Saturday, September 29, 2007
Aussies out to settle scores
|Ponting lavishes praise on India’s recent World Twenty20 win|
— Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
FOCUSSED ON THE CHALLENGE: After the loss to India in the World Twenty20, the Australian team led by Ricky Ponting (right), coach Tim Nielsen (centre) and Adam Gilchrist will be keen on setting the record straight.
BANGALORE: Ricky Ponting has believed in leading from the front. And the Australians — champions in both Tests and one-dayers — play their cricket with a lot of passion.
This streak was evident when Ponting addressed the media for the first time ahead of the opening ODI, a day-night affair at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday, of the seven-match series against India.
India’s clinical efficiency in ousting Australia in the semifinals of the ICC World Twenty20 has hurt his team. The Aussies will now be planning to come down hard during the present series.
While lauding the efforts of the Indian team, Ponting promised a fitting retaliation, Aussie style.
“One thing that stood out for all of us looking at the Indian team during the Twenty20 has been the amount of youthfulness they had in the team, giving it a nice fresh air,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that some of the younger guys who were in this team will be making way for the senior guys — Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan. This could turn in our favour since we know these guys a lot deal better.
“Having played a great deal against these seniors, we are aware of their strengths and weaknesses very well. So, if anything, probably it will make it easier for us to play with these guys in the team,” Ponting added.
On the pressure playing in the sub-continent, Ponting said, “if anything, pressure will probably be back on India. There would be a lot of expectations after the Twenty20 triumph. There is no doubt that some of the players will be under pressure. They (India) played great cricket. They deserved to come back as champions. But that’s finished now. We got to look forward to this series… and it’s a lot different”.
On Sreesanth’s tit-for-tat aggression: ``I know Sreesanth is going to be at his aggressive best. And fast bowling is all about being that. But then I expect all the guys in our side to play with a lot of aggression and be very positive with the way they go about things,” Ponting said.
“`I have been watching this lad (Sreesanth) for the past couple of seasons and we expected him to come at us. Our game plan too is to come out as aggressively as we possibly can in this series and impose ourselves on the Indians. If we do that, I am sure we will go a long way in winning the series” Ponting added.
On injuries to some of his key players — Mike Hussey, Shane Watson and Stuart Tait: ``yeah some of our guys have been laid low.
The spongy outfield during the Twenty20 tournament and the constant travel (we travelled the most) due to the scheduling have ensured that some of our guys are missing this series. But we have some useful guys coming in their place and out to prove themselves.”
Ponting’s own injury, which forced him to miss a couple of matches in South Africa is a cause for worry and Adam Voges has come here as his cover.
PTI reports from Bangalore:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership qualities have earned him kudos from Ponting and Adam Gilchrist.
“He has done a pretty good job for the team,” Ponting said. “Leading a team to such a triumph just after taking over as captain is a great achievement,” he added.
Ponting also said, “the captain is as good as the team. Lot of players stood up (rose to the occasion at the World Twenty20).”
Stand-in skipper Gilchrist said one of the main reasons for India’s triumph in South Africa was that the side was “well-led.”
“Dhoni did a terrific job. The team played the big moments very well.”
Gilchrist said Dhoni handled himself with a lot of dignity off the field, while on it he seemed to have a cool mind and a well planned strategy, which are qualities of a good captain.
© Copyright 2000 - 2007 The Hindu
Friday, September 28, 2007
By Our Ccorrespondents
ISLAMABAD: Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, candidate of the legal fraternity for the upcoming presidential election, Wednesday said that the assemblies elected for five years could not re-elect President Musharraf for a second term.
Addressing a press conference at the Supreme Court building here after his arrival in the capital from Karachi, he said that President General Pervez Musharraf was not eligible to contest for the office of the president. However, if he gets elected on the votes of PML-Q, they would kick-start the next phase of their movement. "We will win this battle with the help of the whole nation," he remarked.
He said that January 26, 2000 was black day in the history of Pakistan as on this day Democracy Day was observed in India while in Pakistan General Musharraf was taking oath from the judges of superior courts under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). However, he said that he refused to take oath under the PCO and preferred to quit. Until then, he said, for the first time he came to the building of the Supreme Court and agreed to the request made by the lawyers community to contest for the office of the president. He said that the legal fraternity had nominated him for election to the office of the president just to fill the vacuum so as to create hurdle in the unconstitutional election process of General Musharraf from the present assemblies.
He said although the case of dual office of the president and his candidature for the office of the president for the second term is pending in the court but it does not mean that the petitioners would only confine themselves to courts and wait for its decision.
He said the legal fraternity would file his nomination papers with the Election Commission in a peaceful manner while they have already announced to hold protest on September 29. President Supreme Court Bar Association Munir A Malik, Justice (Retd) Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Hamid Khan advocate were also present on the occasion.
They thanked Wajihuddin Ahmed for accepting their request to contest the presidential election. They said that the person they nominated for contesting the office of the president possessed a sound character and had great respect in the judiciary.
Hamid Khan advocate while speaking on the occasion paid rich tributes to Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed for contesting the election against President Musharraf and said it was the second biggest and important event in the country's history. The lawyers community expressed their determination to continue their movement against the military dictatorship and would fight their battle till the achievement of their goal.
Earlier, hundreds of lawyers reached Islamabad airport to welcome Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed. SCBA President Munir A Malik, Justice (Retd) Tariq Mehmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd, President Rawalpindi Bar Association Raja Khalid Ismail Abbasi, President High Court Bar Association Sardar Asmatullah Khan and hundreds of other lawyers were present to receive the retired judge, the main challenger of President General Pervez Musharraf in the presidential race.
The airport road remained jam-packed as lawyers turned up in large numbers there. A number of lawyers also remained stuck up in the traffic jam on the road. People who had to pass through the airport road could not reach their homes for Iftar.
The central gate of the airport was closed for lawyers by the officials of Airport Security Force (ASF), who did not want the former to enter the premises. But emotional lawyers were engaged in bickering with the ASF officials to enter the airport and receive their leader. Hundreds of Punjab police officials were also present on the occasion. A number of Punjab police officials were also deployed outside Rawal Lounges.
The lawyers of Rawalpindi Bar Association raised slogans against General Musharraf and in favour of Wajihuddin Ahmed on this occasion. Some among them even resorted to clapping and dancing amid sloganeering at the airport.
As PIA flight PK-308 arrived from Karachi, the lawyers moved forward to give a rousing welcome to Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed. To answer the slogans of lawyers, Wajihuddin Ahmed waived his hand to the crowd while making a victory sign. As the plane reached Islamabad airport at 5:40pm, the retired judge have had his Iftar at the airport in the company of hundreds of lawyers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Rose petals were profusely showered on him and he was taken to the Supreme Court in a vehicular procession.
Agreed that Indian Railways is doing better but they are not doing their best. Just improving the profit numbers alone would not help the customers when enjoying the monopoly power (If they don't have competitors and even if it is government, I would call them monopoly).
The pace at which the migration is happening towards cities and movement towards employment opportunities is growing everyday. Railways should also operate more number of trains in existing routes and connect new routes in a more aggressive manner than what it is doing currently.
Ok, why am I angry about Indian Railways now? There is a selfishness. Yes I dont have even a single direct train connecting Bangalore (Indian Silicon Valley) to my home town :- (Its Gandhi Jayanthi this Tuesday, Most of the software engineers would have taken leave on monday and would be on travelling spree. I am travelling back to my home town Villupuram which is a well known railway junction in TamilNadu and the only junction connecting Pondicherry (Fastest growing Industrial area).
Most of the trains that connects south to the state capital crosses this junction. There are a lot of poor souls like me working in Bangalore in Software Industry from Villupuram, Pondicherry, Cuddalore, Chidambaram and Nagapattinam areas.
We are all relying on a 30 seater KPN travels Air Bus :- (The Mad rush starts 30 days earlier when the booking charts open up and tension continues till the day of journey and till the end. When will railways do something about this ?? Dont know but now I am hurrying to catch KPN bus to enjoy my long weekend at home.
Madurai, Sept. 28 (PTI): The Madras High Court today admitted a petition seeking to revoke or suspend the licence granted to DTH provider Sun Direct TV Private Ltd.
It, however, declined to grant an interim injunction restraining the company from operating Direct To Home services under the licence granted by Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
The petitioner V M Ravichandran, a cable TV operator, contented in the Madurai Bench of the High Court that the company had violated guidelines of the government with regard to equity holdings.
He appealed to the court to direct the government to declare that the company had "violated" guidelines on equity holding and initiate steps in accordance with the law.
Admitting the petition a division bench comprising Justices P K Mishra and V M Mishra said TRAI should be the ideal authority to inquire about the violation of guidelines for DTH and cable TV.
The petitioner submitted that at the time of incorporation of SUN direct TV Pvt Ltd, Kalanidhi Maran, the applicant, was holding 96.67 per cent shares. Besides he was holding 89.90 per cent shares in Sun TV Ltd and 75 per cent share in Kal Cables Pvt Ltd. This showed that Kalanidhi Maran was having majority controlling in the DTH company, Sun TV and the cable network company, he contended.
The petitioner submitted that as per government guidelines, broad casting companies/cable network companies shall not be eligible to collectively own more than 20 per cent of the total equity of the applicant company for DTH at any time during the licence period.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
September 25, 2007
Vishwa Hindu Parishad General Secretary Praveen Togadia talks to Nistula Hebbar on Ram, the Ram Sethu and the VHP-Bharatiya Janata Party relationship.
You have raised the Ram Sethu issue in the past, but your point of view has got a boost because of the government's controversial affidavit, rather than the movement itself?
Our movement has got a boost from the faith of the people, not from anything that the government has done to undermine Ram. The government may have precipitated matters by its blasphemous affidavit, but the underlying anger among the people was there to begin with. The media was not aware of the movement but people have supported us fully.
What do you say to people who say that Ram is a mythical character and that he never existed?
According to rationalists, anything that cannot be proven does not exist. Therefore, since God's existence has not been proven, he too does not exist. I want to ask them: Has it been proven that God does not exist? So, why are you so eager to believe that God does not exist? To compare the history of Islam or Christianity to that of Hinduism is not fair. Those are products of fairly young civilisations, not like Hinduism, which is a product of the oldest living civilisation in the world.
You have said that the government has deliberately filed a blasphemous affidavit in court. Why?
The government filed that affidavit on September 11 and the VHP organised a chakka jam (road blockade) on September 12. Had the affidavit been filed by mistake, the government would have withdrawn it immediately. Instead, after it realised that it had offended Hindus beyond breaking point, it had to withdraw the affidavit. This clearly illustrates the intentions of the government.
The National Democratic Alliance government initiated the Ram Sethu project. Don't you think you should protest against them as well?
The NDA government had not approved the project, and I refuse to believe that it would. They, like us, have not been against the (Ram Sethu) canal, but against a channel. We too are not opposed to the project per se, but the destruction of the Ram Sethu. We are for a land route which will save the Ram Sethu. If there are alternative routes, we too are in favour of the project.
What about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's remarks on the veracity of Ram and his engineering degree? What about attacks on his family?
Karunanidhi is a known atheist, so there is no surprise if he denies the existence of Ram. The people of Tamil Nadu will give a fitting reply to his words as Ram's appeal cuts across caste and regional lines. As for the attacks on him and the Tamil Nadu state transport bus, no VHP worker was involved. Someone engineered the attacks to discredit us. Ours is a peaceful movement. Even during the September 12 chakka jam, there was no violence.
There are other issues people have against the Ram Sethu, like the destruction of marine ecology and the plight of fishermen in the area. Why aren't you highlighting them?
We are and what's more, the fishermen at Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi, among them Hindus, Muslims and Christians, are supporting us. I have met many of them and even the communist party-led fishermen's union is opposing the Ram Sethu project.
You have said that this movement will not depend on other organisations. Are you going to keep it a VHP-specific movement?
This is not a VHP-specific movement. Over 40 Hindu organisations and many others have joined us in this movement. This is a movement for Hindus across the country.
Is the BJP a part of this Hindu coalition? There has been some talk about you not wanting the BJP to join in, looking at the way the Ram Janmabhoomi panned out, with the NDA government not doing much to build a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi.
Well, it is up to the BJP to decide whether it is a Hindu party or not, how can we decide for them? All Hindu-minded organisations are free to join us. The question of them joining the movement starts from there. For this, I am afraid you will have to direct your question to the BJP, not to me.
What if people like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, with whom your relations are not among the best, use the Ram Sethu issue at election rallies. Would you say he is politicising it?
Narendra Modi or whoever talks about the Ram Sethu issue, whether on a political platform or otherwise, will have to examine his own motivations for doing so. For us, Ram is a matter of faith, he cannot be a political issue. But that is our stand. I cannot tell you why he will speak of the Ram Sethu, I only know what motivates me.
Much has been said about Ram as God, a man or a historical figure. What is your belief?
For me, Ram is God, a man and a historical figure. I am a practising Hindu, a believer and this comes out of my convictions. As I said earlier, rationalists only believe what can be proven. Well, nobody has proved that Ram did not exist. What crores of people believe and have believed over centuries has not been convincingly disproven. People said that Krishna did not exist, then what about the submerged Dwarka city that scientists have discovered?
What are you going to do to take this forward?
From September 28 to October 10, we will be asking Hindus and Hindu organisations from all districts across India to spread the movement, carrying with them copies of the Ramayana, the Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga and illustrations of the Ram Sethu. It will be like the Ram Shila movement all over again, with a massive mobilisation of people from all over the country.
What is the scope of this movement? Do you think that it will be as big as the movement over the Ram temple in Ayodhya?
Yes. This is going to be huge, as big as the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Our motivation and zeal are as they were during that time and the people also appear to be with us on this. Log jag gaye hain (people have awakened). This issue will have major implications on the politics and future of the country just as the Ram Janmabhoomi movement had.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The Ram Sethu is our heritage: WE SHALL PROTECT IT
By Dr.Subramanian Swamy
Organiser; Sep 23, 2007
The Dravidian Kazhagam, a British imperialist stooge organisation, has recently threatened to burn the Ramyana in a public protest against “Aryan Supremacy” for opposing the destruction of the Ram Sethu in the implementation of the Sethusamudram Canal Project.
The Dravida Movement which includes DMK, MDMK, PMK, and DK parties, is a movement of atheists, which has turned its ire on Bhagwan Sri Ram, the King of Ayodhya, and wants the Ram Sethu to be demolished because it is a symbol of “North Indian” domination. This shows the bias and malice behind the determination to destruct the Ram Sethu. No self-respecting Hindu must permit this vandalism.
The demolition also would facilitate the anti-Indian terrorist LTTE’s brigand boats to move quicker from Tuticorin to Chennai on the Palk Strait, and on international waters. At present, the Ram Sethu stands in the way. Hence their vociferous support to Dravidian Movement parties for the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project [SSCP].
To begin with, Sri Ram really emerged in national perception as a Maryada Purushottam divinity as distinct from a young dutiful prince of Ayodhya only after his sojourn to South India. Professor Suvira Jaiswal [www.thehindu.com/2007/03/12/stories] who has become the President of the Indian History Congress recently, in her S.C. Misra Memorial Lecture states that King Ram of Ayodhya was transformed into Bhagwan Sri Ram of the whole nation, i.e., as a re-incarnation of Vishnu because of the Tamil Vaishnava saints, Alwars, who sang praises of the qualities of Sri Ram.
She also states that Chola and Pandya Kings despite being Shaivites, built the first temples for Sri Ram as a deity. Thus, while Raja Ram may be regarded as a ‘northerner’ from Ayodhya, nevertheless Bhagwan Sri Ram as a divine incarnation is the revelation of Tamil saints incorporated into the Hindu religion nationally. Sri Ram is in fact a symbol of our nation’s oneness. Alwars and Nayanmar saints also propagated what the Dravidian Movement needs to learn fast: God is universally accessible, and grants salvation irrespective of caste to all those who worship him with complete devotion. God is not pro-any caste or where one is born. If such is the faith, who is the government to question it? As the Punjab & Haryana High Court division bench opined in 1993 in the Brahmasaravor case, even a stone is an ancient national monument if the people have faith in it.
While the Hindu scriptures have given vivid and moving description of the construction of the Ram Sethu, its existence has now been confirmed by two scientific sources. In the first, the present configuration of the Ram Sethu has been photographed by US National Aeronautics and Space Agency [NASA] by their satellites, and colour photos of the same are widely available on the NASA website. These photos establish the Sethu’s existence as a chain of shoal stones.
The Department of Earth Science of the Government of India in a report to the President of India has stated that shoal stones placement make out that they were “deliberately placed there”. That is, as if it was constructed in the manner described by the Valmiki, Kamban, and Tulsidas, saints who authored the Ramyana epic at different points in time in Sanskrit, Tamil and Hindi. NASA also establishes the age of the shoal stones as 1,750,000 years ago. The bridge formation itself by placing these stones one by one, according to the Earth Science Department, is not less than 9000 years.
Such independent corroboration therefore cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence and not worthy of notice as the DMK nominee in the union ministry of shipping T.R. Baalu has been saying. At the very minimum it requires a full inquiry as to whether or not the said Ram Sethu is a Hindu heritage site. Millions believe it to be so, and hence the government cannot take a narrow cynical view of such faith.
The objective of the Rs. 2427 crore SSCP nevertheless could be a worthy one, and for the national good if the calculations and data used are accurate. But a closer look using the analysis of Dr. Jacob John [published in Economic and Political Weekly, July 21, 2007], suggests that the entire economic cost-benefit analysis made by the Union Shipping Ministry and presented in a Detailed Project Report [DPR] to the Union Cabinet for approval of the project is bogus and aimed at misleading the nation about the financial viability of the project.
That is, while no rational opinion is against the project per se if it is viable, what is however sought is a feasible amendment of the SSCP, to avoid vandalizing the Ram Sethu by destructing it, and thereby hurting the religious sentiment of millions of Hindus.
The objective of SSCP can be achieved by digging through the 15 kilometre mainland stretch between Pamban and Dhanushkodi, adjacent to the Ram Sethu thereby leaving hoary Sethu intact. This accommodative approach of seeking of an alternative was followed by the Delhi Metro when its underground route digging came too close to the Qutub Minar. This will not only be welcome but the dredging costs on land will be much lower.
Moreover, retention of the Ram Sethu as it is, will ensure as it did in the past the minimisation of the damage from the tsunami disaster when the spread of the massive displacement of sea water caused by plate tectonic earthquake in Aceh reached the shores of India. The Ram Sethu acted as a wave and speed-breaker, thus saving enormous number of lives and damage to property.
I would therefore suggest that the SSCP be put on hold, and the alternative canal route be researched by a committee of experts and an amended project report be prepared. This is incidentally the opinion of a very wise Sub-Judge Mohammed Asif of the Ramnathapuram Subordinate Court. On February 23, 2007 while ruling on a petition challenging the SSCP he stated: “Imperatives of development and our commitment to protect heritage are two ends. A careful, intelligent balance should be struck between the two. Final opinion could be pronounced on issues raised by the petitioners only after subjecting their documents to thorough scrutiny with opinion of experts in the field.”
The Ram Sethu is a living miracle, and therefore the Government of India ought to approach UNESCO to get it declared as the 28th World Heritage Site. The Tourism Ministry should also develop the area to vest it with the essential infrastructure so that pilgrims can come from far and wide.
Related stories:World Heritage — Maps and Pictorial Evidences
Evidences for human activity (NASA clarification, Aug 2, 2007)
NASA “science” and mis-leading the public questioned
Ram Sethu controversy - full coverage
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday September 20 2007 00:00 IST
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Thursday September 20 2007 10:47 IST
Turn down rationlist decibel, please
There is no excuse whatsoever for those who took two innocent lives in the process of sending out a message to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for his ill considered remarks on the hero of Ramayana who lives venerated in the hearts and minds of worshipful millions.
Burning buses is bad enough but torching buses with people still inside them is a lumpen and dastardly and barbaric act that deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Those who committed the acts of vandalism targeting Mr Karunanidhi's daughter Selvi and son-in-law have not lagged far behind in their savagery either.
Mindless violence wrecked on the meek and helpless to express anguish and anger over politically irresponsible sentiments uttered by a canny politician brings neither glory to the perpetuators nor to the cause they claim to hold dear. Now that appropriate steps are being taken to provide additional protection to the family members of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, it is worth stressing that no matter how rational he might sound to himself, Mr Karunanidhi is doing his cause no favour either by continuing to play to the political gallery. It is incumbent upon him to do all that is rational in order to ensure that the situation is not taken to a point where things begin to go off kilter.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister leaves no one in any doubt over his politics of polarisation. Recall that it was only six months ago, that Mr Karunanidhi and his alliance leaders had equated the Ram Setu movement with the Ayodhya incidents of December 1992, besides giving it a North-South opposition colour as well. As someone who grew up in a political environment that saw Lord Ram as a symbol of subjugation of the Dravidians, he seems to see the opposition to the Sethu Samudram Canal Project as an attempt to thwart development in the Tamil heartland.
Now sadly the campaigners of Ram Sethu, who are seeking realignment in the Sethu Project, appear to have fallen for the polarisation gambit. The UPA itself hastily withdrew the controversial ASI affidavit presumably to ensure, among other things, that its political rivals did not use it as a tool to score brownie points. But Karunanidhi's reiteration of the contents in the affidavit in sharper terms has not been tantamount to pouring oil over the troubled Sethu waters. True, Tamil Nadu takes pride in being the cradle of the rationalist movement. But it is equally true that sometimes silence is also a rational option.
The New Indian Express
Friday September 21 2007 00:00 IST
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In the name of the Lord
|Kaushik Babu, who plays the lead in `Swami Ayyappan,' was selected after a year-long search, say the makers of the serial S. Karthikeyan and S. Murugan.|
STAR CAST: `Swami Ayyappan' has an impressive line-up of actors that includes Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Rajan P. Dev, Sukanya and Devan.
When S. Karthikeyan and S. Murugan, sons of the celebrated filmmaker `Merryland' Subramaniam, decided to make `Swami Ayyappan' for television, they faced a serious problem. They needed a young boy who could fit into the title role.
"It could not be just any boy. We had decided right from the beginning that it had to be a boy who bore a close resemblance to an old painting of the Lord," says Karthikeyan.
The search took almost a year. The producers went through hundreds of photographs but were not satisfied. "That was when we chanced upon the photograph of a boy in a magazine. Immediately we knew that he would be our Ayyappan. His features, especially those big, dreamy eyes, came very close to that painting.
"The boy, Kaushik Babu, who hails from Hyderabad, was contacted. And, by the grace of God, everything fell into place. Vikraman Nair did the make-up of Kaushik to reproduce the look of that old painting."
A Class Ten student of Dwaraka High School, Hyderabad, Kaushik is not new to acting. "It was my father's friend, the late Sunil Verma, who introduced me to films. My first film was `Kalankita,' which he directed. In fact, I did six films for him. I have also acted in various television serials such as `Bhakt Ramdas,' says Kaushik. Kaushik quickly got over teething problems to come up with a professional performance. "He is smart, involved and a quick learner. Initially, he had problems with the language. But he managed with his movements and sensitive emoting. Now he can understand and even speak a bit. This is reflected in his acting. The entire project revolves on him and he has done a fine job," feels Karthikeyan.
Kaushik is also into English elocution and mono act. "I have won prizes for elocution at the National level, but I enjoy presenting different characters in full make-up. I have presented Swami Vivekananda, Duryodhana and many others. This helps me understand different people and gives me an edge when I act. One character I always dreamed of doing was Lord Ayyappa. But I never thought I would get this opportunity," says Kaushik.
"We have made no compromises on the production values. The cast includes Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Rajan P. Dev, Sukanya, Devan and many other talented actors.
"My father had made a film way back in 1975 with the same title. That one was a super hit and so were the songs. We have used some of the songs composed by G. Devarajan in this, along with those tuned by M.K. Arjunan, M.G. Radhakrishnan and Somasekharan, who has composed the title song. The lyrics are by O.N.V. Kurup and Sreekumaran Thampi, with Madhu Balakrishnan lending his voice to some fine, new songs," says Karthikeyan.
© Copyright 2000 - 2007 The Hindu
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Jayalalithaa moves to SC to stop Sethusamudram on security of India & Sri Lanka
By Walter Jayawardhana
Moving the Indian Supreme Court All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagam (AIADMK) leader and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha Jeyaram requested the courts to restrain the Central government from “destroying” “Ram Sethu” or Adams Bridge between Sri Lanka and India and said it raises serious problems of the security and rights of the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and India.
She said in her petition to the Supreme Court Sri Lanka and India had always considered the territorial waters of Palk Bay , Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits under their respective territorial rights whereas the US has objected to such claims and considered them international waters.
She argued the destruction of the Rama Sethu, considered by millions of Hindus as a bridge constructed by a Vanara Sena (monkey army) led by Hanuman at the behest of Lord Rama , would expose the country to a great security threat by the United States.
In an earlier petition the Janata Party leader Subramanian Swami has pointed out that the dredging of the barrier to allow navigation of big ships across the Palk Strait the environment of Sri Lanka would be greatly damaged. He said earlier it would only facilitate the brigand boats of the sea faring LTTE to engage in gun and narcotic drug running.
Jayalalitha Jeyaram, has also quoted extensively various historical literature and compilations, and said the "Ram Setu" bridge is a symbol of might and power of human will and the construction of the bridge by the vanar sena of Lord Rama was a victory of human endeavor in the face of adversity.
Since Jayalalitha was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu she has vehemently opposed the dredging of the Rama Sethu Canal and demanded that the work for the controversial $560-million Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) be halted immediately because ,she claimed, it had badly hit the livelihood of fishermen and endangered marine biology in the sea south of the southern Indian state.
In a strongly-worded statement issued in state capital Chennai, she then declared: “Concerned with the welfare of the people, my government cannot permit this project completely ruining the fishermen`s lives. We cannot remain a silent spectator when the fishermen are being put to great suffering.”
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had launched the dredging work for the project at a gala public function in Madurai on July 2 2005. It was attended by the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and leaders of UPA partners in Tamil Nadu, including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi.
But Ms Jayalalithaa had boycotted that function on the ground that the project was being rushed through by her political enemies without proper environmental assessment. The bitter rivalry between Ms Jayalalithaa`s AIADMK (then in power in Tamil Nadu), and the DMK (which shares power in Prime Minister Dr Singh`s coalition government at the center since then and rules Tamil Nadu now) has converted the Sethusamudram project into a bone of contention between the two biggest DMK oriented parties.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
12 Sep 2007, 0204 hrs. IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Bad news for children below 16 years intending to buy mobile phones, with the Karnataka government banning sale of cellphones to kids below 16 years.
Concerned over adverse Health impact on children who are hooked on to Cellphones, the State Government on Tuesday announced that it would direct traders not to sell mobile phones to children below 16 years. The government has also banned use of mobile phones in Schools and Colleges.
Though the Health Department has put a bar up to 16 years, the Education Department has gone a step ahead and has ordered ban for students and institutions up to second-year pre-university.
Surprisingly though, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Basavaraj S. Horatti and Health Minister R.Ashok told reporters that School Managements and Parents would be responsible for any lapses, they were unclear on how to go about on implementing restrictions on sale of mobile phones.
"The government is serious on banning the sale of cellphones. We will seek legal opinion to make this rule stringent," Horatti said. A circular to this effect is expected to be issued in a couple of days, which will be applicable for all state, central and private-run educational institutions across Karnataka, he added.
The Health Minister said parents should discourage use of mobile phones by their under-age children at home also, which would lead to cancer, brain disorders and adverse impact on nervous system.
But Doctors like Kidwai Institute of Oncology director Dr. Bapsy said there was no published research in any reputed journals that usage of cellphones led to any such health concerns.
Shankar B Madikeri, an ENT specialist, said some studies show radiation could cause problem for the brain development. "But there is no concrete evidence that it damages the ear," he said.
Times of India
12 Sep 2007, 0001 hrs IST, Kounteya Sinha, TNN
NEW DELHI: The fate of the 104-year-old Shimla toy train as a future UNESCO world heritage site is at present being examined by a team of experts in Shimla.
The two-member team is headed by Robert Lee from the University of Western Sydney. Lee is part of the International Council on Monuments and Sites. The team arrived in the Himachal capital for a five-day visit on Tuesday to study the 96-km track, considered the greatest narrow gauge engineering feat in the country, that passes through 103 tunnels.
The team will submit its assessment report to UNESCO in October. The final decision on whether to declare the Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR) as a world heritage property will be taken at the next UNESCO general assembly to be held in Quebec, Canada, in July 2008.
"Besides the railway track, tunnels, bridges and railway stations, we are minutely studying all the relics along the railway track," Lee said. TOI had first reported that the 104-year-old KSR was India's official entry for inscription as a world heritage property for the year 2008.
During its stay, the team will inspect the rail stretch, take a helicopter ride to see the winding and picturesque terrain through which it passes and get a feel of the local communities who reside by it.
The train starts its 96-km journey from Kalka and runs through 103 tunnels, 20 stations and over 900 bridges before reaching Shimla.
Times of India
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Dravidian Parties forming Govt. on our shoulders: EVKS Elangovan
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