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For 1 Sep, 2007

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    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2007
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      (From various agencies)

      Govt working for success of Indo -US Nuke deal mechanism: Pranab
      Kolkata, Sep 1 (PTI) The government is working for the success of the mechanism on the Indo-US nuclear deal set up to address the concerns raised by the Left parties, Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee said today. "We are working for the success of the mechanism (for which a committee would be formed)," Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on SAARC here.The decision to form the UPA-Left Committee was announced on Thursday to study the implications of the 123 Agreement in view of certain concerns of the government's allies. The agreement will be operationalised taking into account findings of the Committee.To a question Mukherjee said the government was ready to discuss the civil nuclear deal in Parliament."We are committed to a debate in Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear deal," he said but refused to say anything further on the issue as Parliament is in session.The government and the Left parties reached the truce in their three-week long stand-off on the deal at a meeting attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and his CPI counterpart A B Bardhan. PTI

      All gates of heaven will not open by inking nuke deal: Bardhan
      Aligarh, Sep 1 (PTI) The CPI today sought to disagree with the views of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India cannot afford to miss the "bus of nuclear renaissance" saying it was a misconception that all "gates of heaven" will open after it inks the nuclear deal with the US. Unrelenting in his opposition to the deal, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said the country should debate whether the generation of 40,000 MW of nuclear power after 20 years was more important than the "complete subjugation of India's foreign policy to imperialist powers." "Some people are having a misconception that all the gates of heaven will be opened by signing the nuclear treaty," he said, adding these people were completely ignoring the fact that at best nuclear energy would constitute barely seven per cent of the country's energy requirements "even after we have gone on our knees before the US." The Prime Minister had come out in strong defence of the civil nuclear deal yesterday saying that India cannot afford to miss the bus of nuclear renaissance as a strong nuclear energy programme was in the country's vital interest.Asserting that the Left never threatened to bring down the UPA coalition government, Bardhan said "all that the Left parties were demanding was a open debate on this issue." He said let the country and Parliament debate whether the generation of "40,000 MW of nuclear power after 20 years was more important than the complete subjugation of India's foreign policy by imperialist powers." Bardhan alleged that a section of the media was trying to indulge in mud-slinging on the Left by alleging that they are not interested in promoting the country's interests. PTI

      UPA not appeasing minorities, they have equal rights: Pranab
      Kolkata, Sept 1 (PTI) Denying BJP allegations that the UPA was appeasing minorities by implementing the Sachar Committee report, External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee today said it was time the opposition came out of such mindset. "We have to remember that minorities have equal rights in this country as people belonging to the majority community. The opposition says this is minority appeasement. I oppose this statement," he told a workers convention of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress (Sachar) committee here.Without naming the BJP, he said "some people think it is enough for the majority community to give small favours to minorities. They will have to come out of this mindset." Stating that anti-communalism was an article of faith for the Congress, he said the Sachar committee was appointed with the belief that the country's all-round development would be possible only if all sections of the people, including minorities, felt that they had a role in nation building.Mukherjee said the opposition had tried to disrupt the speech of Minority Affairs minister A R Antulay when he was presenting the follow-up action plan on the Sachar committee in the Parliament yesterday.He asked the WBPCC leadership to take steps in having the 15-point action plan translated into Bengali, Urdu and Nepali and circulated all over the state.Others who spoke on the occasion included WBPCC working president Pradip Bhattacharya, former PCC chief Somen Mitra and leaders of the PCC (minority cell). PTI

      LeT-linked Bilal, mastermind behind Hyderabad blasts: Police
      Hyderabad, Sep 1 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Police have said that Mohammad Shahid alias Bilal, one of the most wanted terrorists, had masterminded the twin blasts here that killed 43 persons. Bilal is also accused of the May 18 Mecca Masjid explosion in the city.According to police sources, Bilal, who is said to be operating from Pakistan and Bangladesh, was believed to be working for terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Harkat-ul- Jihad-Islami.The investigators believe that about 10 kgs of RDX might have been smuggled into Hyderabad from Bangladesh as far back as February this year.Bilal, a native of Hyderabad, and three Pakistanis had played a key role in the smuggling of RDX to the state capital, the sources said.He had fled the city about six years back after a bomb blast at Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar here.The Special Investigation Cell (SIC), set up to probe the explosion in the Mecca Masjid, had gathered information about the smuggling of RDX after narco tests on some of the suspects during the course of investigation.Police would soon file cases against 15 persons for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of RDX.Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the August 25 blasts, was questioning several suspects, including some Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals overstaying in the city even after the expiry of their visas. PTI

      SAARC home ministers to meet on security concerns
      Kolkata, Sep 1 (PTI) Describing terrorism as the "biggest stumbling block" in the path of development in South Asia, India today pitched for a joint fight against the scourge and noted that SAARC Home Ministers will meet to devise ways to tackle it. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the time had come for SAARC member countries to have a policy of "zero tolerance" towards terrorism to eliminate the menace.In an speech here on the theme 'SAARC: Accelerating cooperation through connectivity', he stressed on the need for enhanced cooperation and connectivity among the SAARC nations to help realise the potential of the region.There will be a meeting of Home Ministers which would address regional security concerns, such as transnational crimes, terrorism, narcotics and psychotropic substances, Mukherjee said.The Home Ministers will look at measures on how national legislation and procedures may be harmonised for the benefit of victims of crime and human trafficking and explore ways to rehabilitate them, he said."Terrorism, which is going to be the biggest menace and a stumbling block on the road of development, should be treated fairly and squarely," Mukherjee said."Perhaps the time has come when the international community, communities in the region as a whole will have to accept a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism," he said. PTI

      Need balance between caution and aggression in Twenty20: Dhoni
      A V Nayudu Leeds, Sep 1 (PTI) Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not subscribe to the safety-first notion when he wields the willow but the stumper-batsman reckons he would have to find a balance between caution and aggression when he leads India in upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.In an exclusive interview with PTI, Dhoni, the vice captain in the ODI squad, said batting and captaining are two distinctly different aspects of the game and an aggressive captain would need a judicious blend of both caution and aggression."It's different being an aggressive batsman and an aggressive captain. Of course, that instinct will be there but you need to balance both. A lot depends on how the team responds to your leadership," he said.Currently serving an apprenticeship under Rahul Dravid's captaincy in the one-day squad, Dhoni said he would like to pick up his skipper's composure even when the situation is tense."His ability to stay calm and cool under pressure...As a captain you got to be in control even when things are not going your way. It helps if you keep your nerves in a tense situation and avoid doing things in a rush." Asked if leadership comes naturally to him, Dhoni said, "That's for you guys to decide. But I am a natural. I like to do things my way and I take my own decisions in whatever I do." PTI

      F1 project is moving forward: Kalmadi
      New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi today said their efforts to bring first Formula One race to the country were progressing well. "(Formula One boss Bernie) Ecclestone's letter had come only to the IOA and we have also moved a bit forward on it," Kalmadi said in an apparant reaction to a media report.According to a newspaper report today Ecclestone has rested "sole authority" of the project on business tycoon Vijay Mallya.But Kalamdi said "everything is on line and things are moving forward" between the IOA and the F1 but refused to further elaborate on it.The IOA has proposed to stage an ambitious F1 race, most probably in the vicinity of Delhi in 2009. PTI

      Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi holds Khalifman
      Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Sept 1 (PTI) Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi did well to hold Alexander Khalifman of Russia but his team 'Rising Stars' went down 2-3 to 'Experience' team in the ninth and penultimate round of NH chess tournament. Victory for the 'Experience' meant that the lead margin of 'Rising Stars' was reduced to just one point and the youngsters now need to draw all five games in the last to come out triumph in this unique match.The score is 23-22 in favour of the Rising Stars in the 10-rounds match played over five boards. In the final round the Rising Star team will get all white games which might prove to be a decisive factor for them.Parimarjan took his individual tally to 3 points out of a possible nine and has lived to his billing so far.Playing black against Khalifman, Parimarjan restored faith in his new found love for the Queen's Gambit declined and equalized quite comfortably, helped by some un-ambitious play by the Russian.The pieces changed hands at regular intervals and it took just 30 moves before Khalifman realized there was not much left to play.In the post game conference Parimarjan was quite happy with his play."I played a Novelty which equalized easier than what is prescribed in that position earlier", he said.For Rising Stars, Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria struck form and defeated Alexander Beliavsky of Slovenia in a tense game. PTI

      Vijay Mallya makes bid for Spyker F1 Team
      London, Sep 1 (PTI) Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya has joined hands with Spyker director of Formula One, Michiel Mol, to make an 80 million euro bid for the struggling F1 team. Mallya's Watson Limited and Strongwind, owned by the Mol family, made the joint bid for the Silverstone-based team."This offer has been accepted by the Board of Spyker Cars N.V. And exclusivity has been granted to the consortium Orange India Holdings Sarl to proceed with due diligence...To achieve completion within 30 days," they said in a joint statement.Dutch manufacturer of hand-built vehicles, Spyker Cars NV, owns the Spyker Formula One team, which it inherited from Midland for USD 106.6 million last year only to plunge in financial crisis.Mallya, a Member of the Parliament, is also the chairman of both the Federation of Motorsports Clubs in India (FMSCI) and Motorsport Association of India (MAI).Mallya's Kingfisher brand adorns Toyota cars and the flamboyant industrialist, also called the 'King of good times', recently said in an interview that part of bringing F1 to India would be to have an Indian company involved in Formula One. PTI

      PGCIL to invest Rs 55,000 cr in 5 yrs; IPO opens Sept 10
      New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) Central transmission utility PowerGrid Corp (PGCIL) today said it plans to invest Rs 55,000 crore in the next five years to expand the national grid capacity to transmit 37,000 MW of electricity by 2012. To part finance these projects, PGCIL is hoping to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore from its Initial Public Offer (IPO)."The price band for the issue has been fixed between Rs 44 and Rs 52 per equity share," PGCIL Chairman and Managing Director R P Singh told reporters here.The issue, which opens on September 10, would mop up Rs 2,525 crore at the lower end and Rs 2,984 crore at the upper end. Along with the IPO, the government is selling 5 per cent of its existing shares in the company.The proceeds would be used to part-finance 15 projects that entail a total investment of Rs 12,280 crore."These projects are to be funded in a debt-equity ratio of 70:30. The equity is to be funded by a combination of internal accruals and proceeds from the fresh issue," he said.PGCIL owns and operates 61,875 circuit kms of transmission lines. The proposed 15 projects would enhance its transmission system by 13,022 circuit kms. The company currently has inter-regional electricity transfer capacity of around 14,000 MW and plans to scale it up to 37,000 MW.Singh said the company plans to invest Rs 55,000 crore over the next five years for transmission and telecommunications projects.Out of the Rs 12,280 crore investment, Singh said PGCIL has spent Rs 4,278 crore as on March 31, 2007.The company would issue 57.39 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each at a price to be determined by 100 per cent book building route. It would constitute 13.64 per cent of the fully diluted post-issue capital of the company. PTI

      R-Money eyes inorganic growth in money changing, transfer biz
      Bangalore, Sep 1 (PTI) Anil Ambani Group's financial services distribution arm Reliance Money today said it is looking for potential acquisition opportunities in the fast growing money changing and money transfer businesses. The combined market size of money changing and money transfer is estimated at about USD 34 billion.Unveiling a new identity here for its money changing and money transfer businesses, the company said it was aiming to double its market share in this segment over next few years."We are also looking at inorganic growth opportunities in these businesses for further expansion of these businesses," Reliance Money CEO Sudip Bandyopadhyay told reporters here.Anil Ambani Group had acquired Travelmate Services, a part of Kuoni Group, in November 2006, which has now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital. Travelmate has been in the Money Transfer Services (MTS) and Full-Fledged Money Changing (FFMC) business in the country since 1993.The new brand identity for Travelmate Services, which would be now known as Reliance Money Express, was unveiled here by the Reliance Money CEO in the presence of the global MTS giant Western Union worldwide CEO Christina Gold.Travelmate is already one of the largest Western Union partner in India and now it plans to aggressively expand its reach in non-metro and smaller cities, the company said.Elaborating on the potential of the MTS business in India, Bandyopadhyay said: "India is the largest recipient of global remittance of around USD 27 billion which is more than 10 per cent of the total global remittance inflow of USD 240 billion. This is continuously rising due to labour migration and increasing wages." In addition, money changing market in India is worth USD 7 billion and is growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent. PTI

      Bajaj motorcycle sales dip 7 pc in August
      New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) India's second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto today reported a seven per cent dip in its motorcycle sales (including exports) in August at 1,67,483 units against 1,80,570 units in the same month a year ago. "The growth of 100 cc motorcycles was registered due to product fatigue as which continued to weigh down the entire industry," BAL said in a statement.Total two-wheeler sales of the company in the month declined by six per cent to 1,70, 203 units as against 1,82,013 units in the same month last year.The company's three-wheeler sales also declined by two per cent in August this year to 25,504 units compared to 26,150 units in August 2006, it said.It said three-wheeler sales reflect the general weakness in the commercial vehicle demand.Exports during the month, however, surged 75 per cent to 56,452 units compared to 32, 283 units in the same month last year.Bajaj has commenced production of its new 125 cc DTS-Si motorcycle at Waluj, Aurangabad and targets sales of 20,000 units in September subsequent to the national launch.With production and sales of its motorcycle expected to reach 50,000 units in November 2007, the company expects its motorcycle volumes to be ahead of the corresponding period last year."With this, almost 75 per cent Bajaj's motorcycle portfolio would be in the more profitable 125 cc-250 cc segment," it said. PTI

      China to hold first ever joint anti-terror drill with Russia
      Beijing, Sept 1 (PTI) A brigade of China's armed police flew to Russia today for the first-ever joint anti-terrorism drill. Two military transport planes carried the group of 30 armed police for the drill named "Cooperation 2007", Xinhua news agency reported.The Snow Leopard Commando, the 13th Special Brigade of the Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) Beijing Corps, is scheduled to join the joint exercise with Russia's domestic security force in Moscow in early September.The brigade, a first-class anti-terror force guarding China's national capital, was established in December 2002.So far, it has handled over 90 major urgent cases and took part in about a dozen military drills and performances, the report said."Cooperation 2007" will be the first international anti-terrorism exercise for China's armed police outside the country.The drill is being conducted under the aeges of the Beijing-based Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security body, the report said.The exact date of the drill, which will last three days, has not been announced.China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan held a major counter-terrorism exercise last month in both Russian and Chinese territories. PTI

      Bhutto gets British, US backing on deal with Musharraf
      London, Sept 1 (PTI) Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has won British and American backing for her efforts to enter into a power-sharing 'deal' with the Islamic nation's embattled President Pervez Musharraf before the general elections, according to a British daily. For the first time since 2005, Bhutto had a meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband here yesterday in the wake of her claims that Musharraf had agreed to shed his uniform before the presidential polls as part of the 'deal', which the President reportedly rejected.While the chief of Pakistan People's Party described her encounter with Miliband as "positive", other party leaders termed it as "helpful", 'The Daily Telegraph' reported today."I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with the Foreign Secretary to discuss a range of issues, including the upcoming election," the former self-exiled Premier was quoted as saying.Even a British Foreign Office spokesman yesterday said: "The meeting this morning discussed the future internal political situation but it's up to the parties themselves to negotiate the way forward." However, the spokesperson refused to comment whether Britain was pressurising Musharraf to seal the pact with the former Premier, which will ensure her return from self-exile to contest parliamentary polls and his bid to seek re-election from the present assemblies in the Islamic nation.It may be mentioned that the White House had also recently put its weight behind Bhutto, calling on Musharraf to honour "commitments in the past" to resign from the army leadership, clearly indicating the arrangement between the two leaders would be the best option for Pakistan. PTI

      China hints at civilian nuclear cooperation with India
      Anil K Joseph Beijing, Sept 1 (PTI) China appears to be mellowing down on its strident opposition to Indo-US civil nuclear deal as it expressed readiness to cooperate with all countries on the peaceful use of atomic energy under the IAEA safeguards.China is ready to "explore cooperation with all countries for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told an 11-member Eminent Persons' Group (EPG) from India which called on him here yesterday, delegation sources said.While Yang did not further speak of possible Sino-India civilian nuclear cooperation, the two governments have already hinted on such a move during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to India last year."Considering that for both India and China, expansion of civilian nuclear energy programme is an essential and important component of their national energy plans to ensure energy security, the two sides agree to promote cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, consistent with their respective international commitments," the joint declaration issued during Hu's visit had said.The Indian side to the two-day sixth session of the EPG meeting was led by former Ambassador to China, C V Ranganathan, while the Chinese delegation was headed by the former Vice Foreign Minister, Liu Shuqing.The Indian side was a little surprised that Yang did not harp on India not being a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), delegation sources said.They said it seemed that China is eagerly looking forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's planned visit within this year. PTI

      Terror attacks like Hyderabad blasts doomed to fail: US
      Washington, Sep 1 (PTI) The US has said that the terror attacks in Hyderabad is not going to "colour" President George W Bush's perceptions that the usage of fear as a political weapon by terror outfits will fail. "I don't think this in any way colours the President's perceptions of the terror network...To try wherever possible to use fear as a political weapon. It's not going to work," the White House Spokesman Tony Snow said yesterday."The President has talked about for a long time that the natural human desire for freedom and self-determination will ultimately crush those who believe that somehow they've got a better sell in saying that if you don't do what we want, we will terrorise you, we will behead you," he said."...Al Qaeda tried fear in Iraq and what has happened is that the Iraqi people have risen up," he said."It doesn't mean that terrorists are simply going to give up; they're not. They're going to do their very best to try to scare people. But they have tried and they have failed," Snow added. PTI

      Digest of domestic news for week Aug 25-Aug 31, 2007
      Saturday Hyderabad: In two near-simultaneous terror attacks, at least 34 people, including five women and two students, are killed and 50 injured in two explosions at a crowded park and a popular eatery here, three months after the Mecca Masjid blasts.Jodhpur: Bollywood star Salman Khan is arrested and sent to jail shortly after he landed here from Mumbai to surrender in the chinkara poaching case in which he lost an appeal against a five-year prison term given by a lower court.SundayNew Delhi: Central security agencies claim that Karachi - based commander of banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HUJI), Abdul Sahil Mohammed, masterminded the Hyderabad blasts that claims nearly 42 lives.New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggests setting up of a permanent fund for providing relief to the victims of terror attacks as he reviewed the security situation in the wake of the Hyderabad blasts.Hyderabad: International terrorist groups based in Bangladesh and Pakistan are blamed by the Andhra Pradesh government for the twin blasts here that left 42 people dead as investigators groped for clues, picking up 10 people for questioning.MondayNew Delhi: The sealing issue takes an ugly turn in the Supreme Court with the Centre questioning its directive to stop commercial activities in around 1500 unauthorised colonies in the capital and the Bench objecting to its apparent confrontationist attitude.New Delhi: After a legal battle lasting for nearly four years, India secures the extradition of Amarendra Nath Ghosh, who cheated several banks in the country to the tune of Rs 27.69 crore, from Germany. Tuesday New Delhi: Security agencies and police have been able to identify at least two men who are suspected to have planted the bombs that went off in Hyderabad on Saturday.Gohana: Angry Dalits fought with police, set ablaze a police check post and damaged Haryana roadways buses to protest the killing of a youth acquitted in a murder that triggered caste clashes in this town of Sonepat district two years ago.New Delhi: India floats its biggest ever global defence tender for purchase of 126 Multi-role Combat aircraft, in a deal which would run upto a staggering Rs 42,000 crores( approx 10 billion dollars).New Delhi: Resident doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences here go on an indefinite strike protesting the alleged delay in awarding degrees for the past three years.Wednesday Agra: A frenzied mob goes on a rampage and indulged in arson and police fired in the air to quell the riots that left one person killed and 50 injured after four youths returning from a Muslim religious event were crushed to death by a speeding truck.Patna: The two policemen involved in the brutal assault of a chain snatcher in Bhagalpur face criminal charges, as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Railway minister Lalu Prasad clashed over the fallout of the incident that shocked the nation.New Delhi: Government rejects in the Lok Sabha the demand for re-enacting of POTA-type law and makes it clear that it would not force the idea of an investigating agency for federal crimes on states. Thursday New Delhi: Agitated parents and locals fight pitched battle with police and damaged public property outside a school here following a TV channel expose which purportedly showed a lady teacher blackmailing girls after filming them in "compromising positions".New Delhi: In a bid to placate the angry Left, government announces the setting up of a Committee to go into their objections to the Indo-US nuclear deal, whose findings will be taken into account in the "operationalisation" of the agreement.New Delhi: Resident doctors of AIIMS call off their three-day-old strike demanding immediate issuance of degree certificates after government warn them of stringent action if they continued with their agitation.Friday Mumbai: Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar keeps the option open on discussing the safeguards agreement with IAEA during his upcoming visit to Vienna, saying a decision on it will be taken two days ahead of his meeting with the UN nuclear watchdog.New Delhi:The Liberhan Commission, probing the circumstances leading to demolition of Babri Masjid, gets its 41st extension, two days after the Government said in Parliament that the panel would not be given any more time.Jodhpur: After spending six nights behind bars, Bollywood star Salman Khan walks out of the prison after the Rajasthan High Court gives bail and suspends his five-year sentence awarded for killing an endangered deer nine years back. PTI

      Newsletter: Protests over titanium plant in Tamil Nadu?
      S Ramaswamy Chennai, Aug 31 (PTI) Is another Singur in the offing in Tamil Nadu? If one goes by the opposition to the Tata Steels' controversial Rs 2,500 crore titanium dioxide project at Sattankulam in the backward Tuticorin district, the answer is 'may be, yes.'Almost all the political parties in the state barring the ruling DMK had opposed the project, besides a dominant section of the Nadar community, which was a considerable presence in the area.The Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who revived the project by signing a fresh MoU with Ratan Tata, is in full support of the project, which he claims would bring economic prosperity to the backward Sattankulam in southern Tamil Nadu. Tata Steel's Managing director Muthuraman was also firm in going ahead with the project, which brings his group's major investment to the state.Tatas got support from unexpected quarter,S Vaikuntarajan, owner of V V Minerals, who is also involved in mining of illuminate from the sands in the area. It was Vaikuntarajan, a shareholder in the AIADMK backed Jaya TV, who had been opposing the project since 2002, when the Tatas signed the first MoU with the Tamil Nadu government when the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa was in power. He then demanded that he should be allowed to continue mining in over 100 acres of land, which was part of 11,000 acres, in which Tatas were scheduled to mine. PTI

      In love with Mumbai, lenswoman now wants to flirt with Delhi
      Sunandita Dasgupta New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) When Betsy Karel made her maiden trip to India, all she wanted was to experience the life here, find the visual equivalent of the humanity, humour and psychological energy she found in the works of contemporary Indian English writers.After that first visit in 1997, during which she ignored the suggestion of a friend to tour Rajasthan and chose Mumbai instead to see the face of urban India, the American photojournalist came back again and again.The result of her ten visits to Indian in the last 10 years is 'Bombay Jadoo' a book that tries to capture the magic in the life in India's commercial capital through a series of black-and-white photographs that brings out the famed spirit of Mumbai.For the book, she collaborated with acclaimed writer Suketu Mehta of the 'Maximum City' fame, who has written a companion piece about his boyhood in Mumbai. It also includes an excerpt from Ardashir Vakil's 'Beach Boy', which, the 61-year-old says, was one of the books that inspired her to know more about life in India."Indian English literature left a deep impact on me. When I read books like 'The God Small Things' by Arundhati Roy, Vakil's 'Beach Boy' or Manil Suri's 'The Death of Vishnu', I noticed the same things in all of them. They had combination of reality and fantasy, stories operating on different levels, sense of humour and humanity and imagination. I was pulled towards India, the life here," says Karel, who was here recently for the launch of her book. PTI

      When PC talked about Sangam and Eena..Meena..Deeka
      New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI) 'Sangam' was one of the several movies of Vyjantimala he liked - 'Naya Daur' and 'Madhumati' were some he still remembers, said Finance Minister P Chidamabaram as he recalled Kishore Kumar's famous song 'Eena..Meena..Deeka'. Chidambaram also said the actor was the first original dream girl of Indian cinema.The minister was speaking at a function to release "Bonding....A Memoire", an autobiography of actress, politician Vyjantimala Bali here yesterday.Claiming her the most dominant actress of her era, Chidamabaram added, "This is the story of a very simple girl born in a traditionally conservative family and how she struggled in the beginning and then made it big in the field of Cinema, dance, politics and social activities." Suggesting readers do not see the book from a literary point of view, he said this book is written in a very simple and straight forward manner."The book has a relation from the heart and written in Indian English that we speak and this was not intended to be a great literary work," he said.Out of the 64 films she has done, some of the them like 'Sangam', 'Naya Daur', 'Devdas' and 'Madhumati' are uncomparable and unforgettable, he said. PTI

      West Pak refugees: 60 years on, still stateless
      Anil bhatt R S Pura (Jammu), Aug 26 (PTI) Even as India celebrated 60th year of its independence from British rule, nearly 1.5 lakh people settled along Indo-Pak border line in Jammu district are still awaiting citizenship and continue to be called 'Pakistani guests'.Struggling for their basic rights as a 'citizen' even today, they are West-Pakistan refugees, who escaped the holocaust of 1947 to settle in border belts of Jammu.While those from West Pakistan including former Prime Minister I K Gujral rose to positions of power, in other states of country, similar people are yet to get citizenship of J&K even after 60 years after their settlement here."We are unwanted and wronged people, who continue to struggle for basic needs and right to live in India," chairman of West Pakistan Refugee Action Committee (WPRAC), Laba Ram Gandhi told PTI here."If Gujral, who like them migrated from West Pakistan to settle in Delhi could become the PM of the country, at least they (West Pakistani refugees in J&K)have the right right to live, to seek education, employment, own land and right to excercise franchise," said Bachan Lal Kalgotra, a lawyer their case for several years.Article 370 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, which provides special status to the state, prevents these refugees from getting citizenship rights--right to own land, education, employment and vote in J&K, Kalgotra said.However, refugees from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) were granted all citizenship rights and state subject rights, he claimed. PTI

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