16 - 31 March 2020 The Asian Independent


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Vol : 04 : #39 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar


Noida : Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar

entered the political fray on Sunday by forming

Azad Samaj Party. He made this announcement in

Basai village of Sector-70 in Noida by taking oath

of the Constitution. Interestingly, he chose blue

colour for the flag of his party.

A large number of Bhim Army supporters and

workers were present during the announcement.

The sources also said that 28 ex-MLAs and six former

MPs also attended the event and took the oath.

However, it was not officially confirmed. March 15

is observed as the Birth Anniversary of Bahujan

Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram every year.

Fight against CAA, NRC to

intensify: Chandrashekhar Azad

New Delhi : Bhim Army chief

Chandrashekhar entered the political fray on

Sunday, announced his new party, which would

be the "voice of Dalits, backward classes and

the poor".

At the launch function at Basai village in

Sector-70, Noida, Azad said the party would be

known as the Azad Samaj Party (ASP) and

would have a blue-coloured flag. He also took

an oath on the Constitution on the occasion.

A large number of Bhim Army supporters

and workers were present during the announcement.

Sources said that 28 ex-MLAs and six

former MPs also attended the event and took

the oath. However, it was not officially confirmed.

Addressing the gathering, Azad said: "It is a

historic day as today is the birth anniversary of

Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram.

This will be a memorable day and I promise

that our flag will fly high in Delhi.

"This party will become the voice of Dalits,

backward classes and the poor. We will raise

their voice as questions are being raised on our

citizenship. Preparations are been done to

enslave us. We will take our fight out to the


Azad asserted that they will make such a

strong party that no one will be able to buy

them. "We won't let the country down."

He also said the fight against the CAA and

the NRC will intensify now and they will not let

the implementation of NRC happen in the


Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he

said this government belongs to the capitalists,

and that "people sitting in NITI Aayog are

harassing the people". Azad said mothers of this

country have blessed him. "Mothers of Rohith

Vemula and Junaid have also sent their blessings

and said that don't cheat us. I would like to

say that Chandrashekhar Azad will die before

cheating," he said.

A total of 94 people from various political

parties joined the ASP on Sunday.

Future of UK aviation

at risk, say airlines

London : The UK's aviation

industry may not survive the

coronavirus pandemic without

emergency financial support,

airlines have warned.

In a message, Airlines UK

said the government's "prevarication"

and "bean counting"

had to stop, the BBC reported.

"We're talking about the

future of UK aviation - one of

our world-class industries - and

unless the government pulls

itself together who knows what

will be left of it once we get out

of this mess," it added. Airline

chiefs have been talking to

Ministers, and executives at

Virgin Atlantic are due to write

to the Prime Minister. The

demand comes after the US

announced on Saturday that it

will extend its European travel

ban to include the UK and

Republic of Ireland. The ban,

which will begin on Tuesday,

will hit vital routes for the likes

of British Airways, Virgin

Atlantic and Norwegian Air. In

a statement, the government

said that it recognises the difficulties

UK airlines are facing.

"We are engaging with the

sector's leadership to support

workers, businesses and passengers,"

the BBC quoted the

statement as saying on

Saturday. "We have influenced

the European Commission to

relax flight slots and HMRC is

ready to help all businesses,

including airlines, and selfemployed

individuals, experiencing

temporary financial difficulties

due to coronavirus."

Under European law, if

flights are not operated, designated

take-off and landing slots

have to be forfeited. Last week,

Virgin Atlantic confirmed it

was forced to operate some

near-empty flights after bookings

were dented by the outbreak.

British Airways warned

employees on Friday that the

industry was facing a "crisis of

global proportions" that was

worse than that caused by the

SARS virus or 9/11. In a memo

titled "The Survival of British

Airways", the company's boss

Alex Cruz said that it is to

ground flights "like never

before" and lay off staff.

UK govt to give daily

COVID-19 TV briefings

London : The UK government

from Monday will hold

daily televised press conferences

to update the public on

the country's fight against the

coronavirus pandemic,

Downing Street has said. From

Monday, Prime Minister Boris

Johnson or a senior Minister

will address the media to

ensure people are informed

about how to protect themselves,

the BBC wuoted . The

media briefing will follow

another meeting of the government's

emergency Cobra committee,

chaired by Johnson,

where further decisions could

be made on actions to tackle

the spread of coronavirus.

Johnson will host the press

conference on Monday, alongside

Professor Chris Whitty,

the UK's chief medical adviser,

and chief scientific adviser

Patrick Vallance.

The announcement of the

daily updates comes after

Health Secretary Matt

Hancock revealed that every

Briton over the age of 70 will

be asked "within the coming

weeks" to stay at home for an

extended period to protect

themselves. The number of

confirmed UK cases of the

virus has reached 1,372, with

40,279 people tested, according

to the latest Department of

Health figures. Almost all of

the latest cases were in

England, but 34 new cases

were announced in Wales, 32

in Scotland and 11 in Northern

Ireland. There are a total of 35

deaths in the country.


16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ASIA


Yes Bank allots shares to SBI, 7 private banks

Mumbai : Crisis-hit Yes Bank has

allotted 1,000 crore equity shares to

seven private banks and the state-run

State Bank of India for a total consideration

of Rs 10,000 crore.

IDFC First Bank is the latest to

enter the SBI-led rescue team with an

investment of Rs 250 crore.

Investment by private banks has so far

reached Rs 3,950 crore.

In a regulatory filing, Yes Bank

said: "395,00,00,000 equity shares

have been issued and allotted to the

(private) investors for an aggregate

subscription consideration of Rs

39,50,00,00,000, calculated at a share

price of Rs 10 per equity share comprising

of Rs 2 face value and Rs 8


Further, SBI which would hold 49

per cent stake in the cash-strapped

lender has been allotted 605 crore

shares for Rs 6,050 crore. Under the

Reserve Bank-proposed reconstruction

scheme for Yes Bank, SBI shall

not reduce its holding below 26 per

cent before completion of three years

from March 14.

SBI, the largest public sector bank

in the country, has in fact committed

Rs 7,250 crore. On Thursday, it said

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that its Executive Committee of

Central Board (ECCB) has approved

the purchase of 725 crore shares in Yes

Bank at Rs 10 per share.

Among the private players, ICICI

Bank and Housing Development

Finance Corporation committed Rs

1,000 crore each. Axis Bank and

Kotak Mahindra Bank committed to

invest Rs 600 crore and Rs 500 crore

New Delhi : The new rules for debit and

credit cards to increase security and reduce

frauds kick in from Monday.

In January, the Reserve Bank

of India (RBI) had issued

new rules to improve user

convenience and increase the

security of card transactions.

These rules will help in curbing

the misuse of debit and

credit cards. RBI has directed

banks to allow only domestic

card transactions at ATMs

and PoS terminals in India at

the time of issuance/reissuance of card. For

international transactions, online transactions,

card-not-present transactions and contactless

transactions, customers will have to separately

set up services on their card. These rules

will be applicable for new cards from March

16. Those with old cards can

decide whether to disable

any of these features. As per

the existing rules, these services

used to come automatically

with the card, but now

it will start at the request of

the customer.

Debit or credit card customers

who have not yet

done any online transaction,

contactless transaction or

international transaction with the card, then

these services on the card will automatically

stop from March 16.

The Reserve Bank has asked all banks to

Mangaluru: The Karnataka Bank has reached out

to its shareholders to allay any fear and panic about the

safety of deposits and health of the Bank, and not to be

carried away by any misleading and concocted reports

on India Today channel about the safety of the Bank

published and circulated with malicious intent.

In a communication to shareholders following

media report of a M-cap to deposit ratio,

Mahabaleshwara M. S., Managing Director and CEO

said the bank is committed to continue efforts to

strengthen the fundamentals of the bank and also to

create value enhancement for all stakeholders.

"We remain committed in further strengthening the

CRAR of the Bank by augmenting the capital through

Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP)for which we are

thankful to our shareholders for their approval", the MD

said. Following the moratorium imposed on the Yes

Bank by Reserve Bank of India on March 5, a report by

a television channel India Today, was telecasted on

safety of some banks including Karnataka Bank, "using

an absurd and flawed so called M-Cap to deposit ratio".

Later this report was also circulated widely in social

media. "The above report by TV Channel India Today

infused a lot of anxiety and panicky situation among

the depositors in particular and other stakeholders in


Both Federal Bank and Bandhan

Bank have been allotted shares for Rs

300 crore each as per their commitment

and IDFC First Bank has been

issued equity shares in the crisis-ridden

bank for a consideration of Rs 250


The private investors including the

banks will be mandated to have a lockin

period for 75 per cent of their

investment in the bank. The remaining

25 per cent of the shareholding allotted

to each investor shall be freely

transferable and shall not be subject to

any lock-in.

The government on Saturday notified

the scheme of reconstruction for

cash-strapped Yes Bank Ltd., paving

the way for the lender to resume full

New rules for debit and credit

cards kick in from Monday

provide mobile banking, net banking option to

enable limit and enable and disable service 24

hours a day, seven days a week.

If the customer makes any change in the

status of the card, the bank will alert the customer

through SMS/email and send the information.

Issuers shall provide to all cardholders

facility to switch on/off and set/modify

transaction limits (within the overall card

limit, if any, set by the issuer) for all types of

transactions -- domestic and international, at

PoS/ATMs/online transactions/contactless

transactions, etc., The provisions, however,

are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards and

those used at mass transit systems. The latest

instructions come in the wake of rising

instances of cyber frauds and the huge

increase in the use of cards.

general and also raised a doubt about the safety of the

Bank", the bank said.

"The aforesaid report by television channel is totally

incorrect, mischievous and likely to mislead the

public and depositors by creating shadow of doubt

about safety of the Bank", the statement said. "With a

view to allay any fear and panic about the safety of

deposits and health of the Bank, we have issued press

releases dated March 11, 2020 and also clarified the

same in social media. The Bank has also taken appropriate

legal action against such incorrect and misleading

publications", Karnataka Bank has said.

The bank said that the very next day of telecast of

media report, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief

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The private sector bank has been

put under a moratorium by the

Reserve Bank of India since March 5

which has restricted deposit withdrawals.

Under the terms of the notified

scheme, this moratorium will now

be lifted at 6 p.m. on March 18.

According to the government notification,

Yes Bank's authorised share

capital will be revised upwards from

Rs 1,100 crore to Rs 6,200 crore. The

number of total equity shares will

stand altered to 3,000 crore of Rs 2

each aggregating to Rs 6,000 crore.

Authorised preference share capital

shall continue to be Rs 200 crore.

The government has also decided to

exempt all investors in the Yes Bank

from payment of capital gains tax for

any deemed profit or gains on account

of subscription of shares.

The office of the administrator of

Yes Bank shall also stand vacated after

seven days from the cessation of

moratorium and the new Board will

take over the bank.

Prashant Kumar, former SBI CFO,

and the current administrator of Yes

Bank may take over as Managing

Director and CEO of the bank.

Punjabi language classes

part of after-school

program in California

San Francisco : Students in Fresno, California will

now be able to learn the Punjabi language as part of an

after-school program, it was reported.

The Fresno Unified School District (FUSD)

launched the new program in response to the Global

California 2030 Initiative, which besides Punjabi, will

also teach Arabic, Spanish, French and Mixteco, the

India-West news reported.

Currently, the languages are taught at five elementary

schools, with one of the languages taught at each


The statewide 2030 goals for the initiative, as per the

school publication, are to triple the number of students

who earn the seal of biliteracy, quadruple the number of

bilingual programs, establish 100 state-approved bilingual

teacher preparation programs and double the number

of teachers authorized to teach in two languages.

Karnataka Bank allays fear and panic about safety of deposits

Economic Advisor to Government of India, Governor,

RBI, Chairman of SBI (who is also the Chairman of

Indian Banks Association) and other experts in the

matter clarified that so called M-cap to deposits ratio is

non-existent in the financial world and nowhere used

in the world to measure the health of banks. In fact, the

solvency and strength of banks is measured globally

by referring to Capital to Risk Weighted Assets ratio

i.e. CRAR only.

"The CRAR of the Bank as per audited financials as

on March 31,2019 was at 13.17 per cent which is well

above the CRAR of 10.825 per cent prescribed by

Reserve Bank of India. It is amply clear that your Bank

is well capitalised indicating solvency of the Bank and

with sound financial position measured among other

parameters like Net NPA (2.95 per cent) and Provision

Coverage Ratio (PCR) (58.45 per cent) as on March

31, 2019. "We, hereby confirm and reassure our depositors,

shareholders and other stakeholders that your

Bank is professionally managed and has a proven track

record of consistent profit. The lending philosophy is

largely assets based financing with adequate security

cover. We are a financially sound and well capitalised

Bank marching towards celebrating our centenary year

in 2024", Karnataka Bank said.


Srinagar : In his first official

statement on Sunday, former

J&K Chief Minister Dr Farooq

Abdullah, who was released from

his 7-month detention on Friday,

has underlined the importance of

free exchange of ideas and urged

all political leaders here to unite

to demand bringing back all J&K

detainees from outside J&K,

pending their release.

"I have consciously avoided

making any political statements

since I was released from detention

on the 13th of March. While I believe a

free & frank exchange of political views is

essential so that we can take stock of the

momentous changes that J&K has seen after

5th August 2019, we are still some way away

from an environment where such political discourse

will be possible. This is especially so

considering the number of people detained in

August last year who remain in jails outside

J&K," said Abdullah. "I am acutely aware that

compared to hundreds of Kashmiri families, I

have been far more fortunate. I was detained at

home & my family had access to me. Yesterday

when I went to meet my son Omar, also

detained under the Public Safety Act, I had to

travel a kilometre from my home to be able to

see him. For families of most of the detainees

meeting their loved ones is not nearly as easy.


Bring back all J&K detainees from

outside, says Farooq Abdullah

Their loved ones have been detained in

jails spread across a number of states. They

get two visits a month for which they have

to spend large sums of money they can illafford

traveling to & staying in the vicinity

of these prisons," he said.

The already onerous financial burden

is made worse by the health risk they now

face because of COVID-19. At a time

when people are being advised not to

travel, these families are being forced to

put their lives at risk in order to meet their

loved ones for a few short but very precious

hours, he said in the statement.

"Before we allow politics to divide us, I

appeal to all political leaders here to unite

behind the call to the Union government to

bring back all detainees from J&K in prisons

outside pending their release. This is a

humanitarian demand & I hope others will

join me in placing this demand in front of the

government of India," said the former CM

and ex-Union minister.

Indian national tests COVID-19 positive in UAE

Dubai : An Indian national was tested positive for

the novel coronavirus in the United Arab Emirates

(UAE) after he returned to the country following a

leave, the Ministry of Health and Prevention

announced. In a statement late Saturday, the Ministry

said it was taking all necessary measures to prevent the

spread of the deadly disease including screening everyone

who has come in close contact with the Indian

patient, reports Gulf News.

This is the second time that an Indian national has

been tested positive for the virus in the UAE.

Earlier this month, a 16-year student of an Indian

school in Dubai had contracted the virus from the

teenager's parent who had travelled overseas, according

to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

The country has so far confirmed 85 coronavirus


16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


Mass wedding in Mexico

City marks decade of

same-sex MARRIAGE

Mexico City : The Mexico City government marked

10 years of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage

by holding a mass wedding, which saw the participation

140 same-sex couples. Legal recognition of samesex


entered into

effect in March

2010 in Mexico

City, the first

region of Mexico

to reform its civil

code, reports Efe

news. "We


that it has not

been easy to gain

these rights, but

we are moving towards a free society and promoting

inclusion, respect and equality," Civil Registry chief

Manuel Becerra said on Saturday during the celebrations.

Since the legalization, 13,134 same-sex unions

have been registered in the capital, of which 6,997 were

gays and 6,137 were lesbians, the legal services department

of Mexico City said on Saturday.

After the reform, states such as Coahuila, in the

country's north and Quintana Roo in the south eastern

region, have changed the civil codes to allow sam-sex


In 2015, Mexico's supreme court ruled that state

laws which do not recognize the rights of same-sex

couples were unconstitutional. Nineteen of Mexico's 32

states currently allow the union, while in the rest of

areas, a legal appeal is needed first. Apart from this

landmark, Mexico City has revised the gender of 4,789

transgender individuals since 2015 after the law came

into effect.

"We are not going to lose the objective, you have the

right to an identity and unhindered development of personality,"

Becerra said. Becerra also highlighted the

first ever birth certificate to have been issued in Braille,

implying the inclusion of visually impaired people.

The Civil Registry in a statement said that the marriages

and identity changes are part of its human rights

strategies and added that it also contemplates information

campaigns about paperwork and services in a

"Rainbow Caravan".

20,000 job losses after Nepal suspends

climbing permits on-arrival VISAS

Kathmandu : The Nepal government's

decision to temporarily stop

issuing on-arrival tourist visas and

cancelling all spring mountaineering

expeditions, including Everest

ascents, was expected to result in job

losses of around 20,000 tour, trekking

and mountain guides, a media report

said on Saturday.

The decision was taken on

Thursday as a precautionary step to

combat the spread of the novel coronavirus

in the Himalayan nation which

has so far reported only one confirmed


The Kathmandu Post report on

Saturday said there were 16,248

trekking and mountaineering guides

and 4,126 tour guides in the country,

citing statistics from the Tourism


A Ministry survey conducted in

2014 showed that one employment is

generated from every six tourists.

"We have estimated that around 1

million people in the mountain belt

who make their living through the

spendings of foreign trekkers and

mountaineers will suffer," The

Kathmandu Post quoted Nabin Trital,

senior vice president of the Trekking

Agencies Association of Nepal, as


The hardest-hit sector will be

Everest, where an entire economy,

consisting of climbing guides, porters,

hotels and lodges, subsists on spring


The federal government too makes

millions every year in climbing permits.

Foreigners pay $11,000 to obtain

a permit and spend anywhere between

$40,000 and $90,000 to summit the

highest peak in the world. The

Department of Tourism collects

around $4 million annually in royalties

from Everest climbing permits.

"There were confirmed bookings of

at least 350 people to summit Everest

this spring. But that's gone now,"

Santa Bir Lama, president of the

Nepal Mountaineering Association,

told The Kathmandu Post. A group of

five climbers hires at least 30 sherpas

and a mountaineering guide could

earn $100 per day, excluding tips.

"With Thursday's decision, around

10,000 people-ranging from porters,

high altitude guides, kitchen staff and

other workers-are all going to go jobless,"

said Lama.

Prior to Thursday's announcement,

the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had

already led to cancellations in hotel

and travel bookings in Nepal since

February. "There has been a flurry of

booking cancellations since mid-

February, but Thursday's decision has

shaken the economy," Bhai Krishna

Khadka, senior vice-president of the

Tourist Guides Association of Nepal,

told The Kathmandu Post.

On Friday, a day after the government's

decision, Nepal Airlines decided

to cut its flights in half, putting

additional pressure on the aviation

sector, which was already reeling from

a lack of passengers.

The flag carrier said it was forced

to cut one of its two daily flights to

Delhi and suspended its Mumbai

flights for a month, effective from


It also cut flights to Bangkok and

Hong Kong and cancelled all flights to

Doha for an indefinite period.


16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ASIA


New Delhi : While it makes perfect

sense for IT employees to work

from remote locations via video conferencing

and collaboration tools

seamlessly - especially in the case of

tech giants like Google or Microsoft -

- workers from the non-IT companies

and small and medium enterprises

(SMBs) are the worst-hit in India as

most of them have little or no clue

about how these messaging and collaboration

tools work amid the coronavirus


Small companies -- from corporate

to education verticals -- are scrambling

to get their act together as new

coronavirus threat has reached their

premises, prompting them to send

employees home who have age-old

laptops, poor network and connectivity

with no UPS backups and little

knowledge about how to handle group

chat and collaboration software like

Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet,

Microsoft Teams and Flock etc.

Instead of halting operations, however,

businesses can choose to shift

towards remote working methods with

teaching non-IT staff on how to use

the latest digital software to connect

and work, say industry experts.

The training will take some time

and may hamper productivity in the

short run but is a win-win situation for

the non-tech companies in the long

run, in case any such global emergency

arises in the future.

According to a latest report by

Gartner, 54 per cent of HR leaders

have cited that poor technology and/or

infrastructure for remote working is

the biggest barrier to effective remote

working. Sandy Shen, Senior Director

Analyst, Gartner, says that with

COVID-19 disrupting the business

landscape, CIOs should relook at the

Washington : As

COVID-19 pandemic

keeps governments on

their toes, NASA and

other space agencies

have added stringent

measures to prevent the

spread of new coronavirus

among astronauts

so that they do not carry

the deadly virus into

space. NASA astronaut

Chris Cassidy and

Russian cosmonauts

Nikolai Tikhonov and

Andrei Babkin are likely

to be launched for the

International Space

Station (ISS) on April 9

and the space agencies

are in process for the

"health stabilization" for the next expedition

crew, reports Space.com. The astronauts have

started their quarantine earlier than usual due to

the current pandemic. Other procedures to ensure

that astronauts don't bring an illness to the ISS is

also under evaluation at the US space agency.

NASA mandates that astronauts stay in quarantine

for two weeks before launching into

space. "This is done in order to ensure that they

are not sick or incubating an illness when they

reach the orbiting lab," said the report on

Saturday. The procedure is crucial as microgravity

can affect the immune system, exposing the

astronauts to the virus. NASA has also suspended

tours at the facilities where the astronauts

undergo training ahead of their flight. The

agency has asked its own staff to stay home if

they feel sick. According to a CNN report,

NASA has ordered employees at the Marshall

Indian firms struggle

to deal with work

from home scenario

digital fulfillment of market demand. back-office

"The value of digital channels, employees as a

products and operations is immediately

obvious to companies everywhere

right now. This is a wake-up call for

organisations that have placed too

much focus on daily operational needs

at the expense of investing in digital

business and long-term resilience,"

warned Shen.

Businesses that can shift technology

capacity and investments to digital

platforms will mitigate the impact of

the outbreak and keep their companies

measure to deal

with the spread of

Covid-19 in India.

Networking giant

Cisco said that it

has seen "significant

growth" in the

usage of its web

conferencing and


service Webex in

India. According to

running smoothly now, and over the

long term. "Videoconferencing, messaging,





collaboration tools and docu-

ment sharing are just a few examples

of technologies that facilitate remote

work. Additional bandwidth and network

ViewSonic India,

due to COVID-19

pandemic, the corporate

and educa-

capacity may also be needed, tional sector is

given the increasing number of users

and volume of communications,"

informed Shen.

severely getting

The IT industry's apex body

Nasscom has asked the government to

relax norms for a month to allow

work-from-home for technology and

affected in the


"ViewSonic IFP

has a cloud-based

software which

help teachers and

Space agencies scramble to protect

astronauts from coronavirus

Space Flight Center in Alabama to telework after

an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

"NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is

moving into Stage 3 of our agency response

framework, with mandatory telework effective

immediately and until further notice," Center

Director Jody Singer said in a statement.

Marshall is the second NASA centre to invoke

mandatory telework in response to the pandemic.

NASA's Ames Research Center in California has

announced it was restricting access to the centre

after one of its employees tested positive for

COVID-19. In Russia, the astronauts are prohibited

from leaving the Star City training centre

outside Moscow ahead of their April 9 mission to

the International Space Station, reports the

Telegraph. The head of Star City, Pavel Vlasov,

confirmed the quarantine was fast-tracked

because of the pandemic.

corporates to connect through video

conferencing to multiple people at the

same time and can split the screen into

six screens. It can also connect with

various tools like Skype, Cisco

WebEx, Zoom, Google Hangouts and

GoToMeeting," Ahmad told IANS.

Co-working sector has also taken a

hit and the industry is looking at several

measures to tackle it -- from

ensuring supply of juices rich in

Vitamin C to supply of disinfectants

and giving work from home facilities.

"The scheduled visits of the clients

at our co-working offices have been

postponed. Few of our clients have

cancelled their outstation meetings

and have now started audio/video

conferencing for virtual meetings,"

said Nakul Mathur, MD,

Avanta India.

According to reports, India

has approximately 1,000 coworking

locations (as of

September 2019) and is the second-largest

market for the coworking

industry after China.

As India's first licensed B2B

Virtual Network Operator,

CloudConnect Communications

offers a collaborative platform

that allows companies to overcome

the COVID-19 threat while

maintaining seamless business

continuity and optimum employee


"We offer a secure, robust,

reliable, scalable and trackable

mobile-first unified communication

infrastructure that aids

remote teleworking so that businesses

can continue operating

even under any unforeseen circumstances,"

said Gokul Tandon,

Executive Chairman,

CloudConnect Communications.



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


BSP need to rise up and get connected

with people to fulfill Bahujan mission as

envisaged by Manyawar Kanshi Ram

Today, we remember Kanshiram

Saheb on his 87th birthday. His followers,

admirers, friends and many

others will be remembering him but it

is a fact that his presence is being

missed desperately particularly by the

Bahujan movement which is facing

extreme political crisis in the absence

of growing expectations of the masses

and failure of the political parties particularly

those which claim Bahujan

legacy, to respond to it.

In his second term, the Narendra

Modi government has been on war

with the opposition and citizens who

dissented against various policies of

the government. The aim of the ruling

party people is to discredit political

dissenters and term them anti national.

They have used all their terminology

in the dictionary but a few things done

last year have resulted in nationwide

disquiet which failed to get a strong

response from the parties like BSP

who people wanted to be more active

and which Manywar Kansiram had

built so laboriously travelling across

the country and bringing so many

diverse communities at one platform,

giving them home and aspiration.


That those who never tested power

even in the Panchayat became big

leaders and were made to contest from

unreserved constituencies and won it.

Such voices face extinction now as

the power of money dominate and

political leaders misuse the term ‘ I

am opportunist’ remark of Kanshiram

Saheb to suit their corrupt practices. It

was clear that he used the term opportunist

that for the welfare of his people

he is ready to go to any extent but

none can ever blame him for being

corrupt and not working towards the

interest of the Bahujan Samaj. BSP, as

a political party came out from a powerful

Bahujan movement with strong

Ambedkarite leanings and therefore

the expectations of the common people

today are similar as they used to

be in those days. In the greater interest

of the people, we dont kill the

party or weaken it but play a bigger

role in democratising it and making

the leadership understand that people

are expecting that the top leadership

respect their sentiments.

Things are changed now and we

can not have same sets of standards.

When Kanshiram Saheb started his

movement, his faith was on his people,

Ambedkarites in unknown villages

and towns who joined him and

trusted him. That trust was never

betrayed and people got space in the

leadership and he nurtured them.

Today, the youths of India has been

crying and speaking against anti people

policies of the government. The

Universities are being targeted, reservation

under the threat, political dissent

being crushed, lock down in

Jammu and Kashmir with more than

7000 political activists including former

chief ministers in jail and there

was not much response by the political

leadership but the silence or calculated

silence on anti CAA protests as

well as on the violence against

Muslims and targeting to them by the

police both in Delhi as well as Uttar

Pradesh should have been responded

in a much powerful political way but

merely reading out from text or sending

messages without addressing

media, no attempt to reach out the

communities reflect the ideological

crisis of the leadership. Why we say

so because Ambedkarite do not suffer

from ideological inefficiencies like

the brahmanical secular with their

‘balancing’ act of ‘sarv-dharm-sambhav’.

For us secularism is making

spaces for the most marginalised,

respecting Constitution and debrahmanising

political forums and cultural

spaces. We all know that the protests

against CAA, all over India showed

how the country was embracing Dr

Baba Saheb Ambedkar and his

thoughts. How people were finding

that Ambedkarism and his progressive,

democratic ideas are the only

way to fight against brahmanical

hegemony and their methods to divide

people through creating false narratives.

Ambedkarites actually know

these narratives better than any one

else in India because they are in the

best position to expose them.

But this opportunity was allowed to

go. The breaking up of alliance with

Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh was

a big set back as it is well known fact

that it was BSP which gained from

such an alliance. Akhilesh Yadav had

shown a lot respect and his learning

capacities to understand Dr Ambedkar

and his philosophy. I have been a critique

of Samajwadi Party’s campaign

attempt against Dr Ambedkar in the

past when the party tried to pitch Lohia

against Dr Ambedkar. The fact is

Lohia wanted Dr Ambedkar to be the

leader of a united opposition. For all

his misadventure, the alliance between

Samajwadi Party and BSP could have

worked as it ignited the caders of both

the parties and they felt that the good

old days of ‘mile mulayam kanshiram,

hawaa ho gaye jaishree ram’ will come

back. While the parties failed infront

of a massive onslaught by the BJP

through divisive campaign, the breaking

up of an alliance unilaterally

by BSP was the big jolt.

It trashed all the hopes of the

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

people who felt that a combined

strength and a long

term coalitions of the Bahujan is the

only guarantee to defeat the brahmanical

forces particularly in Uttar Pradesh.

Now, we are hearing that another

party is being launched today. I am

not much fond of party politics but

somewhere these are the failures of

the BSP leadership to handle the issue

with care. Now, if Chandrashekar

azad makes a party, it can only damage

BSP in Uttar Pradesh. It will be

difficult to build up the confidence

and Brand like BSP and that is why I

am off the opinion that BSP leadership

must introspect and include

young leaders particularly those

Ambedkarites who are emerging from

the Universities. Provide them space,

not necessarily party ticket but send

them to work among communities,

build up and support cultural spaces

and social movements. Keep critique

close or atleast read them as the

‘bhakts’ only damage the party as they

never give a correct picture of the

masses who are getting disillusioned.

It is time the BSP rededicate itself

to the philosophy of Dr Baba

Saheb Ambedkar by reaching

out the masses as Manywar

Kanshiram Saheb had done by

travelling across the country .

Can the new young aspiring

leaders of party be asked to

make a move, leave their

Scorpios and pick up a cycle or walk

through the dusty lanes and wadas

and tolas of the villages to connect to

the people and assure them that party

stand with them and their rights.

While a lot of time is wasted yet it is

not over. Can the BSP leadership do it


Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

6 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ASIA


Gyms, nightclubs, gatherings

of over 50 banned in Delhi

Aus orders all arrivals to

self-isolate for 14 days

New Delhi : The Delhi government

on Monday directed the closure of all

gymnasiums, nightclubs, theatres,

weekly markets and spas in the city till

March 31, apart from gatherings of

more than 50 people. Making the

announcements, Chief Minister Arvind

Kejriwal also urged people to postpone

impending marriages, if possible.

"Gatherings of over 50 people has

been barred in Delhi, excluding marriages.

We request people concerned to

postpone marriages, if possible,"

Kejriwal told the media after a meeting

with the Special Task Force. He also

informed that all the weekly markets in

Delhi will also be suspended till March

31. Kejriwal said all the shopping malls

should be disinfected daily and shall

also make provisions of availability of

an ample number of hand sanitisers at

main entrance. The special task force

headed by Kejriwal has also ordered all

the DMs and the SDMs to install hand

wash dispensers across Delhi.

"Entry in malls should be allowed

only after cleaning hands with the sanitisers.

The area SDMs have been asked

to arrange for handwashing facilities.

They were directed to arrange for hand

sanitisers in public places where mobile

washbasin cannot be installed,"

Kejriwal said. The Delhi Health

Department has also issued an order

regarding the announcements to deal

with the coronavirus spreading. The

order says that mass gathering is

restricted to 50 people till March 31.

"Any gathering -- social, cultural,

political, religious, academic, sports,

seminar, conference and family mass

gathering, except marriage, is restricted

to a maximum of 50 persons in Delhi till

March 31," the order said. The order,

Kejriwal said, is extended to the protests

in the city, including the Shaheen Bagh

protest. "We are following all the guidelines

being issued by the Centre," the

Chief Minister added.

Asking the people to contribute in

the same, he urged the public to stop

shaking hands, avoid touching the face

and keep cleaning the hands repeatedly.

Kejriwal said seven coronavirus

cases were reported in Delhi, of which

four are recovering in hospitals.

"One death has been reported so far,

while two persons have recovered," he

said. The Aam Aadmi Party government

has already shut the schools, colleges,

Anganwadis, cinema halls and public

swimming pools to control the spread of

the COVID-19 virus. The IPL matches

and mass gathering of over 200 people

were barred until now. On shutting

down the malls, Kejriwal said the government

also have to see that "the essential

commodity is not affected." "One by

one we have shut all the public places."

On community transfer of the virus, he

said: "Thankfully, community transmission

has not started yet in India."

Kejriwal said the SDMs have the power

to act against those not following the

orders, as coronavirus has been declared

an epidemic in Delhi and India.

Newborn baby diagnosed with

COVID-19 at London hospital

London : A newborn baby has reportedly been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus

in London, becoming the

global pandemic's youngest confirmed

case, a media report said. The

child's mother was reportedly rushed

to the North Middlesex Hospital in

the borough of Enfield with suspected

pneumonia days earlier, the Metro

newspaper said in the report on


It is thought that she only learned

of her diagnosis right after giving

birth. The newborn was thought to

have been tested within minutes of

being born. Doctors were now trying

to establish how the baby caught the disease - either through the womb or during

birth. The mother was now being treated at a specialist facility while her child has

been admitted in another hospital. As of Saturday, the number of coronavirus

cases in the UK were 798 with 10 fatalities.

Sydney : Australian Prime Minister

Scott Morrison on Sunday ordered a 14-

day self-isolation for anyone arriving in

the country in an effort to halt the

spread of the coronavirus. "This is very

important, what we've seen in recent

weeks is more countries having issues

with the virus and that means the source

of some of those transmissions are coming

from more and more countries," the

BBC quoted Morrison as saying at a

briefing here. "We know that the virus

cannot be absolutely stopped - no-one

can do that - but we can slow the

spread. And we anticipate that will be

our task over the next six months." The

measure will come into force from

Sunday midnight. The Prime Minister

also urged people to practise more

"social distancing", including not shaking


Appearing alongside him,

Australia's chief medical officer

Brendan Murphy admitted that these

Afghan govt

confirms 16 positive

COVID-19 cases

Kabul : The Afghanistan government

has detected five more positive

coronavirus cases, bringing the total

number of infections in the country to

16, a health official said on Sunday.

According to the spokesman for

Public Health Ministry, Wahid Mayar,

four new positive cases of the disease

have been detected in Herat and another

one in the central Daikundi province,

reports Xinhua news agency.

The first positive case in

Afghanistan was detected in Herat bordering

Iran weeks ago and so far 10

positive cases of the disease have been

confirmed in the province, according to

Mayar. According to the officials, the

number of suspected cases has been on

rise and so far 206 suspected patientins

have been tested across Afghanistan.

The majority of those carrying the

killing virus have returned from Iran, a

neighbouring country that has been

hosting more than two million Afghan

refugees, according to health officials.

were "difficult times" for the country

and called on Australians to be sensible

when buying necessities, warning

against panic buying, reports the BBC.

The Australian government has also

banned foreign cruise liners from docking

in the country for 30 days, but

schools will remain open. Australia has

reported 249 confirmed cases, with

three deaths.

Coronavirus cases

in Pak reaches 33

Islamabad : With the emergence of

five new cases of the novel coronavirus

in Pakistan, the total number of COVID-

19 infections in the country has

educational institutions till May 30.

The federal government, a day earlier,

decided to adopt a number of precautionary

measures to contain the

increased to 33. On Saturday, spread of novel coronavirus including

Balochistan reported two cases, Karachi

two and Islamabad one, reports The

Express Tribune. A woman, who had

recently arrived in Islamabad from the

US, was tested positive at the Pakistan

Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on

Saturday, the health facility's spokesperson

Waseem Khawaja confirmed.

The patient is in critical condition

and has been put on ventilator, he

added. With two fresh cases of COVID-

19 in Karachi, the tally in Sindh

province rose to 17. Sindh now has two

locally transmitted cases of COVID-19.

As part of precautionary measures,

the Sindh government has closed all

sealing the country's western border

with Iran and Afghanistan and cancelling

the Pakistan Day parade scheduled

for March 23.

The closure of the two borders will

begin on March 16 "for an initial period

of two weeks in order to prevent the

spread of COVID-19, in the best interest

of all three brotherly countries", the

Ministry of Interior said in a letter on

Friday. The decision was taken by the

country's top civil and military leadership

at a meeting of the National

Security Committee (NSC), presided

over Prime Minister Imran Khan in

Islamabad on Friday.



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


HONG KONG tourist

arrivals plunge by 96%

Hong Kong : Hong Kongs

battered tourism sector hit a

new low amid the coronavirus

pandemic in February when

arrivals slumped to 199,000 -

the daily average in the first

half of last year, a media report

said on Monday.

The Tourism Board's latest

statistics showed a drop of

more than 96 per cent year-onyear

for the period, after the

government rolled out measures

from February 8 to stem

the spread of the disease by

closing all but three border

checkpoints with mainland

China, where the virus first

originated last December, the

South China Morning Post

6-month jail for

people hiding


symptoms in SL

Colombo : Anyone found

hiding symptoms of the novel

coronavirus in Sri Lanka will

be handed a six-month jail

term, a senior police official

said here on Monday, adding

that there were individuals

who had avoided going into

quarantine centres after arriving

from virus-affected countries

Senior Inspector, DIG

Ajith Rohana, said steps will

be taken to arrest such individuals

without a warrant as

they posed a great danger of

spreading the virus to others,

reports Xinhua news agency.

The country's Police

Department said the law will

also be strictly enforced

against those who spread

false rumours on the COVID-

19 through social media.

A total of 23 individuals

had been arrested over the

spread of such false information

about the virus.

He further said that seven

officers had been deployed in

each police station across the

country who would provide

information on the quarantine

procedures to the public.

Sri Lanka so far has confirmed

18 COVID-19 cases

with almost all of them being

treated at the Infectious

Disease Hospital located in

the outskirts of Colombo.

newspaper said in the report.

For the rest of that month,

the average number of tourists

coming to the city per day

stood at just 3,300, of which

only one in five were from

mainland China, which used to

account for about 80 per cent of

all Hong Kong's visitors.

Across the globe, 47 countries

and jurisdictions have issued

advisories against travel to

mainland China, with 28 of

those including Hong Kong.

"The whole month's visitor

arrivals only account for a day's

total in the first half of last year,

which shows how dire the situation

is," the the South China

Morning Post quoted Tourism

Board Executive Director Dane

Cheng as saying said on

Monday. "We will roll out

plans to support industry stakeholders."

Key tourist attractions

such as Ocean Park in

Southern district and Hong

Kong Disneyland Resort on

Lantau Island closed their

doors indefinitely in January.

The record-low figure was

far worse than when the city

came under the grip of the

severe acute respiratory syndrome

(Sars) in 2003. Tourism

arrivals in May that year dipped

to 427,000. In Hong Kong,

seven new coronavirus cases

were recorded on Sunday,

bringing the local tally to 148.

Queen shifted from Buckingham

Palace amid COVID-19 fears

London : The UK's Queen Elizabeth II left the

Buckingham Palace and has been taken to the Windsor

Castle with plans in place to quarantine her and Prince

Philip at Sandringham if the coronavirus outbreak worsens

in the country, it was reported on Sunday.

A royal source told The Sun newspaper that she was

taken to Windsor, adding: "She is in good health but it

was thought best to move her. A lot of her staff are a bit

panicky over coronavirus." "The Palace hosts a constant

stream of visitors including politicians and dignitaries

from around the world. The Queen has met a lot of people

there until recently. But she is weeks away from her

94th birthday and advisers believe it is best to get her out

of harm's way," the source added.

The source further said that the Buckingham Palace

was deemed a "much more dangerous location" as it is in

the middle of London and also has a bigger staff than

other estates . "There have been no specific scares or positive

tests there yet but no one wants to take any

chances," the source told The Sun newspaper, adding that

the Queen's court could also be moved permanently during

the crisis. The Buckingham Palace has around 500

staff, Windsor 100 and the Sandringham estate in

Norfolk only a handful. Palace garden parties for 30,000 the Epsom Derby on June 6. "Future events will be spokeswoman as saying.

guests in May and June are on the brink of being cancelled

or postponed. The Queen may also have to miss appropriate advice," The Sun newspaper quoted a Palace 1,140 coronavirus cases and 21

reviewed on an ongoing basis taking into account the This development comes as the UK has reported


Isolation for the over-70s

'within weeks' in UK

Hancock was asked if the advice would be in

place for four months as has been reported.

"We'll be setting it out with more detail when

it is the right time to do so," he said, adding

the reason the measure has not been implemented

yet is the length of time required was

"very long".

Hancock's confirmation comes after the

government has faced pressure to do more to

tackle the epidemic after the UK death toll

rose to 21 on Saturday, with 1,140 confirmed


All deaths so far have been of people

over 60 or with underlying conditions.

London : Action to isolate people over

the age of 70-years-old across the UK for an

extended period to shield them from coronavirus

was being planned in the coming

weeks, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed

on Sunday.

The measure "is a very big ask of the elderly

and vulnerable, but it is for their own

protection", the BBC quoted Hancock as

saying to Sky News. The self-isolation measure

would mean people being asked to

remain at home without visitors and with

vital supplies dropped off for them on their

doorsteps. While speaking to Sky News,

Hancock also informed that Prime

Minister Boris Johnson will hold a conference

call with industry leaders on

Sunday urging them to join a "national

effort" to produce more ventilators and

other medical equipment "at speed" to help

the National Health Services deal with the

pandemic. Meanwhile, work was also

underway to buy up thousands of private

hospital beds to boost NHS capacity should

it be needed, the BBC reported. An emergency

bill giving the government temporary

powers to tackle the outbreak will be

published next week.

8 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ASIA


The Govt. must take note

of Ambedkarite’s Concern

and stop further harassment

of Dr. Teltumbede : Bali

L.R. Balley, an associate of Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and

presently Chief Advisor of

All India Samata Sainik Dal

(Regd.) an organisation

founded by Dr. Ambedkar

has issued the statement that

Dr. Anand Teltumbde, coming

from a poorest of the

poor family of landless

labourers, has earned laurels

in academic passing from

elite institutions like VNIT,

IIM, Ahmedabad and earned

his doctoral degree in the

frontier science of Cybernetics. He ranks among the best educated

persons. He has an impeccable unblemished corporate career of 4

decades. As a socially sensitive intellectual Dr. Teltumbde always

took cudgel for oppressed humanity and also earned the name

among the foremost civil rights activists in the country.

He had been member of the Maharashtra-based Committee for

Protection of Democratic Rights

(CPDR) for years and was elected as

its General Secretary since 2016

even when he was outside

Maharashtra. Such a person has been

implicated in the fabricated case of

Elgar Parishad, which he did not

even attend. When he was illegally

arrested by the Police, there was a

wave of protests across the world at

unprecedented scale. The process of

Elgar Parishad case has amply

revealed the fabrication of case. The

L.R. Balley, an associate of

Baba Saheb Dr. B.R.

Ambedkar and presently

Chief Advisor of All India

Samata Sainik Dal (Regd.)

case that stood on the confiscated

digital devices, which in absence of

the hash values remained wide open

to be manipulated by the police must

have been dismissed at the inception

itself. But under the plea that it

would be dealt with at the time of

trail and misusing the provisions of the draconian law like UAPA

which does not allow anticipatory bail, the innocent persons are

held in jail for years.

It may be noted that unlike other accused in this infamous case,

nothing has been recovered from him and he stands already interrogated

over two days at the instance of the High Court. However,

the case is persisted with extreme amoral zeal.

Dr. Anand Teltumbde is a part of Ambedkar family and perhaps

therefore the BJP Govt., at the Centre has targetted him to silence

Ambedkarites who have been raising their voice on the undemocratic

rather tyrannical activities of the Govt. This attitude of the

Govt. will be resented.

The Govt. must take note of Ambedkarite’s Concern and stop

further harassment of Dr. Teltumbede.

(L.R. Balley)

Chief Advisor, All India Samata Sainik Dal (Regd.)

Mobile : 98723-21664

Impact of Indian culture and cinema is

tremendous in Indonesia. It also shows how

inclusion can build an extremely coordial

society which is beneficial for all. Years ago,

I was informed in an indigenous people’s

area that Islam as well as Hiinduism came to

Indonesia from India. Everytime, I go there

and feel proud of the heritage they maintain.

Respect for India’s pluralism and history is

great. The cab drivers at the airport will ask

you so many questions about IT, Banguluru

and Delhi. The Indian cinema is quite popular

and show is Shahrukh Khan and his

‘kuchh kuchh hota hai’. I am amazed to hear

these lines from a large number of

Indonesian on my different visits to this

island nation. One driver who took me to

several places actually talked to me his love

for song ‘ kabhi kabhi mere dil me khayal

aata hai’.

What was amazing that yesterday the

driver who took me to the airport was knowledgeable.

He knew about a few Hindustani

words such as shukriya etc and said to me

that he is fond of old Hindi music particularly

the songs of Mohammad Rafi and Lata

Mangeshkar. ‘ I love them’, he said, the man

who was in his sixties. Sir, you are fortunate

that you had a great prime minister Jawahar

Lal Nehru. What a man he was, said the man

that Indians are great people as all religion

coexists there. Sir, I love Taj Mahal, he said

and I told him we have the wonderful words

because of our combined cultural heritage.

We have Mughals, we had Christians,

Buddhists, Hindus and everybody lived in

this country, fought together and lived

together as well as created a cultural mosaic

which remain unparalleled in the world.

And Indonesian Islam was inclusive and

provided a new model even for the Islamic

nations where religion could embrace the

cultural diversity of the region. It is the common

feature in Indonesia for men and

women have Hindu sounding names even

when they are Muslims. Dewi is commonly

used with women like the Hindu women use

Devi in India. Ramayana, Rama, Bali and

other features of Hinduism are quite popular

here. It is a country where all varieties of

food is available whether beef or pork and it

How the NPR-NRC would operate?

* A very likely scenario*:

I. At the NPR/Census stage, no

paper will be asked for.

(Though one’ll have to refer to in

order to provide the Aadhaar no.,

details of passport/driving

licence etc.)

II. Based on info collected, and *not

collected* (for whatever reasons),

the list of “doubtful citizens”

wil be prepared.

III. *Those on this “list” will have to

“prove” their “citizenship”

before the concerned authorities

to their “saisfaction”*.

It’d, as of now, be entirely up to

the concerned officials what constitutes

an “adequate proof” and

what is not.

*One should not expect even a

semblance of any uniformity*.

*It’d be all “discretion”*, unless

How Indian culture

influenced an inclusive

Indonesian identity

(through court directive or) otherwise


IV. Under that scenario, individual

boycott is just no option.

It’d straightaway send one to the

“doubtful list” and the nightmare

that is to follow.

However, “boycott” by very

high-profile individuals could be

quite helpful.

V. *The only option is to try to

ensure that the NPR-Census does

not at all take place (over considerably

large patches of area)*.

VI. As long as the census operation

is not explicitly disentangled

from the NPR, it has also got to

be similarly opposed.

(The merging of the two, apparently,

runs counter to the Section

15 of the Census Act, 1948.)

VII. Those who’ll, eventually, be

unable to “prove” would turn

“stateless”, with all the consequences

to follow.

– Sukla

does not become an issue of hatred. Most of

the Batik, the traditional art of Indonesia has

symbolism of Hindu Gods and goddesses

and people enjoy reading and knowing about


On an evening, sitting with friend from

diverse Asian countries, a friend active in the

peasant struggle of Yogyakarta actually surprised

me when he spoke about Bhagat

Singh and his idealism. I was amazed that

this man knew so much about Indian movements

and culture. He even raised the slogan

Inquilaab Jindabad and Laal Salam.

Politically as well as

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

Economically, both Indonesia and

Malaysia have shown how inclusion help

and strengthen the local economy. The

Hindus and other communities are closely

established in these countries. In fact, the big

businesses are also in the hands of Hindus. In

Bali, we saw, how Indonesia preserved its

Hinduness as it is the only state in Indonesia

which has Hindu majority.

While we do not like to give any one

access to our country, feeling as if every one

is dying to ‘settle’ here, Indonesia has opened

up its door. How great it make you when at

the airport, you are not even required visa and

you can get through the immigration easily.

And it is not merely for India, we found people

from various other countries including

Nepal and Bangladesh. It help to open up

your regime and not to look down upon every

one. Appreciation of your culture does not

mean they are inferior but we have to remember

how and why people respected India. Yes,

the respect for India is because of the values

that our founding fathers gave to us of secularism,

of scientific temperament,of social

justice, inclusion and respect for diversity.

We are being respected because of a solid

foundation of our republic was laid down by

the man who is despised most by the Sangh

Parivar, namely Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Today, whenever we are outside India,

people speak about Narendra Modi and his

government and about people of India in a

very disturbing way. We have to inform them

that these are the democratic system and a

phase which will pass out. Can you imagine

what would have been our position if

Hindutva had emerged powerful during the

freedom movement, a counter to Mohammad

Ali Jinnah’s call for a separate Islamic state.

Our institutions would have collapsed long

back and our standing in front of the world

community would have become the same as

the Pakistanis face it today because of the

obsession of the leaders to include religion

everywhere. Today, Pakistani state is trying

to look secular yet it is inherently communal

and the damage is done because of its past.

Today, attempt to improve country’s

image does not wash the sins of past

flirtation with religion and maltreatment

to minorities.

India must learn this. India is

respected in the world because of our

secular constitution and politics of

inclusion and Hindutva has already damaged

our image as a country believing in democratic

values and inclusion. The street masters

must underwtand that the governance is not a

street game of one upmanship but there are

international dimensions also. The world saw

the Delhi’s planned violence against Muslims

whether you call it pogrom or not but there is

not even an iota of truth that this was well

planned and the world watched the horror and

unspeakable brutalities on our own citizens

through their TV channels. So bhakts may

rejoice the fakenews factories of India but

world watch through their own analysis.

The Good will of the past will not remain

the same for long and therefore it is best for

the government to control its foul mouths

and focus on inclusive governance. We know

this is asking too much but it is important for

people at least to not to heed the rumours and

stand with citizens of the country irrespective

of their caste , religion and regional

identities. The protection of idea of an inclusive

secular humanist republican democratic

India is now at the hands of its people and we

hope and I hope, I am not hopelessly hopeful

that this hope will bring us together and

return our good old days. Koi lauta de mere

bete hue din…

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and

human rights activist. He blogs at

www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter


Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 9

Nirbhaya case: SC agrees to examine

legal issues with separate hanging

March 20,

5.30 a.m.

New Delhi : The Supreme Court said

on Thursday it may examine the legal

issues emerging from the Nirbhaya

gang-rape and murder case, where four

convicts are on death row, whether there

is a possibility to hang the convicts separately.

A bench headed by Justice R.

Banumathi and comprising Justices

Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna said

the larger question before the court is:

could there be separate hanging of the

convicts, or it has to be simultaneous.

"We would have to go into it", said the

court. The top court was hearing an

appeal by the Centre and Delhi government

pressing for separate hanging of

the convicts who have exhausted all the

legal remedies. The plea came to the top

court challenging the February 5 order

of Delhi High Court ruling that the four

convicts in the case would have to be

executed simultaneously. A trial court

on Thursday issued fresh warrants with

March 20, 5.30 a.m., as the date for the

execution of the convicts -- Mukesh

Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25),

Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar

Singh (31). Solicitor General Tushar

Mehta, representing Centre and Delhi

government, contended before the court

that the convicts have already made a

mockery of the justice delivery system

by capitalising on the loopholes in the

legal process.

The court said that convicts' lawyers

be prepared for arguments against separate

hangings on March 23. Justice

Banumathi said the court will lay down

the law on whether separate hangings

can be permitted to avoid delay after

taking into account the execution of

death warrants of these convicts have

Nirbhaya convicts move

ICJ for stay on execution

New Delhi : Three convicts in the

Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case on

Monday approached the International

Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking a stay on

their execution scheduled for March

20. The plea filed through Advocate

A.P. Singh sought stay on execution of

the convicts - Akshay, Pawan and

Vinay. The plea also sought for an open

court hearing of the oral arguments by

the death row convicts through their

legal counsel. The plea also sought for

calling of records of the present case by

the ICJ. The Supreme Court on

Monday rejected the request by one of

convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape to

file a new curative petition against his

death sentence, refusing to once again

put on hold their execution due this


"Circumstances say there is no remedy

left. You (Mukesh Singh) have

availed mercy plea. It was rejected.

Warrants issued. Curative petition has

been dismissed. What's the remedy

left?" the Supreme Court said.

already been deferred thrice.

Mehta informed the bench the trial

court has fixed March 20 as the date of

the execution of convicts, who have at

this stage exhausted all legal remedies.

The top court posted the matter for

further hearing on March 23, as it would

hear the matter on merits without any

adjournement. Mehta insisted that there

is no statutory provision which stipulates

that convicts have to be executed

simultaneously, and only trial in a case

would have to be conducted simultaneously.

"Today, there are four convicts.

Tomorrow, there may be 10 or 20 such

convicts and they may again delay the

execution choosing to move the legal

forum at different time," he said.

Mehta sought permission for the execution

of Mukesh and Vinay as the challenge

to the rejection of their mercy plea

by the President has already been dismissed

by the apex court. "It is not our

anxiety to hang somebody...Our anxiety is

that credibility of the system is at stake,"

insisted Mehta. He also informed the

court that two other convicts -- Akshay

and Pawan -- are likely to file pleas in the

top court challenging rejection of their

mercy petitions by the President. "It is dehumanising

to keep them under such

threat," contended Mehta seeking the goahead

on the execution of Mukesh and

Vinay. The top court said it would hear

the matter on March 23. Mehta also cited

the High Court order making it clear, on

February 5, that convicts in the case have

one week to exhaust all their remedies.

But, the trial court kept extending the date

of execution. "The time can be extended

by the High Court or the Supreme Court,

and not by trial court, as it has no jurisdiction,"

Mehta added. Justice Bhushan

replied that trial court had to extend the

date of execution, as the convicts' mercy

plea was pending before the President.

Advocate A.P. Singh, representing Vinay

and Akshay, said that Tihar jail is silent on

the pending mercy plea of Akshay, rejected

by the President, and was incomplete.

"Do not make a mockery of the system,"

Mehta told Singh. A 23-year-old physiotherapy

intern, who came to be known as

'Nirbhaya,' was gang raped and savagely

assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi

on December 16, 2012. She had died after

a fortnight.

Heat stress may affect over 1.2bn people annually by 2100

New York : Heat stress from

extreme heat and humidity will

annually affect areas now home to

1.2 billion people by 2100,

assuming current greenhouse gas

emissions, say researchers. Rising

global temperatures are increasing

exposure to heat stress, which

harms human health, agriculture,

the economy and the environment,

the study, published in the

journal Environmental Research

Letters, said.

"When we look at the risks of

a warmer planet, we need to pay

particular attention to combined

extremes of heat and humidity,

which are especially dangerous

to human health," said study

researcher Robert E. Kopp from

Rutgers University in the US.

According to the researchers,

heat stress is caused by the

body's inability to cool down

properly through sweating. Body

temperature can rise rapidly, and

high temperatures may damage

the brain and other vital organs.

Heat stress ranges from milder

conditions like heat rash and heat

cramps to heat exhaustion, the

most common type. Heat stroke,

the most serious heat-related illness,

can kill or cause permanent

disability without emergency

treatment, according to the US

Centres for Disease Control and


For the findings, the study

looked at how combined

extremes of heat and humidity

increase on a warming Earth,

using 40 climate simulations to

get statistics on rare events. The

study focused on a measure of

heat stress that accounts for temperature,

humidity and other

environmental factors, including

wind speed, sun angle and solar

and infrared radiation.

Annual exposure to extreme

heat and humidity in excess of

safety guidelines is projected to

affect areas currently home to

about 500 million people if the

planet warms by 1.5 degrees

Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)

and nearly 800 million at 2

degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees

Fahrenheit). The planet has

already warmed by about 1.2

degrees (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit)

above late 19th century levels.

An estimated 1.2 billion people

would be affected with 3 degrees

Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit)

of warming, as expected by the

end of this century under current

global policies, the study said.

"Every bit of global warming

makes hot, humid days more frequent

and intense.

10 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ASIA


New Delhi : Are you willing to jump

a little high on the fitness bar this season?

Well, fitness is not just about a balanced

diet and a routine, it's also about

exercise and monitoring your food

intake. If you have newly begun your

journey to fitness, it's recommended

that you start slow, and focus on one

single aspect of your diet. But fitness

and health is more about being consistent,

so what can help you remain on

track? Add bananas to your diet; this

small yet necessary change in your food

consumption will benefit you in the

long run. A workout followed by a

reward is more likely to sustain than

ones with extremely high-intensity

moves. Bananas can be a journey of

sweet pleasures, so make it your best

bet if you're looking for a balanced diet

amidst a messy schedule.

Kimaye Health underlines why you

should include bananas in your everyday


Why bananas?

Safe and healthy in its natural form,

it serves as a balanced fruit with a perfect

blend of vitamins and nutrients.

Bananas offer massive health benefits

and can be squeezed into your regular

diet with zero effort. In a fast-paced

unorganized schedule that most of us

follow, we miss out on the right time to

Washington : US airports

have been thrown into chaos as

new coronavirus health screening

measures for people returning

from Europe came into force,

a media report said on Sunday.

Long queues formed as travellers

waited for hours for the

screenings before passing

through customs, the BBC report

said. People have been tweeting

pictures and videos of passengers

waiting to be processed,

forming large crowds in airport

terminals. One user said: "This is

What's in a banana?

consume our meals. While there are

multiple reasons to include a nutritious

banana in your daily routine, we'll bring

it down to the 3 most important ones.

1. A full-fledged meal

US airports in disarray

over COVID-19 screening

not good, Trump has literally

created a perfect storm to transmit

#COVID19. Don't even

know where to start with this


Another tweet said that the

"US government created health

risk at airports all across the

country. It's difficult to comprehend

how ill-prepared this

administration is for this crisis".

Taking to Twitter on

Saturday, Illinois governor JB

Pritzker said the long lines at

Chicago's O'Hare airport were

Good quality bananas are 75% water

with very little density. As summers in

India can be harsh, you can rely on

bananas to keep you well hydrated.

Consuming two of them is equal to one

"unacceptable". Passengers were

currently being questioned about

their medical histories and

checked for symptoms at airports

across the US.

Responding to the chaos,

Acting Homeland Security

Secretary Chad Wolf said on

Saturday that his office was

working with airlines to improve

screening times, the BCB reported.

This development comes as

the US has extended its Europe

travel restrictions to Britain and

Ireland due to the COVID-19

pandemic, which will be effective

from Monday midnight.

"We suspend all travel from

the UK and Ireland, that will be

effective midnight Monday night

eastern standard time," said Vice

President Mike Pence at a White

House briefing on Saturday.

The travel ban that

Washington imposed on 26

European nations has been effective

since Friday midnight, the

same day when President

Donald Trump declared a national

emergency to open up $50 billion

in federal aid to help combat

the spread of COVID-19 across

the country.

The US has more than 2,700

confirmed cases, with 54 deaths.

When Dev Anand, Zeenat Aman acted in an English film

Mumbai : Way before Irrfan, Priyanka Chopra

and Deepika Padukone

cracked Hollywood, veteran

stars Zeenat Aman and Dev

Anand had starred in an

English film titled "The Evil


Released in 1970, "The

Evil Within", an Indo-

Filipino drama production,

was directed by Lamberto V.

Avellana, whose best-known films include "Anak

Dalita"and the romance "Badjao". The film also

SL declares public holiday

over COVID-19

Colombo : The Sri Lankan government on Sunday declared

March 16 a public holiday after the number of confirmed

COVID-19 cases in the island

nation rose to 10. In a statement,

the government's information

department said that the holiday

had been declared to prevent the

spread of the virus across the

island country, reports Xinhua news agency. All businesses and

shops will be closed and people have been requested to remain

indoors. Schools are also closed till April 20. Besides the 10

cases, there were over 100 people under observation after they

reported flu-like symptoms. Most of them had recently returned

from Italy and were put under quarantine.

The government has urged all those suffering from flu-like

symptoms to seek medical attention immediately at 11 designated

hospitals which can carry out tests for COVID-19.

Director General of Health Services at the Health Ministry Anil

Jasinghe told reporters here that more cases were expected to be

reported in the coming days due to a large number of Sri

Lankans returning from Italy. Presently, the Sri Lankan government

has banned travellers from Europe, South Korea, Italy and

Iran. Sri Lankan nationals arriving from those countries will be

taken to quarantine centers in Batticaloa and Kandakadu.

full fledged meal and can keep you sufficed

for a substantial period of time.

So, if you skip your workout for a day,

this habit will balance out your fitness

goal. They also help to improve digestion,

heart rate and blood pressure in


2. Effortless and delicious

Banana is a good substitute for

breakfast or pre & post-workout meals.

In case you crave something sweet and

delicious, a banana delicacy can easily

be squeezed into your fitness regime.

Bananas make the best base ingredients

for pancakes and smoothies, as they

taste heavenly, and are also quick and

easy to prepare. Its natural essence of

sugar makes the fruit a preferred

choice. How effortless could it get?

3.Burst of nutrients

Bananas are rich in nutrients, especially

potassium and Vitamin C. These

elements can help to bring down blood

pressure and improve the health of your

heart. It could be a perfect aid to save

you from unseen health problems that

might arise in the future. Why should

one wait to fall sick to disrupt a healthy


So, if you're taking baby steps to fitness,

bananas should definitely be on

your list! While they're easily available,

it's always good to check before you

purchase them. You won't compromise

on the quality of fitness, so why compromise

on the diet? Cross two more

streets maybe, but pick your bananas

from the right store.

includes several other familiar Indian faces,

including names like Prem

Nath, Iftekhar, MB Shetty and

Jagdish Raaj. Also known as

"Passport To Danger", the film

was a James Bond-inspired

crime thriller, which was distributed

by 20th Century Fox.

Zeenat Aman and Dev Anand

have together worked in films

like "Hare Rama Hare

Krishna", "Heera Panna", "Warrant" and


715-C Parkfield Road

Wolverhampton, WV4 6EE

Tel. 1902 681 655


Sky Digital Channel 0205

24 hour Entertainment

On Sky, On-Line, On Mobiles

Studio : 01902 457875

Reception : 01902 450533



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


India will need 1,900 planes by 2038: Airbus

Hyderabad : The world's largest aircraft

manufacturer Airbus on Thursday

forecast that India will need nearly 1,900

new aircraft by 2038 and the country's air

traffic growth will be 7.7 per cent, almost

twice the expected world average of 4.3

per cent. India's domestic traffic growth

over 2018-2038 period is projected at 8.2

per cent, one of the world's highest. The

international traffic growth for the country

is pegged at 5-7 per cent. Anand

Stanley, President and Managing

Director, Airbus India & South Asia told

a news conference here on Thursday that

they were bullish on the Indian market

but their forecast was conservative and

has taken into account cyclical events

like coronavirus. He said out of 1,880 aircraft

required, 1,670 will be small and

VOTERS go to polls in

French local elections

210 in medium and large categories.

Some 1,440 aircraft are for growth and

440 are needed to replace aircraft that

will be retired. Taking into account the

440 retirements, India's existing domiciled

fleet of 510 aircraft will quadruple

to 1,950 by 2038, he said.

The news conference was organised

on the first day of Wings India 2020,

Asia's largest event on civil aviation. On

average one Airbus aircraft will be delivered

to India every week for the next 10

years. Anand said India was set to

become one of the world's largest

economies, with some of the world's

fastest growing cities in terms of GDP

including Hyderabad, Chennai and

Bengaluru. "In the next 20 years air transportation

is expected to be a key enabler

and a beneficiary of this economic

growth. Rising wealth and urbanisation,

and the Indian government's ambitious

regional connectivity programmes are all

growth drivers," he said.

He said with world-class engineering

and training centres and 45-strong supplier

network, Airbus' industrial footprint in

India set new standards among international

aircraft manufacturers. "Today,

every Airbus commercial aircraft is partly

made in India and we are working to

double our sourcing volumes from the

country to more than US$ 1 billion by

2025," he said. Annual sourcing from

India currently stands at $650 million per

year. Airbus currently employs 7,000

people in India including 1,500 engineers.

Courts won't allow govt to

ban media: Islamabad HC

Paris : Some 70,000

polling stations opened on

Sunday in France in the first

round of municipal elections

amid widespread restrictions

to fight the spread of the coronavirus

pandemic in the country.

Almost 48 million voters

are eligible to case their votes

elect mayors in 35,000 municipalities

for the next six years

in an unprecedented environment,

reports Efe news. France

has seen almost 4,500 confirmed

infections and more than 90 deaths

from the virus, which emerged in the

Chinese city of Wuhan in December

2019 and has been declared a pandemic

by the World Health

Organization. A few hours after the

government announced the closure

of all non-essential public establishments

in a bid to slow the spread of

the outbreak, polling stations were

ready to receive citizens.

The participation rate will be

closely monitored to answer the

question of whether fears over the

contagion will result in a low

turnout. There have been growing

calls for the authorities to delay the

electoral appointment because of the

exceptional circumstances. President

of Occitanie Carole Delga asked for

a postponement after Prime Minister

Edouard Philippe announced the closure

of bars, restaurants, cinemas and

non-essential stores. "In view of the

latest statements by the prime minister

and the growing concern of the

population, I think that the most sensible

thing would be to delay the

municipal elections," she said in

French on Twitter.

The government debated an electoral

delay on Thursday, shortly

before the President Emmanuel

Macron addressed the nation in a televised

speech. But leaders of the

main parties strongly opposed

a postponement and even went

as far as to say that doing so

would amount to an institutional

coup d'etat. Polling stations

have been equipped with

hand gel, a person dedicated to

cleaning, signs on the floor to

keep distance between voters

and messages reminding citizens

to avoid contact with each

other. They must also give priority

to elderly or frail people

and allow them to cast their

votes without having to wait in

queues. The Interior Ministry will

publish turnout figures at 20:00 local

time (19:00 GMT) when voting will

close and the count will begin.

Polls have predicted a good result

for environmentalists, stability for

conservatives and socialists, a moderate

rise in the extreme right and a

bad result for Macron's party.

If the predictions are fulfilled,

Paris will be in socialist hands and

Marseille in that of the conservatives

with Macron's party looking to win

Lyon. The far-right could win

Perpignan, the largest city in its history,

and environmentalists could

secure a victory in Bordeaux.

Islamabad : The Islam-abad High

Court (IHC) has directed the Pakistan

Telecommunica-tion Authority (PTA) to

submit rules proposed to regulate social

media and warned that constitutional

courts never allowed the government to

ban the media. IHC Chief Justice Athar

Minallah, while hearing the case on

media ethics and regulations on

Saturday, said that constructive criticism

was a prerequisite for nation building,

reports Dawn news. "Why should one

(be) afraid of criticism?" asked the Chief

Justice. Well-known journalist Hamid

Mir informed the court that the government

has issued a notification to regulate

social media. However, federal ministers

were unaware of these regulations and

they have openly admitted that it was

issued without due deliberation of the

federal cabinet. Representatives of the

PTA and the Pakistan Electronic Media

Regulatory Authority (Pemra) informed

the court that Prime Minister Imran Khan

had constituted a committee to review

these regulations after they received

national and international criticism. He

further informed the court that these regulations

had not been implemented so far

since they had not been notified in the

official gazette.

Chief Justice Minallah directed the

PTA and Pemra representatives to submit

details of these regulations and

adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Barrister Jahangir Jadoon, the lawyer

who challenged the social media regulations,

told the court that following the

arrest of Jang Group's editor-in-chief Mir

Shakilur Rehman, Pemra had allegedly

asked cable operators to block Geo TV's

transmission, adding that subsequently

the channel had either been blacked out

or its number moved to the tail end.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.


6 :00 pm


6 :00 pm

Ambedkarites News and Views



Mob : 07411 251 804, 07847 307 059

12 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 BUSINESS


China’s industrial production

falls 13.5% in 30-year low

Beijing, China’s industrial production

plummeted 13.5 per cent year-onyear

in the first two months of 2020,

its worst decline in 30 years, due to the

impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic,

the countrys national statistics

office said on Monday.

The figure, well below analysts’

forecasts, who predicted about a 1.5

per cent growth, is the worst for industrial

production since January 1990’s

21.20 per cent drop, when the statistics

were first gathered, reports Efe news.

This drop is a stark contrast to the

December 2019 data, which showed

that Chinese industrial production

increased by 6.9 per cent year-on-year.

Industrial production measures the

activity of large companies with a

minimum 20 million yuan ($2 million)

annual turnover.

Manufacturing production fell by

15.7 percent in the same period, due to

the 6.5 per cent drop in production in

the mining sector.

Products of which manufacturing

did grow in January and February are

face masks (127.5 per cent), smartwatches

(119.7 per cent), frozen meat

(13.5 per cent) and instant noodles

(11.4 per cent), highlighting the

demand caused by prevention measures

against the virus.

Retail sales fell 20.5 per cent yearon-year,

according to the statistics

office. The agency also offered

China’s fixed-asset investment data

Monday, which plunged 24.5 per cent

compared to the same period last year.

“While domestic conditions should

All In Red: Sensex

tanks 2,700 points,

Nifty below 9,200

Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Coronavirus fears continued to

cause mayhem in the stock markets as the BSE Sensex ended over

2,700 points lower and the Nifty50 on the National Stock

Exchange (NSE) settled below the 9,200 mark.

This is the second biggest single-day fall in the history of

Sensex. The rout in the domestic market was in line with the

decline in Asian and European markets.

The Sensex closed at 31,390.07, lower by 2,713.41 points or

7.96 per cent from the previous close of 34,103.48. It hat opened

at the day's high of 33,103.24 and touched an intra-day low of

31,276.30 points. The NSE Nifty50 closed lower by 757.80 points

or 7.61 per cent from its previous close of 9,197.40.

A bear run was witnessed across sector on Monday with banking

and financial and metal stocks witnessing heavy selling.

As all the stocks on the Sensex ended in the red, IndusInd Bank

lost the most (17.5 per cent down), followed by Tata Steel (11.02

per cent), HDFC (10.94 per cent), Axis Bank (10.38 per cent) and

ICICI Bank (9.96 per cent). Yes Bank stocks bucked the bearish

trend and surged on Monday and closed 45.21 per cent at Rs 37.10

per share as the bank's reconstruction scheme has come into effect.

The bank has also said that it will resume its full-fledged operations

on Wednesday.

Further, shares of SBI Cards and Payments Services made a

weak debut on the stock exchanges on Monday as it opened at Rs

658, nearly 13 per cent lower than its issue price of Rs 755.It

ended at Rs 683.20, lower by Rs 71.80 or 9.51 per cent from its

issue price.

improve slowly in the coming months,

the mounting global disruption from

the coronavirus will hold back the

pace of recovery,” analyst Julian

Evans-Pritchard of British consultancy

firm Capital Economics said in a

report, adding that the data had been

much weaker than expected and pointed

to a deeper recession than that of

the 2008 global financial crisis.

According to Evans-Pritchard, “the

March data is likely to be even

worse”. “Admittedly, the high-frequency

data we track show that economic

activity has started to recover

gradually in recent weeks,” he said.

“But the slump in February was diluted

in the data by being averaged with

January, when most of the disruption

had yet to be felt.”

Covid-19: US mulling

plan to incentivise firms

to relocate home

New York : President Donald Trump's administration

is considering a plan to give incentives to US companies

to relocate their operations back home after the

disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, his

Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said on Monday.

The incentives could take the form of a 100 per cent

write-off of expenses on structures, equipment, R&D

and intellectual property, he told reporters at the White

House after a teleconference Trump had with leaders of

the G7 countries. "That would pay for the moving

expenses of American companies based in China.

Right there, that would pay for their moving expenses."

But Kudlow added that nothing was firm as yet

and "I'm tossing it out as something we're thinking

about. I'm not here to form - the President hasn't signed

off on it. It's something worth thinking about".

US companies are facing disruptions because they

are not able to get manufactured goods and parts from

China, where manufacturing has been shut down. Such

a programme could also affect countries other than

China where US companies have located operations

and also deal a blow to globalisation.

Wall Street plunged again Monday morning and

despite one stop in trading the negative hovered around

9 per cent at noon despite the Federal Reserve cutting

interest rates to nearly zero per cent on Sunday.

Asked if a global recession was around the corner,

Kudlow avoided the "R" word and said: "We are going

to be challenged, no question about it. We have a big

challenge. I've been saying that and I'll continue to say

it. I'm not going to label it one thing or another."

About Wall Street, he said: "This market decline's

tough. Very tough." But he downplayed its effect,

asserting: "My own view, right or wrong, better or

worse, I've always advocated long-term investing for

myself and my family and friends.

US stocks go down

despite Fed relief, Dow

falls 2,700 points

Mumbai : Stock markets in the

US continued a freefall on Monday

as both Dow Jones Industrial

Average and the S&P500 slumped

over 7 per cent lower circuit to trigger

15-minute halt in trading.

Trade, however, has resumed in

both indices and the indices have

fallen over 10 per cent. Currently,

Dow Jones is trading at 20,469.58,

lower by 2,716.04 points or 11.71

per cent from its previous close.

S&P500 has fallen nearly 11 per

cent or 295.63 points to 2,415.39.

The growing concerns of the coronavirus

crisis persisted even as the

US Federal Reserve has taken the

extraordinary action of slashing the

interest rate effectively to zero in

emergency action to prop up the US

economy battered by the coronavirus

crisis and facing the risk of a recession.

Federal Reserve Chairman

Jerome Powell said on Sunday

evening that the rate cut and other

actions were taken were meant to

help the US "weather this difficult


Other measures announced by the

Federal Reserve, the country's central

bank commonly referred to as

the Fed, include pumping $700 billion

into the US economy by buying

government bonds worth $500 billion

and $200 billion of mortgagebacked


US President Donald Trump has

already declared a national emergency

in the world's biggest economy

over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asian and European shares

also plunged earlier in the day.

In India, the benchmark BSE

Sensex recorded its second biggest

single day fall as it ended over 2,700

points lower. The Nifty50 on the

National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled

below the 9,200 mark.

The Sensex closed at 31,390.07,

lower by 2,713.41 points or 7.96 per

cent from the previous close of

34,103.48. The NSE Nifty50 closed

lower by 757.80 points or 7.61 per

cent from its previous close of




16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


Being overweight may up

advanced prostate cancer risk

New York : Researchers have

found that being overweight in middle

age and later adulthood linked to a

greater risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Using data from 15 large studies

combined together, the research team

examined associations between body

fat, height, and prostate cancer risk in

8,30,772 men, 51,734 of whom had

been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“This study shows that adopting and

maintaining a healthy weight in middle

to late adulthood can especially

reduce the risk of advanced prostate

cancer,” said study lead author Jeanine

Genkinger from Columbia University

in the US. According to the

researchers, prostate cancer is the second

most common cause of cancer in

men in the US. Fewer than one in

three men with advanced prostate cancer

live five years beyond diagnosis.

Before this study, only a few studies

examined contributing factors to

advanced prostate cancer. There was

an especially noticeable lack of

research on the linkage between factors

like weight in early adulthood,

changes in weight during adulthood,

and waist circumference, specifically

with advanced prostate cancer risk,

they said.

The current research took a lifecourse-based

approach, examining

survey data collected across respondents’

lifespans to determine whether

and at what age during adulthood

excess body fat increased risk for

advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers found that a body

mass index (BMI) elevated above a

healthy weight during the middle to

late adulthood—median age range

from 50 to 64--was linked to the greatest

risk for developing advanced

prostate cancer. A “healthy” weight is

defined as a BMI between 21 and 25

kg/m2, they said. The study found that

greater waist circumference was

linked with an increased risk of

advanced prostate cancer and death.

According to the researchers,

although other studies have linked

higher BMI with increased prostate

cancer, this is the first study to find a

positive association with waist circumference.

“These study results

show that risk for advanced prostate

cancer can be decreased by maintaining

a ‘healthy’ weight and adopting

healthy eating and exercising are factors

that can help maintain a healthy

weight,” Genkinger concluded.

The associations are therefore likely

to be due to biological mechanisms,

rather than socioeconomic factors.

In terms of height, oestrogen is crucial

for the acceleration in vertical

growth that occurs during puberty and

is also known to promote the growth

of endometrial cells.

The authors suggest oestrogen

could be behind the positive association

between the disease and being


Tall, slim girls may be

less likely to conceive

London : Tall slim girls are at greater

risk of developing endometriosis, a debilitating

disease that affects women’s quality

of life and ability to conceive, say


Endometriosis, a situation that has an

effect on a person in 10 ladies and makes it

more durable to turn out to be expecting,

was observed to be far more typical in slender

women of all ages

of previously mentioned

normal peak.

Published in the

journal Annals of

Human Biology, the

research tracked the

pathways into adulthood

of more than

170,000 girls, aged

seven to 13 - is the first

to trace links between

the risk of endometriosis

and childhood

height and BMI.

Previous studies

have suggested an association

with adult

height and body size,

but results have been


“A critical time window

during which the disease develops is

often missed, with women often experiencing

diagnostic delays of several years,”

said study lead researcher Julie Aarestrup

from Denmark’s Centre for Clinical

Research and Prevention.

“Our findings suggest that indicators of

risk can be picked up at an earlier age,

which might help speed up diagnosis so

treatment can be started to slow the growth

of endometrial tissue,” Aarestrup added.

The findings show girls with a higher

childhood BMI have a lower risk of

endometriosis, than girls who are tall and

lean - with factors more likely to be due to

biological mechanisms, such as an

increased level of oestrogen, rather than

socioeconomic issues.

For the current study, researchers examined

whether birth weight, childhood BMI

and childhood height are associated with

endometriosis, as well as with risks of adenomyosis.

Adenomyosis is when the

endometrium grows into the muscle wall of

the womb, rather than outside it as in


Birth weight, measured height and

measured weight were analysed from

171,362 girls aged seven to 13, born in

Denmark between 1930 and 1996. Followup

started in 1977 or when the girls

reached 15, whichever came later, and

ended if endometriosis or adenomyosis

was diagnosed or in June

2017, whichever came first.

2,149 women were diagnosed

with endometriosis and 1,410

with adenomyosis. The results

found that girls with a higher

childhood BMI had a lower risk

of endometriosis, while taller

girls were diagnosed with the

disease more often.

For example, a difference of

around 2.3kg between two sevenyear-old

girls was associated

with an 8 per cent increased risk

of endometriosis in the lighter

girl, while being taller by around

5.2cm is associated with an

increased risk of about 9 per cent.

There was no similar association

with adenomyosis risk, and

there was no link between birth

weight and either endometriosis or adenomyosis.

The findings were consistent

whether the girls were born towards the

start of the 66-year period or more recently,

spanning a period when significant

improvements were made in medicine and

in living conditions.


Heavy stress may shorten

your life expectancy

If are taking too much stress, read this carefully. Researchers

have found that life expectancy is influenced not only by the traditional

lifestyle-related risk factors, but also by factors related

to a person’s quality of life, such as heavy stress.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, was based on

data collected from men and women aged 25 to 74 in the Finnish

National FINRISK Study 1987-2007 through questionnaires and

measurements. The rate of mortality was followed until the end

of 2014. For the findings, the researchers calculated the effects

of multiple risk factors, including lifestyle-related ones, to the

life expectancy of men and women. “Before, life expectancy has

usually been assessed based on only a few sociodemographic

background factor groups, such as age, sex, and education. In

this study, we wanted to assess the impact of several different

factors to a person’s life expectancy, so we could compare their

effects,” said study researcher Tommi Harkanen from National

Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland.

The researchers calculated the life expectancies by changing

the values of each risk factor at a time and keeping the values of

other factors constant. Only the BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol

levels were allowed to be changed when the values related

to lifestyle factors were changed. They found that the biggest

causes for shortened life expectancy for 30-year-old men are

smoking and diabetes. Smoking takes 6.6 years and diabetes 6.5

years out of their life expectancy. Being under heavy stress

shortens their life expectancy by 2.8 years, the study said. The

lifestyle choices that increase mortality, such as smoking, heavy

alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise, are most common

in the population groups whose social position is the weakest,

the study said.

14 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 HEALTH


Can pet dogs or cats get

coronavirus infection?

A pet dog belonging to an infected patient in Hong Kong was

earlier reported to have "low level" coronavirus, giving rise to

rumours about pets being susceptible too.

Recent billboard advertisements in

Mumbai featuring a dog and a bat, advising

people “to avoid unprotected contact” to

prevent spread of coronavirus received

enough flak from animal rights activists.

Arguing the advertisements were misleading,

the activists reportedly wrote letters to

the World Health Organisation (WHO) to

pull down the billboards.

Busting myths about coronavirus, WHO

had earlier said, “At present, there is no

evidence that companion animals/pets such

as dogs or cats can be infected with the

new coronavirus.”

According to Centres for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC), there have

been no “reports of pets or other animals

becoming sick with COVID-19.” CDC

said, “At this time, there is no evidence that

companion animals including pets can

spread COVID-19.”

Again, the American Veterinary Medical

Association was quoted as saying, “At this

time, experts have not expressed concern

about transmission to or from animals.

Multiple international health organisations

have indicated that pets and other domestic

animals are not considered at risk for contracting


“Just as the common cold doesn’t spread

between companion animals and humans,

many other viral infections in

humans don’t find a host in

dogs and cats at home or on

the streets, as they have different

cell receptors, thereby preventing

human-borne viruses

from causing an infection in

them. During this time of crisis

caused by the coronavirus, it is

important that we as a society

make all efforts to protect our

companion and community

animals from any potential

abuse resulting from the

spread of myths,” People for

the Ethical Treatment of

Animals (PETA) India CEO

and veterinarian Dr Manilal

Valliyate said in a statement.

A pet dog belonging to an

infected patient in Hong Kong

was earlier reported to have

“low level” coronavirus, giving

rise to rumours about pets

being susceptible too. Hong Kong’s

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation

Department, however, confirmed later that

the pet may have been carrying the virus in

the mouth and nose from contact with the

infected owner but it showed no symptoms

of clinical illness.

How to keep pets safe

PETA also suggested some preventive tips for companion and community animals:

1. Never put any face masks on animals, as they can cause breathing difficulties.

2. Do not restrict the movement or activities of companion and community animals or

do anything else that would compromise their overall welfare.

3. Best practices include making sure companion and community animals in your area

are up to date on vaccinations, they receive annual veterinary check-ups, and preventive

measures are taken to protect them from heartworm, fleas, and ticks.

4. People who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close

contact with animals and should have another member of their household care for

animals so as not to get the virus on their fu

ediate physical danger or in urgent need of veterinary care, you can call PETA India’s

emergency number 9820122602.

London : Researchers have found that disrupted

and poor quality sleep in the earliest

months of a child's life can be an indicator of

depression, anxiety and behavioural problems

among toddlers. The study, published in the

journal BMJ Paediatrics Open, found a clear

relationship between sleep problems in infancy

such as frequent night wakings, short sleep

duration or difficulty in falling asleep and particular

emotional and behavioural problems at

24 months of age. Although childhood sleep

problems are extremely common and their

association with daytime behavioural difficulties

is well recognised, this study shows for the

first time how sleep problems in infancy and

very early childhood are associated with emotional

and behavioural problems later in childhood.

"Our results show that infants who sleep

for shorter periods of time, take longer to fall

asleep and wake up more frequently during the

night are more likely to show emotional and

behavioural problems in later stages of childhood,"

said lead researcher Isabel Morales-

Munoz from University of Birmingham in the


"It's likely that sleep quality in these early

months and the development of self-regulation

- the ability to control our behaviour - are

closely intertwined," Morales-Munoz added.

For the findings, the research team studied

the results of two sleep questionnaires completed

by parents within the CHILD-SLEEP

birth-cohort, a large study cohort based in

southern Finland.

For this specific study, the researchers

obtained information from nearly 1700 parents

who completed a baseline questionnaire, and

reported on sleep habits of their children at 3,

8, 18 and 24 months. These results were compared

with a separate questionnaire on emotional

and behavioural symptoms, which was

completed by 950 parents at the child´s age of

24 months.. The researchers found that high

frequency of night wakings at 3 months was

Drinking alcohol will not

protect you from deadly

coronavirus: WHO

New Delhi : With 31 individuals diagnosed with the deadly

novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, everyone seems to be

going into a state of panic. And as a fallout, people are believing

just about anything and everything they are coming across on the

Internet. Among several pieces of information, there is one that

asks people to 'drink alcohol to stay safe and kill the deadly virus',

which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is not

true. Busting myths, misconceptions and misinformation about the

deadly coronavirus, the WHO said: "No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine

all over your body will not kill viruses that have already

entered your body." According to the global health agency, spraying

such substances can be harmful to clothes or eyes and mouth.

"Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect

surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations,"

the WHO said.

The most effective way to protect yourself against the new

coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcoholbased

hand rub or washing them with soap and water, according to

the organisation.

The WHO also revealed that taking a hot bath does not prevent

the new coronavirus disease and cannot be transmitted through

goods manufactured in China or any country reporting COVID-19

cases. So far, the deadly novel coronavirus has now infected more

than 1,00,000 people around the world and taken more than 3,000

lives globally. As of Saturday, the total number of coronavirus

cases around the world was 101,492, with 3,485 deaths.

Poor sleep in infancy linked to behavioural issues

strongly linked to emotional, behavioural and

self-regulation (the ability to control emotions

and behaviours) problems in toddlers. Further,

infants who experienced shorter sleep duration,

who took longer to fall asleep and who

experienced frequent night wakings at different

stages of early childhood were likely to

find problems in regulating their behaviour

and emotions at the age of 24 months, leading

to disrupting emotions and behaviours, such as

temper tantrums.

The study contributes to recent research on

the role of early sleep problems in socio-emotional


The research suggests that infant sleep

problems may be due to a variety of mechanisms,

including genetic and environmental

factors. "Environmental factors, such as sleeping

practices in the family, parental reactions

to crying and parental stress also play an

important part in a child's sleep and socioemotional

development," Morales-Munoz added.



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


Older people with low BP

at higher mortality risk

London : Older people,

please take note. Researchers

have found that low blood pressure

is linked to high mortality

in older adults.

The study, published in the

journal Age and Ageing,

analysed 415,980 electronic

medical records of older adults

in the UK. “We know that treating

blood pressure helps to prevent

strokes and heart attacks

and we would not advise anyone

to stop taking their medications

unless guided by their

doctor,” said study lead author

Jane Masoli from University of

Exeter in the UK.

The research was conducted

after some countries have

changed blood pressure guidelines

to encourage clinicians to

take measures to reduce blood

pressure in a bid to improve

health outcomes. UK blood

pressure guidelines are within

safe parameters for all.

However, previous research has

not considered the impact on

frail older adults, who are often

omitted from trials.

During the findings, the

research team found that people

aged 75 or over with low

blood pressure (below 130/80)

had increased mortality rates in

the follow-up, compared to

those with normal blood pressure.

This was especially pronounced

in ‘frail’ individuals,

who had 62 per cent increased

risk of death during the 10 year

follow-up, the study said.

Although high blood pressure

increased risk of cardiovascular

incidents, such as heart attacks,

it was not linked to higher mortality

in frail adults over 75.

Older people aged 85 and

over who had raised blood

pressure actually had reduced

mortality rates, compared to

those with lower blood pressure,

regardless of whether they

were frail or not.

“Internationally, guidelines

are moving towards tight blood

pressure targets, but our findings

indicate that this may not

be appropriate in frail older

adults,” Masoli said.

“We need more research to

ascertain whether aggressive

blood pressure control is safe in

older adults, and then for which

patient groups there may be

benefit, so we can move

towards more personalised

blood pressure management in

older adults,” Masoli concluded.

The University of Exeter is

a public research university in

South West England and it was

founded and received its royal

charter in 1955.

Delhi extends free disinfection

services to auto-rickshaws

New Delhi : The Delhi government

would extend the free disinfection facilities

to public transports, like auto-rickshaws,

Gramin Sewa, Phat-Phat Sewa, Maxi cab,

eco-friendly vehicles from Tuesday, the

Transport Department said here on

Monday. "The disinfection of vehicles will

be done at all the DTC and cluster bus

depots in two shifts daily. The first shift

will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and the

second shift from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

The government has advised that everyone

should get their vehicles disinfected every

day, though it's not mandatory for all," it

said. A notification on this was issued on

March 12. Earlier, the Delhi government

had issued a notification under which it

was made mandatory for all the inter-state

buses entering Delhi to carry a "Certificate

of Disinfection" from their respective

states. These buses are again disinfected at

various ISBTs. "Apart from that, the Delhi

government has been disinfecting its own

DTC and cluster buses as well as Metros

on a daily basis to prevent the spread of

coronavirus," the Transport Department


Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on

Monday said the government may consider

thermal screening at the metro stations as a

part of checking the spread of coronavirus.

On the disinfection facilities, Kejriwal

said the public vehicles could use the facility

to prevent transmission of coronavirus.

"Bus terminals are also being disinfected

daily," he said.

Balanced protein intake can decrease

age-related muscle loss

London : To reduce age-related muscle loss, older people need to eat proteins fairly

evenly throughout the day, says a study.

The results published in the journal Frontiers in Exercise and Sports Nutrition suggest

that eating more protein at breakfast or lunchtime could help older people maintain muscle

mass with advancing age. This is because older people tend to eat less protein at

breakfast and lunchtime. The body's mechanisms for producing new muscle require regular

stimulation to function efficiently - this stimulation happens when we eat protein.

The mechanisms are less efficient in older people, so they need to eat more protein to

get the same response as younger people. But just eating more protein is not enough,

though. Older people also need to spread that intake evenly across all their meals to

ensure they maximise the benefits of protein for muscle mass.

Malaysia reports 41 new

cases of COVID-19

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday announced 41 new

cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed

cases in the Southeast Asian country to 238.

A total of 35 patients have been cured and discharged while

five were being held in intensive care, Xinhua quoted

Malaysia’s Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham

Abdullah as saying in a statement.

He said that new measures would be implemented at hospitals

including limiting the number of visitors, among others.

The number of cases took a spike following a large religious

event involving thousands of participants between late February

and early March. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

has urged mass events and gatherings to be cancelled or postponed

nationwide including religious events and international

gatherings until after April 30.

25 sheep killed by wild

beasts in Kashmir valley

Srinagar, Twenty-five sheep were killed by wild animals in

north Kashmir’s

Baramulla district.

According to a

report, wild animals

entered the barn of a

villager in Kungamdara

village of Pattan tehsil

of Baramulla district

last night and killed all

the 25 sheep in the

barn. “It is obviously a

case of wild animal

attack,” an official said.

Attacks by wild animals

especially during

the winter months have

recorded an increase in Kashmir during the last several years.

Experts say this is the result of humans encroaching into the natural

territories of wild animals as competition for space and food

pushes the borders of forests further back.

Bats, crows found dead in

Kozhikode’s bird flu-hit areas

Kozhikode (Kerala), Three days after the presence of bird

flu was confirmed in two areas of Kerala’s Kozhikode district,

local villagers on Tuesday found a good number of bats and

crows lying dead there. The bird flu was found at two poultry

farms in and around Kozhikode Municipal Corporation limits on

Saturday and the areas where the bats and crows carcasses were

found was near to this. Anxious locals got in touch with the

Animal Husbandry department officials, who came and collected

the samples of the dead bats and crows. Meanwhile, the special

teams that have been formed to cull the poultry in a one kilometre

radius of where the bird flu was detected, are engaged in

their work and is expected to finish their job soon.

The results of the samples taken from bats and crows is

expected to take two days according to the department officials.

16 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 ENTERTAINMENT


The industry always opens

its doors for hard working

people, says Jacqueline

M iss Universe Sri Lanka winner

Jacqueline Fernandez marked her acting debut

in the Hindi film industry with Sujay Ghosh’s

Aladin (2009). Despite having no film background

and not knowing anybody in the industry,

she went on to bag some big banner projects

and soon became a popular name. A while

ago, she opened up about how she was suggested

to get a nose job done and change her

name to a more oriental one.

Eleven years later, she looks back and says

that it has been a rather “great” journey for her.

Ask her about the industry being more accepting

of her now and she says assertively,

“Though I don’t think there was ever really a

sense of not belonging in the Hindi film industry,

there’s definitely a greater sense of inclusivity

now, which is great. The industry always

opens its doors for hard working and passionate

people who push the boundaries. It really is

just that. And, it has been that way for me

throughout my career.” Four years ago, she

branched out and featured in a music video

titled GF BF. Her second music video with

TSeries, Mere Angne Mein composed by

Tanishk Bagchi, dropped recently. Talking

about how it helped her explore a different side

to herself, Fernandez says, “It is the first time

that I worked with (directors) Vinay (Sapru)

and Radhika (Rao), and they gave me a completely

different look and a character that I

could only dream about playing. It’s something

that I had never done before, and so, it was

really exciting — the get up, the costumes, the

sets and the dancing. Learning the mannerisms

of the character that I played in it was amazing.”

The song, sung by Neha Kakkar and Raja

Hasan, stars reality TV celeb Asim Riaz, and

celebrates a story of eternal love and the festive

spirit that India has had over centuries. The

Housefull 3 (2016) actor says that doing a

music video isn’t very different from

doing a film. “We do a lot of song

and dance in our films. Doing a

music video which appeals to

you is an exciting project to

take on.

Everything about this

project — working with

Bhushan (Kumar) who

delivers the best songs

and creatives — felt like

it’s an amazing project to

be part of and that’s why I

took it on,” she explains.

The actor, who was last

seen in the digital film,

Drive (2019) hasn’t been

seen on the big screen

for about two years now

after doing Race 3 in

2018. In the meanwhile,

she had been shooting for

a web film, Mrs Serial

Killer. She says that she

never thought that foraying

into the digital

space is a step down

from movies. “I’m an

avid OTT audience

myself and so, it’s

only natural for me to

be able to extend that.

I genuinely feel that it

is the future and pretty

soon everyone’s

going to be moving

into OTT,” she signs


Our equation has evolved: Kiara on

working with Akshay again

She entered Bollywood as an outsider, and Kiara Advani

wouldn’t have thought that within five years, she’d get to work

with some of the top names in the industry. And among all her

co-stars, the one she finds “really special” to work with, is

Akshay Kumar. “After all, he launched me in the film industry.

(Advani made her acting debut in Fugly in 2014, which was coproduced

by Kumar),” she says. As luck would have it, she

worked alongside him in last year’s hit, Good Newwz. And,

she is again paired opposite the 52- year-old in her next,

Laxmmi Bomb. “So, it’s like life has come full circle

from where I had started.

I think our equation has evolved over all these

years,” she adds. The Kabir Singh (2019) actor

recalls how, during Good Newwz, she “learnt a lot”

from Kumar as well as her onscreen husband,

Diljit Dosanjh, who is “an extremely fine actor.”

“In the film, Diljit and Akshay sir together

were like fire. They always brought

something new to the table. During

the entire experience (of the

shoot), I learnt so

much even in the comedy space since it was the first time that

I dabbled in that genre. I think I have learnt a lot from working

with such incredible actors,” says the 27-year-old. Currently in

the sixth year of her acting career, armed with a loaded lineup

ahead, does she look back and introspect on her journey?

“Personally, for me, every single film has been a

turning point because there is something that

I’ve learnt from each and every film, and

taken that learning forward. Whether

they were successful or not, they’re

mine and I’m proud of all of them.

That’s always been the way I looked

at it,” says the actor, who’s getting

rave reviews for her recently

released web film, Guilty. Her

upcoming slate of films include

Indoo Ki Jawani, Shershaah and

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and the actor

admits she couldn’t have been happier.

“I’m extremely grateful for all

the love; it’s extremely humbling. It

only motivates me, and makes me

hungrier to do better (work) and reach

out to many more people now,”

she concludes.

‘Learning on the

job is the best’

Anil Kapoor says his Bollywood journey, from

location manager to production assistant and

finally an actor, has taught him a lot

I t has been 40 years since he entered the film industry, but actor

Anil Kapoor is still going strong at the age of 63. And in his recent

release, Malang, he returned to the action genre after a long time.

“It has been five years since I’ve made my comeback to the action


I did the TV series, 24, in 2016 and since

then, there was no action project that came my

way. But unlike my other out-and-out action

film, Malang didn’t have too much of real

action and stunts. There were some gunshots

and a few hand-to-hand combat scenes,”

Kapoor says. The actor, who has his

hands full with upcoming

films such as Takht,

Mumbai Saga and AK vs

AK, feels content with

the way the year ahead

looks. And as he

reflects on his fourdecade-long


he gives

credit to the

experience he

had on the job.

Besides, he says

he didn’t shy away

from taking up

odd jobs.

“When I wasn’t

getting a job as

an actor, I got

into production.

I started as a

location manager

and was in

charge of looking after the actors, picking them up and dropping

them to the airport. Then, I was in charge of catering and would

arrange food for everyone.

Later I became a production assistant and helped in casting for

a film called Hum Paanch (1980), in which I also had a cameo.

From doing cameos and small roles to big ones, I enjoyed this

process a lot,” recalls Kapoor, who started his journey in his early

20s and shot to fame as a lead actor with films such as Woh Saat

Din (1983) and Mashaal (1984). The actor shares that it was his

hunger for learning and doing good work that helped him to climb

up the ranks in the industry. “I feel learning on the job is always

the best. You observe other actors’ way of working and learn from

them. For me, learning from my co-actors, co-workers and friends

has been the most enriching experience,” he adds.

Mrunal Thakur: Farhan

Akhtar inspires me

Mumbai : Actor Farhan Akhtar underwent extensive training

for his role in the upcoming

sports drama "Toofaan", and

his co-star Mrunal Thakur is

really impressed by him.

"I am blessed to work

with him. I learnt a lot from

him...it feels good to work

with such a fantastic actor at

the initial stage of your

career. I really enjoyed

watching his movie 'Bhaag

Milkha Bhaag'..the amount

of hard work he had gone

through -- be it physically,

was impeccable.. and the

same he did for 'Toofaan'.

He really inspires me.

"I just tell myself that whenever in my life I would play a character

of what Farhan is doing in 'Toofaan' I will not give up...the

day I would give up, the only visuals in my mind would be like, 'if

Farhan did it then why can't you?'," Mrunal told IANS.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, "Toofan" is scheduled

to release on September 18.



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


Bhima Koregaon case: SC tells

Teltumbde, Navlakha to surrender

Haryana to set up 500 isolation

beds in Gurugram

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday

declined anticipatory bail to academician Anand

Teltumbde and activist Gautam Navlakha and

allowed them to surrender, in three weeks, before

the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection

with Bhima Koregaon violence case.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and

comprising Justice M.R. Shah asked both the

activists to surrender and also asked them to surrender

their passports forthwith. The bench said

their petitions cannot be maintained in view of

Section 43D(4) of the Unlawful Activities

(Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, this section bars

grant of anticipatory bail to a person accused of

having committed an offence punishable under this

Act. "The special leave petitions are, accordingly,

dismissed. However, since the protection has been

enjoyed by the petitioners approximately for oneand-a-half

years, three weeks from today is granted

to them to surrender. The petitioners shall surrender

their passport forthwith with the investigation


Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing

Teltumbde, contended that the offence under section

120B of IPC is not laid down in the FIR and

documents cited by Maharashtra Police were

recovered from the computer of some other person.

And, these documents were not even email, therefore,

it is very difficult to validate them.

Navlakha and Teltumbde are two of the many

accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and are

charged with sections of the UAPA.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing

Navlakha, said in June 2018, UAPA

charges were added in the second FIR and he has

not been named in this FIR.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing

the NIA, contested these allegations by citing

emails which mentioned "glorious violence" and

also had content on the killing of 27 CRPF jawans

in Chhattisgarh's Sukma. Singhvi insisted his client

was used by the police as an intermediary to hold

talks with Maoists.

Mehta submitted before the court that both did

not get any success for quashing of FIR against

them in various forums. And, this establishes prima

facie cases are against them and their custodial

interrogation, he added. The two activists had

moved the apex court after the Bombay High Court

dismissed their petition seeking anticipatory bail.

The investigation was transferred to NIA and

consequently all the accused, leaving Navlakha

and Teltumbde, were placed under judicial custody

by a special NIA Court in Mumbai.

China to send more medical

experts to Italy: Jinping

Chandigarh : Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora on

Monday gave directions to set up at least 100 isolation beds in all districts

and over 500 isolation beds in Gurugram only to contain the

spread of coronavirus. She said the government's decision to close all

cinema halls, schools except examination centres, gyms, swimming

pools and night clubs should be strictly implemented till March 31.

Besides, attention should be paid to ban the gathering of more than

200 people in any social, political, cultural, educational, sports competition

and family events in the state. The state has issued guidelines

to ensure the availability of medicines, masks, and sanitisers to the

public at reasonable prices.

The government has set-up two helpline numbers -- 8558893911

and 108 -- where information regarding the novel coronavirus

(COVID-19) suspects can be taken.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

restricts functioning

Chandigarh : The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday

restricted its functioning to urgent cases till March 31 in view of the

coronavirus scare. Now, anticipatory bail pleas, protection issues and

habeas corpus pleas would be entertained, a high court official said.

Earlier, the executive committee of the Punjab and Haryana High

Court Bar Association unanimously decided that work would remain

suspended till further orders.

Beijing : China will send more medical

experts to Italy and do its best to provide

medical supplies and other assistance,

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone

conversation with Italian Prime Minister

Giuseppe Conte on Monday.

In the talk, Jinping stressed that both

China and Italy have experienced the severe

test of the COVID-19 epidemic recently,

Xinhua news agency reported. After months

of hard work, China's epidemic prevention

and control work has shown positive changes

and made major progress for the current

stage, Jinping said, adding that the recovery

of economic and social development has

been accelerated at the same time.

China will act prudently from beginning

to end and strive for an early and complete

victory over the epidemic, so as to provide

other countries with confidence in their prevention

and control efforts.

Noting that the Italian government has

taken a series of resolute prevention and control

measures in response to the epidemic,

Washington: The US

Supreme Court, which has

barred presence of people due to

coronavirus, now announced

that it will not hear legal arguments

this month.

The suspension of trial arguments

marks the first time since

1918 that the US apex court has

taken such a move, the BBC

reported, adding that it cited previous

closures during the

Spanish flu in the early 1900s

and the yellow fever outbreak in

the 18th century. The court was

to hear several major cases,

including on the battle over

President Donald Trump's efforts

to shield his tax returns and

financial records. Most Supreme

Court justices, who serve for

life, are elderly, putting them

among the population most at

risk from Covid-19.

Jinping said that China firmly supports Italy

and has full confidence in Italy's victory over

the epidemic. China identifies with Italy's

urgent concerns, and will send more medical

experts to Italy and do its best to provide

medical supplies and other assistance,

Jinping said. China is willing to work with

Italy to contribute to international cooperation

in combating the epidemic and to the

construction of a Health Silk Road, Jinping

said. He expressed belief that through this

joint fight against the epidemic, the traditional

friendship and mutual trust between

the two countries will be deepened, and the

bilateral all-round cooperation will enjoy

even broader prospects.

Conte noted that the Chinese government

has taken resolute measures to effectively

control the epidemic, which has greatly

encouraged and provided reference for Italy

and other countries, adding that Italy congratulates

China on the achievement.

Conte thanked the Chinese side for its

valuable support and assistance at Italy's difficult

times, adding that this once again

proves the profound friendship between the

two peoples.

On behalf of the Italian government and

people, Conte expressed his heartfelt thanks

to the Chinese side, and said he believes that

after the epidemic, the relationship between

Italy and China will be stronger.

US Supreme Court closes down

for first time in a century

18 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 NEWS



COVID-19 measures,

stops prasad distribution

Kolkata : Belur Math, the global headquarters

of the Ramakrishna Math and

Ramakrishna Mission, on Monday stopped

all spiritual initiation to be held at the Math

and distribution of noon-prasad, besides

banning gatherings in large number inside

the main temple till further notice to stop

any spread of the coronavirus.

In a notice put up on its website, the religious

order announced that devotes will

not be allowed inside the Ramakrishna

temple during the evening Arati (vesper

service) and no spiritual initiation will be

held at the Math till further notice.

"Devotees will not be allowed to sit

inside or gather in large numbers inside Sri

Ramakrishna Temple; they may offer

pranams to Sri Ramakrishna

(Paramahamsa - the inspirational saint of

the order) and come out quickly.

"During the evening Arati (vesper service),

the devotees will not be allowed

inside the temple. They may watch the

Arati on the giant LED screens installed on

the campus. Distribution of noon-prasad

for devotees has been discontinued, until

further notice.," the Math said in the notice.

Noon-prasad is the food offered to the

god first and then given to devotees around

noon daily. The religious order has

announced that devotes will not be allowed

to pay obeisance to its president while no

"spiritual initiation will be held at Belur

Math until further notice". All enquiries

regarding spiritual initiation will be entertained

after April 14. The order has also

closed the museum christend Ramakrishna

Sangraha Mandir until further notice.

"The general advisory for public safety

issued by the Government has been displayed

in a number of places on the Belur

Math premises. The advisory may please

be followed," it said. The management of

Dakshineswar Kali temple is also considering

curtailing the visiting hours for pilgrims

and prevent overcrowding.

No fear of coronavirus, say

Shaheen Bagh protesters

Punjab cracks down on illegal

sand mining, nine arrested

Chandigarh : Acting on the directions of Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh, Punjab Police has cracked down in a big way

on sand mining being carried out at night in six districts.

Nine persons were arrested in the special operations, which

led to the seizure of 18 vehicles being used illegally in the night

mining, according to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar

Gupta. The seizures, made during the raids in Ropar,

Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar City, Jalandhar Rural, Moga and Fazilka

on early Sunday, included JCBs, tractor trolley and tippers, he

added. So far, nine cases have been registered by the police, and

further investigations are in progress, said the DGP.

The DGP said similar raids will be carried out daily on the

directives of the Chief Minister, who had received certain

reports and complaints of illegal mining being carried out at

night. The special operations, to be conducted in all the concerned

districts, will involve officers of the Mining Department.

The police will accompany the civil officers deputed by the

Deputy Commissioners, he added.

Giving details of last night's operations, Gupta said in Ropar,

though the night mining was hampered by rains, the raiding

team nabbed three people with two sets of machinery.

In Moga, two persons were arrested with two tractors and

trolleys. Efforts were on to arrest the owners as well, he said.

Meanwhile, reiterating his commitment to eliminate illegal

mining completely from the state, Amarinder Singh said all out

efforts were being made by the government to check such mining

activity. Top officials of the districts where such mining was

allegedly taking place, especially in the cover of darkness, had

strict instructions to take immediate cognizance and action on

any complaints, he said, warning that no laxity in this regard

would be tolerated.

New Delhi : The women

protesting at Shaheen Bagh in

Delhi for the last ninety days

against the Citizenship

Amendment Act (CAA) have

alleged that the government is

trying to instil the fear of coronavirus

in them so that they leave

the protest venue. The protesting

women have said they were not

scared of the freezing cold or

rain, so they have no fear of coronavirus


"We are using sanitizers, giving

Dettol to women to clean

their hands. The government

thinks that due to the fear of

coronavirus, the women will flee

and leave the site. Amit Shah and

Modiji, please don't worry about

us, we will take care of ourselves,"

a woman protester said.

The women said several precautions

are being taken and awareness

about the symptoms of coronavirus

and measures to avoid it

are being spread among the protesters.

They have also been requested not to bring

children to the venue.

The protesters also demanded a fair

investigation into the northeast Delhi violence

and compensation of Rs 1 crore to

the victims. "We want a fair probe into the

riots in Jafrabad, Maujpur and Shiv Vihar

in northeast Delhi.

Besides, there should be an inquiry

about how the people came from Uttar

Pradesh to the national capital during the

violence," the women protesters said at a

late night press conference on Friday. The

clashes that broke out in northeast district

on February 24, claimed over 50 lives and

left more than 200 people injured, besides

inflicting massive damage to businesses

and properties.

The women protesters said they want

the CAA to be revoked and also a written

assurance from the government that the

National Register of Citizens (NRC) will

not be implemented.

Rahul Gandhi demands name

of top 50 wilfull defaulters

New Delhi, Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on

Monday asked in Lok Sabha the names of top 50 wilfull defaulters.

The question was listed at serial number 305. Rahul Gandhi

asked that government to give the names and what steps the government

has taken to recover loans from the defaulters. “Prime

Minister says that those who have taken loans from the banks and

have fled from the country will be brought back to India. I asked

for the names of those who have defaulted, but I did not get any

reply. My question is who are the 50 top wilful defaulters,” Rahul

said in the Lok Sabha. Minister of State for Finance rose to reply

to Rahul Gandhi’s question, but the Congress leaders objected and

demanded answers from the Finance Minister. To this, the Speaker

said that the MoS can reply to the question. The MoS finance

Anurag Thakur said that the names are on the site and the most of

the advances have been given during the UPA government.



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


Formal statement from Ambedkar International

Mission on judgement given, by the secretary

of state Minister Robert Jenrick

I wish to extend my thanks to the secretary of

State Mr Robert Jenrick Member of Parliament for

his intervention to grant the change of use of 10

King Henry’s Road to a Museum.

Thanks also go to the Government of

Maharashtra for following through the appeal to

its logical conclusion and also thank many other

interested parties involved in the appeal.

It is important to acknowledge that the

announcement made by the Secretary of State on

12 March 2020 not only quashed the original

Enforcement Notice but also granted the necessary

planning permission for change of use to a

Museum. We wish to thank him for doing the right

thing in recognition of the great son of India Dr

Ambedkar and for recognising the significance of

10 King Henry’s Road and the spiritual connection

the place holds for people of all nations.

By way of a brief background, the issue of the

enforcement notice came as a big surprise to me

when in early September 2019 a delegation of

Ambedkar International Mission London and

Ambedkar House London Forum arranged a meeting

with the Indian High Commission to formalise

access to 10 King Henry’s Road.

One other item for discussion at that meeting

was a proposal to publish the opening times of

Ambedkar House on High Commission’s website

for the benefit of the general public.

This meeting was chaired by Deputy

High Commissioner Shri Charanjit

Singh and a number of other delegates

of the Indian High

Commission. It came as a huge

shock to discover at this meeting

there was an

Enforcement Notice issued

by the London Borough of

Camden to prevent the

change of use to a Museum.

The Deputy High

Commissioner agreed to our

proposal regarding the publication

of the opening times on

High Commission’s website but

he expressed his deep concern over

the Enforcement Notice issued by the

London Borough of Camden and the pending

appeal against it.

He requested community support to help with

the appeal and said that communities must do

whatever they can to strengthen the appeal. In

view of all deep anxieties felt and the significance

of the place, we agreed to support the appeal.

Subsequently, I was able to rally the community

support and on 15th September 2019, formally

wrote to Her Excellency the High Commissioner

of India, Shrimati Ruchi Ghanashyam, offering

our support.

On the same date, an appeal letter

was also written to the Planning

Inspectorate at Camden


A letter was also written

to the Secretary of State for

Housing, Communities

and Local Government

The Rt Hon Robert

Jenrick MP requesting his


An appeal was also sent

to Minister of State (Minister

for the Commonwealth, the

UN and South Asia) requesting

his intervention.

When the day of hearing came, on

24th September 2019, as a third party witness,

I was granted permission to speak and I also

submitted a written statement to the Inspector

hearing the appeal on behalf of a number of organisations

calling for permission to be granted highlighting

the importance and significance of Dr

Ambedkar and his connection with 10 King

Henry’s Road :

It is important here to mention a cross section

of the various organisation who actively supported

the appeal process, namely,

Bhagwan Valmik Sabha Wolverhampton

Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee GB

Shri Guru Ravidass Dharmik Sabha,


Shri Guru Ravidass Cultural Association,


Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha, London

Sikh Federation UK

Sikh Missionary Society UK

Wat Mahathat, Thai Temple

Shri Guru Ravidass Mission International

A number of other third party witnesses also

spoke on both days of the appeal, including Mr

Shekhar Bodhkar of Ambedkar House London

Forum who spoke on the second day on 11

October with evidence connecting Dr Ambedkar

with 10 King Henry’s Road.

In my opinion, there was huge administrative

failing from inception of the purchase of the building

as I believe it should not have got into this terrible

mess about planning consent so late in the

day – considering the place was bought in 2015 !

But leaving all that aside, it’s a great day of joy

and a cause for celebration for all concerned. It is

hoped the place will now begin to function as a

museum to promote Ambedkar’s thought and his


Yours Sincerely,

Sat Pal Muman, Secretary

Global coronavirus death

toll crosses 7,000

New Delhi : The total number of deaths due to coronavirus across

the world crossed the 7,000 mark on Monday.

According to worldometers.info, the total number of deaths across

the globe were recorded at 7,071, out of 179,814 total cases.

French anti-trust watchdog

slaps $1.2bn fine on Apple

London : France's anti-trust watchdog on Monday slapped Apple

with a $1.2 billion fine, saying the tech giant conspired with distributors

like Tech Data and Ingram Micro to fix prices of its premium

gadgets and limit competition.

The French Competition Authority penalised Apple for being

guilty of anti-competitive practices within its distribution network

and abuse of economic dependence on its independent resellers

"Premium". The two wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were

also penalised, respectively for 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million

euros for one of the cartel practices, the watchdog said in a statement.

Isabelle de Silva, President of the French Competition Authority,

declared: "During this case, the Authority deciphered the very specific

practices that had been implemented by Apple for the distribution

of its products in France (excluding iphones), such as the ipad."

First, Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and

prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilising

the wholesale market for Apple products.

Putin says Russia not impacted by Western sanctions

Moscow : Russia has managed to offset

$50 billion in losses caused by Western economic

sanctions since 2014, President

Vladimir Putin has said. "According to various

estimates, we have lost $50 billion, but

we have earned the same amount," Putin said

in a multiple-episode interview "20

Questions with Vladimir Putin" with the

TASS news agency, aired on Monday,

Xinhua reported.

Western countries, particularly the

Europeans, suffered approximately the same

huge losses, he said, adding that they have

been losing jobs, while Russia now has a

record low unemployment. In response to the

sanctions, Russia shifted the funds meant for

foreign products to import substitution programs

and started to produce goods and

develop technologies it did not have, Putin

said. According to the Russian president, the

countermeasures have helped boost Russia's

agricultural industry, making the major grain

importer now a leading exporter of wheat,

outperforming the US, Canada and Australia.

Russia produces enough dairy, poultry,

pork and other basic products and last year

exported agricultural products worth $25 billion,

said Putin, who forecast an estimated

$24 billion for this year, compared to $15

billion of weapons exports.

McDonald's, Domino's introduce

'contactless' delivery in India

New Delhi : After Zomato and

Swiggy, McDonald's and Domino's

Pizza on Monday introduced 'contactless'

delivery option where the delivery

boys will ensure social distancing.

Westlife Development, which

owns McDonald's restaurants in western

and southern India, said that it has

launched 'contactless' delivery option

in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"McDonald's is expanding its

delivery network to ensure that great

food is available to its customers,

both through its owned app and

through third-party delivery partners,"

the company said in a statement.

According to Westlife

Development, the crew member who

assembles the food, the one who

packs the food and the runner will not

touch the food with bare hands and

take all possible precautions to ensure


Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd (JFL),

which runs Domino's Pizza in the

country, also said that it has introduced

zero-contact delivery across irt

outlets in India.

"This service will allow customers

to receive their order without coming

in contact with the delivery staff. This

feature has been introduced as an

additional precautionary measure to

ensure the safety of both the customers

and the delivery staff," the

company said in a statement. All

delivery bags for both McDelivery

service and third-party delivery are

sealed with tape and the bill is stuck

on the back of every bag.

20 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 NEWS


Tourism industry takes

corona blow in UP

Lucknow/Agra/Varanasi (UP) : The

tourist traffic in Uttar Pradesh has taken a

severe blow following the outbreak of the

Coronavirus pandemic. Since this is the

season when domestic tourism peaks due

to holidays in schools and moderate weather

conditions, the blow to tourism industry

has been all the more severe.

Agra, which is one of the biggest tourist

destinations in the state, has recorded a

more then 50 per cent drop in tourist traffic.

According to reports, there was a drastic

drop in sale of tickets to the Taj Mahal on

Sunday. According to data provided by the

Archaeological Survey of India, the number

of foreign tourists fell down to a mere

1,274 on Sunday. On any normal day, there

are more than 20,000 to 25,000 visitors at

the Taj Mahal. Agra, which has reported the

maximum number of eight Corona patients

in the past two weeks, is one of the worsthit

cities in Uttar Pradesh. In Varanasi, the

tourist traffic has also slowed down considerably.

Devotees at the Kashi Vishwanath

temple are being asked to wash their hands,

wear masks and use sanitizers before they

enter the temple. Most of the deities at the

temples have also being given masks. Rajiv

Krishna, a heritage hotel manager, said,

"We have seen the maximum cancellation

of bookings in the past five days after the

travel restrictions were imposed. This is

going to be the worst tourist season ever.

Even the domestic tourists - most who

come from south India - are cancelling their

bookings." Mathura, which normally witnesses

maximum tourist traffic in March

when Holi celebrations take place, has

reported a 'damp season'. "The number of

foreign tourists has fallen drastically. Even

those who came to see the Holi celebrations,

left abruptly. Most of the hotels,

motels and even dharamshalas are recording

very low occupancy," said Divyansh

Chaturvedi, a local businessman.

Travel and tour operators say that they

will not be able to recover losses even after

the Corona scare is over. "In UP, tourism

slows down as soon as temperatures begin

to rise in April. Then we have monsoon and

after that tourists go to West Bengal for

Durga Puja. We can hope for revival only

after that," said Vivek Srivastava, a local

tour operator.

SL PM cancels all

public meetings

MURDER inquiry

underway into UK

PIO's 2003 murder

London : A murder inquiry was underway, more than 16 years

after an Indian-origin man

was savagely attacked with

a set of garden shears in the

UK, the media reported.

Rajesh Verma was 42

when he suffered severe

brain damage after being

assaulted by a group of

men, close to the entrance

of Acton Park, west

London, on August 31,

2003, the BBC said in a

report on Wednesday.

Verma died in May 2018

after enduring a number of health issues caused by the stab wound

to his head. Since the attack, the police has not arrested or charged

anyone over the attack. A special post-mortem examination took

place in June 2018, when the pathologist concluded that there was

a causal link between the assault and Verma's death. A verdict of

unlawful killing was recorded at an inquest held at West London

Coroner's Court on November 28, 2019. The case has now been

classified as a murder investigation and a 20,000-pound reward

was being offered for information leading to the conviction of his


"We believe Rajesh was attacked after he intervened in a dispute

between one of his friends and another individual," the BBC

quoted Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh as saying on Wednesday. "The

suspects are believed to be local to the Acton area and are likely to

still be living there or have links to the area. All were described as

being of East African appearance," he added.

SC says no law to back name

and shame posters in Lucknow

Colombo : Sri Lankan Prime Minister

Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to cancel all

public meetings to raise awareness on the importance

of minimising gatherings in the wake of the

threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic which

has infected 18 people in the island nation.

Speaking to the Daily Financial Times newspaper,

Rajapaksa's spokesman Premanath

Dolawatte said on Sunday that the decision was

taken to support the government's


measures to contain the

disease's spread.

He added that the

Prime Minister had

instructed officials to

minimise public events,

while the government

has decided to cancel all

public and private sector

events for two weeks

which came into effect

on Sunday

"This was a decision

taken by the Prime

Minister to promote

public safety. Usually

thousands of people

gather for meetings that

the Prime Minister

attends. Therefore, he decided to not to attend

any event until the situation is under control," he

said. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Podujana

Peramuna (SLPP), headed by Rajapaksa, has

also decided to temporally halt all public meetings

for two weeks. "We will be monitoring the

situation closely and what steps need to be taken

to control the spread of the virus will also be

taken into consideration. At the moment we are

only focusing on containing the virus and ensuring

the public's safety," SLPP spokesman

Keheliya Rambukwella told the Daily Financial

Times. Regarding the April 25 general elections,

Rambukwella said chances of postponing the

polls were however, slim due to clauses in election

law. "There is no provision in the

Constitution to postpone

an election once it

is gazetted. Therefore, I

believe the matter

should be taken up

before the Supreme

Court if any necessity

arises due to the virus

spread," he added.

Also on Sunday, former

Prime Minister

Ranil Wickremesinghe

wrote to President

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

requesting him to summon

a meeting of all

heads of political parties

and other relevant

bodies, agencies, and

authorities, so as to

work out a comprehensive

strategy to combat the COVID-19 spread

that was acceptable to the public and all stakeholders.

In Sri Lanka, there are 1,719 persons currently

under quarantine at 10 centres. Of the 18 confirmed

cases, the latest is a 45-year old Sri

Lankan who arrived from Germany.

New Delhi : The Supreme

Court Thursday told the Uttar

Pradesh government that there is

no law currently in place to back

its action of naming and shaming

the people accused of vandalism

during the anti-Citizenship

Amendment Act (CAA) protests

in Lucknow. A vacation bench of

Justices U. U. Lalit and

Aniruddha Bose told Solicitor

General Tushar Mehta, representing

Uttar Pradesh, that the

matter at hand assumes great

importance and highlighted the

difference between individual

and the state. "Individual can do

anything unless specifically prohibited

by law. State can do anything

only when permitted by

law", said the court. Mehta

argued that hoardings were put

up after following process of law,

and it was put up as a deterrent.

Mehta insisted that the hoardings

only identifies people liable to

pay for their alleged acts during

the violence against the law.

Justice Lalit replied to Mehta

that court understands the anxiety

on the matter, "but when you

do something that has its own

limitations..Did the time to make

the payment expire? No...They

have also challenged the order of

making compensation."

The top court replied that

there is no doubt action should

be taken against people who are

involved in riots and there

should be a punishment.

Justice Lalit said the Bench is

of the view of referring this matter

to a regular Bench of three

judges, as it has a lot to do with

the right to privacy judgment of

this court. The Supreme Court

did not pass any interim order on

Thursday as the vacation Bench

said the matter should be placed

before the Chief Justice for setting

up a three-judge Bench next

week so as to appropriately consider

the matter.

The apex court was hearing

an appeal filed by the Uttar

Pradesh government challenging

the March 9 Allahabad High

court order directing the state

administration to pull down

posters of the accused in vandalism

during the protests against



16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


SC order on permanent

commission for women in

navy on Tuesday

New Delhi : The Supreme Court will

deliver judgment on permanent commission

for women officers in the navy on Tuesday.

It follows a verdict by the apex court in

favour of permanent commission for women

officer in the army.

The Bench, headed by Justice D.Y.

Chandrachud, will deliver the judgement at

10.30 a.m. The women officers had contended

in the apex court that the gender-based

classification was always justified by governments

across the world with inane explanations,

and they would do anything to justify

their discriminatory behaviour.

Aishwarya Bhati, counsel for women officers

seeking permanent commission in navy,

said her client's case was similar to the one

propounded by the Babita Puniya judgement,

where the apex court directed the Centre to

grant permanent commission to all women

officers in three months. The petitioner was

commissioned in the navy on August 6, 2007

in the JAG branch and is the only SSC JAG

branch officer.

"Both the navy as well as the army wanted

to apply the policy of grant of permanent

commission prospectively, excluding the

serving women officers," Bhati said. She

contended before the court that her client's

application was rejected because she was

prior to the policy, but the applications of her

male colleagues were accepted.

Bhati said inherent discrimination was

prevalent in the working of administrations

and supported justifications offered to prevent

women from attaining permanent commission,

seniority in cases of national security,

and reduction of number for direct recruitment.

The lawyer said slightly different shade

of reasons given to deny the benefit of policy

of permanent commission to serving women

officers of the navy bear an uncanny resemblance

to the issues of mindset and stereotypes,

in the case of the women officers of the

army. "These misconceived reasons are being

masqueraded as organisational issues to scuttle

and deny the right of rationality, equality

and equal opportunities and deserve to be

rejected completely and outrightly, in the

same manner," she told the court.

Vaisakhi parade cancelled


Ottawa : A Vaisakhi parade which was to take place in the

Canadian city of Surrey, has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus

pandemic, it was reported. In a statement, the Surrey

Vaisakhi organisers said that the cancellation of the April 25

parade was a "difficult decision" and made after "extensive consultation"

with health officials and other authorities, reports the

Vancouver-based City News.

"It's disappointing in the sense that we feel bad for all the people...

you know, the half a million people that gather. It's a joyous

celebration," said Moninder Singh, the lead organizer. He looked

forward to the parade, which is deemed as one of Metro

Vancouver's largest public events, returning next year. Surrey is

part of the Metro Vancouver area. The Surrey Vaisakhi parade

draws in a crowd of more than 500,000 people every year, City

News quoted the organizers as saying. The cancellation comes as

Canada has reported 304 coronavirus cases, including Sophie

Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She

was tested positive last month.

The country has also reported one death due to the disease.


New Delhi : Water, air and malted

barley, the trinity expertly crafted to

make a Glenfiddich whisky, say the

century-old distillery about its offerings.

If you are a whiskey connoisseur,

no wonder you have worshipped

Glenfiddich, one of the world's best

selling brands from Scotland. Angad

Singh Gandhi, India Brand

Ambassador, Glenfiddich shares the

recipe of the classic Glenfiddich High


The 12-Year-Old Highball brings

together fresh pear and single malt

Scotch -- a surprisingly perfect pair!

Read on to know more about the


Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old Highball


* 1 part Glenfiddich 12

* 3 parts good quality soda water

* Pear slice

* Lemon slice


* Combine all ingredients in a Highball

glass, packed with cubed ice

* Garnish with lemon and pear


* Ready to serve

Punjab will fill up

one lakh vacancies

in two years: CM

Chandigarh : As the Congress government completed three

years in power in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on

Monday said that one lakh government vacancies would be

filled in two years through transparent and merit-based selection.

The aim was to achieve the target of 20 lakh jobs by 2022,

he added.

Amarinder Singh said his government was committed to

transparency in governance, and would soon bring in the new

Lokayukta Bill, covering all government functionaries, including

the Chief Minister, along with anti red tape legislation and

land leasing and tenancy Act.

The Chief Minister also announced 750 rural stadiums across

Punjab to promote sports and improve the health and fitness of

the youth, and the establishment of a world-class law university

in Tarn Taran. He also vowed to ensure punishment to those

guilty in the Bargari sacrilege case and also promised end to all

mafia and monopoly in the border state.

Claiming that he would not allow mining, liquor, drug and

transport mafia to operate, or gangsters and terrorists to disturb

the state's peace, the Chief Minister to the media here: "I will be

absolutely harsh." Amarinder Singh said that his government

was working towards eliminating all kinds of mafia in the state

"but these things take time".

"We have done our best, and we could not have done any better,

considering the situation," he said, complimenting his

Cabinet colleagues and officers for the excellent job done.

Everyone will get a chance to make the most of the opportunities

in the transport and other sectors in the state, the Chief

Minister said.

Amarinder said that he would take up with Union Home

Minister Amit Shah the issue of shifting top gangsters out of

Punjab prisons, as already proposed by state Jails Minister

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

Promising "unprecedented development" and fulfilment of all

Congress poll manifesto promises in coming two years,

Amarinder Singh made a slew of announcements.

Vowing a massive crackdown on the transport mafia, the

Chief Minister said that his government will implement, in toto,

the High Court judgment upheld by the Supreme Court and end

all permits declared illegal in the state.

As for the monopoly of a single family on buses operated

from Delhi airports to Punjab, the Chief Minister said that his

government was working to address the issue but the Delhi government

also had to be on board with any decision in this regard.

Referring to complaints of continued illegal sand mining,

Amarinder Singh said he had asked the Water Resources

Minister to thoroughly review and make this system fully transparent.

The government's aim is to ensure steady supply of sand

at affordable rates at the pithead through proper technology to

check illegal activities by contractors and illegal miners, he said,

adding that new mining proposals would be announced by the

government in two-three weeks.

The Chief Minister said that revenue earnings through auctions

of sand mines had seen a significant improvement, with Rs

120 crore accruing this year and sand prices remaining low.

On the issue of affordable power for domestic consumers in

Punjab, Amarinder Singh said that the Congress government had

decided to rationalise electricity tariff in a manner that reduces

the burden on the common man.

The White Paper on the state's power sector will be brought

out shortly, he added. The Chief Minister said, in response to a

question, that elections to the municipal bodies in Punjab would

be held soon, once the process of demarcation is completed.

He agreed that reports on the central government ending the

MSP regime was a matter of concern and urged the Centre not

to consider any such move.

22 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 WORLD


BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s sister

to join Bhim Army chief’s party

New Delhi : Thirty-six years

after Kanshi Ram floated the

Bahujan Samaj Party, his sister

Sarwan Kaur is set to join Bhim

Army chief Chandrashekhar’s newly

floated Azad Samaj Party (ASP) in a

major blow to the BSP-led by

Mayawati. Seen as an upcoming

alternative to the Mayawati-led

BSP, ASP is expected to induct sister

of BSP’s founder Kanshi Ram as

Patron of the party Mayawati’s BSP

has lost back to back elections in its

homeground Uttar Pradesh. Many

feel the Bahujan Samaj Party that

was founded on the birth anniversary

of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar

on April 14, 1984, by Kanshi Ram,

who named former schoolteacher,

Mayawati, as his successor in 2001

is not what it used to be.

According to source close to the

Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar

has already left for Punjab for the

same and the induction ceremony of

Kanshi Ram’s sister Sarwan Kaur is

expected to happen on Monday afternoon

at an undisclosed location

there. Kaur has been a vocal critic of

Mayawati. Kaur had even gone

ahead and accused Mayawati of murdering

her brother to hijack the

movement started by him. "Kanshi

Ram was a leader for you but he was

a brother for me. Mayawati backstabbed

him and destroyed his movement.

She murdered him," Kaur said

for the first time in 2015, since then

she has been working in Punjab. She

also extended her support on various

occasions to leaders and parties that

she claimed are aligned with Kanshi

Ram’s ideology. "Chandrashekhar

has been inviting her as a speaker in

various protests and public meeting

of the Bhim Army and now with

Azad floating his party, Sarwan Ji

was the best to lead us," a senior

functionary in the Bhim Army and

close associate of Chandrashekhar

told IANS. The exact post for Kaur is

not known but many in party say she

would be inducted as ’Sanrakshak’

(Patron) or ’Sanyojak’ (Convenor) to

suit her seniority and also to pay her

respect for her struggle during these

years.Chandrashekhar was one of the

most prominent faces of countrywide

protests against the citizenship law,

and on Sunday he launched his political

group, which he called the "Azad

Samaj Party".

The launch took place on the

birth anniversary of BSP founder

and Dalit icon Kanshi Ram. The

Bhim Army, Azad said, will run parallel

to the party and continue to

fight for Dalit rights and enrol new

members. The party flag is a white

band between two blue strips, with

Azad Samaj Party written in the


Over 81,000 posts vacant

in Pak federal govt

Islamabad : Of the total 663,234 sanctioned posts in the

Pakistan federal government, over 81,000 were currently vacant,

according to official data. According to data issued by the

Establishment Division on Wednesday, the total number of sanctioned

federal government posts stood at 663,234 but 581,755

employees and officers were available for these positions, showing

a vacancy of about 81,479 posts, or 12.29 per cent of the total,

reports Dawn news. Similarly, a total of 399,265 employees were

working in 206 autonomous bodies and corporations of the federal

government against the sanctioned strength of 515,174, showing a

shortfall of 115,909. In the previous year, there were 492,564 sanctioned

posts, of which 397,487 were occupied. This shows an

increase of 4.59 per cent in the sanctioned and 0.45 per cent in the

actual working strength for government bodies. It follows that the

public sector employment situation is a mixed trend of increase and

decrease in the number of civil servants over the past 10 years. The

job opportunities in public sector almost remained fluctuant

between 2009-10 and 2018-19.

However, during the last five years, from 2014-15 to 2018-19,

the size of the federal government in respect of its sanctioned and

actual strength of employees shows an upward trend of 6.17 per

cent and 5.96 per cent (on average basis), respectively. Meanwhile,

there are 16,612 non-Muslim employees in the federal government,

while 14,989 are Christians, 297 Ahmadis, 1,073 Hindus (caste),

173 Hindus (non-caste), 18 Sikhs and 62 belong to other religions.

Tahir Hussain

arrested for IB

staffer’s murder

New Delhi : Suspended

AAP councillor Tahir Hussain

was on Monday arrested in

connection with murder of

Intelligence Bureau (IB)

staffer, Ankit Sharma, during

the recent violence in the

national capital. "He has been

arrested," a Delhi Police official

told IANS.

The police have sought his

custody for five days in connection

with the case. He is

also accused for involvement in

instigating the violence.

The police had registered a

criminal case against him on a

complaint filed by deceased IB

staffer’s father. As per the postmortem

report, Sharma sustained

51 injuries and died due

to haemorrhage. Salman alias

Haseen is also in police custody

in connection with the murder.

The police had, last week, told

the court that he will soon be

confronted with Hussain to

unearth the conspiracy.

Hussain’s brother, Shah

Alam, was also arrested in connection

with the riots and is

currently in judicial custody.

Cab driver makes


compartment in

car to cover himself

New Delhi : Amid coronavirus scare, a video is

doing the rounds

on the social

media which

shows a cab

driver making a

container with a

plastic sheet to

cover himself


An Instagram

user @phildoeshair

shared the

video of the

scene with the

caption, "My

Lyft driver created

this airtight

seal in his car. If

anyone out there is doing Lyft or Uber for work, you

may consider doing this to protect yourself and others.

Just wanted to post this so you can see how one

guy is helping keep himself and others safe." In the

shared video, the man can be seen driving the car --

fashioned inside a self-containment compartment

made out of plastic and tape with a box of tissues sitting

at his side.

As the post went viral, social media has been

abuzz with reactions. "That’s not obstructing his rear

view mirror?" asked one user.

Another wrote, "Air tight...how’s the dude breathing


A post read, "That’s ridiculous. He should just

wear a face mask if he’s that paranoid. Clownworld."

"Good on him for doing the best he knows how!" a

user remarked.



South Africa terminates

all cricketing activities

Johannesburg : Cricket South

Africa (CSA) announced on

Monday that it has terminated all

forms of cricket in the country amid

the rising concern over the coronavirus

pandemic. CSA said in its

statement that this includes domestic

first class cricket, List A matches,

semi-professional and provincial

cricket and all junior and amateur

cricket. "We at CSA take this

pronouncement by the President

and the cabinet very seriously and

we will most certainly use our

leverage to ensure that we minimise

the impact of the virus in our

spaces," CSA chief executive Jacques Faul

said in the statement. "Consequently and

Lahore : In the first two months of

2020, 73 rape cases have been reported in

Lahore, including five gang-rapes, according

to a police record.

As per police record, 10 cases of gangrape

were registered in 2019 while the

number for the first two months of this

year is five, reports The Express Tribune.

Of the 10 cases registered last year, the

police arrested 28 accused after investigation.

Of the five gang-rape cases registered

this year, the accused were charged

in two cases, one case was dismissed,

while the other two cases are under investigation.

Investigation police arrested

seven suspects involved in these cases.

The accused were charged in 22 rape cases

Shiamak UK to present


during this time of absolute

caution and surveillance, we

would like to call upon all our

members and affiliates to desist

from taking part in any cricket

related gatherings and other

transversal events that will

include the congregation of

large numbers of people and/or

up to 100 people," he added.

Earlier, South Africa's tour

of India for a three-match ODI

series was postponed. The

team is currently in Kolkata

from where they will take a

flight back home to South

Africa via Dubai.

Lahore reports 73 rape cases in 2 MONTHS

after completion of investigation, while

three cases were dropped. SSP

Investigation Zeeshan Asghar said that

there are 43 cases under investigation so

far this year. Asghar said police have

arrested 44 accused in the cases reported

in two months. Efforts were underway to

arrest the remaining suspects, who will

soon be traced and arrested, he said. As

per the statistics of NGOs working on

women's rights, reports of 2,937 cases of

rape were filed in 2018, The Express

Tribune reported. In 2019, more than

3,500 cases of sexual abuse were reported.

16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020


JNU road named

after Savarkar,

JNUSU sees red

New Delhi : After last year's uproar in Delhi University over

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's bust, another educational institution

might see unrest as naming of a road in JNU after the Hindutva icon

has riled the JNUSU. The JNU Students' Union which is dominated

by Leftist students wings called the step as a "shame on the legacy of

JNU". In a Whatsapp message, JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh said,

"Shame on the legacy of JNU that this man's name has been put in

this university." "Never did the university had space for Savarkar and

his stooges and never will it have!" she added, followed by hashtag

#RejectHindutva. According to the picture shared by Aishe, a new

board has been erected in JNU which names a road in the varsity as

V.D. Savarkar Marg. The board is erected adjacent to a signboard

showing way to Subansir hostel in the campus. Last year in August,

ahead of the Delhi University students' union polls, the outgoing

President of DUSU, Shakti Singh had installed statues of Veer

Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh without due permission

outside the gate of the varsity's Arts Faculty in north campus.

The move drew flak from different student wings and was ultimately

removed by DUSU after Savarkar's bust was blackened by

Congress' student wing NSUI.

Artistic Director

Shiamak Davar

A remarkable new stage performance,

Bollywood Divas, a

Shiamak UK production is

coming to Birmingham next

month. Following the success

of spirit of India and Spirit of

Bollywood, Shiamak is returning

with a brand new stage performance,

Bollywood Divas, a

dance tribute to the women of

Indian cinema. Known for creating

stunning visuals with

breathtaking choreography,

costumes, props and lighting

design, Bollywood’s trend-setting

entertainment designer and

choreographer Shiamak Davar

and his creative team led by

CEO, Glen D’Mello, are set to

present another spectacular

evening of entertainment.

From Madhubala to

Madhuri Dixit, Parveen Babi to

Priyanka Chopra, Kareena

Kapoor to Katrina Kaif,

Bollywood Divas pays tribute

to the leading ladies of

Bollywood – the world’s

largest film industry based in

Mumbai, India. Shiamak

Davar, Artistic Director of the

Shiamak Group said;

“Bollywood Divas is a homage

to the amazing women who

have inspired millions over the

years. I have had the honour of

working with some of these

incredible artists over the last

three decades and this show is

our way of celebrating their

contribution to the entertainment

industry.” The show on

Saturday, 4th April 2020 will

be performed by the Shiamak

UK Dance Team which is comprised

of talented dancers from

across the greater London area

and the Midlands. For tickets

and more information visit


or call 0844 338 5000.

24 16-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 WORLD


Ambedkar House, London

can become a museum

During the Public Inquiry Hearing

in September and October 2019 into the

Appealagainst London Borough of

Camden's rejection of an application for

a memorial dedicated to Dr Bhimrao

Ambedkar at 10 King Henry's Road, the

Council argued it didn't want to give up

the property's residential floor space.

They also argued Dr Ambedkar's status

wasn'twell enough known in Britain to

be a person of wider interest. The Chair

of the Public Inquiry Chair, Inspector

Mr Keri Williams,and Mr Robert

Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing,

Communities and Local Government

were persuaded otherwise by evidence

and testimonies in support of the case

for the memorial. They gave their seal

of approval on 12 March




Ambedkaritesin the UK and around

the world were jubilant celebrated the

good news.

Ms Santosh Dass MBE, President of

the Federation of Ambedkarite and

Buddhist Organisations UK

(FABOUK) had first proposed to the

Government of Maharashtra the purchase

and refurbishment of the thendilapidated

house's purchase she visited.

10 King Henry's Road was where

Dr Ambedkar lived from 1920 to 1921.

Sheresponds:"I'm thrilled. This is very a

good day for equality and dignity. My

dream was to create the first memorial

outside of India to Babasaheb

Ambedkar at a place where he lived. He

was a giant of social equality and

human rights. That dreamis coming

true. Let's all celebrate this champion!

Nowwe have to finish our work setting

up the museum. I look forward to ever

more people learning how extraordinary

Dr Ambedkar was and about thefar-reaching

social reforms he set in

train. I'm grateful to Mr Steven

Gaztowicz QC and to Dr William

Gould for presenting our case so magnificently,

the Government of

Maharashtra - particularly Mr

Rajkumar Badole for all his support

since 2014 -, the India High

Commission and in particular Her

Excellency MrsRuchiGhanashyam and

the HC lawyerJaneevan John

at Singhania& Co, and to

Mr Jenrick for hisexpedient



Kumar, General

Secretary of


added "It's great

news for all followers


admirers of Dr

Ambedkar. A great

burden is lifted

from our minds."

William Gould, professor

of India studies at

the University of Leeds and

one of the three key witnesses at the

Inquiry alongside Santosh Dass and

Jamie O'Sullivan, a Town Planning

expert,reminded:"Dr Ambedkar is one

of world's key figures in the development

of 20th Century liberal democracy

and, via his work, the vibrant political

culture of India. Its great

social document - the

nation's Constitution -

links back to Britain

and British history.

It is only right

that we have a


I'mhonored to

have contributed

to getting Dr

Ambedkar recognized

here in the

UK amongst circles

that first challenged

his significance."Ravi

Kumar, General Secretary

of the Anti Caste Discrimination

Alliance, who had lobbied Mr

Williams, and Mr Jenrick, said: "Dr

Ambedkar's vision of a more equal and

discrimination-free society has inspired

and shaped our campaign to outlaw

Caste-based discrimination in the UK.

He's on par Martin Luther King Jr and

Dr Nelson Mandela."

Residents from the neighbourhood,

Ambedkarites and equality-focused

organisations voicedstrong support for

the memorial prior to, and at the

Hearing. Moving and powerful contributions

were made at the two-day

Public Hearing by Sally Roach, Alex

Sunshine,Bonnie Garnett (better known

as the Canadian folksinger Bonnie

Dobson), the writer Ken Hunt, Satpal

Muman of the Ambedkar International

Mission, Raj Banger of Kanshi TV, and

the Ven. BhanteVijithavansa.

For more information please

contact Santosh Dass


Eminent Ambedkarite Sadanand Fulzale,an important witness

to Deekshabhumi cultural revolution passed away in Nagpur

Eminent Ambedkarite Mr

Sadanand Fulzale passed away in

Nagpur yesterday. He was 93.

Born in the year 1928, Sadanand

Fulzale came in touch with Baba

Saheb Ambedkar and dedicated his

life for the mission. In 1956 he was

the deputy mayor of Nagpur city

and was one of the most important

persons selected by Dr Ambedkar

to look for a place where Deeksha

could be given hence the present

Deeksha Bhumi was located and

later developed by a group of dedicated

Ambedkarites and Sadanand

Fulzale was one of the most important

person related to this.

He was chairman of the

Deeksha bhumi management committee

and did everything to

strengthen it and convert it truly

into a historical monument.

He was a member of

Republican Party of India though

in the last few years his concerns

were related to Deeksha bhumi


I got an opportunity to meet him

several years ago and felt that he

deserved more than he got. Not

many knew about his work beyond

Maharashtra. It was important for

all of us to listen to his voice.

The interview that I conducted

with him can be read and watched

on video in the link here





Our sincere tribute to Sadanand

Fulzale ji. His enormous contribution

to preserve the historical cultural

legacy of Baba Saheb

Ambedkar in Deeksha Bhumi will

always be remembered with

respect. It is important we know

about the people who worked tirelessly

for the cause of preserving

our history and traditions.

Sadanand Fulzale was witness to

historic cultural revolution at

Deeksha bhumi started by Baba

Saheb Ambedkar in 1956 and his

efforts in making it truly people's

monument need to be acknowledged.

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