 50m backstroke: Gaivina Dhillion (Bal Bharti PS) 41:68; 200m IM: Gaivina Dhillon (Bal Bharti PS) 2:51:36.

Artvin, Turkey

Ankita Raina fought her way into the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ana Vrljic of Croatia in the $60,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament here on Thursday.

Group II: 50m freestyle: Surbhi Sharma (DAV, Pushpanjili) 31:24; 100m IM: Kritika Singh (Bal Bharti PS) 2:45:62. Group III: 50m freestyle: Jahnavi Choudhry (Bal Bharti PS) 30:02; 50m backstroke: Ankita Haldar (St. Xavier’s) 35:43; 200m IM: Jahnavi Choudhry (Bal Bharti PS) 2:38:57. Group IV: 200m IM: Nabhiya Yusuf (BVN) 3:00.37; 50m freestyle: Shatakashi Sharma (Indraprastha) 35:17. Group V: 50m freestyle: Ananya Rawat (Springdales) 36:37; 100m IM: Ananya Rawat (Springdales) 1:38.03.


Memorable day: Overall winners in the boys’ section with the trophy presented by Vijay Russell, centre, president, New Delhi YMCA.

Other results: €43,000 Challenger men, Manerbio, Italy: Quarterfinals: Romain Arneodo (Mon) & Hugo Nys (Fra) bt Johan Brunstrom (Swe) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-2, 7-5. $25,000 ITF men, Istanbul: Pre-quarterfinals: Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Muhammet Haylaz (Tur) 6-3, 6-1. Doubles: Quarterfinals: Sergio Martos Gomes & Pol Toledo Bague (Esp) bt Mikalai Hailak (Blr) & Sasi Kumar Mukund 6-2, 6-0.



(set by Gridman)

11 One who is necessarily driven (9)

2 Tripos team does have a quick answer (7)

12 Right-hand page on court's order (5)

3 Peasant farmer caught with mammal (6)

13 Branches spring from this genealogical chart (4)

4 Digression by father in France coming to grips (no afterthought) with country (13)

14 Sundry recall of leader, causing amusement (9) 17 Entered, having had a terrible bash, seeking bathroom facility (9) 19 A small measure of rounds (4) 23 Happen to be commanding officer's incomplete remedy (5)

■ ACROSS 1 Author possessing Central leader's work in printout (4,4) 5 Follow a daughter going into exhibition (6) 9 The first priest's restless — one who might give inside information (7) 10 Taking care of man in department with wild flu (7)


Siva turns a disciple

6 Vandal gets locks of Diana, for one (8) 7 Actually, old author's unfinished work locked inside (2,5) 8 Moving part in a film? (4-2)

24 Ignorant, without any illumination (2,3,4)

10 This won't do for a person's life to be considered great (4,9)

25 America in a spot to keep going (7)

15 Drugstore organises a march in the limits of Pondy (8)

26 No to working for 24 hours — only 12 (7)

16 Bird seen to be crooked (8)

Solution to puzzle 12094

27 Constant sufferer to destroy try-out (6)

18 One who makes a charge — a small measure by customer (7)

28 You and I will take food, reportedly of good stock (4-4)

20 Gridman and Cockney woman ramble (7)


21 Briefly raise problem of a marsupial (6)

1 Head office has model posts established in zones of conflict (3,5)



22 Shrink back from dirty core — almost sick (6)

Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku

Known for its magnitude and quality, Kachiappa Sivachariar’s Kanda Purana is an inspired work that describes in detail the birth and exploits of Muruga. It is clear that if one is able to experience His unfathomable greatness and also describe it, it is because of Muruga’s Sankalpa, pointed out Sri Mathivannan in a discourse. Muruga’s advent is occasioned under extraordinary circumstances. The entire world was under harassment owing to the atrocities of the demon Soorapadman who possessed unlimited powers. The celestial beings approached Siva for a solution for their plight. Siva knew that only a divine being whose exceptional jnana and prowess would be on a par with His own, and hence a part of Him would be able to vanquish the demon. So He opened His third eye to allow an effulgent jyothi come out and willed that it be deposited in the cool waters of the Saravana Poigai by Agni and Vayu. From this spark there arose six babies who were reared by the Kartika maidens. Parvati united them into a charming child with six faces who grew up in Kailasa. It is said that once when Brahma visited Kailasa, he happened to slight the young child. Muruga wished to teach him a lesson and asked him the meaning of Pranava. When Brahma faltered, Muruga divested him of his role as a creator and imprisoned him as well. He then took up the responsibilities of Brahma. Siva then intervened and asked him to release Brahma. He also asked Muruga if he knew the import of Pranava. Muruga said that he knew. Then Siva wanted him to expound it to Him. A rare situation arose out of this episode when Muruga insisted that he would do so if Siva accepted him as the Guru and listen in the bhava of a disciple. Arunagirinathar recreates the ecstasy and pride of Siva on seeing Muruga’s jnana, competence and sense of discipline. M ND-NDE







Kush gets the better of Vijay

Yoddha sign off on a high PKL

Harinder Pal also advances; Joshna cruises into the semifinals

Uthra Ganesan LUCKNOW

the fourth game against Sunayna in the quarterfinals, but pulled ahead 11-9, 11-6 in the last two games. The other semifinal will feature Lakshya Ragavendran and Urvashi Joshi.


Kush Kumar gave a glimpse of his power game as he got the better of Vijay Kumar 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 in the men’s quarterfinals of the HCL 74th National squash championships at the Shiv Nadar University indoor complex here on Thursday. A student of Trinity College, who is trained by US National coach Paul Assaiante, apart from Vikram Malhotra, and the only Indian to have won a junior World championship medal, Kush said that he was looking forward to the match against top seed and 11-time National champion Saurav Ghosal. “I like the fast court. I am pretty happy and pumped up to play the semifinal,” said Kush. Recalling that he had beaten Kush in four games two years ago, Saurav said that he would look to play well rather than worry about anything else. Incidentally, Kush was part of the Indian team, along with Harinder Pal

In full flow: Kush Kumar makes a diving return against Vijay Kumar. Sandhu, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Saurav Ghosal, that won the Asiad gold at Incheon in 2014. Interestingly, all the four players made the semifinals here, in different ways. Second seed Harinder Pal was in a lot of trouble after a sluggish start against Aditya Jagtap, but regained the surety of his touch to pull

Kings and Dons in final CUE SLAM G. Viswanath Ahmedabad

Gujarat Kings gave a rude shock to Chennai Strikers by winning the first three matches and enter the final of the Cue Slam Indian Cue Masters League at the Rajpath Club on Thursday. Alok Kumar put the home team ahead recording a rapid fire 2-0 win over Dharminder Lilly in the 9 ball pool. Even as the Kings supporters were rejoicing at Kumar’s win, it’s mixed pair in snooker was giving a rough time to the Strikers’ Pankaj Advani and Vidya Pillai. The Kings pair, especially Russian Daria Sirotina, touched peak form potting the red. And although Advani potted the black in a shoot-out to bring an end to the second frame, Daria sustained her potting success in the third in order to win the match 2-1. Trailing 0-2 down, Advani was under some pressure in the icon match against Pagett. After losing the first at


7-41, he showed some fluency to pull back the second; but he did not get a clear opening after Pagett ran up a break of 21 in the third frame. Eventually the Welshman got through at 30-2 to take his side into the title match and soon the vociferous Kings supporters celebrated to the sounds of “Dholak” played by locals. Kelly Fisher delivered a big win against Darren Morgan in the 6-Red snooker icon match for Delhi Dons to beat Bengaluru Buddies 2-1 in the second semifinal. The results: Gujarat Kings bt Chennai Strikers 3-0 (6-Red Snooker: Andrew Pagett & Daria Sirotina bt Pankaj Advani & Vidya Pillai 2-1 (24-8, 13-20, 37-18); Pagett bt Advani 41-7, 6-36, 30-2. 9 ball: Alok Kumar bt Dharminder Lilly 2-0). Delhi Dons bt Bengaluru Buddies 2-1 (6-Red snooker Kelly Fisher & Malkeet Singh lost to Darren Morgan & Anastasia Nachaeva 0-2( 1-24, 060), Kelly bt Morgan 19-23, 20-12, 33-25; 9 ball: Manan Chandra bt Sundeep Gulati 2-0.

through in four games. Harinder Pal will face Mahesh, who proved too good for the young left-hander Velavan Senthilkumar. Saurav was clinical in beating the only qualifier who had won a round in the knock-out phase, Abhishek Pradhan. In the women’s section, 14-time national champion



Joshna Chinappa had to struggle to stay focused for lack of quality opposition but had no complaints as she cruised into the semifinals. She will play Tanvi Khanna, who won back-toback five-game thrillers against Sachika Balvani and Sunayna Kuruvilla in the morning and evening. ‘Tanvi was staring at defeat at 7-8 in

The results: Men, quarterfinals: Saurav Ghosal bt Abhishek Pradhan 11-1, 11-6, 11-3; Kush Kumar bt Vijay Kumar 11-5, 11-5, 11-8. Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Velavan Senthilkumar 11-7, 11-4, 11-7; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Aditya Jagtap 9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8. Women, quarterfinals: Joshna Chinappa bt Ashita Pranaya Bhengra 11-5, 11-4, 11-7; Tanvi Khanna bt Sunayna Kuruvilla 811, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6. Lakshya Ragavendran bt Sachika Ingale 11-6, 11-13, 11-2, 11-9; Urvashi Joshi bt Riya Sisodia 11-0, 11-1, 11-9. Pre-quarterfinals: Joshna bt Sanika Choudhari 11-2, 11-9, 11-4; Ashita w/o Hritika Malhotra; Tanvi bt Sachika Balvani 1-9, 11-4, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6; Sunayna bt Megha Bhatia 11-5, 11-3, 1-6. Sachika bt Mayuri Namasivayam 11-4, 11-5, 11-7; Lakshya bt Amira Singh 11-9, 11-8, 11-6; Urvashi bt Jui Kalgutkar 11-5, 611, 11-5, 4-11, 11-6; Riya bt Prapti Salunkhe 11-3, 11-3, 11-7.

St. Kitts holds India Earlier win over Mauritius helps the host end on top

UP Yoddha broke its home ground jinx, registering a 2523 victory against Telugu Titans in its final match on home ground of the ProKabaddi League, here on Thursday. One of the lowest-scoring contests of the season so far, it was a battle of attrition with both sides playing a cautious game and avoiding any aggressive play. The passiveness of the contest can be gauged from the fact that there was not a single all-out in the match. The result helped UP hold on to the top spot in Zone B but, in a group where the difference between the top and bottom-placed sides is just 16 points, it would be a fragile lead. Rahul Chaudhari was still the top scorer for the Titans but with just six points, it was far below his average performance. And with the captain not able to replicate his brilliant form, the Titans suffered. UP wasn’t exactly in redhot form either. Captain Nitin Tomar was the top raider but far from dominant. Rishank Devadiga, star of the previous game, failed to score a single point and


India only had a glancing Jackichand Singh-headed goal to show after keeping St Kitts pinned in its own half and goalkeeper Jeffers Jamal at their mercy till the 72nd minute of action at Mumbai Football Arena. The visitors clawed back with an audacious tap into the roof by Amory Gvaune past Subrata Paul for the equaliser in the concluding Tri-Nation tie. A win over Mauritius earlier in the three-nation event allowed the hosts to end up tops. The home team had a first-half goal disallowed for off-side. Striker Robin Singh, one of five replacements for India found the crossbar blocking a tap in injury-time. The 1-1 draw was a victory of sorts for the visitors from the Caribbeans, FIFA ranked 125 and clearly inferior and

Missing chances Robin, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh messed up chances, leaving the Jackichand strike as the only silver lining. The hosts went ahead after a passing bout on the right flank, with overlapping wing back Pritam Kotal lifting the ball from the sideline towards teammates lurking around the box. Jackichand looped the ball beyond the goalkeeper’s reach with a sideways header. St Kitts survived a scare after a chest trap and volley by Jeje, the goalkeeper pushed the ball away. St Kitts’ willingness to chase the ball in their own half, hard tackling and closing down space denied India the room to build up moves in the midfield. Balwant, included in the starting squad after a stellar

Nandakumar Marar

show as substitute against Mauritius, got a clear look at goal but headed wide off a tantalizing floater from Holicharan. Jeje was felled around the box, resulting in a free-kick. Eugeneson Lyngdoh tried an indirect route, the ball rolled to Narayan Das for a crack at target. St Kitts custodian Jamal covered the angle for a block diving to his left. Balwant appeared at the right spot to tap in a pass back, the referee blew for off-side. Jamal under the St Kitts bar was kept busy by Indian forwards, but survived attempts from Jeje, tapping wide on the run near the right post and then substitute Robin advancing alone and left-footed placement bouncing back into play off the goalkeeper’s body. St Kitts ended up with two points from two draws (Mauritius and India).


his inconsistency would concern the team. Rajesh Narwal’s struggling season continued. At one point, all its key raiders barring Tomar were on the bench, leaving the onus of keeping the team active on experienced defender Jeeva Kumar. In fact, with the margin of score between the two sides never being more than three points, it was simply about holding on to the lead whenever it came either team’s way. It was Nitesh Kumar’s opportunistic but firm hold on to Chaudhari, in his final raid in the last 30 seconds of the match with the scores tied on 22-all, that turned

the tables in the host’s favour. Tomar picked up two quick points to seal the issue and get his team’s first win in seven games. The results: UP Yoddha 25 (Nitin Tomar 6, Nitesh Kumar 5, Surender Singh 4, Jeeva Kumar 4, Mahesh Goud 3) bt Telugu Titans 23 (Rahul Chaudhari 6, Farhad Rahimi Milaghardan 4, Sombir 3, Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari 3).


U Mumba vs Jaipur Pink Panthers, 8 p.m. Bengal Warriors vs Patna Pirates, 9 p.m. STAR Sports 2, 2 HD


Liverpool returns to CL Agence France-Presse

under pressure throughout. India’s inability to convert domination into goals forced points split.


Stalled! UP Yoddha’s Rajesh Narwal and teammates stop Farhad Rahim Milaghardan of Telugu Titans. RAJEEV BHATT


Emre Can struck twice as Liverpool convincingly defeated Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield on Wednesday to reach the Champions League group phase for only the second time since 2010. The results: Slavia Prague 0

drew with APOEL 0 (APOEL won 2-0 on aggregate); FC Copenhagen 2 (Santander 45, Pavlovic 66) bt Qarabag 1 (Ndlovu 63) (2-2 on aggregate; Qarabag won on away goals). FCSB 1 (Junior Morais 20) lost to Sporting Lisbon 5 (Doumbia 13, Acuna 60, Gelson Martins 64, Dost 75, Battaglia 88);

(Sporting Lisbon won 5-1 on aggregate); Liverpool 4 (Can 10, 21, Salah 18, Firmino 63) bt Hoffenheim 2 (Uth 28, Wagner 79) (Liverpool won 6-3 on aggregate). CSKA Moscow 2 (Schennikov 45, Dzagoev 65) bt Young Boys 0 (CSKA Moscow won 3-0 on aggregate).

The result: India 1 (Jackichand Singh 39) drew with St Kitts 1 (Amory Gvaune 72).










• northern EDITION •

AUGUST 25, 2017 Hindu


Shrine on a snowy peak

Trailblazer Daksha Sheth makes her debut at the Edinburgh Festival next month with her unique dance technique Pages 6 &7

At 16,600 ft the Phuktal monastery in Lungnak valley truly signifies liberation P4

Keeping the tradition alive

Kabuki artiste Onoe Kikunosuke V on finer nuances of the art form P8

On the social order

Devi Yashodharan’s debut novel Empire, set in the Chola era, throws light on women’s status P10

Simply profound!

In Hindi cinema’s Golden Age, Shakeel Badayuni stood out for painting many shades of romance and devotion P12








Graceful movements Dancer Dakshina Vaidyanathan Baghel


A delightful festival The recently concluded Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh saw an array of outstanding vocal and instrumental performances

AUGUST 25 STEIN AUDITORIUM 7 p.m. A solo Bharatanatyam Margam, which is a traditional format of the Bharatanatyam repertoire will be presented by Dakshina Vaidyanathan Baghel. She is a discipline of Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan and Rama Vaidyanathan.

AUGUST 25 AMALTAS 7 p.m. Nashist will present “Ghalib-Ke-Khatoot”, a revival of dramatized reading of letters of Mirza Ghalib by stage actor Ekant Kaul embellished by the poetry of Ghalib sung by Mannu Kohli.

AUGUST 25 CONVENTION CENTRE FOYER 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. India Habitat Centre is organising a canvas art show by Sandeep Passan and Suman Palakshi.


AUGUST 25 GODREJ AUDITORIUM 6.30 p.m. The VSK Baithak will present Purab Ang Gayaki Utsav 2016-17 in which there will be performances by Atri Kotal, Piu Mukherjee and Koyel Dasgupta Naha, all from Kolkata and Kakali Mukherjee from Durgapur.

A perfect take A scene from “Hamlet-The Clown Prince”


AUGUST 25 AUDITORIUM 7.30 p.m.Secure Giving will present “Hamlet-The Clown Prince” in English/Gibberish play.


AUGUST 26 ART HERTIAGE GALLERY 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Art Heritage Gallery will be organising an exhibition “In The Shadow Of The Pyramids” documenting Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy’s intensely personal nine-year journey and entrenched reportage surrounding the events of Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Correction In the article titled “The Fragrance of Soil”, published in these pages on August 18, it was wrongly mentioned that singer Indrani Mukherjee did her taleem under Pandit AT Kanan. Pandit Kanan was actually the guru of Indrani's guru and grandfather Sanjib Banerjee. The error is regretted.



he vivacious vocal recital by Jayashri Patnekar gave a befitting start to the prestigious Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh, jointly organised by Gandharva Mahavidyalaya (GMV) and Saraswati Samaj to celebrate the 145th Birth Anniversary of the saint musician Sangeetarshi Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar at the Kamani Auditorium this past weekend. Originally from Sawantwadi, Jayshree was initiated into music by Vitthal Rao Pai and was further groomed in Kirana and Jaipur Gayaki. She matured as a vocalist under the intensive guidance of Pandit Gajanan Rao Joshi and Nivrutti Bua Sarnaik. The timely selection of Lalita-Gauri for her main raga, its authentic treatment with the judicious blend of both its components Lalit and Gauri, that combine to embody this challenging Jod-Raga and the constraint with which she elaborated it; all spoke of her consummate musicianship. The slow vilambit and chhota khayal in Lalita-Gauri set to Teen taal “Baat Chalat Phirat Giridhari...” had gradual barhat of the raga and skilful variety of taan patterns flowing smoothly like gushing water also saw her playing with the rhythm. Raga Durga in slow Jhap taal came as a comely contrast and regaled the audience. Jaijaiwanti came next with a couple of compositions in slow and medium tempo Teen taal concluding with a tarana in drut Teen taal. Jayshree had superb sup-

Versatility her forte Jayashri Patnekar: (below) Sanjiv Abhayankar

port on tabla by Bharat Kamath whose repartees replicated her rhythmic nuances and the inspired harmonium by Vinay Mishra, but her greatest asset was her weighty full throated voice with khula aakar, the knack of sthayee bharna, the effortless ease in her aakar taans where each swara glittered like a pearl and above all her own conviction and delight in whatever she sang. The other artiste of the inaugural evening, the young sarodiya Ayaan Ali, younger son and disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan; performed next surrounded by Shubh Maharaj and Akbar Latif on tabla on either side. Preceded with a melodious aalap of raga Kamod, he played a composition in slow Deepchandi and another in Teen taal, based on the famous bandish “Kare Jaane Na Doongi...” where he gave turns to the two tabla accompanists also. The inaugural evening took a dramatic turn, when he announced “due to some technical problems I’m unable to play what I want; so I request my Guru Ustad Amjad Ali Khan to conclude my concert.”

In guru’s memory Khan Saheb, sitting in the front row in a simple white kurta (unlike his colourful performance attire), stood up at once and amidst the excited loud roar took the stage. He played raga Hafiz Kauns that he had created in memory of his Guru and father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. He played the auchar and the Teen taal composition with a deep contemplative devotion as if offering fond tribute to the late Ustad. Opening up the raga across the melodic canvas, he painted his portrait with the contradicting shades of emotions in the Shuddha and Komal variants of the same swara-sangati harmonised al-

ternately as if remembering both, the grim and the affectionate persona of his Guru. The brilliant sitar recital of Niladri Kumar stole the next evening. Trained in the traditional guru shishya parampara under his musician father Pandit Kartik Kumar,young Niladri has evolved as an innovative traditionalist who has experimented with all sorts of music on a global level, both as a performer and composer. This evening one saw him in his purist avatar opening his concert with raga Shuddha Kalyan. The very first meend on the mandra dhaivat during the reposeful alap, spoke of his total command on his instrument from the very beginning. The detailed aalap-jod adorned with controlled oscillation of five-six notes on just one fret created pulsating preface for the Jhap taal composition that followed suit. And then came his own captivating creation Tilak Nat, a melodious blend of raga Tilak Kamod and Nat. Delineating the full demeanour of the beautiful raga through an in-depth auchar, he played the composition in Teen taal, where the Kinar and Chanti ka kaam of Ram Kumar Mishra’s tabla also got repeated applause. In his concluding Bharavi, Niladri displayed the unbelievable feat of all the twelve komal and teevra swaras of the octave in one go! It was a freshly minted Bhairavi in which he played a dhun where he had to hint Ram Kumar to show both khali and bhari in the theka, that he had started like a common kherwa. There was no need for Niladri to go to the variants of Malhar after this delicious dessert. The second evening had opened with a vocal recital by Ramakant Gaikwad, who is trained in Patiala Gayaki under Pandit Jagdish Prasad, a senior disciple of Ustad Bade

Ghulam Ali Khan. Both his khayals in Gorakh Kalyan and the thumri “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye...” got him showers of applause mostly for his technical virtuosity. Hopefully, the aggressive edge of his youthful enthusiasm, will mellow down with age. The morning session on Sunday opened with a lovely Devagiri Bilawal on violin by Nandini Shankar groomed under the legendary Dr. N. Rajam, her grandmother and Sangeeta Shankar her mother. This third generation child prodigy has evolved into a young violinist of superb sensibilities. The vocal recital by Sanjiv Abhayankar was the other attraction of the morning session. He presented Miyan Ki Todi as his main raga followed by Bhathiar and Jaunpuri. Although his own compositions in Bhathiar had the dramatic natya element as explained by him, but instead of all the three ragas with Komal Rishabh, he could have easily changed the flavour with a variant of Sarang at least towards the noon time. Pandit Vekatesh Kumar reached the Jayanti Samaroh to its climax with his mesmerising vocal recital accompanied by the ace accompanists in Arvind Thatte on harmonium and Bharat Kamath on tabla. Opening with “Sakhi Man Lage Na...”, the vilambit khayal in raga Bageshri redolent with the melancholy of the raga evoking the bhavas of a virahini nayika. His scholastic insight into the melody’s regal format continued even in the Teen taal, chhota khayal adorned with flourishes of aakar and sargam taans. The Basant-Bahar next, juxtaposed the pathos of Basant and the vibrant fervour of Bahar melting into each other. And the concluding Thumri Khamaj “Ab Kaise Ghar Jaun...” had all the elements of Shringar in its bol banaav.







Wedded to the art Despite a contrived climax, “Babuji” strikes a chord with the audience Diwan Singh Bajeli DDDDDDDDDDDDD


ibhanshu Vaibhav has written plays and adapted stories for the stage. His play “Maharathi” has brought him acclaim as an important playwright in Hindi. Similarly, his adapted plays like “Gunda” and “Babuji” have fascinated several directors. In the early nineties B.V. Karanth, the doyen of Indian theatre, directed “Babuji” for Shri Ram Centre Repertory. After more than two decades, Surjit Singh staged “Babuji” at SRC auditorium recently which evoked tremendous response from the audience. Surjit Singh fell in love with “Babuji” since as a student of theatre at SRC he saw Karanth’s production of the play. Deeply moved by the theme of the play, he has finally succeeded in staging it. “Babuji” opens at a point when the narrative is reaching towards the climax and the exposition, the development of dramatic conflict is revealed through flashback. This device makes the audience curious to know what happens next and how the crisis will be resolved.

The play depicts the tragic life of a folk singer who sacrifices his domestic life to devote his entire life to his art of Nautanki. Defying conventional values of his high caste, he marries a girl with a history of premarital affair. Despite being a newly married young man, his passion for his art continues to remain intense. The members of his group, including a young female singer-dancer assemble at his house, rehearsing. The group goes to perform from one place to another. Unable to bear the social condemnation of the folk artist called Babuji, the family consisting of Babuji's wife, two sons and a daughter leave their home and move to stay away with the brother of the mother. Now the singer has no one to disturb him, his house becomes a hub of professional singers, instrumentalists and female dancers who are despised by the villagers, who flock to their performances to fairs to be entertained, want to keep them at arm's length.

Twist to the plot Then there is a sudden twist to the plot. The family returns with two grown up sons

and a young daughter. Taking possession of the house, they forcibly oust Babuji, his artists and his fans. Old and sick but undaunted, Babuji moves to another place and once again reorganises his group. On demand, he keeps on performing. Disowning father, the family now headed by the elder employed son struggles to restore their honour in their upper caste society. It manages to arrange the marriage of the daughter with the son of a Thakur. On the wedding evening in the midst of celebration and excitement an unexpected incident takes place. The climax tends to be contrived. The director is not able to handle his large cast while composing the mass scenes which tend to be clumsy at places. If the director had used pauses, the emotional conflict would have acquired intensity. The production is not able to strike a critical comment on the inhumanity of a moribund feudal system to have the contemporary relevance of the production. There is an element of irony in the way bridegroom's

Theatre with a purpose A scene from “Babuji” * SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

father invites Babuji to perform at his son’s wedding without knowing that Babuji is the father of the bride. Babuji and his group perform. He is killed by the muscle-men when he tries to save the honour of his female dancer from the clutches of the lecherous and brute father of the bridegroom. The family refuses to accept the body and the villagers take Babuji's body for cremation. The large chorus consisting of more than a dozen

trained singers led by Bhanu Pratap Singh, Anjali Dhaka and Pooja occupies its place offstage which provides enough space for performers to act. In the lead role Rajesh Tiwari, a graduate from National School of Drama, is the cynosure of all eyes. Both as a singer and actor, his presence on the stage enriches the production. Shweta Kulshresth as Surasati, the professional singer-dancer in the group of Babuji, portrays her role with sensitivity. Her Surasati

deeply loves Babuji and stands by him when his life is full of tribulations. Provin Kumar Bharti as the father of bridegroom in the brief role brings to fore the brute, arrogant and lecherous character of Thakur. Avinash Tiwari in the role of narrator narrates the story with a touch of empathy for Babuji. He frequently steps out the character of Narrator to play the role of the younger son of Babuji and decides to join the funeral procession of his father.

of Delhi. He shot for himself, for savouring the moments and enjoying his own joie de vivre. To the world of photography in India he was a true modernist. The sanctity of his work was spoken upon by Amit Mehra when he published his book on Kashmir. Mehra said, “Everything I learnt about photography I learnt from S Paul Sir. He gave me a masterclass in everything that photography stood for. Today when I get assignments from foreign newspapers and media I know I owe it to my guru Paul Sir.” Some of Paul’s greatest images came from his early days in Shimla. His pictures had a rare and unique sensitivity that made you stop and stare

at his subjects. The commonplace simplicity and the impeccable timing made you think about the power of that split second. Whether he shot the head of a little monk, or a riverside or even a pair of old men on a chair, the human elements in his pictorial frame belonged to the naturality and limpid languidness of the moment. One of his most perennial images is that of a dove in flight. The timing of the image is emblematic of the absolute purity of nature. Paul’s works are a sublime procession of natural and animal forms, sometimes naïve, sometimes vulnerable, with shy, furtive movements, flying with their wings mysteriously into the air or assuming attitudes commonplace enough, but imbued with some mystic meaning, with the light concentrated upon their wings. Can you explain the melancholic beauty of the falling rain, or tell why the slushy pavements, reflecting the lights of a lamp post remind us of the golden dreams the poets dream of ? Paul’s works tell us that one does not create in oblivion. Photography is about hunting for subjects, reinventing subject matter in how to take a picture. This is what S Paul gave to the world of photojournalism and photography in India. Rest in peace Sir.


A true modernist Though his images were imbued with mystic meanings, S Paul always took his lens as an instrument that captured the truth Uma Nair DDDDDDDDDDDDD


y introduction to S Paul, who passed away last week, goes back to November 1993 when he had a solo show at Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi. In less than 15 photographs you could see a black and white representation of images that held within the power of suggestion in the reflection of moments. Here were images that were alive in a quiet way, and held the

truth that a photograph must have an existence of its own. In those days, I used to write for the Saturday page of a leading daily and Paul was given almost an entire page. A fortnight later, he left a small note for me with the editor. On a slip of paper he had written: “Thank you for giving a mirror to my work. Bahut behetereen khyal, sundar lekh!!” I had just returned from America and seen a few prints by Edward Steichen, I felt Paul had an uncanny affinity with the works of Steichen. Paul’s works were about the past and the present, he shot at a time when the currents and artistic sensibilities of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were slowly being revamped, notably from pictorialism. Paul had a subtle sensibility, an eye, an openness to ideas and experiences, perhaps a need, and

Meaningful images Photographs by S Paul * SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT golden age of photojournalcertainly a longing to go bey- ism where there was no Phoond the superficial. He toshop and no political diabout the worked on the idea that evol- lemmas ution happens not by random standardisation of informachance. And opportunities tion through images. Paul rehad to be made use of by be- spected the camera for its ing open, by searching and role as a transmitter of truth. That is what Paul stood for, questioning and wandering. In Paul’s works, there was his lens was an instrument a photography of thought, that captured the truth. His work embodied an and a subtle yet perceptible modernist current. To look at honesty in which there was images by Paul was to be in- no retouching, no synthetic no tweaking. troduced to the first expres- images, sion of true photographic art. Everything he shot and gave While his images were like the world was authentic, raw, short stories, they were also and pure and the worth of his full of poetry, and they frame was ‘the weight of the seemed to announce the photos’, or the justification of principles of objective photo- what surrounds him as it was. But Paul was a passionate graphy, frank and forthright lensman. He breathed photophotography. Paul belonged to the graphy in the dusty bylanes









Feminine Mythique

Fisherwoman to Queen Mother Matsyagandha will stop at nothing to get there How do we think about Satyavati, transformed from a smelly fisherman’s daughter to the determined and manipulative matriarch of the Kaurava clan? Satyavati’s life was a series of negotiations towards the centre of power. Once, she was a girl, who smelled most dreadfully of fish and was called Matsyagandha. A passing sage was overcome with desire for her and so, he enveloped her ferry boat in a cloud of mist and persuaded her to make love to him. A mighty son was born from that union and though he was wild and unpleasant to behold, he grew up to be a powerful sage who lived outside society. Matsyagandha was also rid of her fishy smell as a result of her encounter with the sage, who slept with her. When king Shantanu was enchanted by her new compelling fragrance and married her, she became Satyavati. Moreover, her father struck a bargain with her husband — it would be Satyavati’s sons, who would rule the kingdom after their father’s death. But, Satyavati’s ambitions were not fully realised at this point. The two sons she bore Shantanu — Chitrangada and Vichitravirya — were not worth much. So, she persuaded her step-son, the mighty Bhishma, to kidnap wives for them. She then understood that her sons were weak and impotent and incapable of fathering children on the wives that had been bestowed on them. Her first solution to ensuring that she would be the mother of a dynasty was to ask Bhishma to impregnate his brothers’ wives. The custom of niyoga sanc-

tioned such sexual unions (a brother sleeping with his sister-in-law). But when Bhishma refused to break his vow of celibacy, Satyavati thought of her own son, now known as the sage Vyasa, and summoned him to sleep with her daughters-inlaw. He did and finally, the young queens gave birth to Satyavati’s grandsons, born of her blood, who would continue the Kaurava line. Far from being ashamed of him, Satyavati used her first-born son to secure her position in a family that was only interested in its men.

King’s daughter Just as we are about to celebrate the elevation of an outsider woman to the commanding heights of a powerful queen, our story reaches back to a previous generation to tell us that Matsyagandha was, in fact, the daughter of a king. A fish, who was a cursed apsara, swallowed the semen of a king and when she was caught and her belly opened, two little children emerged. The fisherman presented the wondrous children to the king, who kept the male child. The fisherman brought up the girl child as his own. A back story such as this provides both the seeming outsiders, the lowly fisherwoman and her hitherto undomesticated first son, with suitable antecedents. By doing so, it ensures that the royal lineage of the Kauravas remains unpolluted. Rather than breaking through a conservative system of caste and hierarchy, the now royal Satyavati is merely restored to her rightful position as the mother of kings. The writer works with myth, epic and the story traditions of the sub-continent

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Satyavati used her first-born son to secure her position in a family that was only interested in its men




Arshia Sattar

View of the river. (Right); Hungarian historian Alexander Csoma de Koros’s name engraved in stone; a monk at the shrine and the monastery

Hidden in the Himalayas

Stairway to heaven At 16,600 ft and on an expansive snowy field, the Phuktal monastery aptly signifies liberation Vrinda and J. Ramanan DDDDDDDDDDDDD

Emerging dramatically from a mountain side on the rocky part of a gorge of the LingtiTsarap Chu, a major tributary of the Zanskar river, is the magnificent Buddhist monastery, Phuktal. This surreal projection, resembling a honeycomb, forms the highlight of the trek from Darcha to Padum via the expansive snowy fields of Shingu La (16, 600ft.). This Monastery lies in the south eastern Zanskar region in the Ladakh District of Jammu and Kashmir, and takes five days to reach by foot from the nearest roadhead. This Gompa houses 70 lamas and was consecrated by the visit of sages, scholars and translators such as Padmasambhava, Phakspa Nestan Durdan, Milarepa’s teacher Lama Marpa who lived in these caves, over a thousand years ago. The 16 Arhats, the perfect ones who were the legendary followers of the Buddha lived here and their images decorate the walls of the caves.

Supernatural gift The three scholarly brothers, Dangson, Pun and Sum who were blessed with the supernatural gift of flying, expounded their Dharma Teachings here and departed after bequeathing this sacred shrine to Jangsem Sherap Zangpo, a Tibetan Buddhist

Guru. Zangpo made the cave grow larger, divined a spring to run in the cave and a tree to grow above the cave. Phuk means ‘cave’ and tal means ‘leisure’. There is also a second name Phuktar where Tar means ‘liberation’. This mystical mud and wood construction remained hidden, until the 19th Cen-

tury Hungarian historian Alexander Csoma de Koros, the pioneer of Tibetan studies and the author of the first Tibetan-English Dictionary visited this hermitage. He lived here from 1826-27 and made it known to the rest of the world. The monks of the Blue hat manage this monastery that has four prayer rooms, a library with rare Buddhist manuscripts and an old chapel. There is a chamber above dedicated to Ma Kali. The natural spring inside flows over and sprays on the outside during the rainy season creating an ethereal setting. It is open only for four months from July to mid-October, and is snowbound for the rest of the year. The writers are ace photographers known for their travelogues








Piano Man

Under the spotlight

Make music not war

Kudukka veena, originally played only in temples, has shifted to the concert stage M LALITHA AND M NANDINI DDDDDDDDDDDDD

It was after our performance at PN Sivaramakrishnan Sri Tirumeni Guruji’s 400-yearold Siva temple in Chippleri near Punjapadam, Palakkad, that we saw and listened to an unusual instrument. Made from two coconut shells and played with a stick, its sound and appearance were unique. This singlestringed Kudukka veena is an ancient instrument of Kerala. Half a coconut shell, which is the resonator, is placed on the left shoulder and kept in position by a cloth belt called kacha. The shell is covered by fine leather at the center of which is a small hole. At the lower end is the full shell (kudukka). A wooden rod, called the korada / perada, passes diametrically through the eye of the kudukka and a string is attached to it. This is tied onto the Korada which is inserted through the hole in the leather. Sometimes both shells are painted and decorated.

String matters Regarding the strings, sometimes those of the Vina Tala Kambi or guitar are used. According to Thrikkampuram Sri Jayandevan Marar, son of the late Thrikkampuram Krishnankutty Marar, kudukka veena is said to be more than 300 years old. This instrument is played by striking the string using the eerkkili, which is the thin rod from the coconut palm leaf. Sometimes the mayil peeli thandu is also used. The different notes are produced by adjusting the tension of the string. The tension is varied through pressure on the lower shell. It is a difficult instrument to play, and requires practise. Notes cannot be sustained on it for long. One practises this instrument before learning to play the edakka. Like the ‘pulimutti’ for chenda and ‘sravanappalaka’ for madDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Violinists M. Lalitha and M. Nandini were honoured recently with the Chennai Awards for 2017 by the Chennai 2000 Plus Trust in association with the Department of Museum and Archaeology, Govt of Tamil Nadu. The award was presented in recognition of their services to the cause of Carnatic music.


When melody turns a peacemaker in strife-torn regions of the world

dalam, kudukka veena is basically a simulator of edakka. According to Rakesh Kammath, who plays the kudukka veena, “This instrument used to accompany sopana singing during pujas in temples.” Sopana Sangeetham is sung, traditionally by men belonging to the Ambalavasi community, by the side of the holy steps (sopanam) leading to the sanctum sanctorum of a shrine. It is generally performed when the neivedyam is offered to the deity. Apparently, the kudukka veena was later replaced by the edakka. Both the instruments can produce melody / swarams along with rhythm /talam. The legendary Thrikkampuram Krishnankutty Marar was one of the last masters of this instrument, and some of his disciples play this instrument. Thrikkampuram Jayandevan Marar said, “It was Krishnakutty Marar who brought this instrument back to the forefront.” Krishnankutty Marar by presenting kudukka veena recitals, accompanied by violin and mridangam during the 1990s, introduced this instrument to the concert stage. Sometimes the edakka is added as an accompaniment. Currently, some artistes use a pickup to play the instrument to amplify its sound. Kudukka veena is no longer used in temples these days, but is played at public performances and social events. Some of its performers include Uramana Rajan Marar, Kavil Sundaram Marar, Rakesh Kammath, Kottram Sangeet Marar and Kavil Unnikrishnan. The writers are well-known Carnatic musicians


It all started with writer Gnani Sankaran asking me if I would address his weekend group. The only request was that I place the piano next to his well in the backyard. Soon after, I was placing the piano in unique settings — in a tent, on a cliff, on a boat and several other precarious positions. It soon became obvious to me that the location mattered little, as long as the music serves a purpose. That of bringing people together, a communion through sounds and silences, when words cease to provide meaning. The experience of carting pianos across India with Sharik Hasan taught me something else. The idea that the two of us belonged to different religious affiliations, and were playing together to drive home various points including the obvious, and the ‘law-and-order’ objections we faced made me dive a lot deeper. It made me rediscover ways in which music finds a way to triumph over it all.

A kudukka veena performer

Devoted to trumpet For instance, despite the strife faced by the local populace and the struggle to find normalcy, the Guca Music Festival in Serbia continues to happen, and people from all over the world flock there. Most interestingly, it is a festival devoted to the trumpet and its various playing styles. The irony that this instrument, associated most with declarations and victorious sounds, plays all over this little town in August every year (and has been the tradition since 1961) is noteworthy. Over half a million people attend every year. Miles Davis has played at the festival, among others. Or the hectic underground sounds in neighbouring Bosnia, which has become a hotbed of tremendous cultural and artistic development, magically merging traditional Bosnian music with popular sounds and contemporised creations. In coming weeks, I shall explore some of these acts and look at how they are shaping European popular music. A chance meeting with a Sri Lankan diplomat led me to discover the Oakdale Kigali Music School in Rwanda, and the stunning performance videos of the children learning the piano and guitar in one of the most sequestered and ravaged parts of the world. The Artist Mobility programme, run by the Music in Africa Foundation especially channels young African talent in some of the worst conflict-affected zones, and turns their energies towards peace, using music. What struck me about many of these musical initiatives is how hard people fight to keep the art alive. And how much they are willing to sacrifice to sustain and nurture it, with virtually little or no resources.

Beyond barriers Ali Farka Toure and pianist Sharik Hasan

It is extremely easy to get comfortable. Do the painfully obvious, listen to the most accessible music, and think we've heard it all. A nudge from the right quarters sometimes broadens learning and perspective. In Chennai, for instance, I am very used to even the most celebrated musicians ask ‘Neenga thaan andha pianist illa? Western music a? Beethoven theriyuma? Illa jazz-a (pronounced jawz)?’ in one breath, as though the worlds of 19th century classical music and the 20th century Deep South plantations somehow merged itself into this one behemoth called ‘Western Music’. It is the equivalent of merging Sudha Raghunathan with Susheela Raman and have Sharon Prabhakar's stylings as interludes in one sweep called ‘Indian music’. The other objective, therefore,

that this column will serve, hopefully, is teasing outthe different strands and strains of this strange world of Western music from across that part of the world. For this week, I would exhort readers to listen to Ali Farka Toure, the legendary African guitarist and songwriter who passed away in 2006. And of course, listen to the children of the Oakdale Kigali Music School. com/watch?v=qI_h49D1xo8 (Ali Farka Toure) com/watch?v=GacbCltg2bM (OKMS Students) The writer is a well-known pianist and founder of the Rhapsody music initiative for children that reaches over 60,000 children in South India.






Fluid vocabulary

Beyond definition Daksha Sheth (top) and scenes from ‘Sari’. Cover: Isha Sharvani in Shiva Shakti

attempt to be different, I go by my instincts. I keep my students, family and myself far away from comparisons and competitions. We are happy to be in our own space and work at a pace we are comfortable with.” Daksha is taking ‘Sari’ to Edinburgh. Though premiered in 2014, the production that traces the journey of a cotton seed from germination to weaving threads into unstitched drape, throbs with the vigour of improvisation. “No creative work can be static. It is an everchanging collage of sound, movement and imagery,” says Daksha, who with finesse combines the sacred and the profane, the classical and the raw.

Several levels Daksha’s productions, which have been staged across the world, work at several levels. ‘Sari’ begins in the weavers’ hands and culminates in a personal and sensuous experience for the wearer. While unravelling the joy of this journey, it also takes into its fold the distressing lives of traditional weavers, who today face threat from factory-made, massproduced fabrics. “When friend Rta Kapur Chisti, also the co-author of Saris — Tradition and Beyond suggested the idea of sari as a motif of choreography, I turned it down. But when she told me about the plight of the weavers and the urgent need to do something to save this heritage; I decided to take it up. This garment, like our dance, celebrates the body. It embodies both old-world



n the almost 50 years of her dance journey, Daksha Sheth has never quite ceased to be the wild child. Her audacious approach to art can be traced to her training days in Kathak under avant-garde Guru Kumudini Lakhia, from whose school have emerged the most experimental of artistes. Labelled a rebel, Daksha has been derided for her brave departures of style. Her innovative and bold use of the body has denied her a place in mainstream dance, yet she refuses to step back. Behind this steely will is a petite dancer, who is composed with an assertive but affable manner. As she talks, you hear a woman and an artiste, who has fought the odds with a fierce sense of integrity. “You need courage to stand alone and conviction to go against the norm,” says Daksha, taking time out from rehearsals as her dance company prepares for its debut performance at the prestigious Edinburgh festival next month. “There is no unpleasantness over not finding greater acceptance because this is the way I want to engage with the art. It has never been a desperate

Daksha Sheth takes ‘Sari’, which combines the grace of Kathak and the raw power of martial arts, to the Edinburgh Festival


Chitra Swaminathan DDDDDDDDDDDDD

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Dance forms are mere resources I draw from. I do not investigate every movement. There is no rigid technique

charm and contemporariness. And when I began to work, the stretch of imagination it lent itself to amazed me. The six-yard seemed far more liberating than constricting as is perceived.” The essence of Daksha’s movement philosophy is also to let go... let go of the urgency to achieve and instead be turned on by the sense of discovery. “It is then that you perform without fear of failure and develop an honest and open relationship with the art. Dance forms are mere resources I draw from. I do not investigate every movement. There is no rigid technique or vocabulary. It’s an intensely physical and personal approach. I encourage my dancers to first listen to their body before telling it what to do. I teach them to go beyond familiar limits and build an awareness of emotions.” Daksha has not consciously built her image of a contemporary artiste. “I am against branding of any sort. Dance is dissolving your selfconsciousness. From the day I met Devissaro in Delhi, where I moved to after spending almost 18 years pursuing Kathak in Ahmedabad, we have led a simple life but on our terms. Our shared creative vision gave us the strength to face challenges. When there is deep understanding nothing can bother you,” she explains. “I have never approached anybody for a performance opportunity or funding, even if it meant being out of work. I am content with the work and money my dance

company generates. Thankfully my husband, daughter Isha Sharvani and son Tao have stood by me and my beliefs. So also my small set of dedicated students.” Though Daskha’s productions are seen as modernist and abstract, the artiste argues that indigenous arts are at the heart of her work. She along with Devissaro and daughter Isha spent three years in Vrindavan, living in the temple complex and offering nrityaseva to Lord Krishna. During this time, she learnt the verses of the 16th century Ashtachap saint-poets, who were also great musicians. Daksha is the first female artiste to perform Chhau as a soloist, specialising in Mayurbhanj, a style of Chhau performed without masks. She also learnt the aerial and pole techniques of Mallakhamb, the martial art of Maharashtra, besides gaining expertise in Silambam. When she went to Kerala to train in Kalaripayattu, the couple decided to set up its home near the serene backwaters. “We built our housecum-studio, brick by brick, on a piece of barren land by lake Vellayani on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. We created a mini-forest by planting about 500 trees. My works birth in the lap of Nature. In fact, ‘Sarpagati’ was inspired by the snakes that slither around our house,” says Daksha. She’s truly a wild child!

Life with Daksha An Australian-born musician and photographer, Devissaro is the technical director and music composer for Daksha Sheth Dance Company productions. He met Daksha while studying Dhrupad (he also learnt to play the bansuri and pakhawaj) with the Dagar family in Delhi. Daksha had moved to Delhi, primarily to learn Mayurbhanj Chhau and to further her Kathak training under Pt. Birju Maharaj. “We often bumped into each other at concerts and discovered we had similar interests. The decision to leave her home in Ahmedabad to strike out on her own in Delhi, opened up a whole new world for Daksha. But many people thought that she was crazy to be pursuing Chhau. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stupid girl married a long-haired westerner, whose only possession was a bicycle; a wanderer with no career or financial prospects. And to top it all, the girl was soon pregnant. It all meant only one thing: end of her career. Actually, it was the beginning of a new career for both of us. Daksha’s ‘mistakes’ marked the beginning of a shared life of adventure, of travelling off the beaten path, embracing the unknown and unexpected.” However, living in Delhi while trying to create new and exciting dance works was proving to be quite a challenge for the couple. The exorbitant rents meant the bulk of their time was spent paying for accommodation. The two decided to move to a rural area to focus on their creative work and to let their children grow up in healthy environs. Also Daksha’s early dance experiments outraged classical doyens and she was banned from performing in any of Kathak Kendra’s festivals. “The opposition inspired her to chart a new course. And as they say, she has not looked back since.”









Brimming with joy

Keeping the tradition alive

Vocalist and dancer Sumitra Nitin credits her gurus and family for her success

In Delhi for a rare performance, wellknown Kabuki artiste, Onoe Kikunosuke V, throws light on finer nuances of the art form, its similarities with Kathakali and his plans to stage Mahabharat in Kabuki


er parents were passionate about classical music and dance and they noticed the talent of their child at a very tender age and thus began the child’s musical lessons with Trivandrum R.S. Mani, the music teacher who would come home to teach her mother. Soon the child and her sibling followed their mother’s passion for dance to start learning from the famous dancer Kamala. The child, thus, started learning Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam from the age of five. Her father would take her to music concerts while her mother to dance performances. This is the story of Sumitra Nitin, an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and a Bharatanatyam dancer. “This exposure to both music and dance performances has been crucial to my becoming a musician and a dancer,” says the Bengaluru-based artist was recently in the Capital for a music performance. Besides, R.S. Mani, Sumitra learnt music from her grandmother, the famous musician Ananthalakshmi Sadagopan, Neelakanta Iyer, noted violinist T. Rukmini, Bombay S. Ramachandran and renowned Guru Neela Ramgopal. Within a few years of her joining dance, Sumitra’s teacher Kamala left the country and she continued her dance training under S.K. Kameswaran and soon came under the tutelage of Guru Rhadha, sister of Kamala and a foremost exponent of the ‘Vazhuvoor’ style of Bharatanatyam. Sumitra acknowledges the support she received from her gurus and family members in becoming an accomplished musician and a dancer.

Advantageous for dancers Do dancers get mileage if they have knowledge in music? Sumitra feels there is a great advantage for a dancer to have knowledge of music and is able to sing. She explains that last year she had premiered her dance production “Paalaya Jataadhara” and the unique feature of the production was she had sung and performed the nattuvangam in the recorded music track, composed music where necessary, done the choreography and also performed the dance along with her students. “All this would not have been possible without an advanced level of knowledge of music,” avers Sumitra. Besides performances for over three decades, Sumitra has researched and delivered multi-media presentation on topics like “Music of Bharatanatyam”, “The Eternal Truths of the Veerashaivas: Vachanas of 12th Century Karnataka”, “Haridasas — Their Contribution to Sangita and Kannada Literature” and “Harnessing the Power of the Varnam”. She has been teaching Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam in her dance and music school Natyasruti in Bengaluru for over more than a decade now. Recalling her schedule in July this year, Sumitra says that after celebrating her music school anniversary at Bengaluru, she rushed to Chennai to give a dance performance in the 75th birthday celebrations of her dance Guru Rhadha, came back to Bengaluru to celebrate her dance school anniversary and went back to Chennai to sing for her music Guru Neela Ramgopal's Parampara series. She feels happy that she could perform and pay her tributes to her Gurus in both the fields and while she was giving her vocal concert, both the Gurus were seated in the first row. “And my cup of joy was full,” she says before signing off.


A teacher performer Sumitra Nitin




he Indo-Japanese cultural ties go back a long way. Recently, the Japanese Embassy hosted a traditional dance performance of two dance genres — Kabuki and Kathakali. So similar yet so different, they met on a common platform in New Delhi. Like Kathakali in India, Kabuki, with gorgeous costumes, stunning makeup and powerful dramas, has been appreciated as the ultimate theatrical art form in Japan. Onnagata is a female role played by a male actor, which is one of the most remarkable features of Kabuki. It is not just an imitation of real women, but it is a special theatrical creation based on artistic convention that has developed over hundreds of years. In an interview, conducted with the help of a translator, Kabuki’s top star Onoe Kikunosuke V, shared his interest in Indian classical dance and his eagerness to promote his own dance style in India as part of cultural exchange. Excerpts: How do you feel performing in India for the first time? I feel extremely honoured to be in India. As I was rehearsing in the garden of the Embassy, it suddenly dawned on me that the cultural ties which were bound years ago have also grown with time, strong and friendly. I’m happy Indians are accepting and respecting Japanese culture. I know the Japanese technology has made its way into India and historically Buddhism had come to Japan from India and since then there was this unseen bond of amity. Is this your first exposure to Kathakali? What are the similarities between the two dance forms Not exactly. I have viewed it on screen earlier but yes, I’ve seen it live only now. It is a very powerful dance where the eyes, music and percussion play a major role and an impressive one at that. I think any art form is an offering to God. In Kabuki too, this aspect does figure; beyond this I didn’t find any commonality. We are told you would be doing Mahabharat in Kabuki sometime in October... I’m enthralled by the story of gods and humans. It took me 10 years to study the story and three years to adapt and mould it to Kabuki. It will be staged in October in Tokyo. I plan to visit temples in my next trip to India and learn from Hindu priests the mode of praying and doing the aarti because my role would be that of Karan and to live in this character I must imbibe certain Indianess. Believe me, I am enamoured by the

Master of theatrical art Onoe Kikunosuke V; in performance * V. V. KRISHNAN

Ganges...I am seeing it for the first time! (smiles) Playing a female character may not be a healthy outcome for a young man... True, and lot of young boys who have constantly played female roles almost live the life of a female. But for me, it has been a heritage from my grandfather to my father and to me. We always switch roles — male and female (“Tachiyaku” and “Onnagata”) — and hence live a normal life. What are the challenges you face in imparting your traditional arts and culture to the youth? The youth have moved away from traditional values. It’s very unfortunate but that is the truth. Earlier if not in cities, many of our folk and traditional art form flourished in smaller neighbourhoods; even that is dwindling now. It is my view that tra-

dition has to be inculcated in school curriculum. Today schools encourage hip-hop learning instead of Japanese traditional song and dance. What future do you envisage for Kabuki? Any tradition has to evolve with time, incorporate the current aspects while retaining its originality. I ensure that even the first-timers enjoy and experience my performances by vesting them with relevance to the present times and audiences. For instance, I have adapted Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ to Kabuki and staged it in London in 2009. I look forward to taking Kabuki world over. In the West, we have made a headway. In India, Kabuki can be taught to dancers and at dance institutes through cultural exchange dance workshops in order to make a presence on Indian dance scenario.


Kabuki meets Kathakali It was an evening of dance across two nations. Japan’s Kabuki, a solo performance took the audience on an aesthetic trip with its subtle languorous music by Hirokazu Fujii and Roshu Kawase, not to mention the gliding, graceful, emotive dance by Onoe Kikunosuke. Essaying the Onnagato with convincing looks in facial make-up, hair-do, kimono et al, the artiste looked every inch the elegant girl who is in love and is extremely devoted too, as she is the daughter (Kiyohime) of a monk (Achin). The foldable white screen that stretches across the width of the stage served to enhance the emotive element as well as convey the purity of the heroine’s love as she mimes to the Juita (folk) music and song. With romance in the air, the girl (Onoe) glides graciously on to the stage from within the audience (sidewalk of the auditorium) in measured footsteps dancing and gesticulating as she walks up to the stage. The impersonation apart, every move of the facial muscle or the demeanour is so convincing that it is impossible for a stranger to believe it is a male doing the role! This piece, “Kane Ga Misaki”, the folk version of the Kabuki masterpiece, “Kyo Kanoko Musume Dojoji” ( Legend of the monk) presented aesthetic subtlety at its best. In contrast, we had a scene from Bhagavat Dhut’s “Duryodhana Vadham” (Mahabharat) in Kathakali style where Lord Krishna arrives as an envoy of peace in the court of Kaurava prince Duryodhan who is flanked by his brother Dushasana to plead on behalf of Pandavas for their share of the kingdom. The pleading goes into a countdown from proposing for half the kingdom to just five villages and finally at least one house — all proposals outrightly vetoed by Duryodhan. The incensed brothers try to tie down the emissary on which Krishna emerges in his cosmic form (virat roop) throwing them into a stupor. The three actors walk out of the stage with declaration of war by the Kaurava prince. The painted faces and the fact that only males essay roles in the dance drama are the only similarities with Kabuki. The impressive showwas by the International Centre for Kathakali in Delhi. TAKASHI KATO



Venkatesan Srikanth






Soaked in ragas The Malhar Festival in Kolkata drenched the audience with soulful recitals

Eyeing greater heights Trina Roy in performance

The inheritor Trina Roy’s mastery in Kathak was on show at an event in Kolkata Tapati Chowdurie DDDDDDDDDDDDD


ailal Academy of Music in its presentation “Kalakar” provided an opportunity to the people of Kolkata to get a brief glimpse into the beauty of the style of Kathak of Yogendraji, whose mantle was carefully passed on to Kathaka Jai Lal. Kathaka Jai Lal was introduced to this form of Kathak by his father Chunilal Misra and his uncle Pt. Durga Prasad. They were well known in this genre, which in popular parlance is known as the Jaipur Gharana Kathak. By a lucky chance of fate, Jai Lal had spent the last three years of his life as a teacher in Bani Vidya Bithi in Calcutta. Trina Roy, his great-grand daughter, is the present generation kathaka of his style. In the memory of his grandfather Nrityacharya Ram Gopal Misra, who made Calcutta his home, she offered an evening of Kathak, presenting nuances of the gharana. Trina commenced her performance with Shiv Vandana, “Hara Hara Hara Shiva Shankara” in ektaal, with its characteristic pattern of bols or theka. And then moved onto Taal Teental where she performed some unique bols of Jaipur Gharana. She concluded vilambit teental with a very old footwork “Takite takite tigdhadigdig tigdhadigdig taka” by late Pt. Jai Lal and also late Nrityacharya Pt. Ramgopal Misra. Then she moved on to Taal Dhamaar which is typically played in the pakhawaj. It consists of 14 beats grouped asymmetrically which is quite challenging for a dancer. Trina proved herself as a fit repository of her inherited style. So much about her adeptness at pure dance. In abhinaya she chose from a Kajri. It being the monsoon season, this semi-classical song chosen for abhinaya was significant. “Saawan ki Ritu aayee sajaniya, pritam Ghar nahi aaye” (The rainy season has arrived, but my lover hasn’t). The rainy season in Indian aesthetics has always been the harbinger of romantic emotions; emotions of yearning by poets from the Kalidasa to Rabindranath Tagore. The dancer was expressively emotive in spelling out her feelings of missing her loved one She concluded her performance with Drut Teental followed by Dhadan which is a very old composition of tabla. The tabla accompaniment bore a special significance in this performance. Pandit Rajkumar, a resident of London and a percussionist of the gharana, accompanied Trina in her recital. The bolbanis he played on the tabla were pure and clear and half of Trina’s success was because of Pandit Rajkumar’s playing of the tabla. It was all in the family, because Bidushi Kajal Misra, Trina’s mother, was reciting the bols for her. Trina, armed with the technique of her gharana, has the power to emote and all the qualities of becoming an excellent ambassador of Kathak. She has a great responsibility to fulfil as the future of her gharana. Only time can tell how best she will perform her great task.

In full flow Ranjani and Gayatri: (below) Alick Sengupta Meena Banerjee DDDDDDDDDDDDD


t is commonly claimed that Indian classical musicians have been treating every raga as a living deity since ages. But this is an era plagued by aggressive professionalism that, in the name of virtuosity, coerces the persona of ragas. Very rarely one gets to experience a portrayal that rises above mere “taiyari” and explores the depth of emotions that actually lifts a raga to a higher plane where it ceases to be just a combination of notes of a scale; but where each note reflects the glowing character of the chosen raga whose definition “ranjayate iti raagah” demands the coloration of minds of both — the artiste and his listeners. One such rare opportunity was provided by the Malhar Festival organized by ITC Sangeet Research Academy at GD Birla

Sabhagar recently. It was sheer bliss to listen to Miyan Malhar — as portrayed by erudite vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, the final artiste of the fest. The raga emerged almost like an audiovisual where, empirically, one could see the softly rolling sea-waves transforming into heavy, rain-bearing clouds, gently engulfing the sky and again retuning on earth showering the blessings of the residing deity of the bandish, as invoked by Adarang in in his immortal “Karim Naam Tero”. As interpreted by the vocalist, the reposeful elasticity of meend-laden melody a la Indore-Kirana badhat was very different from her own school; but it portrayed the majestic monsoon-mood while the lyrics invoked His blessings! Fully aware of the fact that the same raga with the same bandish had been explored by Waseem Ahmed Khan, before commencing her recital Ashwini ji very humbly sought the permission of the opening artiste of this two-day festival, who sang it with the usual verve of his Agra gharana style. After this vilambit tilwada, she switched over to medium paced Jhap taal and fast Teen taal compositions in a rare raga Kedar Malhar that blended the key phrases of both Kedar and Malhar beautifully. The progression very soon became denser and varied in texture with cascading taans.

Unique composition She followed it up with a unique composition set to a tala-cycle of seven and a half beats in raga Prateeksha

(Bhoopeshwari to some). The edge-of-the-seat excitement of every approach to the sam in each cycle was thrilling. Mere dedication to taalim is no guarantee of yielding such finely crafted music; adding to it is a constant evolution. This modesty-packed scholarly culmination along with the haunting commencement was superbly accompanied by her disciple Maitreyi Dadarkar (tanpura and vocals), Sanjay Adhikary (tabla) and Rupashree Bhattacharya (harmonium). Essentially focused on SRA’s home-grown virtuosos, the festival also invited renowned Carnatic vocalistduo Ranjani and Gayatri. In the final slot of the first evening, they began with a rare composition in raga Gaud Malhar invoking the blessings of Goddess Chamundeshwari and followed it up with a thrilling ragam-taanan-pallavi in raga Charukesi. The elaborate alpana, rich with kalpanaswaras that showed preference for long, steady, peaceful perch on vital notes a la Hindustani music, was very impressive; so was the emotive violin accompaniment by L. Ramakrishnan. The tanam incorporated graha-bhed with some delicate thumri-like inflexions thrown in.

Season’s spirit Though, according to the artistes, Carnatic music does not possess monsoon-dedicated ragas, they infused the season’s spirit with the help of ragamalika and the kriti “Varshini Shreevarshini”, set to Mishra jati Jhampa taal. In the neraval their improvisation

on “Ananda Varshay” and “Amritavarshini” came like prayers steeped in devotion while the sargam in ragas like Meghranjani, Abhogi, Kalawati added rainbow-like hues of melody. Delhi Sairam’s spirited accompaniment and tani added that extra zing which left the listeners in raptures. The young SRA-brigade was not lagging behind either. Alick Sengupta, another vocalist-scholar from the Academy, showed delightful signs of his individuality by emerging out of the shadows of his Guru Ulhas Kashalkar. Ably supported by veteran harmonium expert Jyoti Goho, sarangi exponent Sarwar Hussain and tabla virtuoso Sandip Ghosh, his Gaud Malhar, replete with “Kahe Ho” and “Balma Bahar Aayi”, had all the characteristics of Gwalior School; but the rhythmic patterns and pukars had the tell-tale impression of Ustad Amir Khan; and yet he blended both beautifully. Among the two instrumentalists, Abir Hossain, a musician-tutor with the Academy, has already carved a niche for himself as a brilliant sarod exponent. His portrayal of raga Megh did full justice to this majestic monsoon melody by aesthetically balancing the instrumentalism and vocalism with well measured emotions and skillshow. The sensitive tabla of Sandip Ghosh played a vital role in this; so was Ashoke Mukherjee’s tabla while offering support to young scholar Paramananda Roy, a promising flautist who offered a melodious raga Surdasi Malhar.









Wonder Women, a millennium ago In the Chola era, women were known for their valour and occupied strategic administrative positions Devi Yashodaran

sold her property without her knowledge. The share of women named in inscriptions peaked in the Rajaraja and Rajendra Chola periods, when the Cholas were at the height of their power. The stable, wealthy period of the Chola empire was when women had the greatest financial independence. When hard times set in, evidence points to these privileges being taken away. It was not all rosy. This was a patriarchal, feudal society that still saw women in the context of their relationships with men, and widows were marginalised. Low status women were more like property, and could be exchanged by men. These women were often not treated



istorical fiction was a genre I stumbled upon writing, not something I had planned. I have always had a love for history, and my reading of Sangam literature led me to essays on the Chola empire, and their naval expeditions. I started making margin notes in these books (my books are dogeared and filled with notes, despite my mother’s protests), and these notes grew into a novel. Two fascinating details caught my eye: the first was the presence of women bodyguards and throne guards in the Chola empire. The second was the many people from foreign lands who had settled in the Chola ports, after having arrived for trade — people whom the locals called Yavanas. Reading these led me to my heroine Aremis — a Greek woman who serves as a guard to Rajendra Chola. She came to me almost fully imagined, as if she’d been waiting for me to wake her up.

Multitude of roles While it is only recently that warships of the Indian Navy have introduced separate living facilities for women officers, the Cholas, a massive naval power, had a warrior culture that included women in a multitude of roles. The Chola king’s retinue included the padimagalir — women bodyguards who protected and attended to the king. They accompanied him while he was camping in wartime, guarding him against potential ambushes. These women were celebrated for their valour, as warriors ready to lay down their lives for the king. They were supported by additional women guards in the palaces and the living quarters. These women were trained for fighting from a young age, and well-armed to protect the royalty. The warrior Chola culture was one that celebrated bravery in both men and women — women who, after losing their fathers and husbands to war, would send their sons to the same battlefield, ready to sacrifice them as well for the cause of the kingdom. Courage was one of the foremost virtues to possess for the Cholas. A verse describes a king’s skin as covered with “handsome scars” (from battle) “that have grown together as if he were a tree with its bark stripped for use in curing.” Poems, stories and inscriptions transport us into the lives of the Chola women. We find that they were able to exercise freedom in some areas — they could marry for love, for instance, with poems speaking of women sneaking off to see their lovers when their mother’s attention is elsewhere, and pining for lovers. Women were represented in a variety of work roles besides serving as bodyguards. There are mentions of women in powerful functions in the kingdom, working as advisors and ambassadors — the poem Perum kathai speaks of ‘clever women’ act-


The Chola king’s retinue included padimagalir — women bodyguards, who protected and attended to the king. They accompanied him while he was camping in wartime, guarding him against potential ambushes

Chola icon The temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, capital during the reign of Rajendra Chola *

ing as peacemakers between kingdoms. One of the biggest symbols of a person’s social status is the wealth they personally own. The ‘daughters of god,’ the Devanar Makkal or temple women, had their names inscribed in temples for donations received in their names, and inscriptions suggest that Chola women had at least some control over the resources of their households. One inscription documents a noble woman’s temple gift of “10 kalanju of gold to Mahadevar… for one twilight lamp and one pot of river water.” Chola temples and ports had ‘twilight lamps’ that were lit throughout

kindly, even while the queens had their likenesses carved in temples in the form of goddesses — slender and elegant, royal and divine. We imagine that over time, human history arcs towards greater social justice and rights. But history, in truth, is more circular. Rights are gained, and then lost. A thousand years ago, Indian women in some parts of the country had privileges that they lacked even in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were viewed as portraits in courage, celebrated and visible right next to the king as his fierce protectors. Wonder Woman, it turns out, is not a new kind of superhero. Not in India, at any rate.

the night; the donations kept these lamps burning. Female donors included the wives of merchants and landowners, as well as women from the royal family. The presence of donors beyond the queens suggest that female power existed throughout Chola society. Women were witnesses and signatories for land grants to temples, as well as land transactions. Property, when owned by the woman, could not be spent by her husband without her permission – temple inscriptions refer to cases where husbands were fined and asked to repay the wife for having

Fact meets fiction Geetha Venkataramanan DDDDDDDDDDDDD

Trained to be an engineer, Devi Yashodaran did not plan her rendezvous with history. Author of Empire, her first novel, she says that she stumbled upon it. “I was not a great fan of the subject in school,” she laughs. Raised in Dubai, Devi came to India to be completely absorbed by its milieu. She was the speech writer for Infosys Chairman R. Narayana Murthy. Working on Imagining India, Nandan Nilekani’s book, Devi read Partha Chatterjee, Shashi Joshi, Christophe Jaffrelot and others. She found Indian history amazing and Chola history fascinating. Sangam poetry mesmerised her.

“Raja Raja Chola is hailed as the icon of the Chola dynasty. He was surely a great king but Rajendra Chola was no less,” says Devi, who chose his period as the hub of her creation. “The Chola era is known as the golden period for art and architecture. But the regime was advanced on other fronts too. Women were respected and given pride of place at home and state administration. So much so that the woman of today could envy her. Trade flourished during that time, BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

Devi’s debut novel Empire will hit the stands on August 31

bringing in communities from across the seas. This included Greeks. I wanted to capture all of this — through the lens of a migrant,” she explains. Migrant? “Coming to India, I felt like one, an outsider. The way Aremis, the valorous Greek girl of my novel feels,” says Devi. The story is told by two persons — Anantha, an insider, close to the ruler and Aremis — the outsider. Is it a love story? “Well, the parallel stories intertwine,” says Devi, who took two years to complete the book and this included research. “This is my debut novel and I’m nervous,” admits Devi. A Juggernaut release, Empire will be available at book stores and on Kindle by August 31.







Telling Voices

Poetry, aphorisms or just little nuggets?

Hindi Belt

Bringing home the cinematic world Kunwar Narain’s writings in “Lekhak ka Cinema” underscore that literary figures are primarily responsible for the birth and growth of serious film criticism in Hindi Kuldeep Kumar

In her book “300 arguments”, author Sarah Manguso has penned down whims of the human mind


Sudhamahi Regunathan



unwar Narain, Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi and recipient of the Jnanpith Award, is one of the most respected poets in Hindi. For some time, he has been battling for life in an ICU room where he has been lying in coma. His admirers hope that his indefatigable will power will pull him out of this illness and he will be able to celebrate his 90th birthday on September 19 with his family and friends. As he says in the opening lines of one of his poems: “If I return this time, I will return better.” Just a few days ago, a short article by Hindi poet-critic Vishnu Khare, who is wellknown for his passion for films and film music and has written extensively on both, drew my attention to the fact that Kunwar Narain has been regularly writing on world cinema for many decades and Rajkamal Prakashan has brought out a collection of his writings just a few months ago. Titled “Lekhak ka Cinema” (A Writer’s Cinema) and edited by Geet Chaturvedi, the book is, as Khare aptly describes it, a veritable “pocket encyclopaedia” of world cinema. It also demonstrates the kind of wonders that can happen when creative writers attempt to critically appreciate an art form that demands a different kind of artistic creativity and wherewithal.

World cinema The book offers a panoramic view as well as a critical analysis of world cinema since Kunwar Narain has attended national as well as international film festivals regularly for several decades. Films of all the important directors including François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Costa-Gavras, Bertrand Tav-


Critical eye Kunwar Narain

ernier, Andrei Tarkovsky, Federico Fellini, Miklós Janscó, Ingmar Bergman, Andrzej Wajda, Akira Kurosawa, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray have been discussed, analysed and evaluated in the articles collected in this volume.

Lasting friendship When Satyajit Ray was making “Shatranj ke Khiladi”, he struck an abiding friendship with Narain, a quintessential Lakhnavi, and roamed around in the lanes of Lucknow in his company to savour the sounds and smells of the city. However, when Narain wrote on the film, he did not spare the great film director as he had, in Narain’s view, fiddled with the literary intention of Premchand and concentrated more on showing the culture of the city in all its splendour, that too with a tinge of romantic attachment. Yet, the bond between the poet and the filmmaker was so strong that just three months before his death, Ray wrote him a poignant letter in which he said, “…I have told my cardiologist that I need no more strength than to make one film every year. I already have a screenplay ready which I hope to film as soon

as I have recovered my strength…” Incidentally, it is the poets and fiction writers who are primarily responsible for the birth and growth of serious film criticism in Hindi. In 1965, newsweekly ‘Dinman’ was launched with top Hindi writer Sachchidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’ as its editor. ‘Agyeya’ brought together a galaxy of famous writers in its editorial team. They included Raghuvir Sahay, Shrikant Verma, Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena and Manohar Shyam Joshi. Soon, the magazine acquired such a great reputation for serious journalism that remains unrivalled till today. ‘Dinman’ was the first modern magazine that offered serious reviews of Hindi and foreign films, art exhibitions, books and theatre. In 1969, ‘Agyeya’ handed over the baton to Raghuvir Sahay who edited the magazine with great distinction until 1982. It was he who inspired Netra Singh Rawat — and later poets Vinod Bharadwaj and Prayag Shukla, who had also joined the editorial staff, to write on films. At times, Sahay himself would write film reviews or interview film directors along with his colleagues. While Bharadwaj later made a name

for himself both as a film and art critic, Shukla devoted himself mainly to art criticism and emerged as the foremost art critic in Hindi. Rawat, on his part, was primarily responsible for creating a language of film criticism and introducing and establishing Ritwik Ghatak in Hindi. Vani Prakashan brought out a collection of Vinod Bharadwaj’s writings on cinema titled “Cinema: Kal, Aaj, Kal” (Cinema: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) in 2006 and even a cursory look at its contents is enough to show how rich film criticism in Hindi has become. Netra Singh Rawat’s contribution was celebrated by Madhya Pradesh Film Development Corporation in 1992 when its magazine ‘Patkatha’ published a special commemorative number on him that contained his writings. In 1993, the MPFDC brought out a collection of articles edited by Vinod Bharadwaj. Titled “Cinema Ek Samajh” (Cinema: An Understanding), the book contained interviews and articles written by Kunwar Narain, Raghuvir Sahay, Prayag Shukla, Mangalesh Dabral, Vinod Bharadwaj, Netra Singh Rawat, Vishnu Khare and Vijay Mohan Singh, all of whom happened to be wellknown poets and fiction writers. If one wants to know about the developments that were taking place in the Indian and world cinema in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and to read high-quality appreciation of films of this era, these publications are a compulsory reading. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

The writer is a senior literary critic


ndeed there are those who wrote their Magnum Opus and left them in our heads for all literary quotes and situational similies. But here is a poet/writer who has come out with a book called “300 arguments”. It is but 90 pages long and has short sentences...are they aphorisms or is that poetry? Answers Sarah Manguso, the author, “Well, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with someone who called any of these poetry. I would disagree with those who called them fragments, though. That's something I am adamant about. These are not broken pieces of something that was once, in some earlier form, whole. Each of the arguments is complete in itself.” As Manguso reads from her book, you know what she means. She writes, “There truly are two kinds of people — you and everyone else. The best form isn't always the most efficient form. I'm seldom bored at home, but I'm often bored while travelling. At home, where my daily routine is automatic enough that I can almost ignore it, I'm free to think about what I want.” Now it may be easier to understand why the experience of reading her book is described as, “ you’ve jumped into someone’s mind”. Her few lines on motherhood take the cake, “I used to pursue the usual things — sex, drugs, rough neighbourhoods — in order to enjoy the feeling of wasting my life, of tempting danger. Motherhood has finally satisfied that hunger. It's a self-obliteration that never stops and that no one notices.” Manguso says her book is actually an outcome of all the experiences she has faced. They give a micro view of what she experienced, a worry, an anxiety, something she could not stop thinking about.

Obliteration of self Like about motherhood she says, “Well, motherhood — I mean is, in a way, the most punk rock thing you can do because it involves this obliteration of the self. I mean, it really is like walking into another room that has a one-way door and you can't get into it in any other way. And I still feel I haven't found a satisfying way to really write about it so that anyone who isn't a mother doesn't just roll her eyes and think, great, here's some more sanctimonious sentimentality about motherhood, which is exactly how I probably would have heard much of the writing that I have since done on motherhood. So that's something that's still worrying me, that's still eating at me.” If you are a mother you surely will find a chuckle in your throat as you read her lines above. Even if you are not a mother, maybe a father or maybe no parent at all, here is another page from Sarah Manguso’s book that rings so true. “Perfect happiness is the privilege of deciding when things end. But then you have to find a new happiness.” So much for the whims of the human mind and the art of penning them down.










Blast From The Past

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Simply profound! In the Golden Age of Hindi cinema, Shakeel Badayuni stood out for painting many shades of romance Deepak Mahaan

(poets) who had equal command over Hindi and Urdu that allowed him to cater with ease to our finest pluralistic traditions.



indi film industry’s lyric writers have to be saluted for giving words to the most memorable moments of our lives. The verses of Sahir Ludhianvi, Shailendra and Shakeel Badayuni covered a wide range of subjects and emotions. It is indeed difficult to pick anyone as a favourite since all three provided us rare, incredible insights in to life’s intricate happenings. But as we pay tribute to Shakeel Badayuni, whose birth centenary is still being celebrated by his fans, one has to confess that Shakeel was a bit different since he didn’t “colour” his muse whereby his verses were unalloyed pieces of his feelings. From romance to grief, Shakeel poured forth what he felt and though his other two colleagues also created sublime poetry, they were on occasions guilty of painting their “perspectives” upon their verses! For sheer literary enchantment, Shakeel Badayuni provides the ideal combination of beauty, romance and pathos in most easy to remember lines. Listen to his vast repertoire and you’d agree that his poetry may be uncomplicated but is not devoid of profound thought. Say when a woman’s beauty has ever

Transcending emotions Shakeel Badayuni

been complimented better than “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho” (“Chaudhvin Ka Chand”) or “Jaane Bahaar Husn Tera Bemisal Hai” (“Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya”). And with “Zindagi Dene Waale Sun” (“Dil-e-Nadaan”), he made us cry as easily since he had the gift to mould ordinary, everyday words into lofty contemplations that suited all moods and occasions. Songs from “Mela”, “Mother India”, “Baiju Bawra”, “Gunga Jamuna”, Mughal-e-Azam”, “Kohinoor”, “Mere Mehboob”, “Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam”, “Gharana”, “Phool aur Pathar”, “Do Badan” and many other are in a class of their own for simplifying weighty ideas in easiest of terms. Shakeel’s songs enchant yet satisfy our deeper

yearnings and the simplicity of verses, without taking away the gravity of reflection, makes them extremely hummable for “common singers”! A major contributor to Naushad’s success, Shakeel also forged fruitful partnerships with Ghulam Mohammed, Ravi and Hemant Kumar that prove versatility of his muse. The charm of “Bees Saal Baad” owes much to his “Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil”, depicting how he plucked simple words to weave effective lines and as you rewind to its stanza “Na Main Sapna Hun Naa Koi Raaz Hun, Ek Dard Bhari Awaaz Hun”, it exhibits how his uncomplicated verses could enhance nuances and qualities of a story. He was one of the few “shayaars”

Wholesome gems It is this dexterity that gave us wholesome gems like “Dukh Bhare Din Beete Re Bhaiya” or “Gaadiwale Gaadi Dheere Haank Re” (“Mother India”) or “Madhuban Main Raadhika Naache Re” (“Kohinoor”) that drip with the fragrance of our secular heritage without compromising on Hindi grammar. If “Baiju Bawra” remains an all time musical classic, it is thanks to Shakeel’s finely crafted poetry that showcases “Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj” and “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” as the finest bhajans of all time; not just our film screen but also of Hindi literature. From literary syntax to devotion, these supremely endearing bhajans rate second to none of any of the illustrious poets of Bhakti movement. A graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, Shakeel was a much applauded poet of the era when poets read their verses on stage before large audiences. That’s why this poet from Badayun was equally gratifying in his non film nazms and ghazals that people adore till date. While some like “Ae Mohabbat Tere


Timeless hits Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki (Dulari) Tu Ganga Ki Mauj Mein (Baiju Bawra) Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (Mughl-e-Azam) Ye Zindagi Ke Mele (Mela) Na Jaao Sainyyan (Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam) Bhanwra Bada Naadaan Hai (Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam) O Door Ke Musafir (Uran Khatola) Mujhe Duniya Waalon Sharaabi Na Samjho (Leader) Bhari Duniya Mein Aakhir Dil Ko Samjhaane (Do Badan) Mere Mehboob Tujhe (Mere Mehboob) DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Anjaam Pe Rona Aaya” and “Mere Hum Nafas Mere Ham Nava” have been rendered immortal by Begum Akhtar, his poetry collections like “Shabistaan”, “Dharti Ko Akash Pukare” and “Raanaayian” still delight enthusiasts of pristine Urdu poetry. One of the badminton playing quartet along with Naushad, Mohammed Rafi and Dilip Kumar, this three time consecutive Filmfare award winner died young, leaving us longing for more.

Quick Five

Content over glamour Anya Singh on why she chose ‘Qaidi Band’ as her debut film Atif Khan DDDDDDDDDDDDD



or Delhi girl Anya Singh, getting into Bollywood was an ambition that she always nurtured. So when Anya, an alumnus of Delhi University’s Sri Venkateswara College, was spotted by casting director Shanoo Sharma at a coffee shop, it paved her way for audition for the lead actress of “Qaidi Band”. She is playing a prisoner who becomes a part of the jail band and finds her freedom through music. She opens up on the lessons she learnt from director Habib Faisal and how she sees competition for herself. Excerpts: How did you react when you learnt that your role

was not a glamorous one? I am glad that assessment will be on the basis of my performance rather than glamour quotient. Females are being portrayed more than just an object of desire; in fact some films are running completely on their worth. I am happy that I am entering the industry at a time when Bollywood is emphasising on content rather than glamour. Earlier you could never have imagined that films like ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Pink’ or ‘Udta Punjab’, dealing with current issues, could be made. Was film music always part of your growing up years? The love for musicals comes naturally to me but my debut does not allow me to

explore this side of Bollywood. I used to love the energy of Madhuri Dixit and Kajol and I always wanted to work as a quintessential Bollywood heroine who dances on Bollywood numbers. I grew up listening to the tune of Anu Malik’s songs like ‘Tan Tana Tan Tan Tan Taara’ and danced on foot tapping songs of ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’. When I was told by Habib sir that there will not be any usual song and dance, I was very disappointed but at the same time I understood that it is the demand of the story. Share your experience of working with director Habib Faisal The pain in the eyes of a prisoner can only be felt and not seen. It was very tough to bring that on the screen as we

never went to any jail but Habib sir’s research and inputs made us ready for that. I am elated working with Habib Faisal in my career’s starting point. He is an acting school who teaches acting through emoting and having conversations. He didn’t want us to watch films on this topic because subconsciously we would have started imitating them. His female characters are almost at par with his male protagonists and he deals with issues which are relatable . What kind of roles would you prefer? I do not have a particular genre in mind but dedication will pave my future course. For a creative person, it is important to keep experimenting which can enhance his or her skills. Lot of new faces are entering the industry.

Mind matters Anya Singh * ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

Every actor offers something new or exciting aspect of his personality. I want to work with all of them especially Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Did Aadar Jain’s help you as a co-actor?

I actually came on board before him but he helped me a lot on the sets as he had already assisted in a film and came from an acting school. Whenever I felt confused, I could reach out to him.

friday O august 25, 2017


‘No help for rape victims’

Refugee shot dead

Testing the truths

Jacqueline’s rule

Indira Jaising talks about the ‘failure of the medical profession’ in helping rape victims Page 2

A 25-year-old Rohingya refugee was allegedly shot dead at a south-west Delhi eatery Page 3

Seasoned theatre artist Neelam Mansingh completes her trilogy of plays on Partition Page 4

The actor chats about playing an adventure junkie and how she manages to keep cool Page 4



Hiring of govt school teachers put on hold Move instils hope among guest staff; officials seeking opinion on weightage policy

BJP claims credit for L-G decision

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

PWD for fewer dharnas outside CM’s residence NEW DELHI

The Public Works Department (PWD) had last Saturday asked the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the local police to consider restrict dharnas and agitations outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here. A written communication to the Deputy Commissioner of the North DMC and the DCP, north district, had requested to take up the matter. CITY



Court refuses to hear case against CM NEW DELHI

A Delhi court has refused to hear a suit filed by Delhi State executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Ankit Bhardwaj against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh seeking nominal damages of ₹1. CITY A PAGE 3 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

‘Finish probe against Akademi secy in 4 weeks’ NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to ensure that the CBI probe into alleged financial irregularities by a suspended Lalit Kala Akademi secretary is completed in four weeks, saying it is not a “10- year Plan”. CITY A PAGE 3 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

In last-minute relief to about 17,000 guest teachers working in Delhi government schools, the recruitment process for permanent teaching jobs that was supposed to start on Friday was put on hold by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) on Thursday. This comes after the Aam Aadmi Party government objected to the DSSSB advertising about 9,000 jobs on August 7 as the policy for giving preference or credit to guest teachers in the recruitment of permanent teachers is yet to be decided. On August 9, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia asked Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal to put a hold on the recruitment, which had invited applications from August 25.

‘Not in the loop’ Mr. Sisodia had said that the Directorate of Education had not kept him in the loop and that the advertisement was floated without his knowledge. While the Lieutenant-Governor has jurisdiction over services, Mr. Sisodia pointed out that education was a department under the elected government. On Thursday, Mr. Sisodia said that the Lieutenant-Governor had put a hold on the recruitment process and that he was sure that guest teachers would get “justice” now. According to a notice issued by the DSSSB, the recruitment would remain on hold till further instructions from the government. Sources in the Delhi gov-

Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday sought to take credit for Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal’s decision to stall recruitment of fresh teachers through the Staff Selection Board (SSB). BJP State chief Manoj Tiwari reiterated that the Delhi BJP had continuously demanded that guest teachers, who had “given up their prime time running government schools” had the first claim over any vacancy for regular teaching jobs that needed to be filled.

On the boil: Water cannons were used to disperse guest teachers seeking regularisation in December last year. FILE PHOTO: R.V.MOORTHY *

ernment said that Mr. Baijal had asked the Law Department for its opinion on whether weightage could be given to the guest teachers who have been working in government schools for years without permanent employment.

Age limit On October 6, 2015, the Cabinet had decided to grant guest teachers a relaxation in the age limit and credit for their experience when recruiting for permanent jobs.

While the age relaxation had been accepted by the then Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on May 30, 2016, the decision to give preference to the guest teachers was approved citing certain court orders.

SC order However, Mr. Sisodia said a subsequent Supreme Court order has paved the way for giving certain weightage to guest teachers. Till the policy of how much credit, some sources

say it could be 30 marks, to give guest teachers is decided, the recruitment process would remain on hold, as per government sources. Regularisation has been a long-pending demand of the guest teachers and something which political parties have supported during election campaigns. Both the AAP and the BJP have agreed to the need to give the guest teachers permanent jobs, but have accused each other of not being serious about it.

Fearing backlash, DSE ‘postpones’ event

‘Repeated appeals’ “We welcome the L-G’s decision, which comes after the recent announcement for the recruitment of teachers through the SSB, against which we had lodged a strong protest, both with the L-G and the Chief Minister,” said Mr. Tiwari. Last week, the party had said that a large number of agitating guest teachers had met Mr. Tiwari and sought his support, after which he had again appealed to the Delhi government to consider a quota for them. He had also spoken to Mr. Baijal regarding the

BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari

[the BJP] had < > We lodged a strong protest against the recruitment of fresh teachers through the Staff Selection Board Manoj Tiwari Delhi BJP chief


Seeking justice “Thursday’s order at the BJP’s insistence is the first step towards getting justice for guest teachers. We appeal to the Arvind Kejriwal government to pass a Cabinet note and call a special session of the Assembly to pass a resolution suggesting regular teaching employment to all 17,000 guest teachers till the age of retirement. The BJP wants them to be absorbed as regular teachers,” he added.

Relief for Noida home buyers Staff Reporter Noida

Following directions of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to render relief to home buyers, the Noida Authority on Thursday devised a new formula for issuing Completion Certificates (CC) to group housing projects in the city. The Authority expects that the move is likely to help nearly 20,000 home buyers. “The policy decision has been taken to end the builder-buyer deadlock. Once implemented, it is likely to affect nearly 40 residential projects, which are almost complete,” said Noida Authority CEO Amit Mohan Prasad.

Massive boon According to the formula, the Authority will grant temporary CC to projects on payment of 10% of land dues owed to it by the builder. If the builder has applied for completion of 10 towers, temporary completion will be given for five towers. Thereafter, at the time of registry of the property, the Authority will ask the builder to deposit 65% of dues owed to it. This amount will be divided into the number of flats in the five towers, which have received temporary CC. Welcoming the move, Supertech CMD R.K. Arora said, “Earlier, builders had to pay a huge amount for getting completion certificates from the Authority. Now, the same amount can be paid in instalments.”


High and dry

University cites absence of space; students slam move, say authorities trying to curtail their freedom Shinjini Ghosh NEW DELHI

In yet another instance of suppression of voices by authorities, the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) has postponed an event on the campus allegedly due to absence of space. The event, titled ‘DU Conversations Celebrate 70 Years of Indian Democracy’, was scheduled to be held on Thursday. It was being organised by ‘DU Conversations’, a group comprising students and teachers from different departments of Delhi University. However, on Wednesday, DSE director Pami Dua is-

The university is < > no longer an open space for discussion. The university wants to control what is being discussed Andrew DeSouza DSE student

sued a notice saying that the event had to be “postponed due to absence of space on the campus”.

‘Permission obtained’ The organisers alleged the event was “cancelled” even though they had obtained prior permission for it. They said the event was

aimed at promoting pluralism and dialogue within the university. “This event was purely on the 70 years of Indian Independence. It was not a topic that one could have raised objections to. The university is no longer an open space for discussion. The university wants to control what is being discussed,” said Andrew DeSouza, a student of DSE.

‘Security concerns’ Further, efforts of the students to approach the proctor of the university, hoping for an alternative venue, were squashed by the DU Chief Security Officer (CSO).

“The CSO said a student’s party was holding its ‘Shakti Pradarshan’ on South Campus and no security could be spared in case of any attack on the DSE event,” a statement issued by DU Conversations read. “As students and faculty of a premier university like Delhi University, we are shocked at the absence of space to hold peaceful extracurricular events,” the statement added. Refuting rumours that students were invited to speak on the Ramjas issue at the event, organiser Rajat Sonkar said, “We did not invite anybody to speak on the Ramjas issue and, unlike

some reports doing the rounds, we do not have any political affiliations.”

‘Baseless allegations’ The students further said that they were persistently questioned by the police and charged with “baseless allegations”. “Baseless allegations, particularly concerning Umar Khalid and Jawaharlal Nehru University, were levelled to cancel the event. The threat of physical violence was also suggested. These are all mechanisms to ensure that both students and teachers know that they are not free to speak about what they wish to,” added Mr. DeSouza.

Cooling down: A squirrel tries to quench its thirst from a closed water pipe at the Supreme Court premises. R.V.MOORTHY *


Pranab had cancelled penalty of compulsory retirement

Shubhomoy Sikdar NEW DELHI

students during exams. Prof. Kumar, who alleged that the panel was biased, had moved the Delhi High Court and obtained a stay on the institute’s decision. He then took lien for two years and joined JNU in 2015. The university, however, relieved him of his services in June after his lien period got over.

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) has reinstated whistleblower Professor Rajeev Kumar, whose penalty of compulsory retirement was quashed by Pranab Mukherjee days before he demitted office as President. “In continuation of the HRD Ministry’s letter and the Delhi High Court’s order, Professor Kumar is requested to resume his duties in the School of Computer and Systems Sciences immediately,” an order issued by JNU read.

Charges levelled “Prof. Kumar will also be entitled to benefits from the date he was relieved from JNU,” the order added. IIT-Kharagpur had CM YK

Jawaharlal Nehru University

suspended Prof. Kumar for “misconduct” in May 2011. The institute had set up a probe panel that found him guilty. Prof. Kumar was accused of “damaging the reputation of the institute” by levelling allegations on issues ranging from irregularities in the purchase of laptops to rampant copying by

‘Unsung hero’ Last week, IIT-Kharagpur accepted his resignation following communication of the Presidential order, and the Professor appealed to the JNU vice-chancellor to reinstate him. In 2011, Prof. Kumar was hailed as an “unsung hero” by the Supreme Court for his efforts to reform the IIT Joint Entrance Examination ( JEE).

A woman television journalist was allegedly robbed of her mobile phone at gunpoint on Akshardham flyover on Thursday afternoon. Preeti Pandey was going to her office in Noida in an auto-rickshaw when the incident happened. Two bike-borne men allegedly tried to snatch her bag when the vehicle was scaling down Akshardham flyover and also threatened her with a gun. “The accused tried to snatch my bag, but I held on to it tightly. They then took out a pistol and threatened me to hand over my belongings,” said Ms. Pandey, adding that the auto-rickshaw and the men raced together for several metres. Later, the miscreants made away with the wo-

man’s phone, which was in her hand.

Fruitless chase The auto-rickshaw driver gave the men a chase, but lost them near the Star City Mall. A man on a bike also tried to hunt down the snatchers, but in vain. Ms. Pandey later called her husband and informed the police. An FIR was subsequently registered at Mandawali police station. During the scuffle, Ms. Pandey got hurt after her fingers got stuck between the strap of her bag and the auto-rickshaw’s iron grills. The victim suspects the accused had been following her since she boarded the auto-rickshaw from the Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO. She also suspects that the auto-rickshaw driver was an accomplice of the duo.

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Resident doctors of Safdarjung Hospital on Thursday called off their strike over alleged assault of their colleague by a patient’s family. The move came after the hospital administration met Additional Health Secretary Sanjeeva Kumar and assured them of better safety. On Wednesday, around 1,400 resident doctors of the hospital had taken out a rally on the hospital premises demanding justice for the medical fraternity.

‘Regular occurrence’ It all started after one of the resident doctors was allegedly attacked by a patient’s family. “The junior resident doctor was dragged out of the Out Patient Department by the patient’s family members. Despite working over-

Services disrupted: The strike hit patients at Safdarjung Hospital, who had to wait long hours to get treated. *


time and trying to check as many patients as possible, we regularly face such incidents. Patients get frustrated after waiting and end up harassing us without realising that we are doing our best to serve them,” said Dr. Ketan.

‘No facilities’ Dheer Singh, the president

of the Resident Doctor’s Association, said, “This is an issue that we face regularly. The doctor-patient ratio is extremely unbalanced and there is hardly any infrastructure. We have spoken to the medical superintendent and have been assured of intervention from the Health Ministry.” B ND-NDE








‘Society no longer outraged by pregnant 10-year-olds’ Senior advocate talks about the ‘failure of the medical profession’ in helping rape victims, society that has lost its moral fibre CM welcomes SC order on privacy

Krishnadas Rajagopal


What will the lives of “both the children come to be?”. This is the question that haunted senior advocate Indira Jaising when she moved the Supreme Court for ₹10 lakh compensation for the 10year-old rape victim, who gave birth recently in a Chandigarh hospital. Ms. Jaising told The Hindu that her fight is not just for this one case, but for the rehabilitation and rescue of many such 10 and 12 year olds who are raped and left pregnant, soon to be forgotten and swept under the carpet by a society that has lost its “moral fibre”. She said that she wants the Supreme Court to understand the larger questions behind the issue of “pregnant children” coming knocking on its doors for justice. Here is what she had to say.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict that declared privacy a fundamental right. “Thank u SC for this v important judgement [sic],” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted. The AAP tweeted, “AAP welcomes the #SupremeCourt verdict: #RightToPrivacy is a Fundamental Right of Citizens.” STAFF REPORTER

Kejriwal visits DTU incubation centre NEW DELHI

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday visited the Technology Business Incubation Centre at the Delhi Technological University (DTU) in Bawana and interacted with the entrepreneurs there. He saw the demonstrations of various projects started by the entrepreneurs and students, and later tweeted about the “creativity” and “entrepreneurship” of the people there. STAFF REPORTER


What are the larger questions this case raises? ● The medical fraternity is

not providing timely intervention for child rape victims who become pregnant. Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act provides for medical termination of pregnancy as a lifesaving measure. Here, in the case of a 10-year-old girl like the Chandigarh rape victim, the termination of her pregnancy is indeed a life-saving measure envisaged under Section 5. I am not talking about women who are 25 or 35 years old, but when a child is

brought before a medical professional, he has to know that her pelvic region is not formed. Her body is not ready for birth passage. She is likely to die giving birth. The situation for the child rape victim is life-threatening. Section 5 allows medical intervention without a court order as a life-saving measure. But doctors are not doing it despite knowing all this. They just wash their hands off the case. That's why victims of rape – children – come to court. This tragic situation boils down to the failure of the medical profession.

isations have to pitch in and spread awareness. There should be some sort of a supervisory or monitoring body.

Why do doctors not take responsibility? ■ The reason is found in Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 312 makes it an offence to cause a miscarriage. So these medical professionals are worried. They refuse a 10-year-old or a 12-year-old rape victim who has come to them for help despite knowing that she may die giving birth. That is not correct. Their professional ethics demand that they save these lives. In the case of the Chandigarh child rape victim, the doctors performed a caesarean as a life-saving measure. So if they could do it now, why did they not do it before the child came to court? The Chandigarh victim was found to be pregnant when she complained of stomach pain. It is very difficult to detect pregnancy in a child as young as 10 or 12. But why did the doctor not take action under Section 5 as soon as he learnt of her pregnancy.

Why have you asked for a compensation for the child rape victim in the SC?

reality is that < > The the trial in the Chandigarh rape case has not yet begun and no compensation has been paid to the family What is the State's responsibility?

The medical profession has to take responsibility. If a child rape victim needs MTP, she should get the urgent medical care from any private or public hospital in a State. Yes, the State has the responsibility to inform hospitals about the law, about Section 5. There should be standing instructions. The Medical Council of India and medical professional organ-

■ Every State has a rape victim compensation scheme. But they vary. In Goa, the compensation is ₹10 lakh. In Chandigarh it is ₹3 lakh and in some other states it is just ₹1 lakh. Why can't there be a uniform compensation scheme? Why should the amount of compensation depend on which State a victim gets raped? I have pointed out to the SC that the Nirbhaya scheme has funds to the tune of over ₹200 crore. What is the point of all this money if it is not reaching the victims?

Why do you say that cases like Chandigarh are not just tragedies but a sign that society may have lost its moral fibre?

The press release issued by the hospital after the Chandigarh rape victim gave birth said “both children are stable”. Well, both the mother and the child are children. How is it possible for a 10-year-old to mother a child? The fact that she was raped by her maternal uncle makes the family doubly compromised. The father was so tired of running from hospitals to courts and so upset with all the media attention that I had to move the Supreme Court on my own. We as a society have the responsibility to bring justice to his (father's) doorstep. But instead, the reality is that the trial in her case has not yet begun and no compensation has been paid to the family. It is because we have lost our moral fibre and are no longer outraged by the fact that 10 year olds are becoming pregnant. She, a 10-yearold, is in the ICU. The father has refused to accept the baby. What will the lives of both the child-mother and the baby come to? The question is, what next?

NSUI calls for poll reforms in DUSU Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) on Thursday submitted a memorandum to Delhi University’s Chief Election Officer demanding process reforms in DUSU elections. They demanded mock drills on all EVMs, installation of VVPAT machines, and appointment of party polling agents to ensure fair Delhi University Students Union elections. “To encourage greater participation and free and fair DUSU polls, NSUI demands usage of VVPAT machines and at least 5% of the machine polling should be cross-checked with the paper trail to build confidence among voters,” NSUI said in a statement. They also demanded that ID cards be issued to all students a week before the polling day or other IDs such as voter ID, PAN and Aadhaar should be accepted instead, to increase the voter percentage. “Excessive presence of police on campus during polls should also be avoided as it intimidates student voters,” the statement said.

PWD for fewer dharnas Ensure smooth traffic in outside CM’s residence Civil Lines: HC to cops

Stalemate over 28 DU colleges continues

Writes to north civic body, local police

Damini Nath

Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Public Works Department (PWD) had last Saturday asked the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the local police to consider restrict dharnas and agitations outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here.

‘Creating nuisance’ A written communication from the Executive Engineer (Central and New Delhi) Roads to the Deputy Commissioner of the North DMC and the DCP, north district, had requested to take up “the matter for removal of various occasions of dharnas, agitations and processions happening at Flag Staff Road to give clear road to one and all [sic]”. “Please find enclosed herewith copy of... referred letter, in which Civil Lines Residents Association has informed that from last month’s dharnas, agitations & processions are taking

place continuously and some agitators who not only create nuisance to the residents & school children’s of the area are also make place dirty and create nuisance for ingress and outgress [sic],” stated the letter. “RWA Civil Lines has requested to remove these various occasions of Dharna’s, agitation and processions happening at Flag Staff Road near to the resident of Hon’ble CM of Delhi [sic],” it stated further.

‘Planned move’ Paveen Shankar Kapoor, cohead of the Delhi BJP media department, reacted by levelling allegations of the matter being staged at the behest of Mr. Kejriwal. “Is the so-called RWA activist who complained, Naren Bhikhu Ram Jain, not an AAP leader close to Mr. Kejriwal?,” Mr. Kapoor asked, adding that since the “complainant was an AAP leader” the whole matter appeared to be “a planned move.”

Says protests can’t be at cost of others Press Trust of India New Delhi

The Delhi High Court has directed the police to restrict protests outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s home in the Civil Lines area of the national capital and ensure unobstructed traffic flow there. The direction by Justice Vibhu Bakhru came on a plea by the residents of the area who claimed they were being harassed by the repeated processions and protests which take place outside the chief minister’s residence.

‘A regular feature’ They also contended that the protests were leading to obstruction of the regular traffic flow there. The court restricted the holding of protests in the area, saying that while citizens have the right to protest peacefully, it “cannot be at the cost of others“. “Plainly, the residents of Civil Lines, Delhi cannot be

put to inconvenience on account of dharnas and protesting crowds in the vicinity of their residences, which, this court is informed, has become a regular feature in that area,” it said. The Delhi government did not oppose the plea and submitted that the police has designated specific areas like Jantar Mantar and Ram Lila Grounds, for conducting peaceful demonstrations according to the numerical strength of the protesters. “In these circumstances, respondent no.2 (police) are directed to ensure that adequate steps are taken for keeping the residential roads free for traffic movement. “They are directed to restrict the dharnas and protest in the residential area in question and ensure that no unnecessary inconvenience is caused to the public at large on account of any such protest,” the court said.

Govt had rejected varsity’s nominations for governing bodies; new list this week NEW DELHI

The stalemate over appointments to the governing bodies of 28 Delhi University colleges funded by the State government is likely to continue, with the Aam Aadmi Party government expected to send a new list of nominations to the university this week after rejecting the names sent by DU earlier this month. The government had

frozen funding for the colleges on August 1 after repeated reminders to the Delhi University to appoint the governing bodies after their last term ended in October 2016. According to sources, the university sent a new list of nominees for the Delhi Government’s approval on August 14, but instead of a panel of 400 names to pick from, like it did before, the varsity sent a list of names

Sisodia proposes new tourism advisory board

Press Trust of India

Wants Capital to be a tourism hub

New Delhi

The JNU Students’ Union on Thursday reiterated their demand to the administration to roll back the mandatory Aadhaar requirements imposed on students or “declare” itself above the Supreme Court. The JNUSU raised the demand again after a constitution Bench declared right to

privacy as fundamental right. “The administration with the privilege of competent authority made Aadhaar mandatory defying SC verdict and though UGC was just suggesting it. Instead of beating around the bush, the administration should declare they are above the SC and UGC or take back the notification,” JNUSU’s Mohit Kumar Pandey said.

Says fee ‘discriminatory’ as it was imposed in the name of safety, demands UGC set upper limit NEW DELHI

Pinjra Tod, an autonomous collective of women students in Delhi, staged a protest on Thursday at the Arts Faculty of Delhi University against the alleged high fee structure at student hostels. They also protested against the “discriminatory” high fee imposed on women in the name of safety. They have now

asked the UGC to set an upper limit on hostel fee as an immediate step.

No charges for men They said that various hostels charge an extra fee for granting “added security” and guards at women’s hostels which the students are forced to bear over the already high fees. According to them, at St.

Stephen’s women’s hostel, women pay an extra ₹1,000 per semester, whereas no such charges are attached to men’s hostels. On an average, the university forces women students to pay an extra ₹2,958 every month more than men for undergraduate courses and an additional ₹2,614 for postgraduate courses. Colleges with allegedly exorbitantly high fees

include Hindu College, Khalsa College, Daulat Ram College and Indraprastha College where the fee structure is over ₹1,40,000, ₹90,000, ₹1,16,000, and ₹1,20,000 respectively. They are also demanding the formation of a democratic system for the Internal Complaints Committee to address cases of sexual harassment, its prevention and redressal.

Diverse list Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also Education Minister, has this week asked the Directorate of Education to convey to the university that its list of names would not be accepted, according to two sources. The government has come up with a new list of names, addressing the concern of the university

that its first list of nominees were not diverse enough. The new list, as well as a reminder that the funds would remain frozen till the appointments are notified, would be sent by the government soon, a source said. The 10-member Governing Bodies have five members nominated by the government and five members picked by the government from a panel of names given by the university.

Don’t impose Aadhaar, JNUSU tells university

Pinjra Tod stages protest against high university hostel fee Ismat Ara

already chosen.

Devangana, a member of Pinjra Tod, said that when the UGC circular for prevention of sexual harassment in universities was taken to the proctor of DU demanding to contest elections for setting up an internal sexual harassment grievances panel, they replied saying that there is already too much chaos happening in the university in the name of DUSU elections.

Pinjra Tod has been regularly reaching out to the DCW and UGC with these issues. Their demands include standardising the rules for all hostels and also to build women’s hostels on South Campus. They claim that even though curfew timings at Hindu College have been standardised, women going out is still strictly governed.

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture and Language Manish Sisodia on Thursday proposed the creation of a tourism advisory board for the National Capital Territory of Delhi. He said that the board can think of innovative and outof-the-box ideas to make the Capital a tourism hub with world-class facilities and recreations. He was addressing an event titled ‘Destination Delhi: Socio Economic Perspective on Heritage, Art, Culture and Tourism’, organised under the aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Political heritage Mr. Sisodia pitched for creation of tourism circuits through which the political heritage of Delhi like the President House, Parliament, the Delhi Secretariat and a host of such sites of historical significance, including State-

Manish Sisodia owned education institutions, hotels, etc., could be showcased to visiting tourists in and around Delhi. He invited associations engaged in promotion of tourism in India to be part of the advisory board so that tourism in Delhi flourishes and its heritage is showcased to tourists with better insight and perspectives. PHD Chamber president Gopal Jiwarajka also emphasised the need for promotion of Delhi from a tourism perspective given its potential, which, he said, is partly harnessed and needs to be utilised much more with creative and innovative strategies.

DCW notice to DPCC over toxic chemicals Laxmi Nagar set to go eco-friendly this Ganesh Chaturthi


Wants report on apparel manufacture

Locals to worship idols with seeds, immerse them in tubs instead of the Yamuna Nabiha Siddique

Staff Reporter



Delhiites celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi at the Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal, an association in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar, will be participating in an eco-friendly initiative as the idol they are worshipping has been implanted with seeds and will be immersed in water tubs instead of the Yamuna. The organisers have said they hope the seeds will turn the tubs into tiny gardens over time.

The Delhi Commission for Women has sent notices to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the Delhi Pollution Control Board asking for a detailed report on apparel manufacturing which is allegedly emitting toxic chemicals.

Underground water Reacting to reports that a colony in Shiv Vihar had become a “breeding ground for cancer due to the abnormal rate of toxic chemicals in the groundwater”, the DCW wrote to the DPCC demanding a detailed report on the steps being taken to reduce the discharge of the toxic waste into public drains and streets. CM YK

Swati Maliwal DCW has also asked for a list of all the officials responsible for the same. DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said, “Underground water is being polluted by factories that are involved in dyeing jeans. However, no authority is actively taking a role in improving the conditions. Children and women are the worst affected by the pollution and hence, these factories should be banned in Delhi.”

Spreading awareness Organisers shared that there will be two Ganpati idols — an eight-inch-tall idol made of jute and the other measuring 32 inches, which has seeds inside it. Founderpresident of Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal, Mahendra

Ladda, says, “Every year, we plan to do something to spread awareness among people. Last year, we made a fiber idol, this year we have implanted seeds within the idol.” “We have used ecofriendly colours, and said a no to metallic colours. Not only the organisers but also around 1.5 lakh people who come with their own idols to take part in the festivities have been requested to use only eco-friendly idols,” Mr. Ladda added. To add to the festivities Avartan, a band from Pune, has been called to welcome Lord Ganesh, said the organisers. They said that the speciality of this band was that its members comprised professionals from the fields of engineering, medicine, and the

1.5 lakh < > Around people who come with their own idols to take part in the festivities have been requested to use only ecofriendly idols Mahendra Ladda Chief, Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal

Indian Services.


NGT ban The shobha yatra will begin from Maharaja Banquet Laxmi Nagar at 4.30 p.m. and will reach DDA mini-stadium near SDM office at 7.30 p.m. where it will be immersed in water tubs outside the pandal. Apart from pollution, the association is also trying to avoid the heavy

traffic between Vikas Marg and ITO. In 2015, the National Green Tribunal banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable materials like quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna. Following the order, the Delhi government has proposed the construction of ghats for such festivities across the Capital and allocated ₹20 crore for the purpose in the financial year 2017-18. The government has decided to enhance the scope of the Delhi Development Rural Board to include both rural and urban villages with the proposed outlay of the board increased to ₹600 crore in 2017-18 from the earlier outlay of ₹132 crore.

Going green: Ganesha idols with seeds inside them at Shree Ganesh Seva Mandal, Laxmi Nagar. SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY *









Refugee shot dead at eatery Professional rivalry said to be the motive; hate crime angle too not ruled out murder has purportedly been recovered from the spot. “We are questioning other staff members. Investigations are on to trace the accused. He will be nabbed soon,” said the officer. During questioning, the police came across witnesses who identified the accused as a twice-fired former worker at the eatery. The suspect is said to have been upset and allegedly under the impression that Inayat had instigated the employer to fire him.

Staff Reporter New Delhi

Plea in HC against notice period rule of DGCA NEW DELHI

A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court on Thursday challenging the DGCA’s decision that senior pilots have to serve a 12-month notice period before quitting an airline and shifting to another. PTI

12-year-old girl raped, complaint filed NEW DELHI

A 12-year-old was allegedly raped by a property dealer in north-west Delhi’s Swaroop Nagar, the police said on Thursday. The accused is yet to be arrested. A case was registered on Tuesday following a complaint by the girl’s mother. The Class VI student was allegedly assaulted two weeks ago by the property dealer and threatened with dire consequences. She mustered courage two weeks after the incident and informed her mother.STAFF REPORTER

Girls climb atop building, threaten suicide GHAZIABAD

Three girls climbed atop a Ghaziabad college building and threatened to commit suicide if they were not granted admission in the college. The incident happened at Mahanand Mission Harijan college. The girls had failed to get admission due to “high percentage of merit”. Additional District Magistrate Preeti Jaiswal reached the college and assured the protesting students that the administration would talk to the college authorities about their admission. PTI

DELHI TODAY Talk: Panel discussion on the book “The Great Game in Afghanistan Rajiv Gandhi, General Zia and the Unending War” written by Kallol Bhattacherjee. Panellists: Amb. Ronen Sen; Lt. Gen. Ravi Sawhney, Dean, Centre for Defence Studies, VIF; Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic Editor, The Hindu. Moderated by Shakti Sinha, Director NMML at Seminar Room, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg, 3 p.m. Talk: Discussion on the book “Exploring Emergent Global Thresholds: Towards 2030” edited by Richard Falk, Manoranjan Mohanty and Victor Faessel. Speakers: Dr. Upendra Baxi, Professor of Law, University of Warwick; Prof. Muchkund Dubey, President, Council for Social Development; and Dr. Ashis Nandy, Emeritus Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Chair: Prof. Mark Juergensmeyer, Professor of Sociology and Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara at Seminar Rooms II & III, Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre (IIC), 6:30 p.m. Talk and Music: Ghalib-Ke-Khatoot, a revival of dramatized reading of Letters of Mirza Ghalib by stage actor Ekant Kaul embellished by the poetry of Ghalib sung by Mannu Kohli. Concept: K.K. Kohli at Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Dance: Solo Bharatanatyam Margam by Dakshina Vaidyanathan Baghel at The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Crystal Cities” by artist Jagannath Panda at Vadehra Art Gallery, D-53 Defence Colony, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “My Inner World” solo show of paintings by Renu Jain at Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Screening: ‘My Voiceless Friends’ Japanese film screenings with English subtitles at The Japan Foundation, 5A Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV, 6:30 p.m. Culture: Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations: Ganapathi Homam, Maha Abhishekam, Ashtotra Archana at Ganeshji Mandir, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, 5 a.m. onwards (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected])


A 25-year-old Rohingya refugee from Myanmar was allegedly shot dead at the eatery where he worked in south-west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar on Thursday morning in the presence of several persons, who were left in a state of panic and shock. While professional rivalry with a colleague he had a falling out with is said to be the motive, the hate crime angle too was not ruled out till Thursday evening.

Morning incident As soon as Mullaji Biryani Dhaba opened shop on Thursday morning and customers began trickling in, the accused allegedly entered the outlet with a pistol, aimed at Inayat and shot him. Shot in the back, Inayat fell on the floor. The accused fled the spot before the shocked staff or customers could stop him. The entire incident was captured on a CCTV camera.

In cold blood: The incident happened at an eatery in southwest Delhi’s Uttam Nagar on Thursday morning. *


A case of murder has been registered at Uttam Nagar police station.

PCR call Inayat had come to Delhi looking for a job two years ago and was a cook at the eatery. A senior police officer said they received a call regarding firing at the Block B JJ

colony in Uttam Nagar’s Hastsal.

Weapon recovered “Spot enquiry revealed that Inayat, a cook at Mullaji Biryani Dhaba, was injured and shifted to Mata Chanan Devi Hospital. He was declared brought dead,” the officer said. The weapon used in the

‘Complete CBI probe against Akademi secretary in 4 weeks’

Mother hospitalised The body has been sent for post-mortem and his relatives from Jammu are expected to collect the remains on Friday. Sabber, a representative of the Rohingya community in the city and a distant relative of Inayat, said he was the eldest child and has four sisters. Inayat’s parents are based in Burma. His mother had to be hospitalised following the news of his death.

HC says it is not a ‘10-year plan’ after govt seeks more time

7 AIIMS students suspended for ragging

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to ensure that the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged financial irregularities by a suspended Lalit Kala Akademi secretary is completed in four weeks, saying it is not a “10- year Plan” after the government sought more time. The court also asked the government to explain why an inquiry by a three-member panel instituted against the cultural body’s current administrator C. S. Krishna Shetty was withdrawn on August 16 this year.

Seven B.Sc students of optometry and nuclear medicine at AIIMS here have been suspended for three months for allegedly ragging their juniors.

Court observation A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal instructed that the probe against the suspended secretary be completed in four weeks, and sought a report within two weeks after that. “The fact is someone, who should not have been there, was there for several years,” it observed in reference to the suspended secretary of the Akademi, whose appointment to the post has been challenged in two PILs before the Bench. It posed the query on Mr. Shetty to the government,

Probe: The government was also asked why an inquiry panel instituted against Lalit Kala Akademi’s current administrator C. S. Krishna Shetty was withdrawn. FILE PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN *

which claimed to have taken over the management of Akademi, after an application was moved alleging that the panel to inquire into the administrator’s actions was withdrawn suddenly. “Why was the inquiry withdrawn after you instituted it,” the Bench asked. The pleas by Akhilesh Verma and Manish Pushkale have challenged the appointment of Sudhakar Sharma as the secretary of the Akademi. The petitioners, who claim to be artists, had alleged that Mr. Sharma’s appointment was in violation of the provisions of the Lalit Kala Akademi (Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi) Recruitment Rules, 1999.

They had also alleged that Mr. Sharma had indulged in misappropriation of funds and that he was still in office illegally despite the allegations being proved in an inquiry conducted by the Akademi. Mr. Sharma was earlier suspended by the Akademi in 2015 but the decision was set aside by the Centre the same year. He was suspended again by the Akademi in January 2017, which is in effect. The court had earlier termed as “eye-wash” the government’s claim that an administrator was controlling the cultural body and said it appeared the secretary had been controlling the affairs of the Akademi.

Student’s phone snatched Incident happened on North Campus, suspects not identified Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Three men on a two-wheeler snatched the mobile phone of a man in north Delhi’s Maurice Nagar this past week raising questions about safety of pedestrians in North Campus once again. The suspects are yet to be identified.

Snatchers speed away LLB student Aditya Malik’s mobile phone was allegedly snatched on August 19 as soon as he reached Maurice Nagar chowk bus stand. According to the complainant, the trio snatched his phone and sped away. Due to the speed of the two-

wheeler, the victim was unable to see them clearly or note down the registration number of the vehicle.

FIR registered Mr. Malik visited the police station the next day and submitted a complaint. A first information report under Sections 356 (assault or criminal force in attempt to commit theft of property carried by a person), 379 (theft) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code was registered at Maurice Nagar police station based on his complaint. A senior police officer

said a case has been registered and investigations are on. A team visited the spot later to inspect the crime scene.

CCTV footage The police are trying to gather CCTV footage and are making local enquiries. The only clue available so far is the colour and make of the vehicle. A few snatching incidents have been reported in and around North Campus in the recent past. An Assistant Professor of Delhi University was recently targeted by snatchers and dragged along by the bike-borne assailants.

Student injured According an AIIMS official, some first-year B.Sc students were allegedly ragged by seven seniors recently. The incident led to a scuffle between them, leaving a student injured. A student reported the matter to the administration and the AIIMS police post. An officer said no case was registered as the parties reached a compromise. However, the AIIMS administration took a serious note of the incident and ordered the setting up of an anti-ragging panel for probe, the official said.

Two held for posing as BSES officials, duping man They were allegedly trying to extort ₹5 lakh from the victim Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Delhi Police have arrested two men for allegedly posing as BSES officials and trying to extort ₹5 lakh from a consumer of the power discom in south-east Delhi’s Tughlakabad Extension.

BSES issues statement A statement from BSES said the two accused, who were accompanied by four others, had allegedly charged Narendra Kumar with power theft by tampering with the meter and demanded ₹5 lakh from him on August 21. The police confirmed the arrests of Sonu Kumar and

Dhan Singh, even as the BSES urged consumers to exercise caution against impostors.

Extort ₹12,000 The accused had even conducted videography to impress Mr. Kumar. They pretended to check the power meter, charged him with electricity theft and allegedly managed to extort ₹12,000 from him, said a police officer. Suspecting the men were imposters, a neighbouring shopkeeper alerted Mr. Kumar. The victim and his neighbour immediately nabbed two of the accused, said the

Suit filed by Ankit Bhardwaj seeks nominal damages of ₹1 Nirnimesh Kumar New Delhi

A Delhi court has refused to hear a suit filed by Delhi State executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Ankit Bhardwaj against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh seeking nominal damages of ₹1. Mr. Bhardwaj, in his suit filed at the Tis Hazari district courts, had alleged that the Chief Minister and Mr. Singh had defamed him by claiming that he had slapped sacked Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra who was sitting on a dharna on May 10.

‘Derogatory remarks’: The suit claims that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (right) and leader Sanjay Singh had defamed the complainant by showing him as sacked Minister Kapil Mishra’s attacker. FILE PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN *

Jurisdiction issue Mr. Bhardwaj alleged that they had defamed him by making derogatory remarks against him in their tweets and by showing him as the person who had attacked Mr. Mishra. Returning the complaint to Mr. Bhardwaj, Additional Senior Civil Judge V. K. Gautam said: “The present court lacks territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit. Since the court has no juris-

The incidents happened on Thursday

diction to entertain the present suit, the plaint is returned back to the plaintiff. The plaint is returned to the plaintiff after putting necessary endorsements for its presentation to the proper court.”

Sanjay Singh’s address The court also said that Mr. Singh did not reside in the area within the jurisdiction of the court.

New Delhi

along after hitting them. The driver then reversed and sped away. The victims were rushed to a hospital, where Mr. Singh died during treatment. The other victims are in the ICU.

Bloodstained tyres The second incident was reported in the evening when a railway employee was hit by a car near New Delhi railway station. Pankaj Kumar (30) is battling for life. The police said the driver was caught by locals after he stopped to change the bloodstained tyres in an empty lane near Chelmsford Road.

The plaintiff had given the address of the Aam Aadmi Party office at 206, Rouse Avenue, on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg near ITO as Mr. Singh’s address.

Cause of action Further, the court said the perusal of the plaint showed there was no averment as to why any cause of action had occurred within the jurisdiction of this court.

Illegal casino: 5 policemen suspended for ‘negligence’ The casino was busted on Tuesday Press Trust of India

A man was killed and three persons injured in separate accidents in the Capital on Thursday. A safety manager with the company constructing the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on NH-24 was killed and two others injured in Pandav Nagar in the early hours of Thursday. Jasbeer Singh and two others were diverting traffic away from the construction site at the time of the incident. They were hit by a speeding SUV after it rammed a barricade. The SUV dragged them

Past cases According to the BSES, seven persons have been caught posing as employees of the discom and trying to extort money from consumers over the past few months. Over 30 such impostors have been apprehended in the past couple of years, a BSES spokesperson said.

Court refuses to hear defamation case against CM, Sanjay Singh

1 killed, 3 injured in separate accidents Staff Reporter

officer, adding their accomplices managed to flee. Sonu and Dhan were handed over to the police and a case was registered at Govindpuri police station based on a complaint by Mr. Kumar, the police officer said.

New Delhi

Five police personnel, including the Station House Officer, have been suspended for “negligence” following an illegal casino being busted in the jurisdiction of south district’s Fatehpur Beri police station.

Inquiry ordered The illegal casino-cum-bar, which was being run for the past two months at the 13acre farmhouse, was busted and 30 people were arrested on Tuesday. An inquiry was ordered to ascertain whether the personnel attached to Fatehpur Beri police station

were aware of illegal activities at the farmhouse. Following the inquiry, five police personnel, including the SHO of Fatehpur Beri police station, were placed under suspension for “not being vigilant” about activities within their jurisdiction, the police said. The suspended personnel include SHO Inspector Govind Chauhan, Assistant Sub-Inspectors Brij Kishore and Rajender, Head Constable Ravinder and Constable Puran, said Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma. The accused told the police that the ground floor of the farmhouse was rented for shooting TV shows.









Testing the truths With The Dark Borders, seasoned theatre practitioner Neelam Mansingh completes her trilogy of plays on Partition S. RAVI

Diverse cultures Young artists from South Korea and India displayed their rich and diverse cultures at a joint celebration at Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium recently. Dance performances, audio-visual elements and musical renditions were highlight of the event which showcased the story of Independence Day through different acts. Organised by Nehru Bal Sangh, the Jashn-E-Azadi was attended by eminent personalities from different fields including Vinay Pathak and Kim Kum Pyoung, Director at Korean Cultural Centre India. Lee Haekwang, Acting Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, said: “I hope this event will strengthen India-Korea relation.”

Neelam Mansingh’s plays always have a telling effect on audiences and critics alike. With works like Nagamandala, Yerma, Phaedra, Kitchen Katha and The Suit to her credit, she has pioneered theatre movement in Punjab and also taught at the Department of Theatre, Panjab University. The alumnus of National School of Drama who was trained by the legendary Ebrahim Alkazi, is back in the Capital with her group, The Company’s latest production, The Dark Borders. To be staged at India Habitat Centre this weekend, it is based on the stories of one of the greatest raconteurs of 20th Century, Saadat Hasan Manto, such as Toba Tek Singh, Hundreds of Candle Power Bulb, Tamasha and Padhirya Kalama. It explores the devastation brought upon women and families during the political and social disruption. Busy with

Culinary delights Chef Ajay Chopra, who was recently announced as the brand ambassador for Sumeru, whipped up some lip smacking dishes at an event in Delhi recently. On the occasion, Chef Chopra showcased the versatility of Sumeru’s frozen paratha range. He also demonstrated a few tips on how to create quick homemade meals. “Parathas are a favourite across India and with a little innovative thinking, they can easily be adapted in a variety of dishes,” he said.

Voice to the voiceless: A scene from Dark Borders directed Neelam Mansingh

Promoting goodwill To mark Sadbhavana Diwas, Deepak Kumar, Executive Director, India Trade Promotion Organisation administered Sadbhavana Pledge at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. Theme of Sadbhavana was to promote national integration and communal harmony among people of all religions, languages and regions.

have been able to lead < > Imultiple lives through my works. Working on my plays was my way of leading many lives, of becoming many people and understanding myself

rehearsals of the play, Neelam took time out to talk about what attracts her to Manto, her journey and more. Excerpts: On taking up Manto’s works for the play Saadat Hasan Manto does not tell polite stories as he was constantly challenging the deceptions and hypocrisies of the society. In an environment defined by divisiveness, rage and migration, he forced us to ask moral questions. In Dark Borders, we have tried to explore the devastation brought upon women and families during the time of political and social disruption. These are the lives of the forgotten people, those who exist on the margins of society, to whom Manto gave a voice, an identity. The way he could plumb the depth of human misery and give voice to the voiceless, the dis-

enfranchised and the marginalised, makes him extraordinary. He talked about the little people who did not enter into the consciousness of history or of development. They are people whose lives were completely torn asunder by Partition and migration, especially women and children. These are the unrecorded testimonies that he records through his short stories. I have been working on Manto since the last four years. This could be viewed as part of a trilogy, as my last two productions with the National School of Drama were also based on Manto stories dovetailed with some crafted/devised stories. Bitter Fruit and Naked Voices both done with third years students, roughly followed the same impulse of improvisational, non linear way of working. On the structure of the play We had no definitive script to



begin with. A collection of stories by Manto, was our starting point. I saw this play as episodic, a story emerging out of another, narratives without any obvious connection. In between stories we created images, not directly related to the narrative, but an attempt to create “relief moments” in the bleak landscape of people brutalised and marginalised by circumstances and extreme poverty. Some of the stories have been shuffled and repacked in a way to either underscore a moment or highlight a narrative. On how the stories continue to be relevant I don’t think Manto can be affixed to a particular time and space. His voice rings true today as it did when he wrote the stories. I did not take any time or context into consideration when I choreographed the stories. Manto's work,

free of religious biases and national zeal is firmly rooted in the culture to which he belonged and overtime the sharpness in his stories resonate and relate in ways, that are as searing today as were when written. In fact, I don’t think people have changed or brutality has changed. Today, brutality is more defined and it is seeping through our threshold. Manto’s work could relate to any time because man’s savagery has not in any way been reduced. For example, the story Tamasha was written after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre but the image of shoes, the holocaust and contemporary Syria merge into one another. In some way, I am indirectly responding to what is happening in our times. My work is not a militant work or a recording of events. It is not overtly political but some-

where it is a reflection and response to things one feels. On her association with theatre Theatre has been a place where I can see the world with different eyes, where truths can be tested. Theatre is a disturbing and exciting space, fuelling dreams and provoking fundamental questions about our lives. But having said that, a small question constantly nags me. Do I really matter? Does my work matter? Did I somewhat add value to what already exists? I work in theatre because it helps me articulate my daily life, challenges me, helps me to take decision, teaches me how to reject and also be part of a community. I have been able to lead multiple lives through my works. Working on my plays was my way of leading many lives, of becoming many people and understanding myself. On her association with traditional actors, Naqqals The first time I met the Naqqals they were performing in a village square singing dancing ad-libbing, and telling stories. A mixture of pop art and natural fun was their chosen vocabulary. The stories they enacted were pan-Indian myths conjoining local myths, transformed and renewed for local meaning. During my meandering ( journey) I started working with the Naqqal performers and actors from Chandigarh. I was not interested in the form as something ‘material’ to be cited and imitated, nor was I looking for some exotic leitmotif to decorate my work. What interested me was if actors coming from different worlds could work together. On her influences Many things and people impacted me. Being a student of B.N. Goswamy and Ebrahim Alkazi, collaborating with B.V. Karanth and the poet Surjit Patar, my years spent at Bharat Bhavan, teaching at the Punjab University...the list is long. (To be staged at Stein Auditorium on August 26 and 27)

Jacqueline’s 17-second rule

Beyond politics...

The actor chats about playing an adventure junkie and how she manages to keep cool

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism conducted a road show to woo Indian tourists

Sayoni Sinha

A few weeks ago, Jacqueline Fernandez took off to Tokyo to ring in her 32nd birthday. Fernandez, who will soon be seen on the big screen with Sidharth Malhotra in A Gentleman, decided to, “put herself first and not wait for schedules to work out,” and made her way to the Japanese capital. “I have always wanted to go visit the city and been infatuated with the country since childhood. Somehow I never found time. My holidays revolve around my shoot dates,” says the actor, who had initially wanted to visit the country during cherry blossom season (usually around March-April).

Stunts galore Now back from her holiday, the actor is busy promoting her upcoming film, where she plays Kavya, a techie and an adventure junkie. “She lives abroad, is independent and always speaks her mind. I related to her character a lot,” says the actor, who admits that she always wanted to work with the film’s directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK as, “they are cool, contemporary and

have good aesthetics”. She adds, “I was intrigued by the storyline and they had me at the interval. I remember lobbying for a film I wanted to be a part of that they were supposed to direct earlier.” Another first for the 32year-old are the stunts she will be seen performing. When the directors briefed her about landing a couple of punches, kicks and handling a gun, she was excited. “I feel a little sad that in our industry, there’s not much action the actresses are given to perform. I have been a part of so many big films but I feel so left out as I never get to do any action. This is a first and it has given me a taste of what I really want to do now, and that’s definitely a lot more action flicks,” she emphasises. The actress has also been wowing everyone with her pole-dancing moves in the film’s latest song — ‘Chandralekha’ — and has grown into quite an aficionado of the dance form. Set in the

a little sad that < > Iinfeel our industry, there’s not much action the actresses are given to perform

backdrop of an office party, the song is shot in a pub, where Kavya breaks into a pole dance. “We wanted to imbibe the Miami vibe in our song. I found a trainer, but on the first day of training, I realised that this dance form is really hard,” says Fernandez, who trained for two months mastering pole dance. “I was very bruised, fell down a couple of times and even pulled a few muscles. All I remember is reporting for the shoot at 4 am in the morning for the pole dancing part. I was on painkillers and my whole body was sore. My physiotherapist prescribed me a pain killer and I asked him for another,” says Fernandez.

Turning point Fernandez made her Bollywood debut with the 2009 film Aladin. While the film was panned, she went on to act in Murder 2 (2011), Housefull 2 (2012) and Race 2 (2013) among others. But it wasn’t till the 2014 Salman-starrer Kick that she was confident enough about herself and the films she was doing. “When I got Kick, I didn’t believe that I deserved it, and kept wondering why I was

selected for the film. It took a lot of lecturing and speeches from Sajid sir and Salman, and it was only after I worked towards believing that I was capable enough, that I started to actually become confident in the roles,” says the actor, who reveals that before Kick, she wasn’t selective enough about her roles. “I was taking whatever was coming my way. I was just happy to be given the opportunity, though I was lucky enough to good offers. After Kick, I wanted to utilise my time and energy by putting myself first and doing the kind of work I wanted to do.” In her eight years in the industry, Fernandez has “witnessed many highs and lows”, most of which have helped her introspect and discover the person she strives to be. While achieving a zen-like state still needs work, Fernandez now follows the “17-second rule”. She explains, “You create a vibration and energy for yourself that overcomes stress, anger, sadness. If something is upsetting you, give yourself 17 seconds to get yourself back into a good vibration. It has really helped me.”

Bhavya Popli

Pole position: Jacqueline Fernandez

As a step to foster friendship and augment the number of Indians arriving in their country, the Israel Ministry of Tourism conducted its road show in Delhi recently. This was the second of the six road shows. The road show was focused on breaking the image of Israel as just a pilgrimage spot. Even though it’s a small country, it was stressed through short video clips that it promises to provide all kinds of experiences like sandy beaches. great outdoors, ancient archaeology, amazing night life and adventure spots. Pointing out that awareness needs to be created about divergent destinations and experiences that Israel has to offer, Hassan Madah, Director- Israel Ministry of Tourism India, said: “We

want to create destination awareness among Indians employed in travel trade as well as agents. Over 34,000 Indians have already visited Israel in the last six months marking a growth of 37 per cent in Indian tourist arrivals. ” As far as cuisine is concerned, Israel provides a mix of Mediterranean dishes as well as a range of seas food in multiple restaurants and cafes. Madah promised availability of Indian restaurants in the country. “Though vegetarian Indian restaurants are still not available, vegetarian food of other cuisines is served,” Madah added. For shopaholics, Israel promises a wide range of jewellery, spices, wine, coffee and culinary destinations. Having the Dead Sea as an asset, it offers a range of beauty products such as mud salts and lotions.







The Revised Kama Sutra

Kamakshi Khanna

My Voiceless Friends

Sanjeeta Bhattacharya

Gauriputra Vinayak

Akshara Theatre will stage the English musical comedy play “The Revised Kama Sutra”. Directed by Anasuya Vaidya, it is based on Richard Crasta’s amusing, nostalgic story of a young boy growing up in the 60’s and 70’s on India’s Southwest coast, and his quest for love, sex and salvation. Venue: 11-12 B, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi Time: 8 p.m.

At Fio Cookhouse, Kamakshi Khanna a Delhi based singer songwriter will be performing. Along with her will be Pranav Pahwa. She will present her life experiences and stories in her songs. Her voice goes through various styles, including rhythm and blues, soul, pop and ballads. Venue: Epicuria, Nehru Place, New Delhi Time: 9.30 p.m. onwards

Japan Foundation will be screening a Japanese film “My Voiceless Friends” with English subtitles. Directed by Tadashi Imai, the story follows Tamiji Nishiyama, who is obsessed with delivering letters to the families of his deceased comrades, although he does not know most of the families have already moved on in their life. Venue: 5A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV Time: 6.30 p.m.

This Friday, groove to the tunes of RnB and pop music as a Delhi based singer-song writer, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya will perform at Punjab Grill Tappa. Sanjeeta began her journey in music learning Hindustani classical music for eight years, simultaneously exploring the world of jazz, RnB, soul, bossa nova and flamenco. Venue: DLF Cyber Hub, Gurugram Time: 9 p.m.

The Art Life Gallery is holding a group show to celebrate the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is showcasing 25 works by four artists. They are Sudhir Phanes, Simi Saini, Dr Chitra Singh and Shekhar Bellary. The artworks are done in acrylic and water colours on canvas and paper. Venue: C-97, Sector 44, Noida Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.



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