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Javed Akhtar and Kancha Ilaiah row at Jaipur Literature Fest
Report dated 26/01/2013 @ 9:43 PM
A heated row over religion broke out between Bollywood lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar and writer-activist Kancha Ilaiah during a session at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
During a session on God and Buddhism, Akhtar, who was in the audience interrupted, saying he is an atheist and no religion gave equality to women and weaker sections. He continued saying 'discussing religion is like discussing which cave to live in. If one wants religion, it does not matter which religion to follow'.
Speaker Ilaiah angrily responded saying 'real life is not like cinema and certainly not Hindi cinema'.
Moderator Patrick French intervened and wound up the tense session. Akhtar who was scheduled to address the next session took the stage and said 'that all religious values should be based on justice and equality'.
Princess set to rule her village in Saurashtra
Report dated 26/01/2013 @ 9:39 PM
Princess Shruti Kumari Gohil, wife of Raghvendrasinh Gohil, scion of the erstwhile princely state of Dared near Bhavnagar, is all set to rule her village kingdom and has taken her first step in politics.
Some 5000 residents have elected her sarpanch under the Gujarat government's Samras scheme that gives incentives to villages that avoid panchayat elections. The princesses mother-in-law is Justice Abhilasha Kumari of the Gujarat high court who herself is the daughter of Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
The princess who is of the royal family of Khapradish, Uttar Pradesh has a degree in English from the Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, and says she will work with her villagers and the panchayat to do developmental work.
Villagers still look up to the royal family and want to retain their earlier bonding with their rulers. They admire the Princess who they say is one of the most educated people they have.
Nitin Gadkari threatens Income Tax officials !
Report dated 26/01/2013 @ 9:11 PM
Former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari speaking to party workers, voiced a threat to Income Tax authorities who are investigating his association with dubious funding in the Purti group, saying nobody would save them when the BJP comes to power at the Centre.
He accused the I-T authorities of doing Congress's bidding and hatching conspiracies against him. He also accused the Congress led UPA government of blackmailing Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJP chief Mayawati.
His followers cheered and demanded that he contest the next Lok Sabha election from Nagpur. Gadkari was then driven home in an open-top vehicle by his supporters in a convoy.
Ex-Chief Justice Verma shocked by apathy on rape laws
Report dated 24/01/2013 @ 2:15 PM
Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma who was charged by the central government to recommend measures to improve laws dealing with sexual offences along with a three member panel, submitted a report to the government in which he said the failure of governance was the root cause of crime against women, and it was equally shocking that there was total apathy from everyone who had a duty to perform.
The committee that was appointed in the wake of the Delhi gangrape, that also consisted of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice Leila Seth and former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam. They received 80,000 suggestions from the public and completed its report in 29 days, inspite of the magnitude of the work, and it was the outcome of suggestions from people within India and outside that were read and considered.
Verma said many recommendations made in the past for women have not been implemented. Perfect laws exist but have remained ineffective. He was struck by the peaceful way in which the woman's male friend and other young people rose to protest the attack, calling it a spontaneous show of youth, a humbling experience that the older generation could learn from.
Among the recommendations made in the report was the need for respect of women's rights; making marriage registrations mandatory; the modification of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2012; the institution of a law that every complaint of rape be registered by police and civil society who should perform their duty to report any case of rape; making it a punishable offence if an officer fails to register a case of rape; a procedure to protect persons with disabilities from rape and requisite procedures for access to justice; the protocols be specified for medical examinations of victims.
Other recommendations state prompt judgment in such cases to inspire public confidence, the recognition of police officers with outstanding ability and character and the accountability of every member of the police force who do not discharge their duty. Similar consideration and care must be given to deprived children.
Daughter of autorickshaw driver tops all India CA exam
Report dated 24/01/2013 @ 2:14 PM
Prema Jayakumar, 24, daughter of Jayakumar Perumal who is a Mumbai autorickshaw driver, has topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination that was conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India. She secured 607 marks out of 800.
Prema did her articles with Kishore Seth and Company. Her 22 year old brother also cleared the CA exam with her. Both siblings registered together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
The CA topper who lives with her parents and brother in a one-room chawl in Malad is delighted and credits her parents for her success with their support and blessings. She now wants to make sure they live a life of comfort.