Sasikala surrenders, back in Bengaluru jail


sasikalaBengaluru, Feb 15 (IANS) AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, held guilty for corruption, on Wednesday surrendered before a trial court at a prison here.

Sasikala gave herself up at the Central Jail on the city’s southern outskirts with her relatives Elavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran after reaching from Chennai by road, officials said.

As the long-time confidante of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa reached the prison complex, clashes erupted between AIADMK supporters and police personnel.

One official said Sasikala underwent a medical check-up.

The surrender came a day after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in a case of holding assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Also held guilty were her two relatives — sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew Sudhakaran, who were also sentenced for four years along with Jayalalithaa and Sasikala in September 2014.

The makeshift trial court was set up again in the jail complex earlier in the day for security reasons.

The civil court complex in the city centre is in a congested area and would have caused law and order problem due to the high-profile nature of the case and the convicts involved.

In a related development, Sasikala’s husband Natarajan and the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, M. Thambidurai, reached the prison complex about 30 minutes before she crossed the Tamil Nadu border in a convoy.

“Though Sasikala pleaded for more time to serve the jail term, the judge declined and asked her to undergo a health check-up before 6 p.m. to enter the jail,” added the official.

–IANS

Service Tax Dept summons Sania Mirza for alleged evasion


sania-mirza

Hyderabad: Tennis player Sania Mirza has been issued notice by the Service Tax department in connection with alleged non-payment or evasion of Service Tax.
Principal Commissioner of Service Tax office here issued the summons to the tennis star on February 6 and appear before it in person or by an authorized agent on February 16.
The notice says “Whereas an investigation against you about non-payment/evasion of Service Tax/contravention of provisions of Finance Act 1994 and Rules made there under is being inquired.

“I have reasons to believe you are in possession of facts or/and documents and things which are relevant to the inquiry.”

“You are hereby summoned under Central Excise Act, 1944 made applicable to service Tax matters under Finance Act, 1994 to appear before the Office in person or by an authorized agent on February 16 to give evidence truthfully on such matters concerning the enquiry as you may be asked to produce the documents and things,” said the summons, which does not specify the case in which she has been asked to appear.

If you fail to comply with this summons and intentionally avoid to attend or to give evidence and to produce the documents and things, without a lawful excuse, you will be liable to be punished under the relevant provisions of IPC, it said.

via (Mid-Day)

Congress says it won’t let Modi speak in Parliament unless he says sorry to Manmohan, Rahul attacks PM


rahul-gandhi

Outraged over Narendra Modi’s remarks against predecessor Manmohan Singh, the Congress warned on Wednesday that it will not let the Prime Minister speak in Parliament unless he apologises for his “unacceptable” comment.

Congress members in the Rajya Sabha staged a walkout soon after Modi accused Singh of “allowing corruption under his nose but at the same time managing to steer clear” of any charges. The Prime Minister was replying to a debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address.

Terming the events in Parliament “shameful”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “When a Prime Minister reduces himself to ridiculing his predecessor-years his senior, he hurts the dignity of the parliament &the nation.”

office-rg

Even though many scams took place in the country (in the previous UPA regime), Singh’s image remained clean, Modi said, taking a dig at the former PM. “People should learn from Dr. Singh how to bathe in bathroom wearing a raincoat.”

“How can you have a dialogue with the opposition with this kind of language used against us… You can’t get personal in a debate,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal later told reporters in the Parliament House complex. “We too could get personal and start talking about things where the Prime Minister’s name has occurred but we never did that.”

While Singh did not respond to the Prime Minister’s statement, the Congress fielded all its senior leaders to attack Modi on the issue.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram claimed that the Prime Minister doesn’t come to the House to listen to anyone from the Opposition. “Today, he was scheduled to come in at 5pm. He deliberately did not come at that time and came only after the last speaker from the opposition had concluded. Then he begins his speech and within minutes attacks the former Prime Minister in the most unacceptable manner,” he said.

“It was in extremely poor taste. It is unbecoming of a Prime Minister to use such language against the former PM. It certainly is unbecoming of anyone to say such harsh, ugly statements about Dr Manmohan Singh. We are very disappointed and angry.”

We have expressed our protest by walking out. We could have stayed back, created a ruckus, stormed the well of the House and shouted down the Prime Minister. But that would have in the circumstances of today brought us down to the level of the debate which the Prime Minister wanted. We don’t want such a debate to take place. We want the people to know that no Prime Minister has ever used such a language against a former Prime Minister,” Chidambaram added.

In a strongly worded attack on the government’s demonetisation exercise in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session in November last year, Singh said that several deaths and distress among the poor, farmers and small traders convinced him the demonetisation plan led to “organised loot and legalised plunder”.

On Wednesday, in an apparent reference to these comments, PM Modi said, “We have the ability to pay back in the same coin,” Modi said. “If anyone speaks like this, he should also be ready to face the consequences.”

But Sibal defended the use of words “plunder and loot” by Singh, saying those were not personal remarks against Modi but about the demonetisation policy. “We have never seen such arrogance. There is a dignity of the chair he occupies. The PM gives speeches in Parliament as if he speaks in a locality or in a ground. He doesn’t know what to say and what not in Parliament. The PM thinks that only he is clean and the rest all of us are black marketers,” he said.

From the government benches, information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu supported PM Modi and said that the Congress had earlier described Modi as Hitler as well as Mussolini.

However, Congress’ deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma refuted these charges. “Never ever have we called the Prime Minister names even if he functions in a dictatorial manner. The fact is that he is behaving in an extremely insulting and arrogant manner towards the entire opposition. He has also insulted the memory of India’s martyred Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and used unacceptable language against the former Prime Minister. We cautioned him initially not to drag the debate to such a low level,” he said.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “PM is not a person but an institution it has a decorum, propriety, morality and discipline in language. Sadly, Modi ji forgets he is PM of India!”

Via (HT)

The mystery behind why Bengaluru is covered in stickers of ‘angry Hanuman’


angry-hanuman

Bengaluru has an undeniable traffic problem. During the hours spent in its standstill traffic, when engines are killed and drivers look around to acknowledge mutual irritation, there is plenty of time to count the saffron and black images of Hanuman pasted proudly on motorbikes and cars.

The image, vector-style, is everywhere in Bengaluru and in several other parts of Karnataka. You can see them on public and private vehicles, on watch dials, on T-shirts, as laptop skins and other accessories – and everywhere it feels positively angry, almost confrontational, on the offensive.

That is not how it was meant to be seen though, according to Karan Acharya who created the vector-style figure. Acharya, a designer and graphic artist from Kumble village in Kasaragod, the northernmost district in Kerala, said he created the figure in 2015, when boys from a youth club in his village asked him to design something different to put on the flags for Ganesh Chaturthi.

Every year until then, the flag hoisted in the village had borne the symbol of Om.

Acharya, busy with work, put off the request until the children insisted he give them something the very next day. “It was around 11.30 or 12 at night when I designed this face,” he said over the phone from Mangaluru, where he works. Acharya was only able to finish the face when he sent the image to his village, although he is working on designing the rest of vector-Hanuman’s body next. Once the image appeared on a flag, it began to appear on his friends’ display and profile pictures across social media platforms.

In the course of the past few months, that image has shown up in the most unexpected of places, including the rear windows of vehicles in Bengaluru. Its ubiquitousness came as a great surprise to Acharya on his last visit to the city.

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“Since I designed this image for friends, I hadn’t put a watermark on it,” Acharya said. He has derived absolutely no royalty from the image, which frequently appears on merchandise as well. He was approached by a US-based company to sign away exclusive right of use, he said, but that did not feel right because so many people were already using it.

According to Acharya, vector-Hanuman is not angry at all. “My friends had told me to design something with an attitude, a Hanuman without a smile,” he said. “My Hanuman is not angry, he is just attitude Hanuman.”

Hanuman, frequently thought of as a lovable God, unswerving in his devotion to Rama, has always been depicted with attitude in calendar art.

Philip Lutgendorf, Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at University of Iowa’s Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature, is the author of Hanuman’s Tale, The Messages of a Divine Monkey. He said Hanuman, the “default deity”, had for long taken the forms of the das or servant and the veer, or the brave one.

“Hanuman is an inclusive god, and is worshipped by both the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas,” he said over the phone from central Maharashtra. “To the Shaivas, he is the eleventh avatar of Rudra with the Raudra roopa (angry or aggressive face). This too is an old idea, and goes back at least a thousand years in as far as textual sources are concerned.”

Acharya’s Hanuman has been especially popular with those who lean towards the Hindu right, its saffron colour contributing to the political hue. But Professor Lutgendorf does not see it this way alone. He said he tries hard not to be reductive: “We are living in the age, unfortunately, of simple messages when prime ministers and presidents communicate by tweets,” he said. “Images can carry a lot of different messages to different people.”

“The rise in devotion for Hanuman has been going on for quite a few centuries and has gotten intensified in the 20th century, probably in the same way that just about all religious activity in India has gotten intensified,” he added. “None of this [is] specifically tied to a kind of Hindutva or anti-minority message, but it can easily be. I don’t argue with the possibility that it gets interpreted that way.”

Acharya’s image was always intended for the youth – it has a graphic novel-like appeal. Girish Kumar, a taxi-driver who sported the Hanuman on the back of his car, said: “It is now in fashion, medam. It is a strong, powerful look too.”

Srinath, a shopkeeper who sells stickers, is cashing in on the popularity of the image too – politics is not really on his mind. “A lot of the youth started asking for this sticker, and I have it in different sizes now,” he said. “Maybe it is a fashion now, maybe something else will be in fashion in a few months, I don’t know. I have to keep things that are in demand, it is good for business.” The vinyl stickers of vector-Hanuman sell for anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 300 depending on size, while T-shirts can sell for up to Rs 900.

Images of deities which can be classified as calendar art, have had a long history in India, beginning with the works of Raja Ravi Varma in the late 19th century and moving on to images from SS Brijbasi and Sons, which continue to be reproduced even today. Some early muscular images of Hanuman were influenced by pehelwans or body-builders like Gama the Great, in pre-independent India, who won several international competitions and “was an expression of Indian strength and masculinity,” according to Professor Lutgendorf.

The H H Hanuman or Hairless Humanised Hanuman, as Lutgendorf calls these images, begin to appear only in the 1930s and 1940s, by which time the only signs of his kapitva, or monkeyhood are his lower simian face and tail. Post-liberalisation, with body-building and gyms replacing akhadas, Lutgendorf said, “You begin to see Hanuman that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger [with] really exaggerated muscle. Is this connected with Hindutva machismo? It can be, if you want to read it that way.”

Referring to bhoodevis, or village guardian deities, that require alcohol and blood sacrifice, Lutgendorf said India has always had a huge tradition of violent and angry deities. “Images of deities, conceptions of deities change with changing popular culture, changing popular political developments… Deities have lives, they have biographies,” he said. “Images are hard to read. What you see as angry, someone else may not see that way. Darshan, or seeing a deity, is in the eye of the beholder.”

Meanwhile, Acharya is working on a comic book, the story set 10,000 years from now, featuring Hanuman in his latest avatar along with other characters, old and new. There might just be an animation movie in the making as well.

The vector-Hanuman may be just another passing fad. There will, undoubtedly, be others.

Via (Yahoo)

Earthquake in Uttarakhand, strong tremors jolt Delhi, north India; NDRF teams rushed


earth-quakes

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Uttarakhand, sending tremors across Delhi-NCR and several states of north and eastern India on Monday night, shaking buildings, rattling window panes and sending people scurrying out of their homes.

The earthquake jolted the North India at 10:33pm and tremors were felt for about 30 seconds. There was no loss of life or damage to property, however one was injured in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district, which according to National Seismological Bureau was the epicentre of the quake.

“The depth of the quake was 33km and it occurred at 10.33 PM,” said JL Gautam, operations head at the NSB, a unit of ministry of earth sciences.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude was 5.6.

Uttarakhand, which falls in the Himalayan belt, is known for high seismic activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter said he had spoken to officials and taken stock of the situation.

A home ministry spokesperson said home minister Rajnath Singh had asked for a detailed report and the NDRF has been put on high alert.

Union home ministry said NDRF teams have been rushed from Ghaziabad to Uttarakhand to conduct rescue and relief operations, if such a situation arises.

Two teams of National Disaster Response Force were rushed to Rudraprayag, NDRF director general RK Pachnanada told PTI.

He said that one more team has been put on standby and will be dispatched depending on the developing situation.

PM Narendra Modi also tweeted: “Spoke to officials & took stock of the situation in the wake of the earthquake felt in various parts of North India. PMO is in touch with officials in Uttarakhand, which is the epicentre of the quake. I pray for everyone’s safety & wellbeing.”

Ashok Kumar, a senior official in Dehradun police, said, “The quake was quite heavy. It lasted for 25 or 30 seconds, but there are no reports of damage so far received.”

Amit Negi, secretary of disaster management in the state, said they have alerted all districts and were coordinating with them, but that there were no reports of damage so far.

In Delhi, panicky people rushed out of their homes as the quake hit the city of 16 million people.

Tremors were also felt across Punjab, Haryana and their common capital Chandigarh too. Tremors were felt as far as Kolkata, reports said.

In Chandigarh, many people came running out of their homes screaming. “I was sleeping, when my bed started shaking. I ran towards my mother’s room,” said Kirti, a resident of Sector 20.

“I was driving, so I didn’t feel the tremor. But I noticed girls were screaming and they were running out of their homes,” said Reena from Sector 27.

Another resident of the same sector, Deepinder Kohli, said: “I was watching TV when my chair started shaking. I looked at the fan and it was moving. I didn’t realise, until my children came running towards me shouting.” (With inputs from agencies)

Source: MSN

 

New Hyundai Grand i10 Facelift Launched at Rs 4.58 Lakh, Gets New Styling and Features


hyundai-grand-i10

One of the best selling cars by the country’s second largest automaker has been the Grand i10 and the Korean automaker has launched the facelift model at a starting price of Rs 4.58 lakh. The prices of the diesel variant, which gets a new engine, start at Rs 5.68 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

It garnered much appreciation post its launch a few years ago, largely due to the big list of features and comforts it came with. But the competition has caught up with the likes of the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and just as the car started to appear a bit dated, the company has updated the car with fresh styling and addition of several creature comforts.

The biggest attraction, though, has to be the new 1.2-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine and the 1.2-litre petrol engine which are claimed to be much more refined, responsive and deliver better fuel efficiency. The petrol engine delivers 82 horsepower and 11.6 Kgm of torque. The diesel engine delivers 74 horsepower and 19.4 Kgm of torque.

Speaking at the launch of New 2017 Grand i10, Y K Koo, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said, “It is an aspirational car that has won the hearts of its customers across the globe and has become a landmark product in HMIL’s growth story. Over 5.5 lac units of Made in India Grand i10 have been sold in India and world markets which show strong brand admiration. The launch of The New 2017 Grand i10 will create a new benchmark for the segment by offering enhanced Modern Premium Hyundai Experience to the aspirational customers.”

The exteriors of the 2017 Grand i10 follow Hyundai’s Fluidic 2.0 design language. At the front, there is a new radiator grille design, redesigned bumper with LED DRLs (daytime running lights). The back too gets redesigned dual-tone bumper. The side profile remains largely the same except with the addition of a new design diamond cut alloy wheels.

hyundai-grand-i10-rear

The biggest change inside the car has to be the inclusion of a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system that supports smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link. It also gets features like rear parking assist system with dual airbags, ABS, reverse parking sensors, rear parking camera and a cooled glove box. There’s also the fully automatic temperature control along with rear AC vents.

hyundai-grand-i10-interior

Interestingly, Hyundai is also offering 2 years unlimited kilometre warranty with the new Grand i10.
Here is the complete pricing of the 2017 Hyundai Grand i10 facelift.

Petrol

  • Era – Rs 4,58,400
  • Magna – Rs 5,22,990
  • Magna (AT) – Rs 5,98,990
  • Sports – Rs 5,65,990
  • Sports (O) – Rs 5,96,295
  • Sports (O) AT – Rs 6,82,790
  • Asta – Rs 6,39,890

Diesel

  • Era – Rs 5,68,400
  • Magna – Rs 6,15,990
  • Sports – Rs 6,58,989
  • Sports (O) – Rs 6,89,791
  • Asta – Rs 7,32,890

(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

via (News18)

Anushka Sharma turns ghost for Phillauri


Anushka Sharma released the first trailer of her second production venture, Phillauri

phillauri-movie

Anushka Sharma released the first trailer of her second production venture, Phillauri Anushka Sharma, who turned producer with NH10 in 2015, the film has now unveiled the trailer of her second film under her production. There were many reports suggesting that Anushka plays ghost in

Anushka Sharma, who turned producer with NH10 in 2015, the film has now unveiled the trailer of her second film under her production. There were many reports suggesting that Anushka plays ghost in the film but she did not confirm it. With the first trailer it is clear that Anushka is indeed playing a ghost in the film. This quirky trailer has been getting a good response from the industry so far.

This love story is set in Phillaur village in Punjab. It stars Diljit Dosanjh opposite Anushka. Diljit plays a singer. Suraj Sharma of the Life of Pi fame and Mahreen Pirzada are also part of the cast. The film is directed by a debutant director Anshai Lal, who has assisted many directors like Saket Chaudhary, Shimit Amin and others.

The film is set to release on March 24.

via (Yahoo)