Amendment Allows Indian Political Parties to Escape Scrutiny Over Foreign Funds

first_imgThe Indian government has passed, without a debate, a bill that will exempt political parties from scrutiny of funds they may have received from abroad in the last 42 years, NDTV reported. This was one of the 218 amendments passed bypassing the debate on March 13, amid protests by some of the Opposition members. The bypassing of debate was done via a parliamentary procedure called the “guillotine,” which empowers the Lok Sabha speaker to pass grants without discussion.The Representation of the People Act prevents political parties from accepting foreign funds so that the government is clear of foreign influence. However, in 2010, amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act made foreign donations to political parties legal.Now, the amendment to Finance Bill 2018 considers all the foreign contributions received by political parties before 2010 not illegal under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA). This amendment, supported both by the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, makes political parties who have accepted foreign funds since 1976 outside the scope of judicial scrutiny by substituting “26th September, 2010” in the FCRA Act with “5th August 1976.”As per a Delhi High Court ruling in 2014, both the political parties have been found guilty of illegally accepting foreign funds. The ruling revealed that between the years 2004 and 2012 both parties received funding from the United Kingdom-based company Vedanta Resources Plc via its Indian subsidiaries.The changes in the FCRA Act as part of Finance Bill scrapped the ceiling for contributions and made it unnecessary to record the name of the recipient.“It may be technically legal but was certainly inappropriate,” Jagdeep Chhokar, founder of Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “And the amendment of a 42-year-old law that frees India’s biggest political parties from legal scrutiny on receiving overseas political funding was done in a dubious way. All of it was done in half an hour. No questions asked.”The session also increased salaries, daily allowances and pensions of members of Parliament by a cumulative Rs 55,000 to reach Rs 127,000 per month with effect from April 1, 2018, while the salaries of the president and state governors were increased by a cumulative Rs 350,000 and Rs 240,000, respectively, with arrears from January 2016. Related ItemsbjpCongressLok Sabhalast_img read more

Racist Post Threatening Indians in South Africa Condemned by Province Premier

first_imgThe premier of African province KwaZulu-Natal, Willies Mchunu, has criticized a post on the social media that targeted the Indian community in the  country.The post has not only been condemned by Mchunu, but many others, who took to the social media to slam the comments made by Nkuleko Mkhize.“We condemn the callous content of that posting in the strongest possible terms. Steps are underway to identify the perpetrator and do the necessary to prosecute the person or persons involved,” Mchunu said in a statement on June 1 , News 24 reported.Mchunu added that a small destructive element should not be allowed to divide communities. “We also urge our citizens to desist from circulating divisive messages on social media. Fake news, in particular, serves only to destabilize our society. Across all our communities we must constantly work to deepen non-racialism, build unity and fight crime,” Mchunu said, the report added.Mkhize has not been identified yet, though some Twitter users said that he is a student from Durban.Mkhize said in his post on Facebook that Indians are not welcome in KwaZulu-Natal. He also referred to a recent incident in which a Sadia Sukhraj, nine-year-old Indian-origin girl, was killed in a botched hijacking attempt. “I think it is time to show Indians that they are not welcome here in KZN. A new day after Indians go back to India or we will kill them like that girl shot in Chatsworth,” read one of his Facebook posts.Sukhraj was killed in the gunfire that ensued after an attempt was made to hijack the car in which she was travelling with her father, Shailendra. This sparked protests in Chatsworth in Durban  on May 28, and over 2,000 members of the Indian community gathered outside the police station to demand the arrest of the suspects. The police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to quell the demonstrations.Mkhize’s posts were slammed by many on the social media. While some users urged people to find the perpetrator of the hateful posts, others called the posts shocking.#VickiMomberg and #PennySparrow have been brought to justice for their racist remarks. Now, help us find #NkulekoMkhize who threatens to kill indians in South Africa. He will not be protected just bcoz he’s black. #Durban @LungiNaidoo @SAPoliceService @helenzille @Abramjee pic.twitter.com/0xjveFWkV2— Aqsa Ali Aveíro (@_Aqsa_A_) June 1, 2018Many also said that Mkhize’s comments were hate speeches.Indians in South Africa also reacted to the post, with one of them saying that he would file a case of criminal defamation, hate speech and inciting racism against Mkhize. Related ItemsDurbanracismSouth Africalast_img read more

Dance: Keeper Of The Family Jewels

first_imgIt’s Grandmother, Mother and Son Inc. The fabulous dance tradition of legendary T. Balasaraswati is now being carried on by her grandson, Aniruddha Knight. The only grandson of the world-famous bharat natyam dancer, Aniruddha is a ninth generation performer from one of India’s most distinguished families of classical musicians and dancers. Growing up in the United States, he learnt music and dance that is unique to their family from his mother Lakshmi Knight. Recently audiences got to see his virtuosity in a 7-week tour, which included performances and workshops in California, Oklahoma, New York and Maine. His concerts follow the same format established in the early 1800’s in the Royal Court of Thanjavur, where his ancestors were distinguished musicians and dancers. The concert includes a suite of music and dance compositions, some choreographed and some spontaneous.“Aniruddha Knight has emerged as an eloquent interpreter of his family’s artistic vision, bringing to audiences in India and America his profound understanding of its meaning and value as contemporary art,” says Rachel Cooper, director of performing arts at Asia Society.For Aniruddha, it’s been a passion unfurled: he began his career as a vocalist for his mother in the 1990’s and was her student right until her death in 2001. Since then he’s been the keeper of the family heritage and has performed all over India including the Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur, a World Heritage site, where his ancestors may well have performed hundreds of years ago. The Sankaracharya of Kanchipuram conferred upon him the title of Natya Kalamani. He lives in Connecticut where he is the Artistic Director of Bala Music and Dance. What could be a greater gift to his grandmother? Related Itemslast_img read more

Frisking Kalam

first_imgFormer Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam was frisked by Continental Airlines security staff as he boarded a Newark bound flight from New Delhi Airport. India’s Civil Aviation Minister has denounced the airline for a breach of protocol and ordered an investigation, although Kalam has not protested. The Indian government provides a list to airlines of senior officials who are exempt from the security. Related Itemslast_img

Prescriptions For Healthy Living

first_imgStudies of Seventh Day Adventists in southern California, considered the healthiest community in America, offer powerful evidence on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. The SDA diet is heavy in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, legumes, nuts, and seeds. According to the SDA Dietetic Association: “SDAs, in general, have 50% less risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers, strokes, and diabetes. More specifically, recent data suggests that vegetarian men under 40 can expect to live more than eight years longer and women more than seven years longer then the general population. SDA vegetarian men live more than three years longer than SDA men who eat meat.”Vegetables and legumes (like chickpeas and daal) are heavy in the Indian diet as well. So you feel good, right? Not so fast. The problem lies in the way South Asian Americans prepare their vegetables, especially their practice of frying. Why is frying a problem? Because it exposes vegetables to tremendous heat and chemical reactions, which destroy vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It would be best if we could eat our vegetables fresh or raw, such as in a salad. My parents made the switch a few years ago and have a spinach, tomato, carrot and onion salad with dinner every night. Several of my relatives have switched to fresh vegetables as well.Still, they like to have — much as my parents do — their shak-bhaji with their roti and daal. In other words, they still fry. I should be exhorting you to “fry less!” But I realize the advice will fall on deaf ears. So, if you must fry, use better cooking oils. The worst oils are hydrogenated. A company basically adds hydrogen to the oil molecules, turning many into trans fats, which are really bad. Our bodies can’t break them down, so they end up as plaques that clog the coronary arteries supplying the heart. This is why trans fats are linked to heart attacks and are a threat to public health. In New York and California health officials have banned trans fats in restaurants. Avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated” on the label.Saturated fats, such as ghee, are also problematic. Passed down over generations, ghee is as Indian as the french fry is American. In India ghee has long been perceived as being good for you, which was true when food was scarce and it was important to pack the body with calories and fats at every opportunity. But today, for most middle class Indians and certainly Indian Americans food is abundant. Furthermore, we don’t move around enough. So we should decrease the calories and the saturated and trans fats we consume. It’s not all that difficult. Replace hydrogenated vegetable oils and ghee with good oils. So which oils are best? The ones with lots of unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, which are easy for the body to break down and are used in various structures and metabolic processes. Olive oil is not only low in saturated fats, it also has a large amount of an unsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acid, which helps reduce inflammation in your heart’s coronary arteries and keeps your brain cells functioning. Canola oil is cheaper and even better than olive oil. It is better suited to frying too. Like olive oil, it’s high in unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats. Corn oil is also good. For years, experts recommended we avoid corn oil because it has lots of omega-6 fatty acid (not the same as omega-3 fatty acid), which is thought to be “pro-inflammatory” and possibly contributing to plaque rupture and heart attacks. However, the American Heart Association recently concluded that omega-6 fatty acid is good for the body and that it, like omega-3 fatty acid, reduces inflammation. So if you like the taste of corn oil and if you must fry, it is your oil. But enough about oils. You can cook your vegetables in other ways to preserve the nutrition inside them. In fact, a 2008 study demonstrated that carrots cooked in steam actually had higher levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals than the raw form. Besides steaming, you can bake, boil, grill and broil. These methods add less calories and fats to what you eat and likely preserve more nutrition than frying. Nimesh Bhargava, a nutrition expert, offers other recommendations, such as coating baking pans with vegetable cooking spray (instead of using ghee or oil) and sautéing foods in water or wine (instead of ghee or oil). Simple Changes With Big DividendsPrescription: Eat more raw vegetables and fresh fruits 1. Eat raw salads made of a few simple vegetables like spinach, carrots and bell peppers with every dinner. 2. Instead of leaving junk food or snacks on your table or kitchen counters, put fruits and vegetables there and put the junk food inside the pantry closest or otherwise hidden away. That way when you walk into the kitchen, you see (and eat) the fruits and vegetables. 3. Mix fruit like apple slices or blueberries in your morning cereal. Prescription: Use good oils and dairy products low in saturated fats and free of trans fats. And cut down on bad oils and ghee.1. Replace all your cooking oil with canola oil and corn oil. 2. Instead of using pasta sauce in your spaghetti, try extra virgin olive oil and throw in herbs and vegetables. (This is how many Italians eat their pasta).3. When buying groceries, get butter that says “low in saturated fats” on the label and read the nutrition facts to make sure the product is low in trans fats and saturated fats. Related Itemslast_img read more

$2 Million for Tagore Paintings

first_imgA collection of rare paintings, including “Figure in Yellow,” by the Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore sold for nearly $2.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London.The auctioneer described the paintings as “arguably the most important group of works by Tagore ever to appear at an auction.”  Related Itemslast_img

The Changing Ki & Ka of Millenial Relationships

first_imgWhen Indian film director R. Balki, known for his emphatic portrayal of sensitive subjects (such as in Cheeni Kum, Paa) released his latest Ki and Ka, in April this year, the film was bound to arouse interest. While critics panned the Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor starrer for its patchy treatment, they also took note of the progressive attempt to present the changing gender based equations in millennial relationships.So while in the movie, the protagonists decide swap the gender rules (wife being the breadwinner and husband minding the household), according to pop psychologists, a lot of interesting gender bending is happening in modern households too.Sankalp and Manisha Goyal Chopra: , “An equal relationship where both partners are fair to each other is what it takes to work out a modern day unconventional relationship.”Challenging the notions of gender dynamics is a whole new generation of millennials who are no longer just talking about equality or shared responsibilities, but are introducing a new social structure, where no definite rules belong to anyone. A generation fueled by the success of start-ups and shaped by the reality of recession, is ready to accept the idea of a work-from-home husband or a breadwinner mom. According to experts, there is no conscious un-following of a regular familial pattern, but after years of husband and wife working cohesively to raise a family today, they are just fine if it’s the woman who’s in a regular job while the husband is still charting out a career plan.Counselor and life coach lieutenant Rita Gangwani said in a telephonic interview from Italy, “While it is still early to say that a stay-at-home dad is not an exception, but in a developing new trend couples are moving beyond just the arbitrary division of labor.”She adds, “Till a few years ago most of the couples I counseled were looking at ways to strike a balance while performing their respective roles today a many of them have moved beyond that and are talking about individual investments or setting up enterprises, while the other takes care of finances in the interim.”This progression has been possible, because today more women than ever are in the workforce, often at highly influential positions. A 2013 study by Pew Social Trends found that in the United States a record 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 included mothers who were either the sole or primary breadwinner for the family. According to US Census data that share was just 11 per cent in 1960.Another Pew Research Center survey on women and leadership, conducted on 1,835 randomly selected adults online in 2014, revealed that most Americans find women indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits such as intelligence and innovation. 73 per cent of surveyed Americans even expected to see a female president in their lifetime.In Indian households the change has been particularly exemplary given the country’s patriarchal history. But quite a few of those initiating this change are finding it liberating.Cupertino, Calif., based Indian American Ishdeep Sawhney, who works from home on his matrimonial venture Banihal.com while his wife Binu Kohli holds a regular job with the software company Oracle, says, “Contrary to popular opinions that a work from home dad is more acceptable in America than in India, I would say that stigmas exist everywhere.” He adds, “If a dad says he works from home for many it still translates into — maybe does no work at all.”Scene From Ki & KaThe real metrosexual daddys are proud to admit their constantly evolving roles. Sawhney says, “As a work from home dad I have bonded with my toddler son so much that today we love to spend all our extra time together.”Sociologists say that the new role reversal works in relationships that have an initial level of comfort. Also the changing financial dynamics in the world have led people to become more accepting of unconventional choices. When the recession hit the United States during the late 2000s, men were especially hard hit, because of their major concentration of jobs in finance and banking. Perhaps for the first time since World War II, women were in the forefront as the sole breadwinners in many households. This may have paved the way to ease out notions on women holding the fort.The new start-up craze and its numerous success stories have also led to couples balancing newer arrangements. Sawhney says: “In the Bay Area, where we live, it’s becoming increasingly common that the husband is working on a start up from his home. Binu has been totally supportive of my decision and she took upon herself the responsibility of continuing her job while I work towards my dreams.”New Jersey resident Kishore Gangji, who heads the start up Zip.in, an online supermarket based in India, relates to the idea. He says, “I was running a successful company in the US, but I wanted to be part of the start-up movement. What was phenomenal was that my wife Srilalitha let me put everything on hold and took charge of the household while I travelled to India to figure out what I wanted to do.”He adds, “The initial few months until I managed to find some foothold were tough for her as she donned dual responsibilities, but we sailed through.”Kishore Gangji with wife Srilalitha Bhattaram: “Srilalitha let me put everything on hold and took charge of the household while I travelled to India to figure out what I wanted to do.”How did they strike a balance? He says, “We have seen many ups and downs together. During the 2008-2009 economic meltdown we weren’t growing, so in 2010 we put all our savings to buy another company. These risks in life prepared us to accept unconventional roles for each other too.” He adds, “Also I had missed the dotcom boom in India as I was not in a place to take risks then and she knew my passion to be the part of this start-up generation.”Personality coach Rita Gangwani thinks that redefining gender roles may be easier for Indian couples in the West. She says, “Nuclear families, peer pressure from a society that exerts greater emphasis on equality, better day care facilities for the kids are some of the additional areas that make it easier for couples to don a different hat.”However, many couples in India too are belying the traditions. Gurgaon based Manisha Goyal Chopra, director of Sea Soul Cosmetics, says, “An equal relationship where both partners are fair to each other is what it takes to work out a modern day unconventional relationship.”Goyal admits that she left a promising career earlier on in their relationship to follow her husband Sankalp to Australia where he got a job. But after 10 years in Australia when Manisha decided to head back to India to launch her cosmetic line, it was the husband’s turn to give up his job in Australia to accompany his wife back home.She adds, “Even today, I travel at least 15 days a month and Sankalp takes charge during that time. The question as to who is supposed to do what has never really mattered between us.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Two Indian Institutes Ranked Among Top 50 Asian Universities

first_imgOnly two Indian institutes are ranked among the Top 50 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Ranking 2018, which places the National University of Singapore at the No.1 spot.The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is at the 29th place while the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay has been placed at the 44th spot. Both the educational centers have only 1 per cent international students. Other Indian institutes in top 100 are IIT-Kharagpur, which is at the 60th place, IIT-Roorkee at 65, IIT-Kanpur at 80, and IIT-Delhi at 86.However, 42 Indian institutes made it to the list of top 350 academic centers in Asia, including Tezpur University (100), IIT-Madras (103), IIT-Guwahati (112), Punjab University (114), National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (126), Jadavpur University (127), Indian School of Mines (141), University of Delhi (144), Aligarh Muslim University (158), Savitribai Phule Pune University (188), and IIT-BHU (194).“It is a fantastic achievement that India now has 42 universities in the Asia rankings and that the country has improved on 12 of the 13 metrics underlying the rankings,” said Phil Baty, the editorial director of global rankings at Times Higher Education.“While it has not experienced the same rapid improvement as East Asian nations such as China and while some of its institutions faced declines, India’s overall rise proves that it can make advances year on year,” he said.Also ranked among the top 300 are Amrita University, Birla Institute of Technology-Pilani, and the University of Calcutta.While IISc and IIT-Bombay dropped by two places to 29 and 44, IIT-Madras fell from the 41st position in 2017 to 103rd place in 2018. In 2017, only 33 Indian institutes made it to the list.Meanwhile, Chinese institutions recorded a sharp rise in the rankings, taking five of the top 10 places. Tsinghua University became China’s top ranked university at No.2 on the list while Peking University came at No. 3. The other three in the top 10 are from Hong Kong — University of Hong Kong (4th), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (joint 5th), and Chinese University of Hong Kong (7th). Related ItemsacademicsIITlast_img read more

Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi Among Cheapest Cities in the World: Survey

first_imgNew Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai are among the cheapest cities in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Singapore has been named the most expensive city in the world.The survey is conducted by comparing the prices of 160 products, such as bread, wine, cigarettes and unleaded petrol, and services, cost of rent, transport, utility bills, private school fees, domestic help and recreational costs in 130 cities.Some South Asian cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi featured among the 10 cheapest locations surveyed.“India is tipped for rapid economic expansion, but in per-head terms, wage and spending growth will remain low. Income inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources,” the report noted.Syria’s capital, Damascus, is the cheapest city in the world, and Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, in the next cheapest city, followed by Kazakhstan’s business center, Almaty. Lagos is the fourth cheapest city, followed by Bengaluru (5th), Karachi (6th), Algiers (7th), Chennai (8th), Bucharest (9th) and New Delhi (10th).Singapore is the most expensive city, ahead of Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong, respectively. Oslo, Geneva, Seoul, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and Sydney follow, respectively, making the 10 most expensive cities in the world.New York, London and Los Angeles did not feature in the list of the 10 most expensive cities. The cost of living in each city is ranked with that in New York City for the survey. The New York City index scored at 100 and one extra point equates to a 1 per cent increase in living costs.New York is the 13th most expensive city, followed by Los Angeles at the 14th place. London fell to 30th spot in the post-Brexit climate.In another recent survey, Mumbai was ranked as the best city for expat salaries. Expats working in the Indian city typically bring home an annual salary of $217,165, more than twice the global average of $99,903, the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2017 said.Mumbai was also the 12th richest city in the world, according to a different survey, and was fifth most expensive in Asia for accommodation for expats. Related Itemscost of livingEconomylast_img read more

The Time I Died in Ladakh

first_imgIn the month I’d been there, India had wiped the floor with me. There had been the obligatory tummy-troubles, of course, but also a robbing at the hands of a police officer in Agra, a raid on my hotel room in Chandigarh, and several near-death experiences dodging traffic in Delhi and Jaipur streets.During a phone call home, my girlfriend had attempted to comfort me with some wisdom sourced from her Facebook newsfeed — “life will send you exactly the challenge you need exactly when you need it,” or something of the sort. She’d been less forthcoming with why I might’ve needed to run a month-long gauntlet of uninterrupted harassment, petty theft, diesel fumes, and multiple other assaults on my unsuspecting senses.After a few days consulting maps, I settled on a course of escape: Zanskar, Ladakh — 7,000 kms of nothing but mountains and the odd minor settlement or monastery at day-or-two intervals. The trek across it would be a 21-day epic to which I casually added an extension of 12 that would take me to the sacred lake of Tso Moriri.“But alone?” asked the group of young Delhi guys I’d met at the bus station in Leh.Tibetan monk in Ladakh. Photo Credit: BigstockAlone. Alone was the way I did things. Travel for me had never been a means of meeting new people, but of meeting awe and wonder amidst natural beauty. Since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager, moreover, solitude had, in fact, become something of an obligation, and more of a saving grace than any other medication or therapy I’d known. Beyond this, I was also there to prove something. That I needed no one, maybe. That, left alone to my private trysts with awe, wonder, and the other delights of raw, gentle nature, I could actually prosper.Just how alone I’d be sank in as the bus spat me out into the arid dusk in Lamayuru and I saw the spread of lofty mountains into which I’d shortly venture. That unsayable sentiment which had led me into such places repeatedly over the years — a fusion of curiosity, adventure, and a kooky sort of pious reverence — found its pulse.I set off at 3 am the next day. Miltonesque moonscapes of every hue of red and orange waited around every bend in the trail. Some of the surrounding outcrops and peaks looked as though shaped by the hands of a master potter, others like he hadn’t quite got to them yet, and it was impossible to say which was more aesthetically captivating. Should Blake and O’Keefe have collaborated over a landscape both Hadean and Elysian at once, I imagined, this would have been the likely result.I reached the settlement of Hanupata just as the sun concluded its brutalities for the day and set up camp a mile or so past the last of the village’s pastures. Just before dark, my evening meditation was disturbed by an elderly lady clad in what looked like yak skin who sat outside my tent and stared at me for at least an hour before finally moving on.The Buddist Vajra amulet the author’s sister gave him before the trip to keep me safe; it worked!The next morning my hopes for a peaceful stomp through lonely miles of empty wilderness were sunk with the sighting of a trekking group plodding their way up the trail. Without much thought on the matter, I made the necessary revisions to my itinerary, deciding on a long detour through a hanging valley to the west. I marched until dusk and set up camp, having already covered six days of walking by guidebook estimations in less than two.I was up by 3 am again the next morning, this time awoken not by my excitement, but a raucous sing-song in my bowels which necessitated a frantic dash to the scrub. A small part of me suspected it would be best to stay put for a while, but the thought was vetoed the instant I looked up and saw the silhouetted peaks through which I’d spend the day walking.My progress towards the next pass was hampered by the tummy thing, which required that I stop every few hundred steps to let it settle before continuing. Just short of the pass I stopped for a drink. The first flickers of dawn were kissing the crowns of the surrounding peaks, a sight almost enough to make me forget the ongoing hostilities in my gut. Almost. A slug from my water bottle provided a crude memento, staying in my stomach for all of five seconds before coming up again along with everything I’d eaten the day before. A second bout a few minutes later disabused me of any notion that things might be a culturally curve-graded version of “ok.”Crap.The night before I’d lay pondering the many wonders that lay ahead, unable to hear the laughter of whatever demon had already occupied my stomach and was planning mischief of a kind I could not then have imagined.Praying flags in Ladakh. Photo Credit: BigstockI vomited a few more times and suffered an insult-to-injury bout of diarrhea before finally acknowledging the facts: I was sick, quite badly so, and my great Himalayan adventure was over. I had to turn back.I made it within sight of the previous night’s camp in a poor state and threw myself inside my tent. I had no inkling of time, but for the change in light each time I crawled outside to vomit or excrete the entirely liquid contents of my bowels. Daylight passed in seconds, only to return again with renewed, brutal intensity between alternate flashes and seeming eons of darkness. It wasn’t until several weeks later that I’d learn this unreasonably graphic preview of hell spanned a total of four days. On what later transpired to be day five I was woken by my stomach’s latest effort in its crusade to vacate itself and crawled outside.I woke some minutes or hours or days — who knew? — later, in a puddle of my own filth, somehow having strayed some 200 yards from my tent. Where I’d planned on going was beyond me. I managed to focus my eyes on the mess I’d excreted all over myself and the rocks beneath me and realized it was marbled with streaks of blood.I needed water. Shortly before dawn I set off in the direction of the trekking path in search of a stream. By the time I’d found one, the sky was again preparing its nocturnal garb.I woke in the morning sun, my shorts now sporting as much claret as their original khaki. A kind thought told me that if I just lay there, sooner or later someone was bound to find me. Logic soon intervened, reminding me that I had seen no one for days barring the few villagers and a handful of trekkers. For the first time, I was forced to acknowledge the possibility that I might never make it out of there, coming to the bleak realization that it was, as they say, do or die.But do what?I decided to crawl. I crawled for what felt like days.Left knee forward, right knee forward, left hand forward, right hand forward.“Life will send you exactly the challenge you need exactly when you need it.”Mask Dance at the monastery in Karcha, Zanskar. Photo Credit: BigstockOne morning, I woke and found the yak-skin lady outside my tent, watching me again, and, it seemed, quite oblivious to my suffering. As she sat there, swatting at her wild bushels of hair, gibbering to herself or mumbling broken lines of some mantra or other, it became apparent that fate had a lively sense of humor, having sent for my salvation the village’s choicest lunatic. When I next woke she was gone.At some point in the ordeal I managed to stand. I’d only hobbled a few paces along, however, when my impaired sense of balance forced me to stop. I scanned the terrain below me for some sign of the path, of the village, anything. Then, as my vision cleared, I saw something I will never forget.On a wide slope to my left, a girl was padding her way down through a boulder-field. She really was; at least two minutes of gawping in disbelief didn’t disprove it. She stopped and squinted in my direction for some time, unsure what to make of me, then lifted the other hand and waved. My cracked lips stung as a smile tried to rise on my cheeks. All the fear and tension I’d carried with me those past days summarily disarmed, transformed by the simple alchemy of this token human gesture. The last of my strength finally gave out.I woke facing a ceiling of sticks and mud. My chest was drenched in vomit and underparts in a viscous slop of claret. Someone had placed a wet rag on my brow. Beside me other rags which had evidently been used to clean up my prior messes were soaking in a pale of water. I drifted off again in a fit of shivers.I next woke to what seemed the biggest pair of brown eyes I had ever seen. The girl. One of her hands was kneading mine gently and with the other she poured a little water onto my lips. I was clean again, my clothes removed and modesty maintained by a scrap of cloth.The girl came and went over the next few days. I felt no better, but eventually imagined I could detect the cadence of my own language in her words. One morning the girl told me a jeep would be passing in two days’ time and the driver would be able to take me to a hospital. I felt myself on the verge of a smile, but before it had fully formed saw a tear tumble from the girl’s cheek and was reminded that the likely cause of her grieving was the severity of my condition.When I next woke the room was dark. The girl was gone, but I detected a presence in the room and could hear the faint but guttural warblings of a voice. It was the yak-skin lady, rocking away and reciting a mantra again. Despite the peculiarity of it, I was relieved she was there, to have some human presence beside me. The relief ended, however, when I realized what she was doing.Karcha monastery Zanskar. Photo Credit: BigstockFor almost a year before leaving for India I had trained in the Buddhist practices on death and impermanence. After listening to her for maybe an hour or more, I eventually grasped that the yak-skin lady was reciting the phowa, Tibetan Buddhism’s equivalent of Christianity’s last rites, or thereabouts, and used to guide the dying through the interlude between death and rebirth.Even in my vomity and feverish and feculent straits, I couldn’t help but think the act a tad melodramatic. I wasn’t actually dying! I wasn’t, was I?The girl returned shortly afterwards, bearing news of a plan to carry me to the nearest village, where they might sooner find a vehicle to take me to a hospital. Before she had finished her explanation a younger girl appeared in the doorway breathless and sweating, with more favorable tidings: there was a vehicle below.I next woke halfway between a military ambulance and the entrance to the hospital in Leh, where I was to remain for the next week, strung to an imbroglio of IVs slowly coercing the acute invasive amoebic dysentery out of my system and replacing all the blood I’d lost.A few days into my stay in the hospital, my unoccupied mind happened again upon the memory of my girlfriend’s words. Life will send you exactly the challenge you need exactly when you need it. Why I’d needed amoebic dysentery when slap bang in the middle of nowhere was, I’ll admit, at first a mystery, but as the days passed and granted a degree of perspective over the preceding weeks and all that had happened, I finally got it…The doctor in Leh told me that shortly after my arrival, momentarily, I’d been technically dead, my heart having stopped for nearly a minute before I was resuscitated. With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that this physical, medical death coincided with another — that of the poor sod who’d traipsed in there, rich in a sense of adventure and self-reliance, but lacking in any understanding of the awe and wonder to be found in the experience of basic humanity, and who never would have known countless other pleasures and worthwhile earthly merits and experiences had he not died this small death in the wilds of Zanskar. He stands humbled, corrected and bettered by his demise. Related ItemsBuddhismHimalayasLadakhlast_img read more

InMerica

first_imgFACE TO FACE WITH M.F.HUSAIN He’s the white-maned icon who likes to go barefoot even in swanky restaurants. His paintings fetch huge sums and heat up things at Sotheby’s and Christies. Last December, an NRI bought his painting titled Lightning for $450,000 in Bombay.M.F. Husain started out in life as an unknown street painter, painting cinema hoardings in Bombay to eke out a living and went on to become the toast of the art world. He also turned filmmaker with Gajgamini, starring his muse Madhuri Dixit and has now made a second film, this time with Tabu. At 84, the celebrated artist is full of surprises, with many more canvases still to paint.Which of your paintings is considered the most valuable?To the one who buys it, to him that is the most valuable painting. That way, I think I must have painted hundreds of valuable paintings.Who are the people who are buying your art in the West?While there have been American collectors like Chester Herwitz, they are the exception. I find that Indians are largely buying my work. It always happens that only people who are Indian will buy because for them it’s an investment in culture, the culture they belong to. That’s why you buy. It’s just like in film; nowadays, the overseas market is better than the Indian market.Talking about film, how did you decide to turn filmmaker? It’s a very complete medium; it covers all the arts, literature, music, and dance. From the very beginning I wanted to do it but it’s such an expensive medium and coming from a middle class background, I never thought I’d be able to make a film. I studied and kept close contact and luckily then I got the chance to do it. I’ve written the story, the dialogues, made the albums, designed the costumes and directed the film. It’s like doing a canvas.Since making Gajgamani, which stars Madhuri Dixit, you have made another film with Tabu. When do we get to see these in the U.S.?We will be releasing them both together in the U.S. in October.Is there anything that you’ve left undone and would still like to attempt? One life is not enough because what I have done is hardly maybe one percent. 99 percent is still inside me. I don’t think one can get everything out in one life.Do you ever feel you’ve got to leave a legacy? No, whether you become famous or not is not important. It’s the dedication that counts. For nearly 20 years nobody knew me and now because I’m known, people think I’m doing paintings because I’m so much in demand. For 20 years I was in Bombay and nobody bought a single painting, nobody looked at them. Charles Chaplin said it very beautifully in his autobiography: He also came from a poor background and was making short films just to make a living. He said, “Later on it became art – that’s not my fault.”Do you still like to go barefoot?I still do that. And I play with my paintbrush all the time (pointing to his walking stick which is in the shape of a giant paintbrush). It makes me feel like I’m a painter! In the beginning people asked, “What’s this?” And I said, “What’s wrong?” Now because I’m famous, anything I do, people read meaning into it.What gives you the most pleasure still? Meeting people. I love it. That’s why I’m always moving around the world. That gives me so much joy.You convey India in a wonderful way in your paintings and it’s always in your thoughts, isn’t it?Always. I have never painted anything else. We have 5000 years of culture, so much material we have.If you were to ever leave India, if you were to be exiled, would you be able to survive it?That would be difficult – maybe I would die soon!JIMI GOES HOME Jimi Mistry, the hot new star of the romantic comedy, The Guru, was born in Yorkshire, England. The son of an Indian doctor and an Irish nurse, he grew up in Manchester and spent time in Wales and in London. He visited India for the first time when he went location shooting for the movie recently.So how does he relate to a Motherland he hardly knows?“My dad came over to England when he was six with most of his family. He had a real struggle to make something of himself, which he’s done. He made a decision he’d be very open-minded and very liberal about the way that we were brought up. I became a Catholic through my mother, but that’s not to say I didn’t have the same exposure to the Indian side of my family because we did everything: we went to every wedding that was going on, we celebrated Diwali, but it just wasn’t my everyday life. I was a Michael Jackson wanna be, I was this, I was that.“I didn’t have much opportunity to go to India, that’s why it was such a shock to me when I went there. If I were going there for a vacation or to visit family, it would still have been a lot. But going there as an actor! The only actor trying to learn to ride a moped in the streets of Old Delhi with people going, “Hero! Hero!” I didn’t know what to say!“But seriously, it’s amazing when you get this feeling of affinity, of feeling very close but you also feel very distant, because you’ve not been brought up within that.”BY GOLLY -IT’S BOLLYWOOD! The Bollywood bug seems to have bitten Amreeka hard! Earlier, all you saw of India was the plight of the Bengal tiger on Discovery channel or documentaries on public television. Now bawdy, saucy Bollywood is really getting some respect – and it’s about time with the Bombay film industry churning out 1,000 feature films every year.This month TV viewers in the United States will get to see not one, not two but a full dozen of the best of Hindi films in a film festival dedicated to Bollywood on Turner Classic Movies.Director-producer Ismail Merchant will co-host in the festival each Thursday in June. This wonderful mix of films includes tragedies, melodramas and romances from the early 50’s right up to the present. Says Merchant, “Bollywood has added a new dimension to entertainment audiences all over the world. It is full of energy and charge, and the TCM move to show these selected films is a great opportunity for viewers to tune into Bollywood.”Film buffs will be delighted to know that the festival includes such classics as Raj Kapoor’s Awaara, Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India, Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, Kamal Amrohi’s Pakeeza and the action-packed all-time favorite Sholay. There’s also that big fun film, Amar Akbar Anthony besides current hits like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Bombay and Rangeela.Since Turner Classic Movies is currently seen in 63.4 million homes on the 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting system, we’ll soon have many more Bollywood addicts. So bring out the popcorn and samosas and enjoy!BOLLYWOOD GOES HOLLYWOOD Bollywood music is also getting a wider audience with Universal Music Groups new CD titled The Best of Bollywood: 15 Classic Hits from the Indian Cinema by Hip-O Records. In fact, Universal Studios has been involved with the Indian film industry since 1971. The Best of Bollywood includes early 70’s films that many immigrants grew up with such as Gambler and Johnny Mera Naam. It also has songs from favorites like Sholay, Bombay, Chori Chori Chhupke Chupke and Devdas. The singers on the CD include Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Kavita Krishnamurthy, as well as Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigham and Sunidhi Chauhan.AND NOW IT’S BAPPIWOOD! He’s a household name in India with his music playing everywhere from bazaars to discos. Bappi Lahiri has scored 4,000 songs for 500 Bollywood films and is in the Guinness Book of Records for recording 180 songs in one year alone. That’s like recording a song every other day!Bappi’s music has universal appeal: no wonder the hip hop group Truth Hurts decided to take a chunk of it for their album Addictive. Bappi successfully sued and won the case. Now, Serious Music, an American recording company, is bringing the original Bappi to mainstream audiences with the CD The Bappiwood Remixes with ten of his biggest Bollywood hits. The colorful composer has used the talents of his musician son Bappa and his singer daughter (no, not Bappo – her name is Rema). Fans will be tickled to know that Bappi is planning a concert tour of the United States in the coming month, and his new CD will be available at mainstream outlets like Tower Records and Borders, besides the desi music stores. Now that’s bappy news!HISTORY’S HANDMAIDEN A noted Indian historian Romila Thapar has been named the first holder of the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South at Library of Congress. The holder of the chair pursues research on the regions of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, or the islands of the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, using the immense foreign language collections in the Library of Congress.As occupant of the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South, Thapar will spend ten months at the John W. Kluge Center pursuing “Historical Consciousness in Early India” as her area of research. Thapar, emeritus professor of Ancient Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, is the author of many seminal works on the history of ancient India. In fact, her volume of the Penguin History of India has been continuously in print since 1966, and her latest is Early Indi From the Origins to AD 1300. The Library of Congress established the John W. Kluge Center in 2000 ‘to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize, and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C.’Quite a combination of the past and the present. Future history, perhaps?THE CHRONICLER OF LITTLE INDIA To us, Little India may signify a sizzling hot dosa, a new Indian outfit or a DVD of the latest Hindi film, but to Madhulika Khandelwal it’s all that – and more! In fact, it’s her research topic and after having lived in Flushing for a decade, she’s distilled the happenings of the immigrant Indian community into a book, Becoming American, Being Indian: An Immigrant Community in New York City.Khandelwal, director of the Asian American Center at Queens College, studied the four neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Richmond Hill and Flushing. The book, published by Cornell University Press,, is about the estimated 170,000 Indian-Americans in New York, almost two-thirds of whom live in Queens.She says, ” It’s a very distinct dynamic, there’s a range of class and occupations. These neighborhoods are receiving areas and there’s a pattern of immigrants first arriving here. People keep arriving here, set up networks and resources here and later move to higher income, more suburbanite residences.”Over the decade that Khandelwal lived with the community, she gradually sifted the facts from the myths: Indians in America were known as a highly professional population, but she found it was by no means a homogenous community without class differences. As she points out, you can’t go by stereotypes. The immigrants, who come from all socio-economic backgrounds in India are constantly reinventing themselves and moving up.Her book is not just about celebrating culture, but touches upon all aspects of the lives of Indian immigrants in New York, including critical issues about gender roles, class stratification, generational changes, and leadership roles in the emerging organizations. “You actually begin to see the so-called Diaspora right in your neighborhood,” she says. “You see how these things are happening. There are all sorts of cultural activities like festivals and concerts and businesses that are not just economic activities but are kind of outposts or dissemination centers.”FROM NEW YORK TO BOMBAY How strange is life? One minute you’re attending Queens College and commuting by subway and the next you’re a star in Bollywood films! This happened to Nisha Arora, an Indian-American who grew up in Queens and now lives in Hicksville, Long Island. She’s landed an interesting role in the film Supari, which stars Nandita Das, Uday Chopra and Rahul Dev. It’s produced by Padam Kumar, who made Champion earlier with Sunny Deol and Manisha Koirala.So how did a NY girl get involved in Bombay cinema? Nisha, who hadn’t been to India in 16 years, went to visit her sister, who’s married to Padam Kumar. “I was always into fashion and liked the glamour line,” recalls Nisha. “Cinema always intrigued me.”Within a month she had joined classes at the celebrated Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Lab, where many of the actors of the new brigade have been trained, and found acting to be her cup of tea. “You won’t believe it, I used to wake up every morning and say, ‘Wow! Acting is therapeutic!’ I found it really effortless, maybe as they say, acting is inborn, and I explored all these different horizons inside of me through this acting class.”After graduating, she acted in theater in ISKON, the main lead in a Hindi Punjabi play based on the riots in 1980: ” It was to get rid of any leftover inhibitions I might have had. After all, you only get one take in theater, so if you can do theater, you can definitely do films.”All along she was helping with production on the sets of her brother-in-law’s film Supari without any plans of being in the film. She says, “It seems as if everyone needs a godfather in Bollywood but that’s not true. I did all my struggling myself. I was the last one to be added to the script so it definitely was not a home thing at all. Lots of people were auditioned for the role of Saraswati.” The film has ten characters and Saraswati is one of the important ones. She is very Indian in her morality and in her ethics, but has a very Western approach to life. Says Nisha, “This character was evolving over the course of the year and I was told that I suited the role. I didn’t even know Padam was considering me all this time in his head!”The film is scheduled for a May release in India and the United States. For Nisha, Bollywood is definitely a part of her future. She laughs, ” In fact, I didn’t have those dreams when I was in New York. I was shell-shocked when I got to India. I had a culture shock myself! Now I say ‘Wow, India’s advanced!’”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Lilly Singh: From Rakhi Sexism to Bra Toss Challenge

first_imgThe Indian-origin YouTube sensation, Lilly Singh aka Superwoman who is known for her witty YouTube videos and taking a stand against day today sexism has now hit out against the Indian tradition of ‘Rakhi’. It’s a festival in which sisters tie a decorative thread on their brother’s hands symbolizing the promise that the brother will protect the sister.“Girls shouldn’t be raised to believe that brothers should protect and sisters require protection. Rather, they should be taught that they are equal and they both should make a promise to each other,” the 29-year-old wrote in the Facebook post.Internet SensationSingh’s parents are originally from Punjab, India but she was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She shot to fame for her hilariously relatable YouTube videos which echoed with the youth.Her enactment of her Indian parents has been the highlight of many of her videos. It hit close home for Indians across the world. Singh became UNICEF’S Global Goodwill Ambassador in July this year.Talking about the dangers of blindly following such traditions, in a social media post Singh said:One of the videos that made Lilly Singh popular as Superwoman, was the “Girls On Their Periods” which broke stereotype of keeping everything related menstruating a hush-hush business.Her Stand Against SexismIt’s not the first time the social media influencer stood up against sexism. Singh has been targeted by internet trolls, who often resort to commenting about her accent, her Indian background as well as lewd comments that women often get, including the popular male chauvinist comeback, “Go make a sandwich.”Inspired by these wonderful comments, Singh made a video brimming with sarcasm titled “How to Make a Sandwich” in November 2016. In the video she uses the usual ingredients that goes into the sandwich to subtly slap down the sexist comments.“Please note that I am using fresh ingredients to make up for your expired thought process,” Singh says in the video. The video went viral within hours of uploading it.“One of the most controversial things I’ve ever said was that I’m a feminist,” she told Huffington Post. “To this day, anytime I talk about anything related to women’s issues, I receive most backlash.”#GirlLove CampaignIn 2015, Singh started a worldwide campaign against girl-on-girl hate in which she collaborated with many popular YouTubers to talk about the damage that it does. Her campaign that was called, #Girllove, on social media platforms encouraged women to support each other and bring each other up.The campaign asked women to compliment other women and post it on social media with the hashtag #GirlLove. Singh also stated that all the revenue from the launch video on YouTube, will go to the Malala Fund to educate girls.It’s been two years since the launch, the #GirlLove campaign has become an integral part of Singh’s journey.#BraToss ChallengeThis year, on International Women’s Day, Singh launched the #BraToss challenge, “a fun way for women to show appreciation and support towards other women who have inspired them.”“This is my bra,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “And I’m throwing it in support of every type of woman around the world. And I’m challenging every viewer of this video who believes in the power of sisterhood to take the bra toss challenge, because we’re in this together!”With her bold social media campaigns, reaching out to more than 12 million followers, she is one of the biggest youth influencers in the world. The voice she raises can send ripples across the world. That’s what Singh has been doing, to say it in her words, like a bawse. Related ItemsBraToss ChallengeFeminismGirlLoveIndia CanadaIndia-originLilly SinghLittle IndiaSexismSexism in Festivities in IndiaSuperwomanWomen EmpowermentWomen in IndiaWomen Rightslast_img read more

‘India Needs to Protect Its Entrepreneurs’

first_imgHumanity has encountered the choice of using technological advancement for good or for evil since the invention of the wheel. In the 21st century, we are at the cusp of a new beginning and face the same question again. Vivek Wadhwa, United States-based tech entrepreneur and now full-time academician, explores the ramifications of the good, the bad and the ugly of technology in his latest book, The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future, which will be published in India this week — his first book to be also published in India.“Choices we make will ensure if we have an amazing future or a scary one,” he tells Little India.He himself has made some bold choices in his life. Before becoming a full-time scholar, Wadhwa founded Relativity Technologies, which was declared by Fortune Magazine as one of the 25 coolest companies in the world in 2001. He, however, gave up his run as an entrepreneur 15 years ago when he had a heart attack. “It was a life-changing experience,” he says.And he continues to be a part of newer experiences. He is an investor in Health Cube, which he calls as one of the biggest disruptions for the medical industry. The low-cost instant diagnostic tool, being developed in New Delhi, is available for a few hundred rupees, and has already been tried on 300,000 people as part of Idea group’s corporate social responsibility.When this technology comes to America it will disrupt the healthcare system, opines Wadhwa. He calls healthcare system in the United States corrupt since individuals can’t have access to their own records. “When the poor have medical records on the smartphone it’s better technology than what Americans have today,” Wadhwa says.However, the ramifications of such advancement are not all positive. The fast pace of technology can also lead to unemployment, with many millions losing their jobs. But, again, what matters is what we choose as a civilization. “What would you rather have in India — the poverty and despair or people being unemployed?” he asks. India doesn’t have to be worried about unemployment for another 30 years, he says, even as professions that require analysis like law, accountancy and even medicine, may soon be replaced by technology. America and Europe have only 15 years before unemployment hits them.“India needs to recognize that they now have the ability to innovate on their own,” he stresses. “They do not need the west. They need to protect and encourage local entrepreneurs.”The Silicon Valley investor believes that India is advancing at the same pace as the west. “Tech advancement happens at the same time all over the world now. Self-driven cars are a possibility in India, and even if a minister tries to stop it, he can’t,” he adds. Solar technology, gene medicine, robots, drones will come to India at the same time as America, the futurist says. “In many cases, India will be leading the world in developing these technologies. The disruption is happening now.” India is behind only in artificial intelligence, but it will catch up in a couple of years, says Wadhwa, who is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, and has held positions at Stanford and Harvard, among other institutions.He is also optimistic about the cost of solar technology in the country, which will be half the current price in 3-4 years, he projects. Wadhwa, who still has members of his family living in Delhi, was shocked to see the level of air pollution in the city during a recent visit. Solar energy is a solution, he feels, aided by deep subsidies provided to accelerate the growth of the industry, and ban on pollution producing cars and diesel generators.His previous book, Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology, published in 2014 focused on the barriers faced by women in the tech industry in the United States. The book, and Wadhwa’s outspokenness on the issue landed him in the middle of a controversy in 2015 after he was accused in a podcast of drowning out women’s voices in his bid to champion their cause in the industry. Wadhwa soon withdrew from the debate following intense backlash. But he does not shy from speaking on the subject even now. India has more women in technology, he points out, but they too face huge setbacks due to gender bias, adding that Indians in Silicon Valley are as bad as the “white jerks” when it comes to sexism.What also worries him is the inability of social media channels to check spread of hatred. “Facebook and Twitter enabled the rise of an authoritarian madman [Donald Trump],” he elaborates. “Facebook consulted with the Trump team on how to spread his hatred better. They should be fined Rs 1 lakh every time a fake news article stays for an hour after it’s reported.“They have gotten away with murder, and have only now taken this menace seriously. AlQaeda, ISIS have all used social media to spread hatred but the organizations have been making money.”In the book, he often makes references to Star Trek, the TV series he loved as a child, that showed the future of humankind when there is no money. Everyone together strived towards making a better society. Wadhwa too envisions a future without either money or hierarchy. Related ItemsInnovationsSilicon ValleyVivek Wadhwalast_img read more

Indian Domestic Helper’s Body Found Hanging in Saudi Arabia

first_imgThe body of a 49-year-old domestic help was found hanging at his work place in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province on Dec. 6. Gudeti Bhavanna was a native of Kolipaka village in the Nizamabad district of Telangana.Bhavanna, who was working as a domestic helper with a Saudi family for the last three years, is believed to have committed suicide, the Deccan Chronicle reported. He worked in Dubai for a while before he came to Saudi Arabia. Police teams rushed to the scene as soon as they were informed about the incident and shifted his body to the hospital.Bhavanna’s employer was visiting a nearby town for a family gathering along with his family. On their return at night, the employer did not find Bhavanna opening the gates and helping them with their bags. After he found him missing from the house, he checked the pump house where he found the domestic help’s body hanging from a water pipeline, reports said.The Indian workers who lived in the area informed a friend who lived in Bhavanna’s village in India about his death, after finding the telephone number in his diary.The police found no signs of violence. Investigations into the cause of death are on. The family members have requested the state government to help them bring the body back to India.The World Report of 2017 released by the Human Rights Watch group revealed that over 9 million migrant workers fill manual, clerical, and service jobs, constituting more than half the workforce in Saudi Arabia. Some suffer abuses and exploitation, sometimes amounting to conditions of forced labor in Saudi Arabia, the report said.“The kafala (sponsorship) system ties migrant workers’ residency permits to “sponsoring” employers, whose written consent is required for workers to change employers or exit the country under normal circumstances,” it added.Domestic workers, mostly women, faced a number of abuses such as overwork, forced confinement, non-payment of wages, food deprivation, and psychological, physical, and sexual abuse without the authorities holding their employers to account. Workers who attempted to report employer abuses sometimes faced prosecution based on counterclaims of theft, “black magic,” or “sorcery.”In many cases, employers illegally confiscate passports, withhold wages, and force migrants to work against their will. Saudi Arabia also imposes an exit visa requirement, forcing migrant workers to obtain permission from their employer to leave the country. “Workers who leave their employer without their consent can be charged with ‘absconding’ and face imprisonment and deportation. Such a system can trap workers in abusive conditions, and punish victims who flee abuse,” the report added. Related ItemsGulfIndiaSaudi Arabialast_img read more

Mayweather outpunches McGregor in latter rounds

first_imgREAD: Mayweather stops McGregor in 10th roundMayweather, who upped his record to 50-0, was also the more accurate puncher landing 170 of his 320 throws for a 53 percent clip and even his power punches, 152-of-261, were so accurate at 58 percent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMcGregor managed to land 111 of his total 430 punches but connected just 84 of his 332 power strikes.Interestingly, McGregor, who was stopped midway through the 10th, landed more punches in this fight than Manny Pacquiao did against Mayweather in their 2015 showdown which went the distance. View comments Pacquiao, as per Compubox, landed just 81 punches in 12 rounds.RELATED VIDEO SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits Conor McGregor in a super welterweight boxing match Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have been on the receiving end of Conor McGregor’s punches in the early rounds, but “Money” scored when it mattered the most.After McGregor outpunched Mayweather, 51-40, in the first five rounds, boxing’s former pound-for-pound king turned the tables on the Irishman, landing 130 punches as compared to the Notorious’ 60 from the sixth to the 10th round, as per Compubox.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next I’m finished says Mayweather after McGregor rout4K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Pacquiao commends McGregor, Mayweatherlast_img read more

Roach says Gesta ‘looking good’ ahead of world title bout

first_imgDo not bring these items in SEA Games venues Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “We’re in a real tough fight, my guy is definitely getting ready for this fight,” said Roach who trained legendary fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Oscar Dela Hoya, and Miguel Cotto.“We’re going over a lot of strategy, we started sparring and it went well. We still have a lot of time to work a little more.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He’s looking good so far. I feel we can win this fight, this is a good opportunity for us and we have to take advantage of it as much as we can,” said Roach in a report from BoxingScene.com.Gesta (31-1-2) fought for World title only once when he lost to then IBF World lightweight champion in December 2012.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSince then, though, Gesta has strung together a six-fight unbeaten streak with his bout against Carlos Molina in 2015 the only one ending in a draw.Linares (43-3-0), however, is considered as one of the top fighters in the lightweight division and won his last 12 fights including six World title bouts from 2014. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed LATEST STORIES MOST READ 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Read Nextcenter_img BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH If Freddie Roach is to be believed, Filipino slugger Mercito Gesta can score an upset win over WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares.Roach has been hard at work preparing Gesta for the biggest fight of the 30-year-old’s career on January 27 and the Hall of Fame trainer said there will be surprises come fight night.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:46Pacquiao ready to go with week left before Thurman fight03:16Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman hold final press conference ahead of bout01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Balkman gets ‘chance for ‘redemption’ with Alab stint View commentslast_img read more

McCollum scores 32, leads Blazers over Bulls in OT

first_imgKris Dunn scored 22 points and Nikola Mirotic had 18 points off the bench for Chicago, which blew a late lead for a second straight game. The Bulls lost for only the fourth time in 14 games since Mirotic returned to the lineup.Lauri Markkanen finished with 19 points, including a jumper from the corner that tied it at 120 with 1:14 left in overtime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderMcCollum then made his short floater and added a pair of late free throws.McCollum and Aminu, who made 5-of-6 3-pointers after halftime, carried the Blazers’ offense as they rallied from a seven-point deficit. 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next View comments LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) shoots against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, in Chicago. The Trail Blazers won 124-120 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Banks)CHICAGO — C.J. McCollum scored 25 of his 32 points after halftime, including the tiebreaking basket with 56.5 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Chicago Bulls 124-120 on Monday night.Al-Farouq Aminu added a season-high 24 points and Evan Turner also had his season best with 22 for Portland, which was without leading scorer Damian Lillard for a fifth straight game.ADVERTISEMENT After scoring four straight points to tie it at 112, McCollum missed two tries to pull ahead in the final 36 seconds of regulation.Led by Mirotic and Bobby Portis, the Bulls’ bench helped them overcome a sluggish start. Each had nine points in a second quarter in which Chicago’s reserves outscored Portland’s 18-7. Mirotic hit a deep 3-pointer with 5:21 left before the half to give the Bulls a 43-39 lead after they trailed by as many as 10 points early.Portis finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Neither Mirotic nor Portis played the final 7 1/ 2 minutes of regulation or overtime.Pat Connaughton had 16 points for Portland.TIP-INSADVERTISEMENT Trail Blazers: Lillard missed his fifth straight game with a right hamstring strain. Expected to be a game-time decision, Lillard, who hasn’t played since Dec. 20, was ruled out early. Portland coach Terry Stotts wasn’t sure if Lillard would play on Tuesday at Cleveland.“When he’s ready, he’ll be ready, but it’s hard to say,” Stotts said.Bulls: Zach LaVine’s “training camp” has gone well so far, according to coach Fred Hoiberg. Coming off February surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, LaVine is halfway through a stretch of six consecutive days of full-contact practices. “He’s sore, as expected,” Hoiberg said. “Overall, he’s handled it great. He’ll have another good opportunity (Tuesday). It was good to see him out there. He’s in training camp mode right now, but he’s handling the workload well and that’s the important thing.”UP NEXTTrail Blazers: At the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.Bulls: Host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Timberwolves send Lakers reeling to 7th straight loss MOST READlast_img read more