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  1. Asia´s third-largest economy is battling a slowdown so sharp it is creating a drag on global growth, the International Monetary Fund said but there are some bright spots
  2. 2019 marked a fantastic boom in Indian publishing, especially for non-fiction titles - several publishers reported great renewed interest as the Indian readerâs curiosity kept bringing them back to bookshelves time and time again. Several gifted authors also produced works of merit that received widespread national and international acclaim - here are some of the very best we saw across 2019. The Absent Dialogue: Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Military in India - Amit Mukherjee © Oxford University Press/Brookings Institution Informed by more than a hundred and fifty interviews and recently available archival material, The Absent Dialogue sheds new light on India's military and will reshape our understanding of both the history and contemporary dynamics of civil-military relations and recurring problems therein. A must-read for anyone curious about the state of our military bureaucracy today, and how it came to be. How to Win an Indian Election: What Political Parties Don't Want You to Know - Shivam Shankar Singh © Twitter/Penguin India Singh was a campaign strategist for the BJP in 2014. After he resigned, he publicly spoke about how they deal in fake news and censorship, creating quite the uproar in 2018. His book reveals an inside view of just how political parties use data analytics, political consultants and what goes on in the forbidden election war-rooms of Indiaâs political heavyweights. The book is invaluable for its extensively researched content, personal anecdotes and exclusive interviews. Wasted: The Messy Story of Sanitation in India, A Manifesto for Change - Ankur Bisen © Pan MacMillian India/Twitter Urban India generates close to 3 million trucks of untreated garbage every day. If these were laid end-to-end, one could reach half way to the moon - but just how did we get so dirty? Questions such as these, and a deep exploration of Indiaâs most obvious everyday problem present themselves in Wasted. Bisen aims to help people understand the complex, cast-driven dynamics behind sanitation and the invisible socio-political pressures that keep us from being a true âSwacch Bharatâ. A must read for those interested in policy, civil planning and the environment. The Patient Assassin - Anita Anand © Simon & Schuster/Sukhi Dhanda The dramatic true story of Udham Singh, a young orphan survivor of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919, and his ferocious 20-year campaign of revenge that made him a hero to hundreds of millions. Anandâs book is voraciously researched and reads much like a dramatic thriller - taking us through a long journey from the blood-soaked earth of Amritsar to Africa, the United States and finally to London, where Singh finally finds his target. ISRO's Magnificent Women and Their Flying Machines - Minnie Vaid ©Twitter/Speaking Tiger Through a combination of Bollywood and the recent public interest upsurge in ISRO, many of us came to know that a huge part of Indiaâs space programme is frontlined by women. Vaidâs book helps draw light towards the challenges and triumphs experienced by ISROâs female scientists. Itâs also been recently updated to include a bit about the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission, and a bit of speculation about the future of ISRO and careers in science for Indiaâs women. Straight to Normal - Sharif D. Rangnekar © Twitter/Rupa Publications One of the most honest, gritty and upfront autobiographies written by an Indian in recent years, Rangnekarâs story takes us through the 1970s to the modern LGBT revolution in India, charting a course through years of confusion, fear, depression and ultimately self-discovery and acceptance. Itâs a work written in deep retrospection and has been described in the authorâs own words as the story of âgaining an identity but losing a near lifetime, looking for love and companionship.â Behind Bars In Byculla: My Days In Prison - Jigna Vora © Twitter/Penguin India One of the most fascinating premises for any true story, Behind Bars In Byculla charts crime reporter Jigna Voraâs journey as a jailed suspect in connection to the underworld elites of Bombay. Covering seven years of jail time, courtroom sessions and her final days before acquittal, Voraâs story is incredibly fascinating. Particularly interesting are the interviews and conversations she had as a crime reporter behind bars, crossing paths with fallen socialites, gambling donnas and even Pragya Thakur. View the full article
  3. Before you all bring up the story of the infamous Tata Nano explosion, take a step back. Especially along the last few years, Indian carmakers have made massive progress in developing cars that stand up to stringent international safety standards such as the British NCAP crash tests - a much needed safety regulation when Indiaâs roads see a staggering 400 accidents happen every single day, according to the Road Transport Ministry. Letâs take a look at some of the sturdiest, well-built and safest machines to roll out of our local factories. Mahindra XUV300 © Mahindra Group NCAP Rating: 5 Stars Currently the highest-scoring Indian vehicle on NCAP, the Mahindra XUV300 also became the first Indian car to hit 4 stars for children's safety on the test. It comes with a massive bevy of safety features, such as seven airbags, disc brakes on all four wheels, front parking sensors and heated ORVMs, on the top-spec variants. Tata Nexon © Reviewstories/Tata Motors NCAP Rating: 5 Stars Not only did the Tata Nexon score 4 stars on its debut test - the engineers behind it went back to the drawing board, improved their designs and returned to win Indiaâs first-ever 5-star rating from NCAP. The Nexon comes with a fortified steel frame for the cabin, ABS with EDB, dual front airbags, ISOFIX seat mounts and adjustable seatbelts. Tata Altroz © Drivetribe/Tata Motors NCAP Rating: 5 Stars Engineered on Tataâs new ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) architecture, the Altroz is Indiaâs first hatchback to win 5 NCAP stars - featuring dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and CSC, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX, driver and co-driver seatbelt reminder, high-speed alert system and impact-sensing auto door unlock. Mahindra Marazzo © Drivetribe/Tata Motors NCAP Rating: 4 Stars Noted for its good performance during crash tests, the Marazzo performed quite decently with a score of 4 stars at the Munich NCAP tests and was noted for having particularly strong A-pillars up front. It comes standard with dual front airbags, ISOFIX anchors, ABS, front seatbelt pretensioners and a seatbelt reminder for the driver. Maruti Vitara Brezza © India.com/Maruti-Suzuki NCAP Rating: 4 Stars Finally, the Brezza. While Maruti isnât particularly known for exceptionally safe cars, this model performed surprisingly well at the NCAP tests, scoring an impressive 4 star rating - higher than any other offering from the brand. It comes with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX anchorages, front seat belts with pretensioners and a driver seatbelt reminder. View the full article
  4. Sometimes in order to look for some real-life inspiration and motivation to do big in life, one needs to look away from the Bollywood crowd of star kids or big names in the world who are an heir to an ocean of wealth awaiting their reign. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon and therefore, there is a strong magnetic force in the stories of some real life self-made people who fight all odds to make it big in life. Here are 7 self-made Indian billionaires under the age of 40 who are a source of inspiration to every millennial out there: 1. Ritesh AgarwalRitesh is only 25 years of age but is already a prime example of a successful, self-made millennial. Oyo Hotels is worldâs third largest growing chain of hotels and is showing no sign of stopping. His net worth is around Rs 7,500 crore. © Twitter 2. Nikhil & Nitin KamathThese two brothers aged 33 and 39, respectively are the brains behind Zerodha, an Indian financial service company which offers trading and financial services. Thein combined net worth is over Rs 11,000 crore. © Twitter © Twitter 3. Bhavish Agarwal34-year-old Bhavish is someone the country can thank for introducing Ola in India, a direct competition to Uber. The brilliant idea of Ola cabs came to the founder on a journey from Bangalore to Bandipur when he rented a taxi and had the terrible experience at the hand of the driver. He eventually decided to make use of this problem and find a feasible solution for it. His net worth is around Rs 3,100 crore. © BCCL 4. Sachin And Binny BansalWhen the country was still trying to understand the nuances of internet, these two geniuses decided to launch Flipkart and change the way people shopped in the country. With a combined net worth of over Rs 17,100 crore, these guys are a major source of inspiration. © Twitter 5. Riju RavindranHe is the brain behind Byjuâs, a learning app for students, which is already a big hit in the country. He is valued at over Rs 3,600 crore. © yourstory The figures of their net worth are in tow with the IIFL WEALTH/HURUN rich list. So in case you feel like the job you are stuck with is not enough for you or your dreams are bigger than the salary you draw, then let these people inspire you to think of a few ideas today. View the full article
  5. In other news, names of railway stations written in Urdu on platform signboards in Uttarakhand are to be now replaced by Sanskrit. According to a report by TOI, Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, said, "As per the Railway Manual, the name of a railway station on platform sign boards should be written in the second official language of the state concerned after Hindi and English.” In 2010, Sanskrit was made the second official language under the rule of then CM Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who is the current Union HRD Minister. © BCCL According to the rules of Railway Manual, the changes should have been made as soon as Sanskrit was made the second official language of the state in 2010. Many signboards in Uttarakhand are written in Urdu as they are from the time when the state was part of Uttar Pradesh and UP's second official language is apparently Urdu. Also, there is not much difference in Sanskrit and Hindi as both use the same Devnagri script which means nothing much will change in the spelling of name on the signboards. View the full article
  6. Tasked with the responsibility of leading a fairly inexperienced side early in his career, Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn't just repay the faith of the selectors and the team management, but allowed India to etch its name in the history books with the maiden ICC World T20 title in its inaugural edition in 2007. His capabilities in limited-overs cricket had already turned heads when he played blistering innings of 148 and 183 within a year of his debut, but the World T20 triumph in South Africa was indeed the platform that gave everyone a glimpse of the noticeable leadership skills of a long-haired and fearless Dhoni. And, since then, there has been no turning back for MSD. © Reuters Bringing a thick skin and relative indifference to the results, two key things that had earlier set the norm for an Indian captain to keep his job, Dhoni thrived in his natural progression as India's leader on the field. His partnership with Gary Kirsten in 2011 saw the Indian team ending the country's wait for 28 years to get their hands on the coveted ICC World Cup trophy. It was undoubtedly an achievement that no other Indian captain, barring, of course, Kapil Dev, has achieved. But, Dhoni wasn't done just yet. Two years later, Dhoni helped India clinch yet another ICC trophy, this time the Champions Trophy which was held in England and Wales. In the process, Dhoni became the only captain to have won all three major ICC trophies - a feat that is yet to be matched by his counterparts. © Reuters But, just like how all good things must come to an end, Dhoni, too, has reached the twilight of his career. Ever since, India's ouster from the 2019 World Cup, speculations have been rife that 'Captain Cool' might call time on his illustrious career. He missed key series for India last year and the selectors have made it pretty clear that the Jharkhand cricketer is no longer in their scheme of things for the future as they continue to groom and nurture young Rishabh Pant as his potential successor. While fans are still getting used to the absence of Dhoni on the cricket field as Virat Kohli continues to marshall his troops, the 38-year-old was handed a critical blow after being overlooked for the central contracts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) - a move that has pretty much summed up the fate of the former Indian captain. Skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah receive BCCI's grade A+ central contract for 2019-20. MS Dhoni has been left out of the annual contract list. pic.twitter.com/VFBjIuVYac — ICC (@ICC) January 16, 2020 On 16th January, the Indian cricket board announced the list of central contracts for its players for 2019-20. While the likes of Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah saw their Grade A+ contract (Rs 7 cr) being renewed, Dhoni's name was missing from Grade A (Rs 5 cr), B (Rs 3 cr) and C (Rs 1 cr) list of central contracts for the players. The BCCI announces the Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Men) for the period from October 2019 to September 2020. Saini, Mayank, Shreyas, Washington and Deepak Chahar get annual player contracts. More details here - https://t.co/84iIn1vs9B #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/S6ZPq7FBt1 — BCCI (@BCCI) January 16, 2020 For someone who was part of BCCI's Grade A list of central contracts last year, Dhoni, who has made himself unavailable since the World Cup in England & Wales, was left out of the 27-member list for the period from October 2019 to September 2020. Apart from Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Khaleel Ahmed and Ambati Rayudu were also left of BCCI's list of central contracts for players. But, it was Dhoni's notable omission that took social media by storm. Dhoni deserves a great Farewell. BCCI should not be so selfish. Love and Respect from ðµð° — Hamza Butt (@hamzabutt61) January 16, 2020 Without MsD No cricket.... — Udhay Jackson ð (@UdhayJackson) January 16, 2020 JO KHELNA SIKHAYA USEEY HI NIKAAL DIYA WAAH RE BCCI #BanBiasedContract — Genuinely (@Genuinelysaying) January 16, 2020 This is bad news for all indian & a wrong decision has been taken by BCCI — Sattu (@Sattu48172790) January 16, 2020 Can't comprehend why Dhoni not in this list. You haven't given him chance since last year world cup. He has one year of cricket left in him. Atleast for god sake give him a farewell at least. — Yajuvinder Singh (@YajuvinderSing8) January 16, 2020 Where is MS Dhoni? You guys don't even give a statement explaining whether he is a part of scheme of things or not,instead you are totally shutting him down. — Rajdeep Singh (@rajdeep189) January 16, 2020 #MSDhoni Ye galat hai aapko #MSDhoni ko team mai khelana chahiye tha.... Kam se kam ek series mai to moka Dena chaiye ...#Shameonbcci — Daanish (@Daanish69505808) January 16, 2020 Why ms dhoni not involved this list I am very shoked this news — Ahatesam Khan (@AhatesamKhan2) January 16, 2020 #BCCI #Dhoni Shame on #bcci not include dhoni and Why is pant in A grade shame on #bcci Always politics on — Raj Mrityunjay (@Rajromantic1) January 16, 2020 End of an era ððð­ pic.twitter.com/xSfqUbUHU5 — Hamza Butt (@hamzabutt61) January 16, 2020 @msdhoni is above all those cricketers you mentioned it 'he shoud have A+++ Contract — woheed Mogadid (@Mogadidwoheed) January 16, 2020 Match dekhna band Dhoni chahiye team me — Mukesh Kumar pareek (@Pareek197) January 16, 2020 View the full article
  7. When I was younger, I would love to spend time with my grandfather, while he would regale me with his "war tales". I would be absolutely mesmerised to say the least, and imagine him bravely fight our enemies, in wars that are only studied in history books now. The brave sons of our soils have fought horrifying wars and when we hear their tragic yet heroic stories, we can't help but have immense pride for our soldiers who risk their lives everyday just so we can sleep soundly. © Twitter On Army Day today, I would love to pay an ode to all the martyred, brave soldiers who have led some daring missions to protect Indian borders, rescue people and fight terrorists and keep us all safe. Here are some outstanding military operations carried out by the Indian Army in the past decade. (1) Operation Surya Hope (2013) Operation Surya Hope was the Indian Army's Central Command response to the June 2013, North Indian floods in Uttrakhand. If you remember the floods that happened in Uttrakhand in 2013, they were devastating, and affected millions. The floods left over 100,000 pilgrims and tourists stranded and killed thousands of people. The operation was commanded by Lieutenant General Anil Chait, the General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC in C) of Central Command. He was succeeded by General Rajan Bakshi, on July 1, 2013, who said the army would continue with the relief operations. The Indian Army managed to rescue a number of civilians caught in the dreaded floods. © Twitter (2) Operation Maitri (2015) Operation Maitri was a rescue and relief operation in Nepal by the Indian armed forces and the Government of India, in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. India responded to disaster relief within 15 minutes of the earthquake occurring. The armed forces helped rescue a number of people stuck under debris and also assisted them with medical aid. Over 43,000 Indians and 785 foreigners were successfully evacuated. © Twitter (3) India Counter-Insurgency Operation In Myanmar (2015) In June 2015, India announced that it had conducted a cross-border operation against insurgents belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCS-K). The operation took place in Myanmar and it took place in response to the ambush of the Indian Army convoy of 6 Dogra regiment in Manipur. India destroyed insurgent camps and a large number of insurgents were killed during the cross border operation in Myanmar, according to India. © Twitter (4) Indian Line Of Control Strike (2016) In September 2016, India announced that it conducted 'surgical strikes' against Pakistan-based militants, across the Line of Control in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The surgical strike was successful as the terrorist bases were neutralised. A documented partial footage of the strike was released for the Indian media, in June 2018, as proof for the strike conducted. © Twitter (5) Operation Calm Down (2016) Operation Calm down was started by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir, in the wake of the death of Burhan Wani in July 2016, which led to unrest in Kashnir because of which more than 90 civilians and two security personnel were killed and many got injured. The operation was started in September 2016 and it was initiated to bring the region back in order, while using minimal force. Connectivity was lost over some regions and schools and shops were shut down for three months and the Army aimed to undo the unrest and try and bring back normalcy in the region. © Twitter (6) Operation Sahyog (2018) Indian Army launched operation Sahyog to rescue people in flood-hit Kerala in 2018. The Army deployed its men and machinery into disaster relief and rescue operations at Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Idduki after incessant rain and landslides hit various northern districts of the state. The Army was deployed to rescue people stranded in heavy rain and water. They constructed temporary bridges for the evacuation of the stranded people from the isolated villages. © Twitter Mostly this decade, the Indian Army has focused on a lot of rescue and relief operations in flood hit areas in India and Nepal and maintaining peace in certain areas experiencing unrest in the country. Our Army has shown absolute determination and extreme dedication towards serving the country with their bravery and tenacity, so we can get a good night's rest. These stories and missions mentioned above should be written, spoken and regaled as often as possible to uphold the honour these soldiers truly deserve. View the full article
  8. A Pakistani taxi driver working in Dubai is winning the internet by returning an Indian girl's lost wallet that also had her UK student visa. She was about to return after her winter break when she lost her wallet. According to NDTV, Raechel Rose flew on January 8 to Manchester and had left her wallet in Modassar Khadim's cab on January 4. The student was on her way to attend a friend's birthday party. Her mother, Sindhu Biju, said, "She had got into his taxi with another friend near BurJuman around 7.30 p.m. on January 4.” She added, "Just then, they saw their other friends in another car and decided to join them. They immediately left the taxi and Rose didn't realise that she left her wallet behind." How Mudassar Khadim, a Pakistani living in Dubai not just became our pride but also won hearts of the Indians is a lesson for all of us... #AmazingPakistanis pic.twitter.com/D3OOU5MY1d — Shiffa Z. Yousafzai (@Shiffa_ZY) January 13, 2020 The wallet had her Emirates ID, Her United Arab Emirates Driving License, Health Insurance Card, Credit Card and more than 1000 Dirhams. However, Khadim finished two more trips and then realised that the wallet of a passenger was left in the car. Khadim told the Gulf News, "Since the family, who came next, said it was not theirs, I opened it to check if there is any contact number. I could only see all the cards and the cash.” Later, with the help of Roads and Transport Authority verified the details that matched Khadim's complaint and he then dropped Rose's wallet at her residence. This incident makes us believe that good people do exist. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. View the full article
  9. For a batsman whose cricket career got a second wind after his ascension to the top of the order, Rohit Sharma has undoubtedly come a long way to establish his reputation as one of the most feared openers in international cricket. His effortless batting display continues to aid Team India and, more often than not, has a tendency of capturing the imagination of cricket fans. The right-hander had a brilliant run last year. He set the ICC World Cup on fire by scoring a record five hundreds and finished the 2019 edition of the coveted tournament as its highest run-scorer. He was particularly rampant in ODIs, amassing a staggering 1,490 runs in 28 matches at a brilliant average of 57.30 last year. © Reuters While Indian captain Virat Kohli hogs the limelight for his consistency, Rohit, too, had managed to carve his own niche with the willow. That's probably why Pakistani great Zaheer Abbas loves watching him play on the field. “I don't move from the television screen when he (Rohit) is batting. His batting gives me real satisfaction and watching him play is pure bliss. I admire the way he creates a shot and plays where he wants to. He picks up the ball very early and that is special,” Abbas was quoted as saying by Times Now. Following a brilliant run in 2019, the Mumbai batsman was rested in India's 2-0 win against Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded T20I series. But, the Indian opener was back in action, being on the verge of shattering numerous records, as India locked horns with Australia in the three-match ODI series. From being on the verge of becoming the second-fastest batsmen to score 9000 ODI runs to becoming the first Indian to smash 100 international sixes against a single team, Rohit was in running for as many as five records which were expected to be shattered by him going into the 1st ODI between India and Australia at the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on 14th January. First ball boundary for Rohit Sharma ðð#INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/Ru6xGgZx7V — Vinesh Prabhu (@vlp1994) January 14, 2020 Opening the innings with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit looked in ominous touch as he creamed Mitchell Starc's juicy half-volley through covers for a first-ball boundary. The fourth delivery of the first over saw him surviving a run-out scare, but another exquisite boundary through covers on the very next ball had everyone anticipating another batting masterclass from the right-handed batsman. After a few quiet overs, Starc's cross-seam delivery bamboozled Rohit into giving a simple, low catch to David Warner at mid-off. For a batsman whose last three ODI scores against Australia read: 95, 56 and 57, Rohit left the home fans wanting for more following his cheap dismissal. © Twitter/@BCCI While Team India's 'Hitman' was sent back into the hut for a mediocre score of just 10 runs, he still managed to achieve a personal milestone. Despite his early dismissal, Rohit became the fastest batsman to score 1000 runs against Australia at home. He took just 18 innings to achieve the feat, leaving Sachin Tendulkar (19 innings), Kohli (19 innings) and Eoin Morgan (25 innings) in his wake. But, despite his personal feat, Rohit failed to impress the Indian cricket fans who were probably expecting their star player to cut a sorry figure for the Australian bowlers by scoring big. Rohit Sharma after hitting 10 runs for his team #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/IQjYBfuxW7 — Akshay Savaliya (@1998savaliyaak1) January 14, 2020 Solid foundation of 10 runs by Rohit Sharma. Now, it is up to the other players to build the innings based on this foundation and respect the sacrifice of Rohit Sharma. #INDvAUS — Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) January 14, 2020 Rohit Sharma & left arm pacers pic.twitter.com/yLuiW24UJe — The Alchemist (@ponananthvs) January 14, 2020 Rohit Sharma rn. #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/O6hfrki9U4 — Aditiið (@Sassy_Soul_) January 14, 2020 #INDvsAUS In Every Situation We Stand With You @ImRo45 ðâ¤ï¸ pic.twitter.com/v3YNTA5qxU — âï¸ð°ï¸âï¸TA ••ð¯_Fð (@Mamtavermaa) January 14, 2020 True! Can't trust him!! — â (@HelicopterShott) January 14, 2020 Looool stat padder Rohit Sharma again fails vs a good team and his fans be like he better than Tendulkar. Loooooool eat shit pricks — Wajdi (@1_plate_biryani) January 14, 2020 Virat Kohli sacrificing his one down place just for making a place for flop Rohit Sharma in the team Rohit Fans:#INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/QeNOqZ5EyY — Sarcastic Patriotic Indians (@SARCASTIC_PI) January 14, 2020 Rohit Sharma failing to get going against the Yellow brigade! Well, that's not a rare sight, isn't it?! @ChennaiIPL #INDvsAUS — Sarath Menon (@sarathcastic) January 14, 2020 But thalaiva... Out ððð pic.twitter.com/DePz2JAePW — @tamizhð (@smile_tamizh143) January 14, 2020 View the full article
  10. For fans of Anushka Sharma, it will surely be a delight to see her back in the game after a hiatus of more than a year from Bollywood, as she is set to star in a sports biopic based on Indian all-rounder and former captain of the Indian women's cricket team, Jhulan Goswami. Anushka has stepped into the shoes of the former cricketer and is all set to bring the character to life. Pictures of the actor, walking besides Goswami at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, have been trending and are going viral on social media. According to reports, Anushka was at the floodlit stadium to shoot a teaser trailer for the biopic. View this post on Instagram "#AnushkaSharma was very friendly during the shoot. She seemed extremely grounded and very particular about everything. Apart from her bowling action, Anushka constantly rehearsed the walking and warm-up style with Jhulandi" - Beauty Chakraborty (part of 10 member team at the shoot) as she starts to shoot for #JhulanGoswami bio pic. A post shared by This is an Anushkapedia. (@anushkasharma_lovers) on Jan 12, 2020 at 9:42pm PST Anushka is seen wearing an older version of the Team India cricket jersey making her fans go gaga, as they have been waiting to see her on the big screen for quite some time now. Fans are sharing their excitement for the biopic and are looking forward to watching Mrs Kohli as a cricketer. I want a cameo of @imVkohli as Virat Kohli in #JhulanGoswami biopic... @prosit_roy Bhai mauka mat chhodna waise bhi Kohli Bhai free me kaam kar lenge @AnushkaSharma Bhabhi ki movie me ð https://t.co/WlsUYAn4gh — ð (@freakishside) January 13, 2020 Bhabi ji to star as #JhulanGoswami in #ChakdahExpress All the best for this one ! Can't wait ð #INDvsAUS #AnushkaSharma pic.twitter.com/KQVxcVCGOD — Ankita (@imankitarathore) January 13, 2020 Yass Nushkie is gonna nail itððâ¤â¤ — ` (@Naina_Talwar_) January 13, 2020 I don't know much about a lady standing with Anushka but Im actually happy She is doing a film of her. After so long,She is doing a filmð #AnushkaSharma https://t.co/ii2RuoydHR — Tisha pradhan (@tisha_pradhan) January 12, 2020 There is no official confirmation, so far, about Anuskha playing Jhulan, however, reports state that Anushka was trying to emulate Goswami's gait, as well as her warm-up style and bowling action. For the uninitiated, Jhulan was an all-rounder cricketer and former captain of India's national women's cricket team. In August 2018, she announced her retirement from WT20Is. Goswami is also known for both her batting and bowling capabilities. Going by reports, the film is tentatively titled Chakdah Express and will be directed by Prosit Roy, who had previously directed Pari starring Anushka Sharma. It will be exciting to see Anushka play the role of a cricketer on the big screen. View the full article
  11. Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane. Photo: Deccan Herald Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday said if his army receives orders from the Indian parliament to 'reclaim' Azad Kashmir from Pakistan, it will take action, India Today has reported. Addressing the media, the newly-appointed Indian army chief said: “If the [Indian] parliament wants [Azad] Kashmir to be a part of India, then we will take the necessary action to achieve that goal.” “There is a parliamentary resolution that entire Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. If Parliament wants it, then, that area [AJK] also should belong to us,” he added. This is not the first time the new Indian general has indulged in provocative posturing. In an earlier statement, Gen Naravane had said that India "reserve[d] the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror". He had told the Press Trust of India that India had "evolved a strategy of resolute punitive response against sponsored terrorism". Pakistan had rejected the statement, calling it 'irresponsible'. The Foreign Office in its statement had said Pakistan was fully able to respond to any Indian aggression in AJK and that New Delhi should not forget Islamabad's befitting response to its aggression in Balakot last year. Read: FM Qureshi warns of false flag operation by India in Kashmir Tensions have been high between the two nuclear-armed neighbours since New Delhi revoked the special status of India-occupied Kashmir on August 5 of last year, imposing a military lockdown in the valley. The two countries had in February last year engaged in cross-border aerial missions, which had resulted in the capture of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistani forces. The captured pilot was eventually let go by Pakistan as a gesture of peace. Read also: Indian army chief Bipin Rawat beats war drums over Azad Kashmir Pakistan army vows 'even stronger' response if India attempts military action Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan's armed forces will give an 'even stronger' response than that of February, if India attempts any military action across the Line of Control (LoC). The Indian army chief’s statement on Azad Kashmir was a part of routine rhetoric to divert attention from domestic issues in India, said the DG ISPR. The DG ISPR, in a tweet, said that Pakistan’s armed forces are ready to respond to any Indian aggression. “Statements by Indian COAS to undertake military action across LOC are routine rhetoric for domestic audiences to get out of ongoing internal turmoil. Pakistan Armed Forces are fully prepared to respond to any act of Indian aggression," he tweeted. The DG ISPR called the Indian COAS' statement a latest manifestation of extremist indoctrination in India’s state institutions. ‪"We are aware of the dangers of belligerent fascist mindset in IOJ&K and to regional peace. World needs to take notice of Indian atrocities in IOJ&K and against minorities across India,” he said. ‪He added that India has experienced Pakistan’s response on Feb 27, 2019. “Same shall be even stronger next time,” said the DG ISPR. Pakistan Army 'ready for India'Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a rally in Pind Dadan Khan on December 26, had said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has assured him that the country's military is "ready for India" in case of an attack on Azad Kashmir. "I am telling you now, [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi will use this [protests against anti-Muslim laws in India] to do something in Azad Kashmir. I informed Gen Bajwa about this and he told me that Pakistan Army is ready for India," the premier had said.
  12. For a youngster who was busy honing his skills as a chess player before representing India at junior levels, Yuzvendra Chahal has, undoubtedly, come a long way to become one of the country's preferred spinners in limited-overs cricket. Making his debut in 2016, the leggie has managed to rise through the ranks in Indian cricket and forge a vital partnership with fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav for his side. While his attacking leg-spin has garnered praise from some of the most respected pundits in the sport, Chahal, sadly, is not on par with his teammates in other departments of the game. He is often the last man to step out on the pitch to bat and captain Virat Kohli tends to keep him inside the ring for his lack of agility in the field. © Twitter/@BCCI Though improving his batting skills might still be an uphill task, Chahal, on 10th January, showed everyone just as how good he can be in the fielding department. During India's 78-run win in the 3rd T20I, the right-arm spinner was often seen sprinting around midwicket on his own bowling to deny the Sri Lankan batsmen a second run. But, he gave us a glimpse of his fielding genius later in the game with a direct-hit run-out. In the 14th over, Dhananjaya de Silva was still going strong and had Dasun Shanaka to keep him company at the other end. But, Shardul Thakur, who was later adjudged the 'Man of the Match' for his all-round performance sent Shanaka back into the hut with a caught and bowled to peg the Lankans back. WOW! What an effort by @yuzi_chahal! 𤩠Hope you are not 'running out' of the action! ð ð± - https://t.co/K8YTxYpWAV#TheBattlesBeforeTheWar #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/dP1gafIAwg — Hotstar Canada (@hotstarcanada) January 10, 2020 A delivery later, Thakur's yorker ended up being a low full-toss for Wanindu Hasaranga who punched it towards mid-off in a bid to steal what initially appeared to be an easy single. But, Chahal, fielding at mid-off, raced towards the ball and fired in a direct hit, despite being off balance, to catch the Lankan batsman short at the crease. Soon after realising he had produced a brilliant run-out, Chahal was seen bursting into laughter while still lying on the ground. His brilliance in the field also left his captain Kohli and other teammates shell-shocked as they charged towards him to laud his unexpected efforts and celebrate the wicket. Chahal's absolutely brilliant work in the field that allowed India to get a breakthrough was met with praise and surprise on social media as cricket fans expressed their views on it. Chahal is andy Robertson of cricket.. Same shithousery ð pic.twitter.com/5bJ8JUIN6k — Duryodhanan (@bobbyanfieldkop) January 10, 2020 Bradman with the bat. Warne with the ball. Jonty as a fielder. Name is Yuzbradwarne Rhodehahal! ð#Chahal #YuzvendraChahal #INDvSL #ThugLife pic.twitter.com/S6IZaXeFyH — GIRIDHARAN (@beastgiri) January 10, 2020 Chahal's on fire on the field!!ð¥ð¥ð¥ — Vishal (@Vishal_14_) January 10, 2020 Unreal game from Chahal — Wajdi (@1_plate_biryani) January 10, 2020 Chahal on a all-time high in the field. — Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) January 10, 2020 View the full article
  13. Crimes against women in India are still on the rise with daily reports of young girls and women being kidnapped, assaulted, raped and murdered making it to the front pages of national dailies. As women continue to live under constant fear over their personal safety, a noted young man from Varanasi took it upon himself to make life a little bit easier and safer for women. Known Varanasi-based innovator Shyam Chaurasia, who is known to have created the 'Iron Man' suit besides many other useful innovations, recently developed a 'lipstick gun' that Chaurasia claims can help women to escape from dangerous situations. © Unsplash The regular looking lipstick gun is equipped to trigger an explosion like sound and also send a distress signal to the police emergency number 112. The gun can be recharged when needed and can be connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. Chaurasia developed the gadget in a month's time and will be available in the market for around Rs 600. © Chourasia.com Speaking to HT Chaurasia said, “If a woman is caught in an uncomfortable situation, she can simply press the button fitted in the socket. This will trigger a loud explosion-like sound and also send a message to 112. It is easy to carry and since it is fitted to the normal lipstick, it will not raise any doubts.” It's great to see men trying to find ways of helping women and make their lives easier and safer. View the full article
  14. India is no stranger to social unrest. Behind the CAA-NRC protests that are sweeping across the nation and making headlines around the world, is a long legacy of protests - each with their own demands, philosophies, social clashes and successes or failures. While the current protests seem to be leaderless, several Indian politicians have had a history of associating themselves with activism along broad ranges of the political spectrum. Here are some of the faces we've seen behind placards and posters of India's most momentous protests and agitations. Periyar E.V. Ramasamy - Tamil Nadu Anti-Hindi Protests, 1937-1940 © (Wikimedia) One of India's foremost progressive and feminist thinkers, he also knew how to strike a good pose. Age During Protests: 58 Synonymous with representing Dravidian interests and pushing for progressive, forward-thinking reforms, Periyar R.V. Ramasamy is one of Tamil Nadu's most respected and well-documented thinkers. A staunch ally of Ambedkar's, one of his key contributions as an activist arose during the imposition of Hindi as a compulsory language in Tamil Nadu, a move that many saw as deeply insensitive of the region's cultural interests. © Periyar alongside Dr. Ambedkar and Jinnah in Bombay, 1940. Ramasamy, along with several others, spearheaded a powerful movement that included fasts, conferences, marches, picketing and protests. The government responded with a crackdown resulting in the deaths of two protesters and the arrests of 1,198 people including women and children - although the British Raj in Madras gave into their demands on February 1940 after the resignation of the Congress Government in 1939. Narendra Modi - Navnirman Movement, 1974 © (India Today) Modi as a prakarchak in the RSS, during the early seventies. Age During Protests: 24 PM Modi's home state Gujarat wasn't a good place to be in, back in 1971. After winning the 1970 war against Pakistan, the then-Congress government was faced with the tall order of uplifting the poor - a difficult task considering that Gujarat was suffering from widespread corruption, famine and inflation at the time. © (Narendramodi.in) Thousands of protestors launched a campaign to dethrone the Congress from their seat at Ahmedabad. Inspired by the actions of student activists who demanded reforms, thousands of Gujaratis joined in to create the Navnirman protests. PM Modi, who was only 24 years old at the time, had already developed an interest in activism during his association with the ABVP, and joined the protest on the front lines. Not only was the protest a success - it also deeply shaped a younger PM Modi's political beliefs and was the event that propelled him from student activism to serious politics - perhaps we wouldn't have seen him become Prime Minister without this early major influence. Arun Jaitley - Anti-Emergency Protests, 1974-1977 © (arunjaitley.com) Jaitley contesting for college elections back in the early seventies. Age During Protests: 22 This ex-Finance Minister has had a long and pretty intense history with activism as an ABVP student leader. Strongly opposed to Indira Gandhi's rule as Prime Minister, he rallied support against her, almost immediately after emergency was imposed on the night of June 25, 1975. “The next morning,” recounted Jaitley, “I collected as many people as I could and burnt an effigy of Mrs Gandhi [Indira] and got arrested. I courted arrest.” © (Wikimedia) From prison to Parliament - Jaitley practicing as a senior advocate during the eighties and nineties. Jaitley spent the next 19 months in jail, and after his release, continued to focus on creating change through his career as an advocate at the highest levels of the Indian legal machine. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta - The Assam Movement, 1979-85 © (The Telegraph) Mahanta (far left) along with AASU colleagues, meeting with Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1979. Age During Protests: 27 Mahanta entered the political realm at a young age - while studying law at Gauhati University, he was appointed president of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), which spearheaded and led the popular Assam Movement against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The movement aimed to protect the cultural, social and economic interests of the indegenous Assamese people. © (Wikimedia) Mahanta making an appearance with the Culture & Tourism Ministry, New Delhi. The movement propelled him from the platform of a young student leader to one of the region's most influential politicians, eventually becoming Chief Minister of Assam for two separate terms. He now serves as an MLA from the Barhampur constituency. Anna Hazare - Indian Anti-Corruption Movement, 2011 © (Reuters) Hazare adjusts his glasses at a sit-in protest in New Delhi. Age During Protests: 74 Kisan Baburao Hazare, better known as Anna Hazare, is perhaps one of the closest protest leaders the country has had to Mohandas Gandhi himself. Choosing a similar tactic of hunger strikes and peaceful agitation, he began his work as an activist in the late 70s, using grassroot level movements to uplift villages from poverty in Maharashtra. © (Reuters) Hazare's supporters were attacked by police water cannons during a protest outside ex-CM Manmohan Singh's residence. In 2011, Hazare led a widespread anti-corruption movement that aimed to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill into India's legislature. While the bill faced roadblocks, the social activism brought together thousands of Indians against corrupt government officials, and also led to the rise of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party. Arvind Kejriwal - Nirbhaya Movement, 2012 © (Reuters) Kejriwal addressing a gathering of his supporters after being appointed CM of Delhi. Speaking of Kejriwal - the former income tax official and now CM of Delhi has had a long career in activism - leading the charge right alongside Anna Hazare during the anti-corruption protests, until the two split on differences of opinion. This ascension from the anti-corruption movement led to the Aam Aadmi Party being formed in November 2012 - mere weeks away from the horrific rape case involving Jyoti Singh, commonly referred to as Nirbhaya. In outrage, thousands of protestors, especially women, stormed the streets of New Delhi demanding swift action against the rapists. © (Reuters) No stranger to protests, it seems. Kejriwal, just barely a few days into his new political career as AAP President, took a group of 60-70 activists on a march from Jantar Mantar right up to the residence of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, where they held a candlelight vigil and demanded that the criminals be brought to justice - given that the police were using lathi charges, water cannons and teargas to suppress protests, Kejriwal deserves a mention for being one of the few political voices to stand on-ground for Nirbhaya's justice - which will finally be realised later this January. View the full article
  15. YouTube/ANI News/Screenshot via Geo.tvNEW DELHI: India's opposition parties and analysts on Thursday lambasted a two-day tour to occupied Kashmir for foreign envoys arranged by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with a resident of the Himalayan valley saying there were "no hopes". Being criticised as a "repeat" of last October's tour arranged for the European Parliament's right-leaning members, the new visit comprises 15 Delhi-based diplomats who reached occupied Kashmir's capital, Srinagar, and would be, according to Indian news agency ANI, "briefed by the Indian Army on the security situation". The diplomats hail from "the United States, Maldives, Norway, Argentina, Niger, Togo, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Korea, Peru, [and] Morocco", the publication wrote. The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) slammed the move, saying if the conditions in the Muslim-majority region were normal, "why are scores of people … under detention for almost 160 days and why have the people been denied access to the Internet for over 5 months?” As per Times of India, the disappointed JKNC termed the tour as "short-lived propaganda victories" that hid "true normalcy [which] will only be achieved when all detainees are released, communications and Internet restored and genuine political activity resumed". Calling out the hypocrisy wherein Indians were told that "peaceful dissent is the cornerstone of democracy", the party asked: "Are the people of Jammu and Kashmir expected to live without the fundamental rights accorded to other Indian citizens?" Further, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (JKPDP) also criticised the decision, labelling it a "guided tour" for "handpicked individuals who toe the government line". As per The Hindu, it further added: “The government jails those who aided its democracy and strings up puppets who are ready to bargain at the cheapest price. The government should understand that those who really love Kashmiri soil are not for sale." Jairam Ramesh, a leader of one of the country's biggest parties, Indian National Congress (INC), condemned the foreign diplomats' tour, asking why New Delhi was not allowing Indian politicians into occupied Kashmir. YouTube/ANI News/Screenshot via Geo.tv"We demand that the government allows unfettered access to J&K to all politicians and not resort to guided tours for envoys," he said, according to NDTV. Manish Tewari, another INC leader, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government aimed "to demonstrate that everything is normal in Kashmir, which is far from reality". Tewari asked why the Internet was suspended for more than five months, saying it was "paradoxical" to "right-wing EU members to visit Kashmir" but not Indian politicians. "This visit is a farcical exercise aimed at distorting reality. The situation needs a political outreach and for the people of Kashmir need to be taken on board," he told Al Jazeera. The publication also quoted a 33-year-old engineer from occupied Kashmir, who said such diplomats "eat good food, stay in luxury hotels and enjoy the joy rides in the lakes". He said: "They hardly question India on its oppression in Kashmir. So, we have no hopes that they will speak for us. Had India been a real democracy, it would have given access to international human rights groups and foreign journalists." Kashmir-based analyst Sidiq Wahid, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation's Sushobha Barve, and former senior Kashmiri bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah voiced similar concerns, saying India was attempting to legitimise its August 5, 2019, move when it revoked occupied Kashmir's special status. "The government in Delhi is trying to seek legitimacy for itself. … There is so little credibility for such delegations," Wahid said, while Barve added that India wished "to tell the world that everything is all right in Kashmir". Habibullah, on the other hand, asked: "What is the necessity for a guided tour unless the objective is to spread propaganda?" Separately, BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal blamed India's opposition parties for "spreading misgivings in international media on how human rights are being violated" in Kashmir and said if such was the case, "why aren't people in Kashmir protesting?" He defended the Internet blackout as "a preventive measure" to stop attempts at disturbing peace in occupied Kashmir.
  16. If you have been following limited-over matches of the Indian cricket team in the recent past, you must have recognised umpire Anil Chaudhary's face by now. Most of India's ODIs and T20I matches in the past few years, that have taken place on home soil, have been officiated by the Delhi-born, who was also seen during their contest against the visiting Sri Lankan side in Indore on Tuesday. According to a PTI report, the 54-year-old has now been selected as the only Indian umpire to be a part of the International Cricket Council's officiating team for the upcoming U-19 World Cup tournament in South Africa, starting January 17, 2020. One of the leading umpires of the ICC in the past decade, Chaudhary made his ODI debut on November 27, 2013, during India's match against the West Indies at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur. He also made his debut in the shortest format of the game when the Men in Blue locked horns with George Bailey's Australian side at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot. © Twitter Ever since, Chaudhary has officiated in 20 One-Day Internationals and 27 T20Is and has received a lot of praise for having a great eye for the minute details of the game that helps him make the right call most of the time. However, his career as an umpire began on a rather interesting note when Pradeep Gupta (one of the local umpires during Chaudhary's club cricket days in 1989), gave him a call to make him stand as a substitute official. “I got a call from Pradeep Gupta (local umpire) to report at the St. Stephen's ground. He had taken ill and I was to stand as a substitute. Obviously, I was unprepared and honestly had little clue about umpiring. Fortunately, it turned out to be a low-scoring match with little pressure on the umpires,” the Delhiite had mentioned to The Hindu in 2016. © Twitter His first paycheck? 50 Rupees. “I went to give the money to Guptaji and was told to keep it since it was the fee for my work. That was petrol money and I just loved the idea,” he said. His dedication and also a little bit of good fortune guided him towards more and more matches and eventually landed him right next to international umpire Ram Babu Gupta, someone Chaudhary truly credits his career to. “I owe everything to Ram Babuji,” said the then 51-year-old Chaudhary. “He shaped my career. There was a SAIL Trophy match (between Mohan Meakin and Central Warehousing Corporation). It was a big tournament with some renowned players participating. It was again an emergency replacement and I did a decent job going by the reports that reached Ram Babuji. A pat from him made my day.” View the full article
  17. For someone who started his journey as a waiter and whose early days in Bollywood were full of struggles, Akshay Kumar has come a long way in his cinematic journey. He has not only given back to back hits in the last year, but the 52-year-old actor has also created history by becoming the only actor in the industry to mint Rs. 700 crore at the box office in a single year. The latest report by Bollywood Hungama suggested that Akshay went miles ahead of actors Salman Khan and Ranveer Singh to reach at Rs. 700 crore mark in a year. This is a first of its kind. The actor clearly follows a strategy and does four movies a year which makes him stand apart from all the other biggies in the industry. In 2019, he had back to back four releases and with all the movies being hit at the box office, he not only entered the Rs. 500 crore-in-a-year club but was also able to make it to the first ever Rs. 700 crore-in-a-year club. With Kesari (Rs. 154.41 cr.), Mission Mangal (Rs. 202.98 cr.), Housefull 4 (Rs. 194.60 cr.) and Good Newwz (approx. Rs. 188 cr. expected), Akshay has managed to collect a whopping Rs. 700 crore in a single year at the box office, added the report. View this post on Instagram Love, laughter and more at the #Housefull4 trailer launch today Trailer out now! Takliya ð¨‍ð¦²ðð»‍âï¸ðð (LINK IN BIO) @riteishd @iambobbydeol @kritisanon @hegdepooja @kriti.kharbanda A post shared by Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) on Sep 27, 2019 at 4:48am PDT Ranveer is at the second spot as he earned Rs 542 crore in 2018 followed by Salman who collected Rs 530 crore in the year 2019. Akshay's latest movie Good Newwz has received mixed responses from the audience as well as the critics. It is performing well at the box office. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kiara Advani, and Diljit Dosanjh among others in pivotal roles. View this post on Instagram Another glimpse into the goofed-up lives of the Batras! Stay tuned, there's more #GoodNewwz coming your way today. In cinemas 27th December. #KareenaKapoorKhan @diljitdosanjh @kiaraaliaadvani @karanjohar @apoorva1972 @shashankkhaitan @raj_a_mehta @somenmishra @zeestudiosofficial @dharmamovies #CapeOfGoodFilms @zeemusiccompany A post shared by Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) on Dec 1, 2019 at 8:19pm PST The story revolves around two couples with the same surname. Coincidentally, both the pairs attempt to conceive a child through IVF but confusion strikes when the sperm of the two men get exchanged in the lab. The film was released on December 27 and is continuing to rake in the moolah at the ticket counters. View the full article
  18. India is the best country in the world if you’ve a Canadian citizenship, says Indian artist Bollywood stars are reacting to a recent incident of violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that saw several students injured at the hands of ruling party supporters. Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and many other actors have condemned the use of force against the students, expressing their support to the victims of the violence. Joining the chorus of condemnations, Indian comedian Kunal Kamra lamented the state of affairs in his country. The artist took a jibe at India with a sarcastic tweet that read: "India is the best country in the world if you’ve a Canadian Citizenship..." The JNU incident comes on the heels of a wave of protests that gripped the entire South Asian country over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a law that discriminates against Muslims.
  19. Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan: File photoMUMBAI: The Indian government invited numerous Bollywood stars and film industry personalities to a private gathering on Sunday in an effort to garner support for a new citizenship law that has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests nationwide. At least 25 people have been killed so far in clashes with the police during five weeks of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA. If combined with a proposed national register of citizens, critics of the CAA fear it will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority and chip away at its secular constitution. Two industry sources told Reuters they had received invites to Sunday’s gathering at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. Roughly 20 to 25 people from both the Hindi and Marathi film industry are expected to attend the event, one of the sources said. An invitation seen by Reuters said the event hosted by two senior leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aimed to “facilitate a discussion on myths and realities pertaining to the (CAA)”. Wooing Bollywood stars, who have a huge social media following among Indians of all faiths, could help the BJP alter some of the negative narrative around the new law. The law, and the outrage it has prompted, pose a dilemma for a film industry that has some big-name Muslim personalities, but caters predominantly to India’s majority Hindu population. A handful of Bollywood figures have condemned the CAA, while some others have faced criticism for not weighing in on the issue. Modi, who spearheads the Hindu nationalist BJP, has often appeared alongside actors and film industry figures at public events. The industry has, in turn, produced films that some critics have said approached political endorsements. On Saturday, more than 100,000 people took part in a peaceful protest against the CAA in the southern city of Hyderabad. Further protests were planned on Sunday in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and several other Indian cities. A source close to the BJP who is involved in organising Sunday’s private gathering said several party leaders had been enlisted to help explain the rationale of the CAA to various professional groups such as lawyers.
  20. Renowned Indian poet Javed Akhtar on Thursday voiced his support for his Pakistani counterpart Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem Hum Dekhainge, slamming nationalists for claiming it was "anti-Hindu". Akhtar said: "Saying that this poem is anti-Hindu, is just so absurd that I cannot speak on it in a serious manner. When you talk against fundamentalism, shortsightedness, and hatred, people call you anti-national," he said. Such claims were made by dull and dumb people, he said, adding that the poem was written by "Faiz against Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq's government … which was a communal, regressive, and a fundamentalist regime,” he noted. Further explaining Goonjayga An-Al-Haq Ka Naara, which people claim was anti-Hindu, he said it was the word of Sufi poets who were against fundamentalist and regressive regimes. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur set up a committee to look into whether the poem, Hum Dekhenge, was offensive to Hindu sentiments. The move came after a faculty member complaint that the students who took out a peaceful march in the campus on December 17 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, and in solidarity with Jamia Millia Islamia students who sung it as a mark of protest. Since the CAA's enactment on December 12, 2019, protests have erupted in various parts of the India, including New Delhi. It grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
  21. As bushfires continue to ravage southeastern Australia, the disturbing and terrifying videos and pictures circulating on social media not only show the extent of damage but also serve as a warning that things are getting worse with each passing day. Many innocent animals have lost their lives and some are getting gravely injured in the bushfires. Thousands of people, including tourists are being evacuated and firefighters continue to risk their lives to bring the situation under control. The crew from Fire and Rescue NSW Station 509 Wyoming recorded this video showing the moment their truck was overrun by the bushfire burning South of Nowra. The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through. #NSWFires #ProtectTheIrreplaceable pic.twitter.com/Hb0yVrefi9 — Fire and Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) December 31, 2019 Amidst the worsening situation, the owners of an Indian restaurant have come forward as a ray of hope for people and are being praised on social media for offering free food to the firefighters and victims stuck in Gippsland, Victoria. Kanwaljit Singh and his wife Kamaljit Kaur, owners of the Desi Grill restaurant in Bairnsdale, along with their staff cooked curry and rice and gave it to people living in temporary shelters. They also got assistance from the Melbourne-based charity organisation Sikh Volunteers Australia. Kanwaljit told media, "It's terrible out there. People are severely affected and they need food and shelter. It's our duty to serve them when they need us the most." He further said, "Last night had been very busy. We helped the volunteers with cooking rice, curries and pasta and the food was distributed in at least 500 takeaway containers." Kanwaljit, who has lived in the area for six years, considered it his duty to help the people affected by the bushfires. He said, "We follow the Sikh way of life. We are just doing what other Australians are doing today, and that is to serve and pray for the people who have been hit hard by these terrible bushfires." The restaurant is also stocking up rice, flour and lentils that, according to them, should last till the next week or so. People of the Sikh Volunteers Australia are going to various parts of Victoria with food trucks to provide food in camps. People like Kanwaljit, his wife and the Sikh volunteers make this world a better place to live in. View the full article
  22. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) takes the trophy when comes to being one of India's greatest pride and joy. Over the years, ISRO has achieved many feats that will find a mention in the pages of history. While 2019 saw ISRO unlock new achievements, 2020 is set to be equally significant for the organisation with two major missions set to go down this year. All eyes will be set on India's first manned space mission 'Gaganyaan' and third lunar mission 'Chandrayaan-3' in 2020. © ISRO However, currently the big news that's trending on social media is that ISRO has revealed that four astronauts have been identified by the space organisation who are set to travel to space aboard Gaganyaan. While their names and designations haven't been disclosed yet, other interesting details related to the Gaganyaan mission has surfaced. Here's everything you need to know as per the news reports: 1. ISRO Chief Dr K Sivan shared that four astronauts will be part of the Gaganyaan mission. © Twitter/ISRO 2. The shortlisted astronauts are all Indian Air Force officers, who went through multiple screening tests to get to this point. 3. Besides many medical examinations that the astronauts had to pass, Institute of Aerospace Medicine also conducted different fitness tests before making the selection. 4. The selection programme started off with seven astronaut elects in November, of which four have been shortlisted for the mission. © Twitter/DDNews 5. The four selected astronauts will now undergo rigorous training beginning the third week of January. 6. Russia has extended its support to train the astronauts for the mission. 7. The maiden mission will see three astronauts making it aboard the Gaganyaan, who will orbit the earth for seven days at an altitude of 400 km! 8. According to reports, the mission will be conducted within a budget of Rs. 10,000 crore, and shall hit off the ground by 2022. © Twitter/ISRO 9. Before the manned mission, ISRO will undertake two unmanned missions including one where a humanoid will ensure that humans can be sent into space and brought back safely. 10. The mission will help conduct path-breaking experiments related to microgravity, bioscience and space operations. There is a long journey ahead of ISRO and the shortlisted astronauts who are set to create history. We are eagerly waiting for more updates on selected astronauts and the next steps that will be taken ahead of India's first manned space mission set to unfold in two years from now. View the full article
  23. We're ending the year with another hilarious mix-up by a politician, the perfect way to say goodbye to 2019. Someone tried to fool Pakistan's former Interior Minister Rehman Malik and he fell for it, rather spectacularly. Basically, someone tagged him in a tweet which said that this is an Indian actress who's wearing a hijab to show solidarity with Indian Muslims protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and he obviously only had positive things to say about it. The catch, though, was that one of the women in the pictures shared was Mia Khalifa, and well, she doesn't need any introduction. May God really bless her. The tweet is now gone, for obvious reasons, but that doesn't mean he won't get trolled for this hilarious mix-up. Senator Rehman Malik gives his blessings to pornstar Mia Khalifa for showing solidarity with Indian Muslims. pic.twitter.com/GwlSKlvuf8 — Naila Inayat नायला à¤à¤¨à¤¾à¤¯à¤¤ (@nailainayat) December 30, 2019 Wait, it gets worse. Apparently, Senator Malik thinks he will get Indian govt with the help of pornstars. Chalo, there's still hope there.. pic.twitter.com/MKlTvAzlU1 — Naila Inayat नायला à¤à¤¨à¤¾à¤¯à¤¤ (@nailainayat) December 30, 2019 There's one person who can probably feel Rehman Malik's pain as this is almost exactly what happened to former Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit. Remember when this happened? Former Pakistani high commissioner to India Abdul Basit, mistakes Johnny Sins for a Kashmiri man who lost vision from pellet. Unreal times these, really. pic.twitter.com/9h1X8V8TKF — Naila Inayat नायला à¤à¤¨à¤¾à¤¯à¤¤ (@nailainayat) September 2, 2019 Hmm. Eska Matlab Rahman Malik sareef aadmi hai....fawad aur sheikh Rashid hote to wo pahchàn jaate... — in the end it does not even matter (@jio_jeene_do) December 30, 2019 Fact check, always. Abdul Basit made Johnny sins a Kashmiri pellet gun victim. Now Senator Rehman Malik made a Lebanese woman an 'influential' actress from Indian regional films!!! @majorgauravarya https://t.co/m0duWL7xMq — Aishwarya Palagummi (@APalagummi) December 30, 2019 Isn't it a good thing that they don't know who these women are? What's with Pakistani politicians/diplomats and pornstars? First Abdul Basit and Johnny Sins, now Rehman Malik. Shah Mehmood Qureshi will jointly address the UN with Lana Rhoades next? https://t.co/9tyw5CjZUL pic.twitter.com/pkchtxjfPL — Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) December 30, 2019 For sure. May god bless her https://t.co/x1ABo4VfYQ — Shashank Trivedi (@sshashanktrive1) December 30, 2019 View the full article
  24. One of the most consistent accumulators across formats of his time, Virat Kohli's ambition and passion for cricket has earned him the reputation of a modern-day great. It's his passion that defines Kohli's emotional, effervescent and, at times, explosive character. For him, the world is for the taking and his hunger to succeed has propelled him to the pinnacle of the sport. Taking his technical assiduousness on par with the great Sachin Tendulkar and matching the fitness levels of the top athletes in the world, Kohli has been busy shattering one record after another, almost every time he steps on the field wielding the willow. Recently named in the Wisden's list of Top Five Cricketers of the Decade, Kohli has scored 5,775 more international runs than anyone else in the last decade. © Reuters And, this year has been no different. The Indian captain scored 2,370 runs across formats at an average of 64.05. It is also the fourth consecutive time that Kohli aggregated 2000-plus runs in a single calendar year. For someone who averages more than 50 in all formats, Kohli has already amassed 70 international hundreds and is only behind Ricky Ponting (71) and Sachin Tendulkar (100). He is currently third in the list of leading run-getters of all time with 21,444 runs to his name, only behind Ponting (27,483) and Tendulkar (34,357). But, that's not all. The Delhi cricketer produced some of the most unbelievable moments that saw him breaking old records and creating new ones this year. So, here's a look at the 'Kohli magic' that captured the imagination of fans in 2019: â 1 – Kohli became the first Asian captain to win a Test series on Australian soil. He completed the Test series victory post the drawn Sydney Test match that began on 3rd January. India were leading the 4-match Test series by 2-1 margin before the SCG Test. â 4 – Virat became the first visiting player to smash four centuries in ODI cricket in the West Indies. Three of those came in his last three innings in that country. He thus became the first player to score a hat-trick of ODI hundreds in the Caribbean Islands. â 5 – Kohli has five centuries in International cricket at the Adelaide Oval after his 104-run knock in an ODI against the Aussies. He is only the 2nd visiting player to score five centuries at a venue in Australia. England's Sir Jack Hobbs also scored five International tons at the MCG; all in the Test format. â 6 – The century in the Ranchi ODI was 6th ton for Kohli while chasing in ODIs against Australia; the most by any player while chasing against an opponent. Sachin Tendulkar against Australia and Kohli against Sri Lanka have five tons apiece in ODI chases. It was also the 8th ODI century for Kohli against Aussies; the 2nd most ODI 100s by any player against the Australian team. Sachin Tendulkar had nine ODI tons against Australia. â 7 – The double century against South Africa was Kohli's 7th double ton in Test cricket; the most by any Indian surpassing six 200s each by Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. It was also the first time Kohli scored a double ton against South Africa. The Proteas were the 6th opponent against which Kohli smashed a 200 in Test cricket. Kumar Sangakkara and Younis Khan are the other players to have scored a Test double against six different opponents. â 9 – Kohli's unbeaten 114 in the Port of Spain ODI was his 9th century in ODI cricket against the Windies; the joint-most by any player against an opponent. Sachin Tendulkar also scored exactly nine ODI hundreds against Australia. Seven of the nine ODI centuries scored by Kohli came when he was a captain. These are the most number of ODI tons by a captain against an opposition surpassing five by Ricky Ponting against England in 2001. â 9 – The 104 at the Adelaide Oval was Kohli's 9th century against Australia in Australia. England's Sir Jack Hobbs (9) is the only other player with as many as 9 International tons against the Aussies in Australia. â 10 – Century against Bangladesh in Kolkata was Virat's 10th century in Test cricket at home while leading the Indian team; the most Test tons at home for an Indian captain surpassing Sunil Gavaskar's nine. Overall, only Ricky Ponting (11) scored more home Test tons as captain than Kohli. Steve Smith and Greg Chappell also have 10 home Test centuries while leading the team. â 15 – Kohli has scored 15 International centuries against Australia. Only two players have more centuries in International cricket against a single opposition than these. Sachin has 20 and 17 hundreds across all formats against Australia and Sri Lanka respectively while Sir Donald Bradman scored 19 Test tons against England. â 33 – Virat Kohli is now India's most successful captain in Test cricket with 33 victories. He went past MS Dhoni's tally of 27 Test wins with the victory against West Indies in the Kingston Test. â 34 – Kohli completed 2000 runs in ODI cricket against the West Indies during the tour post the World Cup. He needed only 34 innings for this milestone; the fewest number of innings any player needed for completing 2000 ODI runs against an opponent. Rohit Sharma was the previous holder of this record as he needed 37 innings for scoring his 2000th ODI runs against Australia. â 41 – Post the hundred in the D/N Test in Kolkata, Virat has 41 centuries as captain in International cricket; the joint-most International tons as skipper. Ricky Ponting also had 41 International hundreds across 376 innings while Kohli got there in exactly half number of innings (188). Kohli's ton against Bangladesh was his 20th as captain in Test cricket; the 2nd most Test 100s by a player while leading the team. Only Graeme Smith is ahead of Virat in this list with 25 hundreds. Overall, Kohli has 70 tons across all International formats; the 3rd most by any player. Only Sachin Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71) are ahead of Virat in this list. â 60.09 – Kohli achieved 60+ ODI average for the first time in his ODI career post the ODI match hosted by Ranchi in March. It was Kohli's 217 innings in the ODI format; the highest number of innings after which a player had 60+ ODI batting average. No other player had 60+ ODI average after playing even 110 innings. â 104 – Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to score an ODI century in Australia when he scored 104 at the Adelaide Oval. Previous highest ODI score by an Indian captain in Australia was 93 which was scored by Mohammad Azharuddin against Australia in 1992 Brisbane ODI and also by Sachin Tendulkar against Pakistan in the 2000 Hobart ODI. Australia was the 7th country where Kohli scored an ODI century as a captain. Sanath Jayasuriya and AB de Villiers also have scored ODI centuries in seven different nations while leading the team. â 136 – The 136-run knock by Kohli against Bangladesh in Kolkata was the first-ever century by an Indian in a day-night Test match. It was also the first-ever D/N Test match played by India. â 254* – Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to score 250+ runs in a Test innings with his unbeaten 254 in Pune against South Africa. In this process, Kohli broke his own record of highest Test score by an Indian captain which he set by scoring 243 in the 2017 Delhi Test against Sri Lanka. â 4889 – Kohli now has 4889 runs in ODI cricket as captain. He became the quickest to 4000 ODI runs as skipper this year. He needed 63 innings for this milestone and broke the record held by AB de Villiers in 77 innings. â 5104 – Virat Kohli completed the milestone of 5000 runs as Test captain in 2019. Kohli became the fastest among the six players to reach this milestone taking only 86 innings. The previous fastest was Ricky Ponting in 97 innings. â 9302 – Kohli now has scored 9032 runs on Indian soil across all three International formats; the 2nd most by any player behind Sachin Tendulkar's 14192 runs. Virat is 10th in the list of most International runs scored by a player at home. Virat Kohli also became the first Indian captain with 5000 International runs at home. He is overall the 4th skipper to aggregate 5000+ International runs at home. Virat reached the milestone in 84 innings; the fewest of the four players. â 10969 – Kohli completed 9000 and 10000 runs as captain in International Cricket this year. He required 159 innings and 176 innings respectively for those two milestones; the fastest to do so. Ricky Ponting was the previous quickest to both the milestones as he needed 204 and 225 innings respectively. â 11609 – Kohli became the fastest player to complete 11000 runs as he completed the milestone in only 222 innings during the World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar (276) was the previous quickest to 11k runs in ODIs. â 21444 – In 2019, Kohli went past 19000, 20000 and 21000 runs in International cricket and was the fastest to all three milestones taking 399, 417 and 433 innings respectively. Sachin Tendulkar was the previous fastest to all those three feats taking 432, 453 and 473 innings, respectively. View the full article
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